Sd.Kfz.251/17 Ausf.C
Command Version

Cyberhobby 1:35 Scale Kit #6413
Review by Terry Ashley



Dragon have followed their kit of the Sd.Kfz.251/17 Ausf.C (kit #6395) with this kit of the Sd.Kfz.251/17 Ausf.C Command Version and just like the actual vehicle is a simple modification of the /17 by removing the FlaK38 and adding additional radios and the large frame antenna while retaining the fold down hull sides of the standard /17.

As with the previous /17 kit which is based on the earlier Ausf.C kits from Dragon we still see the same poorly represented Ausf.C interior as detailed in the Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.C comparison review done earlier.

I will again make some comparisons with the AFV Club Sd.Kfz.251/17 Ausf.C (kit #AF35118) along the way to highlight the differences and better illustrate the comments and as this kit is the same as kit #6395 expetp without the 20mm FlaK38 gun most of the review below is repeated from that review to save re-inventing the wheel with additional comments where needed.

The Kit:

The kit as mentioned contains parts from the previous Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.C kits and included additional sprues for the radios and frame antenna.

Approx. 650 parts in light grey plastic (including individual link track)

The standard of plastic moulded is again very good with very clean and crisp mouldings and virtually no pin ejector marks to be seen after the parts are assembled, but some of the “older” parts have larger mould seam lines as they are showing their age a little. There are again many small knockout ‘nodes’ on most of the parts and this does require a bit more cleanup of the parts and care with the smaller parts where the nodes are sometimes larger than the part but the end result is very clean and blemish free parts so the little extra effort is worth it. Those few pin marks present are quite shallow and easy to remove and as mentioned are there aren’t many in any case.

The quality of the etched parts is also very good and on a par with contemporary etched sets with clean etchings and the usual engraved bend lines to help in the process.

Lower Hull:

This consists of a shallow lower tub with separate axles allowing them to be positioned any way you like as well on the inside is the front transmission and final drives, the large fuel tank, battery and rear oil tank. All of this can’t be seen after you attach the upper hull so it’s best to just bypass this for quicker assembly as it has no bearing on the rest of the kit.

The front axle is in two parts with separate stabilizer arms and with the two part steering arm now included with the front wheels able to be assembled so they are steerable and the leaf springs articulate, the detail on these parts is good but the main axle and springs are slightly undersized. Also included is a separate lower suspension armour panel sometimes fitted and this simply fits over the existing hull detail.

Running Gear:

This kit again has the revised drive sprockets from kit #6395 with the drive “teeth” in the form of small rollers that intermesh with the track links, the drive sprockets themselves also have flat facet sections around the sprocket that the track links “sit” flush on as the pass around the sprocket, this is a design feature of all production Halftracks from Kettenkraftrads to FAMOs as far as my references tell me and not due to wear.

The new sprockets have separate rubber sections, one set perfectly round and the other with the flat facet sections and you should use the faceted parts unless building a prototype or early Ausf.A and are not applicable to this kit.

Detail on the sprockets is quite nice and the large pin mark in the middle of the hub from the previous kit has been rectified leaving just the smallest of outline which is very easy to smooth over and as mentioned previously there is different designs for the hub, with this kit featuring one and the AFV Club another so they are both correct with the hub detail.

You have to be very careful when fitting the rubber section to get the offset of the faceted section with the drive tooth which is different each side and the instructions give a diagram to help get this right.

One point is the rubber section extends out past the hub rim where most photos show this narrower than the rim and thinning the rubber section will give this effect.

The assembled sprockets look good but we still have the issue where the drive teeth are slightly wider than the old sprockets and the track provided in the kit is a very tight fit around the sprocket requiring a bit of pressure to ‘squeeze’ them onto place and they tended to ‘pop’ off easily.

If you were to cut the sprocket notches from the inner sprocket half (parts E3) the track will then fit around the sprockets much easier and you could just trim the notches from the section of the sprocket the track covers and leave them on the exposed teeth for a better appearance and keep some of the new details.


Also included are new outer road wheels that include better detail on the holes and fine embossing on the rubber section and these are an improvement over the previous wheels and are now on a par with the AFV Club wheels that were included in their 251 kits from day one.


These are the same individual links with separate track pads as with previous kits and when assembled are fully workable. The details on the links is excellent with assembly being straightforward with the now standard method for this type track of each link fitting onto the next and held in place by the track pad stuck on top, but watch the orientation of the three pins on the back of the pad as they only fit one way around.


Hull interior:

The main floor section has nice tread plate pattern included with the two crew seats have spring details on the back with optional etched springs if you wish and the floor is glued to the lower hull tub but the rest of the interior is still sadly lacking in detail.

The driver’s steering wheel is undersized; the gear levers are very basic with the hand brake in particular just being a stick and lacking any detail with the driver's foot pedals being just plain plastic squares glued to the firewall again lacking any detail.

The central transmission hump is also way undersized and should be larger in width and length and this is due to the position of the engine bulkhead which is 9mm too far back leaving no room for the correct sized hump.

Some modellers have reported problems fitting a drive figure to the Dragon 251 Ausf.C kits and this is the reason as there is no room for the driver’s legs with the firewall being so far out of position. You get in this kit the original DS vinyl driver figure to use as required taking the above comments into account.

On the bulkhead the left side offset is simulated only and is not actually offset as it should be and while the raised instruments have nice detail the position of the steering wheel attachment is too low lacking the distinctive indent under the wheel quadrant.

At the back the large door hinges are moulded in one piece each but are also way undersized and look rather flimsy when compared to photographs of the real things and there are two new crew seats at the back of the compartment for the gun crew from the standard /17 which are finely moulded.

The raised floor section for the 20mm gun mounting is still included which includes nice tread plate pattern but is about 9mm shorter than the same panel in the AFV Club kit and as I don’t have specific info on this I can’t say which is correct. But the AFV Club floor does cover the full width of the fold down side openings which does sound logical while the Dragon panel only covers about three quarters of the opening leaving little room for the gun crew to stand on while servicing the gun?

There is also the raised gun platform on four legs and this is moulded as one piece for easy assembly as there isn’t any while the AFV Club platform has the four legs separate for a bit more assembly and as mentioned the 20mm FlaK38 gun is not included in the kit as it was dispensed with in the Command Version.

Upper hull exterior:

The two lower side panels are separate parts with the cut-outs for the rear gun section included and these simply glue in place between the inner floor and lower hull tub with a separate rear hull section added but the plastic is very thick and this is apparent with the cut-out sections.

There is still an issue with the hull width which has been increased by 1mm from that of the previous 251 Ausf.C kits but is still 1mm too narrow when compared to the latest plans in the Panzer Tracts 251 books #15-2 and #15-3 as well as to stated hull dimensions.

The increased upper hull width does allow for the top overhang as it should be on the Ausf.C but you have to wonder if you are going to alter the hull width at all why not go the whole hog and increase it by the full 2mm which was the discrepancy on the previous kits?

The answer is quite simple because the lower hull panels have not been altered (other than the drop side cut-outs) meaning they are still too narrow and if the top hull was increased by the full 2mm the overhang would have been more like a veranda?

The upper superstructure is in two sections meaning of course you don’t have to cut them apart as with the AFV Club kit with the forward section including the engine compartment with separate engine bay doors and also separate visors on the upper section with these having three part inner brackets for nice detail.

On the top is the original roof panel with the curved bullet splash guard which is correct for this version. This panel includes the inside head padding detail missing from the straight panel in the /17 kit.

The engine compartment side armoured intake covers are separate parts as is the front hull panel and the side fenders are full length single pieces with separate small storage boxes, front exhaust and nicely moulded pioneer tools but most will replace the tool clips with etched items.

The hull drop sides can be positioned raised or lowered but are not movable with the hinge linkages able to be fixed as extended or folded depending on your choice of position?

One issue is the length of the drop sides (and hull cut-out) on the Dragon kit is 3mm longer than on the AFV Club kit and as the two sets of 251/17 plans I have contradict each other on this it’s difficult to determine which is correct? But using the trusty Mk.1 eyeball with available photos of the vehicle the Dragon kit does appear to have the better contours of the drop sides while they appear less so for the AFV Club kit.

The short rear hull section fits in place with separate flanges for the ends of the hull cut-outs but remember to trap the rear doors between the upper and lower rear hull sections as you fit these.

Other parts for the hull include the front headlights with black out covers, Notek light the width indicators from pre-formed brass and the side aerial mount as well as new finely moulded rifle racks for the hull sides as these were relocated from inside the vehicle on the 251/17 and added to the rear doors are racks for two jerry cans.

Two nicely detailed MG34s are provided to be fitted front and rear and most photos of the Command Version show these guns fitted.

Also included is the large frame antenna and the four support legs which match photos well but you should note that these support legs on all German vehicles with the large frame antennas are made of wood and left unpainted, so watch this when painting for authenticity.


The main addition for the Command Version is the additional radio sets included and the kit offers a choice of radio rack arrangements mounted either beside the driver or in the back right corner of the hull compartment. As no photos of the vehicle interior exist in the public domain that I am aware of it can't be said if these arrangements are correct or not so we must take them on face value but the locations do seem logical.

Detail on the radio set faces is very well defined and you get in the kit the Fu7 transmitter and Ukw.E.d1 receiver used for communications with Luftwaffe units and the Fu5 transmitter and receiver for ground vehicle communications.

The radios have separate multi-part mounting brackets and the assembled units looks good for plastic parts but the inevitable etched sets will no doubt have etched frames for a finer appearance, but as mentioned the racks are well done for plastic items.

Also included is the battery pack with finely moulded frame rack that fits under the right side of the upper hull panel and adding wiring to the radio and battery racks would finish off the assemblies nicely.


There are two small decal sheets included, one with a selection of licence plates and numbers allowing virtually any vehicle registration to be modelled with the other have a selection of balkenkreuz and vehicle numbers for a single vehicle from the “Herman Göring” division obviously.

  • Flak Rgt., “Herman Göring” Div., 1942 in overall Dark Grey
Vinyl Driver figure


We again have another re-run of previous kits where if you just want a nicely moulded kit that is fairly easy to assemble and will look good with a coat of paint then the Dragon kit will do the job. But if you want a kit that is better detailed and fundamentally more accurate then any of the AFV Club 251/17 Ausf.C kits are the ones to get.

It’s good to see that some areas (wheels, steering arm) have been updated but others have only token changes (hull width, still too narrow) but the basic interior is woefully inadequate by today’s standards with nearly everything undersized, in the wrong place or poorly represented (gear levers, foot pedals, rear door hinges).

The new radios are nicely done and will look good when in place but with AFV Club also releasing a 251/17 Ausf.C Command Version we know the basic kit will be more accurate and time will tell how they handle the radio setups.

Recommended 7/10

The Sprues:

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Detail Images
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Ground Power Special
GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd
Schutzenpanzer (Armored Personnel Carrier)
Ryton Publications
ISBN: 1930571291
Sd.Kfz.251 1939 to 1942

Panzer Tracts No.15-2
Sd Kfz 251

Tank Power Vol.VI
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.215
ISBN: 83-7219-215-4
Sd Kfz 251

Tank Power Vol.X
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.224
ISBN: 83-7219-224-3

Osprey New Vanguard 25

Thanks to my credit card and the excellent service fromRainbow Tenfor the review kit.

Page created July 24, 2007