One of the most iconic vehicles of WW2 in anyone's books would have to be the German SD.Kfz 251 Halftrack known commonly as the Hanomag after the manufacturer. They were designed to transport the Germans mechanized infantry known as Panzergrenadiers into battle and a little over 15,000 were produced to support the German war effort. For our purpose as wargamers we can field the basic Hanomag with our early war Blitzkrieg forces all the way through till the last days of the war.
|The iconic image of the German war effort, from the start to the finish|
Being so iconic it is generally one of the first vehicles we turn our mind to when planning a German force and there are no lack of options available to purchase. Today we are going to look at the Warlord Games SD.Kfz 251/1 plastic kit which also forms the basis for a number of variants.
The plastic kit comes on two sprue's with options to pimp your halftrack with some jerry cans, bedrolls, both the MG34 and MG42 machine gun options for multiple mounts and even a generic German gunner. It was very intuitive to put together and I had no need to refer to any instructions which was a nice refreshing change. I am going through a phase of keeping my vehicles clean so the extra options have gone into the spares box for later use so the time it took to put together was under 15 minutes. The parts fit well together and I had no problems with major gaps or such which would require green stuff to fill in for example.
|You can hold of gluing the top down for easy access tot he interior|
I decided to go with a late war option to support my Panzergrenadiers in Normandy and went with an ambush style of camouflage pattern to be consistent with the other vehicles I already have painted. To make painting it easy you can hold off gluing the top of the vehicle in place so you can get to the insides.
The 251/1 as pictured is also the same as the Warlord Games Pioneer wagon with the addition of the bridging equipment and some much more detailed transport area. Although I have not yet seen it I suspect that it is also the same as what is used on the 251/10 Pak 36 version.
I have three of these plastic kits, one 251/1 for my Blitzkrieg forces, one for my late war Grenadiers and a Pioneer Wagon so clearly I am a happy with them. Generally they are also cheaper than their resin counterparts and may provide you with some option for modification if you wanted to go down that path. A downside of the plastics is that they do feel very light in your hands if you are used to resin and may have a tendency to snap if placed under too much pressure.
|All three plastic kits together|
|"Dismount and spread out!"|