What Armored Car is That?

My collection of Roco Minitanks is very old. And so there are a lot of old vehicles in it.  One of them is the Roco 234 series armored car.  The Germans made hundreds of them in the last couple years of World War Two.

The lead vehicle in this photo is an SdKfz 234/2.  It had a 50mm gun in a fully rotating turret.  They also made the SdKfz 234/1 with a 20mm gun in a smaller open top turret.  And they made the SdKfz 234/3 with a short 75mm gun that fired forward.  Roco made all three of these, but very late in the war the Germans made the SdKfz 234/4 with a PaK 75 firing forward.

The 234 series of armored cars was very versatile and even in the field the Germans were making new versions.  One of them had the Lynx light tank turret mounted on top.  While I don't know of any other field modifications it can be fun to speculate what troops in the field might have done that are lost to history.  This is one such notional armored car variant.  It's an 81mm mortar mounted in the place of the 75mm gun.

Imagine an armored car unit that has had a 75mm gun damaged beyond repair in an otherwise operational armored car.  What to do?  Send it back to the factory and never see a replacement?  Or perhaps shore up the base a little and stick an 81mm mortar inside?  In WWII the Germans and Americans put mortars in halftracks, so why not in an armored car?  Doing some reconnaissance and stumble into a strong enemy formation.  Drop some quick smoke rounds to cover your withdrawal.

I took a few pieces of scrap sheet plastic and glued them on the upper part of the lower hull piece.  Then I glued a small square on top of them to create the baseplate.  Next I used an old styrene plastic Esci Afrika Korps 81mm mortar tube and bipod for the actual weapon.  I added a Fujimi machine gun from one of their SdKfz 250 armored cars as a close in weapons system. 

A small box for ammo and an extra shovel on the fender.  I used the lid from the Esci ammo box as a spare base plate and glued it on the back so the mortar crew could dismount the mortar in the defense.  The extra shovel was to help them dig in. 

I added a front bumper from a bit of plastic coated wire glued to some plastic bits I attached to the hull.  Spare tire is from another junk Roco 234 armored car.  This particular one started life as a SdKfz 234/3 with the short 75mm gun.  I did not use that gun, gun mounts or the lower turret piece.

I think this is a reasonable conversion because it certainly would have been possible to do by troops in the field.  I won't do 24 of them, but I think perhaps two of them would be reasonable.

I like making something useful and interesting out of old, surplus vehicles like this one.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek


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