|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New tool kit|
The Sdkfz 254 was a fully tracked armoured scout car employed by Nazi Germany during World War II.
From 1936, the vehicle was developed under the designation RK-7 by the Saurer company as an artillery tractor for the Austrian army. Testing was completed and in 1937, an order was placed for the tractors and they were manufactured in 1938. About 12 vehicles were made prior toAnschluss (the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in 1938).
Manufacture of the vehicle continued after the Anschluss. Records indicate that a total of 140 units were built. The new German designation was Sdkfz 254. The vehicle featured a wheel-cum-track layout and a diesel motor. The wheels were lowered when it was used on roads and retracted for tracked movement cross-country. A number saw service with the Afrika Korps, serving as artillery observation vehicles after being fitted with a radio and rail antenna.
In typical Hobby Boss fashion, the kit itself is molded in tan with the individual track links being in a brown plastic. Molding is all you have come to expect from HB with nary a molding glitch to be seen. The main hull has a formed lower section with separate fore, aft and upper pieces to be added to it. Unusual in military vehicles of the time, there is no armament of any sort mounted so it truly is just a scout car.
The main attraction of this kit is the ability to build it as either a wheeled or a tracked vehicle. In fact, there are several construction sections that show the wheel suspension as being able to be posed either up or down. These suspension pieces have a lot of 'do not glue' areas so it seems one is able to build the kit to go from one mode to the other.
This means a rather complex underside as one has to take into consideration not only the standard track suspension, but also the truck-like wheeled suspension, including a rather standard looking rear end and axle housing. The main tires are made of rubber/vinyl so no need to paint these.
The kit does include a photo etch fret that includes things like a drip rail for the rear door, a muffler guard, some small pieces for the bogies as well as quite a few external brackets and support bases for the radio antenna array. No interior is provided and all openings are shown as being constructed closed.
Markings are for two vehicles, neither of which is identified. One is like the box art vehicle in overal panzer grey with white markings. The other is in a desert scheme with Afrika Korps logos. Decals have been darkened to show the white bits a little better. Instructions are well drawn with large construction steps. As usual with HB kits, no color info is included until the full color overall painting and markings guide. Several manufacturer references are provided for this. The decal sheet is well done and like other Hobby Boss kits, should prove to work well for you.
I am constantly surprised with what these folks come up with for kits. This is something which I had never seen even a photo and for those who are looking for something outside the norm for a nice kit, this one definitely fills the bill.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. Get this one at your local hobby shop or have them order it for you. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the
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