ARM: Review - DML 1/72 Scale Sd.Kfz. 251/7 Ausf. C

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
DML is continuing to parallel its 1/35 scale releases with matching
1/72 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.
Cookie Sewell
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