ARM: Review - DML 1/35 Scale Sd.Kfz. 251/22

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale ?39-?45 Series Kit No. 6248;
Sd.Kfz. 251/22 Ausf. D; 986 parts (952 in grey styrene, 12 etched brass, 8
clear styrene, 7 grey vinyl, 4 turned brass rounds, 2 silver paper stickers,
turned aluminum barrel); price estimated at $34-38
Advantages: state-of-the-air, modern kit of this popular halftrack conversion;
tailored changes included in kit; many options for the modeler
Disadvantages: up against established and competing products, teensy track
parts not popular with some modelers
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German and halftrack fans
F I R S T L O O K
The Germans were the first major military power to see the direct value of
specialized self-propelled weapons to support mechanized infantry, and as such
had a large number of conversion weapons dedicated to provide that type of
support. One of the first was the simple mounting of the PaK 36 3.7 cm antitank
gun on a strengthen forward roof section of the basic Sd.Kfz. 251 halftrack
infantry carrier. Later, close support versions of the 250 and 250 fitted with
the 7.5 cm L/24 infantry howitzer became available. But later on in the war,
when the Germans found themselves being subjected to mass Soviet tank attacks,
the solution needed was effective mobile antitank gun firepower. As such, once
again the 251 halftrack was called upon to answer, and the solution was to
mount a standard 7.5 cm L/46 PaK 40 cannon on a special mount in the dismount
section compartment of a Sd.Kfz. 251/1 carrier. While the gun did not have much
traverse, it did provide instant firepower for troops that were spending more
and more of their time on defense.
DML has now adapted their recent Sd.Kfz. 251/1 Ausf. D carrier (Kit No. 6233)
by providing it with the upper end of their brand-new PaK 40 kit (No. 6249) and
the figures from set No. 6064 (as well as three new figures) to create a kit of
the popular Sd.Kfz. 251/22 conversion. Thanks to "mix and match" this is a
simple task, with the kit using the C, D, E and H common 251 series sprues, the
A, B and W sprues from the standard 251 Ausf. D kit, sprues B, C, and D plus
the MA brass fret from the PaK 40 kit, two brand new sprues (L and T) with the
dedicated "Stroke 22" parts, the #6064 figure sprue, and the EZ Track set
introduced in Kit 6233.
Two of the new figures come on the L sprue but one other is a vinyl figure,
which as DML has suggested makes it easier to get him into the driver's
compartment seat due to his ability to "flex." (So far I have not heard from
anyone about how well this works; I haven't done figures in some time for a
number of reasons and have not had a chance to try them out.)
The lower section (the 251 parts) are excellent and the new parts provide for
the sturdy platform used for mounting the gun in the dismount compartment. Two
hoods are now included (A9/A10 or L16) so you have a choice of early or late
model 251 D model hulls, as are two different upper hulls (A1 or L24). While
the hull parts are interchangeable, the hood parts are not, so you have to
ensure that you use the right set.
You also have a choice between the early style tracks (on the sprues) or the
EZ Track which is provided as separate parts. (Nearly half the parts in this
kit ? 480 ? are track links from the two sets. Note that there are injector
pin marks on the EZ Track but not the regular track, so it's up to the modeler
which one he chooses. The former looks better but the latter is much easier to
assemble.)
Note that if you want to use the driver figure you have to install him early
in the building process; the directions recommend Step 7 when the cowl panel
(Step 6) is installed. If you do not, at Step 15 you have to mount the gun
carriage turntable and that effectively prevents any options on installation.
As noted in the review I did on the PaK 40, you have several options with the
gun including three choices of muzzle brake, servicing panels and breech block.
(NB: Terry Ashley from PMMS indicates that mensuration of the PaK 40 kit shows
the ground mount trails are 13 mm too long, a major goof if true, and one which
seems odd for DML to make. I checked my references and found nothing to
disagree with his observations, but considering that the PaK 40 was notoriously
heavy and hard to manipulate in combat, it is possible that DML researchers
found some odd variant to use or a "restored" version made easier to move by
fixing that problem. I can't say for sure. At least with this kit it is not a
problem, as none of the carriage components are used.)
DML provides four different finish options, none of which are identified: one
Panzer brown vehicle and three in Panzer brown/green/red brown schemes,
including one in the ever-popular "Ambush" scheme. Three decal sheets are
included: the one from the PaK 40 kit, a license and unit markings sheet, and a
separate special insignia sheet.
While I personally think this is a great kit with a large number of options
and is certainly state of the art, I do get concerned when there are now three
kits on the market competing with each other (AFV Club, Tamiya and DML) for a
narrower section of the market than with some other subjects. I for one do
appreciate competition, but with only a set number of kits coming out each year
I always hope to see someone do different subjects no one else has done, rather
than everyone doing the same kits. I am sure there is a limited market for
LCM(3) kits, for example, and while there seems to be no limit on the number of
Tiger and Panther kits that can be released and sell well, a narrow market kit
such as this may not either get the recognition it deserves or good enough
sales to promote continuation. (For example, still missing are some of the
specialized versions, such as the MG 151 FlaK Drilling, the flamethrower
variant, the engineer variant with footbridges, etc.)
Overall this is a very nicely done kit and representative of the current DML
standard.
Thanks to Freddie Leung of DML for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
AMPSOne
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If I remember right, we're going to see at least 2 versions of that in the coming year.
You'd think maybe one company would say "Instead of doing the same as everyone else, maybe we should do a good kit or three of the Centurion".
Reply to
Gary Kato
Or hey, here's a wacky notion: American halftracks.
Reply to
Joe Jefferson

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