by: DJ Judge [ ]
The Sonderkraftfahrzeug (Sd Kfz - - special motor vehicle) 250 series built by DEMAG, based on their Sd Kfz 10 truck, was a light armoured halftrack - - very similar in appearance to the larger Hanomag designed Sd kfz 251. There were at least 10 variants of the 250 each was open-topped with a single access door in the rear. Dragon has produced several versions of the 250, Kit Number 6858 depicts an Sd Kfz 250/7 armed with an 8cm (80 mm) mortar. According to their web site, the 250/7 kit has a completely “new upper hull with an impressive interior along with ammunition boxes, a complete engine, driver figure and an 8-cm mortar in either the vehicular or ground mounted mode” all cast in the typical Dragon gray mold.
Dragon is a well-established model producer. This particular kit continues to utilize the company’s standard construction methodology. The instruction sheet is consistent with Dragon’s tried and true assembly sequence. There are twenty-five construction steps. Be advised that this is a mortar carrier with no choice of weapons or equipment.
The kit comes in a sturdy container with a box art displaying the vehicle in the 1942 camouflage brown and yellow scheme. Two figures are displayed operating the mortar. On one side of the box, Dragon placed the three-color schemes detailed in the instruction sheet while the other side displays several pictures of unique pieces of equipment contained in the kit.
Upon opening the box, the nineteen part sprues are presented in a series of sealed plastic bags. You also have:
-1 clear vision bloc sprue
-1 photo etch sheet
-1 bag of track cleats
-I bag of track pads
There are few and far between injection marks and minimal flash on the parts. Since this is one of a family of vehicles, several parts sprues have a number of items that will not be used on this version of the 250.
As mentioned earlier, the instruction sheet reflects the standard Dragon assembly sequence. You start with construction of the wheels, suspension system and the drive sprockets. The last page shows three painting schemes. The standard gray of 1941, the yellow and brown pattern of 1942, and the more elaborate three-color scheme of 1943. There are no specific unit designations for the vehicle so the decals sheet contains the standard Iron Crosses, numbers for the blank license plates, and dial decals for the dashboard.
Dragon provides a single piece lower hull with nice riveting details. The wheels are two-piece plastic and fit nicely on the forward suspension system. The drive sprockets and associated wheels will not present any assembly problems. The track construction is a two-step process. Here is where the kit will challenge you. The track parts are in two bags. The instructions indicate that there are 38 cleats per side which require a like number of rubber pads to be inserted in the cleats. The rubber pads are miniscule. Prior to construction, I am looking at placing the rubber pads on a piece of double sided tape than manoeuvring them into the cleats. This appears to be the most difficult part of the construction. Once again, the absence of a sprue for the track parts along with some appealing detail make them more interesting than an expensive after-market product.
Upper Hull Interior
The troop area consists of two floor parts. The forward section has the driver and passenger’s seats along with an angled dash board. The kit provided figure is a disappointment. The figure is dressed in a soft cap in a stiff appearance. There are no details on him nor are there any personal weapons provided for him. If you are going to place a figure in the driver compartment, you will have to decide to place him in position prior to cementing the two halves. It is cramped! Once you get everything together there is little room left to place a figure or figures in the vehicle. An engine block is provided and since the access doors can be placed in an open or closed position, this suggest an option for displaying the engine compartment. It is a basic engine so it may require some creativity to enhance the appearance of the compartment.
The purpose of the vehicle is to provide close indirect fire in support of an infantry unit. The rear section mounts the mortar. The basic mortar has five parts. The bipod fits into two pedestal mounts. The base attaches to a platform that also contains two seats. Once again, the size of this vehicle means that the mortar sight is to scale which is another way of saying it is a tiny piece that needs to be handled with tender loving care.
Ammunition Racks and Fenders
The mortar ammunition boxes combine plastic and pe parts to complete the two container racks. One rack is placed alongside the gun while the other is in the rear of the vehicle. Once this step is completed, parts are added to the upper hull sides and they are then mated to the lower hull. The fenders contain the usual array of tools and shovels and are placed into the previously glued hull sides.
A detailed radio along with vision blocks and the MG 34 mounts are contained in this last construction step. You can raise the two-forward vision blocks and insert clear parts in the space if desired. The engine cooling vents require the insertion of two pe parts. As mentioned earlier, you can close or open the engine access doors. The MG 34 can be mounted either in a storage position or on the swivel mount located at the rear of the hull. The mortar ground mounted base is secured to the exterior rear plate along with the entrance door. Once completed, this part is glued to previous assembled upper hull sides.
This is a straight forward kit to build out of the box and, with the exception of the track, should be a relatively quick one to complete. This is the type of model that lends itself to a diorama setting. Replacing the driver figure will enhance the model as will the placement of figures in combat uniform operating the mortar.