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
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
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
15 years ago