During the conceptual planning of the Panzer Divisions, the need arose for an armoured transport capable of carrying infantry into battle. Development began in 1937 by fitting an armoured body designed by Büssing-NAG onto an existing Sd.Kfz. 11 half-track chassis. About 4,650 vehicles of Ausf. A, B, and C were produced from 1939 to 1943. The vehicle played a key role in providing immediate infantry support for the Panzer-Division.
Wartime materials shortages required that the production of vehicles be simplified. Accordingly, from 1943 until the end of the war, over 10,000 armoured half-tracks of the cheaper Ausführung D version were produced. The new vehicle had fewer individual armour plates than earlier versions, giving it a very different appearance.
The Sd.Kfz. 251 series of vehicles was designated m.Schtz.Pz.Wg., medium armoured personnel carrier, and it saw service with the German Army on all fronts throughout the war. A lighter and shorter type existed, designated le.Schtz.Pz.Wg., which served as a light armoured personnel carrier and reconnaissance vehicle. A number of variants of the light and medium APC were developed, and they served in a wide range of roles, from ambulance to flame-thrower.
Sd.Kfz. 251/10 Ausf. D
- Type: Support APC
- Length: 5.98 m
- Width: 2.10 m
- Height: 1.75 m
- Weight: 8 000 kg
- Speed: 53 km/h
- Range: 300 km
- Armament: 3.7 cm L.45 PaK 35/36
- Production: 1943–1945
Good choice of subject. The late version Ausf. D was the most common Sd.Kfz. 251 type produced during the war, it quickly replaced the earlier versions offered by Fujimi and Matchbox. This particular variant, the Sd.Kfz. 251/10, is a support vehicle equipped with a 3.7 cm anti-tank gun. The standard Schtz.Pz.Wg. and this anti-tank version look outwardly similar, but the interior layout had to be adapted to provide stowage for the 3.7 cm ammunition.
The kit consists of nine pieces, including some stowed gear. The interior contains a lot of detail, including crew and stowage, which is a challenge to paint.
Minimal flash. There was a bit of extra material on the hull bottom which needed to be filed or sawed off. Resin dust can be an irritant, it is important to use a facemask when filing and sanding this material.
As with most resin kits, there are tiny air bubbles which need to be filled in, either with putty or extra layers of paint. Typically, these holes will only become visible after the vehicle has been primed for painting.
The resin surface must be thoroughly washed with a detergent before painting, because some paints don't adhere as well to resin as they do other plastics. Best to test the paints on the underside of the vehicle, before the actual painting begins.
Detail is not as raised as with some plastic kits. Paint should be applied in a few thin layers to avoid obscuring the details.
No assembly instructions. The few parts in this kit should be easy to assemble, particularly if a picture of the finished vehicle is available for reference.
No decals included, these need to be scrounge from another model kits.
The reviewer decided not to detail the kit much further, except for two scratchbuilt tow hooks which were added on the hull front. It would be a simple affair to add a radio antenna, headlights, the rear-mounted MG, infantry passengers, and other accessories.
- 3.7 cm PaK mounted on m.Schtz.Pz.Wg., 1943 – May 1945
- Sd.Kfz. 251 m.Schützen-Panzerwagen APC, 1943 – May 1945
- Sd.Kfz. 251/2 Granatwerfer-Wagen (8 cm) Mortar Carrier, 1939 – May 1945
SMALL SCALE offers a growing range of vehicle models for miniature armour enthusiasts. The Australian company accepts mail order, and it is likely that importers in North America and Europe will pick up the product line eventually. The Sd.Kfz. 251/10 Ausf. D armoured personnel carrier is an important vehicle model for wargamer and collectors. This late version was much more common than the earlier types produced by Fujimi, and Matchbox. This vehicle is a must-have for anyone interested in the period.