Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/72 Armor Pro Series Kit No. 7265; Sd.Kfz. 251/7 Ausf. C; 173 parts (144 in grey styrene, 27 etched brass,2 tan DS plastic tracks); retail price US $11.98
Advantages: another variant on the 251 C model hull; very nice additions to the kit to make it more flexible
Disadvantage: bridges appear pantographed down from 1/35 scale kit, may be too narrow; many very tiny (RP) parts
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German and "picks and shovels" modelers
F I R S T L O O K
DML is continuing to parallel its 1/35 scale releases with matching1/72 ones, and now the C model German halftrack configured as an engineer variant has followed its "big brother." They have added two sprues of nine parts each to provide for the trackwidth treadway bridges, and also give a new set of photoetched parts in the box to improve some details.
The lower hull is a single piece pan, less the rear area, and the axles are molded on the lower hull. The running gear for each side consists of a rear (inside) wheel section, a center wheel section, three outer road wheels, and drivers. Once installed the connectors between the individual wheels on the inside and the center are not visible, so it helps speed up assembly while making it easier to get things aligned. Tracks are the gluable DS plastic, so you can also get them to settle down on top of the road wheels with some care.
The model comes with simplified (well, compared to the 1/35 version) interior fittings but they are quite tiny (right puny) as noted and will require a good deal of care. Interior bits include the various control levers, rifles, MP submachine guns, and other items. The hinge mechanisms for the doors are single pieces, but are non-operating types. They cement to the lower rear section, as the upper hull has the rear angular parts of the hull attached to it. The four front viewers are separate parts and can be cemented either open or closed as well, as is the hood assembly with two flaps. No engine or interior is provided for the engine bay.
The fenders are one-piece units, but the stowage bins are only offered as closed parts. The front MG 34 shield is offered as either a single piece of styrene or a three-piece etched brass option. Other RP parts include the "Notek" headlight and mount and the drum magazines for the two MG 34 machine guns. The weapons appear to be very close to scale, something I don't recall from other manufacturers in the past!
The seats are left out of the base kit and new seats on the E sprues are used instead, as well as bins for engineer kit (e.g. tools, blasting supplies, etc.) However, no filler is provided so the modeler is on his own to load them up.
The kit comes with two of the treadway bridges used by German engineers and which mark the unique silhouette of the "Stroke Seven" models. Comments on the internet indicate that the 1/35 scale ones were too long and too narrow, and it appears the same proportions were used on this kit. However, they do look the part and if installed their shortcomings should not be too apparent.
Etched brass parts now include optional seatbacks for the driver and commander, MG 34 gun shield, license plate holders, turn signals, and troop seat mounts.
The kit comes with a generic license plate decal sheet and a specific one for three different vehicles: one for "Barbarossa" 1941 in Panzergrau, one from the Eastern Front in 1942 in whitewash, and one from Kursk 1943 in Panzerbraun with green camouflage.
Overall these have been nice kits and well received, and even if the bridges are not "spot on" it looks the part.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.