Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D
Vol.1 Basic Set
ABER 1:35 Set #35 203
Review by Terry Ashley

AFV Club
This extensive detail set from ABER is the first of seven designed for the AFV Club Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D (kit #AF35063) and is labelled Vol.1 Basic Set for another of those quaint understatements. Some of the parts could also be used on the subsequent Ausf.D kits from AFV Club (kit #AF35063 Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D, #AF35068 Sd.Kfz.251/9 Ausf.D Kanonenwagon, #AF35082 Sd.Kfz.251/21 Ausf.D "Drilling", #AF35083 Sd.Kfz.251/22 Ausf.D and #AF35116 Sd.Kfz.251/20 Ausf.D "UHU") as many of the basic parts are common to all versions.

The set consists of two larger frets with hundreds of fine parts plus two smaller frets and a sheet of clear photo film for the instrument dials, radio face and data placards as well as a six page instruction sheet to give some idea just how “basic” the set is.

Quality of the etchings is excellent with very clean parts featuring the usual fine relief and embossed details as well as the fine embossed bending lines where applicable. There are many very fine parts which will require care removing from the frets and in filing the small attachment burrs.

Many of these smaller parts make up some very intricate sub-assemblies that again will require care during assembly and some experience working with etched parts would be of assistance with this set.

Page 1 of the instructions deals exclusively with the front axle and suspension details with most of the moulded on axle brackets and linkages needing to be cut from the kit parts to be replaced with the etched brackets and linkages and added to these are some of the 100 or so separate bolt heads included on the frets.

As many of these parts are extremely small patience will be needed but the resulting detail is far more defined that on the kit parts.

Other external parts included working multi-part hinges for the engine bay doors, both the early and later styles plus head light and tail light details, the rear towing pintle details including fine chain for the pin attachments.

The tool clips for the fender mounted tools are provided as are the base plates for the width indicator stalks as well as the rear view mirror and details for the latches on the side storage boxes plus the small brackets located along the hull sides and the kit exhaust muffler is detailed with small mounting brackets and clips.

The remainder of the set is for the extensive interior updates that start at the front with a new etched instrument panel that has additional etched details added as well as the photo film dials added behind the panel.

The steering wheel mounting is extensively detailed after cutting off some of the moulded on detail from the kit part and the driver’s foot pedals are provided along with an intricate 6 part accelerator pedal. The gearshift box is replaced with an etched box along with a 7 piece park brake lever. Yes, this has 4 small etched parts plus a linkage made from thin wire (not included), a very small spring that you make from even thinner wire (also not included) and a short wire pin for one of the most intricate sub-assemblies that will test your skills but it does match the real thing well after completion.

There is the gas mask canister rack on the left side plus the radio rack made of about 20 parts that includes a new radio face with etched and photo film details for another intricate assembly as well as the MP40 mounting clips and under the upper superstructure are multi-part vision port details at the front and sides as well as very fine springs for the back of the crew seats that will require extreme care as they will are so fine they will distort if you look at them harshly.

Moving back there are the large angled flanges between the front and rear body sections provided in two etched parts with the numerous bolt heads attached to the flanges and designed to fold back over the flange to form the bolt heads. This is a lot less tedious than adding individual bolt heads and the flanges being in two parts gives the join line between the two flanges as seen on the real things for a good impression.

In the rear compartment are the Kar98 rifle racks with etched parts added to the modified kit racks as well as etched slings for the rifles plus multi-part racks for the MG34 drum magazines and the internal MG34 storage clips plus the spare barrel containers for each side of the compartment wall.
Multi-parts racks are supplied for the fire extinguishers as well as the racks for the spare visor glass blocks and other smaller brackets fitted along the sidewalls.

The rear door latches are in very small etched parts with more small springs at the top you have to make from thin wire and the rear MG34 mount is also detailed with small parts including the small bracket that holds to mounted MG against the right hull wall when not in use.

The forward MG mounting receives a complete new shield in thicker etched metal plus the inside lower bracket and mounting details with this simply replacing the kit shield and finally the four curved frames for the canvas compartment cover are also provided plus head phones and neck microphone for the radio operator.

Download the instructions in .pdf format from the ABER Website.

The instructions are the usual exploded view drawings and in the main easy to follow but due to the complexity of some of the more intricate assemblies very careful study of the instructions would be needed before bending or gluing any parts.

This is a very extensive and highly detailed update set the AFV Club Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.D with many small parts and some detailed and intricate sub-assemblies and as mentioned the set is not for the inexperienced modeller.

Checking many of the details and sub-assemblies against the detailed photos in the new Wings & Wheels Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D book shows all the many brackets, clips and other details match the photos very closely, there are a few where the flat profile of the etched parts could be more rounded buy overall the level of detail is excellent.

This set will be a welcomed by those wanting to add the finer details to their models and don’t mind a bit of intricate work along the way.

Highly recommended

Etched parts
Photo film

ABER will be releasing 8 sets altogether for the AFV Club Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.D and additional reviews will be posted as these sets become available.

They are:
Set #35 203 Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D Vol.1 Basic Set (this set)
Set #35 204 Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D Vol.2 Fenders
Set #35 205 Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D Vol.3 Side Stowage boxes
Set #35 206 Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D Vol.4 Front armour with vision ports & back doors
Set #35 207 Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D Vol.5 Upper armour standard
Set #35 208 Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D Vol.6 Floor
Set #35 209 Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D Vol.7 Back seats& boxes
Set #35 210 Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D Vol.8 Upper armour late

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

Page Created November 18, 2006

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