Sd.Kfz.222 Leichter Panzerspähwagen 4x4

Tamiya 1:35th Scale Kit No. 35286
Review by Terry Ashley

Tamiya 35051Tamiya 35270
This latest reincarnation of the venerable old Sd.Kfz.222 Leichter Panzerspähwagen from Tamiya follows the original kit #35051 from 1975 and the re-issue as kit #35270 in 2003 with the addition of an aluminium barrel, the etched turret screen guards plus plastic jerry cans and fuel drums.

This “new” kit is the same as kit #35270 including the metal barrel, etched screens and fuel cans/drums plus the addition of the DKW NZ350 motorcycle from kit #35241 “German Motorcycle Orderly Set” and three new Afrika Korps figues for a mini diorama in one box.

The vehicle as noted previously represents and Ausf.B as indicated by the cast hull vision port doors with the right hand front port being smaller than the other three and while the kit shows the triangular wheel hub covers many Ausf. B vehicles did not have these fitted.

The Kit:

There are 163 parts in light beige plastic, 59 in light grey plastic, the metal barrel and etched screens plus the decal and instruction sheets.

Etched & metal parts

Moulding quality is quite good overall but some parts do show their age with prominent mould seam lines to be cleaned up especially on the 2cm gun parts while the detail on other parts is still quite good such as the wheels which have nice hub details and tyre tread pattern.

The Hull:

The hull details are fairly basic but all the major components are there including the engine intake grills on the rear with nice engraved mesh and all the other parts such as the side storage boxes and hull vision ports as separate parts.

The lower hull has underside detail included and the two chassis frames include the suspension springs with a separate one piece transmission/drive train with additional suspension parts which again provide all the major components but with basic details.

Detail on the plastic wheels sees nicely represented tread pattern and hub details with separate hub cover plates if these are applicable to the model you are building.

All the hull vision ports are separate parts but are not really suitable to show open as there is no port cut-outs in the hull, just locating tabs for the visors while all other parts such as the head lights, fenders, rear exhaust, tools and other detail again have okay detail given their age and fit to the hull without any problems. There is of course plenty of scope for adding additional details such as etched tools clips and the like to bring their detail more up to current standards.

The two hull side doors are also separate but you will have to modify the hinges if you wanted to show these open, but as there is no interior so they are probably best left closed.
The armoured guard over the rear radiator is also a separate part allowing you to expose the radiator grills as they were in the early war campaigns.


The 2cm turret has the ten sided upper turret shell with a basic gun mount plus the two crew seats and the original gun (part A36) has been modified with the removal of the plastic barrel and a thin neck added which slips into the hole pre drilled in the new metal barrel for a good firm fit. The metal barrel is an improvement with hollowed out flash suppressor but it is about 2mm longer than the actual 2cm KwK38 barrel and the flash suppressor does not have any cooling holes and the collar holes are just indentations.

The MG34 is also very basic lacking any real detail as is the 2cm magazine and this all makes this assembly a good candidate for the additional of aftermarket items to improve the details.

For this exercise I have used the Griffon Models 2cm KwK38 barrel (set #LB35006) which is the correct length for KwK38 and has excellent details on the flash suppressor with the correct six collar holes included the two that are only half the length of the other four and nicely represented cooling holes in the suppressor. The MG barrel is replaced with the Adlers Nest barrel (set #ANM35006) which for mine is the better of the metal MG34 barrels available and finally the magazine was used from the Voyager Models (set #AP066) which assembles into an excellent smaller 10 round KwK magazine.

Kit gun updated with Griffon Model 2cm KwK barrel, Adlers Nest MG34 barrel
and Voyager Models 10 round 2cm magazine.

The etched fret has the frames and screens for the turret top and is a marked improvement over the standard Tamiya mesh included with the original kit. The bending process will be helped by the use of a bending tool as the screens can easily be distorted if bent by hand due to the harder stainless steel used by Tamiya and annealing would also help.

The inclusion of the sprue from the Fuel Drum Set (Kit No.35186) gives you some extras for use in a diorama with a selection of fuel drums and Jerry cans with nice details included such as separate filler caps and handles.

DKW NZ350:

This is typical Tamiya in the layout with the fuel tank, main frame, engine and rear wheel with guard all in one piece and the front wheel with guard in another part which compromises some details such as the wheel spokes and clearances between some details. Added to the main parts are separate front forks, side frames with chain covers and the two exhausts along with separate handle bars, seats and headlights that overall do a fairly good job in representing the bike while leaving scope for additional detailing if you wish.


There are three figures included with quite nicely done uniform details for kit figures with each having separate arms and heads that will scrub up nicely with careful painting.

The Commander figure is wearing shorts and tunic and is designed to be sitting on the lip of the turret and the Loader/Radio Operator again wears shorts and roller shirt sleeves and designed to sit in the kit pedestal seat.

The third figure is the motorcycle rider and is designed straddling the bike tank with his feet on the ground and you get two sets of arms and two heads allowing variation in the final figure with the rider and Commander are posed to be talking to each other for a diorama setting.


The decals are new for this kit but have the usual thickish carrier film with a selection of vehicle and divisional markings with number plates and tactical markings for three vehicles;

  • 1st Squadron, 33rd Recon Battalion, 15th Panzer Division, North Africa 1941.
  • 1st Company, 3rd Recon Battalion, 21st Panzer Division, North Africa 1942
  • 999th Armored Recon Battalion, Rhodes Greece 1943


While the kit is showing its age in some areas the overall details are still quite nice and testament to the standards set by Tamiya over the last 30 years.

The additional of the metal parts as well as the motorcycle, figures and fuel drums adds more appeal to the kit and it will still build into a respectable kit without too many problems while proving plenty of scope for those wanting to get into the detailing.

Recommended 7/10

The Sprues:

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Toadman CD

Toadman's Sd.Kfz.222 Photo Detail CD

Detailed photo walk around on the Sd.Kfz.222


Sd.Kfz.222 & 223
Nuts & Bolts Vol.04

Soft cover
39 pages black & white.

Currently out of print but excellent reference if you can find a copy.



Uwe Feist and Robert Johnson
Ryton Publications
ISBN: 1-930571-30-5

Hard Cover
150 pages


German Light Reconnaissance Vehicles
By Horst Scheibert
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
ISBN 0-88740-522-3

Soft cover
48 pages black & white.


Panzerspähwagen in Action
By Jim Mesko.
Squadron Signal Publications No. 2004.
ISBN 0-89747-037-0

Soft cover
48 pages black & white.

Thanks to my credit card and Rainbow Tenfor the review kit.

Page created October 7, 2007