The VK 13.03 prototype was a Panzerspahwagen, studied by MAN and built afterward by MAN and Henschel under the name of Panzerspahwagen II Ausf.L “Luchs” (Lynx) from September 1943 to January 1944 (104 units). The Sd.Kfz.123 was the final version of the Panzer II, largely based on previous models. It was up-armored and fitted with the interleaved wheels and new tracks developed for the semi-experimental Ausf.G. It also had a new, more powerful (180 bhp) Maybach HL66P engine, coupled with a ZF Aphon SSG48 gearbox, which gave this model excellent performance, achieving 60 km/h (37 mph) road and 42 km/h (26 mph) cross-country. The new rearranged hull was fitted with bigger fuel tanks. Range was increased to 290 km (180 mi). The hull superstructure, chassis, drivetrain, turret, were all modified. Armour was raised to 30 mm (1.18 in) on the sides and front. The weight soared to 11.8 tons.
The crew-size was now four. This meant the commander could focus on his own tasks, and he also had a newly designed cupola. The radio (FuG12 MW receiver and 80-watt transmitter) had a greater range and intercom was fitted. The gun was still the 20 mm (0.79 in) KwK 38 L55, but with 320 rounds, including many AP rounds. The secondary MG 34 was relocated in the hull. The Luchs fought until the end of the war, both on the Eastern and Western front, in Panzer-Aufklarungs-Abteilungen (armoured reconnaissance units) affected to Wehrmacht and SS units.
The packaging for this kit reverts to a more regular type with a top opening box containing:
- 8 sprues holding approx 187 parts
- 6 separate parts
- decal sheet
- PE fret with 43 parts
- Small box containing one seated figure
Everything is individually bagged. The detail of the plastic on the sprues is very good, as you can see in the attached photos. Some parts seem pretty small and fragile and care will be needed when removing them. Everything arrived still attached to the sprues. I really liked Flyhawak’s packaging on their earlier Pz IIs, but they have reverted to a more traditional packaging, as used by most manufacturers.
The instructions are very simple to understand and their exploded images explain everything. Step 1 puts the main hull together and the exhaust. Step 2 adds parts of the suspension along with spare tracks, the jack and a few other small hull details. Step 3 adds the wheels and there’s a colour diagram to show clearly how they all fit together. There’s also a colour diagram showing where all the various tools and storage boxes go on the fenders. Step 4 adds rear of fender details, tracks and the aerial. There’s another colour diagram showing how the tracks go on to make sure there’s no confusion. Step 5 puts the turret together and step 6 puts the turret on the hull to complete the build. Overall the instructions are very good and they have added exploded images and colour images for the parts of the build that might get a bit tricky.
The decals cover just one vehicle and the paints for the 3 colour camouflage are called out for Mr. Hobby and Tamiya paints.
This is a very nice little kit with very fine details and a high part count for such a small vehicle in 1/72. The instructions are very good and this should build up into a very nice kit of an unusual subject. There are quite a few small parts, but that’s what you get to make a well-detailed model in this scale.
You should be able to get this kit for around US$17.00 plus shipping.
A walk around photo reference is here .
Many thanks to Flyhawk for the review sample.