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SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D Comparison

Bolt Action Miniatures/S+S/West Wind Productions

Select the company name at the top to go to the full review of that specific model. The picture of each view will (usually) open a larger view of that view.

KHI
1:56

Bolt Action Miniatures
1:56

S + S
1:60

Cost:

$30.00

£16.00

£12.00

Parts included:

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, as delivered

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, as delivered

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, as delivered

Parts summary:

Resin hull in two parts, seperate track units. White metal wheels, axle, suspension, tow hooks, seats, lights, MGs and mount and shield.

Resin hull and base with wheels and tracks attached. Two white metal MGs, mounting for rear MG, shield for front MG.

Resin hull in two parts, with a drop-in seating section. White metal track units and wheels, rear MG with mount and front MG with shield.

Initial impression:

Whoa! Loads of parts in the packet for this one. I must admit that I was very impressed with the model on first inspection, because the level of detail on the individual parts is impressive. As a wargamer, I must say that I was a tad dismayed by the large number of parts, and the extreme fine quality of some of them also detracts from the thought of "wargames vehicle" for me- I'd almost be scared to use it in case something breaks.

Cast in a creamy resin, with good surface detail. Very slight surface pitting, a few bubbles on the underside. Lots of surface detail cast onto on the hull. All the neccessary bolts and hinges are there. A real "wargamer's model".

Yet another proper "wargamer's model", with no flimsy bits. All the parts are good, solid representations of what they are supposed to be, and I certainly have no fear that something will break. The only thing that bothered me slightly was the top rear angle, which looks a little funny- too big by half. The rest is well-proportioned, though.

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, scale drawing
Scale Drawing

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, as delivered

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, as delivered

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, as delivered

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, scale drawing
Scale Drawing

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, as delivered

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, as delivered

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, as delivered

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, scale drawing
Scale Drawing

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, as delivered

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, as delivered

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, as delivered

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, scale drawing
Scale Drawing

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, as delivered

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, as delivered

SdKfz 251/1 Ausf D, as delivered

Overall Comments:

The Hulls
Visually, all three "look right", although, when comparing them to each other like this, serious differences do appear. The two biggest visual disappointments (for me) were the top rear angle of the S&S model and its running gear. The top rear plate is too big by far and jumps out at one in any view that includes it. I think this was done to allow the top hull to be cast successfully, but it does detract from the model visually. I disguised this by adding stowage from the S&S stowage pack, but I'm still not totally happy. The running gear is a bigger issue for me. When compared with drawings (like the one below), the front wheels are too far back (they were fitted using the attached lugs), and the stowage boxes above the tracks are too short by about 4-5mm. This is partially because the lower rear plate's angle is too steep, and partially because the vehicle could be 1-1½mm longer. Still, just moving the front wheels 1½mm forward will go a long way to improving the look.
The BAM model's biggest downfall are the too-tall top side plates and driver's plate. This throws the whole top out of alignment because the entire top ends up being too narrow, and the driver's vision ports end up too high off the engine deck. The BAM model pulls out slightly ahead of the S&S model, though, because the angles are all right.
Overall favourite: NZWM/KHI.
The Details
The BAM model has an integral base, which (by definition) raises it higher than the other two, but if these are placed on a similar thickness of card, they are all near enough the same height. All of them feature the panel lines engraved and certain details raised (surprisingly, all three have the same details done the same way (only the depth of the lines or height of the raised areas differ, and these differences are truly minor). The biggest visual difference is in the interiors of the crew compartment. The NZWM/KHI model is streets ahead of the BAM model, which edges ahead of the S&S one. The S&S is very basic, and has a "slot-in" section of seats and such, which can be replaced by other sections to make the other variants S&S produce. The BAM one features moulded-on detail and seats, while the NZWM/KHI model comes with loads of loose parts to "make-your-own" interior according to the model you want.
Overall favourite: NZWM/KHI

Length: 5800mm
Width: 2100mm

Length: 104 mm - 1:56
Width: 36½ mm - 1:57

Length: 102½ mm - 1:57
Width: 36½ mm - 1:57

Length: 99½ mm - 1:58
Width: 34½ mm - 1:61

Scale:

Five

Four

Five

Detail:

Five

Four

Three

Fit:

Four

Four

Four

Casting:

Four

Four

Four

Overall Accuracy:

Four

Four

Three

Total Mark:

22

20

19

Average Mark:

Four plus

Four

Four minus

Final Comments:

After having built and begun painting all three, and having put all three next to each other, there really isn't that much difference between them, especially when they are seperated by a few inches on the table. Two of them look "right" while the third looks "OK", so unless one actually starts counting rivets, all three will work. The S+S kit is let down by the bad top rear angle and the odd running gear, but is perfectly serviceable. The KHI kit is far and away the best-looking one, but the BAM is probably the most user-friendly one.
So which one would I pick? Purely on "bang-for-buck" I'd say the S+S kit, after making a few fixes. If getting the kit on the table fast is more important than a few £, I'd say take the BAM kit, and if you're an accuracy freak and don't mind building a really well-detailed kit, go for KHI.


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