DML DRAGON'S 1/35 Sd.Kfz. 250/5 Neu. Beob. Pz.Wg. Command Half-track
The vehicle that was to become the Sd.Kfz. 250 leicher Schutzenpanzerwagen series had its beginning in the same operational requirement produced during the mid-30's that led to the Sd.Kfz. 251 series. It was intended that there would be both 1-ton and 3-ton half-tracks to provide mobility for the infantry and other units operating with the Panzer divisions, and the 1-ton vehicle became the Sd.Kfz. 250.
The Sd.Kfz. 250 was first produced by Demag AG of Wetter, in the Ruhr, although later other companies were also involved in its manufacture. The vehicle was based on the chassis of the Sd.Kfz. 10 Leichter Zugkraftwagen 1-ton vehile, but featured an armored hull with an open top to accommodate the crew of five men...plus the driver. The first examples were produced during 1939, and the Sd.Kfz. 250 first went into action during the May 1940 invasion of France.
Compared to its larger counterpart, the Sd.Kfz. 251, the Sd.Kfz. 250 was built and used on a much smaller scale. The type's total production run was impressive enough (5,900 were built between 1942 and 1944) and by the time the war ended it was made into no less than 14 official variants (plus the usual crop of unofficial variants). From 1943 onwards production modifications were introduced to the hull shape to assist manufacturing, while at the same time cutting down on the amount of precious raw materials required. The armor thickness ranged from 6 to 14.5mm (0.24 to 0.57in).
The subject of this new kit is the Sd.Kfz. 250/5 command/reconnassiance version.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?:
I have reviewed several previous versions of DML's 250 halftrack series
in the past. The 250/11
appeared in April of 2000 and the 250/3
"Grief" appeared in July 2000. DML also has a 250/1 "Neu" APC, the 250/8
"Neu" w/7.5 KwK37(L/24), the 250/9 "Neu" w/2cm gun reconnaissance version,
and the 250/1 "Alte". So, by now, you have probably guessed that this
new kit shares common trees with the earlier kits. Yes it does!
The differences in this new version are the extensive radio gear, crow's foot antenna, and periscope and binocular devices for observation purposes.
There are six trees of medium gray parts, in seven cello bags. A piece of nylon mesh screening is provided for the engine air intake, a decal sheet, and the instructions.
The instructions are a bi-fold sheet that folds out into eight pages.
Page one shows the box art and parts tree drawings. True to DML's line of kits....and one of my pet peeves...is that there is no history of the vehicle in the kit...so you will have to hit your reference library. This is probably the weak point in their kits...but the molding cannot be faulted.
The top of page two gives the international assembly symbol explanations and the color numbers listing.
From the bottom of page two to page seven there are 25 assembly steps. Page eight is the painting and decaling drawings for two schemes.
Large letter "A" tree gives us the bottom and sides of the vehicle's hull, drive sprockets, steering column, suspension parts, tow hooks, axle, notek lamp, tools etc. (40 parts here)
Four identical, medium sized, letter "B" trees give us the road wheels, rifles, machine guns (you wind up with extras of these for your spares box), rear tail light etc. (80 total parts on these trees)
Large letter "C" tree holds the vehicle's upper decking, driver's compartment floor, driver and co-driver's seats, transmission cover, steering wheel, machine gun shield etc. Five parts on this tree are blued out on the instructions as being excess. (total parts here is 31)
There is NO letter "D" tree.
Large letter "E" tree holds the vehicle's sloped side panels, nose plate, rear hull wall and door, instrument panel, side lockers, machine gun mounts, fenders, axle, muffler etc. One part on this tree is blued out as excess. (36 parts here)
Four identical letter "F" trees hold the individual track links and
their separate rubber pads. I like this way of doing them as it will be
easier to paint the tracks and links. The "F" tree is packaged in the
same cello bag as the four "B" trees. (there are a total of 160 parts
on these "F" trees)
A second, small, letter "F" trees holds parts for a DONKEY EARS type binocular unit. (four parts on this tree) Two parts are blued out as excess.
Tree lettering now jumps to letter "W". This tree holds a storage box, some brackets, the commander's swivel seat, a odd looking round container...that mounts to the fighting compartment wall etc. This tree is connected to a second letter "A" tree. (19 parts on the "W" tree).
The second letter "A" tree holds the fighting compartment floor, radios
etc. (20 parts here)
In the last cello bag is small trees "Y" and "Z" plus a piece of black nylon mesh to do the screening for the air intakes. "Y" tree holds two pieces which are the transmission halves. "Z" is the five piece seated driver figure.
The decal sheet gives two schemes:
1. A Sd.Kfz. 250/5 of an unknown unit, Eastern front 1943
2. A Sd.Kfz. 250/5 of the "Wiking Division", Unknown location
Having acquired all of the earlier kits of the 250 series, that DML makes, I bought this new one to complete my collection of the various types. Does DML plan to do more on this chassis??? Who knows? But, in this day and age...with the skyrocketing price of cutting new kit molds....it makes sense to recycle molds and milk what you have for more money.
This is another great kit from DML. As said, above, I wish DML would
start printing histories of stuff in their kits. Also, the box art by
Valsted shows some pretty neat figures....wish those were in the kit.....sigh.
DML does have to come out with a kit that is a 250 crew...to fit in any
one of their kit series on this vehicle. Maybe they will in the future.
Very highly recommended.