The Camionetta AS
42 Sahariana was developed by SPA-Viberti (part of the FIAT group)
and met the Regio Esercito need for a long range, highly
manouverable vehicle for the African front in WW II. However, it
did not receive widespread use, although proving itself in
operations against the British Long Range Desert Group.
found their way to Russian front, Sicily, and even the defense of
Rome against the Germans after the September 1943 armistice.
After the war,
red-painted survivors were used by the Italian police until 1954.
Italeri's AS-42 "Sahariana" Kit
This kit, Italeri
#6452, was released in 2006. Kit #6455, the ABM 41/42 with 47/32 AT
gun, is about to be released and can be made into the European
versions, with stowage more suitable for temperate climates—the
Sahariana carried more jerry cans for fuel and water, as appropriate
for tropical operations.
I built Italeri's
1/35 scale Sahariana pretty much out of the box, decals and all,
merely adding cables made from wire for the headlamps and horn and a
ringsight from Model Technologies (remember them?) for the 20 mm
I left out the
engine, saving it for another use (the AB 41 Autoblinda,
possibly). However, I supplemented the Sahariana with the handsome
Allarmi! 1/35 Sahariana Crew (kit #35022, available from
www.italiankits.it). These three exquisite and well-sculptured
figures really set off the vehicle and blend beautifully —the driver
and gunner especially.
The set also
includes baggage and equipment (haversacks, helmets, canteens, etc.)
that these crews typically carted around, plus extra heads to depict
a variety of Italian military headgear. With the Allarmi! set, the
Sahariana really looks active and busy. The figures that come with
the Italeri kit, although resin themselves, are uninteresting and
just not up to par.
Paint and Markings
(including the figures and equipment) was painted throughout with a
combination of Polly S and Gunze Sangyo colors. Each of the
vehicle’s flat surfaces was shaded with many blended airbrush
applications of sandy hues to replicate extreme highlights and
shadows, reflecting the harsh conditions under which Saharianas
operated. Gunze Sangyo Rough Sand was applied in areas where rust
was beginning to bubble up the vehicle paint, and a dark-toned mix
of Scale Black and Rust was applied with a fine-tipped brush to
represent miniscule areas in which the rust had broken through.
Brown washes were used for highlights and shadows on the canvas
windshield cover and vehicle tarp.
very good photographs of a completed model in its included
photographic reference manual. Just practice and try to copy what
you see in the photos.
The base is a
finished wood plaque, with shaped Celluclay and a covering of craft
sand (finer than 1:1 sand). The rocks are stones out of my back
I am an
enthusiast for Italian military subjects, and the last few years
have been a bonanza for me—all the really great kits representing
the incredible amount of Italian military gear, both aircraft and
vehicles, that have been coming out (with more to come) has really
made a difference in my enjoyment of the hobby. Italeri, an
obviously Italian firm, is really playing to the “home team” this
time but their talent is really showing through with the Sahariana.
It’s a really accurate and easy—to –assemble kit. And the Allarmi!
figures—they rank with the best. I can’t give them a higher
recommendation than “more, per favore.”
Click the thumbnails below to view additional images: