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[Review] Italeri Autoblinda AB 41

Got some new Itaeri stuff in a lokal hobby store a while ago... let´s take a look at one of the kits - the Autoblinda AB41. I got it for about 15€ as 1/72 scale luckily isn´t the most expensive ever scale to build in.

The vehicle:
So, what is an Autoblinda AB41? Wile Italy wasn´t the the most prominent tank building nation in WW2, it had sucess in the early North African campaigns. There they used indigenous armored vehicles like the newly built Autoblinda AB41 mainly for patrol duties. Although the particular vehicle was really complicated and even needed a rear-driver, it proved quite useful in the desert enviroment and later in the Balkans and on the Eastern Front. It had up to 17mm of armor and mounted the turret of the L6/40 light tank with the same Breda 20mm Autocannon. Its 120HP engine propelled the 7.5ton vehicle up to about 70kph.

The kit:
As Italeri is an Italian company, they released a bunch of interesting Italian vehicles in 1/72. The particular kit was first released in 2007 and reissured in 2017 and forms the base for two other variants.
It contains one sprue for all the parts as a decal sheet and the instructions. Four versions are possible to be built from the kit, 3 in Italian and 1 in German markings. Everything is moulded in grey plastic and has nice detail, but there´s no figure included.

The boxart shows an Italian vehicle in desert camoflage.
All the parts fit onto one sprue and arenicely detailed. There are some fiddly parts, but virtually no flash to remove. Maybe the tires will need some sanding to make them look more natural... we´ll see.

The Build:
As the instructions suggest, I started with joining the hull parts together. They have some guidance pins to hold the upper hull together, but it required patience to align them correctly. Where the suspension parts fitted without any bigger seems, the upper hull parts like the engine deck and the front parts had a number of gaps. Nothing too wild,if you´ve got plastic putty (I used the Vallejo filler) laying around.
I left of exhaust, tools and the supplied jerry cans (nice feature!) off to ease painting later. Then I started to assemble the basic turet-parts.
This included a really nice gun assembly including the Breda main armament and the cooxial machinegun and the optical sight. Because there´s such nice detail in the turret, I´ll build the hatches open.
The rest of the turret went together very well and without ugly gaps. It looks nice when fitted to the hull. I also added the remaining details like taillights and the characteristical antenna to the hull. I didn´t bother replacing anything of that with wire, because it looked crisp already.
An how does it scale up against a toothpick? Well, like that. Quite neat...
Now I started to prime the basic subassemblies with Vallejo Grey Primer for painting them the next couple of days.

I think I´m going to build an Italian vehicle stationed in Libya around 1941. It should make some progress this week.

Conclusion:
As a perfect example of the more recent Italeri molds, the kit posesses some nice detail and is molded without significant flash. It also is a very accurate representation of the original vehicle and is commonly aviable in hobby stores that have an Italeri stock.
The weakspots of the kit are the fitting-issues of the uper hull, but as they can be fixed with putty, they are virtually neglectible.

Rating: 9/10 - highly recommended
 
See you for the painting!




->On scalemates

 

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