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Building the Dragon 251/17 w Schwebelafette

Painting & Weathering
The road wheels were mounted on wooden cocktail sticks and sprayed with a pre-shade coat of black, as was the vehicle, gun and tracks. Dark yellow was then misted over, but as earlier when painting the inside, this was concentrated in the middle of panels and around details. Dark yellow paint ‘overspray’ onto the tyres and other parts would be addressed next, by brush painting with Vallejo acrylics. The vehicle was then given a gloss acrylic coat, before again using a thin wash of burnt umber oil paint in white spirit to accentuate detail. This is quite a time consuming process, but the gloss acrylic coat stops the wash from spreading too far from where it’s applied, and allows mistakes to be cleaned up with a clean brush and some white spirit.
When I was happy with the effect I selectively dry-brushed areas with an enamel matt black. Although matt, when used to dry-brush, it gives a subtle sheen that represents worn metal quite well. Next it was the dry pigments again, allowing it to build up around rivets and detail. I then applied tiny touches of raw burnt umber oil underneath external detail so that they could be ‘dragged’ down with a clean brush to simulate rust run. Again, this is an effect that is easily overdone, and is used sparingly. The tracks simply had pigment powder ground in over the black basecoat using an old brush, as did the two front wheels.
When fully assembled, a very fine coat of matt varnish was misted over the entire outside of the vehicle.

Aside from the base kit, I intend putting the 251 into a diorama later, so I had decided to ‘dress’ it up with various bits and pieces. Along with a rack for storing MG42 ammunition drums, there is a belt ammunition container on the rear bench, a belt of ammunition in the gun itself, an Eduard MG42 strap on the MG42. Two magazines were hollowed out to represent empty magazines and placed on the rear bench, along with an MP40 pistol. There is a newspaper hanging over the sidewall, and a mess tin open with spoon, scavenged from one of Dragons’2nd Gen figure sets. The left over track links were attached to the front of the vehicle with fine wire. In the rear open storage box above the left fender, there is a toolbox, oily rag and various spanners and tools. Hope you like it, it certainly turned out to be one of my most enjoyable builds for a while!

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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