Dragon 1/35 Sd.Kfz.250/9 Neu 2cm Reconnaissance, Premium Edition

KIT #:



$53 MSRP


Five different vehicles


Blair Stewart


An intricate, well detailed kit



The Sd.Kfz. 250 was a light armored halftrack, very similar in appearance to the larger Sd.Kfz.251, designed by Hanomag. The 250 was built by DEMAG.

Compared to U.S. halftracks, the Sd.Kfz. 250 series was less mobile, with unpowered front wheels. However, its tracks made it far more mobile than the armored cars it replaced, and it was a popular vehicle. Most variants were open-topped and had a single access door in the rear.

The Sd.Kfz.250 was adopted in 1939 to supplement the standard halftrack. Production delays meant the first 250 did not appear until mid-1941, which meant it was not available to German forces during either the Polish or the French campaigns.

In 1939 German design agencies decided that small armored halftracks would be useful to accompany tanks during an attack. Smaller halftracks could fulfill a number of requirements for which a larger vehicle wouldn't be needed, including headquarters, artillery forward observer, radio, and scout vehicles. Demag, who designed the Sd.Kfz.10, the smallest German halftrack then in service, was selected to develop the light armored troop carrier (leichter gepanzert Mannschaft-Transportwagen) or Sd.Kfz. 250. To accomplish this, DEMAG took the D7 chassis of the Sd.Kfz.10 and shortened it by one road wheel station, replaced the sheet steel hull replaced with an armored hull and specially designed virtually every component for the armored chassis D7p.

A Maybach 6-cylinder, water-cooled, 4.17-liter (254 cu in) HL 42 TRKM gasoline engine developing 100 horsepower powered the Sd.Kfz. 250. The vehicle had a semi-automatic Maybach VG 102 128 H transmission with seven forward and three reverse gears. The Sd.Kfz.250 had a top speed of 76 km/h (47 mph), but the driver was cautioned not to exceed 65 km/h (40 mph).

The vehicle employed both tracks and wheels for steering. The steering system was set up so that shallow turns used only the wheels, but brakes would be applied to the tracks the farther the driver turned the steering wheel. The drive sprocket had rollers rather than the more common teeth. The rear suspension consisted of four double road wheels mounted on swing arms that were sprung by torsion bars. An idler wheel, mounted at the rear of the vehicle, controlled track tension. The front wheels had transversely mounted leaf springs and shock absorbers, the only ones on the vehicle, to dampen impacts.

The initial design had an armored body made of multi-faceted plates, which gave good protection against small arms fire, but made the design both expensive to manufacture and quite cramped for the crew. DEMAG stopped production of this early version in October 1943 after building 4,200 Sd.Kfz.250s, and began replacing it with a second version (neu art or "new version") that was greatly simplified to speed up manufacture. In both variants, the armor was useful only for stopping small-arms fire and small artillery fragments. Heavy machine gun fire, anti-tank gunfire, or almost any tank gun could penetrate the Sd.Kfz. 250 at long range.

The Sd.Kfz. 250 was unique among German half-track designs as it and its parent Sd.Kfz. 10 used a hull rather than a frame.

The German army used the vehicle in a wide variety of roles throughout World War II. The basic troop carrier version served as an armored personnel carrier for reconnaissance units, where it carried scout sections. This basic variant usually mounted one or two MG34 machine guns. Later variants carried 20mm, 37mm, and even 75mm guns to support the more lightly armed versions.

Several special-purpose variants appeared early in the war. The 250/3 and 250/5 were command variants, both equipped with fewer seats and with long-range radio equipment. Battalion and higher commanders used these vehicles as personal command vehicles. The most famous was the 250/3 used by Erwin Rommel in the North African campaign. Early versions had large 'bed-frame' antennas that were easy to spot at long range, making them more vulnerable to artillery fire. In later variants the Germans dispensed with this antenna and used a whip antenna instead.

The Sd.Kfz.253 variant was fully enclosed, and was used by artillery forward observers to accompany tank and mechanized infantry units.

The 250/9 variant was a reconnaissance variant with a 2 cm KwK 38 auto cannon and a coaxial MG34 or MG42 in a low, open topped turret that was identical to the Sd.Kfz.222 armored car (early version) and the sdkfz-234/1 armored car (late version). The 250/9 weighed 6.02 tons and carried a crew of three. The vehicle had room internally for up to 100 rounds of 20mm ammunition for the KwK38 main gun. The German Army ordered 30 of these 250 variants in March 1942.In the same year three prototypes were sent to Russia to see if the vehicle’s cross-country performance was better then that of the wheeled armored cars then in use. As a result of these trials, the Germans discontinued production of the Sd.Kfz.222 and replaced it with the Sd.Kfz.250/9,which began mass-production in May 1943. Early versions of the 250/9 used the complete turret assembly of the Sd.Kfz.222 and later the Hängelafette (swinging mount) 38.


Once again, Dragon has produced a kit with an astonishing amount of detail and high number of parts (420). There are also two sets of photo-etched parts to provide added detail. The kit also includes the dreaded (for me) separate link tracks, but since this is a small vehicle, this turns out not to be as bad a task as, say, separate link tracks on a King Tiger.

For a detailed look at what’s in the box, see the preview. The instructions include 28 separate steps, and one really needs to mark off each completed part and step to avoid “construction destruction” (okay: maybe some of you younger folks don’t need to do this, but I sure do!).


Starting with the lower hull, I assembled the swing arms and then glued together all of the double road wheels. At this stage, the instructions recommend assembling the tracks, but I opted to delay this until later. I then moved to assembling the front suspension and the multi-piece front wheels (rather than use molded vinyl tires, Dragon has opted for a five-part plastic tire that accurately simulates the tire’s tread when glued together).

At this stage, the instructions called for assembling the Maybach engine, which is fairly well detailed for a 1/35 scale kit. I painted the engine Testor’s burnt iron and set it aside for later installation in the engine compartment. I then glued in the firewall and steering mechanism.

After installing the dashboard, seats and transmission, I glued down the rear compartment’s floor. At this stage, the instructions called for assembling numerous small PE straps and carriages for internal equipment stowage. I started this process in good faith, but then I realized that 95% of these would not be visible, even with the top grenade screen fully open. Accordingly, as I often do with PE parts, I took the coward’s way out and omitted these parts from the construction process.

Next came the hull sides, front fenders, and external side stowage boxes, which are constructed so that one can open them to display internal equipment if desired. I then glued proscribed pieces to the top hull deck. At this stage, I opted to display the model with the hood open, so I cut the hood access panels in half with an Exacto knife.

Construction now moved to the very detailed 20mm cannon, coaxial machine gun and the gun mount for both weapons. When completed and painted, this assembly provides a striking centerpiece for the finished model. I glued the assembled gun mount into the turret and then glued the turret to the hull’s topside. The kit provides PE covers (part MA6) for the turret’s rear stowage boxes as well as a PE gun shield (MA9).

I opted to display the grenade screen fully open, so per the instructions, I used superglue to combine the PE screens and the plastic frame. I then glued the frames to the top of the turret at the angle shown in the instructions.  

Per my usual approach for armor kits, I glued on all external equipment (e.g., shovels, picks, jacks) that I would paint by hand at a later stage.

Finally, I began the process of assembling the single link tracks. I made the tracks in two sections: one for the bottom links and looping over the front drive sprocket, and one for the top links, looping around the rear idler wheel.


All five decal variants are for vehicles in the standard mid-war camouflage scheme of yellow, reddish brown and green. Per my previous construction of Dragon's Elefant with Zimmerit, I again decided to use Adam Wilder's "Color Modulation" painting technique.  I applied an overall coat of Tamiya XF-64 Red Brown lightened with a few drops of XF-60 Dark Yellow. Once this dried, I airbrushed a coat of XF-60, making sure to limit the amount of this paint on the darker, lower areas. I then added XF-55 Deck Tan to XF-60 to further lighten the color, and tried to again limit the spray to the upper areas of the model. For the final stage, I mixed X-2 White to that mixture, and then sprayed the upper half of the model again.

The next phase involved painting all of the smaller details (e.g., hatches, covers, vents, grills) with lighter yellow and tan shades to make these details “pop.” For this stage, I used inexpensive acrylic craft paints, purchased from a local crafts store, and a relatively wide modeling brush to get smooth coats on the model.

One of the difficulties with German armor is the lack of information about interior paint colors. Fortunately, the internet is a fantastic source for modeling information these days, and I was able to find both exterior and interior photos of a meticulously restored Sd.Kfz.250. Given the apparent attention to detail in this restoration, I figured the restorers had thoroughly researched the vehicle and color schemes. The interior pictures show that this restored vehicle’s interior paint matches the primary yellow color of the outside, so that’s what I chose. The only exception was for the engine compartment, which I opted to paint Floquil hull red (one can find many references on the net that indicate this was a common paint scheme for engine compartments, but who knows if DEMAG followed this scheme in its half tracks).

I then used oil paints on the light and dark areas to provide additional gradation and further break up the surface. I used a cardboard pallet to blend my oil paints as well as to soak up the linseed oil in the paints so they will dry with a matte finish. Once applied, I blended these with a flat brush dipped in a small amount of thinner. (The caution here is to not use too much thinner so that you avoid turning your carefully applied oil paint into a wash). I also used this technique on the shadows and darker areas of the model.

I then applied splotches of dark red brown and dark green paint in a camo pattern that was typical of many German armored vehicles. After the exterior was dry, I covered the entire model with Testors Gloscote. Once dry, I applied a wash of black acrylic hobby paint to highlight the vehicle’s details. I then applied the decals using generous amounts of Solvaset. I used a reddish brown hobby paint wash on the tracks to simulate mud and soil.

The final paint process was to spray Testor’s Dulcote over the entire vehicle. I then took a silver artist’s pencil to highlight wear spots where paint would be ground off by everyday use.

I painted numerous pieces of German equipment and then glued these into the two open stowage boxes on the vehicle’s side. I also placed a set of binoculars and an MP40 on the rear deck of the turret. As a final touch, I soaked a piece of Kleenex in diluted white glue, and then rolled up a cut length to make a tarp. While this was still wet, I draped it around the back of the turret. When it was dry, I painted it with acrylic paints and highlighted it with a darker shade. I then painted all of the tools attached to the vehicle’s front fenders.


This is a great kit with loads of detail. I continue to be amazed at how far armor models have come since the first armor kit I built in 1973. I highly recommend this to all armor enthusiasts, but be prepared to stay the course and glue a lot of parts together!


1.      “Sd.Kfz.250,” Wikipedia, 2009.

2.      “Sd.Kfz.250 Photo Reference,” Military Modeling, 2009.

Blair Stewart

September 2009

As always, thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com via your editor for the review kit.

 If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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