Looking for a radio set for your German halftrack or open topped AFV? Look no further—
1120 Productions ends your search with what could possibly be the best radio set in scale on the market today: the FuSprech A/D, F. The parent company, K59 is already well-known for their absolutely outstanding resin update sets in 1:35. Now they have sprouted a new division called 1120 Productions specializing in accessories for vehicles. Currently all their releases are German, yet are among the best I have seen so far.
The FuSprech A/D, F saw much action inside half-tracks (both the Sd.Kfz. 250 and 251) and other open-topped vehicles like the Wespe, Hummel, and Marder series, etc. It was one of the best means of communicating on the battlefield during WW2, allowing German reconnaissance vehicles and AFVs to keep in contact with each other throughout their maneuvers. Soviet tanks, for example, were known for a lack of or poor radios, and so the Germans would try to knock out the command tanks and “blind” the formation.
1120 Productions’ second release is a German radio set , the FuSprech A/D, F (the first, a set of headphones and throat mikes is reviewed by me here
). It comes in a small black sturdy box measuring 3.4 cm high, 9.2 cm wide and 5.3 cm deep. Inside you will find 25 resin parts in various sizes, 2 small PE frets and 2 small sheets of paper with the build instructions. The kit gives you the opportunity of building one complete radio transmitting and receiving set for an AFV or halftrack, and you are free to decide if you want that set to be the FuSprech A/D or the FuSprech F model. As part of the build, you receive:
A one-piece cast radio frame (to which are added PE parts for extra details)
Kasten Pz.Nr. 23 and Kasten Pz.Nr. 23a (these are for vehicles that have an intercom system installed to handle internal communications between the gun platform and the driver’s area like in the Marder III series.)
SE Ua1 transformer (converts the power from the 12 volt battery to the radio to prevent short circuits)
Various connection plugs and extensions for the cables running to and from the different parts of the radio set
Very detailed speaker
Various (really) tiny PE parts to spice up the radio frame, transformer, etc.
Just as with their headphone set, 1120 Productions really did their homework: the measurements all line up with what I have in my literature here at home. And the whole setup is correct with what I have seen in other books, original wartime pictures and restored vehicles. Every part of the set is detailed all around. The faces of the radio sets are absolutely spot-on, and in the correct dimensions as well. The details are very crisp, too, with even the Feind hört mit
(“the enemy is listening, too”) sticker at the bottom of the radio. You will need to paint the text, as the rectangular sticker is a raised detail.
The mounting frame for the radio is one of the most fragile things I have ever seen cast in resin, and needs absolute handling with care as there is only one in the kit. The SE Ua1 transformer box has the correct details, and even is equipped with two PE flaps that close off the plughole from water and dirt when no plug is installed, just like on the real thing. It also comes with a transformer mounting plate in PE for when the vehicle didn’t carry a transformer and it needed to be added. The speaker is detailed on three sides, and all the plugs and plug extensions are made like the real thing, only much, much smaller.
The instruction sheet is very clear, and shows how to assemble the radio set with ease. What I also think is a very good addition is a complete wiring schematic showing the basic wiring of the radio set, as well as two other schematics for the Kasten Pz.Nr 23 and Kasten Pz.Nr 23a for when the vehicle in question carries an intercom system for internal communication.
This is a feature to be found in a lot of the later series Marders (III series). The diagrams are really clear and show you what should be connected to what so you get the whole setup just like the real thing. This is something you usually don’t see with most other AM accessory manufacturers, where you get the radio, but are left to your own devices to find out how to connect everything.
This was a set I stumbled upon when looking for AM stuff for my Wespe project, yet I did not even think twice about buying it together with the headphone set produced by the same company. An absolutely amazing upgrade, the details are terrific, especially considering the size of most of the items and the PE (fiddly as it may be, it will enhance the results even more).
The price is high for a radio set, but then again…. In a race for the best radio in 1:35, the 1120 offering will not only win by a huge distance, when the second-best crosses the line, the 1120 set will have showered and will be sitting in the bar celebrating its victory.