Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale '39-'45 Series Kit No.6247; Sd.Kfz. 251/16 Ausf. D Flammpanzerwagen; 1,004 parts (666 parts in grey styrene, 264 "EZ Track" link sections, 41 etched brass, 17 in tan DS plastic, 8 in clear styrene, 4 silver paper stickers, 2 pre-bent steel wire, 2 turned brass, 1 section woven nylon cord; price estimated at US $41.98
Advantages: The Flammpanzer now available in on the D model chassis; includes EZ Track
Disadvantages: crew made from vinyl may not be popular
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German WWII fans710 parts (649 in grey styrene, 17 in etched brass, 17 in tan vinyl, 16 in clear styrene, 7 stickers, 2 turned brass, 1 section black nylon string, 1 section white vinyl string); price about $34.95
DML continues their production of Sd.Kfz. 251 variants by now offering the "Stroke 16" flamethrower vehicle on the D model chassis, with some minor changes from the earlier C model (Kit No. 6202). While they retain the three man crew made of DS plastic (two gunners with a choice of heads with our without asbestos hoods and a driver) a total of 161 parts are now provided for the flame guns and other kit on board the vehicle.
The kit shows how the 251 series has evolved, for they now offer such niceties as doors for the side stowage bins over the fenders and the usual positionable hood flaps, rear doors and viewers. Two different track sets are offered, either the early-model original on the parts trees or the late-model style as presented in the popular "EZ Track" which is pre-trimmed and ready for installation.
The three crew figures are the new cementable vinyl, and according to Freddie Leung of DML are designed to be used with liquid cement like Testors or Tamiya Orange. He also noted that to trim them up simply "paint" mold seams with the liquid cement and the seam should vanish if not touched while the cement evaporates.
This kit does not come with a dismount weapon as the C model did, and seems to reflect the concept changes made between the introduction of the C model "Stroke 16" and the D model. The mirror mounts/fender guides are turned brass, and a bending jig is included to set the correct angle on them for use on the model. The model also comes with two pre-bent steel wire sections for use to replicate folding external limiters/guards to prevent the flame weapons from snagging on any obstacle near the vehicle.
Two finishing options are provided, one with the 5th Panzer Division in Warsaw during 1944 and one unidentified vehicle on the Eastern Front in 1944. Both are basically Panzerbraun with camouflage applied to them. The kit comes with a "number jungle" license plate set of decals and a "targeted" set for the two options given.
Overall this is a very nice kit, but I still worry that the "volley fire" of 251 kits (and those from their competitors) may be overwhelming the market.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.