The latest of Roden's series of 8-wheeled armored cars, is this Sd.Kfz. 232 radio car. This is the first time this vehicle has been made in plastic in our scale, and it is superb. Basically the same as their first release, the Sd.Kfz. 231, this kit includes a new sprue of parts unique to this version. This review is mostly the same as that earlier review as well.
The hull is designed to provide for several versions of this vehicle, many of which we have already seen. The molding quality is excellent, with no flash or sinkmarks visible. Some of the tools are molded separate (I'm not real happy with the shovel, but the jack is great), but unfortunately, some are also molded onto the hull nose. And to make it worse, the nose is on an angle, so the relief on these tools is poor. They will need to be sanded off, and replaced. The other details are molded very well, especially the machinegun barrel. All of the view ports are molded closed, as are the various hatches around the hull, which is not surprising.
I don't like the closed turret hatch. For those modelers talented at scratch-building, it should be fairly easy to remove the hatch, and make one from scratch, and I am sure that the forthcoming etched brass detail sets will have replacement hatches. Aside from this oversight, the detail on the parts is very well done.
The wheels are excellent; I like the hub and tread detail very much. The suspension is designed to allow the wheels to roll, but since I have no intention of "driving" my 231 around the house, I'll build it static. The suspension is also completely articulated, which will make it very easy to assemble it with all wheels touching the ground, or conforming to terrain features. There are a couple of jerry cans included, which is great, and also several spare infantry helmets. There are two of this sprue included in the kit.
The unique parts to this kit include the radio antenna and armored nose plate. These parts are very well done. The box has beautiful, color, three-view drawings on the back. The instructions are very well done, and beginners should have no problems building this kit.
There are markings included for [I think] three vehicles: one for the 5th SS Panzer Division "Wiking" in 1943, and two Luftwaffe (Hermann Goering Brigade/Division). But the markings diagrams are confused, showing the SS vehicle with some Luftwaffe markings, and vice-versa. There are also some decals that apparently are not used (notice the four styles of cross). Make sure you have references for this vehicle in order to get the markings correct. These decals look very thin, and sharply printed (I darkened the scan a bit to better show the white). I am particularly impressed with the two color crosses which eliminates any problems with register. Bravo Roden.
I haven't yet spent a great deal of time researching this vehicle, but from preliminary measurements and investigation, it looks very accurate in size and details. Like their earlier armored car kits, this one is highly recommended.