As usual, the Dragon halftrack kit was highly detailed, with many parts and features. Assembly would be complex and involve many steps. I had already spent a lot of time accurizing the vehicle )a Sherman tank) that would be in the forefront of my scene; immediately, I asked myself. “Do I really want to tackle something this elaborate?”
I searched my overgrown stash of models and located a Tamiya kit of a 251/1 D. The “D” model halftrack was designed by the Germans with a simplified body in order to allow for increased production; upon opening the box, I found the Tamiya offering to be relatively simple as well. The parts count was much lower than that of the Dragon kit, the detail looked good, and from an examination of the instructions it appeared that assembly would be easier. From the way components were to fit together, I could foresee difficulties with the Dragon model that were not apparent with the Tamiya kit.
Tamiya is rightly famous for the excellent fit of its kit parts, and assembly of this Tamiya halftrack was straightforward and largely trouble-free. A few additions were needed to fill out a rather sparse interior, and the rubber-band tracks could be better—the Dragon kit would have involved using their multi-part “Magic” tracks— but the thing built into a nice model.
Dragon has blessed us with a large number of highly detailed kits, but in a case where a modeler wants a simpler, easy-to-build model that will still look good, Tamiya can be a better choice. In this instance, it was the right choice for me.