Sd.Kfz. 222

German Light Armored Vehicle

Kit # 72411 Review by Rob Haelterman

1. Packaging:

Side opening cardboard box with 3-view painting guide on the backside (for one of the marking options).

 

2. Type of kit:

Injection plastic kit with small photo-etch fret. Decals provided.

 

3. Quality:

This is a simple but very decent plastic injection kit. The fit of the parts is excellent, which allows it to be built very quickly. Given a small amount of liquid glue it will just fall together, with only the smallest amount of sanding and NO filling needed, apart from the turret mesh (see below). The plastic is quite soft and reacts very well to MEK. The detail is very good, but softer than on the MarS kit.

Dimensionally this vehicle corresponds well to the drawings in my references, but the detail is somewhat simplified, and some parts are a bit thick, although the MG is undoubtedly sub-calibre. The nose area is definitely more accurate than the MarS offering.

There are some ejector rings, but most of them are invisible after assembly. There are also two of them on the top plate; why ICM chose to engineer the sprues in this way is a mystery to me. They could have put them on the underside of the top plate with ease, but chose to put them on the visible side. These are not very difficult to remove, but demand some care. The rear one, incidentally, is almost in the spot where a filler cap for the radiator could be found. You might use it as a base for the latter as it is missing.

Some sink marks are visible in the rear license plates (easy to file down or fill), and the boxes on the entry doors. The latter demand more patience.

On the hull sides you can find 4 “corners”. I suppose these are meant for the versions equipped with a frame antenna (Sd.Kfz. 223 & 261). It is easy to file them off.

Even though you can open the side doors and see the hull through the turret, there really is not much to see inside, so if you don't put some figures in there, you're off for some scratchbuilding, or alternatively, buy the Goffy set meant for this kit. The major error I found in this kit, is the representation of the gun mount. It should be on a pedestal, but is attached to the turret ring in the kit instead and lacks a lot of detail like seats, spent cartridge bags, ...
Also, the gun cradle sits too high, interefering with the turret mesh. If you cut off the lower 1.2mm you can solve the problem, but loose some detail.
If doing a full interior is not your thing, you might get away with cutting away the rear support of the gun mount, putting two figures in the turret and keeping the doors shut. If you want to scratchbuild, you can find all you need in [13].

While the turret mesh is nicely done in PE, it is too large to fit the turret. To me, the only decent way to hide this is to open up at least one half, so you won't be able to tell. This, however, will make the interior more visible. You might also want to weaken the joints where you have to fold the mesh by scoring them. Behind the turret you get another mesh. If you want to be technically correct, you will need to cut away the plastic underneath to create a see-through effect.

On some kits the tow hooks suffer from a casting deficiency, meaning that they miss their extremities. (I have quite a number of these kits, and they slightly vary in boxing, quality and censoring of some decals.)

Some nice, mostly invisible, detail is provided on the underside of the chassis.

 

4. Version and accuracy

Looking at the evolution of the Sd.Kfz.222, this kit has a lot of the distinguishing features of a 5. Series vehicle:

  • Driver's roof higher than the rest of the roof, but only at the extreme front end.
  • Domed visors on the hull; visor on the right side moved forward.
  • KwK38 in higher mount.
  • Smaller engine hatches.
  • Additional stowage bin on the left of the hull (between the big box and the fender).
  • Smaller mesh behind the turret.
  • Armored cover over the rear engine louvres.

Features that it does not, but should have are

  • No visors on the turret except at the rear. It still has three.
  • Lower turret mesh.
  • Width indicators are absent (they should be at the tip of the front fenders).
  • Turn signals moved to the front fenders; the kit has none.
  • Two smaller meshes at the rear of the hull top plate.
  • Plates welded over the mounting points for the antenna of the Sd.Kfz.223 (due to the use of a standardized hull)

ICM gives you the choice to install the armored hubcaps or not. Given the features of the 5. Serie it already has, they should be left off.

I previously wrote that the model would be appropriate for a late 1940 setting. It is not, as the 5. Serie only appeared in May 1942.

 

Some other comments:

  • The tools are a bit simplistic, especially the shovel. The wooden block for the jack is missing
  • I can't quite identify part A32, but if it is the cover plate for the bottom of the supplementary rear armor, it is too big.
  • The antenna on the turret is of the clip-on type on the real thing. On the model it is fixed. You might reposition it or leave it off, if you so desire.
  • There is no radio in the turret.
  • The Notek headlight seems a bit thin. You might improve this with some putty. You can also leave it off, and assume it is stowed inside the vehicle.
  • The rear tow hooks are a bit too high on the hull.
  • The doors really need to be thinned down. They measure 10 scale centimeters (4 inches) if you don't. If you leave them open you should blank off the inside, otherwise you can look inside the door-mounted boxes (and you should add an interior).
  • You need to add a small filler cap for the radiator behind the turret.
  • If you leave the turret mesh open, you need to add support rods that keep them open and slice the PE turret mesh in two.
  • The tarp-covered spare wheel is a bit simplistic. Add some tissue and white-glue it in place.
  • The gun barrel is not bad, but I chose to replace them with Armorscale items. The MG really is anemic.
  • The suspension of the wheels is not very sturdy. Depending on how roughly you handle your model, you might add some support. You also need to take care with the front wheels, as they are very close to the the rear end of the fender (as in reality). The slightest mis-alignment will show. You might also want to know that this little vehicle had 4-wheel steering when driving slowly. A nice thing about the wheels is that the hubcaps will fit without glue.
  • I only discovered, after building the model, that the front fender bins are missing, while they can be vaguely seen on the boxtop. (Their lids are the slightly raised sections on top of the fender.)

 

5. Instruction sheet:

The instructions are in Russian (Ukrainian ?) and English. As this is the baseline kit for he 221/222/260/261 series, all parts are to be used. They are of the drawing type and are very clear and show the painting and markings of the two schemes. (Some releases of this kit clearly of photocopies of photocopies of original instructions.)

Pictures from Henk of Holland website, used with permission.

 

6. Decals and painting options:


Picture from Henk of Holland website, used with permission.

The decals are very, very good. They are thin, sharp and in excellent register. This decal sheet is the same as for the 223,260 and 261, so you get a LOT of spares.
Unfortunately enough, in some kits (I have 6 of this kit and its variants) the SS licence plates are removed by the censor (who, in one example, was overly enthusiastic and damaged others). These are meant to represent vehicle SS163240 from LSSAH [7] in the SdKfz 261 kits.

On one sheet, one of the DAK palm trees was not printed completely and a very small trace of a stray decal was found. This is, however, no problem at all, as the decals are plentiful, and give you too many items. For instance, you get 4 DAK palm trees, while you can maximally put 2 on the vehicle, according to the manual.

Painting options for this kit are

  • 15 PD, Lybia, 1942 in overall “Sand” (might mean RAL 8000 Gelbbraun, but more likely RAL 8020 Braun. The latter was introduced in March 1942). This vehicle is shown in 3-view on the backside of the box.
  • 20 PD, Russia, 1943 in “Gunship Gray” (read RAL 7021 Dunkelgrau) and “Flat Tan” (read RAL 7028 Dunkelgelb)

Color references are for Model Master.

Apart from these decals you get the names “Stettin” and “Siegfried”, both well-known 222s [8,9], but you won't find these in the painting guide. One of the versions is a vehicle of 20 Pz.Div. of which you can find pictures in [9].

Something peculiar is that the decals react with Revell Matt varnish (and probably also with other enamels). They actually dissolve to a paint-like substance, which means you will get no silvering and perfect adhesion, as the carrier film also dissolves. That is, if you take care. If you don't, you might VERY easily ruin the decal, but if you manage to pull it off you will have a "painted" on decal.

 

7. The model:

Below are pictures of the construction process of one of my ICM Sd.Kfz.222 kits. The interior was enhanced with plasticard and other items from my spares box, together with some items from one of the Preiser infantry sets (like MP40, hand grenades, gas mask canisters, bread bags, etc.).
The looks of the turret were improved by cutting away the rear support, adding a recoil guard and traverse wheel and building a pedestal and seat.
The driver's visors was opened in the process. The details were mostly based on pictures in [13].

Figures in the diorama are from Preiser, the wall from Extratech, but I can't quite remember where the horses came from.

 

8. General Impression:

With all the comments I mentioned above, you might start to believe I am no great fan of this kit. Well, nothing could be farther from the truth. I've already built 3 of them and an Sd.Kfz.260, and have some in my stash for future use !

The best thing about this kit is the great ease of construction and the retail price (I got some of mine for 5 Euro). It is also dimensionally accurate.

The worst is the complete lack of interior and the configuration of the gun mount. The detail is also not as crisp as on the corresponding MarS kit, but the dimensional accuracy is better.

 

9. Further information

Also check Harry Leith's preview (with pictures of the sprues and decals) of this kit.
Compare this kit with
Stephen Brezinski's previews of the ICM Sd.Kfz.223 and 261.
Incidentally, Al Magnus has also recently added his construction review of this kit.

 


Below is another one I built. The mottling was done with Agama Patinator pastels. Note that on this model I added the blanking plates for the antenna mounts, together with width indicators, turn indicators and a protective cage for the Notek.


 

10. References

[1] Samochody pancerne 4x4, J. Ledwoch, Militaria.

[2] Missing-Lynx website (http://www.missing-lynx.com). Discussions on forum, e.g. Robert Johnson, 27/02/05

[3]  AFV Interior, http://afvinteriors.hobbyvista.com/ (Currently closed)

[4]  DAK SdKfz 222 http://members.verizon.net/~blu.skink/blueskink/222_interior/222_interior.htm (Currently off-line)

[5]  Littelfield collection pictures, http://russiannavy.net/photos/littlefield (/Sept_2004/Sdkfz222)

[6]  Petr Vanek, private communication.

[7]  SS Armor, R.C. Stern, Squadron/Signal

[8]  Panzer Colors I, B. Culver & B. Murphy, Squadron/Signal

[9]  Panzer Colors II, B. Culver, Squadron/Signal

[10]  Panzer Colors III, B. Culver, Squadron/Signal

[11]  Gepanzerte Radfahrzuege, W.J. Spielberger, Militärfahrzeuge 4, Motorbuch Verlag

[12]  Panzer Tracts N°13, Panzerspaehwaegen, T.L.Jentz, Panzer Tracts

[13]  Panzerspähwagen, Ryton

[14]  Steelmasters 53, “Les automitrailleuses SdKfz 222 et 223”, October 2002

[15]  SdKfz 253, 252 & early 250, Archive Part 1, M. Kögel, Total Detail

[16] Panzer Tracts N°13-1, leichter Panzerspaehwaegen and kleiner Panzerfunkwagen, T.L.Jentz & H.L. Doyle, Panzer Tracts

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Article Last Updated:
07 August 2010
21 July 2011

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