Until the release of this version I had successfully managed to resist buying any version of the Dragon Half tracks.This one was an exception, my excuse is that it isn't an APC but an Artillery vehicle despite there being a full and comprehensive interior included with the kit, with some of the nicest Kar 98's I have seen for a long time and it seems a waste to put them in the rack.
The kit comes with some of the interlocking leaf wheels moulded together, some won't like this and would prefer separate wheels, however once the wheels have been assembled it is not noticeable even without the track fitted, once the track is fitted it can not be seen at all, the front wheels come with a fully detailed suspension.
As far as I can work out the Rockets came in two sorts, the 32cm napalm rocket in a wooden frame and the 28cm HE rockets in a metal frame, the kit supplied frames seem to be the wooden type indicating that these are the napalm type rockets. One thing missing from the kit are the sighting vanes that were mounted on the front of the vehicle and these will have to be manufactured for an accurate kit. Often labeled as "Stuka zu Fuss"( "Walking Stuka" although Sqn Signal have translated it to "Stuka on Call" ) by some references, others call it "Bellowing Cow" or "Huelende Kuh" (I can be corrected on the translation) in German.
Moulded in the now usual grey plastic that is slightly softer and easier to work with than the earlier lighter grey plastic used by Dragon.
The Hull bottom is fully detailed.
The Hull top and fenders, floor and seats for the interior, the Engine housing of the vehicle can be made open although no Interior/Engine is provided, this is one for the aftermarket boys.
The main suspension parts plus various hull and interior fittings
Two of these sprues are provided and contains the outer road wheels and the tyres along with weapons and tools
There are 3 of these sprues in the box containing the rockets, frames and mounting brackets for the vehicle.
The PE fret contains the number plates, various fittings for the interior and rear mud guards
The other PE fret contains better detailed mounting brackets.
The Decal sheet is comprehensive, but you have to make the number plates yourself, which theoretically means that you can make any vehicle, but might get a headache doing it.
The Tracks are in DS styrene and nicely detailed, with them being DS it means that you can get them to sit on the wheel tops properly without trouble, also the links are small enough so that it is not noticeable that they are flexible.
A highly detailed kit, I have never seen the Esci version of this vehicle so I can't compare it, but given the time between the release of the kits, I would imagine that this is miles a head of the old Esci kit.
The kit measures out to 1/72 from the references I have.
SdKfz 251 in Action Sqn/Signal Publications
SdKfz 251 Half-Track 1939-45 by Bruce Culver and Jim Laurier, Osprey New Vanguard 25
SdKfz 251 Militaria 012
Schuetzenpanzerwagen War horse of the Panzer Grenadiers by Horst Scheibert, Schiffer Military History
Die Halbkettenfahrzeuge des Deutschen Heeres 1909-1945 by Walter J Spielberger Motorbuchverlag