by: Jake McKee [ ]
The Sd. Kfz. 250 was one of several key halftrack designs employed by the Germans during WWII. This model was rolled out in 1941 and had 12,000 produced until 1945. Because they were fast (up to 47mph), they were used as support vehicles – mobile HQ, scouting, radio vehicles, and forward observation.
The fact that Sd. Kfz. 250 looks like its larger brother; the Sd. Kfz. 251 is no coincidence, It was produced by the Demag Company, and based on the Sd. Kfz. 10 chassis design. There were a number of variants with interesting additional features and design elements added.
This kit is a pretty basic, straightforward kit. Inside the box there are:
• 3x - main parts sprues
• 4x - road wheels individual track link sprues
• 1x - figure sprue
• 1x – small photoetch fret
• 1x – decal sheet
• 1x – instruction sheet
• 1x – supplemental instruction sheet for the photoetch parts
• 2x – mesh/screen pieces for the hood
All parts are packed with care and I didn’t find any damaged parts upon opening the kit.
Overall, this is a nice little kit that built up quickly. Over one evening and the better portion of the next day, I was able to complete the model, sans-paint. There is almost no flash (more on this in a second), and seam lines are mostly in good places. The instructions were clear, with a few exceptions noted below, and the kit, despite being fairly simplistic in its part count, doesn’t look half bad at the end.
That said, I was a little disappointed in the kit overall. Vehicle detail is soft, the included weapons are lousy with minimal or poor detail, and the figures are pretty marginal. This kit may be a great candidate for a super detail project, given that what it lacks in molded detail, it makes up for in part fit and quick build.
Like most tracked vehicles kit, you start with the base hull, running gear, and tracks. This all went together quite easily and there was only a slight amount of front wheel “float”. The running gear arms are aligned to match each other quite easily. I had opted to leave the tracks off to paint later, which is how I typically build them. In retrospect, it would probably have been easier to glue them on per the instructions, early on in the build. It’s going to be tough to access now that the model is built.
When removing part A16, do this very, very carefully. These small, thin parts are easily warped. I’d suggest cutting the sprue itself first to simply remove the basic part from the sprue, then clip the extra plastic away from the part. This ensures that the part has somewhere to go when you clip, rather than simply twisting or bending.
The interior of the model is extremely simple, but overall, not too bad. That said, part C19 is just bizarre. I needed to look up references to make sure I wasn’t doing something wrong when following the instructions. In fact, the whole area between the drive and passenger feels like it’s had parts left out of the final product that rightfully should have been there.
I was also intrigued as to why there is a steering column in the engine bay, great mesh that you put on the hood to allow a more realistic presentation, only to not include even the most basic of engines.
One thing this kit gets really, really right is how well the side panels, front engine panel, and rear door panel go together. Often with halftracks of this design, it’s a huge effort to get everything to line up properly.
Overall, the kit parts are flash free, with the exception of the massive amount of flash and pour plugs on the machine guns. They require a ton of clean-up, if you bother to use them. Given that the barrels are only detailed on one side, you can only use them for where they’re mounted to the interior side walls. If you want to put them on the machine gun mounts, you’re going to want to replace them with something that has barrel detail on both sides.
Speaking of the machine gun mounts, that’s probably the biggest disappointment about this kit. They simply don’t work, at all. The instructions call out different parts than were not included, and I have no clue, even after 30 minutes of studying historical reference photos, how they are supposed to mount with the parts included.
The only other surprisingly bad let down was the width indicators. The plastic with these parts, in particular, seemed brittle, more brittle in fact, than the other parts, even the small ones. Yes, I’m notorious for knocking those damn things off every model I build, but these seemed prone to snap at a slight breeze.
I haven’t painted the kit yet, but the included paint and markings guide is good, even if they only give you two paint schemes, both of which are Wiking Division for the Eastern Front. This makes sense, given the inclusion of the Wiking figures sprue, but I still would have liked to have seen other paint scheme ideas.
The figures are nice, but not great. The positions they were molded in are a nice “diorama ready” approach. And the full page camo paint instruction is actually pretty good.
A simple kit that was fun and quick to build. It’s not my favorite Dragon/Cyber Hobby kit, but it’s certainly not one of their worst. In looking around the web at the detail kits available for the Sd. Kfz. 250/1, I might buy another one of these to act as a foundation for a super detail project, but on its own, this kit is a fun build, not a beautiful build. If you're going to be super detailing this variant, this may be a great base kit to start