by: Darren Baker [ ]
Originally published on:
The following introduction is as supplied by Bronco Models;
The Kfz 12 was a medium size cross country vehicle manufactured by the Horch Company. It was widely used by the German Army as a staff car and personnel carrier during World War 2. The car was built by several companies including Auto Union and Opel from 1937 to 1943. The Kfz 12 was a 6 seat car variant powered by a 79 bhp V-8 Horch 3.5 litre petrol engine. It had a loaded weight of 3 tons and a range of 400 km. staff cars were often fitted with map tables in the rear passenger compartment otherwise it was the same as the personnel carrier. A towing hitch was standard so it could tow a 700kg trailer or small artillery piece. Cars built before 1940 have spare wheels mounted on the sides, post 1940 had them stowed inside the body. The Einheits Pkw family proved expensive to build and maintain, it also suffered from being overweight and thus production was cancelled in 1943. Other models included the Kfz 15 radio car and Kfz artillery observer car.
This model is supplied in a cardboard tray with a card lid which is usual for Bronco Models, my only concern is that there is a lot of plastic in the box and so it is open to crush damage in the postage system; the reason I raise this is that this being a Bronco Models there are quite a few very fine mouldings that could be damaged by rough handling. This sample is undamaged but some parts had broken free of their plastic bag, I assume due to pressure on the lid and that despite being packaged inside another cardboard box. The sprues are individually packaged in plastic bags except where sprues are duplicated.
14 tan sprues
6 tan tread detail parts
1 clear sprue
A decal sheet
A photo etched fret
Box top artwork poster
I am sure that most of you will agree that Bronco Models has become one of the finest injection moulded plastic producers when it comes to the finesse of the moulded parts, they have taken on all of the latest moulding techniques and use them to the utmost. One aspect I particularly like about mouldings from Bronco Models is that moulding seams are all but invisible to the naked eye, the quality in this aspect means it is very rare to find any flash on their products produced now. This offering is of course free of moulding issues from what I can see except for injector pin marks, but even here they appear to be hidden in most cases and where they may be seen they are very shallow and small and so easy to deal with. One thing I should make very clear here is that this model from Bronco Models and for that matter offerings from Bronco Models generally are not aimed at the weekend modeller; by this I mean that you will not be able to start on Friday and have a finished kit on Monday morning. Bronco Models does aim their products now at modellers who have mastered the basics and are willing and able to deal with small and complicated sub-assemblies.
Anyone who has tackled an ICM model will now what I mean when I say that the chassis on this model is straight out of their playbook, Bronco Models has taken the multi-part chassis assembly and taken it up a notch. The chassis rails have been supplied as two halves with single piece cross members. This approach does provide the modeller with a very highly detailed and accurate chassis, but great care is needed to ensure it is assembled square as if it is not life will be a pain as you progress, it also requires careful clean up of the parts prior to assembly as small gaps will I believe also cause issues later. I will also add that at this early stage I am liking the clear instructions that Bronco Models have supplied.
If I understand correctly what I am seeing in the instructions and from looking at the parts, this is the first time I have seen all plastic working coil sprung suspension. As I said if I am correct this will mean a model that can be depicted on an uneven surface in a natural way, but also in an accurate way with the spring or springs compressed. Not only has this area been very well done, but Bronco Models has also provided parts to allow the front wheels to be shown taking a bend, this aspect is not workable in the usual sense as there are alternate parts to allow the wheels to be depicted turning left, right or straight on. A very detailed and complex approach by Bronco Models that is really impressing and scaring me at the same time.
Engine and Transmission
The mechanicals of this model have been tackled to a very high standard, everything from the engine and gearbox to the driveshaft’s, fuel tank and radiator have been extremely well replicated. The addition of some wiring to the engine and bay will bring this up to class offering; in fact I believe the wiring and fuel lines are the only details that are missing in these areas of the model. It would be amiss of me not to point out here that the firewall supplied with the model is also very well detailed and even includes deatails such as the brake cylinder. A very high standard has been provided by Bronco Models here, very well done.
The tyres for this model are injected moulded plastic and have been tackled in three parts; the tread has been supplied as one piece and the side walls provided for both sides of the tyre. The side walls also have very fine raised lettering on them, but this is so fine that I am unable to read exactly what is printed on them; however I believe it says ‘Continental’. I know from browsing the forums that a complaint was made about Bronco Models having provided vinyl rubber tyres, I may be wrong but I believe that Bronco Models has always provided injection moulded plastic offerings and is certainly the case here. The wheels themselves also look good, with Bronco Models even having supplied the correct six bolt stud pattern beneath the domed hub cap cover.
The interior of the model also looks to me to have been well replicated by Bronco Models. The dashboard has good detail and is provided with decals for the dials on it. Items such as the steering wheel, steering column and gear stick are well represented in this offering. The seats are also quite well done, but they do have the new look to them and as Bronco Models has supplied the cushioning as separate parts I would have liked to see the option of worn cushions being included. It is good to see rifle mounts inside the vehicle and also supplied are four Kar 98 rifles that have been slide moulded so that no work is required on the muzzle; these have also been supplied with separate bolt action detail and so are very nicely detailed. Also supplied is a nice slide moulded MG34 with tripod mount, I was also very pleased to see Bronco Models supply a well detailed belt of ammunition for the weapon. The MG34 will not of course always be needed for the vehicle and so it will also make for a nice addition to the spares bin for future use. Moving to the boot of the vehicle you will find a very nicely detailed tool chest/case, due to the detailed engine this does open up some diorama opportunities. While in this area the vehicle tools are also quite nicely represented and some of the mounting brackets are supplied in photo etch, this does not include all of the detail however I am sure someone such as Eduard will tackle that if the modeller desires this aspect. Included with the model are three German backpacks for use on the model if so desired.
The body detail of this model is very good and has some great detail and options available. The bonnet of the vehicle can be shown fully open, half open or closed, depending on what you decide there are a couple of ejector pin marks that will ideally be tackled here on the inner faces. I am a big fan of these options when companies go to the effort of providing such great detail in the engine bays, which it has to be said is often hidden. Moving to the cabin area; the single skin bodywork has very nice detail on both faces and the doors are supplied separately and so can be depicted open or closed; I have seen a number of much larger scale car kits where the doors are moulded as part of the bodywork and so it is good to see a company provide this in 1/35th scale. The boot of the model has also been supplied with the option of being shown open or closed, and it is very good to see that the detail on the inner face of the boot has been remembered by Bronco Models should the boot be shown open. a very nice touch is the inclusion of a very fine photo etched pennant holder, which will require care when removing it from the fret!
The clear parts of the model have been moulded quite thinly moulded with good framing detail, this will require care during painting but will look good. You are provided with the option of having the side windows installed or not and the windscreen can also be depicted in place or folded down with canvas cover in place. The headlights are provided with clear lenses or covered lenses, I believe the clear lenses would represent a pre-war vehicle, but I cannot be 100% sure of this.
The roof structure has three options provided for;
You can have the roof folded down and stored.
The roof folded down and stored with the side windows in place.
The roof fully deployed.
If you opt for the roof being fully deployed there are four small and shallow ejector pin marks to address. The deployed roof does have a lot of appeal as there is a very subtle texture present on the canvas structure and also very nice crease detail present. It should also be mentioned that Bronco Models has done a good job of keeping this structure quite thin and so natural looking. If you opt to have the side windows in place with the roof folded it will provide a different look, but I find it a little odd looking. A question that occurs to me is where are the side windows placed when the roof is folded and they are not in place?
Bronco Models has provided five finishing options with this model, which are as follows;
1st Panzer Division, Poland 1939
11th Panzer Division, Eastern Front 1941
Signals Battalion, 24th Panzer Division, Russia 1941
220th Armoured Reconnaissance Detachment, 164th Light Africa Division, North Africa 1942
Luftwaffe Propaganda Company, North Africa 1943
I am really pleased that Bronco Models has gone to the effort of providing specifics for the five options and not the ‘unknown unit’ that has become common of late. I also like that the finishing options cover a wide number of conflict areas and arms of service thus so providing a good number of options.
In 1/35th scale this is not a big model, but the options and effort that Bronco Models has put into this kit does give it big impact. Bronco Models has put a lot of thought into this kit offering a good number of options and great detail throughout, it is next to impossible for me to find fault with the offering and as such the only thing I can come up with is a preference in that I would have liked to see some seat cushions with a lived in look to them, at least as regards the driver’s seat. It has to be said that this offering from Bronco Models will not be for everyone as there are a lot of very fine parts included and these will require some skills when it comes to construction. The benefits of all of these very fine parts is a very detailed model that will have a lot of fine details to catch the eye when looking the model over.