ARM: DML 1/35 Scale Sd.Kfz. 251/7 3-in-1 Kit

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale '39-'45 Series Kit No.
6223; Sd.Kfz. 251/7 Ausf. D "3 in 1"; 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 and
shovels"
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.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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