ARM: DML Sd.Kfz. 251 Ausf. D 3-in-1 Kit

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale ?39-?45 Series Kit No. 6233;
Sd.Kfz. 251 Ausf. D 3 in 1 kit; 1,008 parts (946 in grey styrene, 44 in clear
styrene; 6 in grey vinyl; 6 in etched brass; 3 turned brass; 2 silver paper
disks, 1 turned aluminum barrel); price $33.95
Advantages: "3-in-1" kit similar to the old American car kits of the 1960s
gives the modeler three different options; two sets of tracks give options as
well as provide a complete spare set; includes a figure set
Disadvantages: may find itself in tough competition with established Tamiya
kits and competing AFV Club kits for market share
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German and halftrack fans
F I R S T L O O K
When I was a kid in the 1960s, during the summer we stopped our "serious"
modeling of either aircraft or armor and switched to 1/25 scale cars. AMT had
the market nearly cornered with what they called their "3-in-1" kits. These
were usually a popular car such as a Chevy Impala or Ford Galaxie with three
different options for building, and lots of extra parts in each kit. Normally
you could build it for stock, "hot rod" or custom, or racing. Some came with
two complete engines, headers, interiors, skirts, Continental kits, new
grilles, etc. But for the mighty sum of $1.49 retail you could have a lot of
fun as well as start building up the always valuable "parts box" with the
leftovers.
The idea sort of died in the late 1970s, and today when you find these kits
(many now released as "collectors" or "nostalgia" pieces they may only give two
options and a lot fewer parts for a lot higher price. Still, the idea was a
good one and well loved by many of us back then.
DML has now rediscovered the "3-in-1" kit, but this time with one of their new
armor pieces. This is the first offering of the Ausf. D model of the 251 series
3-ton halftrack, and comes with an amazing amount of parts and details (relax,
480 of those parts are tracks and track links!)
The kit provides the model with the options of making a straight Sd.Kfz. 251/1
infantry carrier, a late model Sd.Kfz. 251/1 with the "Falke" infrared night
vision system, or the Sd.Kfz. 251/9 "Stummel" self-propelled 7.5 cm howitzer
variant.
The parts breakdown includes two new sprues (A and B) with the D model body
and details plus two MG 42 machine guns. The /9 version comes via the G sprue
from the Sd.Kfz. 250/8 kit (#6102) and a new R/S sprue, plus a turned aluminum
barrel and three turned brass 7.5 cm rounds. The "Falke" kit provides three Z
sprues from the Night Fighting Panther kit. Also included for good measure are
the "Night Fighting" figures from set #6089.
The modeler has an option of two sets of tracks, the stock kit set as part of
the E sprue or "EZ Track" which comes in a split side bag (shoes on one side,
"rubber" keepers on the other) precut and pretrimmed for the modeler. This
appears to be a later style than the stock kit tracks, so the modeler has a
choice of styles. However, the EZ Track has two big injector pin marks on each
link so the purist may wish to stick with the originals (which do not).
There is a section of clear parts included for the driver's and commander's
visors as well as the three sets of IR scopes and lights. A tiny section of
mirrored paper (two are provided but only one is needed) for the rear view
mirror face as well.
Brass parts cover the machine gun shield and some small interior parts.
The kit comes with two full decal sheets, which permits DML to offer a wide
number of possible marking variants: 10 straight /1 versions, 2 "Falke"
versions, and 2 "Stummel" versions.
A word of warning on the instructions: they are the old-style blue/white/grey
ones, and DML has packed a lot of information into a very small space. They are
more than a bit confusing (it took me 10 minutes to figure out where the etched
brass parts other than the MG shield went!) so I advise reading through
THOROUGHLY before beginning the kit!
Overall, this is a most impressive kit, and for the money is a steal. I do
hope that it does well, as unlike the earlier C variants this kit goes up
against two competing families of kits, one of which has been established for
some time. I'd like to see the idea continue (especially with American M2 and
M3 based vehicles!) so hope it doesn't turn up to be outrun.
Thanks to Freddie Leung of DML for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
AMPSOne
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Smooth idea! I hope it continues. cheers,
The Keeper (of too much crap!)
Reply to
Keeper

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