Nuts & Bolts 34, Sd.Kfz.7

This review is on Nuts & Bolts 34, which was released in May 2015. This volume is on Sd.Kfz.7, 8 ton Zugkraftwagen Krauss – Maffei and variants. The Sd.Kfz.7 was a half-track military vehicle used by the German Wehrmacht Heer, Luftwaffe and Waffen-SS during the Second World War.

The vehicle could carry gun crews of up to 12 men in theatre-type seats. Under the seats was storage room for various tools, and the whole vehicle was spacious enough to carry their kit. The rear of the vehicle housed an enclosed compartment for storage of ammunition, though a second ammunition carrier was desirable. The tractor could tow loads up to 8,000 kg (17,600 lb) in weight. Most were fitted with a winch that could pull up to 3450 kg. It had a payload of 1800 kg. The windscreen was able to fold down and a canvas roof could be erected. A number were also constructed with a hard top, but this was less common in service. A later simplified type appeared with a timber frame truck-type layout, the ammunition being stored behind the driver’s station and the gun crew having space on wooden benches behind.

The running gear consisted of two front wheels with hydro-pneumatic tires for steering and a track each side with 14 road wheels — 7 per side, overlapping and interleaved in the common Schachtellaufwerk design for German half-tracks — on each side of the vehicle; a drive sprocket was located at the front of each track system. Minor variations on the track and road wheel design and manufacture took place throughout the course of service, some being combined in the field as repairs took place. In 1943, the Maybach HL 62 engine was replaced with Maybach HL 64.

The book arrived safely from the publisher in a reinforced cardboard envelope type packaging.

The information about the book is:

  • Authors: Vinnie Branigan, Dr. Nicolaus Hettler
  • published on May 31, 2015 by Nuts & Bolts
  • soft cover
  • German & English texts throughout
  • 184 glossy A4 paper pages
  • 334 photos (169 historic, 32 model, 133 modern)
  • 80 blueprints
  • 20 camouflage schemes, tactical markings, table of organisation (KStN)
  • Price: 29.90€  from the publisher

The book follows the same format as usual, so let’s take a look inside the book to see what we get.

The book dives straight in with 3 images and annotations on the inside cover of a 1/35 late version Sd.Kfz.7. The page opposite contains the usual copyright, publishing and contributors information. The first real topic of the book starts on page 2 and covers the technical development and production over the following 23 pages. The story starts in the late 20s and early 30s with development leading to the KM7 and then production of the KM8 version in 1934. It isn’t until we get to the KM11 version in 1937 that production really took off with over 10 times as many of this type produced by 1945 as all the earlier ones combined. This section points out the variants of the Sd.Kfz.7, those that made it to production and those that didn’t. Next is a good description of the types use in the German army and Luftwaffe including organisational charts. Next is a short section on camouflage before moving on to the models that have been made. Tamiya made some early 1/35 kits with Dragon Trumpeter making some more recently. The author notes that the Trumpeter kit’s instructions are a lot better than the Dragon kits, with the plastic both being to a similar high standard. There are also a few resin conversion sets for rare types of the Sd.Kfz.7. There’s a very nice table listing all the kits of the Sd.Kfz.7 that have been built in 1/76, 1/72, 1/48 and 1/35 scales.

The next section of the book runs from page 26 to 89 and contains 2 or 3 black and white photographs of the Sd.Kfz.7 in use, with captions in English and German, on each page. The photographs start with the very early models and works its way through to the end of the war with a fire truck conversion that was used up to 1964. Also, who knew the British Army took delivery of some Sd.Kfz.7 in October 1945? The photographs are all very well captioned and show a wealth of detail of practically every production variant. On its own this section would make quite an impressive 65 page, roughly 130 photograph, photo journal. Most of the 169 period photos are in this section.

Following on are 28 pages of 1/35 scale profile line drawings from the KM7 to the last KM11 versions. Most of the drawings are of the KM11, since there were more variants of those and also more produced than anything else. All types have left and right views with many also having front, back, top and 3/4 views. Next are 10 more pages containing 20 camouflage schemes showing left hand side views of the various vehicles, of various types.

Pages 129 to 174 contain photo walkarounds of 6 different vehicles in museums or personal collections. The bulk of the 133 modern photographs appear in this section. The photographer has taken a lot of close up detail photographs and this section will be invaluable to the modeller.

The final section of the book, from page 175 to 184 and the inside cover shows 4 Sd.Kfz.7 all in 1/35. The builds are all different:

  • Sd.Kfz.7/1 with lots of aftermarket
  • A scratchbuilt Sd.Kfz.7 KM8
  • Sd.Kfz.7 early version
  • Sd.Kfz.7/2

All the models are obviously very nice builds, with lots of good modelling information in the captions to the photographs.

Conclusion

This book has to be the definitive book on the Sd.Kfz.7. It has a good balance between the history of the Sd.Kfz.7 and information that is of value to the modeller. The wealth of period photographs of the Sd.Kfz.7 in use, along with it’s development and types is more than enough for almost anyone, and more than I have seen in any other book. Add on to that 1/35 scale drawings, camouflage schemes, over 100 modern photos of museum examples and you have a definitive book on the Sd.Kfz.7 for your library. If you’re going to buy one reference book for your Sd.Kfz.7 build, then this is the one you need.

Many thanks to Nuts & Bolts for the review sample.

Note: Nuts and Bolts 35 on the Sd.Kfz 231 and Sd.Kfz 232 is coming soon.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International
Scifiantasy

Categories: MBI REVIEWS

Paul Tosney

Paul has been with Model Builder International since almost the beginning. He started building models as a boy, and took a hiatus, but started building again a few years ago. He builds pretty much anything, but mostly WW2, with a smattering of modern and the occasional SciFi model.

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