The Roco Minitanks German Armored Car 234/1 Z-122 is one of the oldest Roco Minitanks. Many of us who have collected Roco Minitanks have ended up with a lot of them in our collections, sometimes so many we don’t know what to do with them all. Roco made three versions of this vehicle, the 234/1 which had the small 20mm cannon in a little turret. The Germans made about 200 of them in World War Two. They entered production too late to see service in North Africa. The second vehicle was the 234/2 which had a 50mm gun in an enclosed turret. About 100 of these were manufactured.
The third vehicle made by Roco was the 234/3, which had a short barrel 75mm gun on it. As the Germans upgraded the Panzer IV tanks to a longer barrel 75mm gun, the short barreled guns became available, and 88 armored cars got these guns in a fixed superstructure.
But there was also a fourth version of this armored car made in World War Two, the long barrel 75mm anti-tank gun. Roco never made this version and for a long time I thought the Germans only made a few of them, but it seems they made almost 90 of them between December 1944 and March 1945. Likely all of them were issued to troop units and several saw combat in the Battle of Berlin.
This is a simple conversion. I used a 1/76th scale 75mm Pak 40s from a Fujimi kit and an Airfix kit to make several of these vehicles. This conversion is not exact; it is intended as a wargame model. If you had an HO scale Pak 40 this would look even better. Or you could cut down the larger size Pak 40 barrel and breech to make the anti-tank gun look more to scale. Since my models get handled in wargames I decided that it would be better to retain the original strength of the larger gun barrel.
I started with a Roco 234/3 and removed the short barrel 75mm gun and replaced it with the longer Pak 40 barrel. I also cut away some of the top of the hull to make more space for the larger breech.
Since I had a large number of spare 234 armored cars, I used some of them as donor vehicles. They gave up some of their wheels as spare tires for other 234 armored cars. It was common to see a spare tire mounted on the end of the 234 armored car. A few Jerry cans from the spares box finished the project.
I also spent some time adding bumpers to my fleet of 234 series armored cars. As you can see by the sheet plastic on the front end and the plastic coated wire, this 234/4 has had that upgrade as well. Both Plastruct and Evergreen Plastic made this kind of wire.
There are lots of upgrades and conversions that can be done using these interesting and versatile armored cars, this is only the one of several more.
Shown here with a 1/76th scale Matchbox WWII German figure.
Mike Bunkermeister Creek