AFV Club
Sd.Kfz.251/17 Ausf.C
Command Vehicle

AFV Club 1:35 Kit No. AF 35117

Review by Terry Ashley

AFV Club
AFV Club have now followed up their recent Sd.Kfz.251/17 Ausf.C with 2cm FlaK38 (kit #AF 35118) with this kit of the Sd.Kfz.251/17 Ausf.C Command Version in the same way Dragon/Cyberhobby did with their interpretations of the same vehicles.

The Sd.Kfz.251/17 Ausf.C Command Version had the same extended hull drop side configuration as the FlaK38 version but without the gun and had additional radios and large frame antenna added but as there are no clear shots of the interior available in the public domain there is some conjecture here on the actual layout.

This conjecture results in the AFV Club kit having a marked different interior layout than the Cyberhobby kit and I will briefly compare the two and offer some “educated assessments” but as mentioned there is no absolute intel to say which is correct?

I won’t compare the base Sd.Kfz.251/17 Ausf.C vehicle here as I have already done so on a few occasions (see 251 Ausf C Comparison) and at the risk of inciting further gum flapping I’ll just repeat my previous assessment that the AFV Club 251 Ausf.C is markedly superior to the Dragon 251 Ausf.C in terms of accuracy in most areas.

As this is basically the same kit as the FlaK38 version much of the review below is the same with additional information on the revised interior layout and radios where applicable.

The Kit:

The kit consists of approximately 374 parts in olive drab plastic, a small etched fret with 21 parts, 2 bonus resin parts, a set of soft vinyl tracks and the decal and instruction sheets. Many of the parts such as the road wheels, suspension, seats and tracks are from the many previous AFV Club 251 kits with new sprue F with the radios and antenna for this version.

AFV Club

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.

The new plastic parts are moulded extremely fine and care will be needed when removing these from the sprues to avoid damage but the resulting radio racks have excellent definition for plastic parts.

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.

The lower hull sides have the cut-outs for the drop down sides with separate flanges along the hull edges plus the underside rear hull panel as 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 with the front axle having basic but adequate details that include the steering arm linkage on the left side.

On the outside of the side hull panels are the fender attachment flanges and 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?

At the back the towing hitch has been redesigned for a more refined appearance with separate retaining pin to add a little more detail back here.

Hull Interior:
This is nicely detailed with the front engine compartment bulkhead in the correct position and a separate instrument panel with engraved dials as well as separate driver’s foot pedals and gear levers with the distinctive slanted steering wheel and separate radio and rack.

The two crew seats with two part lower sections and the back rests with good cushion detail on one side and the distinctive spring pattern on the back and as mentioned no pin marks to spoil the detail.

The front driver’s 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 new hull top section (part UB03) is a separate part and is the standard 251 panel with curved bullet splash guard which is correct for the Command version while on the underside are the two padded head guards but the fit to the hull will require some trimming as the fit is not the best at the side joins. You are also given two nice MG34s and MG42s in the kit but all photos of the /17 Command Vehicles have the MG34 fitted so the MG42 can be consigned to the spares box.

Moving back there are the revised crew seats with two additional storage boxes/seats provided in resin and the raised fighting compartment floor for the FlaK38 version is not included with the seats and large radio rack mounted on the original 251 floor.

This is the main difference between this and Dragon kit where the Flak mounting platform is still included in the Dragon kit but this does not extend the full length of the hull side cut-outs and takes a lot of usable space.

There is theory that the gun platform would remain to allow easy conversion back to the FlaK38 version but given that German units all operated with dedicated Command vehicles and the full frame antenna and support arms have been fitting it would not be an easy job to revert back to the FlaK38 as the frame antenna would also have to be removed.

Given this it is my “educated assessment” that the platform would have been removed along with the gun with the original floor used as this would provide more room for the radios and crew and also fits into the dedicated Command Vehicle doctrine.

But as mentioned there is no positive info on this so that assessment can’t be taken as any sort of fact, just it seems more logical to have the platform removed along with the gun on the Command version.

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 that 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:
As with the previous kit the upper hull is the same full length moulding and you have to cut the side panels off at the join line behind the side vision ports which is not that difficult but as mentioned in the first review it would have been nice if AFV Club did this for you?

The separate rear hull/sidewall section fits to the hull easy enough but there are two locating lugs on the inside join which are quite exposed due to the cut-down sides and you may want to trim these after the glue has dried for a better look. The drop-down sides are in three parts each and moulded quite thin with the upper overhand lip also included and there are additional small etched tie down brackets for the hull sides.

The two small angled end sections of the drop sides fit perfectly but just watch as they are different with part 21 going at the front on the left side but at the back on the right side with the fit of the assembled drop sides into the lower hull cut-out requiring some minor trimming and test fitting will determine what is needed?

The drop sides are designed to be glued raised or lowered but all available photos of the Command version show the sides raised and this would be the most appropriate configuration.

At the front are 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, the Notek light as well as three part upper exhaust system and separate closed fender storage boxes reduced in size for this version due to the drop sides. On the fenders you have to remove the locating ridges for the normal side storage boxes which are replaced with additional pioneer tools and the rear tail light assembly are separate parts as are the Kar98 rifle racks carried on the hull sides as there is no room inside for these.


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.

Radio Equipment:

Upper Hull:

The instructions only indicate to add one large radio rack with three radio/receivers but there are actually another three smaller racks and five additional radios/receivers included in the kit which does give the option of adding these as you see fit or may be included for another project from AFV Club.

The large rack is made up of two parts that are moulded extremely thin and you will need to take care removing these from the sprues as well as the rack frames which are also very finely moulded with just thin mould seams to be removed. There are quite a few small plastic nodes attached to these frames and I found it easier to remove these while the frames were still attached to the sprues proper to provide support and then cut the frames from the sprues once the nodes have been cleaned up.

The radios which the instructions indicate to use are the Fu 9 set and two receivers (parts F9 and F10) with these having etched brackets added on each end before fitting into the rack and adding the wiring would finish off this assembly nicely.

There is a problem here in that the radios are a very tight fit inside the mountings and if you add the etched end brackets they simply will not fit, so it’s best to leave the these brackets off unless showing the radios outside the mountings. To add to this the two small receivers had to be reduced in width to fit inside the mountings by sanding either end slightly as well as leaving off the etched brackets.

Another thing missing from the instructions is to add the two small parts F27 to the back of the rack frame part F15, the location for these is indicated clearly on part F15 so fitting should be easy.

Added to the bottom of the mounting frame is a small equipment drawer which you can show open or closed for a bit of added animation, this too had to be slightly sanded on either end to fit better.

The assembled radio mounting and frames sit on a small equipment locker with an etched part for the rear panel and this whole assembly is positioned at the forward right side of the interior as indicated by in the instructions.

Radios included in the kit and assembled radio rack
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As the additional smaller racks are not included in the instructions you have to work out how to assembly these yourself but its quite straightforward if you want to add the additional radios/receivers as required.

The decal sheet is well printed with thin carrier film and provides markings for two vehicles from the Hermann Goering Division which was the only unit to use the Ausf.C /17 with both vehicles finished in overall Panzer Grey.
Decal Sheet
AFV Club
Bonus resin parts
AFV Club

This is another excellent Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.C kit from AFV Club with the distinctive drop sides of the /17 and large frame antenna to compliment the FlaK38 version. Overall the level of detail is excellent with just a few fit issues along the way as well as cutting the hull apart as mentioned.

As mentioned the configuration of the interior layout is open to conjecture but taking into account the normal German Army doctrine I believe the layout of this kit is more appropriate than the Dragon kit, but that is open to discussion.

Some of the radio sub-assemblies are quite detailed but will need a bit of care during assembly and the poor instructions in this area add to the care needed but the end result has very good detail definition for plastic parts.

With this kit the possibilities of a large diorama with a couple of 251/17 FlaK types and Command Vehicles is very appealing.

Highly recommended. 7.5/10

The Sprues:

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Detail images
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See the Sd.Kfz.251 Subjects page for additional reviews of 251 related kits/update sets.


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
Sd Kfz 251

Tank Power Vol.VI
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.215
ISBN: 83-7219-215-4
Tristar Shop Thanks to AFV Club for the review kit.
Tristar Shop is distributed in Australia by J.B.Wholesalers

Page created October 6, 2007