The Sd.Kfz.251 was ubiquitous throughout the Second World War, being found on all German fronts. They were adapted to perform many different functions, for example, the 251/1 being a personnel carrier, 251/6 command vehicle, 251/16 flamethrower version and so on. Throughout the course of it’s lifetime, there were also 4 basic types or Ausführung, A, B, C & D.
The 251/23 was the final variation of the 251 produced. It was armed with a 20mm (KwK38) gun held in a Hanglafette turret, and the entire body of the vehicle was roofed over. It used the same turret as on the 234/1 and 222, and was supposed to have entered production in December ’44 with between 10 and 20 being produced.
The 251 series of kits from Dragon are familiar to most people now, but for those that are not familiar with them please see the following reviews:
251/2 mit Wurfrahmen
251/17 w/2cm Schwebelafette
DML Sd.Kfz.251/16 Flammpanzerwagen (Full Build Feature)
251 mit WurfrahmenFull Build Feature
Building the Dragon 251/17 w Schwebelafette(Full Build Feature)
Building a 251/7 PioneerFull Build Feature
This kit from Cyber Hobby is a limited release, but obviously follows the same layout as normal Dragon 251 kits. The big difference being the new upper hull with an enclosed roof, and all the associated parts for the hanglafette turret and gun.
On the Dragon card this time round we get the usual Dragon ‘goodies’, more on these later, and also 11 decent sized sprues of light grey styrene, plus 5 smaller sprues and one of Dragon’s vinyl styrene that holds a driver figure.
All of the sprues from Dragon’s earlier ‘improved’ moulds are present, therefore the road wheels have the manufacturers names around the tyres, the two front wheels have valve detail, and the tread is excellent. There are two types of track given, the early type with lightning holes, found on the sprues, and so they’ll need a lot of cleaning up, and also the later cast type in two small poly bags, presented as ‘Magic’ track. These tracks are among the best injected track I’ve ever seen, and can be made fully workable if you use the cement sparingly!
As with all the Dragon 251’s, the fuel tank and other under floor bits and pieces are supplied, although none of them can be seen when the model is complete. In the driver’s compartment you’re given the choice of three different types of seats to use, one of which includes really nice photo etched spring detail.
In the fighting compartment, instead of the usual four benches, for this version we only need the right rear one, so there are plenty of bits and pieces for the spares box, as there always is with these Dragon kits. In this version from Cyber Hobby, you also get the photo etched side armour plates that protect the hull sides behind the running gear.
Inside the fighting compartment we also get a lot of new detail, for example, there are new drum magazine holders for the Mg34 or 42, which by the way come with pre-drilled barrels, and the magazine racks for the 20mm gun, fixed to the right wall, although not new, since they were in the 251/17 kit, are still incredibly well moulded, looking as if all the magazines were moulded separately and then inserted into the rack. There is also a new radio receiver and transmitter rack, made up from several different parts.
Ass with other 251 Ausf.D kits, we have the option of leaving one fender stowage box open, on either side of the vehicle, two great width indicators in brass, and the option of having the rear doors open. There is also a new antennae pot for the rear left side. Although we are only given an injected star antennae, and not a photo etched one.
Now we come to the business end of this model, the 20mm KwK38 gun. Unlike every 251 kit from Dragon or Cyber Hobby so far, we have a full roof with this vehicle, with just the circular opening in the middle for the hanglafette turret.
The gun itself is the same moulding from Dragon’s 2cm Flak 38 kit, with all the associated hardware and turret itself coming on a new sprue, which is the same one included in the new 234/1 kit from Dragon. The moulding on this is quite superb, and is the equal of any other injected kit manufacturer, surpassing most. This assembly will look quite stunning when made up and painted! Although there is an injected barrel included, which has a pre-drilled end, there is a wonderful pre-machined brass one included, with a fantastic flash suppressor included. On a separate photo etched fret, we are also given the anti-grenade meshes for the roof of the turret., which again, originally appeared in the 234/1 kit.
The options for marking in this kit are somewhat limited, since there were so few of the real vehicles. With this in mind, two options are presented, both from unidentified units, both on the Eastern front in 1945, obviously. Curiously, both are displayed in the instructions with the same license plates? One is in overall yellow, and the other has very thin brown and green stripes applied over a dark yellow base.
If you’re a 251 fan, then you have to have one of these! The only version with an enclosed roof, it will look superb when built. Very highly recommended indeed!
My thanks to Cyber Hobby
for the review sample.