1/35 Tamiya SdKfz 251/3d

Gallery Article by Jon Hanson on Mar 21 2012


This is actually a modification of the Tamiya SdKfz 251/1 kit, built sometime around 1978 and sadly lost to fire while on display in a hobby shop.  I was inspired by a profile and photograph in Squadron/Signal Panzer Colors Camouflage of the German Panzer Forces 1939-45 published in 1976.


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I had previously built a Tamiya SdKfz 232 (8 rad) radio vehicle in a drab early war dark grey color, so pulling the antenna for this build didn't give me any heartburn. I used sheet styrene to extend the upper hull further back and also to create the rear doors and square sides seen on the later 252 versions. Gear hatches were scribed with some minor detailing for the latches. The radio and other interior details were pure conjecture on my part, partially based on another photo in the Panzer Colors book of the interior of a SdKfz 250 radio vehicle. The documents on the radio were hand drawn. Back in the day there was not a wealth of detailing information available as Al Gore had not yet invented the internet, so I built something that looked like the picture. Accuracy is suspect, but I was satisfied with the result and that's what counted!

Floquil paints were used along with real mud. I used finely ground dirt from a highly traveled campus shortcut mixed with water for the mud (water to dirt ratio was a closely guarded secret) and daubed it on with an old paintbrush. If you have a copy of the Panzer Colors book, you will see that I did not capture the exact look from the photograph. Getting a scale mud smear just wasn't in the cards so I settled for a grungy early-thaw splashes and dried mud look that in my imagination is what the vehicle may have looked like prior to the fuller mudding seen in the photo. The commander figure came from the Tamiya SdKfz 7 with quad 20mm kit. Weathering was the usual random paint splatters simulating chipping and wear. Smears were created using washes of thinned dark grey. Photos were originally black and white for a class project.

Jon Hanson


Photos and text by Jon Hanson