Sd.Kfz.260 Kleine Panzerfunkwagen
The Sd.Kfz.260 Kleine Panzerfunkwagen is a four-wheeled light armored car used to transport and protect signal units. It had a four-man crew protected by relatively thin armor and a mesh grenade screen, and was unarmed except for the crew’s personal weapons. Approximately 500 of the 260 and the similar 261 were built and used from 1940 till the end of the war. The really significant difference in the two vehicles was in antenna and radio fit. The 260 used a dipole antenna for medium range communications and the 261 used a frame type antenna for long range radio.
The kit consists of 94 parts molded in Dragon’s usual medium grey plastic with very fine detail. Of those 94 parts, you’ll only use about 57, since the kit contains parts for an armed and turreted armored car, the Sd.Kfz.222. The upper hull is cast using slide-mold technology, which prevents one from having to build the angled hull piece by piece (thank you, Dragon). Interior parts that would be seen through the open turret (if it were to be used) were included but were not put in the model, for reasons you’ll see shortly.
The kit assembled well and went together pretty easily, even the very fine tow hooks on both bumpers. The only difficulties I experienced were in removing some of the parts from the trees and cleaning them up. In order to give scale appearance, the fender corner markers and the mirrors are very petite. It was a bit challenging to remove them from the sprues and clean up the sprue tag without breaking them. In fact, I broke the mirror and had to glue it back together. The reason I didn’t put in any of the interior parts, and the one really disappointing part of the kit, was the mesh grenade screens for the upper hull opening. They are cast solid in plastic, with screen mesh molded in, and can’t be seen through. There was one minor fit issue along one side of the screen where it mates to the front and rear pieces, though that may have been my fault. A minor touch of filler fixed the issue, and that was the only place on the kit I used filler. The suspension went together well, with all four wheels touching the ground the first time.
The kit showed two painting options, a field grey vehicle from an unidentified unit in 1941, and a panzer yellow and camouflage striped vehicle from another unidentified unit in 1942. I went with the yellow one. I then painted the mesh parts of the screen black and let them dry. After they had dried, I dry-brushed panzer yellow over the screens, with a little green and red-brown in places. It looks convincing enough for me. Decals consisted of license plate numbers and vehicle ID numbers only. The decals went on easily over a layer of Future and reacted well with Superscale solvents.
A relatively easy build, this kit is easily recommended for all builders capable of dealing with small parts. I understand not putting photoetch in the kit for the mesh screen, for a couple of reasons. First, the price would have gone up and second, it would have been a fairly complex build. The plastic parts kept the kit simpler. If you can live with that reasoning, buy the kit. It’s a fun build.
My thanks to Dragon Models USA for the kit and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to build it.