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Sd Kfz 263
Schwerer Panzerfunkwagen


Roden 1/72

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Kit No. 708
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 100 parts in black and grey styrene
Price: USD$8.97  from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Good detail, well moulded parts.
Disadvantages: Fit, some “vinyl” plastic, exploding decals.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Robert Baumgartner

Roden's 1/72 scale Sd Kfz 263 is available online from Squadron.com




The Sd Kfz 263 (8-Rad) was born by utilizing the same chassis as the Sd Kfz 231/232 (8-Rad). They were developed side by side from 1934 to 1938.

By replacing the turret on the Sd Kfz 231/232, the superstructure sides could be extended higher to form a larger crew compartment. Inside this was the installation of extra radio equipment, which allowed better communications for the co ordination of the fighting units. As this vehicle was not intended to be used for fighting, armament was restricted to an MG34 mounted in the superstructure front.



The long-range radio set was accommodated by the provision of both large frame and telescopic mast antennas.





There are one hundred parts in total that come on both light grey and black sprues. These are as per Roden’s Sd Kfz 231 with the exception that sprue D is replaced by sprue B.

The two black “A” sprues seem to be moulded using a vinyl type plastic that is very awkward to work with. If any sanding is required, the plastic tends to “fuzz”. This then has to be dissolved by a thin coating of liquid cement to even out the surface.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The detail on all the parts is to a very high standard. Don’t be dismayed by the fact that the various hatches have been moulded in the closed position. To do otherwise would have made them over scale. For the same reason, it is good to see that the axe and pick on the front plate were also moulded as part of the superstructure. 

An often-neglected area is the running gear but Roden have done a good job here. There is plenty of detail and the parts fitted very well. The side mudguards were easily affixed and not a single gap was to be seen. 

The fit of the top and bottom halves of the vehicle is also superb. On my example, the join did not require any filler. The liquid cement allowed the molten plastic to fill any gap admirably. 

Assembly is straight forward enough until the modeller strikes part B5. This is the "add on" section that extends the hull sides of the Sd Kfz 231 into the 263. Sadly the fit here is less than perfect. Normally it wouldn’t be a problem, as a smear of putty here and there would fix this. In this case the part appears too small resulting in a shim being needed to allow all 4 corners to meet each other. The next problem is trying to clean up the area without removing the lovely detail. Of course it can be done, but the builder has to experience much pain. 

Roden did a fine job of allowing the large frame antenna to be produced in one piece. The only blemish being a step that needs filling at one end due to a mismatch in the moulds. 





Three options are provided for:

  1. 37th Panzer Grenadier Division, Poland, September 1939.
  2. 7th Panzer Division, France, 1940
  3. 5th Panzer Division, Afrika Korps, Libya, 1941.



I wish I could have used some of the kit decals on this model but my example wouldn’t allow it.

Upon touching the water they created a star burst that any skyrocket would have been proud of. Coating the remaining decals with a fixative before immersion only slowed the explosion down.  

The problem with the decals will be a short lived one as Roden have already taken steps to improve them.





This is a lovely little kit of a subject that one would normally not expect to see from a mainstream manufacturer.  



With help from existing sprues and the addition of a new one, Roden have managed to give us a well-detailed example of this strange beast, but at a price.

The builder must be prepared to sweat a bit when filling and sanding so as not to remove the lovely detail that has been provided. 

As they say in the Real Estate business...needs a little TLC. 


Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.

Review and Images Copyright © 2003 by Robert Baumgartner
Page Created 04 September, 2003
Last updated 04 September, 2003

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