Tag Archives: SdKfz 2

Wet and Dirty

Lego Schwimmwagen SdKfz 2 Kettenkrad

This is a Volkswagen Type 166 Schwimmwagen and NSU SdKfz 2 Kettenkrad, and we’re going to simply call them the Schwimmwagen and NSU from here on in, because although they were opposing sides during the Second World War the Germans could give the Soviets a run for their money when it came to ridiculous vehicle names.

The Schwimmwagen was designed under Ferdinant Porsche (he of VW Beetle and, er… Porsche fame) to help settle the argument that Germany, Italy and Japan were having with the rest of the world during the 1940s. Over fifteen-thousand Swimmwagens were produced, making it the most numerous amphibious car in history, each powered by a 25hp flat-4 engine that could drive either all four wheels or a propellor for when things got wet.

Pictured alongside the Swimmwagen is the NSU which, whilst not quite as at home in the water, was incredible in the mud – being essentially a tank with handlebars. Both serve to remind us that whilst the Axis Powers thankfully lost the Second World War, the engineering they produced during the conflict was remarkable.

These marvellous mini-figure scale recreations of two of Germany’s weirdest and most brilliant World War 2 military vehicles comes from TLCB favourite Pixel Fox, who has built each vehicle beautifully and pictured them in his trademark diorama style. There’s more to see at Pixel’s photostream – click the link above to get wet and dirty.

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Tank-a-Cycle

Lego Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101

This may be a cartoony creation, but the German military really did drive/ride about in these. It’s a Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101, or SdKfz 2 for short (our name for it is way better), a kind of half-tank-half-motorbike configuration designed to fit inside the hold of a Junkers JU 52 transport plane.

The SdKfz 2 was the only gun tractor capable of being transported by air in this way and it therefore became one of the most versatile vehicles of the German military, being used for everything from troop transport over deep mud to pulling heavy loads, aircraft tug work, and even cable-laying.

The Kettenkraftrad HK 101 was designed and built by NSU (who later became Audi), using the Schachtellaufwerk overlapped and interleaved road wheel mechanism found on almost all of Germany’s tracked military vehicles.

Lego SdKfz 2 KettenKrad

A four-cylinder Opel motor gave the SdKfz 2 a top speed of around 40mph, and it could climb slopes of over 24°, even in sand. A skid-steer system operated in addition to the somewhat superfluous-looking front wheel, allowing the SdKfz 2 to nimbly (for a 1.5 ton vehicle) traverse the most impassible terrains.

This magnificent recreation of the Kettenkraftrad HK 101 comes from previous bloggee and TLCB favourite Redfern1950s, who has built his SdKfZ in Afrika Korps specification, complete with two cartoonish German military officers, a removable engine-cover, and a good shot at the fantastically complicated Schachtellaufwerk track system.

There’s much more to see of Redfern’s delightful Kettenkraftrad HK 101 model as well as his other vehicles from the Nazis’ short-lived Afrika Korps campaign on Flickr – click these words to make the jump!

Lego Afrika Korps Kettenkrad

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