Dragon's Sd.Kfz. 251/22 Ausf. D,
(1/35th) Item number 6248
by Frank De Sisto
Contains: 725 styrene parts (including eight clear), one bag of EZ-Track,
four turned brass ammo rounds, one turned aluminum gun tube, 12 photo-etched
brass parts, seven soft styrene parts, three sets of markings (plus bonus
decal sheet), plus 10 pages of instructions in 20 steps. Price: Unavailable.
2004 will be remembered as the “Battle of the ‘251s”
if the plethora of new kits of this Wehrmacht Workhorse is any indication.
First off the mark was AFV Club with two versions on the Ausf. D chassis
followed by one on the Ausf. C. DML has hit the ground running with no
less than three kits based on the Ausf. C, and three others based on the
Ausf. D. Both manufacturers are promising more variants, so you’d
better clean out the closet!
This issue is DMLs latest variant on the Ausf, D chassis, the /22 with
7.5cm Pak 40.
First and foremost, this kit is typical of DMLs recent trend to pack
loads of features into a single box. To that end, there are four turned
brass Pak 40 ammo rounds, a turned aluminum gun tube, a small fret of
photo-etched brass, four conventional styrene figures, a sprue containing
more Pak 40 rounds, ammo storage boxes and tubes; clear two-position vision
ports, a soft styrene driver figure, and a pair of draped soft styrene
But, that’s not all. There are also options such as three different,
beautifully rendered muzzle breaks for the Pak 40, two different end caps
for the gun’s cradle, both of which can be shown hinged down for
access; two different gun-sight mounts, one of which is empty, two different
upper hulls featuring either the later single- or earlier two-piece engine
access hatch design, open storage locker doors (one on either side), one
set of the earlier style individual link tracks (conventionally presented
on the sprues), a packet of pre-cleaned EZ Track depicting a second, later
style of track, and finally, different bench options. Topping all of this
off are four separate decal sheets, which together provide various license
plates with separate numbers, several different styles of tac numbers,
shipping stencils, divisional signs and, finally, data for the Pak 40
ammo, storage tubes and boxes.
Also typical for recent DML kits, some parts from previous kits, where
feasible, have been improved or corrected. These include new seats for
the driver and radio operator, corrected instrument panel/bulkhead and
corrected-length Pak 40 cradle, plus improved drive sprockets and outer
road wheels. These last two are still not totally correct, but at least
DML is trying.
I test fitted as many of the major parts as possible in order to check
for fit, while I await an after-market photo-etch set to be released for
this kit. So, I glued the two hull side panels to the lower chassis (after
filling in the two knock-out pin marks on each part), as well as the floor
panel and the lower front end. Although complicated by the angles and
the various joints, I can state that with careful attention to clean-up
and alignment, the parts will fit together extremely well. Likewise, the
upper hull will also fit once the parts are cleaned up and carefully aligned.
I also built the gun and mount and it fits properly, especially when
one considers its relative complexity and the fact that it has to fit
several points at once, including the roof, the sides and the lower parts
of the hull. Note that the gun’s cradle required filler underneath
as there was a prominent seam when the two halves were joined together.
Also, VERY importantly, note that gun parts b27 and b26 are shown incorrectly
in the instructions. Reverse them so that the semi-circular-shaped pin
faces opposite to how they are pictured in the instructions. If you fail
to do this parts b51 and b52 will not be able to be placed properly, which
will really screw things up as you go along.
For a more detailed examination of this particular issue I would direct
the modeler to the PMMS web site, where Terry Ashley has done a thorough
fit check, which includes excellent photographic coverage.
On the down side, it would appear that the cut-outs on the Pak 40 shields
are too large. A bit of sheet styrene should fix that. An easier fix for
the late upper hull is to add the seam where the smaller radiator access
panel, just forward of the single-piece engine access hatch, joins with
the vehicle’s nose. Also, according to photos, the radiator cap
itself should be removed as it became redundant with the change in access
hatch layout. Finally, there is no blanking plate for the radio operator’s
view port, nor is there a base for the radio’s antenna. The antenna
base can be sourced from a well-supplied spares box, while the blanking
plate can be easily conjured up with a bit of scrap sheet styrene.
There are also some other nice features in this kit that may go unnoticed.
For instance, the tiny “T”-shaped handle on the outer rear
door is represented for the first time on any kit of the Ausf. D, and
the linkages that held the doors closed are separate parts. The hull belly
pan is one piece, making assembly a bit easier since all other parts will
have a “trued” surface as a base for alignment.
The three Pak 40 muzzle breaks feature the small retaining rings fitted
inside in either etched brass or styrene. Left-over parts can be used
on any tank kit mounting a Kwk 40 or Stuk 40, as well as older Pak 40
kits. The rods that attach the gun tube to the recoil pistons that are
inside the gun cradle are present, which is something not seen before
on a Pak 40 kit. The more conventional plastic gun tube, if used, allows
for a round to be inserted into the opened chamber, something that diorama
builders will find useful.
There is a selection of weapons, which include both MG34s and MG42s
with ammo drums, Kar98 rifles, and a pair of nicely done multi-part jerry
cans. The two tunics, molded in the D100 soft styrene have very fine detail
and a modest amount of undercutting, which makes them appear quite natural.
As an aside, I had no trouble cleaning either the sprue attachment points
or mold seams from these parts.
The soft styrene driver figure is also nicely represented with sharp
details and undercuts inside his tunic’s sleeves. The remaining
four figures are from an older set (#6064) and are complimented by several
new sets of arms and legs, so that they can be adapted to fit to the gun.
The detail of these conventionally-molded figures is very nice and they
come complete with helmets and various personal equipment items.
The instructions are well-drawn and point out the differences in parts
for variations. The huge selection of markings are generic (as are the
various color schemes given), but with proper research, the vehicle can
be marked accurately with what’s given in the box.
There’s just so much going for this kit that the small errors I
have noted should not be a deterrent to modelers who are looking for a
“perfect kit”. The rest, who appreciate value for money spent,
will not be disappointed once they open the box. After examining this
kit with a critical eye, I eagerly await the ‘251/21 Flakdrilling.
DML kits are available from retail and mail order shops. For details
see their web site at: www.dragonmodelsltd.com.