second chance games

Search This Website of delight

Review of Tamiya 1/35 scale Sdkfz 251/1 Ausf D           After a long 30 year hiatus from building scale model kits I deci...

Review of Tamiya 1/35 scale Sdkfz 251/1 Ausf D Review of Tamiya 1/35 scale Sdkfz 251/1 Ausf D

Review of Tamiya 1/35 scale Sdkfz 251/1 Ausf D

Review of Tamiya 1/35 scale Sdkfz 251/1 Ausf D

Review of Tamiya 1/35 scale Sdkfz 251/1 Ausf D

After a long 30 year hiatus from building scale model kits I decided to begin the hobby again. This is my fifth build in six months and I have chosen a great kit from Tamiya, the Sdkfz 251/1 Ausf D for my review and build. (Hannoversche Maschinenbau AG) a German producer of steam locomotives, tractors, trucks and military vehicles in Hannover, Germany. The single most important and iconic military vehicle to be designed and built by Hanomag during World War II was the SDKFZ 251 half-track (commonly called simply "the Hanomag") with a total production numbering just over 15,000.

 Built to protect and transport the mechanized infantry, it was by far the most common German armoured troop-carrying vehicle of World War II, and a direct precursor to the APC's of today. In comparison to the most common Allied half-track of the war, the M3, the Sd.KFz 251 was slower and lower-powered but with thicker, sloping side armor that provided better protection; the flat-sided M3 was at one point panned as the "Purple Heart Box" for being unable to stop 7.92mm bullets at close range, while the Hanomag's sloping side armor deflected the .30-caliber bullets of the Allies with no similar issue.

  The kit was released in 1995 and retails for around $25 USD. Upon opening the box,the parts are the usual Tamiya dark yellow color. The kit includes 4 decently moulded figures and many extra's such as panzerschrek, grenades, grenade boxes and weapons. Very crisp moulding with no need to sand off left over seams from most of the parts.Main exception is small circle moulds which need to be sanded off the doors. Instructions are straight forward beginning with the torsion bar to attach to lower hull. I usually read the instructions fully and do not always follow them exactly in order especially with this kit as an interior fighting compartment is included and that has to be assembled and painted first before the upper hull can be attached.

I begin by cutting the roadwheels from the sprue,sanding where needed and painting them both sides with Tamiya XF 1 flat black paint. I plan on doing "hairspray" chipping. This consists of a base coat,in this case flat black. A lacquer coat,once dry a coat of any commercial hairspray, again allow to dry followed by the final coat. The final coat of Tamiya XF 60 dark yellow is masked with a drafting template purchased at the local art store to get  a perfect circle on the roadwheels, leaving the flat black color of the rubber on the roawheels. Once dry I will apply water and the hairspray undercoat has a chemical reaction to the water and I use an old toothbrush to chip away the final coat to reveal the black underneath.

Next work is done on the interior fighting compartment. Detailed dashboard is moulded nicely as well as steering wheel, gearshift, driver and passenger seats. The later style wooden slate type benches (early variants had leather seats)for the squad are here as well as rifle racks and stowage compartments. The floor is very nice detail a well.

Painting the interior I primed it with Testor's Model master flat oxide red. This is the primer color used on German vehicles before the primary coat was applied. The main coat for the interior was painted in Vallejo dark yellow with the exception of radios and seats. With the interior complete work on the upper hull began.

Upper hull glued on. I do not have a picture,but upper and lower hull were held together after glue applied with tape for a few hours. Next the interior was masked off and coat of dark yellow applied.
 Next a coat of Tamiya desert sand paint applied,followed by decals.
Roadwheels and tires put in place
I wanted to try something different for the weathering process.The great thing about building model kits today is the amount of advice,tips and tricks available online. Following these tips, decided to use oil paints for the weathering effects,rain streaks,dust,mud etc. Of course there are many products pre mixed and very costly. For the colors used I went with Naples yellow,raw umber,burnt sienna some white and black oil paints. Started with what is called a "filter" applied over the entire vehicle.This was Naples yellow thinned with enamel thinner. I do not follow ratio's,just mix until a thin consistency.This tones down the main coat. Next was Naples yellow again, blended into highlights to lighten area's of the vehicle most exposed to sunlight and natural light.


Next a pin wash was applied to small details such as bolts and weld seams,around storage boxes and locks. I used Vallejo black wash for this. Finally streaking effects were added with a mix of raw umber, burnt sienna and white.

Next chipping was applied with a small brush at various points on the vehicle where paint would chip off. Rule of thumb for me is if you can see the chips from 2 feet away,they are too much. Keep them in scale.

The final step was applying pigments to simulate dust effects. Again, instead of wasting money on a commercial product marketed specifically for model kits, I simply bought a set of oil pigments at the local art shop and made my own. I really enjoy doing things "old school".

Overall a very decent kit, though some would say dated, it still holds it own with kits made today. Hope you like my build.Comments and critique's are welcome.


  1. Very good work! Better than could have done even before my last stroke. Only minor quibble I have is the size of the photographs. In this case, bigger would be better.

    Very good work on the model. It's on par with anything ever published in the Military Modeler magazine.

  2. This was well done. We must remember these series of vehicle types (Sdkfz 251 and its variants) are fairly bland vehicles. So I don't consider Tamiya's model version "old" not by any means. Thank you for sharing your build here.