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Mike

Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.A with German Infantry (35103) 1:35

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Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.A with German Infantry (35103)

1:35 ICM via Hannants

 

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The Hanomag Sd.Kfz.251/1 was the mainstay of the German armoured Personnel Carrier fleet, but was flexible enough to also take up many other tasks within the Nazi War Machine, from Anti-Aircraft duties to Howitzer carriage and back again to armoured reconnaissance, which led to a lot of variants.  With two steering wheels at the front, the rear was carried on tracks, giving it good clearance and rough ground capabilities that a truck simply could not manage once the going got tough.  It was armoured sufficiently to deflect non-armour piercing rounds from small arms fire, but with an open top it was susceptible to both grenades and aerial bombardment, where the armour would concentrate the blast and reduce the interior to a tangled mess.

 

 The Ausf.A was used at the beginning of WWII alongside the Ausf.B, and was generally fitted with an MG.34 on the front cab wall, operated from inside.  There were more than 20 official variants and more unofficial field modifications, but despite their seemingly ubiquitous nature in German service, not many were preserved after the war, and they are highly sought after now, with many examples being based upon post-war builds from Czech factories that have been made to look as convincing as possible by their restorers.  While the purist may notice the differences in films, they're still a huge improvement on repainted American half-tracks from an authenticity point of view.

 

The Kit

This is a reboxing of kit number 35101 of the same vehicle, but with the addition of a set of German Infantry (4 figures) to accompany it.  We reviewed the original kit here, where you can see all the pictures below, as well as the build process and our thoughts on the model.  This boxing arrives in a similar box, with the additional sprues for the figures taking up any spare space within, and on the exterior it has a new painting, which represents the more relaxed theme of the figures, which are either walking with their transport, or standing offering directions.  In addition to the five grey sprues there are three in sand coloured styrene (the figures), a clear sprue (just the headlamps are used), and the flexible tracks and wheels.  The instruction booklet follows the same format, and is actually the one from the earlier box, but with the instructions for the figures slipped inside, along with a separate page for sprue diagrams and painting guide for the accessories that come with the figures.

 

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The figures are four in number, and come as separate torsos, legs, arms, heads and helmets/hats.  Shoulder bags, weapons and all the usual parts such as gas mask canisters, water bottles, entrenching tools, ammo pouches, pistols, binoculars, weapons and bayonets are included, most of which are found on the smaller sprue.  The third sand sprue contains two lengths of link for the MG34 that is included on the aforementioned smaller sprue, which were sometimes carrier over the shoulders for easy access in event of contact with the enemy.  These are moulded in a more flexible styrene, and are also a slightly different colour to the others, which can hopefully be seen from the pictures.

 

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An officer is included looking at a map, while another soldier points with one hand, with an MP40 in his other.  The other two figures are depicted walking, one with an MG34 over his shoulder and a scarf of bullets, the other with boxes of ammo in his hands, and his rifle slung over his shoulder.  As always with ICM, the sculpting it excellent, and the level of detail in the accessories of similar quality.  Painting call-outs are included in the Revell and Tamiya ranges, with colour names in English and Ukraine for those without access to one of the many online paint conversion tools.

 

Markings

As this is the same kit, the same markings options are supplied this time around, with Panzer Grey being the colour scheme of the era.  It also explains why there are no MG42s included on the weapons sprue.

 

  1. WH 726465 1.Pz.D., France, May 1940
  2. WH 179074 1.Pz.D., Russia, July 1941

 

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Conclusion

We liked it first time around, and like it still, especially with the addition of these figures, which add a human scale to the model, and lend themselves to a diorama base, possibly at a crossroads in France?

 

Highly recommended.

 

Available in the UK from Hannants and other model shops
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Review sample courtesy of

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