Sd.Kfz. 234 "Schwebelafette" 20mm KwK
Kit # MT72073 Preview by Tony 'Panzer 46' Ivey - panzer1946(at)
Edited by Rob Haelterman

Kits used
a. Modell Trans Modellbau MT 72073 (resin w/ metal barrel)
b. Hasegawa Sd.Kfz. 234/1 MT53 (plastic)

The Sd.Kfz. 234 with Schwebelafette has been a favorite of mine since first seeing the photo in my Darlington Productions "Tech Intell" Vol. 2 book. It was found by the allies late in the war and evaluated. With only 2 photos of the exterior, and sadly none of the interior (a line drawing is included from the ETO describing the gun mount), it would have been a little hard to scratch build it; then photos surfaced showing the mount in the Sd.Kfz. series halftracks that were rearmed with the Schwebelafette named Sd.Kfz. 251/17. Luckily, Modell Trans made the conversion set in resin! His conversion set is nicely cast and detailed and includes the Sd.Kfz. 234 uper hull piece as well as ammo storage for either vehicle (take note that in order to fit the ammo into the armored car, I had to thin it down and split it in half so it would lay against the walls and allow the gun full traverse inside the armored car).

I built the armored car straight from the box with the exception of the 2 ammo boxes, gun mount and upper hull piece which replaces the Hasegawa one. Be carefull in fixing the mount to the interior, as it will need to go slightly forward of the center line in order for the gun to fully traverse.

The gun mount is nicely detailed 'as is' but if you want to properly show it in an offset position, you will need to remove the ammo boxes and seat mounting frames that are molded on the gun mount. The gunner, loader and the 2 ammo boxes actually traverse with the gun. For the 2 seats, you will need to take some wire and use it to mount the seats to the gun mount (in the position you decide to set the gun in). Also, you will need to take some thin plastic rod to replicate the gun's upper receiver pieces. On the halftrack version, there can be seen to be more rods on the lower front of the receiver that holds an additional armored plate in the front of the gun shield that further helps to protect the gunner. It is not mentioned on the Modelltrans instructions (it should be for the halftrack version) but it is not evident in the photos of the armored car version, so I left it off of this model.

The armored car is pretty well detailed to begin with. I only had to do the following to enhance my kit:
a. Replace width indicators with solder wire
b. Add 2 hand holds to the upper front resin piece (they are at a 45 degree angle in front)
c. Add 'wooden barrel protector' (seen in b/w photo). I made this from a plastic U-beam and rounded/weathered it to look like wood.

I highly recommend this conversion kit (or kits, to build both the armored car and the halftrack)!

Back to Modell Trans Kit List Back to Home Page
Article Last Updated: 05 November 2009