Sd. Kfz.222 Leichter Panzerspahwagen (4x4) - Tamiya's No. 35270 (released in 2003)

In the early 1930's, under weapon restrictions enforced by the Versailles Treaty, the German was limited to using Kfz.13 armored vehicles. However, based on the chassis of an Adler passenger vehicle, the Kfz.13 had poor off-road handling and lacked durability. With Germany's move forward re-armament, it became clear that the German army required a brand new armored vehicle chassis. The resulting new Horch built chassis was first employed in 1935 in the Sd.Kfz.221, and featured a 3,517cc 75hp 108 type V8 engine, 4-wheel steering. Equipped with a MG34 mounted turret and mesh wire covers, the two passenger Sd.HKfz.221 had a top speed of 80km/h, with a maximum off-road speed of 40km/h. The following year, the improved three passenger Sd.Kfz.222 was developed. Featuring a 20mm KwK30 mounted turret and a standard short-range radion, the Sd.Kfz.222 was recognized as the supreme modern armored vehicle. Following the outbreak of WWII, the Sd.Kfz.222 proved to be effective on varied terrain including in Poland, France and North Africa. However, when faced with the rough terrain of the Russian front, the wheeled vehicles had to be replaced with the half-track armored vehicles such as Sd.Kfz.250/9. Throughout the duration of the war slight modifications were made to the original vehicle, including replacing the KwK30 with a Kwk38 mounted turret, an improved braking system and higher engine displacement. Production continued until June 1943, with approximately 1,000 units of the Sd.Kfz.222 produced.