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In-Box Review
135
Kfz.13 Armored Car
German Adler Kfz.13 Armored Car
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by: Matthew Toms [ SSGTOMS ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

In 1933, the need to rapidly outfit newly formed armored car companies in the German Army forced the Waffenamt to adapt commercial passenger automobile chassis to carry light armored bodies. Daimler – Benz and Adler vehicles were used for this purpose. The chassis were modified by strengthening the axles and suspension, increasing cooling capacity, and upgrading the electrical system.
The armor on the front was only capable of stopping 7.92mm AP rounds; and the side armor could only provide protection from 7.92mm rifle rounds. The vehicle was armed with one 7.92mm MG13 machine gun. Not a very formidable vehicle, but the troops on bicycles and in Kubelwagens admired them greatly!
The vehicle was dubbed Maschinengewehrkraftwagen Kfz. 13, and 116 vehicles were completed between 1933 and 1935. 102 of these were built on the Adler sedan chassis.

I purchased the Jordi Rubio resin kit of this car in 2009, convinced that we would never see a styrene kit of this vehicle. However, Bronco has been surprising and delighting armor modelers of all camps since their first release. Bronco’s penchant for not releasing the mainstream subject has now become a trademark of the firm, and each Bronco release is rarely predicted, highly anticipated and widely praised.
I now have Bronco’s Kfz.13 kit for review, and I can also compare it to the Jordi Rubio resin kit as we go. This will actually help greatly, as photos, measurements, and specifications on the Kfz.13 are few and hard to find.

The Kit

The Bronco kit comes in a standard lift top box with an accurate painting of the car on the box top. The kit is molded in a very high quality orange – tan styrene and comes molded on 5 sprues. A decent sheet of photo etch is included and a fine, perfectly printed set of decals completes the set. This model will build beautifully right out of the box as all the details needed are included. No aftermarket is needed to trick it out and it will be a relaxing and enjoyable build.

Sprue A is the largest and contains most of the major body panels. The frame is molded in one piece and includes the fenders. Alignment of suspension components is simple and positive. The complex angles of the front and rear body sections are molded in one piece each making for easy assembly of the armored body. All this mounts positively to the one piece floor pan. The grill, hood, and side panels assemble easily into one component and mate flawlessly with the firewall. There is no full engine; just the oil pan and transmission are represented.

Sprue B features tools, levers, equipment boxes, headlights, and small detail parts.

Sprue C (x 2) includes the suspension springs, wheels, and tires. There are no mold lines across the springs. Tires are molded in one piece with no mold lines marring the nicely detailed, crisp tread pattern. Cleanup and assembly will be a breeze.

Sprue E (there is no sprue D) has the early and late versions of the MG 13 machine gun. The detail on both guns is exquisite, with slide molded open muzzles and separate magazines. Interestingly, sprue E is large, with 46 parts listed as “Not for Use”. However, these include gas cans, canteens, an MP 40, stick grenades, mess kits, tools, and a helmet that can be used to dress up the open interior very nicely right out of the box.

The photo etched fret is well done and has all the fine details you need without getting too fiddly and crazy. The finished model will look very well appointed.

Molding quality on all of these sprues is outstanding. Detail is fine and sharp. There is no flash on any part, anywhere in the kit. Every ejector pin mark is on the interior of parts, where they will be invisible after assembly. Mold lines are also almost nonexistent. This kit will require a minimum of clean up and will be a joy to build. Fit on all the parts I’ve tried is perfect.

The instruction booklet is done in large, clear, well drawn line drawings. Placement of parts is clear and simple. Construction is broken down into 13 easy steps. Detail paint colors are called out along the way. There are 3 color plate profiles with marking options. The black and white decals are finely printed and in perfect register.

Accuracy

Dimensions of this kit size out very well to the original and this is a very accurate kit:

Actual Length – 4130 mm - 1/35 – 118mm – Bronco 118.5mm
Actual Width – 1650mm – 1/35 – 47.14mm – Bronco 47.5mm
Actual Height – 1500mm – 1/35 – 42.86mm – Bronco 43mm

Since Kfz. 13 dimensions are rare, I also compared the Bronco and Jordi Rubio kits directly to each other in several critical areas. Here’s how they measured up:

Tires: Bronco – 23.293mm JR – 23.081mm
Firewall: Bronco – 25.896mm JR – 25.802mm
Rear Fender: Bronco – 30.40mm JR – 28.68mm
Rear Superstructure: Bronco – 38.91mm JR – 37.55mm
Armored Grill: Bronco – 18.99mm JR – 19.07mm
Hood Length: Bronco – 23.82mm JR – 23.90mm

As you can see, the Bronco kit measures out perfectly against the actual dimensions and the much more expensive resin kit.

Conclusion

With outstanding detail, excellent molding, included photo etch, extra stowage items, and perfect dimensions and engineering, Bronco has produced a real gem and a definite winner with the Kfz. 13 kit. This will be an enjoyable build for modelers of any skill level. The subject is unique, rare, and interesting. Highly recommended.

References:
•German Early War Armored Fighting Vehicles by George Bradford.
•Panzer Tracts #13 Panzerspaehwagen by Jentz and Doyle.
•Standard Catalog of German Military Vehicles by David Doyle.
•Militarfahrzeuge of the Wehrmacht by Rieger and Feist.
•Armored Vehicles of the German Army 1905 – 1945 by Walter J. Spielberger.

None of these reference books have more than 2 pages or 4 photographs on the Kfz. 13 in each, so it’s difficult to recommend one good reference for this vehicle. If I had to get just one, I would buy the Panzer Tracts book.
SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent molding, perfect fit, fine detail, no flash. Unique subject and an easy build.
Lows: Reference and photos are thin on the ground. No evidence of front line use.
Verdict: A wonderful little kit with excellent detail and accessories. Interesting subject. Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: CB - 35032
  Suggested Retail: MSRP $44.95
  Related Link: Bronco Models Website
  PUBLISHED: Sep 01, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 93.25%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.97%

Our Thanks to Stevens International!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Matthew Toms (SSGToms)
FROM: CONNECTICUT, UNITED STATES

Copyright ©2017 text by Matthew Toms [ SSGTOMS ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Sounds like this kit will be a lovely build. I do have one question however. I had read before about 1/35 Adler kits having wheels that were too narrow, and I was wondering how the wheels from this kit fared dimensionally?
AUG 31, 2010 - 11:30 PM
It's a gorgeous model, and it's been in my stash for a while and high on my to-do list. Thanks for the review.
SEP 03, 2010 - 01:57 AM
Forget the kit, the review is superb. A bar for other reviewers to meet.
SEP 03, 2010 - 10:31 AM
Thank you Bill, that's quite a compliment.
SEP 04, 2010 - 02:05 AM
I just found this review; oddball subjects like this are my interest and this looks like an excellent model. Has anybody here built one?
DEC 20, 2014 - 08:52 AM
Hi Frederick, I just received one in October, 2014 but haven't torn into it yet. This particular kit (w/gun) seems to be a bit difficult to find these days. I was able to find mine on eBay for a very reasonable price after factoring-in shipping — fast delivery too! Somewhere else in the forum, it was mentioned that the kit is extremely delicate and difficult to assemble — looks good to me! HTH. —mike
DEC 20, 2014 - 09:31 AM
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