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16Nov/170

Rubicon Models SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C

Yesterday we had the shorter command SdKfz 250/3, today it is time for the SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C by Rubicon Models in a review to shine.

Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C

The SdKfz 251 series was introduced as an armoured fighting vehicle, and designed to transport Panzergrenadiers (Mechanized Infantry) into battle. With at least 15,000 units (including various variants) the Sd.Kfz 251 was the most produced german half-track of the war. It was most often referred as Hanomags by both sides. Until 1943 the Ausf. C of the SdKfz 251/1 was the most build variant, later replaced with the Ausf. D with a simplified template, similar to the improvement of the SdKfz 250 Ausf. A to the Ausf. B. Main difference between the Ausf. C and Ausf. D are the flattened sides of the "nose" and reduced the amount of angled plates. In total the SdKfz 251 had at least 22 different variants, all covering different roles like the SdKfz 251/7 Pionierpanzerwagen with sPzB 41, the 251/3 Funkpanzerwagen or the Sd.Kfz. 251/16 Flammpanzerwagen. To some of these variants, like the /7 or /3 Rubicon offers expansion sets to convert the basic kits into these variants. Some variants were exclusive build upon the later Ausf. D. After the war the SdKfz 251 design was further produced by Tatra and Praga for the czechoslovakian forces.

This kit covers the SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C, along with two machine gun choices; open or close rear access door, and a half open or fully closed canvas top (tarp) option. It is priced around 23 EUR for the plastic kit in 28mm / 1:56 scale. The set covers two sprues with all the parts needed to build the options listed above, an assembly instruction and a decal sheet.

Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C

As you can see, these sprues are casted in dark grey hard plastic. Rubicon uses ABS plastic, therefore it is suggested to use the proper glue, called ABS cement for assembly. Due to the production of injection molds, it is recommended to rinse the sprues in luke warm soap water to wash of any detergent left on the plastic. The cast is done to a high level of quality, with low amount of mold lines and a great use of the available space in the sprue.

Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C

As usual the vehicles are build from bottom to the top, so with the SdKfz the building process begins with the lower hull. There are optional parts and tools that can be added, but the fittings need to be drilled open beforehand from the underside.

Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C

Next up follows the suspension. The later added tracks are among the final steps.

Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C

Rubicon offers two variants of the back doors, individual pieces that can be build open or a single piece for closed doors. There are some head lights and additional gear to the front.

Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C

The SdKfz can either be build open topped, with a halfclosed tarp and the fully closed tarp. This kit offers an extensive interior, but as this SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C will be used in the desert by the Afrikakorps, I went with the closed tarp. Therefore the whole steps for the interior were skipped (but are pretty similar to the ones from the SdKfz 250). The optional MGs (there are 34s and 42s to choose from) weren't added.

Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C

As mentioned before, the track sections are added. Rubicon uses different layers of parts for the Schachtellaufwerk (overlapping and interleaved main road wheels). This gives this part of the kit more depth.

Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C

Same for the other side, along with the suspension and front wheels.

Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C

A brief size comparison with the little, and shorter "brother", the SdKfz 250/3. In the third picture you can see a comparison with a SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C by Warlord Games and a Rubicon Opel Blitz.

Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C

And a final set of pictures from around the vehicle.

Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C Rubicon Modelds - SdKfz 251/1 Ausf. C

Conclusion
A proper kit by Rubicon Models. The addition of the two different, optional tarps is a nice touch and makes sense for different settings like desert or snow. Rubicon offers a couple of variants of the SdKfz 251, among them a very similar Ausf. D (covers the same options with half closed and closed tarp), a 3-in-1 set with the SdKfz 251/7, /8 and /10 as well as variant of the Ausf. D with "Stuka zu Fuß". In addition for Ausf. C and D. are a couple of expansion sets available, covering the /3 command or radio equipment car, a SdKfz 251/7 Pionierpanzerwagen with sPzB 41, a SdKfz 251/2 with GrW34 8.1cm mortar or a SdKfz 251/22 "Pak-wagon".

This plastic kit is on eye level with the Warlord Games plastic kit of the SdKfz 251/1. Rubicon offers the tarp, Warlord has a bit of additional luggage. Rubicon offers an extensive stowage set for German vehicles. Casting and level of detail is on both kits good and the pricing is very similar. In the end, this is a choice of personal taste or what fits best along with your other vehicles (but as you can see from the comparison above, you won't notice the difference as both model kits capture the vehicle very well).

To sum it up, Rubicon offers a well done representation of the SdKfz at a reasonable price. Along with the variants and expansion sets, there are a lot of options available. And all that in plastic, instead of hybrid or complete resin kits, which is a hard plus for many builders.

Link: Rubicon Models

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