Start   Gallery Menue

Sd.Kfz. 251/17 - Arrivederci Sicilia!

built by Werner Kampfhofer (1:35)

Sd.Kfz. 251/17 - Arrivederci Sicilia! (1:35)
All started with some field conversions, where a 2cm Flak has been mounted to a Sd.Kfz. 251. In 1942 the Luftwaffe ordered the manufacturing of such AA half tracks. An additional feature was a widened and hinged side armor. This did not only allow the Flak to be turned by 360°, even with the side walls in upright position, but also increase the crew convenience.

The vehicles were first used in Russia and then transferred to Sicily. I am not aware of any later employment or pictures which would prove this. Only 10 vehicles plus 2 unarmed command vehicles were built. During September 1943 the Division "Hermann Göring" was ordered to secure the retreat from Sicily. The displayed diorama is showing the crew of a Sd.Kfz. 251/17 which just located an enemy fighter aircraft.

The Sd.Kfz. 251 kit

In the early 80ies the German modeling magazine Modell-Fan provided a conversion article by Engbertus Backer with scale drawings. This alteration was based on the only Sd.Kfz. 251 which was available at that time - Tamiya's Sd.Kfz. 251 Ausf. C (35020). Although I have been aware of the shortcomings from this kit, like wrong angles, spartan details and a far too narrow hull, I managed to build this version. Over the years additional material showed up. So I was able to obtain scale drawings from George Bradford and in the Polish magazine "Male Monografie" I discovered pictures and color plates from vehicles employed in Sicily. I immediately got into the mood for a remake of this model! But for the perfect setup I required the Kirin Flak Crew, which I spurned while it was available on regular basis, like the Kirin conversion for the Sd.Kfz. 251/17.

Finally, in 2002 I managed to obtain a set of this Kirin figures from an online-shop in Seoul () and so nothing could stop me. Although there were rumors about newly tooled Sd.Kfz. 251 kits to come, I could not wait and again used the old Tamiya dog as base. For another conversation Mr. Backer cut this kit apart in length and added 4,5mm plastic sheet to obtain the correct width. I did the same, which caused an almost endless filling and sanding process at the engine hood. The running gear is supported by parts from Tamiya's Sd.Kfz. 251 Ausf. D (35151, 35195). I once had the opportunity to purchase some of these sprues, so no kit had to be salvaged. The tracks are from Modelkasten. For the conversion I followed the Modell Fan instructions, using a lot of plastic sheet and parts from the spare box. The configuration of the area behind the flaks platform is a bit fuzzy. According to a picture I added a bench from Tamiya's Sd.Kfz. 251 Ausf. D on the left and right side. The mechanism for moving and fixing the side walls is mysterious too.

I was looking for hydraulic gadgets, sophisticated locking mechanism, but by studying the photographs I came to the conclusion that a much simpler solution has been applied. Each wall is equipped with two lengthened hooks, which on the one hand fix them to the hull, but also are to be used to assist in moving the side armor up- or downwards. After the vehicle has been painted I noticed the relatively wide bow. Meanwhile I got my first Sd.Kfz.251 from AFV-Club and the comparison made it clear: the bow does not need 4,5mm extension! So what to do? Hide from the rest of the world? Commit suicide? Destroy the model? Or live with the error and hide it under foliage! By the way, a closer look at the scale drawings from George Bradford would have clarified the situation immediately ...

Sd.Kfz. 251/17 - Arrivederci Sicilia! (1:35)

  Model built by Werner Kampfhofer, Painting of the figures by Christoph Heugl, photos taken by Wolfram Bradac  
Gallery with diashow function: the direct download of an image on display is not possible anymore!
Please follow these steps for downloading: move with the mouse over the preview image and do a right mouseclick, which opens a menu with following option: save target (or link) as: will save the image in large size …
Sd.Kfz. 251/17 Sd.Kfz. 251/17 Sd.Kfz. 251/17
Sd.Kfz. 251/17 Sd.Kfz. 251/17 Sd.Kfz. 251/17
Sd.Kfz. 251/17 Sd.Kfz. 251/17 Sd.Kfz. 251/17
Sd.Kfz. 251/17 Sd.Kfz. 251/17 Sd.Kfz. 251/17
(click the images to enlarge)
top of page
The 2 cm Flak 38 kit

I used Tamiya's kit 35091. I build a new gun shield from 0,2mm plastic sheet and added some extra etched parts, nuts and bolts. The barrel and cartridges are from Schatton.

The Figures

As already mentioned, the flak crew comes from Kirin. It is a pity that this range is out of production as the figures were state of the art and still can compete with many of the nowadays offered products. Although the crew is tailor made for Tamiya's 2cm Flak, I had to adjust the gunner, by breaking his knees, repositioning his feet and make the left leg fit by removing a few millimeters of the trousers. Certain references are reporting that the Sd.Kfz.251/17 consists of a crew of 11. It is hard to imagine how all of them should fit into this vehicle. I also could not find any pictorial proof for such a large crew and so I was lucky that these 4 guys plus driver and co-driver did fit in. The latter ones come from the spares box. The other soldiers are from Dragon set 6195, but some of them got other heads. I have no clue about the origin, only that they are from Great Britain. Chris Heugl did the paint job with enamels.

The Diorama

is located on a frame size 26 x 26 cm. The bridge is a Vacu from Re-Mi (3517), the groundwork has been built up from Styrodur. This has been covered with sand, small pebbles and static grass. All areas were airbrushed.

Painting of the Sd.Kfz. 251

So far 3 color variants are proved: all panzergrey, all yellow ochre, yellow ochre with dark green stripes and a camouflage from heavy foliage. I decided to go for the last variant, but reduced the foliage, as otherwise the half track would have been hidden too much. After a black base coat I added several layers of yellow, observing that each layer was slightly brighter than it's predecessor. The camo stripes were added with Humbrol email dark green and a brush! "That's what it's looks like!" the mocker might think, but it is a fact that the stripes on the original looked as clumsy as on the model. The chipped paint effect was applied with Valleyo acrylics, weathering with diluted oils and dust and dirt with pigments from MIG productions.
  meet the modeler      

Werner Kampfhofer

  Hi, I am Werner Kampfhofer, born 1963-03-05 in Vienna. I live there with my wife, my son and currently 3 dogs. My modelling career started at the age of nine and a plane from airfix. What began sporadically, turned into manic over the years (that's at least the opinion of my wife).

My main focus are AFV in 1/35, without a historical limit and I have no objections against kits from other branches. I always try to get out the best of me and thus modelling is not fun for me anymore, it is work, but a work I enjoy.
  Werner Kampfhofer  
Start   Gallery Menue   Sitemap
top of page
This page:  GALLERY: Sd.Kfz. 251/17 - Arrivederci Sicilia! (1:35) - built by Werner Kampfhofer
was last modified on: May 23, 2007
The URL of the page is:

Translation into English by Werner Kampfhofer
©  Copyright and the contributing author(s). All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Terms of use: All material within this site is protected under copyright and may only be reproduced for personal use. You must contact the Author(s) and/or Editor for permission to use any material on this site for any purpose other than private use!