Home > Reviews > Small Scale > Italeri 1/72 M20 Armored Utility Car (7038)

M20 Armored Utility Car

Reviewed by Glen Porter


Stock Number and Description Italeri No 7038 M20 Armored Utility Car
Scale: 1/72
Media and Contents: 68 olive drab plastic parts on two sprues, decals for three US Army vehicles, 5 page fold-out A5 instruction sheet with history, parts plan, 7 build diagrams plus 1 pages of paint/decal drawings. There is also a separate parts plan and 4 build diagrams for war gamers.
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Interesting subject, Italeri mould (not Esci) and highly detailed plus some separate parts for war gamers.
Disadvantages: Tools molded on and very shallow.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended



The M20 was derived from the 6 wheeled M8 Armoured Car by removing the turret and replacing it with an open roof and 50 cal MG on a ring. Consequently, this kit is a modification of the recent Italeri M8. Both kits are new mouldings by Italeri, not ex-Esci as with most of their other 1/72 scale kits.

The M20 has one other unique feature which is shared with the other new Italeri moulds. It can be either built as a normal plastic kit or with reduced parts and detail for war gaming. More about this later.

There are two olive drab sprues, A is shared with the M8 kit and involves all the common parts like upper and lower hull, wheels, suspension, interior detail and a host of other small parts while B has the parts peculiar to the M20. Some are very fine indeed and care will have to be exercised in removing these from the sprue. There is very little flash but some clean-up may be required due to mould seems on the edges of parts.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Decals, by Zanchetti Buccinasco of Milan, have good register and colour density but look to be a bit too matt. They cover three US Army M20s, the first from an unknown unit in Germany, 1945, in over-all Olive Drab then one from the 701st TD Bn, recon unit, Italy, 1944 and lastly again from an unknown unit in the Ardennes, late 1944 with OD and snow camouflage.

Now, this ability to be built as a war gaming model. As I stated above, there are two sets of parts plans and build diagrams. The first are for a normal static model and all the parts on the plan for the WG model or the M8 are shaded to show them not for use. This includes a complete second set of wheels with a simplified suspension moulded on the back. The war gaming parts plan has only the B sprue plus half the A sprue which excludes all the suspension, normal wheels, interior detail and optional parts. This makes the wargame kit simpler and much faster to build while still retaining the basic vehicle shape which is more or less all that is required for war gaming.

This is an interesting and very detailed little kit and shows us that Italeri are serious about Braille Scale, and not just in it because they had a few old Esci moulds kicking around.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Italeri for the review sample.

Text by Glen Porter
Page Created 28 April, 2006
Page Last Updated 24 July, 2006