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135
251 mit Wurfrahmen

stages 13 to 16
These stages deal with the construction of the side fenders, and all their fittings, tools, lights and width indicators etc. The width indicators are provided in brass, and I think should be included in all Dragon 251 kits. There is even a moulded on jig on one of the sprues to help bend them correctly! Please note that the sledgehammer, part C26 on the instructions is actually on the sprue as B26. Also, for some reason the Notek light is not numbered on the instructions, but is actually part C12.

Another tip when installing the internal detail to the sidewalls, is to remove all the locating ribs moulded on, as most of them are not used in this version and will really be visible when finished. The same goes for more locating ribs on the outside of the upper hull and the rear plate, although curiously, the instructions mention removing the ones for the jerry can holders on the outside of the doors, since the jerry can holders are not used in this version also.

The welded scalloped fillets for under the fenders are provided a photo-etched pieces for this kit, and I found that these could be held in place by simply running some styrene cement under each part to soften the plastic.

I began painting at this stage, since access to the inside of the hull is difficult when it’s fully assembled. I began by an all over coat of black, followed by a light misting of dark yellow, and then a heavier coat of yellow in the centre of panels, around details etc. I followed this by brush painting details such as the machine guns, crew benches, radio and dashboard etc. It’s important to do the same with the inside of the upper hull, as obviously this is just as difficult to reach once assembled!

When constructing the hull, I’ve found through building 10 of these 251 kits, that there is a trick to getting everything lined up properly. As long as everything concerning the lower hull is correctly aligned as mentioned earlier, then begin by joining the front engine armour plate to the upper hull. Locate this assembly in place over the lower hull, at this stage don’t try fitting the rear plate! Whilst holding the upper hull in position, run some watery super glue carefully along the join between upper and lower hulls, it should be drawn along the join by capillary action, and is helped by a little super glue accelerator. Super gluing an inch or so at a time, it should be possible to align everything exactly without too much trouble. When all the glue had properly cured, the rear plate without the doors was fixed into position and fitted exactly! I left the doors off at this point, so that I could paint them later, but did cement all the fittings into position such as the hinges, fire extinguisher etc.

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About the Author

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


Comments

Another well written article Vinnie can't wait to get this kit as I've recently finished the Tamiya kit. It will be a nice comparison.
OCT 03, 2005 - 06:47 PM
Excellent work as usual Vinnie! Gary, the kit has already been released in HK, two of our site advertisers, HobbyEasy and LuckyModel are carrying it on their lists...Jim
OCT 03, 2005 - 08:10 PM
nice one vinnie, outstanding work. obviously teachers are useful for something (just kidding ) if i won't have so many kids on the bench i would go for one, after your appetizer article.
OCT 04, 2005 - 07:06 AM
Hi Vinnie, Beautiful build! However, the vehicle is surely a Sd.Kfz. 251/1 with rocket launchers. Keep in mind that the order you mention is dated 1944, two years after the 11PD vehicle offered as a markings option. Also note, that these vehicles still have rear bench seats and forward MG shield. I believe it was an honest mistake by Dragon, the order cited would do better if they release the armament sprues later with an Ausf. D kit. To convert the mortar carrier to the rocket launcher, a field conversion, it would entail removing the mortar base (mount still bolted) and the ammunition holders from the mounts that normally held the rear benches. It is unlikely that any rocket launcher field conversion kits would include the rear bench seats plus front MG shield and hardware. I do not dispute that there were mortar carriers converted to ammunition carriers. So, to make the /2 variant, leave off the front MG and hardware (the hole can have a PE detail grommet), add the mounting lugs from where the mortar base would have been, and do not use the rear bench seats. I do not know what was placed in the area where the rear bench seats are shown, perhaps two crates with rockets? Again, it is a great kit and a nice build. Regards, Saúl García Still the oldest member posting in these forums!
NOV 11, 2005 - 07:04 AM
'Tank Power Volume VI - sd.Kfz.251 (215)' shows a pic of the 251/2 with the mortar in situ, and the rear seats are still there along with the front ones. As are both MG's. Admittedly it's a A or B chassis....but to be honest, I think it would be foolhardy for anybody to say catagorically this is not a 251/2 converted to a rocket launcher.............based on the fact that they can't see a few bolts on the floor and it has an extra MG? And anyway, it wasn't the order I quoted.....it was the order Dragon quoted...............We all know that when somebody says "it can't have been...." somebody will find evidence that it 'has been'..... Regards Vinnie Branigan (Not the oldest poster here, but apparently, a damn sight more useful than some)
NOV 11, 2005 - 07:15 AM
Hi Vinnie, Of course, there will be exceptions. I am writing about what is in the box and how easily the modeler can make a 'true to primary documents' Sd.Kfz. 251 /2 variant converted to rocket launcher. I wrote my previous response from work and did not have the benefit of my library. Looking at interior photos (references listed later) only the right rear bench seat was removed and used for ammunition boxes for the mortar. These photos also show the lack of a forward MG and a standard mortar base for off vehicle use. Provisions were made for only one MG34, the other side had stowage for the mortar tube. However, the scale plans by John L. Rue in Ryton's Schützenpanzer (page 189) show both front seats missing. I have not seen this configuration in any photos. Page 110 of this book does show the spare rockets stowed in the fighting compartment. Page 24 of Squadron's Sd.Kfz. 251 in Action illustrates a vehicle which is lacking the forward MG and could possibly be a /2 conversion. Note I wrote, “the order you mention”, since it is what you did with the information Dragon provided to you regarding Kstn No. 1126. I have asked Tom Jentz for clarification on the rocket launcher conversions since he, and Hilary L. Doyle, are working on the third part of their Panzer Tracts title. 15-3 which will continue the coverage of the Sd.Kfz. 251 series. Since they are away measuring real vehicles for the book, they have yet to respond. Their Panzer Tracts 15-2 has some excellent plans on the early Sd.Kfz. 251 which clarify a lot of questions. It seems that I continue to be the oldest poster. Any prizes come with that honor? Regards, Saúl García :-)
NOV 11, 2005 - 03:51 PM