ARM: Review - Italeri 1/35 ABM 41 with 47/32 AT Gun

Kit Review: Italeri 1/35 scale Kit No. 6455; ABM 41/42 with 47/32 AT
gun; 271 parts (247 in tan styrene, 12 etched brass, 10 vinyl, 1 clear
styrene, 1 turned aluminum); price US$45.00
Advantages: first kit of this vehicle in this scale in stryrene;
clear, crisp details; beautifully rendered 47mm antitank gun
Disadvantages: references are scarce
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all African, Italian or wheeled vehicle fans
Two things which tend to be irresistible to armor modelers are "ugly"
and "fancy paint job", and for all of the beautiful auto styling that
has come from Italy over the years, this vehicle certainly qualifies
as the former and wears the latter well. Modelers have always liked
the Italian armored vehicles used in North Africa due to their
completely unique nature and shape. This one, an upgraded version of
the "Sahariana" light armored desert vehicle, is well done and
captures the vehicle nicely.
Lately we have been subjected to "Jekyll and Hyde" products from
Italeri (such as their awful M923 with Shelter, still on my list of
misbegotten kits) but this one is definitely one of their "Jekyll"
kits. Very nicely and completely rendered, it shows a greater deal of
planning than many recent kits. (One could note that Italieri has
tried harder in recent years with its Italian armor kits, sort of
playing to the home crowd.)
Take for example the 47/32 47mm antitank gun. In their unfortunate
LVT(A)-5 kit, Italeri basically pulled a "Hyde" and rendered the
complex 75mm pack howitzer installation as a single piece; not so
here, as they pull a "Jekyll" with a 16 piece basic gun assembly for a
very simple gun, topped off with a choice between a two-piece (muzzle
and tube) or single-piece turned aluminum barrel. It also has an ammo
box with six rounds to compliment it.
Even the mass jerry can installation has a respectable amount of
detail. While the cans are molded in blocks of five, each has a
separate three-bar handle and spout.
Based on the previous AB 41 armored car and Sahariana kits, this
model has the same basic structure and shared parts. Construction
begins with the chassis pan and suspension, and then progresses to the
body. Note that three different versions may be built from the kit, so
care must be taken as to which one the modeler has selected as the
various features are called out as the model progresses. Variant A is
one serving in Rome during September 1943 and has bins, spare fuel
tanks, and different stowage; Variant B is in Sicily 1943 with a
similar arrangement, and Variant C is in Tunisia 1943 with sand
channels and double the jerry can fit.
Options are pleniful. A and B get tactical tires, C gets desert
tires; all are provided in vinyl and nicely done. On the body sides, A
gets bins and racks, B gets bins and jerry cans, and C gets double
jerry cans. Alternate position jump seats are provided inside the
Etched brass parts are provided for both the Variant C sand channels
as well as the rear jerry can racks (one per side with two cans) and
straps for the main racks. The rear racks are very involved and I
suggest you have either a Hold and Fold or Etch-Mate before tackling
As noted, the model comes with three finishing options: Regio
Esercito, 123a Compagnia Arditi Camionettisti, Rome September 1943
(Variant A - tricolor scheme); Regio Esercito, 113a Compagnia Arditi
Camionettisti, Sicily July 1943 (Variant B - sand); and Regio
Esercito, Raggrupamento Sahariano, Tunisia 1943 (Variant C - sand). At
least Variant C has a flag to indicate it changed sides as well!
Overall this is one of the nicer kits to come out from Italeri in
recent years and looks to be a fun built. Wish they would have paid
this attention to some of their other kits!
Thanks to Bob Lewen of MRC for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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