AFV Club
Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.C Stuka Zu Fuss
Ground Stuka

AFV Club1:35 Kit No. AF 35091
First Look Review by Terry Ashley

AFV Club
Following hot on the heels of the Sd.Kfz.251/7 Ausf.C mittere Pionierpanzerwagen (kit #AF35077) and Sd.Kfz.251/4 (kit #AF35s28) AFV Club have released this kit of the Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.C Stuka Zu Fuss which was most commonly based on the standard Sd.Kfz.251/1 Schuetzenpanzerwagen fitted with 6 adjustable mounting frames (Wurfrahmen) that could mount either the 28cm Wurfkoerper Spr. (HE) or 32cm  Wurfkoerper F1 (napalm) Wurfkoerper (Rocket). The Wurfkoerper had an elevation of 16 to 45 degrees firing in 10 seconds and all 251 variants from Ausf.A to Ausf.D could and were fitted with the mountings. The Wurfrahmen were made from either wood or metal with the kit giving you the wooden framed boxes which appear to be more common from period photos.

The kit is basically the same base vehicle as in kit #AF35077 and #AF35s28 but strangely with the omission of the clear (or green tinted) plastic periscopes reverting to the solid plastic periscopes of the original 251/1 Ausf.C kit #AF35078 and so I will refer you to those reviews for a full rundown on the 251/1 Ausf.C itself and concentrate here on the new parts to make up the Stuka Zu Fuss.

The new parts are a new sprue N which has the mounting plates and frames plus other smaller detail parts plus three of sprue M with the 28cm and 32cm rockets and Wurfrahmen wooden frame launch boxes with the standard of moulding again excellent on the new parts with virtually no pin marks to be seen plus a new etched fret for the mounting plates and other details plus the decal and instruction sheets.

Etched parts
AFV Club

There is one issue with which you need to take extreme care and that is the location of the sprue gate attachment points on the two part rockets. These are situated right on the raised rib detail around the head and base of the rockets and the longer base section was already twisted on all three sprues resulting in some damage to the raised rib. If you are not careful removing the parts from the sprues further damage can occur to these raised ribs which are very difficult to deal with and all the rockets I removed had some minor scarring on the ribs as a consequence and maybe a re-design of the parts sprue attachment wouldn’t go astray.

The six large mounting plates for the hull sides have separate etched rotating support plates for the rocket boxes and these have small movable support brackets that can be assembled up or down for the travel or firing position. The intricate hull support frames are moulded with the front and rear sections in one piece and appear from photos to be the correct diameter with just very minor moulding seams to be removed before assembly. The instructions have a couple of exploded view drawings showing the assembly and there shouldn’t be any problems if careful study of the sequences is done before gluing. But care will be needed as there are numerous small and delicate parts both removing from the sprues and during assembly.

The wooden rocket boxes are nicely done with wood grain effect on one side of each part with a smooth side on the other with two inner brackets at the back of the box to support the rocket motor which has a small connecting bar in plastic between the two. The side connecting slats are moulded with a connecting strip to keep the slats lined up during fitting and then you cut the connecting strip away once the glue is dry. This may be a little tricky and you may want to cut the connecting strip away before fitting the slats with the box assembly being very straightforward with a very good fit of parts.

The 28cm and 32cm Wurfkoerper (Rockets) are made up of four parts each with a minor mould seam on the 28cm rocket only as well as the sprue attachment issue as mentioned above. The rocket head and motor base are moulded hollow with a separate rocket base and fuse in the nose with the detail on the rocket motor base being very well defined. Strangely there are also etched rocket motor bases provided but these don’t have as well defined detail as the plastic parts. The larger 23cm rocket doesn’t have the filler plug on the nose section as it should do but there is stencilling on the decal sheet for the nose of the rockets.

Also the locating holes in the ends of the rockets for the separate fuses are way too small and you will have to drill these out, do not try and get the fuses in without opening the holes as the fuses especially those for the 32cm rockets are very small and round meaning difficult to hold so take care.

The fit of the rockets into the assembled wood boxes saw the 32cm rockets marginally too wide to fit in the boxes and I had to sand down the raised ribs slightly to get the rockets to fit. Once fitted the fuse of the 32cm rockets protruded slightly past the front of the wooden box but this is incorrect and they should be inside the ends of the boxes. There are no inner brackets for the smaller 28cm rockets which mean these flop about inside the boxes and you will need to add inner brackets yourself to get a snug fit. There is a bit of filler needed on the base join with the inner brackets but this can easily be dealt with while the boxes match available plans and photos well.

The sighting vanes on the front of the vehicle are provided as etched parts which you bend to the required shape and are extremely delicate and prone to damage so you may want to leave these off until last. There are also plastic alternatives which are a little thicker if you prefer.

The instructions have the incorrect number sequence when assembling the mounting brackets so for sequence Q in step 22 read O and for sequence R in step 23 read P. Sequence Q and R are for the seat backrests 1n step 16. Also in step 22 part N10 should read N16.

The decal sheet is well printed with thin carrier film and provides markings for three vehicles and it should be noted that these vehicles were usually operated by Engineer units. As mentioned there is stencilling for the nose sections of both sized rockets the 32cmWk.Fl and 28cmWk.Spr for the appropriate rockets but there should also be stencilling for the centre section of the warhead and on the rocket body which isn’t provided. Another strange thing is there is six nose stencils for the 28cm rockets but only two for the 32cm rockets.

Additional markings:
While the instructions only show the two vehicles there are insignia included for 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th Pz.Divs that can be used for variety.

Decal Sheet
Enhanced to show white markings on the sheet
AFV Club
Vinyl track
AFV 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.

This is another excellent kit from AFV Club that incorporates many excellent details as with the previous Ausf.C kits with the minor fit issues of the rockets and boxes easy to deal with and the correct sizes of the boxes and support frames makes for a good overall impression of the kit. The many small parts on the rocket brackets will need care but add to the overall fine definition of the assemblies.

Highly recommended.

See a Comparison Review between this kit and the Dragon Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.C mit Wurfrahmen 40 (Kit #6284)

The Sprues:

Click on thumbnails for larger view
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Detail images
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Ground Power Special
GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd
Sd Kfz 251

Tank Power Vol.X
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.224
ISBN: 83-7219-224-3
Schutzenpanzer (Armored Personnel Carrier)
Ryton Publications
ISBN: 1930571291
Sd.Kfz.251 1939 to 1942

Panzer Tracts No.15-2
Covers /1 to /10

Osprey New Vanguard 25
SdKfz251 in action
Squadron Signal #2021

Kit courtesy of my Credit Card and the excellent service from Rainbow Ten.

Page Created December 4, 2005

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