The 251/16 Ausf.D Mittler Flammpanzerwagen was similar to the earlier 251/16 Ausf.C (Dragon Kit #6202) only based on the later Ausf .D chassis with revised fuel projectors and shields while still fitted with two 1.4cm flame projectors on either side of the fighting compartment with two fuel tanks mounted inside the rear compartment with 700 litres of fuel and the associated pumping equipment and fuel lines to the projectors. The crew were issued flame proof overalls for when using the weapons and the forward MG mounting and shield was retained for self defence.
This latest 251 kit from Dragon again has the main vehicle parts from previous 251 kits such as the Sd.Kfz. 251/22 Ausf.D (kit #6248) and Sd.Kfz. 251/17 Ausf.D (kit #6292) and the recent Cyberhobby Sd.Kfz. 251/23 Ausf. D (kit #6293) with the inclusion of the Flammpanzer parts from the Sd.Kfz. 251/16 Ausf.C Flammpanzerwagen (kit #6202) plus a new sprue V and revised etched parts for this kit.
The quality of the parts is again excellent with crisp mouldings and details with only a minimum of pin marks to be cleaned up and there are the usual array of many plastic ‘nodes’ on the parts to be carefully removed especially from the smaller parts but these help reduce the amount of conventional pin marks.Included along with the plastic parts is a revised etched fret with the hull side reinforcing panels, seat springs and other smaller parts plus a length of braided twine, two pre-formed metal bars, the two formed brass width indicators and three small decal sheets.
The lower hull tub as mentioned is the same as before and has the axles and bump stops separate with the front axle having nicely rendered leaf spring and steering arms although the steering linkage rod is still missing.
The road wheels and drive sprockets are those included in kits #6248 and #6292 (plus others) with the embossing on the rubber sections of the road wheels and drive sprockets but these are still without the offset drive teeth or rollers as they should.
As mentioned previously the drive sprockets on all German half tracks feature “teeth” in the form of small rollers that intermesh with the track links, the drive sprockets themselves have flat sections around the sprocket that the track links “sit” flush on as the pass around the sprocket.
The “teeth” are not located centrally on the flat section but offset to one end to allow them to mesh with the tracks better and this means the sprockets are not interchangeable between left and right and Dragon has them located centrally and does not have the “roller” section of the “teeth” included at all.
There is the inner gearbox and fuel tank detail which still can’t be seen but you know it’s there but can easily be left out of the assembly and there are the etched re-enforcing panels for the lower hull sides around the axles also included in previous kits.
The main upper hull is the earlier Ausf.D type side opening engine bay doors and features very subtle weld seams and bolts head details along the lower sides as well as nicely rendered flush screws around the engine bay opening with the correct rear opening engine bay door.
There are separate side panels with inner panel details with some large pin marks but these are mostly covered by the inside detail but check first to see if they need filling.
The outer side fender storage boxes have nicely rendered door details with recessed latch panels that also include small padlocks and two of the doors are separate to allow these to be position opened if you wish but still have the oversized hinge detail. The forward fenders have subtle bolt head details and other details such as three part head light and mounting as well as the exhaust muffler on the left fender with pre-formed brass width indicators as well as the plastic indicators and rear view mirror that includes a self adhesive silver sticker to represent to mirror surface and lastly the fender mounted tools that are quite nice but could benefit with the clips replaced with etched items for more detail definition.
The separate rear doors and rear hull panel are fairly simple as per the original and the doors feature finely moulded separate inner door latches with etched handles and fire extinguishers on the inner rear panel.
The front superstructure plate with driver’s/radio operator’s vision visors is a separate part and features clear parts for the visors which are made up of three inner parts and the outer visor which can be assembled so the outer visor is movable and if care is taken during assembly would work quite well to offer more animation to the finished model and the upper superstructure plate is also separate with separate bullet splash guard added.
On the inside is the revised interior from recent kits with the floor having the correct sized central hump and revised floor panel details as well as the tread plate pattern being more pronounced than in earlier kits.
The front instrument panel has nicely detailed engraved instruments (with decal dials) and some parts separate with the correct offset on the left side as well as separate accelerator pedal and steering wheel and nicely detailed crew seats with rear spring details, gear levers and the separate bolted flanges on the side walls between the front and rear hull sections. These still have the incorrect angled profile at the curve which should be more rounded bit its easy to trim this to shape if you wished to do so?
The Flammpanzer parts as mentioned are from the previous Ausf.C Flammpanzer
kit and include a detailed multi-part fuel pump, generator and associated fixed
piping with separate connectors for good detail definition. The detail is very
fine and crisp with most of the very small parts having no pin marks due to
the use of the moulding ‘nodes’ that ensure complete moulding and
act as knock out pins. The braided twine included is used for the flexible
piping from the pump to the hull side mounted projectors.
The two large fuel tanks have separate retaining brackets and replace the rearmost bench crew seats with smaller single seats added to the hull side in front of the tanks plus there is a three Kar98 rifle rack added to the left side.
The resulting pump assembly has a very busy feel to it and looks quite complete
and of course is easily seen through the open top.
Also included are two newly tooled later type flame projectors that have the muzzle hollowed out with slide moulds and these have new plastic shields which are moulded quite thin without any pin marks on the insides, the etched shields from the Ausf.C Flammpanzer kit are not included simply because these are the earlier design not used on the later Ausf.D Flammpanzer.
The shields and projectors are mounted on the upper hull lip with small plastic and etched brackets and the pre-form curved metal railings are added to the hull sides.
This kit like previous 251 kits contains two full sets of tracks, the initial
type track (skeletal with lightening holes) with rubber shoe and the “EZ
Track” which is the pressed pattern with rubber shoe.
The “pressed pattern” track which was also fitted with steel shoes for a short time in 1944 is often referred to as “late” track when in fact both types were used throughout WWII and while less common the pressed pattern was used at about a 3 to 1 ratio to the skeletal type. In the recent Concord book “German Half-Tracks of World War Two” (Armor at War Series #7054) on page 64 (top) is a photo an Ausf.C fitted with the “pressed pattern with rubber shoe” tracks and from the uniforms is early/mid war.
The EZ Track links and separate shoes come already separated with no cleanup required apart from two largish pin marks on the inside of each track link which will require filling but as there is no sprues or other cleanup they would probably take about the same time as “normal” plastic individual links to assemble but the rubber shoes do look a little undersized.
Assembly is the usual method for this type track where you fit one link into the other and hold in place with the track shoe, but due to the small size there isn’t a lot of contact area to glue and care should be taken if you want them to fully articulate after assembly with the assembled tracks fitting snugly around the drive sprockets and provide a nice alternative to the skeletal track, not to mention a full set of track left over for other projects no matter which you choose.
Original early type track links
Two flame operator figures and a driver figure from the earlier Ausf.C Flammpanzer kit are included moulded in the soft DS100 vinyl that allows for very well defined detail such as fabric seams, lapels and general details with alternate heads wearing field caps or flame proof hoods. The only issue with the material is the small moulding seam is harder to remove than on hard plastic but the details are much better defined so it’s a bit of a trade-off.
Three decal sheets are included, one with generic number plates and numbers from previous kits plus the small instrument panels dial sheet and a new sheet for this kit with a two vehicle numbers and three balkenkreuz with the sheets being well printed with good colour register and thin carrier film.
The instruction sheet has markings for one unidentified vehicle from the Eastern Front in 1944 and one from 5.Pz.Div., Warsaw 1944 as depicted on the box top.
Another very well detailed kit to add to the ranks of 251 kits with the internal flame pump and associated fuel tanks and plumbing are very well done plus the inclusion of the newer projectors and shields plus the flame operators makes for a very busy interior.
The kit features most of the updated parts added during the gestation of this series but still includes the incorrect drive sprockets which seen destined never to be updated but overall will build into a nice looking model.
Ground Power Special
GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd
Sd.Kfz.251/1 in detail
Special Museum Line No.37
Wings & Wheels Publications
Sdkfz251 Ausf.C & D
Panzer Tracts N0.15-3
Model Detail Photo
ISBN : 83-89717-60-3
Sd Kfz 251
Tank Power Vol.VI
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.215
Sd Kfz 251
Tank Power Vol.X
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.224
Schutzenpanzer (Armored Personnel Carrier)
Osprey New Vanguard 25
SdKfz251 in action
Squadron Signal #2021
Thanks also to Hobby Easy for the quick delivery of the review kit.