DML Dragon 1/35 Sd.Kfz. 251/16 Ausf. C Flammpanzerwagen

Kit no. 6202
MSRP: $33.95

By Ray Mehlberger

History:

The Sd.Kfz. 250 and 251 series of German APC half-tracks were both work-horses of the German forces during WWII. Both series had numerous variations.

The subject of this new kit from DML is the Sd.Kfz. 251/16 Ausf. C Flammpanzerwagen or Flame-thrower vehicle.

It is thought that the first of these Flammpanzerwagens was intruduced in January of 1943. Two 14mm flame-throwers, behind armoured shields, on each side of the vehicle and two large tanks in the rear - containing 400 liters of fuel were installed. The crew was provided with flame retardant coveralls, but they did not always wear them. The flame-throwers were not popular with their crews, but they were an effective weapon.

The flame fuel was under 14 atmospheres of pressure. The spray tubes were attached to a Koebe HL II 40/40 1000/200 pump, which was driven by a 1.1 litre two-stroke DKW-motor with 25hp. The spray tubes attached to both sides of the fighting compartment could be traversed through an arc of 160 degrees. Their range was 40 meters. A third, hand-held, 7mm flame-thrower was seen on very early versions of the 251/16. Approximately 347 of these vehicles were built, mainly by Wumag in Gortitz.

Throughout the war there was always a shortage of the required flame fuel (jellied petrol). These vehicles were used for the most in Russia, Italy and Arnhem in 1944. Pictures also show them used in France. There were usually 6 of these vehicles per platoon with 1850 gallons of fuel for them carried aboard three trucks. This was enough fuel for two refills for the whole platoon. In addition to the the flame-thrower spray tubes a MG 42 machine gun with it’s shield was carried. The crew consisted of five men: two flame-thrower operators, a wireless operator, a MG gunner and the driver. 8010 rounds of MG ammo was carried. Flame fuel was sufficient for about 80 short bursts of fire from the spray tubes. These vehicles added much needed fine-power to the Panzergrenedier units during the last two years of the war.

What's in the box?:

The kit comes in a large tray and lid type box.

The box art shows a 251 flammpanzerwagen spraying its flames with another 251 in the background that is off-loading infantrymen. Side panels of the box show all the special features of the kit and the bonus items included.

The kit contains nine cello bags that hold 12 medium gray plastic parts trees, one cello with a tree of tan colored vinyl figure parts and one cello with a tree of clear parts. A further cello holds: three decal sheets, self-adhesive stickers for the instrument panel dial faces and a silver stickers for rear-view mirror faces, three brass PE frets, a length of wire for tow cable and two vinyl uniform jackets. All these are fastened to a stiff cardboard backing.

This new kit shares some of the same trees as DML's earlier Sd.Kfz. 251/22 Ausf. D (kit no. 6248). These are trees C, D, E and half of tree W (a new half of this tree has been added to it in this kit). Also, self-adhesing silver stickers for the rear-view mirrors are the same. Trees A, B, H, L, T and X are all new. Y and Z (two thicknesses of string) are new also.

The vinyl crew figures and the turned brass width indicator poles, plus the three brass PE frets are new.

Letter A parts tree holds the welded style hull top, side beams, floor, nose plate and other panels (26 parts) Ten of these parts are spares or not needed to complete the model.

Letter B tee holds: hull side panels, rear hull door frame, fire wall, tools, MG shield etc. (39 parts) Twelve of these parts are spares.

Letter C tree holds: engine access doors, fuel tank halves, MG mounts, two MGs etc. (54 parts).

There are two identical letter D parts trees. They hold: four x 98K rifles, the engine compartment lower plate, suspension arms etc. (43 parts per tree) 12 of these parts, per tree, are excess.

There are two identical letter E parts trees. They hold: the road wheels, idler wheels, drive sprockets, front wheels, some panels and the individual track links. (78 parts per tree)

There are no letter F and G parts trees.

Letter H tree holds all the parts for doing the riveted body version. (9 parts).

There are no letter I and J parts trees.

There are two identical letter L parts trees. These trees hold the parts for the two flame-throwers. (56 parts per tree)

MA and MB are the three brass PE frets for seat back cushion springs, flame gun shields, weld seams (these are better done with putty), MG ring and cross-hair sight etc. (13 parts)

MC is the two turned brass width indicator poles. These will have to be bent a little and angled before attachment to the front fenders.

There are no letter N through V parts trees.

Letter W is the clear parts for vision blocks etc. (16 parts)

Letter X is the single hull tub part.

Y and Z are the two different thicknesses of string.

The vinyl crew figures are designated as small letters a to c. You get two flame thrower operators and a driver figure. (17 parts)

Finally, is the silver self-adhesing stickers for the rear-view mirrors and two vinyl folded uniform jackets.

The large instruction sheet completes the kit's contents. This sheet accordian folds out into 10 pages.

Page one begins with a black and white repeat of the box art, followed by the parts tree illustrations. Some parts on these illustrations are over-shaded in blue, indicating that these are excess..or spares…and not needed to complete the kit.

Page 2 begins with some general cautions in six languages, followed by international assembly symbol interpretations and a hobby paint color listing. The bottom of the page gives us the first assembly step.

Pages 3 through 9 give us the balance of a total of 21 assembly steps.

Page 10 is the painting and marking drawings. Although three different camouflage schemes are shown only one has division markings on it..Grossdeutschland. You do get one decal sheet with numerous divisional markings (I guess it's up to you which you want to use), another decal sheet has vehicle numbers and license plates on it and a third decal sheet provides German national crosses.

DML is getting a lot of milage out of the Sd.Kfz. 251 molds. There is a engineer version and a Zwilling (flak mounted) version due out yet too.

I highly recommend this series of 251 kits. This one is highly detailed and offers the nice options of either the welded or riveted hull. There are also two styles of flame tubes to opt from too.

I am apprehensive about the vinyl figures and the two folded uniform jackets. I found, in the past, that paint does not want to stick to this soft vinyl stuff and sanding seams on vinyl figures is like trying to sand jello. I wish these had been molded in hard plastic.

I purchased my kit at my local hobby shop.

 

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