AFV Club 1/35 Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D + Pak 40 Anti-Tank Gun Kit First Look
|Date of Review||November 2004||Manufacturer||AFV Club|
|Subject||Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D + Pak 40 Anti-Tank Gun||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35S26||Primary Media||723 parts (457 in olive drab styrene, 128 in black styrene, 128 in manganese brown styrene, 5 etched brass, 4 black vinyl, 1 turned aluminum gun barrel)|
|Pros||"One Stop Shopping" nets three and a half kits in one box for a low price; excellent detail and value for the money||Cons||Do not open parts until needed or you will have some problems locating them!|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$47.98|
AFV Club arguably produces some of the best kits on the market today – but in the US they are also among the most expensive. Therefore, this kit was something of a surprise when it showed up, as you essentially get three and one-half AFV Club kits in one box for a much lower price than the kits are separately.
For your forty-eight clams you get the complete AF 35063 Sd.Kfz. 251/1 Ausf. D kit, the complete set of AF 35044 "Early Model" single link tracks, the complete AF 35071 7.5 cm PaK 40 Antitank Gun, and half of the AF 35075 7.5 cm PaK 40 ammunition set. Considering that depending upon time, place and distributor this could run as much as $100 so you can see what a deal this one-stop shopping really is! Note: while the boxtop illustrators indicated that this is a "Limited Value" kit, I think they really meant "Limited Time Offer" as it is QUITE a value!
I strongly recommend that you only open the bags as needed, as there are a lot of very confusing sprues and that minimizes confusion. Note that the kit ships with bags within bags, and some dissimilar items may be packaged together in a larger bag.
Addressing the kits one at a time, the Sd.Kfz. 251/1 Ausf. D is based on their earlier Sd.Kfz. 11 series kits and combines the running gear of the latter with a new hull and interior set. The model thus combines 94 parts from the Sd.Kfz. 11 with another 136 new parts and 22 weapons from another set to create this kit.
Compared with the DML kits, the parts breakdown and layout of the AFV Club kit is totally different. It has the hull come in three basic parts (sides with road wheel mounts and top) and a stock set of base parts for the center of the hull (belly and floor) rather than the separate lower chassis favored by DML. Details are pretty similar, other than how they are formed from smaller pieces. The hinges for the dismount compartment doors are somewhat thicker than the DML ones, but as these work and the others do not it was more a case of "overengineering" for durability.
The model comes with single-piece vinyl tracks, which will be well received in some areas. They are handed with one track being one link longer than the other to compensate for the torsion bar layout. But it also comes with the complete single-link version of the same track. This seems a bit puzzling, as the D models came out much later and most are shown with later style tracks; considering AFV Club makes four different types, one would have thought they would have provided different sets. While the single-piece are quite mediocre, the single-links are gorgeous and even come with a black "rubber" pad and an oxidized manganese brown colored shoe.
The PaK 40 gun is another amazing piece of craftsmanship by AFV Club, comprising some 158 parts on its own. Most are new but the tools and some minutiae come from the le FH 18 series kits. The tiniest details are replicated on this weapon, and it comes with rubber tires for the carriage. A pair of stamped eight-spoke wheels are provided for it.
Lastly the kit provides one sprue from the ammunition kit to go with the 7.5 cm PaK 40 gun. This provides eight full rounds (2 each of four different projectile types), four empty casings, six packing tubes and three packing crates.
The stock halftrack kit markings are provided and cover markings for five different vehicles: 2nd SS Panzer Division, July 1944 (e.g. France); 1st Ski-Jaeger Division, Russia 1944; U/I unit, Eastern Front 1944; 27th SS Panzergrenadier Division, Warsaw 1944-1945; and U/I unit, Eastern Front 1943. Five different sets of license plates are provided, but the sheet looks short. No decals are provided for either the PaK 40 or the ammunition set.
Overall, this kit appears to be one of the best bargains offered, but as the boxtop indicates there are only going to be 3000 released (ergo the "S" or "Special Kit" tag in its factory control number.) If you want one, I suggest you hurry!