The schwerer Panzerspähwagen ("heavy reconnaissance vehicle) was derived from a truck chassis, and served all over in both 6-wheeled and 8-wheeled versions. The 8-wheeled Sd.Kfz. 231-234 series served all over, and the ancient Tamiya kits seem to turn up all over, too (there are two versions: "regular" and Afrika Korps). As perennials, it's good that master modeler Glenn Bartolotti has turned his "Step-by-Step Finishing Armor" series to the Sd.Kfz. 233 for one serving in North Africa in 1942.
what you get
The "Step-by-Step" series comes as a downloadable PDF file that has 13 color pages.
While intended for reconnaissance use, the Sd.Kfz. 232, with only a 2cm cannon and a MG35 machine gun in its superstructure, was under-armed. So they up-gunned the vehicle by adding the short-barreled 7.5cm KwK 37 L/24 low muzzle-velocity cannon that started out the war mounted in the early Pz. IV.
Glenn takes the reader through a process of modifying the original Tamiya kit to carry the heavier gun, including some sheet styrene and the addition of a 75mm cannon from a Tamiya Sd.Kfz. 251/9 Kanonenwagen kit (#35147).
The think I like about the SbS series is that is sets out exactly what materials, paints and pigments were used in the build. No need to adapt something, or make any leaps of logic between the final results and how the modeler got there. It's almost like a "brag book" for this kit.
The techniques, however, are readily-applied to other DAK vehicles, or for that matter, any desert environment. For those of you who are interested in pre-shading, the photos are very clear and detailed about how the colors are built up in successive waves. The weathering process includes pin washes and (as always with Glenn) MIG pigments.
MIG is a sponsor of the series.
The build includes a resin figure, and my one complaint would be the hasty way detailing him is handled. Figures are one of the more-challenging aspects of builds, and achieving lifelike renditions of clothing and skin tones could be handled in more than four small photos.
These master classes are lots of fun, and I've printed out a couple to stash in kits I've got in my stash. I recommend them highly to all but the most-experienced builders out there.
Thanks to Glenn Bartolotti for supplying this review copy. Be sure to say you saw it reviewed here on Armorama when ordering from him.
Highs: Step-by-step techniques for finishing a specific kit. The pages lay things out clearly and precisely.Lows: The figure portion is handled somewhat as an afterthought.Verdict: Considering the price, it's a steal.
Our Thanks to Armor Models by Glenn Bartolotti! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.