SdKfz 253 leichter Gepanzerter Beobachtungskraftwagen was a German light observation vehicle that was used by artillery forward observers to accompany tank and mechanized infantry units. The vehicle belonged to the SdKfz 250 family.The appearance was similar to the SdKfz 250, but the SdKfz 253 variant was fully enclosed. Demag/Wegman manufactured 285 vehicles between 1940-1941.

This particular vehicle was a light armored vehicle designed for artillery observation, and the half-tracked vehicle was to accompany Sturmgeschütz units. A total of 285 of these vehicles were manufactured from 1940-41. It differed from the standard open-topped Sd.Kfz.250 halftrack in that the rear compartment was fully enclosed with a roof, and the armor overall was thicker. A large circular roof hatch lent itself to observation tasks. The Sd.Kfz.253 was operated by a crew of four and it weighed 5.7 tons.

The net weight of the vehicle ready to drive is 11,022 pounds; the combat weight 12,540 pounds. The weight on the front axle is 2,552 pounds; the weight on the tracks 9,988 pounds.Its maximum highway range is 198 miles on a fuel tank capacity of 35 gallons. The crew consists of four, including the driver.This vehicle, like all semitracks, is equipped with a power cable winch having a lifting power of 5,500 pounds. The turning radius measures 35 feet.

Cyber-Hobby’s newest Orange Box selection features a plastic kit version of the Sd.Kfz.253 le beob.Pz.Wg. The vehicle is based on the legendary Dragon kit but it has been improved even further by the addition of a set of Magic Tracks. This means assembly of the little halftrack is even more straightforward for modelers of all skill levels. To make it even more attractive, the Orange Box set comes with a set of four plastic figures. This is Dragon’s set of commanders depicted in a field conference. The figures are dressed in winter uniforms, and they provide the ideal match for the early-war artillery observation vehicle. I will use them for another project in the future. The kit went together very nicely,with fine and crisp detail. The running wheels and two front wheels,were from an resin upgrade set that I had for a long time. The interior even though it’s almost totally enclosed,I couldn’t resist using my new Royal Crafters Choice Paint Brush Set. I am starting to work with Humbrol Enamel,and frankly I am impressed. Talk to you later.