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  1. Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.A (03295) 1:35 Revell The Hanomag Sd.Kfz.251/1 was the mainstay of the German armoured Personnel Carrier fleet, but was flexible enough to also take up many other tasks within the Nazi War Machine, from Anti-Aircraft duties to Howitzer carriage and back again to armoured reconnaissance, which led to a lot of variants. With two steering wheels at the front, the rear was carried on tracks, giving it good clearance and rough ground capabilities that a truck simply could not manage once the going got tough. It was armoured sufficiently to deflect non-armour piercing rounds from small arms fire, but with an open top it was susceptible to both grenades and aerial bombardment, where the armour would concentrate the blast and reduce the interior to a tangled mess. The Ausf.A was used at the beginning of WWII alongside the Ausf.B, and was generally fitted with an MG.34 on the front cab wall, operated from inside. There were more than 20 official variants and more unofficial field modifications, but despite their seemingly ubiquitous nature in German service, not many were preserved after the war, and they are highly sought after now, with many examples being based upon post-war builds from Czech factories that have been made to look as convincing as possible by their restorers. While the purist may notice the differences in films, they're still a huge improvement on repainted American half-tracks from an authenticity point of view. The Kit This is a rebox from Revell of the ICM kit from 2018. Inside the open ended box are five sprues of light grey styrene, a clear sprue, and two spruelets of flexible "rubbery" parts. A small decal sheet is found slipped inside the glossy colour printed instruction booklet, completing the package. The clear sprue (not shown) is actually that from a staff car boxing and most of the parts are redundant as only the headlights are used. This is a full interior kit, and has the engine, crew compartment and a substantial number of interior parts, including weapons, stowage and personal belongings, so the build should result in a highly detailed model. First impressions are good, and after the initial pages detailing with sprue diagrams, the instructions jump straight into the build with the underfloor pan, which has its ladder chassis added and is then added to the interior floor, and has stowage bins added on the sponsons. The angular hull sides are held in the correct angle by butting up against the sides of the bins, and the rear bulkhead with door cut-out completes alignment. The engine compartment is fabricated from various panels including an armoured sump-guard, and work commences on the engine and compartment fittings. Suspension, steering gear and the block are assembled and fitted in turn, with colour call-outs to help you get the painting right. The firewall is fitted out with the driver's controls and inserted into a ledge within the hull, after which some engine ancillaries fit to the other side of the bulkhead. The driver's seat, bench seats and a range of tools, weapons and spare ammunition are installed with the upper hull plates off, while a hollow former marks the space between the cab and crew compartment, which will be hidden under the upper hull part when it is installed. A number of vision hatches and their hinges are supplied as separate parts, as are the engine compartment doors, plus some small flush forward stowage bins. Spare rifles and machine gun barrels are fitted to the underside of the upper hull on racks, with radio gear, drum mags for the machine guns, after which it is glued to the lower hull, trapping the two hinge frames between its halves. The angled doors are then fitted to those hinges, allowing them to operate if you have been careful with the glue. Next up the wheels are assembled. The swing-arms and stub axles slot into holes in the sides of the ladder rail, with bump-stops fitted where applicable, and the interleaved wheels are then slid onto the axles with the drive sprocket at the front. The two steering wheels are made up from two-part hubs, and have rubberised tyres fitted to them before slotting them onto the front axles, and with the three layers of road wheels installed, the tracks can be wound round the lengths, and glued with normal glue. The build is finished off with a shielded machine gun mount at the front, a tripod mount, pioneer tools, fire extinguisher, number plate, rear machine gun mount, rear view mirrors, headlamps, width indicators and aerial. Markings Two marking options are provided on the small decal sheet. Decals are printed in Italy, have good register, colour density and sharpness, with decals for the driver's binnacle included on the sheet. From the box you can build one of the following: WH 320831 - 21st Panzer Division, Juno Beach Normandy 1944 WH 335563 - Unknown Unit Eastern Front 143 Conclusion A welcome release of a Wehrmacht staple that will surely find its way into many collections, and is well detailed enough to be built out of the box for diorama purposes. Very highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  2. Sd.Kfz 250/1 Ausf.A Halftrack 1:72 Special Armour (72019) The Sd.kfz 250 was a light armoured half track similar in appearance to the Hanomag Sd.Kfz.251/1 , both were a mainstay of the German armoured Personnel Carrier fleet, but was flexible enough to also take up many other tasks. With two steering wheels at the front, the rear was carried on tracks, giving it good clearance and rough ground capabilities that a truck simply could not manage once the going got tough. It was armoured sufficiently to deflect non-armour piercing rounds from small arms fire, but with an open top it was susceptible to both grenades and aerial bombardment, where the armour would concentrate the blast inside. Almost 6,000 examples were produced between 1940 and the end of the War. The vehicle was in service in time for the invasion of France and went on to see service in most theatres in which the Wehrmacht fought. Fifteen official variants were produced, including ammunition carriers to support StuG batteries and signals cars which were equipped with radio sets. Other vehicles were equipped with heavy weapons which enabled them to provide infantry support. The Kit This is a re-release of the original MK72 kit, As the sprues were originally tooled By MPM/CMK. According to the Special Hobby website they now own the moulds hence its release now under the Special Armour brand. The tooling still looks sharp and the parts count is quite high for what will be a small vehicle in 1/72. Some of the small parts are very fine and will require care removing them from the sprues. The model represents the odler 250 as it was later replaced by a newer version with simplified easier to manufacture armoured structures. In common with most other kits of this type, construction starts with the chassis and running gear. The suspension swing arms are moulded in place along with the axles for the road wheels. This, combined with the fact that the inner run of wheels is moulded as a single part, will help ensure that all of the wheels are in contact with the ground at the same time. The detail on these parts is nice and sharp and is enhanced by the fact that the outer parts of the wheels are all moulded as separate parts. The tracks are moulded in two single runs which are designed to be bent around the wheels. The tracks have some ejector pin marks on the insides, so I would probably advocate disguising these with some scale dirt! The front wheel assembly is made up of the wheels themselves, each of which is split vertically, the axle, the leaf spring suspension and the steering mechanism. The overall impression at this stage is of a very well detailed kit, particularly in this scale. With the chassis and running gear complete, construction turns to the upper body and interior. The crew compartment is split in two, with the front compartment comprised of seats for the driver and one passenger, a dashboard, steering wheels, gear selector and a stowage bin. The rear compartment is made up of seats for the passengers and a large storage compartment. The floor of the interior compartment has a nicely rendered anti-slip texture. Once the interior detail has been slotted into place, the parts that make up the upper body can be assembled. As with the real thing, these are made up of various angled plates which just join together around the chassis. Hopefully the fit of these parts is good. I intend to find out by building mine soon. The driver's vision slits are all moulded as separate parts, which is a nice touch. All of the pioneer tools are moulded separately as well, which will make for a very impressive (and fully customisable) model. There are a couple of very nicely rendered MG 34s for the front and rear of the main compartment, with the front one having the armoured shield . Other small details such as the rack of rifles help to provide some finishing touches to the model. There are also a load of jerry cans which aren't used, so these can go straight into the spares box. The racks for the Jerry Cans are produced for this kit as PE parts which I dont think were in the original kit. Decals Markings are supplied on the very small sheet for the number plates and a single white marking number. Three marking options are provided. 1. WH-1449561 - SPW 16 Panzer Division, Eastern Front winter 1942-43. Winter distemper over Dunkel Gelb, which in turn was over panzer grey. 2. WH-1030186- Panzer Division Grossdeutschland, Voronezh Oblast, 1942 finished in Panzer Grey 3. WH-679984 90. Leichte Infantrie Division, Gazala, Africa 1942. Personal Mount of General major Von Kleeman, Panzer grey over sprayed with Afika Korps Gelb. Conclusion This is a good looking model in 1.7, it was widely praised on its original release, and should be welcomed by the small scale armour modellers. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Sd.Kfz.10 Zugkraftwagen 1t (Demag D7) (SA72021) 1:72 Special Armour by Special Hobby In the decade before WWII, Germany was rearming secretly at first, but overtly once they had publicly thrown off the constraints of the Versailles Treaty. In order to mechanise their military, many different vehicles were required, from large to small, with the Sd.Kfz.10 being at the smallest end. It was based on a hull rather than a ladder chassis, which gave it a low profile similar to that of a standard truck, despite it having a half-track running gear and a pair of steering wheels at the front. It was powered by a 6L petrol engine by Maybach, and was intended to transport up to eight troops and pull smaller artillery pieces, which it did throughout the war, although production ceased before the end, despite a few attempts to re-vitalise the design. In its production form, the D7, it was capable of 40mph on road, although one of its main users, the Luftwaffe, limited it to 19mph to preserve the rubber trackpads, even though it was happy to cruise at a shade under 30mph. It had seven forward gears and three reverse, with a clever steering mechanism braking one or other track when larger steering inputs were made. It was demonstrated in 1938 and had entered service by the beginning of hostilities, with some further minor upgrades adding to its robustness and ability to tow heavier loads in order to increase its usefulness to the military. Toward the end of the war, proposals were made for an improved variant, but nothing came of it other than a few prototypes of one, and drawings of another. The Kit This is a rebox of the amended tooling that originated in 2011, but don’t let that put you off – it’s a modern tooling with lots of detail throughout. It arrives in a small end-opening box, with two light tan sprues, plus a grey sprue, decal sheet and A5 instruction booklet. The new sprue covers the revised idler wheels, drive sprockets, and more detailed tracks, which are an improvement over the originals that are still on one of the tan sprues (top left, below). Construction begins with creation of the track runs, which are based on a beam with axles moulded-in, onto which you slide the sets of wheels that are moulded in linked units for the two rear layers, and individually for the three outer wheels, plus the new two-part drive sprockets. The track on each side is moulded as a single run, and is wrapped around the wheels carefully, cutting off any spare links, then gluing the run in place. Take care when bending the parts, and warm them up a little to assist with flexibility. This is done twice as you’d imagine, and the completed runs are glued to the sides of the hull, with the crew area placed over the top, and firewall with windscreen frame moulded-in at the front of the area. There's a sinkmark below the windscreen, but this doesn't matter as it will end its days under the hood. You will need to provide your own windscreen from clear acetate, and a piece of packaging material or even the front of a clear vacformed clamshell package, but they have included a template to assist you in this. It seems a little churlish not to include a slip of acetate sheet, but there you go. The bonnet/hood is fitted in front of the windscreen, with the nicely detailed radiator attached to the front. My sample had a slight sink mark in the bottom area of the grille, but with some rope or other stowage added there, no one will notice. The front wheels are each two parts, and have a deeply dished hub moulded-in, as well as tread for the tyres. The axle, its single lateral leaf-spring, steering arms and anti-roll bar are put together and inserted into the wheel arch, with additional rods fitted afterward, their location shown from another angle in a scrap diagram. Number plate, towing eye, pioneer tools, width-marker lollipops and headlights are all clustered around the front, and inside the crew cab the driver controls, wheel and two seats are fitted, with a decal provided for the instrument panel. In the rear, bench seats, fenders, spare fuel cans and stowage boxes are assembled and attached, with the rear number plate and Notek convoy light at the rear over a pair of mudflaps, and length of cable on a circular frame on the back of the vehicle. Markings There are four decal options on the sheet, which consists mostly of number plates, white stencils and the aforementioned instrument panel decal. From the box you can build one of the following: Sd.Kfz.10, unknown combat unit, Wehrmacht, Russia 1942 Sd.Kfz.10, Adler-built vehicle, unknown unit, Wehrmacht, Poland 1939 Sd.Kfz.10, Demag-built vehicle, unknown unit, Wehrmacht, Yugoslavia, summer 1942 Sd.Kfz.10, unknown combat unit, Wehrmacht, Czechoslovakia, May 1945 The decals are well-printed, with good register between the black and white, and some fine lines around the number plates. The picture above is roughly twice the size of the original on my 24" screen. Conclusion A welcome re-release of a lesser-known half-track from the early war, with a variety of camouflage options that should suit most folks. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.A (36396 for ICM) 1:35 Eduard ICM have a new range of German Half Tracks in the making, beginning with the Ausf.A in two boxings with or without figures. Here comes Eduard with a bunch of update parts to make that kit even better. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. The set consists of two frets of bare brass, and contains a substantial number of small parts, many of which are used in replacing all the tie-downs, clasps and shackles for the pioneer tools and other stowage equipment, plus a total refit of the interior aspect of the vision ports around the cab. It also includes a laminated instrument panel with film backing plus other equipment in the cab, such as pedals, a new centre console and stowage bins for magazines (the gun kind). Other items such as brackets; hasp & staple closures with padlocks; engine grille; width-indicator details; tie-downs; directional indicators; a new in-scale gun shield for the cab mounted MG; a large quantity of ammo racks in the rear; interior grab-rails in the rear; crew weapons mounts; gas mask storage; convoy light; number plate and jack mount on the fenders. Quite a comprehensive set, and you'll need some short lengths of 0.5mm rod to finish off some of the upgrades. Review sample courtesy of
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