I have also included many images that hopefully will illustrate the text below from where you can make your own decisions about the kits with the AFV Club (AFV) parts shown in olive green plastic and the Dragon (DR) parts in light grey plastic and also note that the parts have been removed from the sprues and cleaned up for the images to better show the parts.
Starting from the ground up the breakdown of the lower hulls is treated differently on each kit with AFV including the road wheel axle mounting plate as part of the side hull panels while the DR kit has a separate lower hull part with the hull side panels as separate parts. Both kits have separate axles and bump stops for the suspension so you can articulate these if you wish. The lower sections of the engine are included with the lower hull part on the DR kit and with the lower floor part on the AFV kit but they both arrive at the same end result.
The detail definition around the lower hull axle mountings is far more detailed on the AFV kit with a raised reinforcing panel with recesses around the bump stops but from references this raised reinforcing panel seems to be a later modification as early photos of the chassis don't have this feature, and it would seem more appropriate for this later vehicle. The AFV kit also has separate small sections either side of the front hull for additional details around the front hull.
The DR kit again has the gearbox, battery, fuel tank and rear axle in the lower hull tub even though this can't be seen on the assembled kit and is probably best to bypass these during assembly.
The upper hulls in both kits are single mouldings with separate engine bay doors, separate vision ports on the separate front panel with just indentations for the side vision slits.
The big difference here is that the DR kit gives you two complete upper hulls, one with the initial engine bay layout with two side opening doors as well as the later hull with a single rear opening door while the AFV kit has only the initial design hull.
The AFV hull lacks the recessed screw heads around the engine bay opening used to hold the door sills in place while these are on the DR kits with nice recessed details.
One minor error with the DR later hull is the inclusion of the radiator cap cover which wasn't on this hull as the front section of the hull is actually another door that opens to the right to access the radiator, but this will be very easy to remove. The side hinges for this front door are included but you will need to scribe the door line on the other side, again very easy to deal with.
The DR initial hull is from the 251D 3 in 1 kit (#6233) and still has the locating marks for the “falke” fittings just in front of the driver's visor and on the front plate but these are very easy to remove and both kits have subtle weld seam and bolt head details on the front panels and along the side walls.
One thing omitted from the initial comparison review was the overall hull dimensions and therefore I have added this section dealing these details and it’s really up to the individual to decide if these discrepancies are worth bothering with, but in any case the info is presented here for your perusal.
There are a number of small dimensional differences between the AFV and
DR upper hulls and the first noticeable difference is with the width which
is 2.1meters (210cm) wide in real life scaling down to 6cm (60mm) in 1:35th
scale. The AFV hull is 60mm wide exactly while the DR hull
is 58mm wide making this 2mm too narrow which is noticeable when looking
at the two hulls together.
The opening at the top of the rear hull is 39mm for the AFV kit and 38mm for the DR, so the 2mm hasn’t been carried through to the top which also means the angle of the upper hull side is slightly different on each kit due the 2mm difference at the bottom (widest point) and only 1mm at the top.
The width of the upper front hull is also different on both with the AFV hull being 18mm and the DR hull at 19.5mm which matches the plan size exactly while the side angle from the front plate to the outer hull junction (at the driver’s plate) is slightly out due to the narrower DR hull.
Due to the front being 1.5mm narrower on the AFV hull the hull angle is also slightly off not as much as the DR hull angle is out with narrower hull, but overall the front hull angle is really indiscernible and probably won’t be an issue.
The length of the upper hulls see the rear section of the AFV hull 1mm shorter than the DR hull while the length of the front section back to the drivers plate is the same except for the angle of the side panels due to the above.
So overall both have minor niggles but when looking at both hulls together the 3mm narrower hull of the DR kit is more noticeable than the minor differences of the AFV hull but as mentioned initially it’s up to the individual to decide if these discrepancies are of importance as there is little you can do about them without major surgery?
Rear Hull and Fenders:
Both kits have the rear hull panel as a separate part with additional separate doors. The AFV kit has the door latch mechanism moulded with the doors for very simple parts while the DR kit has separate delicate latch mechanisms for the doors for very good detail definition and also allows you to attach the opening handle at a different angle when showing the doors open, also the DR kit has the outside T door knob as a separate part which isn't on the AFV door. On the inside wall the AFV kit has two fire extinguishers, one on either side while the DR kit only has one fire extinguisher with current information indicating that the two extinguishers is the correct configuration.
Both kits have separate fenders with separate multi-part exhausts on the left fender with both being slightly different in design, i.e. AFV has the lower drum as part of the fender moulding while DR has it separate but they both arrive at the same result.
The bolt head detail on the fenders and around the exhaust is more refined on the AFV parts while both kits have Bosch head lights with separate base and two part light and they also both have basic NOTEK lights and base included although the instructions in both kits indicate to use the Bosch lights but at least you have the option of the NOTEK lights if you want to use these them.
Both have separate axe and pick axe which are okay but both could benefit from the tool clips being replaced with etched parts while the width indicators are fine plastic parts in both kits.
The side storage boxes on the AFV kit are single closed mouldings while the DR parts have one separate door on each side (different door for variation) that can be shown open or closed as you wish. Both have nice details included such as the latch recesses and moulded on pad locks with fine chain included on the DR parts plus the lower hinge details and both look quite good in detail.
There were different styles of front wheels used on the 251 series and both kits included what could be referred to as the most common type with the detail on the AFV kit having good definition although they don't have the tyre valve fittings while on the DR wheels have the tyre valve indentation on the rims but not the valve which can easily be added to both with thin sprue or wire.
The tyre tread pattern is different on both wheels but I've seen images with both tread types so there is really no problem here.
The road wheels are also more refined on the AFV wheels with the spot welds around the outer wheel rims and the subtle curve around the edges of the lightening holes and raised sections around the lightening holes on the inner wheels while on the drive sprockets the AFV parts are again more detailed with the correct offset of the drive teeth and the rollers included on the drive teeth while the teeth are not offset nor do they have the rollers on the DR sprockets, again the drive teeth in this latest kit have additional details added but are still not offset as they should be. This may only be a minor point as this offset is really not as noticeably on the 251 sprockets as it is on the bigger FAMO for example but it should be there.
The front suspension units are multi-part on both kits with the DR parts being much finer than the AFV parts but on referring to available plans the DR parts are a little undersized with the AFV parts being closer to the sizes indicated.
The AFV axle stubs are fixed in place while the DR stubs are designed to be steerable after assembly which is handy to include a bit of animation to the finished model or when used in dioramas. The AFV kit also has the left side steering arm which is not present in the DR kits.
verall the lower hull and running gear/suspension detail is far more detailed and refined on the AFV kit but the simpler breakdown of parts on the DR kit will probably result in an easier build.
Another major difference in the kits is with the tracks where you get the original individual link working track and the bonus EZ-Track later type track in the DR kit and simple vinyl ‘rubber band’ track with the AFV kit and while this has nice details for this type of track doesn’t have the definition of the DR individual link tracks.
The fact that AFV offer separate individual link track sets is really irrelevant in regards to the comparison but they are available if you wish to shell out extra cash to update the tracks.
On the interior both kits represent the upper side panels for mounting the sidewall equipment as raised panels on the inner hull sides and have full length floor sections with tread plate pattern included. The rear floor section on the AFV kit is a separate part with mountings for the ammo bins while the forward central hump is quite noticeable undersized on the DR kit when comparing to photos of the vehicle interiors with the AFV hump being more to the correct size.
The forward engine bulkhead/instrument panel is the correct shape with the left side wall slanted outward on both kits. The engraved detail on the instrument panels is quite well done on each with the panel being a separate part on the AFV kit, which is really incidental and both have the lower piping as separate parts. The driver's foot pedals are very basic flat ‘blocks' on the DR kit while the pedals are separate parts on the AFV kit for better definition and three gear levers also have more refined details on the AFV kit.
Both kits have the separate large bolted flanges between the forward and rear hull sections and upper hull plate although the DR parts have the incorrect shape at the bend but these flanges will be covered further when it comes to mounting the PaK40 supports later.
The crew seats on both kits have nice cushion and rear spring detail and securing tabs around the seat frames as sell as separate lower seat sections while the AFV instructions show only to use one seat (the driver) the DR instructions show to use both. The steering wheel and column appear more to scale in the AFV kit than with the DR parts which are a little undersized but probably won't be that noticeable on the finished kit.
The visors are again multi-part in both kits with nice details with the new clear parts in this DR kit offering slightly better detail definition and both can be positioned in the open or closed position. The AFV kit only has the driver's vision port with the right side being blanked off with a flat plate while the DR kit has the normal visors on both sides and again I have seen images with both configurations.
Both kits indicate to only fit the rearmost left crew seat which is correct but the DR instructions show the leather covered seats while the wood slats on the AFV seats would be more appropriate for the time period.
There are a number of interior modifications for the /22 variant apart from the crew seats mentioned and these include the modified upper hull panel with cut-out for the gun and this is a slightly different shape on either kit but I can’t determine from my references which is correct and the visor setup was discussed above.
On the front driver’s plate the mountings for the gun travel lock are correctly positioned at the front on the AFV part while they sit on top in the DR part, but this would be easy to reposition on the front as it should be.
The lower gun mountings are designed differently on both kits with the AFV side panels completely replacing the hull flanges while on the DR kit you have to incorporate the flanges with the new panels which do require some modifications as detailed in the DR kit #6248 review.
The main angled support girders are also slightly different on both kits and there is no cross beam between the front panels on the AFV kit which also means there are no connecting beams on the AFV gun platform. Again my references don’t show which arrangement is correct or if both were variations while both kits have the rear cross beam support.
The large right side mounted angled ammo container and smaller box are included in both kits with the DR kit offering alternate parts with the shell bases to show the box doors open if you wish while they only the smaller box on the AFV kit has the shell bases.
Both kits as you would imagine use the gun from their earlier released Pak40 kits with the turned aluminium barrels but obviously without the wheels and trails plus some modified parts to fit the 251/22. The main alteration is to the gun shields which are two part pre-formed brass in the AFV kit with small plastic shield bolts to join the two together and the shields have the correct sized cut-out on the sides to fit into the 251 hull. The DR shields are the two part plastic shields that butt join together with bevelled edges to give the impression of the thin shields which does look quite effective but there is no actual gap between the shields but does make them easy to assemble. Unfortunately the side cut-outs on the DR shields are not the correct shape with it extending too far up the shield.
Both kits have the correct sized gun cradle with this being fixed from the undersized part in the original DR Pak40 kit.
On the side cradle support there is the normal guard on the left side as with the PaK40 but there is also an additional rod guard added on the right cradle in the /22 which is included in the DR kit but missing from the AFV kit but fortunately this is a simple round profile guard and can be made from copper wire without too much trouble.Overall the detail on the AFV parts is finer than on the DR parts but you do get a choice of three muzzle brakes in the DR kit which are really very well done for plastic muzzle brakes using DRs slide mould technology while there is just the one two part muzzle brake in the AFV kit.
The DR kit has four decal sheets included, three from previous kits with the large selection of vehicle numbers, licence plates and gun stencilling plus a smaller sheet with specific /22 vehicle markings while the AFV kit has a single small sheet with markings for one /22 vehicle so the marking options in the DR are far greater.
Both kits offer some additional items with the AFV kit have a Hobby Fan resin figure which is quite nice but is for the ‘first issue' kits and I'm not sure exactly how many or for how long this figure will be included.
The DR kit has the eight figure set #6064 “German MG42 Heavy Machine Gun Team” included as well as two pieces of clothing in the soft DS100 vinyl material and vinyl driver figure plus four turned brass 75mm ammo rounds as well as the plastic rounds and ammo boxes from the PaK40 kit.
Overall both kits are will build into nice models of the 251/22 with each having areas better detailed that the other and visa versa such as the undersized interior parts in the DR kit, the bonus extra hull in the DR kit which does give a good choice for variation or you can use the standard hull for this kit and the later hull on another D kit to build the later version. The better detailed rear doors on the DR kit with more refined suspension detail on the AFV kit and the choice of brass or plastic gun shields while the tracks on the DR kit again offering better choices.
In the end it really does come down to personal preference as both as mentioned will make nice models but the DR kit does have the extra bonus parts that offer good value for money.
If I was to give a recommendation on which to buy it would be if the budget will allow buying both for the best of both worlds.
Ground Power Special
GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd
Schutzenpanzer (Armored Personnel Carrier)
Model Detail Photo
ISBN : 83-89717-60-3
Militaria in Detail 001
Osprey New Vanguard 25
German Halftracks 1909-1945
Spielberger Book 6
Sd Kfz 251
Tank Power Vol.VI
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.215
Sd Kfz 251
Tank Power Vol.X
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.224
SdKfz251 in action
Squadron Signal #2021
Page created 11 January 2005
Updated 5 February 2005