by: Kevin Brant [ ]
The Krupp Protze 1.5 ton truck was produced for the German Army from 1934 till 1941. Powered by a 3.3 Litre Boxer engine, the 6x6 vehicle could reach speeds of 70km/h(43mph) with a range of 450 km(280 miles). To allow for quick deployment, Germans began mounting typically towed guns onto vehicles, including the Pak36 3.7cm onto the Krupp. Some vehicles even mounted extra armor for protection, but the weight of the armor proved to degrade performance of the Krupp Protze, hence it was quickly replaced..
An example of the Kfz.69 Krupp Protze with 3.7cm and armor is provided in a new kit from Bronco Models.
13 Plastic Sprues
8 Vinyl Rubber Tires
1 Fret Photo-etched parts
1 Small Decal sheet
I was excited to open the box from Bronco, this being the first new Krupp Protze kit released in sometime. First impressions did not disappoint, the kit is molded in typical Bronco grey plastic, and a quick scan of the sprues shows the typical excellent molding. The plastic parts are very well molded, little to know flash, no visible sink marks, and it does look like they have done a good job to hide all ejector marks well. The details on the parts is sharp and crisp, and there are some fine parts that will need care when handling.
The kit includes what looks to be a very well detailed 3.3 litre Boxer engine, transmission, and transfer case for the frame assembly. The overall frame assembly does look to be very well detailed, and based on the instructions, while it does contain a lot of parts, it should go together relatively well. The rear suspension scissor spring assembly is molded as a single piece, which is nice for static display and assembly, but would mean work for anyone wanting to create a diorama display on uneven ground. But there is an option for having the front wheels turned left or right.
While not usually a fan of vinyl rubber tires in kits, due to issues of cleaning up seams, paint adhesion, and detail, Bronco has provided what looks to be an excellent job with these tires. The soft feel, like real rubber, is very well cast with create looking details, and no seam mark around the tire. Even the color being more realistic with no fake shine is better then some of the sets I have seen in other kits. I could be wrong, but I do suspect these may be real rubber.
Moving up, the kit does also look to include a nicely detailed cab. The seat cushion surface details look to be very well done, including an impressive looking rear cushion with concave button detail. All the typical Protze controls look to be modeled, and Bronco has included decals for the instrumentation.
The Pak36 is molded on a single sprue, with the exception of the shield and some of the mount parts. The overall detail does look good, including a slide molded barrel with an open end. While Bronco did include some ammunition cases, including one open, they did not include any extra 3.7cm rounds to add to the vehicle display.
The front armor is provided in three main parts, and does provide the option of open veiw ports and open radiator port. Without building the kit yet, from the instructions I would be a little concerned on the front anchor point for the armor, as it does look like it may be a little weak. I would also say the same for the seats mounted on the rear bumper as the attachment points do look small.
The instruction booklet, printed on gloss paper, looks to be well done, with assembly being done over 34 steps spread across 14 pages. Most steps look to be well organized and should be easy to follow. The only section that may prove a little difficult would be the contruction of the swing arm components for the rear axles.
The kit provide a single paint and marking scheme, being for the 1st Mountain Division, 44th Tank Destroyer Battalion in the Ukraine 1941.
Overall all this looks to be a great new kit of the Krupp Protze from Bronco Models. The moldings look to be very well done, with great looking details. The frame, engine, cab, and gun details all look outstanding. Without building the kit, I am hard pressed to find anything negative in the box, I am definitely looking forward to building this kit. This being the first newly tooled Krupp Protze in sometime that I am aware of, I am hoping we see other variants will soon be on the way from Bronco. I highly recommend this kit.