The Sd.Kfz 251 (Sonderkraftfahrzeug 251) family of half-tracks are the most common half-tracks produced by Germany during the Second World War, with some 15,252 half-tracks and variants produced. There are four main models of Sd.Kfz 251: the Ausführung (Ausf) A, B, C and D. From these four models, some twenty-two Sd.Kfz 251 variants were created.
The Plastic Soldier Company produces a Sd.Kfz 251/D (Ausf D model) variant kit that allows you to build the following four Sd.Kfz 251/D variants:
- Sd.Kfz. 251/2 Schützenpanzerwagen (Granatwerfer): Equipped with a 81 mm mortar.
- Sd.Kfz. 251/7 Pionierpanzerwagen: An assault engineer variant.
- Sd.Kfz. 251/9 Schützenpanzerwagen (7.5 cm KwK37): Equipped with a 75 mm L/24 low velocity gun.
- Sd.Kfz. 251/16 Flammpanzerwagen: Equipped with two flame projectors.
The kit comes with four Sd.Kfz 251/D sprues, which allows you to build either the Sd.Kfz 251/D1 Schützenpanzerwagen, the standard trooper carrier, or the Sd.Kfz 251/D10 Schützenpanzerwagen (3.7 cm PaK), a trooper carrier armed with a 37mm PaK (Panzerabwehrkanone 36) anti-tank gun. As well, an upgrade sprue is included, which allows you to build the four Sd.Kfz 251 variants listed above.
Sd.Kfz 251/D sprue & the variant upgrade sprue: side 1
Sd.Kfz 251/D sprue & the variant upgrade sprue: side 2
The Sd.Kfz 251 Ausführung (Ausf) D model, which this kit allows you to build, first entered production in earlier 1943. The Ausf D is characterized by the reduced number of angled body plates (roughly half those of the Ausf C model) and a simplified design; this was done to speed up the manufacturing time for each vehicle.
Sd.Kfz 251/D2 Schützenpanzerwagen (Granatwerfer): side 1
Sd.Kfz 251/D2 Schützenpanzerwagen (Granatwerfer): side 2
Sd.Kfz 251/D7 Pionierpanzerwagen: side 1
Sd.Kfz 251/D7 Pionierpanzerwagen: side 2
Sd.Kfz 251/D9 Schützenpanzerwagen (7.5 cm KwK37): side 1
Sd.Kfz 251/D9 Schützenpanzerwagen (7.5 cm KwK37): side 2
Sd.Kfz 251/D16 Flammpanzerwagen: side 1
Sd.Kfz 251/D16 Flammpanzerwagen: side 2
I built the above terrain piece from extra components from several Plastic Soldier Company kits (the armour kits come with extra components, providing options for building the models).
I painted three distinct camouflage patterns for these models. I found these camouflage patterns in the Flames of War reference book Colours of War. I recommend picking up this book as a World War 2 miniature and model painting resource.
The Plastic Soldier Company’s Sd.Kfz 251/D variant kit comes with several extra components which allows for customizing the vehicles (and for kit-bashing future hobby projects). I paid $42 Canadian for this set, which works out to $10.50 Canadian per vehicle: an excellent price for a high quality model.