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Building a 251/7 Pioneer

Introduction
The 251/7 was a special variant of the Sd.Kfz.251. It was basically an improved 251/5 sapper vehicle, with the addition of angled supports on the external sidewalls to carry sapper bridges. Dragon kit number 6224 is the subject of this build, based on an Ausf. C chassis, although Dragon also offer kit number 6223 which is based on the Ausf. D.
This kit is one of the Dragon 3 in 1 series and can be built as the straightforward 251/7 Pioneerpanzerwagen, the 251/10 with 3.7 cm PAK, or the 251/1 personnel carrier. It’s also possible to mix and match, and the first alternative of a 251/7, but also including the PAK37 has been much discussed and shown to have existed, indeed is even shown on the box art.

the build
From the outset I had decided I wanted to build this one a little differently to other 251’s I’d built, and to this end I decided to use two update sets, mixing the best from both sets to achieve the effect I wanted. The two sets to be used were Eduard 35 795 Sd.Kfz. 251/7 Pioneerwagen, and Voyager 35048.
steps 1 to 4
The build began with construction of the lower chassis and running gear. As with all the Dragon 251 kits, there is a fuel tank, battery and transmission included to be installed beneath the crew compartment floor. I omitted these but instead put several sheets of lead in to give the finished model a more substantial ‘feel’. I cemented the wheel axles into place at this stage, but left the wheels off for painting later. When fixing the axles, you’ll notice that although there are positive locating pins, there is a tiny amount of ‘play’. Use this play to ‘adjust’ the axles so that the vehicle ‘sits’ at it’s lowest point. If this isn’t done, the chances are that the two front wheels will not touch the floor when the model is complete and the tracks installed.
At this stage I also joined the two wheel halves together, but didn’t fit them, as they can be installed later. When joining E3 to E5, shave a tiny amount off the top of the locating projection on part E3, and this will ensure that the two wheel halves sit parallel to each other.

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About Vinnie Branigan (Teacher)
FROM: ENGLAND - NORTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM