Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.C + Wurfrahmen 40
|Kit #03173 & 03177||Preview by Rob Haelterman - heman_148(at)hotmail.com|
Side opening cardboard box. (While most Revell releases in the past have had side opening boxes, some kits can sometimes be found with top opening boxes too). Inside, the sprues are packaged in (a) plastic bag(s).
Kit 03173 is the Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf.C
mit Wurfrahmen 40, aka "Stuka zu Fuss". This vehicle has
also been released by Dragon (even though they mislabeled it as a
3. The sprues
Quality of casting is very good, as we are used to from Revell. Each box contains 4 sprues. Three of them are common to both kits.
Sprue A is for the major components.
The axles for the suspensions are separate parts, so you can assemble
the running gear and glue them to the hull afterwards. Unfortunately,
Revell missed the slight staggering between the axles on the left
and right side. The rear halves of the roadwheels are one piece, which
is actually a good thing, as it assures alignment. You can see very
little of these when the suspension is done, so the slight simplification
is no big deal. Unfortunately, this also means that all the wheels
are in the same position, with one of the holes at the 12 o'clock
position for every wheel, which would be very rare for the real vehicle.
(Note that this is the exact same lay-out as for Dragon's
Sprue B is for the running gear. You get very nice L&L tracks and separate outer roadwheels (unlike in Dragon's kits, where they are still nice but where the second row is interconnected). The front wheels come in two halves, and while the thread pattern is nice, it might get marred by the assembly process.
Sprue C is for the small bits. You
get a reasonable amount of them, which allows for a basic interior.
The major omission for that interior is the weaponry: the MP40, Kar98k
and their racks are not there. The visors are all closed, but are
nicely done. The two MG42s are also satisfactory, but I have my doubts
about choosing for MG42s for an Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.C, especially for
the marking options that are proposed. I believe the MG34 would have
been a far safer choice. A nice touch is the choice Revell leaves
you for the swing arms that allow the rear doors to open. I had never
paid any attention to this, but apparently these had a telescopic
part. For that reason Revell gives separate options for open and closed
doors (something Dragon doesn't).
a) Sd.Kfz.251/1 Stuka zu Fuss
The last sprue in this kit is for the Wurfrahmen and rockets. In all respects these are nicely done. They are simpler than Dragon's, but probably much less fiddly to assemble.
Note that by leaving these parts of, you can obtain an "ordinary" /1.
In this kit the last sprue contains all that is needed to convert the vehicle into a /9: gun and mount, boxes that replace (part of) the benches, and a new roof plate. At first sight this assembly looks very nice. As you still get the original roof, you will still be able to build this kit as an ordinary /1 and use the remaining parts to convert an Ausf.D kit, so nothing is lost.
4. Painting, decals and markings
a) Sd.Kfz.251/1 Stuka zu Fuss
Revell offers two marking options
1) Pz.Div. Grossdeutschland, Russia
1942. Vehicle name "Imme". 3-tone camo.
2) 11. Pz.Div., Russia 1941. Dark Grey.
(Note: All suggested paints in the manual are from the Revell range.)
The licence plates look a bit different
than what I am used to, in that the numbers in the rear licence plates
are relatively small, leaving a relative large amount of white backing.
Again, you get two options, but this time Revell has been very sloppy.
1) 8. schwere Panzergrenadierkompanie Afrikakorbs [sic] 1943. Overall
sand, red "1144".
2) 5. schwere Panzeraufklärungskompanie,
Russia 1943. Overall Panzergrau, black "523". Looking at
the divisional insignia on the decal sheet it appears to be the insignia
9 Pz.Div. used in 1940... when this vehicle did not yet exist. Time
to call in... yes... the aftermarket decals. The black numerals, even
though they have a thin white outline, would also be barely visible
and I would be surprised if these were actually carried on the real
Incidentally my kit contained the same decal sheet twice. I am not complaining.
The manuals are very clear, as we are used to from Revell.
This is a very nice kit, far better than the Esci/Italeri kit, but not as finely moulded and detailed as Dragon's kit, so the choice is mainly based on the price/quality ratio and availability.