I picked up these two little armoured cars from BNA Model World, who were having a sale a few weeks back. Dragon kits tend to be a bit pricier than others, but can be great to build, so i am always on the look out for a bargain. These guys came in around $15 each including postage and i couldn’t resist.
Armoured cars are a particular favourite of mine to build and for wargaming units they are very handy. I like to use them as command vehicles, forward observers and also to ferry around heavy weapons teams. These two kits will be especially useful as command vehicles and forward observers, as they are both unarmed and so will need to keep a low profile.
Both similar kits the only real difference is the massive aerial the Sd.Kfz 261 has, plus the metal rail above the hull. My wife thought the Sd.Kfz 261 might well double up as the laundry platoon, as the aerial looks like a hills hoist. So they easily could have dried a few uniforms. Building these two tiny vehicles involves a two part hull, plus a simple axle and suspension set up. That bit is easy. Then it gets quite fiddly as you need to attach plenty of detail, some of it very skinny and fragile, onto the outside of the hull. Some parts need filling and sanding as the same hull mould is used for all the Sd.Kfz versions and holes need to be filled when not used. I managed to break a few parts very easily so i would not recommend these kits if you want a really sturdy wargames model that is going to get thrown around. The only disappointing thing i found was the metal mesh crew hatches or turret should have been photo etched or metal rather than being solid plastic. Also the option to model the roof/turret open would have been a welcome alternative.
Overall a challenging pair of armoured cars and really enjoyable to build. Definitely on the fragile side. I managed to drop the Sd.Kfz 261 on his head just as i finished flocking the base. Luckily he had the instincts of a cat and landed on his feet, i only had to reattach him by the axles and also lost one headlight. Butter fingers. I might have uttered an expletive or two. Photos below.