According to Panzer Tracts  the Sd.Kfz.251/21 was produced from
October 1944 to March 1945. According to  production started before
August 1944; according to  it was in September.
(seemingly called Sd.Kfz.251/14 at the time ) was converted from
an Ausf.C. It had a three-sided shield for the guns, a four-sided
shield added to the superstructure and three foldable seats instead
of the usual benches and a seat for the gunner. It had one large and
two small ammunition bins.
Production variants were planned to have the 15mm MG151 at first (+/-
the first 50 vehicles) and the 20mm MG151 later (the gun came in two
versions). The armor around the guns was completely redesigned and
the additional armor for the hull was limited to three panels at first
and completely eliminated at the end.
information from  and , it seems that (apart from the prototype)
three versions can be distinguished, in order of appearance
1. Three sided armor added to the hull. Circular brace over the gun
2. Three sided armor added to the hull. Circular brace under the gun
mount. Redesigned gun assembly and armored shield.
August 1944 (after +/- 250 vehicles were produced): pedestal placed
10mm further aft and 13mm lower; additional armor to the hull no longer
installed. (It seems that the splash rail for the original front MG
was retained in this version.) Late vehicles of this type might have
the later engine hatch configuration and flat visors. (Only Dragon
has tried to offer a single hatch engine deck in the Sd.Kfz.251/22
kit so far, but didn't quite get it right.)
that field modifications existed as well, some with different armor
configurations for the gun, with at least one documented vehicle based
on an Ausf. C.
starting point was the Hasegawa Sd.Kfz.251/22 Pakwagen for two reason:
because I had one and because I wanted to use the gun on an Sd.Kfz.234/4.
This means that I basically used the kit as if it were just another
Sd.Kfz.251/1. Most of the comments in this review will thus apply
to any Hasegawa Sd.Kfz.251.
Construction is hassle free in general, with some noteworthy points
roadwheel design predates the single-part-row trend that we are
used to now thanks to Dragon, Revell and MPK. Still, this has an
advantage as the roadwheels will not all have the exact same clockwise
orientation which enhances realism. A positioning tab is provided
to make sure both halves line up. The torsion bars have the correct
staggering between left and right side. The drive sprocket is a
bit too close to the fenders for comfort.
replaced the black rubber band tracks with rubber-like parts from
MPK. I don't know what they are made off, but they resemble Dragon
Styrene, albeit in a grey color. The sample I got from MPK was labeled
as 7308, but I can't find it on their site, so I don't know if it
is currently available.
While they are a pleasure to work with, they are narrower than the
Hasegawa tracks. The result is that the outermost roadwheels will
no longer touch the edge of the tracks, which doesn't look quite
interior was modified to accept the CMK kit as explained below.
A box (for ammo ?) was added to the right rear corner, originating
from the spare's box. More about that later.
kit offers the option between a Notek and a Bosch headlight. For
the /21 a Bosch headlight would be the most appropriate.
(co-)driver's visor was enhanced by deepening the vision slit. The
same can be said for the lateral vision slot and the panel line
between driver's and fighting compartment.
pick-axe on the right fender is strangely rendered. With the outer
(pointy) ends molded on the fenders, and the rest as a separate
mirror was made with the punch and die set and added to the left
against the plans in , the Hasegawa kit scales out to approximately
1/69 in width and length. The main culprit being the fighting compartment,
which is around 8% too long, the engine deck actually being 1% too
short. If you look attentively, this is something that you will notice,
although it is not that obvious at first sight, because most angles
my humble opinion, I feel that CMK botched the job and offers a
mix between the prototype and a mid production /21.
The gun shield doesn't look like the production version at all,
but more like the prototype based on the Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.C:
has parallel sides. The production versions were both markedly
protoype shield had no angled bottom and neither does the
CMK part; the production shield has.
cut-out in the top of the gun shield corresponds to the prototype;
the production vehicles had a hole.
is no arched support bar over the guns.
only modified the lower corners by milling them off and adding
scraps of plasticard. In hindsight, I should have either left
the kit parts as such, pretending there was a very very early
vehicle based on the Ausf.D that kept the configuration of the
prototype, or gone the whole hog and made the shield from scratch.
The resin bar at the rear of the guns is not seen in drawings
in  and the attachment of the gun to the pedestal doesn't capture
the look of the real thing.
seat for the gunner (attached to the gun mount) is missing. I
added it from metal wire and plasticard. Note that the gunner's
seat was hinged so that it always hung down vertically when the
gun was raised or lowered.
The casting of the gun assembly is also far from perfect with
noticable warping. The gun barrels would best be replaced by metal
tubing. (They are too short, far too thick and lack a muzzle.)
Note that the outer 15mm guns had a beveled muzzle; the 20mm guns
didn't. I have the feeling that my replacement gun barrels, made
from brass rods, while longer than the kit parts, are still 1mm
is still a lot of discussion going on about the interior of this
vehicle (e.g. here).
At first, I thought CMK's interior was totally wrong, but I am
no longer so sure and I believe it is only mostly wrong.
The vehicle had a crew of four. Panzer Tracts  shows three
foldable seats in the fighting compartment and the rear benches
of the Sd.Kfz.251/1 replaced with ammunition bins. As I assume
that the driver's and co-driver's seat were still installed, this
makes seating for five.
CMK doesn't mention the collapsable seats, and keeps the left
rear bench, which makes seating for four. Plausible, but ammuntion
bins would still be needed to take the place of the right rear
For reasons that I have forgotten, I decided to add the collapsable
seats from plasticard and the left rear bin. I painted the area
where the right seat could be in primer red, to give the impression
this was a field modified vehicle. (Much later I added an extra
box in that are, coming from the spare's box.)
Thus equiped, the vehicle would allow seating for seven. I clearly
should have done more research before I started, but luckily I
already mentioned that I went for a field modified vehicle, right
on the Axis Discussion Group of Missing Lynx suggests that
early versions might have kept the right bench
seat and one jump seat on the right in front of the gun mount
and possibly one more on the left, making seating for six. (Confused
(Note in the pictures above that later, when the hull halves were
joined, I changed the orientation of the pedestal, as the gun
mount interfered with the hull.)
I am not sure that the repositioned radio set (according to the
CMK instructions) is correct, but it might be. I didn't use the
PE face for the radio, as I felt the kit part was sufficiently
good. For the same reason, I didn't replace the rear doors.
Speaking about the radio, the radio mount should be on the added
hull armor (front right).
middle of the three ammo boxes, attached to the pedestal, should
be far bigger than the two on the sides. CMK gives three identical
boxes. Looking at the drawings in  The middle one should be
a bit wider and not as high, while the other ones should be a
bit lower and a lot narrower. In fact, when installing them, they
interfere, and even more so if you add jumpseats, like I did.
Note that I believe, based on the few pictures available, that
the ammo bins didn't rotate with the gun. I don't know how that
worked out in practice, as it would limit the traverse of the
gun. If you want the guns to represent an operational configuration,
you should add some ammo belts between the bins and the guns.
Mine came from a prehistoric PE set.
extra armor for the top of the hull doesn't quite match the design.
The front plate is slightly arched on top (which I don't see in
plans or pictures) and the folded sides, being parallel to the
center section, will angle downward once you put the shield in
place in a slightly reclined position. To remedy this, I sanded
off the lower corners of the folded flaps. Unfortunately, by doing
so, I bent the shield. Some of the disadvantages of PE is that,
once bent, it is difficult to get it straight again. The fit with
the side panels was also sub-optimal, but that might be a lack
of skills on my part. The rear angle was also not steep enough
compared to . After installing the PE parts and feeling positively
unhappy, I removed them and made the shields from plasticard.
This is actually far easier and faster than messing with the PE
instructions don't mention to leave off the splash guard for the
front MG. According to  it should be left off for the earlier
versions with the additional armor, which makes sense. If you
agree with this thesis, you should fill in the hole for the MG.
The same argument can be made for the rear MG and its mounting
hole. A drawing in  shows a small circular cover plate at the
rear, which I made with the punch-and-die set.
are four PE padlocks, but the Sd.Kfz.251 had six
bins on which to use them.
seems the real vehicle had a travel lock for the guns, which I
didn't replicate because I didn't find any details about it, apart
from people mentioning there were two types.
rear fender flaps are nice additions. Note that late-war vehicles
were often seen without.
The small hooks for the nose are also nice, but my carpet monster
ate them both for breakfast.
from the PE parts from CMK, I added a rear convoy light that was
left over from an Eduard set
for the Schwimmwagen and added a small rod from stretched sprue
to the pin in the trailer hitch, to make it into an L-shape.
An antenna mount was found in the spare's box and added to the hull
A horseshoe was glued to the front fender as a token of good luck
(which I will need if I want to convince someone that this kit looks
like the real thing). It came from a Tracks
& Troops set.
Some items from the spare's box were added to the bin in the crew
not been able to positively identify users of this vehicle, except
for 13 Pz.Div. and the two "Feldherrnhalle" Divisions, and
even that is cheating as "Feldherrnhalle 2" was nothing
else than a re-designated 13 Pz.Div. (The re-branding happened in
I chose to depict my vehicle as one of 13 Pz.Div. as it might have
appeared in the Autumn of 1944 on the border of Southern Ukraine/Hungary.
Most of the Division would be destroyed in Budapest in December 1944,
but a substantial number of the Schützenpanzerwagen escaped to
form the core of II.(SPW)/Pz.Rgt. FHH2. They were used in the Armored
reconnaissance Bn and the Panzer Grenadier Bn. I chose to depict my
vehicle as belonging to the Panzergrenadiere. Note that at this point
in the war Panzergrenadiere used Grass Green Waffenfarbe and could
wear the Feldgrau Panzer tunic, while the recce troops would be using
a black or reed green Panzer tunic with yellow Waffenfarbe.
Decals for the 13 Pz.Div. came from ICM
set D72001. (I believe this set is now out of production.) The
remaining decals are from the original Hasegawa kit. The latter a
on the thick side.
Notes on the pictures
antenna had broken off just before taking these pictures and I chose
not to replace it before the vehicle had found its place in a diorama.
same argument holds for the pin in the towing pintle.
flap for the rear convoy light is missing. This is a sad story.
It detached during final construction. I gently put the small piece
down on my workbench to glue it back on, only to realize three weeks
later that I had completely forgotten about that. (My current span
of attention can be counted in Planck time units.) Some scratchbuilding
is in order, as the carpet monster cannot be left unattended for
three weeks, so much is clear.
final flat coat and some diorama specific weathering still needs
to be applied.
plaster from the diorama has already attached itself to the tyres
Tracts No. 15-3 - mittlerer Schuetzenpanzerwagen (Sd.Kfz.251) Ausf.C
& D, by T.L. Jentz and H.L. Doyle
 Les semi-chenillés Mittlererpanzerkraftwagen Sd.Kfz.251,
Centurytracks 2, Editions du Barbotin