Sd.Kfz. 251/2 Ausf. C
mit Wurfrahmen 40
Dragon/DML, 1/35 scale
u m m a r y
Media, Contents and Price:
||Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale
‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6284; Sd.Kfz. 251/2 Ausf. C mit Wurfrahmen 40 -
3-in-1 kit; 866 parts (771 in grey styrene, 68 etched brass, 16 clear
styrene, 6 DS plastic, 2 turned brass, 2 foil stickers, 1 turned
aluminum); price estimated at US $34-38
||Another triple option kit from DML
(actually only two), new moldings for the wheel assemblies and other
||Lack of solid information on the
systems tends to hurt the modeler in building the kit; many small detail
||Highly Recommended for all German
and rocket launcher fans
Dragon's 1/35 scale Henschel Jagdtiger will
be available online from Squadron.com
The Germans were not the first army in the world to use rockets in a tactical
situation, but they were the first during WWII to use heavy rocket launchers in
a close support role.
The first two rockets fielded came out in 1940. They were the Wurfkoerper Spreng,
a high-explosive rocket with a 28 cm warhead weighing 55 kilograms, and the
Wurfkoerper M FL 50, a napalm-type incendiary mixture fired in a 32 cm warhead
weighing a bit less but carrying 40 liters of filler. Both rockets used the same
solid-fuel rocket motor, but were ballistically awful and underpowered,
providing only a very short range with high levels of dispersion. Maximum range
for the HE one was 1925 meters, with a CEP of more than 80 meters; for the
incendiary, it was 2200 meters with a CEP of over 100 meters. (CEP is circular
area probable, which means only half of the shots would get within 40-50 meters
of their intended target; result – you have to shoot more than one round to
ensure you might hit it.)
Rockets could be fired from a number of different mountings with a device giving
an interval of 2 seconds between shots (that was to let the mount settle down in
order to minimize dispersion by the rest of the rockets.) Early mounts –
Wurfgeraet 40 and 41 – were four-shot fixed frames with only elevation
adjustment, firing from the ground. Later, a bigger mount, the 28/32 cm
Nebelwerfer 41, was created with racks for six rockets of either type or a
mixture of both. Finally, due to the short range and vulnerable situation it put
the crew into when firing, someone came up with the bright idea of mounting six
launchers (actually the open packing crate/launcher frame the rockets were
shipped in) on a saddle mount fitted to an Sd.Kfz. 251 series halftrack. The
idea worked, and was officially dubbed Schweres Wurfrahmen 40 or SWR 40;
unofficially it was nicknamed "Stuka zum Fuss" or "Stuka for the infantry."
Due to the fact that they were fragile and added nearly three feet to the width
of the vehicle, the rockets were not mounted until just prior to going into
action. The frames would be preset for a specific range and the carrier would
move in to range of the target (minimum range was 300-400 meters, which was just
possible from the mountings but not recommended). The driver and commander would
line up on the target, and since they had armor protection could fire the
rockets from within the vehicle. For bombardment the crew had a remote firing
device and could launch them from up to 10 meters away from the vehicle. They
were heavily used in Russia, as the frames could be quickly fitted to nearly all
standard hull 251 series halftracks of any model (e.g. Ausf. B, C, or D.) Normal
mixture was five 28 cm HE and one 32 cm incendiary per load.
This is a popular model as it "dresses" up any 251 halftrack and makes it more
interesting, and this is the third version in this scale. Nitto came out with a
B model fitted with a very crude set of 32 cm rockets back in the early 1970s
(each consisted of only two parts, four part packing crates, and a very sketchy
set of "saddles" for the vehicle, but they were no worse detailed than that
kit.) Tamiya came out with one about 15 years ago on its D model 251 chassis.
Now DML offers the model as a "3-in-1" kit, but since the only difference
between two "versions" is the use of the 28 cm or the 32 cm rockets, and in real
life a mixture was preferred, it is somewhat of a grey area.
Also something not quite spot on is the fact that DML identifies this as a
"Sd.Kfz. 251/2" variant, which was an 8 cm mortar carrier. While that is
possible the vehicle is configured as a /1 with the normal infantry interior. Be
that as it may, it is a correct version of the vehicle, and the rockets and
their launcher frames are quite detailed. DML provides a total of six 28 cm and
six 32 cm rockets for the kit, and with their launcher frames and the "saddle"
mount they account for some 220 parts, a big change from the Nitto kit!
Even though DML used its "slide molding" technique on the rocket crate/frame
assemblies, there are still some six to eight parts (with or without optional
etched brass parts) per assembly, and the rocket each have four parts including
a separate fuse assembly. The options for the diorama fan are going to be wide,
as this permits showing loading and arming the rockets, fitting them to the
frames, etc. For the more prosaic, the launcher frames are complete and may be
shown either open, loaded or unloaded and prepared for travel.
The model may aslo be built as an Sd.Kfz. 251/10 platoon leader's vehicle with
the 3.7 cm Pak 36 mounted over the front of the crew compartment. The complete
upper part of DML's 37mm antitank gun and a new upper deck for it are provided
along with a turned aluminum barrel and one-piece pre-bent brass gun shield for
the halftrack mounting. Ammo racks are included to complete the conversion.
The rest of the kit is the welded C model 251 from DML with newly reworked wheel
sprues with more detail on the parts. While they now show the detail on the
sidewalls of the road wheel tires, oddly enough there are none on the front
wheels! It comes with a dedicated brass sheet including seat back spring
details, and better regular tracks.
A total of four different vehicles and marking options are provided in the kit:
a grey SWR 40 from Warsaw 1944; a grey SWR 40, 11th Panzer Division, Eastern
Front 1942; a white camouflaged SWR 40 on the Eastern Front, 1945; and a platoon
leader's vehicle from the Eastern Front, 1942.
Overall this is a nice kit, and minor squabbles aside, is a very great
improvement on the previous two attempts at this close support weapons system.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Review Text Copyright © 2005 by Cookie
Page Created 03 September, 2005
Last updated 22 October, 2005
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