Dragon Sd.Kfz. 251/7 Ausf. D "3
in 1" (6223)
by Cookie Sewell
1,117 parts (805 in grey styrene, 224 EZ Track links, 33 in grey DS
plastic, 22 etched brass, 9 in tan DS plastic, 8 brass grab irons, 8 clear
styrene, 5 turned brass, 2 chrome stickers, 1 length of nylon string);
price estimated at US $34
Advantages: very full box offers a bewildering variety of options for
completing the vehicle; many, many accessories and finishing options
Disadvantages: Sd.Kfz. 251 family beginning to overwhelm modelers with
variety and options, may be self-limiting in the long run due to confusion
or too many "niche" variants
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German WWII fans or friends of the "picks
F I R S T L O O K
The Germans were among the first modern armies to realize that combined
arms meant just that – all of the branches of the army working in
unison for a common goal were more effective than each branch performing
its separate mission. (For comparison, the Soviets considered "combined
arms" to be tank and motorized rifle units, period.) As they either
mechanized or motorized their forces, they created specialized vehicles
for the combat support arms to ensure direct support to their combat arms
troops in the field.
The specialized engineer version of the Sd.Kfz. 251 halftrack, the Stroke
7 variant, provided their combat engineers (sappers) with a way to move
forward in support and carry all of the necessary kit for a given mission
with them. This vehicle carried two small footbridges for crossing ditches
and trenches, various mines and explosives, hand-held flamethrowers, mine
detectors, pioneer tools and other essential items needed to carry out
combat missions. Most units quickly added planks to the bridge carrying
frames to provide extra stowage for more items outside of the body of
the vehicle. Most of the conversions, also called Geraet 907, were made
to Ausf. C and D production vehicles.
DML released a C model of this vehicle a few months back, and now the
more popular D body style has also been produced as a kit. Here DML has
outdone itself, for the new version of this vehicle comes with a total
of 132 new parts as well as the complete figure set #6024 of combat engineers,
as well as the 10th Anniversary DML upgrade sprue for German figure sets.
Many of the parts are in the new DS plastic cross between vinyl and styrene,
and cover the mines, fuses, detonators, carry packs, wire and detonating
machines, etc. carried by combat engineers. (One could wonder how all
of that will fit into the finished model!)
This kit comes with most of the "goodies" that DML has been
including with their kits over the past year, such as etched brass, EZ
Track (track links off the sprue ready to assembly). DS driver figure,
and turned brass details. It also comes with the complete upper carriage
of the schwere Panzerbusche 41 – "Gerlich" gun –
as an option.
This line of kits has proven to be popular and for the current price
tag it is very hard to beat. Modelers need not be intimidated by the huge
number of parts, for about half of them are optional or replace other
parts as necessary.
The kit comes with four decal sheets (!) consisting of instrument panel
dials, a number jungle, a standard sheet with numbers and license plates,
and a divisional markings sheet. Finishing instructions are provided for
no less than nine Stroke 7 machines in France, Italy and the Russian front.
One is in white, two are in Panzerbraun, and the rest sport two and three
color camouflage patterns. Care will have to be taken during construction
to ensure the right options are used for these variants; note that DML
has sorted them into three groups (ergo the "3 in 1" kit moniker
on the box top) and provides instructions for general assembly of each
group. Six are Group 1(Pioneerpanzerwagen), one is Group 2 (Pioneerpanzerkommandowagen),
and three are in Group 3 (Pioneerpanzewagen mit 2.8u cm sPzB 41).
Overall this is another stunner from DML and an amazing kit value for
what the model offers. I only hope all of the variants – after 30
years of a very poor C variant and 15 years of either a Stroke 1 with
rockets or a Stroke 22 with 7.5 cm Pak 40 – are not confusing the
modelers in the shops to the detriment of DML's sales.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.