So I finally got my hands on the new Battlefront plastic Panzergrenadier Platoon (GBX76). I'm still going through the actual figures, though at first blush they look good. What I really wanted to take a good look at were the plastic halftracks. New plastic Sd Kfz 251/1 Ausf D models are included both in this set, and in the Panzergrenadier HQ (GBX75) set as well. Given that so far Battlefront's plastic miniatures have been a bit of a mixed bag, I was anxious to see in person how these looked.
I'll be open and honest up front - for the most part I'm not a "good enough" modeler. There are a lot of items which have been wrong or oversimplified on many of Battlefront's miniatures. The same can be said of many competing solutions as well. The running gear of any vehicle has been one key area where details have often been either incorrect or over-simplified for the scale. Naturally that's the first place I looked on these new halftracks.
The verdict - they're brilliant! The interleaved road wheels and idler have the appropriate alternating eight and six lightening holes as seen on the real thing. The drive sprocket is also accurate in its number of spokes as well (seven full radius, seven half radius if you're counting!). The front wheels have the correct number of lug nuts, and in general the rest of the detailing is appropriate to the scale.
All in all Battlefront has done an exceptional job capturing this ubiquitous vehicle's details accurately. I'll continue to check the miniatures as I build them up and will post a construction review in a few weeks. Really I only have one regret picking up this set... now I need several more!!!