AFV Club
Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D
AFV Club Kit No. AF 35063
Review by Terry Ashley

AFV Club
Following the earlier releases of the three Sd.Kfz.11 series kits AFV Club have now released the first of the five Sd.Kfz.251 kits announced a while back.

This first kit is the Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D with the Sd.Kfz.251/9 Ausf.D to follow shortly followed later by the Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.C and the Sd.Kfz.251/7 Ausf.C, Sd.Kfz.251/21 Ausf.D and Sd.Kfz.251/22 Ausf.D for a veritable feast of 251s.

The kit consists of 261 parts in olive drab plastic with a set of soft vinyl tracks, the decal and instruction sheets.

The standard of moulding is excellent with virtually no pin marks to be seen, this is especially noticeable on the hull sides, real hull panel and doors which have details on both sides but not one pin mark to be seen. The details included on the parts is also very good with nice bolt head details on the hull and fenders as well as nicely rendered weld seams on the forward hull/engine compartment and the excellent tread plate pattern on the interior floor panels.

Lower Hull/Suspension:
The lower chassis part has the engine oil pan included on the undersides and the central hump with the tread plate pattern on the top and there is NO central water barrel which has afflicted every other 251 kit released while both hull sides are separate parts, this will allow the same lower chassis panel to be used on the Ausf.C.

The hull sides have the internal panelling used to fix the various different version fittings with the gap between the hull side and panels represented by small indentations along the top of the hull sides while the rear hull floor section is a further separate part again allowing for the different floor configuration of the other variants to come. The underside hull panel is another separate part to allow the inclusion of all the bolt and panel line details.

We were given a sneak preview of the suspension with the release of the Sd.Kfz.251 Wheels & Tracks set (AF 35043) a while back and this kit has these parts with the only difference being the colour of plastic with this kit.
The road wheels have excellent details including the spot welds around the rims and on the drive sprocket the correct offset of the drive teeth while the front tyres have excellent tread pattern as well as good hub details on the wheels.

The lower hull sides have excellent details on the axle mountings as well as recessed location of the bump stops with all the axles as separate parts which will allow you to animate the suspension if you wish?

Hull Interior:
This is especially well detailed with the front bulkhead having a separate instrument panel with engraved dials as well as separate driver’s foot pedals and gear levers as well as the distinctive slanted steering wheel and separate radio and rack.
As mentioned there is no central water tank but two excellent crew seats with two part lower sections and the back rests with superb cushion detail on one side and the distinctive spring pattern on the back and as mentioned no pin marks to spoil the detail.

The forward hull panel has separate vision port covers with each internal visor having three parts each for excellent detail definition; the two side vision slits also have two part internal armoured glass housings.

The forward top hull section is a separate part with separate bullet splash guard while on the underside of this is a separate panel with two padded head guards and front grab handle while you are given two excellent weapons in the MG42 to mount in the small gun shield which is about the only part with pin marks evident, but these are very small and easily dealt with and the MG34 usually mounted on the rear hull swivel mount, both these have superb details included.

Moving back there are the two hull side bolted flanges as separate parts again for good detail definition and there are the rifle racks with very nice Kar98s and the crew seats and back rests are very well done with a choice of early leather cushions or later wooden slat bench details while there is also the separate grab handle railing along the inside of the upper hull sides.

The rear doors are both separate with the hinge and latch detail moulded on and can be positioned in the open or closed position as you wish?

Upper Hull/Exterior:
The upper hull is a full length moulding which features some very subtle but nice bolt head and weld seam details with separate engine bay doors ready for the inevitable aftermarket engine as well as separate front upper and lower nose plates.

The two front fenders are separate parts and also have very nice bolt head and panel details and you are given the choice of the standard head light or NOTEK light for the left fender as well as three part upper exhaust system and the pioneer tools carried on the fenders.

The side storage boxes are full length parts with engraved details for the compartment doors while at the rear are separate tail light and other fittings.

Decal Sheet
AFV Club
AFV Club

The Tracks:
These are done in soft vinyl and have very good details for this medium while AFV Club have saved their separate tracks links for sets available separately and as they have released two types of track types this isn’t altogether a bad idea as the vinyl track is more that passable if you don’t want to go the extra expense.

The decal sheet is quite large and is well printed with thin carrier film and provides markings for 5 vehicles;

A. Eastern Front, Summer 1943, Unit unknown in three colour Red Brown, Green and Dark Yellow scheme.
B. 2 SS-Panzer Division, July 1944 in three colour Red Brown, Green and Dark Yellow scheme.
C. Ski-Jg-Div. Early 1944, Russian Front in overall Dark Yellow.
D. Eastern Front 1944, Unit unknown in overall Dark Yellow.
E. 27.SS-Gren.Div 1944-45 Warsaw in overall Dark Yellow.

This is another excellent kit from AFV Club that really does make the Tamiya Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.D show its age with this kit incorporating some excellent details and the absence of pin marks is a notable feature. The excellent details on the running gear and in the interior as well as the excellent surface details should make German armour fans happy and we know what to expect in the other kits to follow.

Highly recommended.

Also see reviews of the two track sets AF35069 Sd.Kfz.251 Track Late model and AF35070 Sd.Kfz.251 Track Latest model and the Sd.Kfz.251/9 Ausf.D Kanonenwagon and Sd.Kfz.251/22 Ausf.D

The Sprues:

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Ground Power Special
GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd
Sd.Kfz.251/1 in detail
Special Museum Line No.37
Wings & Wheels Publications
ISBN 80-86416-50-X
Sdkfz251 Ausf.C & D

Panzer Tracts N0.15-3
ISBN 0-9771643-5-7
Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D
Model Detail Photo
Monograph No.22
ISBN : 83-89717-60-3
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
Schutzenpanzer (Armored Personnel Carrier)
Ryton Publications
ISBN: 1930571291

Osprey New Vanguard 25
SdKfz251 in action
Squadron Signal #2021

Tristar ShopThanks to C.K.Pat from Tristar Shop or the review kit.

Page Created 15 June 2004

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