The box contains parts to make 3 different versions.
Two versions are both wuth Wurfrahmen, one with 28cm rockets that contained 40 kilos of TNT, and the other with 32cm rockets that contained 50 litres of jellied gasoline. It was possible for these to be mixed, but in practice this rarely happened, as the range for both types of rockets was very different.
The other version Dragon offers in this kit is the 251/10 carrying the 3.7cm Pak 36. It should also be possible to build a standard 251/1 just using parts from this kit.
Although the kit states the 'mit Wurfrahmen' options are 251/2, this was in fact a mortar-carrying version, and in this kit the mortar is not given. Dragon state:
“According to the Kriegsstarkenweisung (Kstn) No. 1126 a(gp)(fg) Date 11th Jan 1944: the third gruppe in every Kompany was equipped with 251s with Wurfrahmen 40 but without the 8cm mortar. Whether this was a true 251/2, or a sub-variant based on the 251/1 with Wurfrahmen 40, it was still in the Werfer battery. There were true 251/2 with mortars that were converted to carry the wurfrahmen 40's as well and the mortars were removed. So without some further evidence as to how these vehicles were technically called, it remains a mystery."
Again, that lovely ‘tingly’ feeling when opening the kit for the first time! There is the usual Dragon ‘card’ with all those little extras we have come to expect from Dragon. Two photo etched frets, one containing ammunition racks fro the Pak 36 version, the other containing a myriad of small replacement parts such as the sprung seat backs. I feel it is important to mention that, as usual, Dragon include these as replacement parts, so in most cases the Styrene parts are there if the photo etched parts are perceived by some as too difficult to install. There is also a fantastic brass replacement shield for the Pak 36 which comes pre-formed to shape! Also on the card is an aluminium barrel for the Pak 36, foil mirrors for the fender rear-view mirrors, and two beautiful brass width indicator poles.
There are 12 large sprues of Dragons light grey styrene, two of ‘E’ that both contain the wheels and tracks, and three of sprue ‘U’, which is a brand new sprue containing all the rockets and their associated hardware. Two styles of rocket launching crates are supplied, wooden which were supposed to be used once and discarded, and also the metal type which were often re-used. Sprue ‘V’ is also new and holds the backing plates for the rocket launching crates. There is also a sprue from Dragons’ Pak 36 w/crew kit, containing the gun itself, with no crew obviously!
In addition to all the sprues above, Dragon also provide all the vision blocks and hardware in transparent styrene. These are extremely well cast, and although it is nice to have the vision blocks themselves in transparent plastic, I find the rest of the mechanism sometimes difficult to clean up? However, I think if it was made of ‘normal’ styrene, it may well prove too soft to form that mechanism. Swings and roundabouts I suppose. The normal 251 chassis is supplied of course, along with an extra small sprue that contains 2 more variants of the seats (one with PE back, one without) and that wonderful slide-moulded towing pintle from their earlier 251/D kits.
One vinyl crew member is supplied, and for the second time in the 251 series, Dragon has included a fantastic half tarpaulin, slightly bigger than the one offered with the earlier 251/C 3 in 1.
As expected these days, all parts are immaculately cast and free from any flash whatsoever. The instructions are the usual 2 colour exploded line drawing on a 4 way gatefold sheet, with different stages dealing with different versions, so making ensuring the correct instructions can be followed for the version you choose to make.
Another great addition from Dragon! The new and improved parts in this kit make it a must buy on this basis alone, the fact that it’s possible to make 4 versions from the box just means I have to go out and buy a few more!
My thanks to Dragon for the review sample.