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  • Tamas Seres

Schwerer Platformwagen & BefehlsPanzer III.

A long-awaited dream became recently reality. I have built a Panzer on a flatcar. I managed to make a good deal on ebay and bought Cyber-Hobby's kit for a decent price. The kit was really promising offering the standard DML quality and details. I have already built a few DML/Cyber-Hobby tanks, but wasn't sure about the flatcar. A decent size of wooden surface, cca. 50 rather small decals...

The build itself did not seem to be too difficult. The fit in the initial steps were quite good.

The 'painting challenge' is put together neatly:

The rest of the Platformwagen went together really well, too. No hidden surprises or misfits.

The paintwork started with the steel parts: different shades of Tamiya's German Grey.

After masking the painted parts I sprayed the wooden surface with a single layer of base colour. I mixed a few paints, e.g. Buff and Wooden deck to get a shade that I liked. Than I started to apply various different washes that I created from all different Tamiya acrylic paints by diluting them severely. I applied them board-by-board making sure they get a natural spread across the whole flatcar. when I was happy with the outcome, I sprayed flat clear over it.

After this I applied some further enamel washes from MIG to replicates patches and overspills.

Once this was done I sprayed gloss clear on the steel bits so as I could add all the decals.

Then came another layer of flat clear and all the weathering with washes and pigments.

The diorama base is easy to assemble, although pushing the rails to their final position required attention and a bit of 'sturdiness'. I have added some plants that I had bought a few years ago when I wanted to build dioramas and these were left over from that attempt.

Then, it was time to start the Befehlswagen.

As expected: standard DML quality parts. No excess, or extra pin marks. The parts came together smoothly.

However, when it came to the turret, it required some extra work to do. First of all to fill in a whole on just beside the commander's cupola.

Then, cutting off some bolt heads from the sprue and glue them to the right place. A sharp blade and careful moves to the job though.

And now, the biggest challenge I haven't realized until this point in the build. These ausf. K. panzers were built with a Pz.IV. turret, however the upper hull of the kit is not adjusted to this.

I have lent my electric tool to a colleague of mine back in February, but due to the lock down we haven't met since then. That seemed to be plenty of manual work though. Luckily, my wife had the right equipment from her manicure toolkit. The day was saved: D

The assembly of the rest of the turret was good. I finally got to the stage ready to start painting.

Tamiya surface primer was applied first.

Then, Tamiya's German grey, gloss varnish and the decals.

This was followed by the winter camo oversprayed. I wanted a really worn effect, but I somehow managed to overdo the white, unfortunately. Not too bad, but not exactly what I wanted. Nevertheless, I made this compromise to go ahead with it.

I have to admit, that I am obsessed with Winterketten. These were the early version of the winter tracks (1943) used on Pz.III's and Pz.IV's. Although the Ostketten (later version of the winter tracks used in 1944) were better design, I believe the Winterketten provides more of a real 'badass' look to any of these vehicles. So, I invested in Friul tracks.

Before finishing the tracks and applying them on the tank I added the weathering to the lower hull. Wet pigments mixed with white glue and also dry pigments afterwards.

I finally painted the details and added some stowage. Created a frame for bunch of jerry cans, added a crate, spare tracks, a barrel and the star antenna. Unfortunately I found it too thick so I am considering to remove it. I probably could by some aftermarket products, but I don't want to spend more on this kit. Another option would be making one from scratch, but I have to admit I don't have the skillset to solder one from wire.

Would I recommend this kit? If you don't mind to go the extra mile by adjusting the upper hull so as the turret fits on it, working with really tiny parts to add bolts on the turret and enjoy adding decals to the flatcar then definitely yes. The kit can easily be a gem in your collection. And, the flatcar can be used with other German tanks too, such as Panthers. Check out the below pictures for the end result.

And, finally some photos of the Schwerer Platformwagen with one of my Panthers.

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