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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
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Trumpeter Sd.Kfz. 7 Build
bill_c
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Posted: Saturday, August 30, 2008 - 06:39 AM UTC
Thank you all for the encouragement, this is only my second build log, and the first one has been sidetracked because of the need to scratch-build part of a bridge (the Tamiya Sd.Kfz. 7 http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=113325&page=1).

I realize that many are waiting for Dragon's announced Sd.Kfz. 7 and I hope to review and build that one, too. Then no more Sd.Kfz.s for me for awhile!!!

Seriously, though, this is a very fine kit with much to recommend it. Well worth it in my estimation.

I will have photos of the oxide primered model in a few days. Weathering the whitewash on this baby will be tricky with all the extended bits and the open doors....
bill_c
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Posted: Thursday, September 04, 2008 - 10:14 AM UTC
Moving forward with the painting, I used Tamiya Hull Red for the oxide primer base coat:







The trick is to be careful with all the detailing, as the paint makes the plastic brittle.

Then it's time for Tamiya Panzergrau:





I think the detailing cleans up nicely under the paint. One of the compartment hatches has fallen off. Since I plan to whitewash and then scrub off the winter camo, I figured I might as well save the headache of fighting with the issue now. It's a function of the detailing in the hinges, which would be better handled with them in a closed position. If you plan on showing off the interior, be aware of this potential bougger.
Plasticbattle
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Posted: Thursday, September 04, 2008 - 06:51 PM UTC
Hi Bill. Great build so far. Thanks for taking the time to show each step in progress ... its appreciated very much.
If I wanted to build this kit, Id be happy enough to buy the Trumpeter .... the details look great .... but as I know, I wont be building this within the next year ... I can wait and see if the Dragon kit will be any better or different!
wbill76
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Posted: Friday, September 05, 2008 - 02:23 AM UTC
Making great progress on this one Bill, enjoying the step-by-step, keep it coming!
bill_c
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Posted: Friday, September 05, 2008 - 02:26 AM UTC

Quoted Text

If I wanted to build this kit, Id be happy enough to buy the Trumpeter .... the details look great .... but as I know, I wont be building this within the next year ... I can wait and see if the Dragon kit will be any better or different!


That's a sensible attitude, Frank, though DML has been promising its Zimmerit Tiger I for months now, so it's hard to say when their Sd.Kfz. 7 will come out (I'm sure as I'm typing this it will be announced here on Armorama! )

I have already volunteered, BTW, to review the DML version when it finally makes its appearance, since I will have then built the Tamiya and Trimpeter versions already).

If you aren't in a hurry, waiting will also allow Voyager or Aber to come up with some PE upgrades for the kit such as "driver knows" stanchions, mirrors, and a metal grill, thought Trumpeter has short-circuited that with an extensive amount of their own PE. I just completed the Tamiya Opel Blitz, for example, only to find Voyager has released a SWEET upgrade with a wood-textured flat bed that allows you to lower the sides.

But if you're a half-track addict like me (next project is the Italeri Demag 10/4), then there's no need to wait, this is a very enjoyable build with if anything TOO much detail!
HILBERT
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Posted: Friday, September 05, 2008 - 02:40 AM UTC
Nice build.

I was building the Sd.Kfz 7 from Tamiya. Such a nice kit. But this one would be better ofcourse. Well, You mentioned the tires from this little beauty. What brand did you order? I ordered the Tank Workshop ones. These are quite nice. With no flash.

Anyway I am looking forward to the weathering!

Hilbert
bill_c
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Posted: Friday, September 05, 2008 - 02:51 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Well, You mentioned the tires from this little beauty. What brand did you order? I ordered the Tank Workshop ones. These are quite nice. With no flash.


I have three snow tires (very big and flat, may not fit in the spare compartmet) from R & J Enterprises. They have three models (regular, sand and snow). Some flash and it required me to open up the interior, since their tires come with a hub and I just wanted tires. I'll look at the TWS ones for the DML kit, though, thanks for the suggestion.
bill_c
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Posted: Friday, September 05, 2008 - 02:52 AM UTC
Thanks, Bill, your support is very much appreciated!
bill_c
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Posted: Friday, September 05, 2008 - 06:42 AM UTC

Quoted Text

You mentioned the tires from this little beauty. What brand did you order? I ordered the Tank Workshop ones. These are quite nice. With no flash.


Hilbert, I looked at the TWS tires and they are about half the price of the R & J ones, though you don't get the snow or sand tread options.

http://www.tankworkshop.com/Shop/agora.cgi?cart_id=267.20004&p_id=TWS2040&xm=on

TWS also has a version with civilian tires:

http://www.tankworkshop.com/Shop/agora.cgi?cart_id=267.20004&p_id=TWS2047&xm=on
Mobious
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Posted: Saturday, September 06, 2008 - 01:47 AM UTC
Hello Bill_C,
It really is starting to come together. Looking very nice. The suspension looks delicate for a vehicle this size. The drive sprockets and roadwheels look as good as MK's. With the additional PE detail they're even better.
Rereading the SdKfz 7 WIP and noticed that plans for building a new top are on the agenda. Will the new top be in the up or folded down position?

Best Regards,
bill_c
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Posted: Saturday, September 06, 2008 - 08:18 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The suspension looks delicate for a vehicle this size.


That's a good observation, Mobious. If you check out the original chronicled on Toadman's site (see photos and URL below), you'll see the suspension isn't overpowering in size or weight.

http://www.toadmanstankpictures.com/sdkfz7.htm




Partly I think this has to do with the fact that the vehicle was intended to PULL 8 tons, not carry it. The rear superstructure is relatively lightweight, other than the 6 passengers and their gear. The drive sprockets are mounted next to the transmission box, so there isn't a lot of lost torque when engaged.

Quoted Text

The drive sprockets and roadwheels look as good as MK's. With the additional PE detail they're even better.


I don't think anyone can fault Trumpeter for their level of detail. Some of the accuracy questions are more problematical, but no more so (IMO) than with some highly-praised DML kits.

Quoted Text

Rereading the SdKfz 7 WIP and noticed that plans for building a new top are on the agenda. Will the new top be in the up or folded down position?


The Tamiya build has a scratch-built "tissue" top in the folded down position. I'm on the fence for this kit, as I do not have a schematic for the frame of the top in the "up" position, so I would be faced with a double challenge: figuring out how to do it and then making it look right. Having the top up in the Winter would not provide any substantial comfort to the riders in the vehicle without side curtains or other means of excluding the elements.

The plastic top provided is far superior to the Tamiya one, but I may opt for another scratch-built folded down version.
Hohenstaufen
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Posted: Saturday, September 06, 2008 - 12:49 PM UTC
Bill,
I've been dipping in & out of this build as it progresses, as I'm doing the same kit myself (though I'm way behind you & progressing pretty slowly). I've built the old Tamiya kit several times over the years, this Trumpeter kit just blows it into the weeds! I have been really impressed by the standard of moulding in this, my first "proper" Trumpeter model. I would also say I think the fit is pretty good, definitely up to DML & AFV Club standards. I would unhesitatingly recommend it. Hats off to you for doing the PE rifle racks, I've just done that stage, took one look @ the PE versions TILT ! & settled for the plastic ones. As you say the PE steps on the drive sprockets were hard to roll up, mine aren't TOO bad! Can't wait to see it painted.
BTW, what marks it out as an "early" Sdkfz 7? I've got the old '70's AAP German Half track book, & it doesn't look anything like the pre-war early versions to me! What differences to this vehicle would mark out a "late" one? Another poser is which way round the tracks go on - the kit instructions show the broader recess on the trackplate to the rear on the top run, if you see what I mean. Restored vehicles in the photos I've got seem to be the other way round, however from the same sources, wartime pictures follow the kit instructions, so I guess I'd go with the instructions. Does it actually matter, or would there be performance issues?
bill_c
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Posted: Monday, September 08, 2008 - 03:24 AM UTC
Whew, Steve, you're making me work!


Quoted Text

As you say the PE steps on the drive sprockets were hard to roll up, mine aren't TOO bad!


Have recently discovered "annealing," which involves heating PE with a cigarette lighter or BBQ igniter just until it glows, then rolling it out on something soft like an old bike innertube. Worked GREAT on the exhaust covers of the Tiger I Early I was finishing up.

Quoted Text

What marks it out as an "early" Sdkfz 7? I've got the old '70's AAP German Half track book, & it doesn't look anything like the pre-war early versions to me! What differences to this vehicle would mark out a "late" one?


The Allied-Axis 21 book I reviewed (http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showcontent&id=3424) does a sweet job of showing the evolution of this vehicle from pre-war up to late war. The pre-war Sd.Kfz.7 was known as the KM l 4 (for Kraus Maffei "leichte" or light version 4), and has a squared-off front grill and two spare tires mounted on the rear. Designed to pull the WW I 75 mm field gun, it was upgraded with a more-powerful engine to pull the new 88mm and 15cm howitzer, as well as to move PG troops into battle.

The modifications that would make it a "late" version would seem to be those for mounting with guns and the accompanying "hardening" of its protection. I have not seen any photos that show substantive changes to the prime mover version, but that may simply be my ignorance. If someone with a better grasp of the evolution of this vehicle is lurking, please jump in.

Quoted Text

Another poser is which way round the tracks go on - the kit instructions show the broader recess on the trackplate to the rear on the top run, if you see what I mean. Restored vehicles in the photos I've got seem to be the other way round, however from the same sources, wartime pictures follow the kit instructions, so I guess I'd go with the instructions. Does it actually matter, or would there be performance issues?


When in doubt, go with the photos of vehicles in the field. Kudos to Trumpeter for getting that right. As to why they face the way they do, I can only answer "Whatever Herr Hitler wants, Herr Hitler gets...."
Mobious
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Posted: Friday, September 12, 2008 - 01:46 AM UTC
Hello Bill_C,
Having enjoyed this thread so far, decided to take the plunge and purchase a Trumpeter kit. Having never built a Trumpeter will be looking forward toward its arrival. Will be following progress updates. Thanks for the fine work.
Best Regards,
bill_c
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Posted: Friday, September 12, 2008 - 01:51 AM UTC
Mobious, thanks. I'm chuffed to see my in-box review has the highest eyeball count of any review here in the last three months. It's not me, it's the kit, since this is such a cool vehicle in reality. I hope you enjoy the build, I have had a lot of fun with it so far. Will have some more photos soon, as well as the continuation to the 88mm it's towing. Would y'all prefer that build continue here or be in another thread?
Mobious
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Posted: Friday, September 12, 2008 - 02:58 AM UTC
Hello Bill_C,
Was planning on the Kfz7 towing the sFH18 150mm. Would still enjoy the build, have the DML 88mm in the stash.
Bill, it takes more than a kit to make it interesting. Give credit where credit is due...You deserve a bit more than you think.
Best Regards,

Hohenstaufen
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Posted: Monday, September 15, 2008 - 10:59 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Whew, Steve, you're making me work!


Sorry, Bill that was not my intention! Thanks for taking time out to answer my idiot questions anyway. Looking carefully at the photos you posted at the top of the page, they seem to support the track direction shown by Trumpeter, but that may be because they are photos of the vehicle they based the model on!
It starts to look as though the "early" on the kit box belongs with the Tamiya "Hanomag" description, artistic licence!
On a lighter note, how are you going to paint the gearbox? I've left my kit in sub-assemblies so far, as the chassis parts are going to be very hard to get at with the superstructure on. Of course I'm intending a three colour scheme on mine, so the black gearbox etc will stand out even after weathering (if you look underneath!).
bill_c
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Posted: Monday, September 22, 2008 - 10:19 AM UTC
OK, here it is painted and hairsprayed, before the whitewash goes on:









AmiPolizeiFunk
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Posted: Monday, September 22, 2008 - 12:08 PM UTC
Something about them pics feels really 30's-40's. Nice job!
bill_c
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Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - 04:12 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Something about them pics feels really 30's-40's. Nice job!


The kit does an excellent job of capturing the coachwork of the midwar vehicles like the Dusenberg and Mercedes. The term "German engineering" isn't a cliche for nothing: the Sd.Kfz. 7 had the same quality of build you would expect from any German car today.
cyberdemon
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Posted: Friday, October 17, 2008 - 02:20 AM UTC
Great build log Bill C.

Is the Sd.kfz 7 the middle brother of these types of halftrack?

i´ve recently myself built the sd.kfz 11 from AFV Club and that one is obviously smaller and the big mama is of course the Famo... but there´s not lot of information on the Internet about them.

regards
Thomas
H_Ackermans
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Posted: Friday, October 17, 2008 - 02:37 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Great build log Bill C.

Is the Sd.kfz 7 the middle brother of these types of halftrack?

i´ve recently myself built the sd.kfz 11 from AFV Club and that one is obviously smaller and the big mama is of course the Famo... but there´s not lot of information on the Internet about them.

regards
Thomas



Sort of. You have the SdKfz 7, the SdKfz 8 and SdKfz 9 (FAMO) which progressively can haul more tons.

The SdKfz 11 is the unarmoured version of the SdKfz 251 and was not a towing vehicle for recovery or heavy stuff, but more like a mobile small artilery unit.
bill_c
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Posted: Friday, October 17, 2008 - 02:49 AM UTC
Thomas--

What Herbert said....

The 7 is the most-famous and most-produced prime mover of the Wehrmacht. The 8, for example, cries out for a kit, too, as it was used to haul the sFH 18. The 9 (known as the FAMO because, unlike most half-tracks, it was built by only one manufacturer) is well-known because Tamiya has a kit that is well-done from what I can see and which sells pretty well. But it was mostly for tank recovery and often sported a crane.

In terms of hauling guns of various sizes, the 7 was the usual choice.
H_Ackermans
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Posted: Friday, October 17, 2008 - 03:37 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thomas--

What Herbert said....

The 7 is the most-famous and most-produced prime mover of the Wehrmacht. The 8, for example, cries out for a kit, too, as it was used to haul the sFH 18. The 9 (known as the FAMO because, unlike most half-tracks, it was built by only one manufacturer) is well-known because Tamiya has a kit that is well-done from what I can see and which sells pretty well. But it was mostly for tank recovery and often sported a crane.

In terms of hauling guns of various sizes, the 7 was the usual choice.



Isn't the SdKfz only built by Kraus-Maffei?
bill_c
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Posted: Friday, October 17, 2008 - 04:51 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Isn't the SdKfz only built by Kraus-Maffei?


I'm glad you asked, Herbert. It was originally built by Krauss-Maffei in Munich, and the vehicle early on had KM designations. But as war production ramped up, it was later built by Borgward (in Bremen) and Sauerwerken (in Vienna).

Someone else asked earlier in the thread what differentiates an early model (like the Trump) from a later version. Apparently during the war, the rear portion of the vehicle was crafted from wood to conserve metal. Germany used wooden cabs on several vehicles, and even sweated up coal-gas power plants due to the petroleum shortage after the Ploesti oil fields in Rumania were first bombed and then overrun by the Red Army.