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135
251 mit Wurfrahmen

the kit
The box contains parts to make 3 different versions. Two versions are both Wurfrahmen, one with 28cm rockets that contained 40 kilos of TNT, and the other with 32cm rockets that contained 50 litres of jellied gasoline. It was possible for these to be mixed, but in practice this rarely happened, as the range for both types of rockets was very different. The other version Dragon offers in this kit is the 251/10 carrying the 3.7cm Pak 36. It should also be possible to build a standard 251/1 just using parts from this kit.

Although the kit states the Wurfrahmen options are 251/2, this was in fact a mortar-carrying version, and in this kit the mortar is not given, Dragon state: “According to the Kriegsstarkenweisung (Kstn) No. 1126 a(gp)(fg) Date 11th Jan 1944: the third gruppe in every Kompany was equipped with 251s with Wurfrahmen 40 but without the 8cm mortar. Whether this was a true 251/2, or a sub-variant based on the 251/1 with Wurfrahmen 40, it was still in the Werfer battery. There were true 251/2 with mortars that were converted to carry the wurfrahmen 40's as well and the mortars were removed. So without some further evidence as to how these vehicles were technically called, it remains a mystery."

contents
Again, that lovely ‘tingly’ feeling when opening the kit for the first time! There is the usual Dragon ‘card’ with all those little extras we have come to expect from Dragon. Two photo etched frets, one containing ammunition racks fro the Pak 36 version, the other containing a myriad of small replacement parts such as the sprung seat backs. I feel it is important to mention that, as usual, Dragon include these as replacement parts, so in most cases the Styrene parts are there if the photo etched parts are perceived by some as too difficult to install. There is also a fantastic brass replacement shield for the Pak 36 which comes pre-formed to shape! Also on the card is an aluminium barrel for the Pak 36, foil mirrors for the fender rear-view mirrors, and two beautiful brass width indicator poles.

There are 12 large sprues of Dragons light grey styrene, two of ‘E’ that both contain the wheels and tracks, and three of sprue ‘U’, which is a brand new sprue containing all the rockets and their associated hardware. Two styles of rocket launching crates are supplied, wooden which were supposed to be used once and discarded, and also the metal type which were often re-used. Sprue ‘V’ is also new and holds the backing plates for the rocket launching crates. There is also a sprue from Dragons’ Pak 36 w/crew kit, containing the gun itself, with no crew obviously!

In addition to all the sprues above, Dragon also provide all the vision blocks and hardware in transparent styrene. These are extremely well cast, and although it is nice to have the vision blocks themselves in transparent plastic, I find the rest of the mechanism sometimes difficult to clean up? However, I think if it was made of ‘normal’ styrene, it may well prove too soft to form that mechanism. Swings and roundabouts I suppose. The normal 251 chassis is supplied of course, along with an extra small sprue that contains 2 more variants of the seats (one with PE back, one without) and that wonderful slide-moulded towing pintle from their earlier 251/D kits.

One vinyl crew member is supplied, and for the second time in the 251 series, Dragon has included a fantastic half tarpaulin, slightly bigger than the one offered with the earlier 251/C 3 in 1. As expected these days, all parts are immaculately cast and free from any flash whatsoever. The instructions are the usual 2 colour exploded line drawing on a 4 way gatefold sheet, with different stages dealing with different versions, so making ensuring the correct instructions can be followed for the version you choose to make.

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About the Author

About Vinnie Branigan (Teacher)
FROM: ENGLAND - NORTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM


Comments

Another well written article Vinnie can't wait to get this kit as I've recently finished the Tamiya kit. It will be a nice comparison.
OCT 03, 2005 - 06:47 PM
Excellent work as usual Vinnie! Gary, the kit has already been released in HK, two of our site advertisers, HobbyEasy and LuckyModel are carrying it on their lists...Jim
OCT 03, 2005 - 08:10 PM
nice one vinnie, outstanding work. obviously teachers are useful for something (just kidding ) if i won't have so many kids on the bench i would go for one, after your appetizer article.
OCT 04, 2005 - 07:06 AM
Hi Vinnie, Beautiful build! However, the vehicle is surely a Sd.Kfz. 251/1 with rocket launchers. Keep in mind that the order you mention is dated 1944, two years after the 11PD vehicle offered as a markings option. Also note, that these vehicles still have rear bench seats and forward MG shield. I believe it was an honest mistake by Dragon, the order cited would do better if they release the armament sprues later with an Ausf. D kit. To convert the mortar carrier to the rocket launcher, a field conversion, it would entail removing the mortar base (mount still bolted) and the ammunition holders from the mounts that normally held the rear benches. It is unlikely that any rocket launcher field conversion kits would include the rear bench seats plus front MG shield and hardware. I do not dispute that there were mortar carriers converted to ammunition carriers. So, to make the /2 variant, leave off the front MG and hardware (the hole can have a PE detail grommet), add the mounting lugs from where the mortar base would have been, and do not use the rear bench seats. I do not know what was placed in the area where the rear bench seats are shown, perhaps two crates with rockets? Again, it is a great kit and a nice build. Regards, Saúl García Still the oldest member posting in these forums!
NOV 11, 2005 - 07:04 AM
'Tank Power Volume VI - sd.Kfz.251 (215)' shows a pic of the 251/2 with the mortar in situ, and the rear seats are still there along with the front ones. As are both MG's. Admittedly it's a A or B chassis....but to be honest, I think it would be foolhardy for anybody to say catagorically this is not a 251/2 converted to a rocket launcher.............based on the fact that they can't see a few bolts on the floor and it has an extra MG? And anyway, it wasn't the order I quoted.....it was the order Dragon quoted...............We all know that when somebody says "it can't have been...." somebody will find evidence that it 'has been'..... Regards Vinnie Branigan (Not the oldest poster here, but apparently, a damn sight more useful than some)
NOV 11, 2005 - 07:15 AM
Hi Vinnie, Of course, there will be exceptions. I am writing about what is in the box and how easily the modeler can make a 'true to primary documents' Sd.Kfz. 251 /2 variant converted to rocket launcher. I wrote my previous response from work and did not have the benefit of my library. Looking at interior photos (references listed later) only the right rear bench seat was removed and used for ammunition boxes for the mortar. These photos also show the lack of a forward MG and a standard mortar base for off vehicle use. Provisions were made for only one MG34, the other side had stowage for the mortar tube. However, the scale plans by John L. Rue in Ryton's Schützenpanzer (page 189) show both front seats missing. I have not seen this configuration in any photos. Page 110 of this book does show the spare rockets stowed in the fighting compartment. Page 24 of Squadron's Sd.Kfz. 251 in Action illustrates a vehicle which is lacking the forward MG and could possibly be a /2 conversion. Note I wrote, “the order you mention”, since it is what you did with the information Dragon provided to you regarding Kstn No. 1126. I have asked Tom Jentz for clarification on the rocket launcher conversions since he, and Hilary L. Doyle, are working on the third part of their Panzer Tracts title. 15-3 which will continue the coverage of the Sd.Kfz. 251 series. Since they are away measuring real vehicles for the book, they have yet to respond. Their Panzer Tracts 15-2 has some excellent plans on the early Sd.Kfz. 251 which clarify a lot of questions. It seems that I continue to be the oldest poster. Any prizes come with that honor? Regards, Saúl García :-)
NOV 11, 2005 - 03:51 PM