Armoured Krupp Protze Kfz.69 with 3.7cm Pak 36
Bronco, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Brett Green
The Kfz.69 Krupp-Protze was a six-wheeled 6x4 German truck and artillery tractor produced between 1934 and 1941 and heavily used in World War II. It was powered by a 55 hp or, from 1936, 60 hp Krupp M 304 4-cylinder petrol engine.
Its main purpose was to tow artillery, especially the PaK 36, and transport motorized infantry.
This vehicle was extensively used on the Eastern Front, during the North African campaign and in France and Sicily.
The Krupp-Protze was of relatively advanced design. Its fuel consumption was relatively high (24 Litres / 100 km on road) in comparison to the comparable Opel Blitz 1.5 t truck (16.5 liters / 100 km, produced 1938 - 1942).
Total production was about 7,000 units.
Sometimes anti-tank (37 mm Pak 36) and anti-air (2 cm Flak) guns were mounted directly on the truck bed. *
Bronco has released the first of their Krupp Protze family with this unusual, but operational, variant sporting angled armour and a bed-mounted 3.7cm Pak 36 anti-tank gun. I have found a number photos of this modification in service, so be assured that this is in fact a real vehicle.
The clean lines of the modification transform the clunky design of the Krupp Protze into something more like a sports car, but the weight of the armour severely impacted on the performance of the overweight vehicle.
Bronco's 1/35 scale Armoured Krupp Protze Kfz.69 with 3.7cm Pak 36 comprises 368 parts in grey plastic, a photo-etched fret, eight vinyl tyres and decals for one vehicle.
A fully detailed boxer engine is included, as is a complete chassis and associated elements such as the battery, transmission, fuel tank and exhaust. The cab interior is nicely detailed too.
The four rear suspension units are highly detailed and quite complex, each being made up from multiple plastic and photo-etched parts.
The front wheels may be posed straight ahead or turned to the left or right.
The tyres are vinyl and the wheel hubs are separate plastic parts. The vlnyl tyres are nicely detailed but if you don't like this medium, there are a number of after-market resin Krupp Protze tyres available from Royal Models and Hussar (and maybe others).
The 3.7cm gun is a little gem. If you take some care with the glue, it may be allowed to traverse after assembly.
The distinctive armour plate is supplied in just three main parts that are mounted over the top of the standard nose of the vehicle.
Markings for a single vehicle attached to 2nd Company, 44th Tank Destroyer Battalion, 1st Mountain Division "Edelweiss" in the Ukraine in 1941 are supplied on the decal sheet.
Markings are in register and colours look good.
This is a highly detailed kit of a rare but real tank destroyer conversion.
Bronco has already announced the forthcoming release of an early-version standard Krupp Protze, so I expect that we'll see the whole family in due course.
Tamiya's venerable 1/35 scale Krupp Protze is still available. It's not a bad kit by any means but as you would expect, Bronco's new offering hits the 1978-vintage Tamiya kit out of the ballpark in terms of detail.
The high parts count and potentially fiddly suspension assembly mean that this one is best suited to experienced modellers, but your efforts will be rewarded with a very interesting piece of tank destroyer history in scale.
* Historical information courtesy of Wikipedia.
Thanks to Bronco for the sample http://www.cn-bronco.com/en/index.php
Text and Images by Brett Green