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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Trumpeter Sd.Kfz. 7 Build
bill_c
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Posted: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 - 10:36 AM UTC
This build log is meant to supplement my in-box review.

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showcontent&id=3289

My review for this model did not give me a chance to realize what a gem it is. For you tankers, it would be like building an entire Tiger I complete with engine, driver's and fighting interior compartments with no intension of showing them off. The drive train for this kit is magnificent in its attention to detail, with no shortcuts I can see in rendering the frame, supports, transmission, etc. Trumpeter has clearly done a thorough job researching the original— which makes their few mistakes that much more galling.

But given all the time I have been putting in to correct DML kits recently with PE and resin parts, I see no reason to wait for the Dragon kit-- so far. I can say it has been a pleasure watching this vehicle come together. I keep turning to my wife and showing her the tiny masterpiece, saying “look at the details!”

Section 1: Transmission

This covers the assembly of the transmission, and is straightforward. The Sd.Kfz. 7’s transmission not only was responsible for sending power to the drive sprockets, but also handled a winch mounted aft midway along the frame beneath the main compartment. The vehicle was clearly thought of as a recovery device when Wehrmacht tanks were the size of small trucks, but the increasing weight of AFVs soon made even the 18-ton Sd.Kfz. 9 (FAMO) insufficient for recovering larger tanks like Tigers or even Panthers without the help of up to two other FAMOs.









Section 2: Chassis/Frame

Unlike the old Tamiya kit, Trumpeter’s vehicle assembles the frame from a variety of pieces. One problem area to watch out for is the two-part assembly of the front leaf springs for the front axle (parts D55/D58). Once together, the combined piece has deep grooves where the two sections come together, and should be filled with putty, unless you plan on really mudding the final vehicle severely. A close examination of the original shows these are simple leaf springs, what seems to be the most widely-used method in Axis vehicles (and indeed most cars and trucks around the world), a carryover from the horse-drawn wagon era.

The photos below also show the scraping with a micro-chisel required to address the knock-out holes that unfortunately are on the ouside of the chassis. Since I'm planning a Winter Eastern Front dio for this model, the imperfections won't show when the bottom is weathered with mud and snow, but knock-out holes are a problem Trumpeter needs to work on.









Enough for today, I'll put up another part of this tomorrow.
psycnarf
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Luzon, Philippines
Joined: February 22, 2007
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Posted: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 - 01:55 PM UTC
looking ok, im saving mine for the half-track campaign but i must admit im itching to build it already..
pzcreations
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Posted: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 - 01:56 PM UTC
Bill, you sound like a kid with a new fancy toy! I dont mean that in a bad way.. you know its a good model when it gives you that feeling of excitement. I for one look foward to seeing this kit on my desk at some point.. thanks for showing the build sequence and issues, certainly helps deciding on buying it or not.
bill_c
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Posted: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 - 02:11 PM UTC
Half-track campaign???

Kid with a new toy? Well, sometimes you spend so much time cursing the kit, it's refreshing when something fun comes along.

I'm almost done with my Tamiya Sd.Kfz.7 (need to put slings on the rifles, mind-numbing things like that), and this kit has been a breeze in comparison.
wbill76
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Posted: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 - 04:11 PM UTC
Off to a good start Bill, looking forward to the next installment.
H_Ackermans
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Gelderland, Netherlands
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Posted: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 - 11:30 PM UTC
Very good start, and very interesting build this is going to be!

I'll keep this one high om my attention list!

SGTJKJ
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Kobenhavn, Denmark
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Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2008 - 12:25 AM UTC
Good start, I am looking forward to hear the final verdict.

Thanks for sharing
bill_c
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Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2008 - 01:54 AM UTC
Section 3: Chassis/Frame (cont.)

This section continues the frame assembly, including the winch housing mounting supports (PE B13 and A4). Make sure the front-most one (B13) is bent and positioned so that the hole for the winch assembly is offset to the right of the vehicle. The photo below is INCORRECT, and was taken before I got to the winch housing section, so if yours looks like this, reverse it. The hole should be on the other end!



Otherwise, the winch housing (A24 & A8) will not seat with the driveshaft angled to meet the transmission housing.

Section 4: The Engine

Here the Maybach engine comes together. In comparing it to R & J Enterprises resin AM offering I had originally purchased for my Tamiya build, I find both have their advantages and disadvantages. On the whole, the Trumpeter version holds its own against the resin one and then some, with lots of parts making up for the greater detail of resin (though fill problems with polyurethane resin molds make for a lot of cleanup). There are no issues here with parts of fit, other than to hold out the pipe assembly (E6) until the engine is mounted to insure proper fit. BTW, the gritty appearance of the resin version comes from baking soda used to fill holes in the polyurethane. Adding CA glue to the baking soda hardens it enough to file and sand.













spongya
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Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2008 - 02:27 AM UTC
Now you made me want this kit. Agh.
I follow most of your builds with great interest (I say "most", because I'm not sure if I'd seen all.) Keep up the good work -you are an inspiration both in quality and quantity.

bill_c
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Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2008 - 05:05 AM UTC
Andras, I think you have me confused with "the REAL Bill," editor Bill Plunk. But I am glad you are enjoying the build. Part III will go up tomorrow.
yeahwiggie
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Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2008 - 08:24 AM UTC
I'll be watching this one with great interest too!!
Looks very promissing so far!

I do have a question about the engines though; these look like 2 completely different types of engines to me, so I guess it would be hard to compare them?
bill_c
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Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2008 - 10:17 AM UTC

Quoted Text

These look like 2 completely different types of engines to me, so I guess it would be hard to compare them?


Even the R&J Enterprises Maybach has a variant, allowing you to build it with the conventional bottom "drip" oil pan or a V-shaped one that hugs the right side. Perhaps someone with more knowledge of Axis engines can chime in here, as the Mayback HL42 powered the Sd.Kfz. 7, 11, 251 and SWS.
spongya
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Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2008 - 01:43 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Andras, I think you have me confused with "the REAL Bill," editor Bill Plunk. But I am glad you are enjoying the build. Part III will go up tomorrow.



I made a fool of myself? Again?
The blue background mislead me (and the fact that I'm not supposed to surf at the workplace...)
Anyway, it still is an awesome build. Too bad it's been added to the "must have" list. When I finally decreased it into 5 kits. Plus the new Trump mortar. And the 1/16 KT to come. There's no end to this, right?
Plasticbattle
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Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2008 - 02:29 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I think you have me confused with "the REAL Bill,"


Hi "unreal" Bill
Thanks for the build-up so far ... the chasis details are quite impressive, along with the engine. Can´t wait for more installments ....
I know that feeling well, where the wife gets the "look at this" after every step! But its always positive to hear that its been fun so far!!
bill_c
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Posted: Friday, July 11, 2008 - 05:07 AM UTC
I'm glad everyone is enjoying the build so far. Here is the next installment:

Section 5: Winch Assembly

This section shows what is meant by that over-used phrase, “German engineering.”

The details of the frame and the winch housing are not only remarkable in a kit where neither is really meant to show on the final model, but also reveal how artistic coach work and design were in the 1930s, when the same principles and techniques used here were informing the decisions of designers of cars and trucks that even today stand out for their elegance and elaborate flair. As a child, I built a model of a Dusenberg, and the similarities are striking decades later. The winch reel is a perfect example of form and function: not just a strong winch, its design is pleasing to the eye, with sculpted louvers and five pentagonal plates rendered in PE brass (not visible in the photos).





FYI, the after-market cable was wound around the chassis because I had not yet secured the tow hook. The kit includes a thick thread for the tow cable, but I chose to add one that looks like a cable instead of one that looks like a rope.

Section 6: Rear Plate

There’s a potential problem here, since the winch cable is supposed to run beneath the interior roller (D12) and through the assembly of D46-47. I found I had to use a pin vise to bore out a path for the winch cable. The kit gives a white thread for the cable, but I have added the same AM one I employed on my Tamiya build. I did find the knockout holes visible on the front of the rear plate where the tow hitch is located a bit annoying, but nothing a micro chisel couldn’t handle.

Section 7: Adding details to the Chassis

This section brings together the gas tanks, winch housing, engine and leaf springs for the bogey wheels. There was a bit of a fit issue getting the motor to drop into its supports, but a little careful pressure and a bit of sanding off the drive shaft from the engine made it come together with no issues. I regret now not installing scratch-built fan belts for the engine before setting it in place, and it will be a bugger doing it now.

The leaf springs have some knock-out holes on the reverse side, but this is nothing to worry about, since they are not visible once mounted. Nice touches include the bolts holding the leaf springs together. The springs have some mold seam issues, but I don’t think I’ve built a German AFV kit yet that didn’t require some cleanup on the faces (upper and lower) of its leaf springs.









wbill76
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Posted: Friday, July 11, 2008 - 07:18 AM UTC
Bill,

Doing a great job with the installments and you're just as "real" as I am!
bill_c
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Posted: Friday, July 11, 2008 - 07:19 AM UTC
Thanks, Bill! You're my idol.
PantherF
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Posted: Friday, July 11, 2008 - 08:22 AM UTC
That's a pretty 'envolved' build ya got going there! Are you going to have the body lift off to show all the hard work?
bill_c
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Posted: Friday, July 11, 2008 - 10:55 AM UTC

Quoted Text

That's a pretty 'envolved' build ya got going there! Are you going to have the body lift off to show all the hard work?


I don't yet know if that's possible. It would be nice, but like I said, it's sorta like building a tank's interior and then only opening a few hatches. I'll know how nice it is, though!
yeahwiggie
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Dalarnas, Sweden
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Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2008 - 01:56 AM UTC
Hi Bill, nice build! I'm enloyinh this one!

But maybe you should considering replacing the cable you used, if still possible. the one you are using now looks like the stuff that is being sold as "barbed wire 1/35". I think replacing it with thicker thread that looks like steel cable would look better. Just a thought.
whittman181
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Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2008 - 09:08 AM UTC
Hi Bill She looks like a very detailed kit and it's coming along nicely Bob
Bratushka
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Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2008 - 11:26 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Bill, nice build! I'm enloyinh this one!

But maybe you should considering replacing the cable you used, if still possible. the one you are using now looks like the stuff that is being sold as "barbed wire 1/35". I think replacing it with thicker thread that looks like steel cable would look better. Just a thought.



in another thread where i asked about string to use as replica cables a guy told me he used picture hanging wire for cables. i think he also said he clamped one end of it and spun the other end of it with a drill to tighten up the wind even more.
bill_c
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Posted: Sunday, July 13, 2008 - 03:12 AM UTC
Jim, I don't particularly like this cable, but the picture hanging wire is too heavy. I haven't found any thread that has the same "drape" as wire, either. But it's a fair observation. Probably too late for this build, but I hope to do the in-box and build log for the DML version of this kit when it appears.
tjkelly
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Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 - 02:41 PM UTC
Great build log to date Bill! Will have to keep checking back to see how you're doing...looks like another one to get for the pile, stash, stack...oh the list goes on!

Thanks for sharing your progress! Cheers -

Tim
bill_c
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Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 - 04:04 PM UTC
Thanks, Tim. Should have more early next week. I jumped ahead to work on the track, and they are quite time-consuming (like the Modelkasten variety, they are on sprues, but unlike Magic Tracks, they are functional).