1/48th Bandai SdKfz 232 Fulfilling an Old Modeling Adage.
There is an old adage that if you spend the time to build an old difficult kit then a mainstream model company will release a new state of the art version of the kit soon after. Now, I am not going to say it’s true, but I’m not going to say it’s not. What I can say is I spent a bit of time and energy building the old Bandai kit of the SdKfz 232 and now we have from Tamiya a nice beautiful looking SdKfz 232 and the up gunned version SdKfz 234.
I always thought that this was a pretty cool looking vehicle and I didn’t think that the Bandai kit was too bad looking. Well once I started it kind of got away from me. The basic hull went together without much effort, but the hatches were ill fitting so I had to make new ones from scratch.
When researching the kit I found lots of pictures that showed the 232 carrying extra jerry cans so I grabbed some of my Tamiya Jerrry cans and used some brass from a laminated shim stock to make the racks to hold them on.
The turret had some minimal details so I scratch built some additional interior to make it a little busier looking for leaving the hatches open. This included a seat, turret rotating crank, interior vision slot covers and some gun mechanism parts. I am not enough of an armor expert to make it perfect, but I was generally happy with it.
I also noticed that the kit did not carry a spare and with eight tires on the vehicle it didn’t make sense not to have at least one spare. Most pictures showed a spare being carried. So I made a mold from one of the kit wheels and cast a wheel to mount as spare on the rear.
I also built up the kit frontal armor and thought it looked way to bulky and thick so I scratch built new from card stock. I was much happier with the way it looked and thought it was worth the effort.
Then looking at it, it dawned on me that with all those wheels it would look so much more interesting if they were articulated. So out came the razor saw and a little modeling I got the wheels turned. This was the best mod I could do to make the kit look better.
Once all assembled I got to the painting. I tried some different things here, having fun with it as I went. First off I primed it with black and then painted it overall panzer grey. I lightened the grey and used that on the upper surfaces and some hatches. After letting the paint dry a couple of days, I did a dot filter on it. I placed little dots of different colors of oil paint all over the surfaces and then using Mona Lisa Thinner on my brush I brushed the dots off , pulling most of the paint completely off. I brushed in the general direction water would flow as it ran off the surfaces. I started with the turret and the results were nothing but tremendous. It totally changed the character of the paint. The picture I think does a good job of highlighting what a change it made.
After a clear coat and decals I gave the model a wash of oils to and then a coat of Testors Dullcoat. I did some chipping using a small sponge and dark brown and black paint. The sponge helped give some randomness to the chipping.
The base is a plaque from a contest I won being recycled. After painting it gray I glued a piece of Styrofoam in the corner and then covered it with Durham Rock Hard Putty. While the putty was still soft I put ruts in the road and placed the 232 in the spot I wanted so that all 8 wheels would be on the ground. The dirt is dirt, the grass is Static Grass applied with a homemade Grass Zapper. The tree is a branch from a bush, with added branches glued in and then sprayed with contact cement and rolled in a mixture of ground foam, oregano and basil leaves. It was a pretty quick and easy base and adds some interest to an otherwise rather mediocre model.