Plastic Soldier Company

Sd.Kfz. 251 Ausf. D German Halftrack

Kit #: WW2V20006 Preview by Stephen Brezinski - sbrez1(at)comcast(dot)net
Edited by Rob Haelterman

The above box top and art pretty much says it all: 3 hard plastic models, 1/72 scale with figures. The artwork is a rough but reasonably accurate depiction of a late WW2 Schützenpanzerwagen with accompanying SS or late-war army infantry. On the nose of the vehicle is a vague license plate, on the fenders a Notek light and vehicle width indicators (the vertical rods with little white balls). The halftrack is in a post-1942 3-color camouflage with a vehicle number of the side, perhaps number 244.

The Kit Parts
On each of the three sprues I counted 43 gray injection-molded, styrene plastic parts; there are no resin or etched brass parts. There are eight crew figures per sprue, and each vehicle has 20 parts. No decal markings come with this and other Plastic Soldier Company (PSC) kits I have. I think PSC's intention is to go with aftermarket markings, available from PSC and others, so you can model a whole platoon or unit of vehicles for gaming.

The first page of the multi-color instructions displays the parts tree at left, and the two choices of completing the halftrack: as a machine gun armed Sd.Kfz. 25/1 armored personnel carrier (Schützenpanzerwagen), or as a 37-mm Pak 36 gun armed Sd.Kfz 251/10. The particular parts for the Sd.Kfz. 251/1 are highlighted in red, the parts particular for the Sd.Kfz. 251/10 are in green highlight. There are no part numbers but fortunately there are so few parts they should be easy to figure out.

Looking between the parts tree above and the sprue we see crew figures and gear at the top. The figures and Pak 36 shield are reasonably well done but a little chunky and soft in detail. The Panzerschreck rocket launcher, and the packs with blanket rolls and helmets are a great touch. The vehicle superstructure looks done well, but I do have an issue with the overly deep and wide seams around the armor plates and the engine deck hatches. The odd-looking object below the Pak 36 shield at upper left is a thick tow rope wrapped around the front two towing hooks below the nose.

Left of center we have the fender storage bins, and again the recessed lines appear too deep and wide. Right of center is the one-piece track set, done reasonably well but the limitations in detail by being molded as one part. Model Trans produces a resin track & suspension replacement set that may work with this model. A good extra is the spare tire for mounting on the vehicle nose.

At the bottom of the sprue we see the two separate MG42 for the 251/1 at center bottom. For the 251/10 the 3.7-cm Pak 36 would substitute for the front MG42. The Pak 36 gun is a little crude, with no elevation & traverse handwheels and no gunsight. I do not see any 3.7-cm ammunition boxes included with the model. At bottom right on the sprue are the crew seats and backrest/storage bins. Unfortunately, there is no steering wheel, instrument panel, nor interior visor detail, but fortunately, this area is difficult to see when the model is assembled.

Small items like headlights and the vehicle width indicators are portrayed crudely or missing. You may wish to drill out the muzzles of the Pak 36 and the ends of the Panzerschreck.

The kit assembly instructions are the exploded view type. The lack of parts numbers may make it a tad more challenging for the novice modeler but since there are so few parts and the pictures so simple and clear, assembly should go fine; remember: fit twice, glue once.

Exploring the possibility of replacing the PSC wheels and tracks with some better ones let us look at the Modell Trans resin replacement track sets at the bottom and far left of this photo above. The plastic PSC track are at the top, and below that for comparison is the darker gray track & wheels from the quick build Sd.Kfz. 251 kit from First To Fight (IBG). I do note some problems with the Modell Trans track run: track links under the front roadwheel are uneven, not assembled straight by the builder before casting in resin.

The PSC wheel & track set is noticeably longer than the First To Fight and the Modell Trans sets, but may still be usable. Overall, I find the Modell Trans track & wheel set to look much more accurate. With some separate outer wheels at far left, this aftermarket set has a better sense of depth and, moreover, it comes with individual wheels.

Additional Plastic Soldier Company SdKfz 251 models in this scale also available are:
Kit WW2V20016, Easy Assembly Sd.Kfz. 251 Ausf. D Halftrack Variants. This kit contains four Sd.Kfz. 251 Ausf. D halftrack sprues, which includes 37 crew figures and parts to build one of each: a Sd.Kfz. 251/8 Mortar Carrier, Sd.Kfz. 251/9 Stummel, a Sd.Kfz. 251 /16 Flamm and a Sd.Kfz. 251/7 Pionierpanzerwagen.

Kit WW2V20003, German Sd.Kfz. 251 Ausf. C Halftrack, which includes three complete easy to assemble 1/72nd scale Sd.Kfz 251/1 or Sd.Kfz 251/10 Ausf. C halftracks. Each of the three sprues comes with seven crew figures and a variety of gear.

From assembling a few Plastic Soldier kits I found their plastic softer than most manufacturers, so clean-up may be easier but be careful with sanding too much off and gouging the surface. I believe a lot of my observations on the detailing and plastic would be similar with other PSC small scale model kits.

The kits will build into fine wargaming models as is and look more rugged for handling than the small scale Dragon and Hasegawa kits of this vehicle. Being mostly a display modeler, I am tempted to judge this model more harshly than I perhaps should considering the wargaming market it is sold for (no offence to wargamers, it is just that the needs are different). With some detailing and good painting, they will make descent display models.

This kit was purchased by the modeler.


References and helpful links

SdKfz 251 In Action, Charles Kliment & Don Greer, Squadron Signal Publications Armor series No. 21 (1981).

THE Sd.Kfz 251 HALF-TRACK by Bruce Culver, Osprey Vanguard 32 (1983) [Replaced by the newer book Sd.Kfz 251 Half-Track 1939–45 (New Vanguard Book 25)]

Henk of Holland modeling website, section on Plastic Soldier Company model kits.


Plastic Soldier Company products are available at Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 03 April 2020