German Bundeswehr Armoured Personnel Carrier SPz kurz (Half-Squad and Radio)

ROCO 1:87 Scale Vehicle Review

SPz kurz with 20 mm autocannon provide fire support for Star Wars rebel troops, 1:87 H0 Model Kit ROCO 214

SPz kurz with 20 mm Autocannon provide fire support for Star Wars rebel troops somewhere on a distant planet. These vehicles carry a two-tone desert camouflage pattern of reddish brown stripes over a sand base colour, heavily weathered to the beat up finnish so often seen in Hollywood movies. National and unit insignia have been ommitted, because the infantry fighting vehicles are also used to support Imperial Army units on occasion.

Contents

  • SPz kurz (Halfsquad and Radio)

Evaluation

The model is sold partly assembled, almost ready to use.

Only 11 Parts: left and right running gear, lower hull with carpet rollers and mounting bracket, upper hull, left and right smoke grenade dischargers, turret with 20 mm Autocannon.

A radio antenna, made from bristle or stretched sprue, may be mounted immediately behind the turret, centered between the two rear fighting hatches.

Much detail: exhaust grille, air intake, hatches, hinges, rivets, pick, shovel, sledge hammer, axe, lights and rear mirrors are correctly modelled. Tow cable and spare track links are missing, and there is no guard rail around the headlights.

Compatible with HO scale model railroad equipment and miniatures.

Hatches are modelled in buttoned-down position, requiring some modelling effort to open them, and place crew figures inside.

The model is constructed like a snap-together toy. Upper and lower hull are held together by large lugs which remain clearly visible from front and rear. Serious modellers will want to glue the parts together, cut the lugs off and fill the holes.

The lower hull has mounting brackets for plastic rollers which allow the vehicle to be driven over carpet. These will have to be cut off to give the model a realistic appearance when viewed from front or rear.

The gun mantlet does not fit the turret properly. There are two ways to fix the problem: either glue the gun and mantlet to the turret permanently, or insert a wire peg to keep the part moveable.

The gun barrel is much thicker than it should be. It may be replaced with a length of pianowire or aluminium tube.

The smoke discharger cups are cast on a mounting bracket which is noticeably out of scale. This part should be sanded to the proper thickness. Original photos show the SPz kurz (Halbgruppe und Funk) with smoke dischargers on the turret sides, not on the hull. This minor conversion is well worth the effort, it makes the turret look more detailed and interesting.

The ROCO model of Schützenpanzer kurz (Hotchkiss) makes an ideal Sci-Fi combat vehicle: Its angular shape is timeless, and the vehicle is not easily recognized as a dated NATO IFV. SPz kurz is small, maneuverable, simple and relatively cheap, it fits well into the defense budget of a Road Warrior or Sci-Fi army. ROCO models are nicely compatible with Star Wars figures available from Galoob Toys as well as modern Italian soldiers from the Atlantic series.

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