Following on their previous releases already Reviewed here on Armorama of Maybach engines for the AFV Club Sdkfz 11
and the AFV Club Sdkfz 251
, the Czech after-market company SKP
has produced this latest Maybach HL 42 set for use on the DML Sdkfz 251 family of vehicles. The detail and upgrade set consists of the following:
• 36 parts cast in blue resin
• 1 PE fret of 8 parts
• Instruction booklet
The set comes packaged in a sturdy slip-top style cardboard box with the instructions on top and the resin parts contained in three separate zip-loc bags. The PE fret is packaged separately in its own zip-loc bag and is at the bottom of the box. With my particular sample a few of the parts were damaged during shipment due to the fact that there’s no internal padding within the box aside from the instruction sheet but since the parts are bagged, the damaged portions were contained and available for repair. All of the delicate parts were bagged together and a couple became detached from their pour blocks and/or broken in two as a result. The engine block was the only piece bagged individually with the other larger pieces all bagged together in the third bag. This is probably not the best approach as even some of the larger pieces, such as the radiator fans, suffered damage during shipment.
The overall quality of the cast resin part is very good with no visible bubbles and the detail is very crisp and of the highest standard. Some thin flash is present on some of the more complex parts as is normal with resin castings and can easily be removed with a sharp #11 blade without risk to the surrounding detail. The set itself is very comprehensive and to call it just an engine set is somewhat misleading. The set is actually designed to provide a nearly-full interior for the engine compartment and as such includes the lower chassis frame sections as well as the rear firewall and full engine and radiator details. Many of the parts, especially the larger ones, have very large connections to their pour blocks so a combination approach using a razor saw and careful sanding/trimming will be required to get them into a usable state for assembly. The small PE fret included is designed exclusively for use on the rear firewall with all other parts being supplied in resin.
In order to fit the set to the DML kit of choice, some substantial surgery is required and the instructions provide clear directions and dimensions on what exactly needs to be removed. Since the design of the AFV and DML kits are different, the key element in this particular kit is part A2 which mates up with the DML hull and is different from the part used in the AFV kit. Otherwise all other details appear to be the same between the sets.
Some details, such as the fan belts, require scratch-building using your preferred material of choice and are not included in the set. The set also calls for the use of 0.5mm diameter wire to form the two top bracing rods between the radiator and the firewall but the wire is not included in the kit. Many of the contact points for assembling some of the smaller detail parts are also very limited so care is called for when dealing with those.
Finally, I have to comment on the improved quality of the instructions as the error pointed out in previous Reviews has been corrected in regards to the parts numbering in Step 5 with parts A16 and A23 now correctly labeled. The instructions come in the form of an 8 page stapled booklet and are the type of instructions you would expect from a styrene kit manufacturer. The diagrams are of the exploded type with clear arrows and shaded areas indicating exactly where each part should attach so that there’s no doubt about the contact points. The instructions do not provide any type of painting guide for the individual parts so the builder is on their own in terms of researching that angle.
This set provides an excellent upgrade/detailing opportunity for those looking to add a Maybach HL 42 engine to their DML Sdkfz 251 halftrack. Experience in dealing with resin is recommended due to the complexity of the parts and the extent of the modifications required but the end result will be worth the effort.