The multi-purpose SdKfz 251 mittlerer Schützenpanzerwagen halftrack was designed to fulfill numerous roles on the battlefield and was the primary armoured personnel carrier of the SS Panzergrenadier units.
The Sd.Kfz. 251 was constructed in many different variants, all of which used the same basic chassis design. Thousands of these vehicles were constructed in part by both Hanomag and Büssing-NAG. Whilst the vehicle was offered in a variety of official variants, they were often field modified to fulfill other roles as situations arose.
Whilst Dragon has released a plethora of 251’s with the unique value of the ‘3-in-1’ series, AFV Club who also manufacture a variety of quality kits has also chosen to produce a series of this venerable and easily recognized vehicle. The Sd.Kfz. 251/4 Ausf.C along with the LeHF 18/40 [kit#AF35s28] as a limited edition run of 5000 units with this set is being designed to add and refine detail of the gun tractor, but not the gun, which I assume will be addressed in another product.
The set is presented in the usual Eduard re-sealable plastic envelope, with the frets being protected by enclosed cardboard backing sections. Upon removing the contents, the detail set comprises 2 frets of photo-etch, a printed sheet of detail for the dashboard and folded A4 sheets of instructions.
The instructions are clearly presented with pictures of the both frets and a colour coded key which explains the modifications marks that are given alongside the construction notes. In following Eduard’s instructions the following sequence is given:
1. The cab including control pedals, dashboard and instruments, armoured seatbacks, gasmask container bracket, as well as other smaller details, which will all be of benefit in making the ‘office’, look nice and busy.
2. The fighting compartment benefits from the detail that can be made to a great many of the highly visible components that it contains, including Kar98 racks, MP38 clamps, MG ammo drum storage and fire extinguisher as well as other details that can only improve the rendition of this open topped vehicle.
3. The external equipment has not been missed from these improvements with tool clamps, spade head, locker clasps with attached keeper chains.
4. The actual body of the vehicle has not been missed with jerry can racks, light brackets, convoy light allowing it to be opened or closed, reflectors as well as many other improvements to the external detail.
5. Finally we move onto the delicate additions to the MG, with a ring sight and ammunition belt, as well as, a new shield for the gunner. Then to top off the fighting compartment you can add handrails for which you will need to supply the appropriate diameter rod.
With this version not being encumbered with any of the larger weapons mounts, the drivers cab is relatively visible, so spending some work adding the many detail improvements will add to the overall visual impact, of this and the fighting compartment once you completed the painting and weathering.
Externally the improved detail that can be added is well thought out. The inclusion of small items such as the mud flaps and convoy light, all of which are difficult to make any finer in moulded plastic, can only add to the overall look of the completed model. Eduard’s tool-clamps fit their purpose well and look excellent despite, not being as complicated to construct as the workable units by companies like Aber, meaning that they can be approached with a greater level of confidence.
I would suggest a degree of planning as you build, in that, you may decide it is sensible to add some of the smaller components much later in the project, such as just before painting is commenced. Of course if you are using the new Etch-Grip, this might not be such an issue.
The AFV Club Sd.Kfz.251’s may not come with the wide variety of items for the spares box, but that aside, all of the reviews that I have read have been, very positive about the quality, accuracy and ease of building. So should you decide that the kit is one that you just have to own, I would suggest the addition of this excellent set, to add those extra details that can bring a kit to life.
A new comprehensive set of Photo-Etch from Eduard to add the finishing touches to the AFV Club Sd.Kfz. 251/4 Ausf.C. The update set concentrates solely on the half track and offers nothing to make additions to the 105mm LeHF 18/40 gun that is also part of the kit.
About John Murcutt (jlmurc) FROM: ENGLAND - EAST ANGLIA, UNITED KINGDOM
A modeller since about the age of five. A number of years in the Royal Armoured Corps working on both Chieftain and the CVR[T] series did not manage to dent my love of all things armoured. I do build some aircraft and other distractions but get pulled back to German Vehicles due to the variation i...