Autoblinda AB 41
Pz.Sp.Wg.AB 41 201(i)

Italeri Kit No. 6442
1:35th Scale
First Look Review by Terry Ashley

Italeri certainly threw a surprise with the recent announcement of the Italian Autoblinda AB 41 Armoured Car which was produced in greater numbers than sister models AB 40 and AB 43 and saw service in North Africa, Italy, Hungary, and Russia.
It was probably the most important Italian Armoured Car of WWII serving with the Italian Army and the Wehrmacht after the Italian surrender and was armed with a 20mm main gun and two 8mm machine guns as well as having four wheel drive and steering.

The kit contains just 140 parts in light tan plastic and six rubber tyres plus the decal and instructions sheets with the small number of parts belying the detail included in the kit.

The parts are cleanly moulded with just some shallow pin marks in a few places requiring removal but overall there isn’t a lot of cleanup needed and while a few details aren’t as crisp as contemporary kits overall the detail is quite excellent reminding you of Italeri kits of old such as the rivet/bolt head details, wheel rims and other raised details.

The Lower Chassis:
This is made up of the lower pan and separate side beams with well defined suspension spring details and added to this is the four independent suspension units and steering arms with separate brake drums for nicely detailed suspension units with the wheel rims having excellent hub details and separate central hub caps with the SPA logo embossed. Note; I have seen two style of wheel hubs on these wheels, the most common as depicted on the Italeri rims and another with more recessed central hubs as per the wheel image below and I am assuming the style in this kit is the later type as it is also seen on the AB 43?

The rubber tyres are noteworthy due the unique way Italeri have handled the age old problem of the moulding seams on rubber/vinyl tyres.
The mould seam is actually right on the inside tread shoulder and is all but invisible when the wheels are fitted in place while the tyres themselves have good tread pattern uncompromised by the seam although a little shallow when compared to photos but quite good never the less and includes the side wall name embossing for some of the better rubber wheels to be seen in a kit today.

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Upper Body:
The main body has the two side panels with good surface details and includes rivet/bolt head details inside the wheel wells although there are some shallow pin marks to be removed here also and the crew entry doors are separate parts. The doors themselves have inside details with a couple of very shallow pin marks that are easy to remove allowing the doors to be shown open if desired and also have separate door handles.

The two body sides are joined together by cross beams and the front and rear body panels with the lower suspension assembly fitting between the side panels.
The upper body panels are all separate parts with all doors, vision ports and access doors also as additional separate parts for good detail definition as well as allowing these to be shown open but there is no interior in the kit.

The front driver’s panel has separate visor cover and separate flaps over the head lights again allowing these to be shown open or closed while the rear engine deck also has separate doors with nice grill work. The rear cabin panel also has the ball mounted machine gun separate and open vision visor.

Other items around the body are the towing hooks, front air horns which are hollowed out, rear mounted exhaust pipes and separate pioneer tools, the rear mounted head lights with separate lens sections (in tan plastic) and siren plus and a couple of German jerry cans.

The Turret:
The main turret shell in one part with separate top and rear hatch with rivet/bolt head details although these aren’t on the lower front section due to moulding constraints and are a little undersized as they are quite prominent on the real thing.
There is also interior details with the panel and hatch framing on the side walls and basic gun breech with co-axial machine gun, the traverse hand wheels and commander’s seat in two parts which fills the turret nicely if the hatches are left open.

On the outside are separate visor covers and gun mantlet although the turret is slightly undersized and the contours a little off when compared to photos but these things will probably not even be noticed on the finished kit as they are only minor with the turret overall being nicely done.

The small decal sheet has good colour register and thin carrier film with markings for five vehicles, three in Italian service and two in German markings.
Included is a double sided full colour sheet showing four view drawings of the five vehicles to give good details of the quite intricate and attractive camouflage schemes applied to some of the vehicles as well as the decal placement and this sheet is a nice inclusion.

The markings are;

  1. German Army, Aufkl.Abt.236, 162nd (Turkische) Infantry Division, Italy, early 1944
  2. German Army, I./Elite-Polizei Rgt., Bolzano, Italy, Summer 1944
  3. Regio Esercito, unknown unit, Sicily 1943
  4. Regio Esercito, Lancireri di Montebello Rgt., Rome September 1943
  5. Repubblica Sociale Gruupe corazzato Leonessa, Torino, Italy, early 1945

Overall this is an excellent kit of the AB 41 with the features captured well although there are a couple of minor issues as mentioned above but it is certainly an improvement both in assembly, some details and of course cost over the previously available resin kits from Criel and Azumit.

This kit is certainly bound to be a hit with axis modellers especially Italian armour fans and for those wanting something a little different and the cam schemes will certainly exercise your airbrushing skills.

Highly recommended

The Sprues:

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Autoblindo AB41 & AB43
PzSpWg AB41 201(i)
& AB 43 203(i)

Armor PhotoGallery #8
ISBN 83-916483-6-2
Captured Armored Cars
and other Vehicles in
Wehrmacht Service

Schiffer Publications
ISBN 0-7643-0180-2
Autoblindo AB41 & AB43
Photo File No 1

By by Alessandro Bruschi
Published by Auriga Publishing International SRL, Genova, Italy
ISBN 88-88711-16-3
A5 landscape approx 100 pages
Book Ground Power Magazine #151 - 12/2006
Published by GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd.
2-2-13 Misaki-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Ground Power Website

53 pages cover Italian Armoured Cars of WWII with extensive coverage of the AB41 and 43. This includes many wartime photos including interior supplemented with excellent line drawings of the exterior and interior details including the engine and driver's controls as well as the gun.

The Sahariana 42 is also featured with general wartime photos showing the vehicle stowage to good advantage.
All text in Japanese

For online info check out

Thanks to Italeri for the review kit.

Page created 22 June 2005

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