June 20, 2016

Pat Hillard compares the Rubicon Models Sdkfz 251/1 Ausf. D and the Warlord Games SD. KFZ 251/1 Ausf D Hanomag Part 1: Model Build

Our newest writer Pat Hillard cranks out a comparison of the 28mm Rubicon Models Sdkfz 251/1 Ausf. D and Warlord Games Bolt Action SD. KFZ 251/1 Ausf D Hanomag
Rubicon and Warlord SD.KFZ 251/1 Ausf.D in 28mm
Part 1: Model Build.
The following are my comparisons between the Rubicon Models 1/56 (28mm) SdKfz 251/1 Ausf.D (Product code: 280018) and the Warlord Games, Bolt Action 1/56 SD.KFZ 251/1 Ausf D Hanomag (Product code WG-VM-509).

Rubicon box contents. Two sprues, detailed instruction sheet with historical information and decal set. Comes with two tarp/cover options.
Rubicon Assembly: The Rubicon kit comes with two sprues, decal sheet and a nice 4 page instruction sheet which includes a small historical facts/information section. The instructions were clear and all of the parts were numbered in the instructions and also on the sprues. Rubicon has several detail parts that are optional for using the completed model for gaming. The box is well made and protected the product. There is nice artwork and a historical review on the back. The only flaw that I see is that the box isn't sealed with any type of shrink wrap; this could be a problem with lost parts depending on how the box is handled between the manufacturer and the builder.
The assembly was in six steps and took about 40 minutes to complete. The most detailed assembly was the tracks. They consisted of 6 pieces that had to be clipped from the sprue, cleaned and assembled. The second step was assembly of the tracks, front axel and stabilizer to the chassis. Steps three and four were interior assembly and body final assembly. The last step was installation of tools, wheels and lights. All exterior mounted accessories had partially drilled holes; if you chose not to install an item there were no holes to fill with putty. Step six gives you the option of installing an Mg 34 or 42 and a half or full cover tarp cover over the passenger compartment.
Completed Rubicon with half tarp option.
Rubicon Pros: Rubicon supplies a very nice decal sheet with options for an ambulance included. The model was easy to assemble; the plastic soft and clipped easily from the sprue. There were very few mold lines and the detail of the finished model is fine for table top gaming as assembled.

Rubicon Cons: Rubicon does not include a crew for the vehicle nor do they include any stowage for the vehicle. They do sell a separate German Stowage Set which I will review in one of my future articles. I am a firm believer that vehicle crews piled on everything and anything that would make their daily life in the field easier.
Completed Rubicon kit
Warlord Games box contents. Two sprues, single page (2 sided ) instructions. Minimal decals,
 4 man crew with stowage (helmets, fuel cans, tarp and bedrolls.
Warlord Assembly: The Warlord kit also has two sprues of parts, a half page instruction sheet with assembly information on both sides and a decal sheet. These instructions provided visual assembly with no part numbers. This model also took about 35 to 40 minutes to assemble. The parts are well detailed and come off of the sprues easily with a pair of clippers. Mold lines were few and easily cleaned up with a small modeling file. The box is well made and covered in shrink wrap to provide extra protection.
Completed Warlord Games kit
The assembly was easy to understand except for the bench seats. There were three slots/indents for mounting them on one side and only two on the other. This caused a little confusion but was easily overcome. The one piece tracks were nice and easily installed.

Completed Warlord Games kit
Warlord Pros: The model was easy to assemble, parts are detailed and extra vehicle stowage was supplied (helmets, gas mask, fuel cans, tarp and bed rolls). There were also four crew supplied with the kit. I really like the addition of the stowage and the crew.

Warlord Cons: The kit had only one negative: the decal sheet was very basic and gave you few choices
Side by side comparison (Rubicon is darker plastic on top). Both models are scaled the same 
and can be used side by side on the table top.
Side by side front view. Rubicon on left and Warlord on right.
Decal sheet comparison. Warlord (left) and Rubicon (righ).
I am very happy when comparing the two finished models. Both kits were easy to build and fun. The scale is correct on both of them and there are very subtle differences that make each one unique. I would have no problem using them side by side on the table to get my grenadiers into the thick of thinks. I believe that they are both durable and with care should last for years of gaming. Either model is nice enough to finish for a diorama or other display purpose. Both kits came with antennas; I chose not to install them for gaming. I will make flexible ones out of brush bristles when I finish the models.
Pat Hiilard

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