DML 1/72 Sd.Kfz.251/2 Ausf.D mit Wurfrahmen 40 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||February 2007||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||Sd.Kfz.251/2 Ausf.D mit Wurfrahmen 40||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||7310||Primary Media||240 parts (210 in grey styrene, 28 etched brass, 2 tan DS plastic track runs)|
|Pros||Very nice, clean model of the D version of this popular vehicle in "small scale"; unique but effective method of assembling running gear; nicely done and VERY petite rocket launchers||Cons||RP parts (as in right puny!); cannot be built as a "Stroke 2"|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$14.98|
Eight months after releasing the C model of the "Stuka zum fuss" version of their excellent Sd.Kfz. 251 series halftracks in 1/72 (Kit No. 7306) DML has now released the D model version of this vehicle. Retaining the misconception that the rockets are mounted on a "Stroke 2" variant of the halftrack, it nevertheless presents a nice kit of the Sd.Kfz. 251/1 with the six Wurfrahmen 40 launchers. (The "Stroke 2" is a dedicated mortar carrier for an 8 cm mortar.)
This kit has somewhat reworked molds and only shares the "B" sprue with road wheel and interior bits with past 251 kits. As such, it has 31 fewer parts than the C model from July 2006 provided.
Like the previous ones, this kit is not an actual pantograph of the larger kits, which would make it a nightmare to try and assemble, but still appears based on the same research and drawings used for the 1/35 scale kits. 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 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 rockets provided with this kit now include both the 28 cm ones and the 32 cm ones from the previous kit, but only launcher/crates for one set of six rockets. As before they require the use of etched brass plates for the launcher mounts and aiming quadrants so the modeler no longer has a choice between plastic and brass. This is sort of logical, as in this scale they could not make plastic thin enough and seeming did not want to offer two plates of which one would thereby have to be fixed. Fair warning: the controls and levers for the aiming plates are among the smallest etched brass pieces I have ever seen in a kit, with the indicator (MB2) being about .010" wide and .050" long.
Other brass parts are optional according to the directions but would seen to be necessary to provide such features as tool brackets.
Painting and marking options are provided for three units: 16th Panzer Division, Eastern Front 1945 (whitewash over Panzerbraun); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1945 (overall Panzerbraun); and Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1944 (overall Panzerbraun.) Decals as always are by Cartograf with two sheets, a set of crosses and markings and a generic license plate set.
Overall another nice effort. As I noted in July since the rockets are listed as "C/D" sprues a D version did follow for those who wish to build one of those and not the C model.
Thanks to Freddie Leung of Dragon Models USA for the review sample.