The only other plastic kit of the 6 Rad was by HaPM Ltd. and I am happy to say this kit bears no resemblance to that effort other than they are both kits of the 6 Rad although the HaPM kit was an Sd.Kfz.231 and this Italeri kit is of the Sd.Kfz.232 Heavy Communications Car with 2cm KwK.
The kit consist of 161 parts in grey plastic and a small decal sheet with the standard of moulding being better than some recent Italeri kits with a minimum of pin ejector marks and virtually no sink marks which has been a problem with some kits.
The main hull is split with upper and lower hull “tubs” with separate lower chassis side frames being a left over from the Daimler-Benz G-3a truck from which the 6 Rad was based on. All the hatches on the upper and lower hull parts are separate items and this includes the forward engine hatches, lower side hatches and upper crew hatches and vision ports and this makes for good detail definition on this kit and obviously so they can be left open to show of the interior of the later kit.
The details on the hull parts are nicely done with crisp details and as mentioned no pin marks on any of the doors which is a marked improvement, the detail on the five vision ports and smaller hatch hinges is really nicely done and adds to the good feel of the kit.
The lower hull has the lower engine sections and rear fuel tank included as well as the front leaf spring included with the chassis frame while the rear suspension has separate differentials and side double leaf springs. The front suspension assembles so the wheels are steerable or should that be movable and is quite simple but robust as per the original. On the inside is the front radiator with nice engraved details and the front hull armoured louvers are in the open position allowing the inner radiator to be seen.
The wheels and tyres are all plastic and have excellent details with the front wheel hubs having the early two lightening holes, later wheels had four holes while the tyres have sidewall embossing and nice tread pattern with the outer hub holding the wheels in place with a small collar secured to the end of the axle but you will have to be really careful with the glue if you want the wheels to rotate.
The rear double wheels are again excellent with nice concave rims with the two lightening holes and again embossing on the tyre sidewalls with separate centre ‘triangular’ hub cap. The tread pattern includes the small notches on each raised section but some of this detail is lost when smoothing out the central join seam but enough remains if careful for a good appearance with just the tyre valves to be added from thin wire to finish them off.
The fit of the larger parts such as side hatches and fenders to the lower hull is excellent as is the top hull fit and the front and rear hull sections to the assembled hull with test fitting showing only one very small gap at the lower front and this will make assembly a breeze.
At the rear is a covered spare tyre and there are numerous smaller items for around the hull such as the head and tail lights with separate slotted front parts, a rather basic NOTEC light, side turn and width indicators and the distinctive storage boxes on the fenders. The pioneer tools are rather basic with moulded on tool clips and these will obviously be improved with etched tool clips. The six mud flaps on the lower fenders have very subtle rubber texturing and look better than the usual flat plastic flaps often provided.
The turret again has all hatches as separate parts and also include the inner body for the 20mm Kwk cannon and MG 17 coaxial MG with the outer barrel sections of the MG 17 barrel having subtle cooling jacket details while the 20mm barrel is fairly basic but passable but calls out to be replaced with a metal barrel of which there are several already available.
The hatches again have no pin marks on the inside with the top and rear hatches having separate inner latches and nice hinge details.
The large frame antenna is nicely done and doesn’t look overly thick although there is mould seams that have to be removed from all the frame sections that will take a bit of time but overall the appearance of the frame looks well to scale with the same going for the large rear and turret mounting posts.
The decal sheet is typical Italeri with well printed markings and the matt carrier film cropped close to the printed image and provides markings for four vehicles.
The markings with vehicles in overall Panzer Grey are for:
The instructions are again typical Italeri with good clear exploded view drawings that are easy to follow and there shouldn’t be any problems during assembly.
This is a very welcome release for early war fans with the kit featuring some nice details and the lack of pin and sink marks being noteworthy as are the very well done wheels which really stand out on a kit such as this. The option of having every hatch separate is also a bonus allowing extra detail to be added as well as providing good detail definition.
While the kit isn’t quite up to the standards of the recent offerings from AFV Club and Dragon it is still very nicely done and streets ahead of the HaPM 6 Rad, especially the wheels and should be warmly received.
Thanks to Blast Models for the prompt delivery of the kit.
Page Created 25 February 2005