Kit Preview : 1/76 SHQ SdKfz 251/2 D 8cm Mortar Carrier (ref GV28A)

About the manufacturer
SHQ carries an extensive range of 1/76 (20mm) wargaming models and figures in white metal, many unique. Vehicles tend to be on the chunky side, mainly due to the thickness of metal panels. Those trucks are as well armored as Tiger tanks. Their more recent models have gained considreably in accuracy and details. The wargaming roots still show in some kits with plain tubular axles.

About the vehicle
The SdKfz 251 was the standard German armored transport vehicle for Panzergrenadiers druing WW2. Based onthe 3ton SdKfz 11 half-track it could carry a fully equipped squad into action. Unformtunately there were never enough to fully equip any of the Panzer or Panzergrenadier divsions. The 251 was modified into a alrge number of variants, carrying anything form a mortart to a Pak 40 antitank gun.
Here is the Wikipedia article.

About the kit
SHQ were the first to release a small scale Type D model of the SdKfz 251. The kit scales out perfectly to 1/76. Unfortunately body details are generally pretty crude. The hood opening is out of alignment. The round cover on the hood is off center. The side stowage lockers are wrongly positioned and askew. The lower body is also out of alignment. Seen from above, the crew compartment is not rectangular. There is a lot of excess metal to remove in the section behind each front fender. I sanded all the details off to obtain a suitably square body. The details can be added back using plastic card and strip.
The mortar is OK. 3 ammunition cases are included. A crew (and a more detailed mortar)can be sourced from the Hat German mortar teamset.
It looks good sizewise next to the Cromwell rendition of the 251 D and will not look out of place. The Cromwell model is much better finished but has its own flaws : the hood is wrong and the rear stowage lockers are too far forward.

Reviewed on 1/10/12