AFV Club
Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.C
AFV Club1:35 Kit No. AF 35078
First Look Review by Terry Ashley

Dragon have so far released four kits of the Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.C but AFV Club have resisted the temptation to rush out their first Ausf.C kit instead taking their time to get it right and I can say this care has paid off. While not wanting to pre-empt my conclusion I can say up front this is clearly the best Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.C kit available at the time of posting this review.

The kit consists of 297 parts in olive drab plastic with a set of soft vinyl tracks, the decal and instruction sheets. Many of the parts such as the road wheels, suspension, seats and tracks are from the Ausf.D kits with new sprue 'C' and a couple of modifications to sprue 'U' for the Ausf.C parts.

The standard of moulding is again 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 minor pin marks where they can’t be avoided. 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 with separate rear floor section to allow good definition and again here is no central water barrel which makes this the only Ausf.C kit to date without this included, meaning there are no locating holes to be filled.

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 section is a further separate part which allows for the correct upper hull overhang to be represented as well as well defined bolt head details. The underside rear hull panel is another separate part to allow the inclusion of all the bolt and panel line details.

The road wheels being from the previous kits have the same 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.

On the outside of the side hull panels are the fender attachment flanges, the first time this feature has been included on any 251 kit and shows the research gone into the kit. 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 and the distinctive slanted steering wheel and separate radio and rack.
The two excellent crew seats have 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 as well as hull cut-outs for the side vision ports.

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 and while there is a choice of leather cushions or later wooden slat benches on the sprues you should use the leather cushions for the Ausf.C and there is also the separate grab handle railing along the inside of the upper hull sides.

The rear doors are both separate with the large Ausf.C type hinges in three parts each and are the correct size with nice details as well as separate door latches and the doors can be positioned in the open or closed position as you wish, while there is the fire extinguisher and ammo racks on the inner rear walls.

Upper Hull/Exterior:
The upper hull is a full length moulding with the rear hull panel separate and features some very subtle but nice bolt head and weld seam details with separate engine bay doors as well a choice of separate welded or cast armoured intake covers which gives a subtle but nice choice and a separate one piece nose plate.

The side fenders are separate parts and also have very nice bolt head and panel details with the two Ausf.C style head lights as well as three part upper exhaust system and separate closed fender storage boxes as well as the pioneer tools carried on the fenders and rear tail light assembly and as a bonus there are two very fine brass width indicators that do require you to bend to the correct angle but this is no problem with a diagram on the instructions showing the bend angle.

Decal Sheet
Yes, there is white markings on the sheet
AFV Club
Brass width indicators and vinyl track
AFV ClubAFV Club

The Tracks:
These are the same soft vinyl tracks from the earlier kits and have quite good details for the medium, although you may want to update to one of the separate individual track sets available.

Test Fitting:
I have test fitted a number of the major components as there were reported problems with the AFV Club Ausf.D kits, but I happy to report that the upper/lower hull join was spot on and also featured the correct upper hull over hang of the Ausf.C.
The join of the front plate to the hull was also very good as was the two side panel and lower floor panel joins. This indicates there shouldn’t be any major fit problems with this kit but of course only a full build will show any hidden gremlins.

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

A. G.D Pz.Gren.Div Russian 1943 in three colour Red Brown, Green and Dark Yellow scheme.
B. 3.Pz.Div. Kursk Summer 1943 in overall Dark Yellow cam.
C. 16.Pz.Div., Russia 1943-44 in overall white wash finish.
D. 14.Pz.Div., Ukraine, 1942 in overall Panzer Grey finish

This is another excellent kit from AFV Club and is clearly the best 251 Ausf.C kit yet produced that incorporates many excellent details with the absence of pin marks a notable feature. The excellent details on the running gear and in the interior as well as the excellent surface details such as the fender flanges, rear door hinges and all four vision ports all add to the overall excellent level of details on the kit.

Highly recommended.

The comparison review with the Dragon Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.C has been updated to take into account the various kit updates added to subsequent releases.

Also see reviews of the two track sets AF35069 Sd.Kfz.251 Track Late model and AF35070 Sd.Kfz.251 Track Latest model

The Sprues:

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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
Covers /1 to /10
Sd Kfz 251

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

Osprey New Vanguard 25
German Halftracks 1909-1945

Spielberger Book 6

Wydawnictwo Militaria No.12
ISBN: 83-86209-06-2
SdKfz251 in action
Squadron Signal #2021
SdKfz 251
Militaria in Detail 001
ISBN: 83-7219-061-5
Tristar ShopThanks to C.K.Pat from Tristar Shop or the review kit.

Page Created 10 November 2004
Updated 12 November 2004

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