Sd.Kfz.261 German Radio Communication Vehicle

Kit #: 72441 Preview by Bill Powers - jwp968(at)aol(dot)com
Edited by Al Magnus

Before reading this build on the ICM 261, review the numerous kit reviews on the other ICM kits of the “222 family” (here, here, here, here, here, & here). No need for me to repeat those details. If you want to build some of these vehicles, I would strongly suggest the Tankograd book on the 222 family. It has great interior photos and detailed discussion of the subtle differences between the various iterations.

Now, building this model is a breeze except for the wheel attachment and getting that photo-etched mesh top to fit.

The wheel attachment is flimsy at best and impossible at the worse. First, the upper arm was not long enough to touch the kit wheel without making it toe in at the top. So some scrap white plastic was added to the end of the upper arm until the wheel/disc is vertical or accurate.

The wheel glues to the upper and lower suspension arms and drive shaft, all with minimum gluing surface making for a very weak joint. Plus, you can't see if the parts are touching while assembling. To correct this, four discs of 10 thousand plastic, small enough to fit inside the backside of the wheel, were made and glued to the upper/lower arms and drive shaft. Think of this disc as the brake drum on the real 260. On the backside of the wheel, that circle for the drive shaft was ground away. Then I glued three wheels to a disc and after they dried, I attached the fourth wheel checking that all wheels touch!

Fitting the mesh takes patience. This process took longer than building the model but it looks so good when finished. I removed the raised placement guide from the kit part after scribing a guide line in the plastic. It is much easier to fit without that raised ridge! Then it is bend and fit and bend again until it fits, which it will... eventually. Once all edges touch the plastic, I taped the mesh in place, then using a needle, applied cyano glue along the edges and let capillary action pull the glue in place.

Other details added:

  • fender guides made from 0.010 inch brass rod
  • fender storage box
  • some water/gas cans in a scratch built rack
  • The kit has no interior. I added seats, desk, rear bulkhead, radios, wiring and storage boxes
  • a strip of brass rod/sprue was added to the lifting mesh panels, apparently that is some type of handle or stiffener (as can be seen in the photo above).
  • a thin rod from the hull to the back antennae support, apparently part of the mechanism for folding down the antennae. (as can be seen in the photo above). It would be fun to build one of these with the antennae folded!
The radio antenna frame broke four times, each time in a different place. Fortunately, it glued together without any misalignment.

Painting was an experiment with the hairspray/wear technique. The model was painted in grey, hair sprayed and then Afrika Corp tan. Gentle rubbing removed the tan in areas of wear and let the grey show. In high wear areas, the edges were touched with graphite/ silver/steel. Finally a coat of Dullcote and then some MIG pigments.

Review sample purchased by the author.

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Article Last Updated: 28 November 2012