book Sd.Kfz.7 in detail
Special Museum Line No.36
František Kořán, Rudi Schoeters, Martin Velek, Jan Horák
Wings & Wheels Publications.
Published by RAK, Czech Republic.
ISBN 80-86416-60-7

112 pages all in colour.

Review by Terry Ashley

This latest volume from Wings & Wheels Publications continues the superb photo references for the modeller with this book devoted to the Sd.Kfz.7 8ton half track and is just the inspiration needed to drag out any of the Tamiya Sd.Kfz.7 kits.

The usual soft cover book has 112 pages all in colour packed with superb close-up detail shots of four different museum 8tons with some in various stages of restoration allowing details to be seen that are not usually on display from an intact vehicle, especially with the engine and body work.

Text entirely in English is kept to a minimum with just the brief introduction to each section and the photo captions with the rest of the book devoted to the superb close-up photos.

The four variants covered are a Borgward produced Sd.Kfz.7 HL m 11 Early model, a Sd.Kfz.7 KM m 11 Late model with simplified canvas covered cab and wood sided cargo area followed by a Sd.Kfz.7/1 KM m 11 Early with armoured cab and Flakvierling 38 and a Sd.Kfz.7/2 KM m 11 Early with 3.7cm Flak 18/36/37.

The book starts with a brief two page description of the four vehicles featured as well as the development of the Sd.Kfz.7 series and then it’s into the detail.

Pages 4 to 32 have photos of a couple of the vehicles under restoration with the detail shown applicable to all four versions with incredible close-up shots of the chassis frame with shots of each cross member showing the different details of each with shots of the complicated rear towing hitch from inside the chassis frame as well as “normal” rear end shots. The winch assembly comes in for some special attention with three pages of extreme close up shots.

The front axle/suspension/steering gets two full pages with close-ups of the steering arms, ballcrank linkages as well as the central leaf spring suspension and its attachments.

The next three pages have shots of the drive sprockets and road wheels taken from angles not normally accessible to give superb details of the sprocket drive teeth and the wheel axles and suspension mountings that offer details usually hidden from view.

Following this is 14 pages covering the engine and gearbox outside of the vehicle that again offer some superb details not usually seen with some sequences showing the bare engine block followed by others as more components are added to the engine until fully assembled and then mounted in the bare engine compartment without the compartment sides or hood to give more excellent detail shots. There are also excellent shots of the compartment firewall showing the many fittings without hindrance from the side panel or hood to again show off everything to advantage.

The gearbox is also shown out of the vehicle and then fitted to the chassis without the cab floor fitted to again give details not normally seen.

The next 18 pages (33 to 51) has a walkaround of the fully restored vehicle with everything in place with 8 pages on the exterior of the engine compartment showing the early and late engine grills, the early and late side panels with the cooling grills and latches plus the fenders, head lights and tool attachment clips all in stunning close-up.

The engine compartment is again covered in the next four pages with everything in place to give an excellent perspective of where all the individual components shown earlier end up, that same applies to the next seven pages on the front wheels and running gear with tracks fitted with superb detail shots of the front wheels both inside and out of the rims and equally good detail shots of the drive sprockets and different road wheels plus the track.

The next 6 pages cover the rear troop carrying seats and driver’s compartment of the most “common” configuration of the 8 ton with excellent shots of the side panels, rear storage compartment doors and upper storage frames plus interior shots of the seats, rifle racks and driver’s controls at the front.

The following 14 pages feature the late version with simplified driver’s cab and wood sided cargo area with canvas cover in what is not as well know or documented version of the 8ton but would make a very interesting conversion for the Tamiya kit as all the panels are straight making it a relatively easy conversion to tackle.

There are overall shots from all sides to give very good perspective of the differences from the earlier version followed by more superb close-up shots of the cab exterior and interior plus detailed shots of the rear cargo area again both inside and out showing the inner canvas tilt supports, seats and rifle racks.

The next 12 pages (74 to 85) cover the Sd.Kfz.7/1 with some overall external shots of the armoured cab to show the overall details followed by close-up shots of the cab interior showing the insides of the armoured panels plus the driver’s controls and instrument panel. The rear chassis mountings are shown in close-up as are the rear tray sides which are solid wood on this example which is interesting to show they were not all the mesh sides as depicted in the Tamiya kit.

This is followed by 6 pages of extreme close-up shots of the Flakvierling showing the guns, gun mountings, gun controls, ammo racks, seats and sighting mechanism which will be just a useful for detailing the individual kit of the 20mm Flakvierling as well as for the Sd.Kfz.7/1 kit.

The next five pages are a brief walkaround of the Sd.Kfz.7/2 which is not in pristine condition but still shows good details of the cab and rear platform with steel mesh sides and a couple of shots of the 37mm gun sights.

The final section (pages 98 to 112) are devoted to detailed walkarounds of ground mounted 37mm FlaK 18/36/37 guns with excellent details of the platform, gun controls, hand wheels etc. that again offer excellent details for detailing the individual FlaK 18/36/37 or for the Tamiya Sd.Kfz.7/2 kit.

Sample Pages

This is another superb photo reference book for the modeller packed full of excellent close-up shots covering virtually every aspect of the Sd.Kfz.7 8ton plus the addition of the late version and the /1 and /2 variants that add more value to the book.

Highly recommended for builders of the Tamiya Sd.Kfz.7 kits as well as the individual Flakvierling and FlaK 37 kits.

Thanks to František of Wings & Wheels Publications for the review book.

Page Created June 21, 2006

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