The Sd.Kfz.251was used through the war by the German forces on all fronts. It was designed as a highly mobile, lightly-armored troop carrier so that the tanks could be accompanied by supporting infantry, but later it was adapted for several different roles, including reconnaissance, rocket artillery and tank hunting. One of the more interesting versions was the Sd.Kfz.251/23.
This variant was intended to be used for reconnaissance, and was fitted with the same turret as the Sd.Kfz. 234/1, Sd.Kfz. 222, the Sd.Kfz 250/9, or the Sd.Kfz. 140/1 Aufklärungspanzer. The production was very limited; only a dozen or so vehicles were completed (other sources claim that the production never got through the prototype stage). There are certainly not many photos available, and none about the interior.
Modell Trans Modellbau has released a resin conversion for Hasegawa 251 kit, but the instructions say any 1/72 "Hanomag" would do (the term is inaccurate, since it refers to one of the numerous companies that built the 251, and not the vehicle type itself). I used a DML kit, and saved the interior parts to upgrade an older Italeri offering. Since this turret was used in a number of vehicles (as noted above), the set can be used to detail other projects as well.
What you get: a bag with approximately
15 resin parts
a photo etch fret
a turned metal barrel for the 2cm gun
The packaging is simple, and does its job — none of the parts were broken after a long journey at the mercy of the postal services. All the parts are packaged in the same bag, and stapled to a sheet of instructions plus a cover sheet, which has a profile drawing of the vehicle on it. The instructions only show the assembly of the turret in three simple drawings which are easy enough to follow, though you do need some sort of a reference for the precise placement of the parts.
There is a great deal of flash around the pieces, but these are easy to clean up with a blade. There are some casting imperfections on the turret’s side where the resin gets thinner, and these are not very easy to correct. I left them as they were– I wrote it off as battle damage. Despite of this, overall I have to say that the resin parts are very nicely cast, delicate, and the details are impressive.
The photo etch fret makes up the frame of the turret and the anti-grenade screen, and is available on its own from ModellTrans. Both a resin and a turned barrel are included, which might come handy should a different project suddenly require an extra gun barrel… The metal barrel is bored out and very well-detailed- it is quite impressive in this scale.
There is no color guide included, but the only vehicle known had a simple Dunkelgelb paint job.
As I was not able to find any detail photos or drawings of the turret, I used Dragon’s instructions to figure out what part goes where. The top part of the gun-mount is very detailed, and the bottom is somewhat simplified (the seats and the controls are lacking in detail, for example). Since it is installed in a closed-up vehicle, most of it would be hidden, anyway, unless you want to display it with an open back hatch. In this case, you will have to modify the interior, which opens up a whole can of worms, as it is almost impossible to find any information on this version of the 251.
The turret assembly is a little bit fiddly– the gun mount is quite difficult to fit into the turret. It’s not a fault of the kit; it was simply a very cramped construction. Mounting of the turret itself should be straightforward using the included two-part resin top, which encloses the turret from the front and behind. The photo-etched screen is very delicate— I suggest gluing the screen panels to the frame before removing the frame itself from its fret. After just two bends, mine broke. It’s probably a good idea to paint it on the fret as well.
This is an excellent conversion set in 1/72, not only for the 251, but for a range of other vehicles. Relative ease-of-assembly makes it ideal for modelers who wish to try their hands at resin for the first time.
Highs: Very good quality, highly adaptable.Lows: A few casting errors, some of them not easy to correct.Verdict: Recommended.
I am a biologist by trade, and as a hobby I've been building scale models for the last twenty years. Recently I started to write reviews of the models I bought. These reviews are written from the point of view of an average model builder; hence the focus is on quality of the model, how easy it is to...