SKP Model
Maybach HL42
Engine set for AFV Club Sd.Kfz.251

SKP Model 1:35 Kit #SKP 054

Review by Terry Ashley

AFV ClubAFV Club
The Kit:
Czech company SKP Model have released this resin update set for the Maybach HL 42TUKRM 75 water cooled 6-cyl. engine that powered all versions of the German WWII mittlere Schuetzenpanzerwagen Sd.Kfz.251 (medium armoured car).

This set is designed for any of the AFV Club Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.C/D kits while the set #SKP055 is designed for the Cyberhobby/Dragon Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.C/D kits.

The set consists of 39 parts in a blue/gray resin which are cleanly cast without any blemishes such as air holes or warping with only minor resin film inside the manifolds to be removed along with a small etched fret with 11 parts plus a small A5 sized 9 page instruction booklet to aid in assembly.

Etched fret
SKP Model
Resin parts
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The resin used is quite hard and a little on the brittle side and this means care is needed when removing the casting plugs which are quite substantial on some of the larger parts. Due to this brittleness it it not advisable to use clippers to remove the plugs as this could crack the parts but using a good razor saw is the best option especially on the larger parts as mentioned. The etched razor saw from Lion Roar (set #LT0026) made short work of the plugs on the chassis, engine block and radiator parts as well as the smaller parts with final clean up using a sharp #11 blade.

Detail on the parts is very crisp and well defined with excellent detail parts such as the engine block, radiator fans and the many smaller accessory parts. There are many very small and delicate parts with some having small pins to locate into corresponding locating holes to aid in assembly but there were a few issues due to the finesses of the parts during assembly which we'll get to shortly.

The detail on the parts match the excellent engine photos in the Wings & Wheels Sd.Kfz.251/1 in detail book "Special Museum Line No.37" very well with the book having as much detail as you could possible want and also shows clearly the additional plumbing as well as the exhaust pipe that needs to be added to the resin engine.

There are some modifications required on the AFV Club kit parts before fitting the resin and etched parts that are quite straightforward for anyone with moderate experience. I have test fitted the engine set to the AFV Club Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.D but the modifications are basically the same if using on the Ausf.C kits, these are to cut the front section that includes the engine sump from the kit floor and the lower sections of the engine firewall with the instructions having illustrations clearly showing the modifications required.

Modifications to the AFV Club 251D kit parts
Front section of floor removed entirely
SKP Model
Firewall lower section removed
SKP Model

After cleanup of the resin parts assembly is quite straightforward following the very clear instruction steps provided with the position of the most parts clearly indicated on the resin parts themselves and in the instructions.

The lower chassis parts have the rear chassis box and forward chassis frame that fit together very precisely to take any guesswork out of what is the main step that governs the final alignment of the engine/chassis assembly. The large front radiator has excellent fan detail but no mesh detail on the forward side which can't be seen on the assembled model in any case so isn't really a problem. The fit of the steering box and other parts are also good apart from part A34 which is a bit of a mystery and you will have to refer to the plan views of the assembled engine to get this in the right place.

Chassis/radiator assembled
SKP Model

Moving the engine, this has the main engine block with separate lower oil sump as well as all accessories such as the intake/exhaust manifolds, dynamo, oil cooler/filter, carburetor, forward fan pulleys and the large air filter as well as the firewall mounted horn and spare oil bottle racks. The detail on the engine parts is extremely well done but there is a lot of piping/wiring as well as the fan belts that will have to be added to really complete the engine.

Assembly of the engine parts is quite good due to the locating pins and precisely marked locating points for most parts and following the instruction sequences shouldn't pose any problems. The only issues I found were the mounting pins on parts such as the fan belt pulleys and smaller parts are quite fragile and broke often during assembly and handling while test fitting the engine into the lower chassis and kit hull.

To help strengthen these joins I drilled small 0.5mm holes in the parts and inserted short wire pins and this ensured the parts doesn't came apart after assembly.

Engine assembled
SKP Model

Fitting the assembled engine to the lower chassis frame is very precise due to the rear engine mounts being included with the lower chassis box meaning they are perfectly aligned as they come. The engine mounting pins fit into these mounts with the front of the engine not really having any exact locating points but the fit is snug enough that it seems to just "sit" in the right position. Once you have fully assembled and painted the engine the rear mountings could be securely glued to ensure nothing moves once installed in the kit hull.

Engine fitted into the lower chassis frame
SKP Model

The kit firewall has the lower sections replaced with etched parts with fine engraved bending lines to get things right and there was a little test fitting and trimming needed to get the driver's foot plate aligned correctly but other than that the fit was very good overall providing you take the usual care and test fit often before reaching for the super glue. The two sections of floor tread plate fit into the bottom of the two etched bulkhead parts and it's best to leave the sides of these un-glued at this stage as this will make final alignment with the kit interior easier later.

Etched and resin parts added to the kit firewall
SKP Model

Attaching the fully assembled engine/chassis to the kit chassis is again very straightforward due to the locating ridges in the side of the chassis box that align with the raised lugs on the inside of the kit chassis and this takes any guesswork out of aligning the parts.

Fitting the firewall to the kit hull sees the new etched panels fitting over the rear of the engine which exposes this inside the hull as it should but you should not fit part A19 to the engine until after fitting the firewall or this will get snagged on the etched tread plate floor (part L7) if already attached to the engine. I also found leaving off resin part A21 will allow the floor plates to fit better and you can't see part A21 after assembly in any case so won't be missed.

Engine/firewall fitted into the AFV Club kit hull
SKP Model
View of inside firewall, note the exposed section of the gearbox inside the hull as it should.
and a look through the hull top engine bay opening

SKP Model

The kit front axle and other suspension parts are added to the resin mountings included on the lower chassis frame with these assembled as per kit instructions. Overall I found the fit of the resin engine and the firewall with the added etched parts to be very good and didn't require any further trimming to get a good fit such is the precise fit and alignment of the parts.

The instruction booklet has very clear line drawings of the assembly sequences with all the parts clearly numbered and the position indicated with shaded areas on the drawings as well as the usual arrows, these arrows are also in red to give a good contrast to the black lines of the parts drawings which further adds to the clarity.

There is also a full parts layout diagram with the parts numbered and 6 view plan drawings of the assembled engine/chassis which helps locate any parts that may need additional clarification.

This is an excellent representation of the Maybach HL42 Engine for the AFV Club Sd.Kfz.251 kits and while there is some substantial cleanup of the casting plugs needing care the assembly is quite straightforward due to the provision of locating pins and clear position of other parts. The very clear instructions also help get things together correctly with the fit of the assembled engine/chassis to the kit chassis/hull also very straightforward due to the well thought our location of the respective parts.

If you want to add an engine to your AFV Club Sd.Kfz.251 then you will do no better than this very well done set, the only additions required are the numerous radiator pipes and the large exhaust pipe as well as the fan belts to really finish off the excellent resin parts.

Very highly Recommended.

Sd.Kfz.251/1 in detail
Special Museum Line No.37
Wings & Wheels Publications
ISBN 80-86416-50-X
Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.D
Model Detail Photo
Monograph No.22
ISBN : 83-89717-60-3

Ground Power Special
GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd
Sd.Kfz.251 1939 to 1942

Panzer Tracts No.15-2
Covers /1 to /10
Sdkfz251 Ausf.C & D

Panzer Tracts No.15-3
ISBN 0-9771643-5-7
Schutzenpanzer (Armored Personnel Carrier)
Ryton Publications
ISBN: 1930571291

Thanks to my overworked credit card for the review kit.

Page created May 31, 2009

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