Spähpanzer RU 251

This is not a full build blog – mainly as I’ve built most of it! However, I thought some might be interested in the details of this little known tank. I must admit that whilst I’d heard of it, I certainly never expected to see one in 1:35, so a pleasant surprise from Amusing Hobby.

For such a small vehicle the box is massive and contains sprues pertaining to their Jagdpanzer Kanone. This is quite useful as there’s loads of small details that are spare such as the Leitkreuz, mirrors, MGs and the like. The tracks are link and length, which I don’t get on with; I never seem to get them aligned as to how and even where they should be. There was another drawback in that the way they are moulded on the sprues made removal extremely difficult, and I ended up damaging a row of link connectors. As I was in a bit of a rush to build this kit for a “What-If” display (more later folks), I snaffled the (very poor) tracks from a Revell Jagdpanzer Kanone, and installed those. My thinking also was that when I get around to building my Revell model, I use the AH tracks in slower time and perhaps get a result.; also, although a bit of a cop-out, I can please myself within the “What-If” concept by fitting whatever tracks I choose.

Anyway, back to the RU 251; it’s very difficult to find out many details of this little vehicle, and certainly I’ve struggled for pictorial references. The thing is by electing to build a “What If” I can, up to a point, finish it as I wish, without I hope, detracting too far from the original form. To that end I’ve added stowage as I thought appropriate, and limited it all a bit. Some features just needed a bit of extra detailing such as the driver’s hatch, which had 2 moulded on “bars”; I gleaned from the box art that these were meant to be handles, so I sanded them off and replaced them with proper handles from lead wire. Note that I still haven’t completed the stowage.

The turret hatches needed a bit of sanding and I replaced the pivots with plastic rod. I was intrigued to note that the Gunner has his own hatch, which is often not the case in AFVs of the period.

AH provide a small etch fret and this handily included chains for the smoke dischargers, which whilst I normally add on my Bundeswehr models in any case, was nice to have ready-made. That said, a test of patience and dexterity.

I added a stowed camouflage net on the turret rack; I may depict some draped cam as well; this is a recce vehicle so its very survival on the battlefield would be dependent on it’s concealment. We’ll see.

Well, that’s it so far. I’ve been smitten with a heavy cold this last week – or Life Threatening Male Virus as I define it; my wife still insists it’s a cold but what does she know? Anyway, it’s put me behind so my New Year modelling resolutions of simply catching a grip have already been sabotaged.

I’ll try and keep you all posted.


Looking good thus far. Seems like a nice kit :+1:


I’d never even heard of this until I saw your post in What the postman brought today a week or so back. You can clearly see the Kanonenjagdpanzer lineage there, never saw one in the flesh but did see their follow on the Raketenjagdpanzer at the rail sidings in Detmold.


I only knew of it vaguely from, I think, some ancient picture in the German Soldat und Technik magazine from the 80s (when we had access to it in the HQ I was then working in).

I assume the Bundeswehr at the time of its development were working on 3 x vehicles all on the same chassis, the Jagdpanzer, the missile armed version, and the recce tank which became the RU 251 project. Perhaps costs just got in the way, or say, more emphasis – given the preponderance of Soviet armour – was given to the 2 x anti-tank projects at the expense of the recce one. Dunno; I suspect we’re all agreed that there’s not much out there on this relatively small vehicle.

To my mind it looks a bit bland, a sort of smooth-skinned shrunken Leo 1 perhaps? I hope that by portraying it as in service, it’ll end up looking a bit more interesting(!)

I understand it was quite agile and fast; I was lucky enough to witness the intrusion (into our exercise space) back in the early 70s, of the Jagdpanzer Kanone version going full tilt. Here’s how I described it on a piece I wrote about life in Corps HQ covering just that:

Village deployment also meant that we encountered other units exercising - although this sometimes happened in woods as well; one such visit remains in my mind to this day. I was ambling back from breakfast early in the morning, wearing NBC suit, festooned with webbing and my SMG; luckily, we were not fully masked up. I’d eaten quite well and all was well with my world, when, with a roar and a rumble around a dozen or so German Army tank destroyers sped through the village in a cloud of dust, exhaust fumes and a rattle of tracks and gear changes. They were gone in what seemed like seconds, and was unlikely to have been much longer. It was an inspiring sight and as always, armour on the move impresses.

Anyway, enough woffle; I’d better get back to finishing it!


Looks good. I’m still trying to decide what slow boat from China to order from.

If this does in fact have the Kanonenjagdpanzer running gear, AFV Club makes tracks for it. I bought two sets in anticipation of the AH Kanonenjagdpanzer, but I haven’t gotten to them yet.

There’s also a metal barrel that would probably fit but I can’t remember where I hid it.

Found it


Yeah, I was aware of these tracks but was in far too much of a screaming hurry (like 3 or so days’ wait would have hurt!)

There is indeed a metal barrel available for the Jagdpanzer, but according to Amusing Hobby, it looks like the contours/length are different - they provide 2 x distinct barrels - so I deferred to them and used what they provided. I’m assuming that at some point they had access to the real thing at Munsterlager or Koblenz or wherever the real thing actually is.


Great to see this one on the go so soon after acquisition Brian! I’m very interested in this one as it’s a very close cousin (probably a half brother) to the Das Werk (Amusing Hobby) Kanonenjagdpanzer 90 I have on order.

Looking forward to your “What If” interpretation … I’m guessing Bundeswehr late 60’s early 70’s but then my mind wanders to perhaps a Belgian version of the same era. You’ll get why I thought that I’m sure…!

Lovely looking light (to medium) tank.


After looking at your build the Kanonenjagdpanzer metal barrel I have is far too short.
Very cool vehicle though. I must have one!


Hi Terry! Thanks for the support - but you know me!

I hope not to be guilty of jazzing it all up too much, just really to make it plausible. Mind you, thinking about it, I will probably add some tools, mainly as the sprues, which are plentiful and contain parts for the Kanonen version, are there all in the box.

No bid secret on the overall plan: I hope to portray it alongside a Bundeswehr version of the M103A2 as a “What-If” say, c.1966; now, that’s a lot of building compared to this little tank, so will be a challenge. As always, it’s along the way that I get bogged down, but I’ll see if I can find some self-discipline from somewhere in the depths of my old Army bergen (I think that’s a metaphor too far!)

I do like the idea of a Belgian version - I hadn’t actually thought of that! 'Would look really cool alongside an M75.


Aha! That’s the sort of thinking I had. :grin:

Also love the idea alongside a Bundeswehr M103. Little and Large springs to mind. I’ve actually been looking at my newly acquired Takom M103A2 tonight … what a fantastic kit!

Whatever you do with this one, I am sure it will look the part.

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The Little and Large thing sprang to mind when I was planning all this; I can just about get away with it on one of my A3-sized bases, without being too cramped (though I must confess I was even planning a third vehicle).

So now, absurdly, I have 3 x M103s in my stash; the original Dragon A1, the Takom A1 and now the A2 - all because of the stimulating and imaginative nature of the hobby! I sometimes wish I could sub-contract the building phase out.

I do have a pretty good back story encompassing the M103 and the RU 251 even if I say so myself.

Right, back to the bench - once I’ve shaken this wretched cold off.


The RU 251 is looking a bit more interesting now - or at least to my eye; a few more details are beginning to bring it to life:

I’ve added a few tools where I thought it appropriate; my attempt at a cleaning rod rack is shown on the vehicle’s RH side.

I’m still undecided as to depict draped cam nets ; as ever the battle will between realism and concealing the very contours and design of the vehicle.


Wikipedia article on Spähpanzer Ru 251.


Looks loke a very nice little build Brian. The cam net placement decision is always a tricky one. I did my Danish M41DK with it’s very true to life covering of the stuff, and it certainly draws comments on its realistic look, but many people are surprised when they realise there is a modified M41 underneath!

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I don’t wish to disguise too much of the vehicle itself, not least as I suspect not many will know what it is once on the display tables, so its unique shape, contours, design really, sort of need to be visible. Soooo, I think I’ll can the idea of draped-cam net but will add foliage - thereby making another rod for my own back ie etched hell.

Primer later today I reckon.


So, a quick blast of primer and there it will stay until I’ve completed the second build required for this project.

Front idlers obviously need to be painted but that’s it for a while.

What may appear to be imperfections are in fact the deliberate placing of model railway flock, or plastic putty smears to represent mud etc (or that’s my excuse).


Very nice … Built up well and some nice extra detailing. I think going for foliage is the better option, not so much of it will be hidden that way.


Yeah, that’s what I was really thinking; I don’t want the modelling public to just wander by and think “Nice, a camouflaged tank” but hopefully, something on the lines of “So that’s the RU 251” or similar.


Exactly- you want people to notice the interesting shape and size as you said.

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I think the tracks look pretty decent for link and length, actually.

Ordered a kit from eBay; shows shipped. Let’s see how long the boat takes to get here.

Been waiting 6 weeks for four brass antennas for one my Bundeswehr M113s…