Home > Reviews > German WWII > DRAGON MODELS LIMITED (kit no. 6217) Sd.Kfz. 251/21 Ausf. D Schutzenpanzerwagen Drilling MG 151 in 1/35th-scale injection-molded styrene plastic


DRAGON MODELS LIMITED (kit no. 6217) Sd.Kfz. 251/21 Ausf. D Schutzenpanzerwagen Drilling MG 151 in 1/35th-scale injection-molded styrene plastic

by Frank De Sisto

Contains: 745 styrene parts (including eight clear), two bags of “Magic Track”, 14 DS100 parts, 12 metal parts, three photo-etched brass frets, four water-slide decal sheets and 10 pages of instructions in 24 steps. Price: $33.95 USD.

Recently, I reviewed this manufacturer’s latest wonder, the Tiger I Initial Production kit. In that review, I stated that I believed that the Tiger I put DML kits in a class by themselves. Although overshadowed by the Tiger I release, I feel that the subject of this review simply confirms my initial observation. DML has indeed come of age.

The first thing to note is the extraordinary parts break-down of the MG151/20 gun. The detail presented is truly incredible, to say the least. For instance, 10 of the kit’s 24 assembly steps deal with the 155 styrene, 10 metal and photo-etched brass parts that make up this impressive mechanism. This is more parts than one would find in most 1/48th-scale single-engine fighter aircraft kits. The guns themselves consist of 11 styrene parts each, plus an aluminum tube flash-suppressor for the muzzle ends. Note however, that the flash suppressor for the center gun should be about twice the length given. This should be easy to replace using appropriate plastic or aluminum tube. Slide-mold technology is used for the gun bodies and gun barrels as well as the one-piece gun shield.

The pedestal is broken down so as to provide maximum detail, even in cases where the detail will not be visible after assembly. The gun mount will elevate and traverse when complete. Although complex, the gun went together extremely well with no fit problems whatsoever. However, careful clean-up of parts is a must, as is careful alignment of completed sub-assemblies. Mistakes made early on will cause surprises in the end if the modeler is not careful. Although the DS100 soft styrene is used in this kit, curiously, the belted ammunition for the guns is in conventional styrene. One would think that the DS100 soft styrene would be a perfect use in this area.

Another indication of the research that has gone into this kit is the ammo storage arrangement. It not only includes the three boxes for the gun’s pedestal, but it also includes the three extra ammo boxes, as well as the bulk ammo bin, that were mounted towards the rear of the fighting compartment. DML’s designers did their homework!

The remainder of the kit will be familiar to anyone who has the earlier Ausf. D halftrack kits from this manufacturer. Some features of note are the two different upper hulls, with the early (two-piece) and late (one-piece) engine deck hatch arrangements. DML has tweaked the late upper hull by removing the incorrect radiator filler cap. However, they have not added the panel seams around the smaller forward-most access door. DML has also upgraded the road wheels with manufacturer’s logos on the rims, but have not done any of the other subtle corrections that would make these wheels totally correct. A bit of mud on the finished model will make that a moot point. They have also provided a new tow coupling made using slide-mold technology. Finally, added lower hull side details are also given as photo-etch plates that get laminated over the plastic parts. This same fret also contains seat backs, seat springs and gun sight.

Other features of the kit include a total of six crew figures. Four hail from an older set, 6191 “Achtung-Jabo!”, while the now-standard driver figure and a tailored gunner figure are presented in DS100 soft styrene. The figures all represent Heer (Army) troops and are quite well-molded. They wear M1942 Panzer crew uniforms with the added large breast and thigh pockets, with the exception of the driver. He wears more conventional M1943 tunic, along with the older-style M1939 boots. To compliment the figures, there are two folded garments and a pair of ankle boots in DS100 soft styrene. There are additional features such as choices of driver’s seats, two open stowage bin doors, two-position rear access doors, two styles of semi-workable track, clear parts for the opening view ports, turned brass width indicator stanchions (with one of the sprues set up to provide a bending guide), turned brass 2cm full rounds and spent cases; and photo-etch/plastic head-phones for the radio operator. There are quite a few left-over parts, including the mount and ammo bins for the Pak 40 from the ‘251/22, various styles of bench seats, storage bins, weapons (MP40, Kar 98, MG 34 and MG42) and various other items (jerry cans and racks) from both the Ausf. C and D kits. The sprue layout also provides for a complete extra MG151/20. This could be useful, as these guns were seen on improvised trolley mounts very late in the war, often at Luftwaffe air fields.

The decals are the now-familiar Cartograf sheets as seen on the previous iterations of the Ausf. D. There is a sheet with license plate variations for the Heer and SS. The main sheet contains a set of vehicle-specific markings (tac number 425), as well as generic items such as white outline numbers and crosses, black numbers and crosses and black/white n umbers and crosses. Two sets of instrument panel dial faces are provided as are shipping stencils. The final sheet has divisional insignia for the 16. through 27. Panzer Divisions, as well as the 116. Panzer and 130. Panzer Lehr Divisions. Additionally, several SS-Panzer Grenadier Divisions are also represented (16., 23., 27. and 28.). Registration and color saturation are excellent, while the huge amount of left-over items will fill a decal spares box quite nicely.

The instructions are in the classic drawn style. One should be very careful when assembling the guns in step 18. Note particularly the orientation of part G15, which will affect part G10s “sit”. In step 8, note that there are etch bits that replace some plastic bits, so be careful here (the etched bits for this particular section were missing in my review sample). Otherwise, it should be smooth sailing.DML has again, in my opinion come through for modelers with a well-done (but not perfect) kit of a popular subject, with options and excellent details, at a decent price. The detail seen on the gun mount is as impressive as anything I’ve seen in a long time. Now, how about some new US halftracks, Mr. DML?

Highly recommended.

Frank V. De Sisto

DML kits are available from retail and mail order shops. For details see their web site at: www.dragonmodelsltd.com.