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Building the Dragon 251/17 w Schwebelafette

Stages 15,16,17,18,19 & 20
Now we can begin to assemble the Flak 38 and its pedestal mount. If assembled according to the instructions, the gun remains completely free to move, both traverse and elevation. It is an extremely fiddly model to build as per the instructions though! When building the gun itself, there are a few options to decide between. The pedestal mount itself is fairly straightforward, consisting of 6 parts. When this is out of the way, the gun is next. Construction begins with what I think is the bolt carrier which comes as a separate part, and the insertion of a magazine. As far as barrels go, there are 2 options. There is a styrene Flak 38 barrel, or a metal Kw.K.38 barrel which is slightly shorter, and which means cutting the Flak 38 barrel out to replace it, since you still need the flash suppressor from the end. I chose to use the Flak 38 barrel, but if you do choose the metal Kw.K.38 barrel, then Dragon supply a small jig to make sure you line the barrel up correctly.
In the end, I managed to find a brass replacement barrel form Aber, and used this instead of the Flak 38 barrel. The reason I wasnít happy with the kit part was the flash suppressor. The styrene kit part, although hollowed out at the end, has no holes in the suppressor itself or the collar. There are several replacements available, but most donít have the suppressor holes. Of machine-turned suppressors, only one I know of has the correct holes already drilled, and thatís the superb one from Schatton, which unfortunately I couldnít find.
The Aber one needs the collar to be formed around a drill bit, and then the suppressor itself to be formed into a cone. Thatís the difficult part, and Aber recognize this by supplying two in case the first one gets ruined. I used several paintbrushes, and eventually managed, although it turned out less than perfect!
Underneath the gun itself are two spare magazine holders, and Dragon offer the option of replacing these with photo etch replacements. I built the gun as instructed but left the 6-sided shield off for painting. Again, Dragon offer 3 options for the shield, a styrene one, a pre-formed brass one, or one with a small cut-out that needs to be folded. I decided to use the pre-formed one. The gun looks beautiful when made, but it is extremely delicate, and will not stand up to a lot of handling. On the plus side, it can be removed from the pedestal mount for painting if part K19 is NOT cemented to part K21. The whole assembled gun and mount was left out of the vehicle for separate painting.
Final assembly just involves the positioning of the rear MG42 or folded tarp, along with the antennae base, and front towing hooks if not on already.

  • 036
  • 037
    Flak 38
  • 038
    Aber Replacement Barrel
  • 039
  • 040
  • 041
  • 042

About the Author

About Vinnie Branigan (Teacher)


Vinnie: Another great build and an excellent article. You are a modelling machine. :-) Cant wait to build a 251
JAN 20, 2006 - 09:46 PM
As always Vinnie, your reviews are written excellent, informative and filled with great detail. You are most definitely a building machine! Thanks!
JAN 20, 2006 - 10:06 PM
Hi Vinnie, absolutely superb, but I am already itching to buy yet another 251 now once they get into the shops here. I forsee another chastising from the wife. John
JAN 20, 2006 - 11:41 PM
Very nice article, and model Vinnie.
JAN 21, 2006 - 04:27 AM
Thanks guys. Dan, thanks for working with Dragon to produce another brilliant 251! As for the etched shield, I thought I was going to have problems too, during the early stages, but if the instructions are followed carefully, then it lierally falls into place.....beautifully designed. Thanks again! Vinnie
JAN 22, 2006 - 11:41 AM
Beautifull, and I like that opened up toolbox. Cheers Henk
JAN 22, 2006 - 03:11 PM
Yet another great model build from you Vinnie. I read the article about the 250/16 flammpanzerwagen and bought one your myself and build it, will post it soon. But did not turn out as good as your master piece. :-) :-)
JAN 22, 2006 - 03:20 PM
Hi Vinnie, very nice model and very interesting article! Really. Only a question. Can you tell me your technique to make rivets... they're so realistic. In the article you spoke of Nutter and Small Shop, have you some pics or link?? Thanks Tom
JAN 22, 2006 - 04:30 PM
Fantastic build review, Vinnie. Excellent work, and a super step-by-step view of the assembly stages. Truly amazing, my friend. I got these 2cm Schwebelafette halftrack kits in a few weeks ago, and I have considered getting one, but I think I will stick with the Dragon Sd Kfz 251/21 Ausf D Drilling I already have. Then again, seeing yours may change my mind ! You should have your own homepage, or website gallerie of all your work and reviews, if you dont already have one ! Thanks for posting Cheers !! Alpen
JAN 23, 2006 - 06:57 AM
Great review and build Vinnie. I always enjoy reading your articles. ~Martin
JAN 23, 2006 - 08:31 PM