Half-tracks are the basis of any mechanized company, including panzerpioniers that I personally collect. Unfortunately, you will require many of them in order to field even a basic company - the minimum number is around ten. If you think about BF products it means that you will have to spent around 100 Euro. Taking into account that half-tracks are going to spend most of the time off the table it sounds quite annoying... (fortunately, since the FOW version 3 half-tracks seem to play a more important role). This forces many of players to look for cheaper options to build their mechanized companies.
If you think about cheaper models, one of the providers that you should take into account is the Plastic Soldier Company. They provide plastic models in both 15mm and 1/72 scales. They have released couple of best sellers so far. One of them is their SdKfz 251 - offered in two variants C and later D.
In this review I'm going to focus on variant D, and try to check if the half-tracks provided by PSC can be used together with BF products.
Battlefront's blisters contents
|Battlefront's blisters with additional stowage and crew blisters|
In each blister you will find a resin body, plastic sprue (containing tracks, assault bridges, 3 MGs, and front wheels), a gunner, and 20mm cannon. As usual, the quality of BF's model is really high. There is not much you have to do to clean the parts.
Unfortunately, you will not get additional crew members and stowage in a blister. However, you can buy a separate special-order blisters to customize your half-tracks a little bit. If you consider the price of a model and necessity of buying additional packages this is clearly a disadvantage of the BF models.
PSC's box contents
|The PSC box containing 5 half-tracks and extra crew and stowage|
The quality of models is very high. All elements are casted nicely. Still, you will have to clear some of the parts a little bit.
Assembling BF models is pretty easy. You will have to glue tracks, front wheels, and machine guns. I had a problems with front wheels in some of the blisters. They were not fitting the holes in the body well. Nevertheless, it was a minor problem.
Assembling PSC models is a little bit more difficult. If you have ever assembled plastic 1/72 models you will find it enjoyable, as I did. The only problem is that if you have to assemble many of them at once (what is rather typical in wargaming) it starts to be a little bit annoying.
OK, and now the part for which most of you came here ;) - comparison between both models. I will not elaborate too much on it. You will find all the measures in the photos below. What I can add from myself is that the models look really good together. The models you see below have different paint jobs, so the difference is quite visible, however, when you look at the photo at the beginning of the post you will see that PSC's 251Ds looks quite compatible with BF's 251/7Ds if they share the same camouflage pattern.
|PSC (left) and BF (right) models left view|
|PSC (left) and BF (right) models front view|
|PSC (left) and BF (right) models rear view|
|PSC (left) and BF (right) models top view|
Differences between models and their historical accuracy
Finally, I would like to talk a little bit about the main difference between the models and their historical accuracy. The silhouette of both models seems similar, however, the main difference is in frontal part of both vehicles - the slope of armor and frontal plate.
Also the crew members seem to be little smaller in PSC models than figures produced by Battlefront. They will not look good if placed together in a single vehicle.
You can find the most important differences between models at the photo below:
|The most important difference between PSC (left) and BF (right) SdKfz 251Ds|