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In-Box Review
172
Sd.Kfz.251/7 Ausf.D
Sd.Kfz.251/7 Ausf.D w/2.8cm sPzB 41
  • Dragon-251-7-box-top

by: Brent Watterson [ DAGREATQUEEG ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction
This latest 1:72nd release from Dragon continues its trend to utilize the basic hull of earlier offerings to provide the modeler with a selection of versions based on the SdKfz 251 series. This model is the instantly recognizable SdKfz 251/7 Engineer version with the side mounted light assault bridges. This kit is based on the D version which was the last major production subtype of the 251 series, introduced in 1943 and produced through to wars end. The 251/7 served with the Pioneer Platoons attached to the Panzer Battalions and the Armoured Infantry Battalions and the Pioneer Companies attached to the Panzer and Panzergrenadier Divisions.

Contents
The kit contains 130 parts (plus a handful of unused ones) supplied on 7 sprues and moulded in standard Dragon grey styrene. A one piece lower hull casting is provided, including suspension arms again in grey styrene. 2x PE sheets with gun shields and some interior mounting clamps. Three decal sheets and one set of band tracks molded in cream coloured Dragon DS, “glueable” styrene. The instruction sheet is of the diagrammatic style in 8 steps and although busy appears fairly straightforward and easy to follow.

Details and Features
The kit appears very well moulded (as expected from Dragon) with few visible sink or ejection marks and very little evident flash. The basic vehicle and components are as supplied on Dragons other “D” halftracks. Road wheels are moulded in “runs” which allow for quick assembly with no loss of visible detail. The one piece lower hull has suspension arms molded on and also has a good level of detail for a single piece. Combined with the quick assembly wheels and single run DS tracks the kit includes some nice features which aid assembly. Separate rear doors and engine access hatches allow for some customization and diorama opportunities although no engine is supplied.

The parts which set this kit apart are the assault bridges and 2.8cm sPzB antitank gun. The bridges and mountings are made up from 5 parts which include the often seen wooden planks used to mount extra stowage between the bridge mountings. The planks are moulded with wood grain but while this may be in-scale, it appears a bit light and would benefit from being sharper to better pick up washes and weathering. I would also like to have seen carrying handles supplied for the bridges, but these can easily be added with fine wire.

The 2.8 sPzB weapon was officially classed as a heavy antitank rifle (schwere Panzerbüchse) although it is generally referred to as an anti-tank gun. One of several German weapons using the tapered “squeeze bore” technique to increase muzzle velocity, it was last produced in 1943 due to the shortage of Tungsten used in the 2.8cm Pzgr.41 armour piercing rounds. As such it makes for an interesting but probably rare choice for a support weapon. The kit 2.8cm sPzB antitank gun is well reproduced and benefits from the added PE parts which are supplied to make up the characteristic two layer gun shields. Slide moulds have also enabled a detailed one piece gun cradle to be supplied and the slender gun barrel to have a hollow muzzle brake – much less chance of a mishap with the drill here! A critisism however is that no ammo racking or rounds are supplied.

Finally one area where I feel Dragon could have added extra interest would have been to supply the commonly seen large stowage bins which often replaced one set of seats in the engineering vehicles. The kit also lacks any additional or specialized pioneer tools which would have undoubtedly cluttered up the interior.

Markings
Markings and finishes for two vehicles are specified with only one vehicle actually being identified. However the excellent Cartograf printed decals offer the usual extra options for vehicle ID and number plates should you wish to create your own. Markings are featured for;

  • Pz Lehr Div, Normandy 1944

  • Unidentified Unit, Itlay 1944


Conclusions
In all, another detailed and crisp addition to the Dragon 1: 72 251 series and a must have for those collectors of small scale German armour. The addition of the 2.8cm sPzb is very nice and the Photo-etch shields really add to its distinctive character. I would have likde to have been given a few more Pioneer tools and stowage options but this is a small point considering I was just about to cross-kit the bridges from the “C” version with a standard ‘D” APC kit!

Editors note: Some additional photos provided by Jim Starkweather.
SUMMARY
Highs: Assault bridges and finely detailed 2.8cm sPzB.
Lows: Lack of additional Pioneer tools and stowage. No racks or ammo for the 2.8mm sPzB.
Verdict: A nicely detailed kit and a must have for collectors of small scale German armour. My rating of 85% would have been higher with a few little extra supplied details.
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 7317
  Suggested Retail: $15 USD
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jul 22, 2007
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 83.33%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.23%

Our Thanks to Dragon Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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Photos
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About Brent Watterson (DaGreatQueeg)
FROM: NAPIER, NEW ZEALAND

Hi, I've pretty much been modelling since I was 6 or 7. Started with aircraft (still a great love of mine but I don't get enough time anymore) and then moved into 1:35th armour. Got into wargaming and found a love for 20mm armour and vehicles. Had sabatical after university as family and other in...

Copyright ©2017 text by Brent Watterson [ DAGREATQUEEG ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Hi Guys, Andras - do you mean the toolbox's on the side of the vehicle? If so I'm sure theres already a PE set with separate doors, certainly for the Hasegawa "D", they may fit the Dragon kit - I'll check thru my stash list and let you know. Jesper - yeah I agree on the individual numbers. It certainly means you can make individual vehicles if making alot of them or make up a plate to match a ref pic. I must confess to using plates on my Germnas from the Aleran numberplate set which is pretty comprehensive. cheers Brent
AUG 01, 2007 - 04:51 AM
Part makes a PE set for Hasegawa's 251 Ausf. D regards, Steen
AUG 01, 2007 - 06:09 AM
Brent, you're kidding... So there is actually PE in this scale for side-boxes??? (And I thought I was hilarious.)
AUG 01, 2007 - 12:10 PM
Andras, you have no idea! Look at this: (Taken from Eduard's website) And the side-boxes (from Part's website): regards, Steen
AUG 02, 2007 - 03:04 AM
Yup thats the set I was thinking of Steen - the Part set for the Hasegawa 'D". I've got a couple Dragon "D"s here to build, I might pick up the Part set and see how it fits against the Dragon kit's dimensions ....... Brent
AUG 02, 2007 - 05:36 AM
It would have been nice if Dragon had supplied the wheeled gun carriage with the gun.
AUG 05, 2007 - 09:11 AM
I would have liked it much better if they included the correct interior, like with the Ausf. C. And maybe some pioneering tools, mines, explosives, etc. like they did with the 1/35th kit of the some subject. But then again, it's not a perfect world. regards, Steen
AUG 06, 2007 - 03:51 AM
Hi Steen, Yeah Agree totally on what they could (should have) done. It'll be interesting to see what interior they give us with the new 251/10 D. I believe theres ammo stowage in the 251/10 C version so lets see if they do the same. Seems odd to have more complete interiors in the older C series and not to included them in the D versions. Maybe its cost, however I'd rather pay a buck or so more to have the correct interior fit. As it is I'll probably get the 251/7 C and use some bits for the 7-D. At least with wargaming the C wont go to waste - I'll use it as a standard SPW for my winter guys. As an aside I've brought a couple D nebelwerfer and C mortar vehicles as the mail-order HS I use has them cheaper than the standard SPWs. So you get a fist full of spares for the parts box and can still make up the standard SPWs ......... cheers Brent
AUG 06, 2007 - 05:52 AM
Actually all the parts from the 7C interior are also in the 7D box, so all we have to do is get the saw out and split the benches. A bit frustrating that Dragon makes one super accurate 1/35th kit after the other, but keep making less accurate 1/72nd kits, and of the same subjects. Are there no communication between their 1/72nd and 1/35th scale people?? Same thing with the 251/10. All the photos I can find, has the 37 mm gun with cut-down shield. But still Dragon releases a version with full-size shield. regards, Steen
AUG 06, 2007 - 06:05 AM
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