Thursday, October 11, 2018


Plastic Soldier/ Airfix hybrid SdKfz263 command
or comms armoured car.
Recently my war game buddy 'Jacko' got himself a pack of German 8-rad armoured cars from 'Plastic Soldier'.  Three to a box, variety of types to build (SdKfz 231, 232, 233 and 263 command vehicle - seems like a good buy.

Several Airfix SdKfz234/4 armoured cars in various states
(one with a scratch conversion), and the spare paerts
from Plastic  Soldier sprues.
Having built his three SdKfz 231s, he has still on the sprue the tasty looking alternatives - lacking the lower hull, chassis and wheels.  Now, I have had in my inventory several old Airfix SdKfz 234/4s that I had discovered weren't what you would call 'historically accurate'.  But when 'Jacko' showed me  his models it seemed to me it might be possible to marry up the Plastic Soldier upper hulls with an Airfix bottom half/  That the one was 1:72 scale, the other 1:76, might have given pause, but  the scales were not a problem.
Completed; waiting it paint job.   It's raining and blowing a
howling southerly outside, straight off Antarctica, so that
will have to wait.
What you see here is the product of that effort.  Turns out that a fairish amount of haggling of the Airfix kit was needed, and a rough-as-guts job I made of it too.  The top half had some placement lugs (?) trimmed back.  The result left ugly gaps in the centre half of the hull sides that I patched up with greenstuff.  The pictures indicate some further trimming will be required to tidy that up.
Add caption
The trick with an untidy bodge is to add detail,  So this command armoured car received its radio aerials, side bars and whatever that contraption is hanging off the front.  Once I've trimmed up the greenstuff packing, and given the thing an overall paint, I reckon I'll be happy enough with this chappy.  Of the other four Airfix armoured cars, one you will see was my attempt to convert one into a SdKfw231 in about 1990.  This one I might five an aerial for a SdKfz232.  The green one I'll probably keep in its unhistorical glory, a third will fetch up as a SdKfz233, and the last will be cannibalised for parts.


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, I'm pretty happy with it - especially as ten minutes in, the thing was looking not at all promising.

  2. Ah, the old Airfix 8 wheeled armoured car. Brings back memories.

    I need to check out PSC's range of 15mm kits as I'm sure they will go together better than some stuff I've been doing these last few days.

    1. The Airfix armoured car seemed such a tasty piece of kit at the time. I bought three. Over the years, I picked up at least 3 more though second hand inventories and such. In converting one to a SdKfz, I had to guess the shape and size of the turret.

      I did some research on PSC (hoping to find examples of completed models) and their 15mmm range looks extensive enough. Had they been available 40 years ago, I would have got 15mm vehicles to go with my standard plastic figures.

  3. Tha contraption on the front is additional armour to act as a thick bullet shield to protect the driver. Basically stops HMG and ATR round from being able to penetrate the main hull.

    1. Hi Drew. You know, I must have thought of all sorts of purposes for that device: I don't think it occurred to me that it might be spaced armour. I thought it might be a skid device to enable the vehicle to negotiate low but steep embankments. Oh, well. One learns something new every day.

  4. Dear AP
    I might just have to "have a go" at this too
    As your second war war kit inventory seem to match mine

    Many thanks fro posting!

    1. Hi Geordie ...
      With this particular bodge, you will find that the difference in (alleged) sacle notwithsatanding, the length of the PS upper hull and that of the Airfix lower hull is pretty much an exact match. The widths are very close as well. For some reason I thought there was a glued 'seam' that married the upper Airfix hull to the lower, but that does not appear to be the case. That's the difficult bit. In my impatience I cut along it (inaccurately) with scissors. A more suitable tool, and more patience, should yield far better results.

  5. An enterprising conversion - you can't keep a good kit down (or a venerable old one!

    Regards, Chris