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
AMPSOne
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Shouldn't that be second kit in styrene.
Reply to
Blackbird
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
AMPSOne
It's been reported elsewhere online that the upper body width has finally been corrected (earlier kits were 2mm too narrow). Gerald Owens
DML's stable of
Reply to
Gerald Owens
Gerald,
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
AMPSOne
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...
Pawel
Reply to
Vodnik
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
AMPSOne

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