by: Kevin Brant [ ]
Based on the Sd.Kfz.250, the Sd.Kfz.252 filled the purpose of delivering ammunition to front line tanks where the vehicles served the Sturmartillerie (StuG) batteries on both fronts. For extra carrying capacity, the Sd.Kfz.252 also towed the Sd.Ah.32/1 trailer. A total of 413 vehicles were manufactured and were eventually replaced by the Sd.Kfz.250/6. This new kit from Dragon Models represents the Sd.Kfz.252 leichte Gepanzerte Munitionskraftwagen including the Sd.Ha.32/1 Trailer.
18 Plastic Sprues including lower chassis
1 Clear Plastic Sprue
2 Bags of Individual Link Track parts
2 Fret Photo-etched parts
1 Length of Twisted Wire
1 Decal Sheet
Being a fan of World War 2 German half-tracks I was excited when this kit was announced, in my memory the first time in plastic. Opening the box, the excitement continued, a box full of the standard Grey plastic sprues from Dragon, some photo-etched parts, clear plastic, and more.
Starting to look at the plastic, some of the sprues I recognized from previous Dragon Sd.Kfz.250/251 kits. But that is not a bad thing, as having built a few of these in the past, the parts are well done. The molded detail is well done, including some very well done fine parts.
Then there are newly molded parts too, mainly to represent the distinct body of the Sd. Kfz.252. Again the parts look very well molded. There are some ejector marks on the inside of roof part, closed up will remain unnoticed, but if you plan to leave it open, these are easily dealt with. There are also bins of ammunition molded with interior details as one piece to allow the modeller to represent an open ammunition bin, and there are TWO extra rounds of 7.5cm ammunition. A little chincy in my opinion.
The parts for the trailer, the parts and molding also look very well done. I do believe these parts come from previously released Sd.Kfz.10 kits, and I don't recall ever seeing a complaint. The ammunition rack for the interior is about 25% filled with rounds, and Dragon has provided a photo-etched fret to represent the fuse end of the rounds for extra details.
The kit does include two sprues of some nice extra parts to have, including infantry gear and weapons. What I found a little amusing, was that on the part diagram on the instruction, if shows that many of these parts are not used, including on the weapon sprue where ONE MP-40 is used. But these sprues will be definite nice additions to the spare parts stash.
Having a look at the instructions, very typical Dragon, and I highly recommend you check parts numbers and dry fit during the build process. The follow of the instructions is again typical of building a Sd.Kfz.250.
Construction starts with the running gear, including the overlapping road wheels. The kit includes Dragon Magic Track very familiar to Dragon Sd.Kfz.250/251 variants. The track parts are packed in two separate bags, and while small, with care they build into very nice looking track for the halftrack.
The engine is also included, and the hatches on the front are positionable, thus allowing the modeller to show this off if they desire. The engine is decently detailed, but the engine compartment is lacking, but with some reference material and a few bits of wire and plastic could be made into a masterpiece.
The crew and ammunition storage compartment is also included, thus allowing the builder to leave the hatches open. I was a little shocked to see that Dragon even threw in a driver figure. The instrument panel is molded with some great looking detail, as well as the radio, unfortunately Dragon did not include any decals for the dials. Also include are clear parts to represent the view blocks, which is a nice touch, and can add to the model.
The trailer assembly looks straight forward, with the option to leave it open to show off the partially filled rack of 7.5cm ammunition. A nice addition, as mentioned above, is the photo-etched fuse end of the rounds.
Paint and Markings are included for four vehicles. Three of which are in the German Dunkel Grau for service on the Eastern Front. These include vehicles for Abt.243, Abt.226, and Grobdeutschland Infantry Division. The fourth vehicle is a Dunkel Gelb and green camouflage from an Unidentified Unit.
The decals look to be very nice, and are printed by Cartograf. One drawback some modelers may have, is that none of the license plates are complete. The decal sheet provides the plate white background and then individual numbers. This could be a little cumbersome getting it to all line up.
Overall I am very impressed with this new Sd.Kfz.252 kit from Dragon Models. The use of well done older kit parts and new molded parts should allow a modeler to build a nice looking model. The inclusion of some details like weapon, individual equipment, and a driver figure are a nice touch, unfortunately it would have been nice to include some extra loose ammunition rounds. While the decals are well printed, the use of individual numbering may discourage some builders. I would highly recommend this kit, and I will be starting a build log very soon on Armorama, so keep an eye out, and watch it being built.