Dave M has made some very useful comments on this blog about these PSC Sdkfz 251s, and added some valuable links. I've not finished all of the build, and have yet to take on board all of Dave's points:
Here they are as they currently look, with the first layers of paint. The nearest vehicle mounts the Pak 38, and it was Dave who alerted me to the fact that the full shield was wrong. I had a good scout round the internet, and came to the conclusion that the full shield was used, but only on the earlier versions of the Sdkfz 251. As Dave pointed out, late version Hanomags sported Pak 38s with cut down shields, and, again given the photo evidence on the internet, it looks as if there was no standard way of carrying that out. So, my reduced shield is one way of doing it, and, in some cases there appears to have been next to no shield at all. Thinking about it, Esci used to do an Sdkfz 250 with a Pak 38 and a tiny left hand shield for the gunner.
The other good thing about the PSC Hanomags is the extra bits and the crew. Rather than trying to squeeze all the crew into each vehicle, I used a few of the crew to populate my somewhat bare Frontline Miniatures resin half tracks, and they look much better for it:
But, as you can see above, the MG 42 gunner has a problem - no ammo. There are other problems with the detail on the mg, as Dave pointed out, but I can live with those. However, I'll have to do something about the lack of an ammunition belt.
Finally, my search for photographs of platoon commander's vehicles brought me to a famous Imperial War Museum image of a South African soldier in a captured commander's Hanomag, sporting a complete Pak 38 shield. So, I used one of the PSC full shield versions to add to another naked resin model (Minimi) of an earlier mark of Hanomag. The photograph below shows the real difference in silhouette:
All this PSC half track heaven means that I am now no longer happy with my crewless, and weaponless, resin versions. It looks as if I'm going to have to save up my pocket money and invest in something like AB Figures crew - or can anyone recommend any other crew and kit that will actually fit inside vehicles?
On the reading front, an invalid's short trip out today led me to the paperback edition of:
Just the ticket, and a marvellous cover for the paperback. It's sometimes easy, if you live in Britain, to imagine that borders, peoples, and rulers are fairly fixed, that continuity is as marked as change. For the English, Welsh and Scots, our borders have been pretty much fixed since the great English victory of Brunnanburgh in 937, but that, of course, isn't the case on the Continent. So, I look forward to reading of the lost peoples, faded dynasties, changed loyalties, and hope that there isn't too much ethnic cleansing and mass killing. Some hope.