The Sd.Kfz.251 was the backbone of the mechanized German ground forces during WWII as everybody knows. There were 23 different main variants produced on four chassis, and many sub variants. The 251/7 Pioneer was really an improved 251/5 with the addition of two sapper bridges held on brackets either side of the crew compartment. This photo-etched set from Eduard is for the straightforward 251/7 Ausf.D variant.
Inside the usual Eduard clear packet youíll find 3 photo-etched frets. Two quite large and one small and a five-sided instruction sheet. So what do you get? The usual improvements are included, replacement dashboard, but of a new design to earlier sets, containing a separate panel for above the steering wheel shaft, gas mask cylinder bracket, floor panel and handle for in front of the co-driverís seat, electrical socket, floor pedals, again of a new design and a vast improvement over earlier sets, although they do look a lot more complicated to build. There is also an odd looking structure for on top of the transmission housing, the purpose of which Iíve failed to discover.?
Also for the driverís compartment there are MP40 brackets, plus the bags for the magazines beneath them, the holders for the spare vision blocks, radio housing and a few other smaller clamps and clasps for the side walls.
Moving into the crew compartment we are given new angled pieces for the above benches stowage lockers, including the rifle racks, a couple of side brackets for the vision slots, fronts and hinges for the lockers beneath the benches, brackets for holding spare Mg34 or 42 barrels, a fire extinguisher bracket and some handles etc. for the rear doors. There are also a couple of brackets for spare MG ammunition drums.
Moving to the outside we have tool clamps nicely done in one part as usual, which means ease of assembly, an etched chain for the towing assembly, rear-view mirror, rear mud flaps and reflectors, a rear Notek convoy light, and handles for the rear doors, which to be honest are not an improvement over the kit parts which are fine. Eduard also show a handle on each door, which is incorrect. There should only be one on the left-hand door. There are photo-etched chains supplied for the fender stowage lockers, although Iím not quite convinced of their usefulness either, since the moulded on ones are difficult to remove, and therefore it might be worth replacing with real chain rather than flat 2-dimensional chains?
Also on the outside we have two lifting brackets for either side of the engine cover, which are a definite improvement, two new hood latches, and then a replacement Mg shield, with an AA sight and a small belt of ammunition, although again, itís very Ďflatí, and Iím not convinced that itís useable!
Finally, we are given a new antennae bracket and conduit for the cable, handrail brackets, although we have to supply the rod for the handrail itself. Nicely done are the four tarpaulin hoops supplied, which are serrated to allow for easier bending, although itís not necessarily accurate, and four new bracket assemblyís for holding the pioneer bridges. Interestingly, Eduard indicate the positioning in millimeters of the second bracket but not the first, so a dry fit will be the order of the day.
A good, useful set from Eduard. Contains a few things that are unusable, and more than a few things that should be used. Still a bit expensive, but recommended.
Further information is available here
My Thanks to Eduard for the review sample.