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Sd.Kfz. 251/17 Ausf.C

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Diorama integration
I started this model with a diorama in my mind, and I was quite unhappy to find the Dragon kit is bare of figures. I say that because the kit itself has huge potential. Just to give you a few suggestions: engine bay doors closed / open, command vehicle or AA gun equipped vehicle, the gun on tow or deployed, folded / unfolded side doors, plenty of radio equipment and abundance of ordnance for the gun. Other finishing options are just too many to mention.

After much time spent in research, I decided to modify a couple of figures from an older Tamiya kit (which come with a complement of eight!) The challenge was to make dead-static figures livelier and to squeeze them into SPW. Using different body parts, I put together a decent pair. They are not painted at this stage but they are not the subject of this feature, anyhow. Also I took a few shots just to see how the vehicle blends with the other vehicles (actually only one completed to date). I used an old idle diorama base which I built a while ago, to see the relation to the environment and the color blending. Please note this is not the final base. The main point of interest is the chromatic relation with the dust path and the contrast with the “vegetation.”

Finished model and conclusions
The attached set of pictures shows the finished model from various angles; the reader with the attention for detail will discover small modifications (reversed MG magazines – ridiculously wrong, installed backwards at first; more weathering but not yet complete; some stowage added and correction to the track tension).

The kit is very well engineered; some fellow modelers will say perhaps over-engineered. Maybe, but not too much. The detail is superb. The mold is excellent, with basically no flash, just a few ejection points which are not too obvious on the finished model. The PE parts are not in excess and useful. For those hating using them, there is always styrene alternative, with the sole exception of the spent shells net. The content of the box is very generous, with the notable exception of figures. The only feeble point of the kit is the instructions manual. But, again, reading it twice (eh, maybe trice) before assembly will help. Everything is there, just in a confusing manner. Noteworthy is the flexibility of the kit; the number of combinations of build variations and painting schemes is virtually unlimited.

I read more and more concerns about the quality of the latest Dragon kits, but this one is worth it, believe me.

If anyone is interested in the further evolution of this model, and the finished diorama, please follow my blog here. Thank you, Gabriel.
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About the Author

About Gabriel (Szmann)
FROM: NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

Born in Romania, from a German father. Classical studies, Latin teacher. Currently holding French residency, business owner in a Dutch island where currently spoken language is English. At home I speak Spanish, though. Interest in history and modelling: since babyhood, I grown with my father's stor...