AFV Club produce a range of Sd.Kfz.251 models, and the Stuka zu Fuss (kit # 35 091) is a good example of the fine kits AFV produce. Dragon may have taken the limelight with their vast onslaught of Ď3-in-1í kits and seemingly endless variety of 251ís during the last year or so, but AFV kits can hold more than their own against the Dragon kits. The fit of floor and hull is but one issue where the AFV kit scores.
Eduard has produced this Photo-etch set for the AFV Club kit to not only add detail to the Stuka zu Fuss rocket launchers (but curiously not the rockets or crates), but as usual adds and refines detail throughout the model.
whatís in the bag?
The set comprises of three frets of Photo-etch, one paper, colour printed dashboard detail, one small piece of pre-cut acetate for vision block lenses and the instructions.
All this comes in the usual clear, bottom opening re-sealable plastic envelope.
Following the Eduard instruction sequence, the following is provided:
1. replacement clutch and brake pedals
2. replacement driver and co-driverís seat bases
3. gasmask canister bracket
4. comprehensive cab detail, such as a nice gear lever gate, dashboard, throttle, brackets for the MP-40ís etc.
5. fighting compartment detail, including spare vision blocks and stowage racks, K98 rifle racks, MG ammo drum storage, and a very nice radio mounting rack.
6. tool clamps and replacement hinges for various stowage boxes, Jerry can racks for the rear doors, delicate direction indicators and lights and brackets.
7. detail for the rocket launcher crate mountings, and a new shield and improved mount for the MG.
A closer look
The driverís cab benefits greatly from the added detail in this set, and as the view into the cab on this model is not restricted by AT guns or the like, all of the effort put in will be on display. A number of floor (access) panels are provided, but as the kit floor seems to be well detailed and textured, the use of these may be to your own taste. The driver and co-driverís seat mounting brackets are really nice, as are the hull braces which add an extra touch of delicate detail which with some careful weathering will help this to really stand out.
The kitís external lockers get new latches, complete with padlocks. Unfortunately Eduard has not provided replacement lockers, so if you would want to show any lockers opened or damaged, you will have to get creative with plastic yourself. The tools are provided for with the usual clamps and brackets, and the lights get replacement brackets. The width poles on the front mudguards get new bases with fine bolt detail, and a rear view mirror with bracket which looks much better than the plastic kit part.
Very nice items are the mud flaps for the rear mudguards. The upper hull has 8 tarpaulin tie-down loops moulded-on, which are replaced with some very delicate replacement loops. These will need to be handled with great care, and are probably best left until the model is finished, and painting about to start.
AFV has included the rotating plate of the launcher assembly as a Photo-etch part, but the backing plate and all other parts are in styrene. The Eduard set replaces the plastic hinged mounting brackets for the rocket crates, and whilst this could possibly be made to work, the instructions indicate you built this either open or closed. The set does not replace either the rocket crates nor replace or add detail to the rockets themselves, which seems a smart choice, as these items, apart from a slight size issue with the 32cm rockets, are good as they come in the AFV Club kit.
There is not much to choose between the AFV Club ĎStuka zu Fussí and the Dragon one, as both built into accurate models of the Sd.Kfz.251/1 OOB. Whilst the Dragon kit weighs in heavy with multiple options and spare parts, the AFV Club kit brings greater accuracy with easier building. If you choose the AFV Club kit, and you want to add that extra scale detail, this Photo-etch set from Eduard should be high on your list of Ďmust-buysí, right next to a set of individual track links.
related reviewsSd.Kfz. 251/1 review by Terry Ashley on Perth Military Modelling Site
My thanks to Eduard
for the review sample.