Home > Reviews > Germany WWII > Dragon's Sd.Kfz. 251/22 Ausf. D, (1/35th) Item number 6248


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 tunics. WOW!

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.

Highly recommended.

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