The Sd.Kfz. 250 was developed following a mid-1930's requirement for a one ton (0.95 tons) half track, to provide mobility for infantry and other units operating with panzer divisions. The first example appeared in 1939 and saw action for the first time in May 1940 during the invasion of France.
Production continued until 1944, with later models having redesigned hulls to make manufacturing easier and cut down on the amount of raw materials required, as the basic design was rather expensive as it was.
Variants included a communications vehicle (subject of this new kit), a mobile observation post, as well as a number of specialized weapons carriers. These last mentioned vehicles mounted everything from anti-aircraft guns to anti-tank cannons. The vehicle remained in service until the end of WWII, proving to be a reliable and popular half track.
Four OFFICIAL versions of the Sd.Kfz. 250/3 'Leichter Funkpanzer' (Light radio panzer) were in existance. Each of these was a radio vehicle with equipment to suit the particular formation which it was to accompany and the command to which it was to report. Thus, the model attached to motorized forces was equipped with the Fu 12 radio set, which was the normal ground forces link with such formations. The Fu 12 was a medium wave receiver operating on the 835-3000 Kc/s. band and an 80 watt transmitter which used the 1120-3000 Kc/s. band. A 2 metre rod with star antenna at the top was the aerial for these Fu 2's. This aerial was carried at the rear left of the fighting compartment while the usual 2 metre rod aerial for the inter-vehicle Funksprechgeraet f was on the front right. The radio set itself was carried on top of the petrol tank which was reduced in height. The main armament was one MG 34. Again, both pre- and post-1943 bodies were to be seen.
The second type of radio had an Fu 7 radio set, which consisted of an ultra-short wave receiver d1 and a 20 watt transmitter which operated on the 42100-47800 Kc/s. band. The Fu 7 was used to contact Luftwaffe support groups inside the range of 50 Kms. The aerial was again a 2 metre rod aerial.
The third model was another ground-to-air coordination vehicle and as such was usually operated by Luftwaffe personnel and therefore had the WL license number of the Luftwaffe. Not only did these vehicles carry the Fu 7, the aerial for which was mounted on top of a armored container at the rear, but also an Fu 8 which was characterized by a massive frame antenna. These Fu 8 sets were for contact with the main divisional command at ranges up to 40 Kms. On later models the frame antenna was replaced by a 8 metre winched mast aerial with a star antenna on top, which could be raised and lowered as required. The 8 metre mast increased the range to 50 Kms. The Fu 8 was a medium wave receiver c for the 835-3000 Kc/s. band, while the earlier model b was for the 580-3000 Kc/s. band. The transmitter was a 30 watt unit operating between 1130 and 3000 Kc/s.
The final model of the radio vehicles seems to have been a general type, with no specific radio sets mentioned in official documents. However, reports indicate that they were fitted with Fu 15 or Fu 16 for contact with assualt gun formations, and with the Fu 10 when attached , for example, to armored car groups. The ordinance numbers for these vehicles were: Sd.Kfz. 250/3.I, Sd.Kfz. 250/3.II, Sd.Kfz.250/3.III, and Sd.Kfz. 250/3.IV.
I would say that this kit would most likely be the third type mentioned above.
CREW: 6 WEIGHT: 11,835 LBS DIMENSIONS: length 14ft. 11.5in., width 6ft. 4.6in., height 6ft. 6in. RANGE: 186 miles. ARMOR: 0.23 TO 0.6 inches. POWERPLANT: One 6-cylinder, petrol engine developing 100hp. PERFORMANCE: Max road speed 37mph. Fording capacity: 29.5 inches of water. Vertical obstacle climbing capability: 6ft. 6.7in.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
This is the sixth kit in DML's septet of basic Sd.Kfz. 250 kits that they have released. It is also the last one they have announced.
Most armor modelers will instantly recognize this vehicle as the type favored and used by Rommel in North Afrika, with the nick-name 'Greif' (GRIFFIN) painted down its sides. As a little aside, Rommel also had a second Sd.Kfz. 250/3, that he used, that had the nick-name 'Adler' (EAGLE) painted down the sides. However, 'Greif' seems to have had more pictures taken of it during the war.
The kit contains 19 light plastic trees of parts and two pieces of nylon mesh screen (for engine intake vents), decals, and the instruction sheet. Like its five predecessors, this kit shares some common parts trees with the other DML 250 kits. I will mention the new trees first.
There are two letter 'A' trees in the kit. The smaller of the two holds the radios and their tubular frames, the vehicle's rear compartment floor, etc. 16 parts on this new tree. Part no.16 is blued out on the instructions and is not used.
There is a fifth letter 'F' tree in the kit. The other four letter 'F' trees are for the individual track links and are common to all the 250 kits. This new, smaller, tree holds parts for a 'DONKEY EARS' binocular on a tripod (10 parts).
A tree, bearing no alphabet letter, but having the numerals 9042 on it, holds parts for a figure of Rommel and another standing officer, two pairs of binoculars, a soft peaked cap, a three-spoked steering wheel, and some folded tarps. The steering wheel and the tarps are blued out, as not to be used on the instructions. There is a four-spoked steering wheel on another tree that is used - so don't despair. (22 parts).
There are three small trees, holding four parts each, that make up into jerry cans.
Finally, a new letter 'N' tree holds the main banister type aerial, its supports, fenders, vision ports, tools, jerry can rack, rear vehicle wall and door, etc. (65 parts - six of which are blued out on the instructions as excess)
The rest of the parts trees are common to the earlier released 250 kits. First amongst these is the large letter 'A' tree. It holds the vehicle's sides, suspension parts, notek lamp, tow hooks, drive sprockets, steering gear, vehicle frame, and other small fittings. (40 parts here - with nine blued out on the instructions as excess).
Tree letter 'B' is the road wheels, some rifles, and small fittings. There are a total of four of this tree, with 21 parts per tree. Seven of the parts on these trees are blued out.
Tree 'C' holds the vehicle's driver's compartment floor, steering wheel (the 4 spoked one), seats, and other fittings. (30 parts - with 8 blued out).
Four larger letter 'F' trees hold the individual track links with their separate rubber pads. (40 parts per tree).
Letter 'M' holds the vehicleís top, nose plate, and a small round plate (just three parts here)
Letter 'K' is the vehicle's sides, dash board, machine guns, various panels and fittings (46 parts here---with nine blued out).
Decals are included for two vehicles: Rommel's 'Greif' (Tobruk 1942), and a vehicle of the Grossdeutschland Division, Eastern Front 1942.
The instruction sheet is a 10 page, gatefold sheet. There is NO HISTORY of the vehicle on this sheet. Readers of my past reviews of DML kits will know that this is my pet peeve with them. 30 assembly steps walk you through the building of the kit, followed by a page of painting and marking guides.
As popular as Rommel was - his favored vehicle should sell well to armor buffs. This looks like a great kit - as were the earlier five versions of the 250.
In the past, Airfix released the 250/3 in 1/32nd scale years ago. Tamiya has done the vehicle also in 1/35th. Which one is the best? I just don't know! But, DML's looks darn good.
I bought this kit at the local hobby shop. It should be readily available at any well stocked shop.