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In-Box Review
Camionetta AS 42 Sahariana

by: John Murcutt [ JLMURC ]

The Model 42 Desert Vehicle was developed to meet the needs of the Italian Army and was based on the chassis and mechanics of the AB 41 armoured car. Operations in the desert proved the need for a reconnaissance vehicle that was adapted to meet the specialist conditions that were encountered and could not be found in the vehicles that were already present. These included large tyres that ran at low pressure for running over sand as well as offering sufficient ground clearance to a vehicle that would encounter so many difficult conditions in the harsh terrain.

I know very little about the operations of the Italian military, which prior to fighting alongside the Germans already had a great deal of experience of the terrain and climate, from the large areas of North Africa that was part of their Empire long before World War II. None of these vehicles are left in existence having served in Italy mainly with Police units once the war was over well into the 1950’s. It is said that the vehicle served in units in a very similar manner to the LRDG and were able to often hold their own against those forces, being well armed and very fast.

The Kit
I never find Italeri kits to be in boxes that just ‘grab’ your attention when browsing the shelves, but this kit is contained within a sturdy carton, bedecked in the normal manner of the blue and yellow with the company logo clearly displayed. The colour artwork is above the usual standard that I have often seen, consisting of a nice picture of the vehicle, with its crew in a suitable desert setting.

My main surprise is that it opens like a cigar box, allowing you to instantly see all of the various items that are enclosed. Whilst as is usual the plastic sprues are packed in polythene bags, the resin and photo-etched pieces are neatly displayed in blister packs and are well protected against bangs and knocks. The tyres are packed in a polythene bag as are the decals and acetate sheet for the windscreen. There is also a nicely printed instruction booklet with clear, easy to follow construction details and furthermore a really nice reference booklet. This is printed on good quality paper and comprises information and pictures of various parts of the vehicle from official photos in black and white as well as full colour advice about building the resin parts, working with PE and finally some colour pictures of the various paint schemes of finished models. The plastic mouldings are in a normal sand colour with the resin parts and crew in a pale cream resin.

Sprue A – This contains the underside of the chassis, the side sections with substantial springs moulded into place, along with a few smaller items and tools.

Sprue B & G X 2 – This comprises both B & G sections moulded as one and in B part contains much of the wheels and suspension with G comprising the jerry cans moulded in blocks with separate handles, spades and other small items for the bodywork.
Sprue C – This is the largest and comprises the major parts of the bodywork and interior details. The Bonnet can be cut into 3 sections to allow you to see the resin engine if you decide to fit it. Like all of the mouldings any flash is negligible and I can see no sign of warping or bad moulding.

Sprue D – This has some small parts for the interior but mainly comprises the parts for the 20mm cannon and its mount. There is then the bag containing 5 vinyl tyres that appear to be well moulded, with a well defined tread pattern, without a large moulding line to remove and the acetate sheet to make the windscreen.

The first blister pack contains 2 resin figures that look to be nicely posed with separate arms and heads and the large components of the engine. This is marked R on the instruction contents guide. In a smaller Blister pack is a resin Sprue containing other parts to complete the engine.

The final blister contains a substantial fret of photo etch, which offers jerry can racks, sand channels and other small fittings. Finally there is a small decal sheet containing the instrument panel, various number plates and an Italian flag for one of the offered vehicles, which I think is for air identification.

in conclusion
I have never really considered Italeri kits preferring kits from the larger manufacturers, but after my surprise at the quality of the set of two ammunition trailers that I bought some months ago, I was drawn to wanting this kit when I first saw it mentioned on their website as it is something different from the usual crop of German or allied equipment. Although the price was more than I anticipated, from my detailed examination of the box contents and considering the cost of aftermarket parts and resin figures, I believe that it offers good value and will be very pleasant to build. My only gripe if you can call it that is in the jerry cans which are so pre-dominantly mounted on the side of the vehicle, are moulded in the old fashioned, large one piece mouldings, however even with that it does not detract from what is a very attractive kit of an interesting and important vehicle.
A brand new kit from Italeri, of the Italian Camionetta AS 42 Sahariana, a vehicle used for reconnaissance in the Western Deserts of North Africa.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: AS 42 Sahariana
  Suggested Retail: £25.50
  PUBLISHED: Jul 25, 2006
  NATIONALITY: United States

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About John Murcutt (jlmurc)

A modeller since about the age of five. A number of years in the Royal Armoured Corps working on both Chieftain and the CVR[T] series did not manage to dent my love of all things armoured. I do build some aircraft and other distractions but get pulled back to German Vehicles due to the variation i...

Copyright ©2020 text by John Murcutt [ JLMURC ]. All rights reserved.


Hi John, Thanks for the review. I like the look of this kit and the AB41 as well. I always throught Italeri did good wheeled vehicles and both this kit and the AB41 will be a welcome addition to the N African scene for modellers. Cheers Al
JUL 27, 2006 - 02:13 PM
Nice review, I'll probably be picking this one up.
JUL 27, 2006 - 02:38 PM
Nice review of what seems to be a great kit, thanks! Considering the extras inside and great kit of an interesting subject, price similar to the new Dragon releases looks to be quite fair to me I definitely will be picking one of those up in the near future! Cheers Grzegorz
JUL 27, 2006 - 03:20 PM
John the kit seems fantastic with even resin figures in it, creepy from Italeri. Good review on this kit 043
JUL 27, 2006 - 04:05 PM
After spending quite a bit earlier in the year, I´d decided to stop buying for this year. Already broke down and decided to get the Dragon Marder II, now it looks like I´ll be breaking down again. This looks so cool. To be honest, I dont think its too expensive, considering it contains resin items, engine, PE and 2 resin figures. I have a few Italeri jerry can sets, that could replace the block version in the review and the Autoblinda resin wheels would be all Id buy extra. Otherwise it appears very, very nice. There was a lot of talk previously about Italeri being left behind, but with some of the more unusal and unexpected releases they´ve had ... and now with this "Dragon" type contents ... in my books they´re back in there again. Thanks a million for the review, John. Exactly what is needed. Hopefully you a do a "Vinnie" and build it over the next few days! :-) :-) Cheers.
JUL 27, 2006 - 04:23 PM
I wish that I could clear some of the ongoing builds that I have parked around the lounge and it amazes me how new builds roll out of Vinnie's hanger, I wish I had the time and the energy to do that and that other things wouldn't consistantly get in the way. I do agree that Italeri is back and I look forward to more kits of this quality coming off the designers desk as I am really impressed and wish I had seen them as a serious manufacturer in the past. I have often looked but never felt inspired by the box art like those of Dragon and Tamiya. When the version with the 47mm AA gun comes out I will invest in another. Now if I can only finish the Flak 36, Wespe, Steyr and.............................. John
JUL 27, 2006 - 05:46 PM
Thanks for the 'heads up' on this one John. It looks as though Italeri have made a good job of this one and, with any luck, I might find one parked on my workbench. The AB41 and a Crusader I are on my list as well as an Acadamy Stuart/Honey. All I need to do now is some research! link
JUL 27, 2006 - 06:18 PM
I was in LHS and take a look into the box. I was impressed with quality of the model. I also checked the price and it is not so high as I calculated from John's review. I think this one is a "must have".
JUL 27, 2006 - 06:23 PM
Thankyou for the review and sprue pics John I have been looking forwards to the arrival of this kit, the more I see and read of it the better it looks! In your review you mentioned about the use of these trucks in N Africa, you are right, they were used in the same manner as LRDG/SAS operarations, usually by 'Arditi' troops. Their uniforms were very similar to Italian Paratrooper uniforms but in 'Italian Grey' rather than sand/khaki. I intend to build loads of these!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ciao Dus aka 'Sahariana'
AUG 01, 2006 - 12:03 PM

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