AFV Club
Sd.Kfz.251/4 Ausf.C

AFV Club1:35 Kit No. AF 35s28
First Look Review by Terry Ashley

This kit is a limited release of just 5000 units depicting the 251/4 light artillery tractor version and is a mixture of old and new with the Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.C being the same as in kit AF35077 and AF35078 with the basic leFH18 from kit AF35s24 and a sprue from the Pak40 kit AF35071 plus a new sprue to make the later leFH18/40 variant and also a 105mm ammo sprue from the ammo set AF35062. Added to this are some resin ammo containers to add to the interior of the vehicle and a new small decal sheet as well as a set of individual track links from set AF35044.

The leFH18/40 has also been released as separate kit #AF35089.

The kit consists of 294 parts in olive drab plastic and 12 in clear plastic for the 251 plus a further 225 parts for the leFh18/40 in olive drab plastic, a metal barrel and recuperator tube plus the decal and instruction sheets and the bonus resin ammo containers with the track links.

The standard of moulding on the original parts is again excellent with virtually no pin marks to be seen, except for some minor 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 sprue for the leFH18/40 is to the same standard with the details being crispy done but unfortunately there are quite a few of those annoying mould shrink holes prevalent on kits of years back. See below.

The text below is from the recent 251/7 (kit AF35077) review with alterations applicable to the 251/4 version added in blue for those who may not have seen the previous review.

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 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 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 plus separate radio and rack.
The 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 including the new clear vision block for excellent detail definition; the two side vision slits also have two part internal armoured glass housings in clear plastic 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 section 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 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.

The additional resin ammo containers are nicely detailed with just the usual casting blocks to be removed and these replace a couple of the crew seats which are shown in the instructions with an overhead view of the finished kit to fully illustrate the box locations and this is basically the only alterations for the 251/4 version.

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 plastic width indicators.

Decal Sheet
Enhanced to show white markings on the sheet
AFV Club
Resin parts
AFV Club
Clear periscope parts
AFV Club

The Tracks:
These are the individual link tracks from set AF35044 and I will refer you to that review as the same assembly issues still apply. Just a quick note, the 251 instructions are from kit AF35078 and show the full length vinyl track but this is not included in this kit, just the individual links.

leFH18/40 105mm Howitzer:
As mentioned this kit will be released as a separate kit shortly with the instruction sheet included in this kit being from the new kit AF35089.

The gun is basically a stripped down version in an attempt to produce a lighter gun easier to handle by the crews and for ease of manufacture by incorporating the lower carriage and trail arms from the PaK40 along with a smaller modified shield, smaller wheels and a large muzzle brake to help reduce the recoil forces on the lighter carriage. This was not entirely successful as the 105mm gun recoil was too much for the lighter carriage and caused a number of problems but still over 10,000 /40s were produced. 

The gun consists of 153 parts plus a further 72 for the ammo sprue from kit AF35062 all in olive drab plastic plus the metal barrel and recuperator tube from kit AF35s24.
The new parts are on sprue C with the modified gun shield, upper gun carriage, large muzzle brake, smaller spoked wheels of this version with vinyl ‘rubber’ sections and the modified PaK40 trail arms plus other smaller details.

Sprue A is from kit AF35s24 (and AF35050) with the elimination of the M shield and upper carriage parts plus sprue B from kit AF35071 with the lower PaK40 carriage, lower shields (not used here), pioneer tools and some smaller detail parts.

The standard of moulding is very good overall with virtually no pin ejector marks on the parts, this is most noticeable on the large gun shield which has details on both sides and is completely free of pin ejector marks. There are quite a few very small pieces that are well moulded but will require care when removing from the sprues.

There are unfortunately quite a few of those annoying mould shrink holes prevalent on kits of years back to contend with on the new parts. This is especially noticeable around the inside of the wheels where there are shrink holes on the rims between all the spokes and this will take some effort to remedy. There is also one prominent shrink hole on one trail arm and minor ones on the spades all of which will need filling. 

Many of the sub assemblies are broken down into multiple parts for excellent detail definition, an example is the breech which is made up of nine separate parts and also features engraved production numbers on the breech face while the main gun sight has four parts and is especially well detailed.

The cradle and lower carriage are again very well detailed with many separate small parts for excellent detail, such as the brake assemblies and separate axles.
The main gun shield as mentioned is devoid of pin ejector marks and has nice details moulded on both sides along with other details parts, including the small side shield extensions on this version.

The 105mm barrel is in aluminium with small lip at either end for the muzzle brake and breech attachment and is cleanly machined.
The two breech halves are secured over the barrel lip as is the new large muzzle brake assembly which consists of five parts with the two rear sections and two separate muzzle brake sections with the distinctive large side extensions and there is an inner textured grommet which is fitted inside the two outer muzzle brake parts and apart from some minor join seams after assembly makes into an impressive muzzle brake.

Added to this is a brass tube for the upper recuperator cylinder and plastic lower air equalizer cylinder on the right side of the gun assembly which can be positioned on its inner piston depending on the elevation of the gun.
The trail arms are new with the smaller spades for this version and apart from a couple of shrink holes mentioned above are nicely detailed with many separate parts for the grab handles and other smaller fittings. These attach to the lower gun carriage so they are movable after assembly with alternate securing latch depending on the firing or travel position.

The new smaller spoked wheels with separate vinyl “rubber” tyres have well defined spokes with separate brake drums but as mentioned those annoying shrink holes around the rim between each spoke will take some filling.

The kit builds into a nice representation of the final /40 version of the 105mm howitzer with all the alterations from the earlier M included and is sure to be another welcomed artillery piece especially when released as the separate kit.

The small decal sheet from the original leFH18 kit is included as well as a new decal sheet for the 251/4 which is well printed with thin carrier film and provides markings for five vehicles, although only two are shown in the instructions. Again with the inclusion of the instructions from kit AF35078 the four vehicle markings shown in those instructions are not included as the decal sheet from that kit is not included.

Markings are provided for a 251/4 from 2.Pz.Div 1941-43, 3.Pz.Div, 4.Pz.Div 1943, 4.Pz.Div 1944 and 5.Pz.Div 1943 with just the unit insignia and tac signs, a single number plate and some white balkenkreuz.

While this kit is another throw together as has become quite common these days you do get another good model of a 251/4 Ausf.C as well as a bonus leFH18/40 before the releases of the kit proper as well as a set of individual tracks for a useful package that is a bit cheaper than buying all three separately.


The Sprues:

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Detail images
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leFH18/40 Parts
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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
Wings & Wheels WWII German and Soviet Field Howitzers in detail
Wings & Wheels Publications.
Special Museum Line No.25

ISBN 80-86416-24-0
Published by RAK, Czech Republic.
60 pages all in colour.
This book features the leFH18/40 which is based on the 7.5cm Pak 40 carriage.

Kit courtesy of my Credit Card and the excellent service from Hobby Easy.

Page Created October 29, 2005

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