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Built Review
172
Sd. Kfz. 260
Sd. Kfz. 260 Kleiner Panzerfunkwagen
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by: Jan Etal [ TREAD_GEEK ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Designed to supplement the Sd.Kfz. 223, the Sd.Kfz. 260 was a reconnaissance and radio command vehicle based on the Sd.Kfz. 222 chassis and equipped with a medium range radio set with a rod antenna. In the 260, the 223’s turret was replaced by a superstructure composed of an anti-grenade screened enclosure. Armament was restricted to the crew’s personal weapons.

The four wheel drive vehicle had a crew of four, was lightly armoured and weighed 4.3 tons. It was powered by an eight cylinder engine producing between 75 and 85 horsepower. Top speed was approximately 50 mph (80 km/h) with a range of 175 miles (300 km). They entered service in the spring of 1940 with Nachrichten (Signal) troops and remained in service to the end of the war.

The subject of this review is the Dragon Models 1/72 Armor Pro Sd.Kfz 260 Kleine Panzerfunkwagen, kit #7446.

Contents

Three sprues of styrene plastic, moulded in the standard Dragon light grey colour, are present. The two larger sized sprues are common to the previous 222 and 223 kits and the one midsized sprue is specific to the Sd. Kfz. 260. A separately bagged hull bottom and hull top are also included. No Dragon accessory card is present but there is small bag containing a sheet of Cartograph decals.

Also in the box is a four sided instruction card. The card contains one page of sprue parts layout and two pages of build diagrams in the form of exploded view line drawings. The last page provides painting and marking options for two vehicles.

Review

Perhaps the most telling feature that will strike the modeller will be the plethora of unused parts in this kit. The number of these parts total 38 that will be added to your spare parts container. These parts are made up of pieces from both the Sd. Kfz. 222 and 223 kit sprues that are common with this kit. Turrets, weapons, Jerry cans, a Jerry can rack and even the entire 223 frame antenna are examples.

Looking over the sprues one will see that the parts are moulded with extremely crisp and fine detail. There are no sink holes and ejector pin marks are only present on areas that will be hidden after assembly. Flash is virtually non-existent and the majority of moulding seam lines are light and should be easily removed with a scraping of a sharp hobby knife.

While an improvement in the size of sprue connection points (gates) is evident when compared to some older kits, it’s still not universal with the parts in this kit. Many of the smaller parts have equally small gates to them but some parts, such as the radiator cover and the top anti-grenade screen, have larger connectors, at awkward locations, that will require careful cleanup.

With only a few exceptions, the tools and external stowage are all moulded as individual pieces. Unfortunately, while separate pieces, the driver’s doors have no internal detail and possess a rectangular depression where a moulded on storage box is present on both. The fighting compartment vision ports and engine compartment hatches are all moulded on. Other than a minimal amount of internal detail (seats and their supporting framework) left over from the previous incarnations of this chassis, there is no other interior detailing.

While the lower hull appears to be the same as in the other two 22X kits, the upper hull is quite definitely a new tooling. There are many subtle detail changes including the front plate, vision ports and the engine compartment area. The side engine compartment access doors are more pronounced, as are the radiator shutters. There is some rivet detail on this piece and what appear to be some sort of brackets in the rear area.

The options for painting and markings are as follows:

• A Field Grey unidentified unit vehicle, 1941

• A Sand coloured with khaki green and red-brown unidentified unit vehicle, 1942

A full set of water-slide decals is provided for the vehicle. Unfortunately, while a good selection of decals is provided, markings will prove frustrating for the majority of modellers. This is because the license plate decals are provided for as blank white plates and then individual numbers and letters to make up your own. These are absolutely tiny and will prove awkward to individually place and line up in this scale. I think that while one or two modellers will love this, more will find it very frustrating and look for an alternative option.

The colour references provided are for the GSI Creos Corp Aqueous Hobby Color, the same company’s Mr. Color and Model Master enamels.

Build Observations

What had, at first glance, appeared to be a simple and uncomplicated kit, proved instead to be quite troublesome. As with any kit, the builder should review the instructions thoroughly before starting construction.

In Step 1, a highly detailed drive train (A5) is to be attached to the hull bottom. The fit and positioning of this piece was absolutely perfect. The second part to fit was a tie-rod (A22) that has no features to assist in its proper positioning. Each end fits onto two fine lugs, or pins, and there are no corresponding holes for them to engage. Care will be needed to achieve proper positioning.

The next part in this step is a rear plate (A19) that has a minimal locating tab. The builder will need to survey the drawings in the instructions to determine the final orientation of this part. For these types of parts I used a gel type tube glue. It should also be noted that the part depicted in the instructions bears little resemblance to the actual part on the sprue.

The next pieces include the right side hull door, spare tire and front lower hull details. These latter pieces are the front bumper (A23), tow-hooks (A12, A13) and a front plate (A18). As experienced earlier with the positioning of the rear hull plate, the front one has a couple, if minimal, positioning features. The builder may also find that the openings for the bumper and tow hooks in the front plate (A18) may need to be enlarged slightly.

During Step 2, a number of lower hull detail pieces are added including the completion of the suspension with wheels added, rear fenders, some lower hull stowage/details and rear tow hooks. The rear hull tow-hooks (A12, A13) are meant to fit into a shallow depression in the lower hull. This combined with the tiny size of the hooks will require patience and care.

The rear fenders are attached during this step along with the stowage that resides on them. Two license plate pieces (D8, D9) proved to be problematic as the image in the instructions for the left plate does not match the actual part. The right side plate also had a strange orientation. For this build I ended up using D8 for the left side and B5 for the right.

If one chooses to install the optional triangular armoured covers for the wheels, they should be aware that there are no positive locating features. Alignment and positioning by eye will be required.

Step 3 focuses on adding numerous details to the upper hull. Among the largest pieces to attach at this point is the three piece anti-grenade screen. There are very shallow ridges in the upper hull to assist with the mostly visual alignment of the first main piece (D1). Two further side pieces (D2, D3) fit into D1 to complete this superstructure. These two side pieces engage the main piece using a press fit and there are no other features to assist in their positioning.

During this step it became apparent that the brush guards for the turn indicators (B20, B18) were transposed in the instructions. Another problem with the instructions arises with the placement of the single antenna on the hull top. The antenna has an obvious locating pin at its base but there was no corresponding hole to receive it. When viewed from the underside, the builder will find a partial hole or depression that needs to be drilled out to receive the antenna. The instructions fail to note this requirement.

Other parts added at this point are the armoured radiator cover, front fenders, headlights and turn indicators. Width markers, a Notek light and a few other external stowage pieces are also added. It will be up to the modeller to determine how many of these items are added to the upper hull before it is joined to its lower half. In this reviewers opinion, attaching most of the delicate pieces should be delayed until the hull halves are joined.

Step 4 is mainly concerned with the joining of the two body halves. It is also here that the lower muffler halves are attached to the hull. While there is a slightly raised line of plastic on the hull to show the muffler positioning, there is no other positive attachment feature to assist the builder with exact positioning.

Amusingly, it is also during this step that the instructions show two seats being attached to a supporting frame and this assembly being located in the inner hull below the grenade screen. Again, this is obviously a left over from the 222 and 223 versions as there are no other interior pieces. Also, the robust thickness of the anti grenade screen pieces would seriously detract from the finished model if posed in an open position.

Conclusions

This kit can produce a very fair model of the Sd.Kfz 260 reconnaissance vehicle. The fit of certain parts was as good as one would expect from Dragon. Having said that, the same cannot be said about the instructions. There are several inaccuracies and the clarity of some parts placement is sorely lacking, clearly a rework of the 222 version. Not just errors in numbering, and part number anomalies, but the construction sequence opens up the potential for significant problems for the less experienced if they don't read through the instructions thoroughly enough. These instructions could have done with some definite proofreading and testing by someone actually building the model with them.

Perhaps the greatest failing in this kit is the lack of a photo-etch alternative for the anti-grenade screening. It is definitely a step backwards in Dragon’s quality. It could also be mentioned that the kit’s hull top opening to the crew compartment is the wrong shape. It is circular, as with the 223, but should have a hexagonal shape. However, this is of little concern considering that with the styrene screening and general lack of an interior, there is no option to see into the area.

One interesting thing that may inspire some modellers is the vast number of unused parts that have potential use on this vehicle. The large number of gas cans, a corresponding rack for them and numerous unused storage boxes could be used to embellish and individualize this model. So while I am unimpressed by the instructions and lack of certain part locating features, I will still recommend this model of a rather unique subject.

SUMMARY
Highs: Interesting subject with extremely delicate moulding and details.
Lows: Still issues with large sprue attachment points. Instruction problems. Vague to nonexistent locating features on some parts. No PE alternative for grenade screen.
Verdict: With proper care, will build into a fine representation of the subject vehicle. Not without faults but recommended.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 7446
  Suggested Retail: $17.50 US
  Related Link: DragonUSA Item Page
  PUBLISHED: Oct 28, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 84.51%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Jan Etal (tread_geek)
FROM: ONTARIO, CANADA

I've been building models since about age 10 with the occasional hiatus due to real life events. First armour model was a 1/76 Airfix Tiger I and was followed by a 1/72 Revell F4U Corsair. I've built primarily 1/76 and 1/72 armour and aircraft but occasionally have tinkered in other larger scales....

Copyright ©2017 text by Jan Etal [ TREAD_GEEK ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Jan, Thanks for gracing us small scale folk with another super review. I read your 223 review a while back and it appears that this one has similar problems to that kit. I like these vehicles and think that with proper painting they can look great. Speaking of painting, will you be doing a finishing Blog and what paint scheme are you going to do? I know this one has a yellow sand base so will you be doing the camo version or something not on the instructions? On a side note, I got the 223 kit but recently also picked up the 222 kit and am wondering if most of the issues in your two reviews might pertain to it? Regards, AJ
OCT 28, 2012 - 03:11 PM
@tread_geek – Jan, I was debating with myself as to weather I should add this vehicle to my stash or not and after reading through your excellent and to the point review I've come to the conclusion that I will. There is enough detail and stowage items in the kit to, as you put it, personalize your model. And being that this vehicle was in service up to the end of the war it falls in line with the Panzer ’46 army I have in the works. One thing that I don’t understand is Dragon’s reasoning in offering the modeler a complex set of water-slide decals and not go and provide a lesser complex photo-etch anti-grenade screen option? The kits plastic molded anti-grenade screen successfully achieves very high marks in bringing the finished model to look like a toy no matter how well the screen is painted – just MHO. On a lighter note it wasn't that long ago where the Braille scale modelers didn't have many building choices or kits as there are now. Jan, thanks again for another excellent kit review. ~ Eddy
OCT 29, 2012 - 02:49 AM
Thanks AJB and Braille for dropping in and commenting. Now I'll get to your respective queries. I have intentions of doing a finishing Blog like I did with the 223 and Type 97 tank but it might not be for a bit (due to hurricane Sandy). I am aiming to do the three colour scheme in the instructions. AJ, the 222, 223, 260 and the upcoming 261 should all be identical as far as the lower hull is concerned. Fenders and what is on them will vary and the 222 turret should have the same issues as the 223. Eddy, all the extra pieces and stowage are almost a kit in themselves. Besides what I mention in the review you basically get the 223 and 222 turrets that appeared on a few other vehicles, including some field modified ones.There will be extra or left over fenders, license plates, jacks, to name a few. [quote]The kits plastic molded anti-grenade screen successfully achieves very high marks in bringing the finished model to look like a toy no matter how well the screen is painted – just MHO.[quote] That is the most disappoint part of this model and will also pertain to the 261 variant. The Dragon screening shape might be somewhat more accurate but that for the ICM PE version would be close enough and they should have copied that, IMHO. The modellers only other option would be to disguise the styrene version by putting a tarp over it. There are numerous images on the Internet to support this practice. Cheers, Jan
OCT 29, 2012 - 12:19 PM
@tread_geek – Jan, As I have yet to do a multi-color camouflage scheme in this scale it looks a bit intimidating for me so I’m looking forward to your finishing blog. Wishing you and the wife a good outcome with the upcoming hurricane coming your way. BTW thanks for the tip on the ICM kit and tarp idea on the anti-grenade screen. ~ Eddy
OCT 29, 2012 - 03:16 PM
Thanks for the info on the 2XX kits, Jan, and I can't wait to see the finishing process on this one. Just curious, do you have or have you looked at the 222 kit? Is there a chance someone here (You?) might be doing a review of it? I'd like to start on one of them but wonder what issues the larger turret might pose. Hope you faired well with the recent storm. We've had some power outages but other than that have been fairly lucky compared to some areas. Regards, AJ
OCT 30, 2012 - 10:45 AM
@Braille-Eddy, I'm still debating as to what method to use for the camouflage but am leaning towards airbrushing with masking. Just a couple of notes about your other points. -One issue with the ICM kit is that from what I've researched, I never found a 260 with the antenna placed on a projection as on that kit. For that matter, I'd be curious to see if the ICM PE would work with the Dragon kit as a substitute for the styrene version. I think that the combination of those two kits with a scratched interior would have potential. As for the tarp business, just do a Google search for "SdKfz 260" pictures. In truth, there will be quite a few pictures of the 261 also but you'd get the idea. @weathering_one-AJ, AJ, I recently got the 222 kit and have at least looked it over. I *might* do a In-Box review of the kit if nobody else beats me to it (hint: you got the kit, you try a build review? ) Since you also have the 223 kit, you'll have two full spare turrets in case the first doesn't turn out. @Both-Eddy,AJ, [/quote]Hope you faired well with the recent storm. We've had some power outages but other than that have been fairly lucky compared to some areas. [/quote] Thanks for your concern and I believe that the high winds have finally left us. I am pleased to report that at this time we seem to have faired far better than some, despite all the dire predictions for our area. There's still a few more days of rain to deal with before the storm finally leaves us behind. Cheers, Jan
OCT 30, 2012 - 03:13 PM
Jan, Thanks for the encouragement and I've been thinking about doing a Blog. One question that might not belong here but, would you chop off the back piece of the 222 bar in the turret where the seats go as you did in the 223's case? Regards, AJ
NOV 11, 2012 - 02:49 PM
@weathering_one - AJ Sorry to take so long in responding but I've been a bit distracted lately. As for your question, while I haven't really studied the 222 turret interior that in depth, you might need to do something different. The arms that support the elevation trunnion(s) are actually quite far back in the turret. There is also the seat attachment point to take into account as you'll need enough material for their vertical frame. So at this point, I doubt it would serve much purpose to cut away the small bit of material that isn't needed. Just do a Google search for interior pictures and you'll get an idea of what I'm talking about. Cheers, Jan P.S. - I had a link to a great site that I used and had tons of information about the 222 and 223 variants. Unfortunately that site is no longer available.
NOV 25, 2012 - 02:11 PM
It's been a while but as I've finally gotten to work on a few builds, I decided to get the license plates of the 260 out of the way. To those that haven't read the review, the letters and numbers on the plates are individual decals of the "roll your own" type. These are the smallest that I've ever had to deal with and have a height of just under 1 (ONE) millimetre. I first put down the white blank plate and then applied a gloss coat (Future) to it. Placing the alphanumeric characters on the plate turned out to be an extremely slow and "painful" process. One can only do one character at a time, wait for it to dry, apply a decal setting solution, wait for that to dry and then proceed to the next character. This process is not for the faint of heart and to do both plates took an entire afternoon. Here's some pictures of the process (images taken with 5X macro filter). Please note, I felt it best to start with the first centre-most number ('0') and then alternate from side to side to attempt to get proper spacing. As you'll see in the review, this is your only option for the plates as Dragon does not provide any ready made versions. Also, the characters for the 260 plates are smaller than those for their 223 version and the plate itself is also not as tall. Questions or comments about the process cheerfully accepted. Cheers, Jan C[ }
JAN 13, 2013 - 02:50 PM
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