Plastic Soldier Company Sd Kfz 251/C Review and Assembly
Flames of War can get expensive quickly, so it is worth investigating alternative sources of miniatures that can help keep the cost of the game down. The Plastic Soldier Company Sd Kfz 251/1 Ausf C box set is a less expensive alternative to Battlefront’s Flames of War figures.
The Plastic Soldier Company Sd Kfz 251/1 Ausf C Unboxed
For less than $30 one can obtain the Plastic Soldier Company Sd Kfz 251/1 Ausf C box set. Contained within the box are five plastic sprues and an instruction sheet. Each sprue holds all the parts needed to build an Sd Kfz 251/1 Ausf C, and a nice array of accessories for customization. Many of the competing models give the option to build either an Sd Kfz 251/1, armed with machineguns, or an Sd Kfz 251/10, armed with a 37 mm cannon. This kit provides no such option. There is however a box set that provides options for several different heavy weapons that
will be reviewed soon has been reviewed.
The excellent Plastic Soldier Company Halftrack Conversion kit review can be found here. There is also an assembly guide for the halftrack conversion kit, as well as a page where Spotting Round has analyzed which conversions will fit other manufacturer’s Sd Kfz 251s.
Assembling the Plastic Soldier Company Sd Kfz 251/1 C
While the competing Zvezda Sd Kfz 251/1 Ausf B kit is sold as, and indeed is, a snap-together kit, the Plastic Soldier Company Sd Kfz 251/1 Ausf C is most certainly not. You will need glue to put this model together.
Assembly is not difficult. The parts are for the most part straight forward and their locations obvious. As you can see in the image to the right, there are twenty parts needed for a basic Sd Kfz 251/1. They are easy to separate from the sprue and easy to clean up for assembly.
The order in which the parts are assembled does matter, and it pays dividends to think before gluing everything together. I like combing parts into subassemblies and then attaching the subassemblies together, whenever possible, but this kit is best built essentially from the ground up.
Begin by attaching the wheels to the front axel, and while that is drying the tracks to the chassis. Note how Plastic Soldier Company has keyed the tracks, so there is no danger of attaching them backwards. Once the tracks are in place, simply slide the tab in the front axle into the slot at the front of the chassis.
There are two storage boxes that will sit on the fenders of this Sd Kfz 251/1, but attach the crew compartment to the chassis before gluing them on. This will help insure that they are in the correct position.
The drivers have some variability in where they can sit, with one position roughly a tenth of an inch further forward. I have no knowledge to indicate what is the correct position for an Sd Kfz 251 driver to sit in, so I slid mine all the way forward (although I have them staggered in the photo to the right just to show the option), just to leave more room in the passenger compartment. (edit February 12, 2013: Fully forward definitely makes it easier to install some of the heavy weapons in the conversion kit).
The benches are straightforward to glue in place, although pay attention to the instruction diagram to insure the benches are have the correct orientation as they do have a front and a back.
The upper hull is now easy to properly locate and glue down, as the the rear AA MG. The forward MG’s gun shield has a pin and there is a hole in the roof of the halftrack, so it is easy to place it as well. The gunner comes in two parts, one consisting of his body and the second his right arm and machine gun. I glued the figure together first and then glued him into place.
And there you go! A shiny new Sd Kfz 251/1 Ausf C ready to take the battlefield, and assembled in under 10 minutes to boot.
But Wait! What About All These Extra Parts?
The Plastic Soldier Company Sd Kfz 251/1 Ausf C sprues contain a treasure trove of extra bits to help customize your model. You certainly do not need to have any of these on your model before you paint it up and send it out to extend your reign of terror over the rest of Europe, but they do look good. I like how the riders are separate figures, instead of one single casting, allowing the modeler to choose how they will fill the crew compartment.
Photos abound of equipment hanging off the sides of these vehicles, so if you need some inspiration just search on the internet and you will find plenty of examples.
How Does the Plastic Soldier Company Sd Kfz 251 Ausf C Stack Up?
My big question when using alternative sources of Flames of War figures is how they look when placed together on the battlefield. I consider Battlefront the standard in 15 mm WW II wargaming due to their size and market penetration, so I compare everything to them first and foremost.
The Plastic Soldier Company Sd Kfz 251/1 C is longer than the Battlefront Sd Kfz 251/1 Ausf C, but not wider. Each model has portions where the level of detail is superior to the other. The Battlefront offering in the vehicle body and molded-on accessories, the Plastic Soldier Company model in the tracks and the figures.
I would field these two models together on the table. I would use the Battlefront figure as a support weapon, perhaps the commander’s Sd Kfz 251/10 since it came with the parts necessary for the conversion. Painted up, it would take an opponent with a keen eye for detail to notice the differences. At $12.50 per model though, the Battlefront offering is pricy, and not worth two of the Plastic Soldier Company Sd Kfz 251/1 Ausf C.
If you are thinking about buying this box set, consider making the purchase from your FLGS. By supporting them you support your own hobby. We would not play Flames of War were it not for ours.
If you choose to purchase the Plastic Soldier Company Sd Kfz 251 Ausf C box set online, please consider starting with one of the links I’ve provided to my sponsor, Noble Knight Games. Spotting Round receives a small commission on each sale that originates from one of our links which helps defray the cost of running this site. While this helps, the vast majority of the costs to keep this site online still comes out of our pockets.