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Building a 251/7 Pioneer

step 10
At this stage the fenders are to be completed. Before this I had to join the upper to the lower hull. I did this by placing the upper hull into position and then letting super thin super glue run along the join before dabbing it with accelerator.

The fenders had holes for the tools, but since I was replacing these for tools with photo-etched clamps, I cemented tapered, stretched sprue into the holes before sanding them flush. Brass width indicator poles are supplied in the Dragon kit, but I added the Eduard base-plates to them and left off the rear-view mirror. The kit-supplied tools were used once I had shaved off the moulded clamps and replaced then with Eduard ones. Voyager supplies clamps too, but these are the working ones that require 3 hands and the patience of a saint to assemble. Somehow I managed to lose half the exhaust outlet and so I had to replace this with styrene tube, and whilst there I scratched the three retaining brackets missing from the kit using lead foil. The fender stowage lockers were provided by Voyager, each one consisting of the main body, a door, two part hinge, and two, two part clasps, one with a padlock. I thought these went together really well and would be easy to bend to simulate damage.

steps 11 to 15
Although these are really short steps on the instruction sheet they take a long time to complete! It’s here you have to assemble the Pak 36 gun, the most difficult part of which is the double-skinned half-shield. Dragon supplies only a styrene one, whilst the Voyager set provides a photo-etched one. No contest… I had to use the etched one, although it did create a major problem with regards to the spacers between the double skins. Voyager asks that you use 0.5mm rod cut into 2.5mm lengths. I tried this. Then I gave up and tried something else! Eventually I used stretched sprue, threaded through both holes and heat formed rivets to seal the ends! As you can see from the pictures there were various other pieces replaced with Voyager parts on the gun, although the aluminum barrel is supplied by Dragon in the kit. The drivers compartment roof is again a Voyager part, although I added bolt detail from hexagonal rod.

In these stages you are also directed to install the front Notek light, and to this I added a short length of lead wire to represent the electrical cable, leading to the engine compartment via the left front wheel arch, under the fender. I also replaced the over-thick kit bracket with the voyager item. The two lifting brackets either side of the engine compartment were also replaced with etched ones. The indicator arms on the outside of the driver’s compartment were replaced with Eduard ones too. I then came to the two headlights. I replaced the brackets with photo-etched ones and since I had recently come across a picture of a 251 fitted with unusually small uncovered headlights, I searched through my spares box until I found two similar headlights, added wiring and two grief clear lenses, and fitted these. The rear wall was next, already painted and weathered on the inside, and it fit perfectly. The only filler required was an extremely small amount between the front of the fender and the engine wall.

The last thing to fit at this stage was the Mg34 and rear bracket. I fitted the bracket but left the Mg34 off for painting later. I’d managed to get a replacement ‘Armorscale’ barrel from Friendship Models whilst at Trucks’nTracks in Folkestone, and so I’d decided to use this by removing the kit barrel. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever be able to use a styrene one again after using this. I think it’s a 100% improvement over the styrene barrel.

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About the Author

About Vinnie Branigan (Teacher)


Vinnie, do you ever get tired of building things?? Looks fantastic
MAR 15, 2006 - 08:09 PM
I have got to get one of these. Going to the LHS in like 10 minutes to get one ordered. Z.
MAR 15, 2006 - 08:16 PM
If Dragon doesn't put all of your work together to showcase their halftrack line, they are crazy. Unbelievable work Vinnie. I'm sure the upcoming diorama will be a show stopper. Patrick
MAR 15, 2006 - 08:44 PM
Dear Vinnie Outstanding great as usual One comment please, next time can you tell us how long does it takes each step? Because you are very productive, I wish i had a science teacher like you Cheers Seb
MAR 15, 2006 - 09:10 PM
Vinnie, Superb, must be your best 251 yet. Is this a case of practice makes perfect? I cant wait for the UHU that is in the catalogue. Regards, John
MAR 15, 2006 - 11:49 PM
wow, that is seriously impressive - that's the best 251 I've ever seen, it's a really inspirational model and the feature is in your usual great style, hats off to you Vinnie .
MAR 15, 2006 - 11:59 PM
As usual, and excellent article of an excellent model.
MAR 15, 2006 - 11:59 PM
Another amazing half track, Vinnie (for next Dragon gatalogue?) !! Tell me your secret to build a new armour so fast?? It's incredible.... :-) Tom
MAR 16, 2006 - 02:56 AM
We,ll done your highness. Excellent job. Greetz 043
MAR 16, 2006 - 09:13 PM
Smashing, Top Drawer!!!! (with best possible English accent). Looks great and I enjoyed the write up. Very informative. Pete
MAR 24, 2006 - 10:12 AM