While there often seems to be a jumble of Wehrmacht half-tracks, they actually break down into families of vehicles sharing common features, especially the chassis. The Sd.Kfz. 250 light reconnaissance half-track is underneath the same as the Sd.Kfz.10, which is often mistakenly labeled the DEMAG from the company that spearheaded the design and production, Deutsche Maschinenfabrik AG. BitsKrieg, QuickWheel’s resin upgrade division, has already released civilian tread pattern road wheel replacements for the Sd.Kfz. 250 and Sd.Kfz. 10 (reviewed by me here
). Now there are two new variants: the “common” off-road tread pattern and the “uncommon” off-road tread pattern (reviewed by me here
). This review covers the “common” pattern.
what you get
The set includes:
2 resin wheels
1 two-wheel mask
2 sets of resin “caps” for use on either vehicles or trailers/light guns like the FlaK 3.7cm
A two-sided insert with photos
BitsKrieg is the labor of love by Greg Rossa (publisher of the Rossagraph series of books), and Greg based his castings on actual vehicles or from meticulous research on the tread patterns and maker’s marks of the tires actually used during the war, and not post-war tires or from restored vehicles. This set compliments the "uncommon" tread pattern reviewed previously, and is from Continental once again, probably the most-common manufacturer for vehicles of the Third Reich.
The casting is, as always, amazing in its detail with the "Continental" brand on the side, the "C" logo, technical markings, and the phrase Extra Gelände
("off road"). Like his other upgrades, this one will transform older kits, and enhance even newer ones: Dragon's new Sd.Kfz. 10 we've been promised presumably it will rely on Dragon Styrene road wheels and not the "slices" of tires used in the past to render complex tread patterns in styrene. While DS is a big improvement over vinyl tires (which won’t take paint well), or the two-piece styrene wheels found on older kits, they can’t come close to the exquisite detail of these resin castings. Proper tires on all except muddy dioramas will do as much for a softskin as an AM metal barrel for a tank. These tires/wheel rims were also used on light artillery like the PAK 36 3.7cm, or the Nebelwerfer
rocket trailer, so BitsKrieg has included end caps for use on limbers and trailers.
This set is a "twin," which means it doesn't include a spare tire for those modelers who don't need a spare, but does come in a "threesome" like the uncommon tread set reviewed by me. The verdict seems to be another winner from BitsKrieg. Hardcore modelers and old-timers scoff at us wimps who’ll pay $12-$13 for wheel masks, but I can’t paint wheels by hand with the precision these masks afford. Nor do I feel like cutting out my own masks through trial and error. Slap the wheels into the mask, and you end up with amazingly-crisp paint lines. Even if you feel “maskers” are pussies, the resin wheels in this set are worth the price.