ARM: Review - DML 1/35 Scale Sd.Kfz. 251/17 Ausf. C

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale '39-'45 Series Kit No.

6395; Sd.Kfz. 251/17 Ausf. C; (782 in grey styrene, 71 etched brass, 16 clear styrene, 5 DS plastic, 4 paper stickers, 2 turned brass); price estimated at US$44.98

Advantages: first kit in styrene of this popular version of the 251 series; combines two great kit series with conversion bits

Disadvantages: comes with two-piece single link original track; sides must be fixed in one of several positions

Rating: Highly Recommended

Recommendation: for all German armor and "Duck Hunter" fans

The Germans found themselves getting more and more desperate for tactical air defense assets as the war progressed, and as such began to term to armored platforms to keep up with their units. Armored formations began to turn to Pzkw. IV based chassis, but the Panzergrenadiers, in the interests of commonality and simplicity, turned to their trusty Sd.Kfz. 251 series halftracks for suitable platforms.

The Sd.Kfz. 251/17 was one such platform, offering a 2 cm Flak 38 gun inside an armored hull with sufficient clearance and functionality that it could also be used with light armor protection against ground targets. The result was the conversion of existing vehicles into the "Stroke 17" platform and by October 1943 there were conversions of the Ausf. A and B in service. Three different versions of the "Stroke 17" appeared on the Ausf. C chassis, but later more rational thinking took charge when the Ausf. D chassis were converted. Little information is available about the number of conversions that were made, especially with the major rebuilding required for the first three variants.

Due to the fact that this variant is more striking than many other

251 types, it's always been popular with modelers. I recall a beautiful version done by Dave Armstrong back in 1973 out in California, as most of this model had been scratchbuilt. DML has now provided an Ausf. C variant of this kit, using its now tried-and-true 251 modular kit assembly system.

The 251/17 basically uses two kits - the baseline 251/1 Ausf. C kit with some changes in the basic sprues to create a new hull upper and lower section, and the 2 cm Flak 38 mit Sd.An. 51 kit. To this are added 80 new styrene parts and 71 etched brass parts.

I'm not sure if DML is advertising or getting paranoid about some of the sniping it takes on the Internet, but this kit comes with a four- page flyer that describes what is new about the generic moldings and what is specific to the kit. Counting bits on the sprues, I do have to point out that there are subtle changes to them and the number of parts on each one has changed slightly, so it appears DML may have a point about indicating what has been altered.

In specific, however, this kit provides the new base for the Flak 38 in the center of the fighting compartment along with the fold-down sides. These are nicely detailed but do not work; the modeler is provided with several different settings and options to have them closed or cracked open. The braces that hold the sides in specific positions are included, along with the external rifle racks for the crews' personal weapons.

As this is considered to be an "older" chassis, it only provides the original kit's two-piece single link tracks, which are tedious to assemble. Some people do not care for the "Magic Tracks" but they do make this chore much easier!

Three finishing options are provided, all for the "Herman Goering" Division (remember these weapons are served by Luftwaffe flak personnel, not Wehrmacht men.) These are for the flak regiment of the division, 1942 (panzergrau overall); East Prussia 1944 (panzergelb overall); or the 6th Company of the regiment, Tunisia 1943 (panzergelb with green overspray.) A "targeted" set of vehicle decals and generic license plate sheet are provided from Cartograf.

Overall this should be a popular model, and adds to DML's stable of

251 variants.

Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.

Cookie Sewell

Reply to
Loading thread data ...

Shouldn't that be second kit in styrene.

Reply to

I know that AFV Club has one but have not seen it out here yet. Given DML's amazing speed at reacting to other companies' kits they may have beaten them to the punch.

Cookie Sewell

Reply to

DML's stable of

Reply to
Gerald Owens


Looks to be the case. Was not aware of the 2mm error, but do recall the Tamiya one was more than 8mm too narrow and yet they got a pass on that for years.

Cookie Sewell

Reply to

Your LHS certainly does not have it yet, but it is available a few weeks already from online shops, e.g. in Hong Kong. And remember that you received pre-release review sample of Dragon kit. DML kits are not available in shops anywhere, even in HK. So DML kit is definitely SECOND kit of that vehicle available for modelers.

By the way, the same is true for DML Dicker Max kit, which you also called "the first" in your review. I saw Trumpeter kit in my LHS in Warsaw, Poland two days ago, while DML kit is not sold anywhere yet. So DML Dicker Max is also second...


Reply to

According to the comparison review on PMMS, the AFV Club 251 kits are more accurate in detail (particularly in the interior) than the Dragon kits, but incremental improvements are being added to the Dragon tooling as they go along.

This certainly deserves a round of applause for dedication, but does beg the question -- why aren't they as accurate as the AFV kits to begin with? The 251 is not exactly an obscure machine, and some of the flaws are quite severe -- e.g., the wrong position of the engine firewall.

Bruce Melbourne, Australia

Reply to
Bruce Probst

O>> This certainly deserves a round of applause for dedication, but does

I have no clue - I don't do research for DML (last kit I did any research on for them was the ZSU-23-4 which their draughtsman really screwed up, but was corrected and the kit turned out pretty well.

One would think they get good research but then again you'd have to ask the researchers listed on each kit's instruction header.

Cookie Sewell

Reply to

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.