Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D
Vol.1 Basic Set
ABER 1:35 Set #35 167
Review by Terry Ashley


ABER have released eight separate etched sets for the Dragon Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D 3 in 1 (Kit #6233) but while designed for the 251/1 Ausf.D some or all of the sets can be used with the other Dragon 251 Ausf.D kits. (#6217 251/21D “Drilling”, #6223 251/7D 3 in 1 and #6248 251/22D 7.5cm PaK)

This first set is labelled “Basic” but is quite a comprehensive update set with four frets of quite small etched parts and a small photo film sheet for the instrument dials plus a six page instruction sheet.

Etching quality is all we have come to expect from ABER with crisp clean etchings and the usual engraved bending lines to help with the bending processes. Using any of the available etched bending tools will help and soldering skills will come in handy during assembly.

This “Basic” set deals with most, if not all of the smaller and common hull detail parts of the kit with the additional sets dealing with specific parts of the kits.

Starting with the front suspension which requires you to remove most of the moulded on details from the kit suspension arms as well as separating the upper leaf springs and scratch building the steering arm not included in the kit if you wish.

The ends of the leaf springs and all the smaller fittings and linkages are replaced with fine etched parts which can be made workable with care. There is also the two lengths of ‘braded' strip for the lower arm support with the finished assembly being decidedly more detailed than the kit parts.

Other exterior parts provide all the hinges for the engine bay doors, exhaust fittings, the tool clips for the front fenders, head and tail light assembly details, width indicator fittings including replacement rear view mirror, rear tow hitch details, padlock details for the side storage boxes, a replacement machine gun shield and mountings as well as the tilt frame supports and small fittings along the hull sides. These are all fairly basic and simple updates that either replace or add to the kit part details with the bulk of the parts for the interior.

For the driver's station there is a new instrument panel with etched panel and photo film dials with a reworked steering column with about ten extra etched parts that are added to the modified kit steering column with a new gear lever box and gear levers from etched and thin wire and five part accelerator pedal.

The four visor mountings are completely replaced with multi-part etched assemblies with clear sheet for the visors and these can be shown open or closed as desired. The backs of the seats have nice etched springs with the radio rack again being completely replaced with a detailed multi-part etched assembly while the radio has replacement etched and photo film face panels.

The Kar98 rifle racks on the side walls (with etched slings for the rifles), the MP40 mounts, MG34 ammo racks, gas mask and fire extinguisher racks are all replaced with fine etched parts as well as other smaller attachments and the hinges of the under seat stowage boxes.

The distinctive hull flanges between the front and rear hull sections are provided in replacement etched parts with an interesting way of adding the many bolt heads. These are included on the etchings and you simply bend them around to sit on the flanges with this eliminating the need to add the small bolt heads separately and will make this job easier.

The rear door latches are also replaced with fine etched items with fine springs at the top which you make from fine wire (not included) for the finishing touches to the latches which can easily be shown in the open or closed positions.

Finally there are other fittings such as the hand rails along the insides of the hull wall and small storage box with separate lid and latches plus other smaller clips and attachments as well as ear phones and throat mike for the radio operator.

A small etched stencil is also proved for the data panel often painted on the hull side of 251 vehicles and this will allow you to airbrush this data on this or other kits, but note the data is for the 251/1 Ausf.D only.

The instructions are the usual ABER exploded view drawings showing the various sub-assemblies and while they look comprehensive and daunting careful study beforehand to understand the processors will make assembly fairly straightforward but experience working with fine etched parts would be an advantage with this set.

An extremely comprehensive “basic” detail set the Dragon kits that as mentioned can be used on any of the Ausf.D kits and even if you choose not to use all the parts provided will still add considerable fine details to the kit.

Highly recommended.

The other update sets available for the Dragon Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D kits are;

Etched parts
Photo film

Thanks to ABER and Airconnection for the sample set.
Airconnection carry the full range of ABER update and barrels sets.

Page Created September 18, 2005

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