The 251/16 Flammpanzerwagen carried two Flammenwerfer 40's (14mm) and was usually based on the Ausf.C although Ausf.D examples did exist. It was first produced in January 1943, and late versions also carried a portable flamethrower, the 7mm Flammenwerfer 42. Dragons kit of the 251/16 (kit # 6202) has been out for some time now, and this set from Eduard brings some welcome improvements to the basic kit.
Inside the Eduard pack you'll find two frets of photo etch, one large and one small. Unlike the earlier Eduard offering for the 251 'Falke' from Dragon, this set includes lots of parts specific to the Flammpanzerwagen. There are 5 sides of the usual colour, exploded line-drawing type instructions, which detail which parts to replace, remove, fill or otherwise change so that the Eduard set can be installed.
As is usual with these sets, the first changes to be made are to the dash, Eduard providing a replacement photo etch dash with a paper insert to represent the dials. Not entirely convinced that this is an improvement over the kit part however, although it does represent the proper data plates missing from the Dragon part. There is also a bracket for the gasmask cylinder and brackets for the heating duct, which emphatically are an improvement over the Dragon parts!
We next have parts for the Flammenwerfers, which include some nice jubilee clips for the hoses, and some very nice valves, replacing those in the kit which are represented by just plastic discs. There are new brackets for the rifle racks, which are a vast improvement over the kit parts, and also a new radio for the co-driver's position, but here I think the kit part is a more realistic representation, the photo etch part being by it's very nature, a little too flat, although the bracket to hold it is certainly very nice.
Also inside the driver's compartment we have brackets for the MP40's and what are supposed to be ammunition pouches for these, one under each, but look instead more like map pouches? There are replacements for the foot pedals, gear shift lever housing, and two new floor panels.
Inside the crew compartment there are various stowage brackets, including a nice bracket for holding ammunition drums for the MG34 or MG42, a control mechanism for the Flammenwerfer, some more jubilee clips for various hoses, and a new fire extinguisher bracket, which can't actually be fitted since the compressor for the Flammenwerfers gets in the way, but always useful for the spares box! The last specific parts for the 251/16 are 2 etched shields, one for each Flammenwerfer. Now these are very nice indeed, but unfortunately superfluous, since photo etched shields are supplied in the Dragon kit? However, you do get a shield for the MG34, which Dragon doesn't supply as photo etch in this kit.
In addition to all the above, Eduard also supplies brackets for all the external light fittings and tools, indicators, stowage box clasps and retaining chains, and a new rear convoy light (late).
I find that all the 251 update sets from Eduard are useful, and not just since the 251 is one of my favourite kits, but because they provide things that in my opinion need improving, and they are things that I would otherwise have to scratchbuild. Having said that, this set is expensive, and I can't understand the inclusion of something that is already provided in the base kit for which it is meant., i.e. the two Flammenwerfer shields? If these are taken out, is what's left worth the price?
Further information is available here
My Thanks to Eduard for the review sample.