Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A History of Airfix HO/OO AFV kits - part 9 - 1967

A further two kits appeared in 1967.  First up was the splendidly useful Sdkfz7 halftrack and 88mm gun.  This series two kit was quite an ambitious undertaking when I first attempted it in the late 1970s - all these bloody overlapping wheels!  Wrongly-built Sd7s are still a common sight on the world's wargame tables!
The 88mm gun was equally fiddly - but what a welcome thing it is. 
A pretty bog-standard halftrack and gun - currently on the strength of 164 'Afrika' Division.
19 Panzer Division's artillery regiment benefits from the services of this elderly Sd7 originally built and painted by my old friend JR.  The additional spare wheels are from a Roco 15cm gun.
Another well-travelled '7' from 10 PD.
The full kit (with crew figures from another manufacturer).
Over the years I have picked up some splendid metal crew figures, like these DAK chaps.
The halftrack has always been great conversion fodder.  Here is one of the easiest - 20mm flak gun by Fujimi, trailer from the Airfix US halftrack kit.
JR's splendid (and forgivably overscale) Sdkfz250, complete with contemporary German infantry.

The second release in 1967 was the WW1 'Tank Mk1'.  No doubt it would be possible to find fault with this models but it should be remembered that for a long time this was the only Great War vehicle available in this scale at any price!
I suspect that most were finished like these examples without the rather fiddly wheeled steering gear.
The easiest and most obvious 'conversion' was to ditch the 6-pounder guns of the 'Male' tank and add machine guns to create a 'Female'.

1968's single release coming soon!


Paul said...

Your best post of 2013 Tim, well done.

Anyone who has not built the 88 and Tractor should not be gaming.

Fine conversions as well

Great post.

Tim Gow said...

I thought I'd start the year off on a high. It's all downhill from here. Perhaps building the 88 kit could form part of some initiation process for new entrants to the hobby? Or are we already doing enough to put people off?

David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

The Airfix 88 was a great kit and I agree totally about the overlapping wheels!I saw one in Modelzone and was so tempted to buy one just for the sheer hell of it.

All the best,


Ross Mac rmacfa@gmail.com said...

What? Force people to build one? No No, they should be taken off the market and purged from the shelves so those of us who have been initiated can lean back and say " Oh yes but you young fellas just have to deal with snap together kits, in my day wargamers were wargamers, did I ever tell you about the Airfix 88?"

Steven Page said...

That was the hardest to find kit in the Airfix line when I was young. I NEVER did get one built until the early eighties, because my two local shops could not keep one in stock. Finally I was able to pick one up through mail order!

The MK! was a terrible tease...I just knew that any day I would go into Combat Hobbies and see an A7V, a Whippet and a Renault. such was not meant to be...

Tim Gow said...

David Crook
You'll not be able to resist forever!

Tim Gow said...

Ross Mac
Ooh, a secret society - I like the sound of that!

Tim Gow said...

Steven Page
So you bought the kit - but did you build it?

Rodger said...

Great memories and cool kits!

Paul said...

I have dealt with a number of this kits (10-15ish) and in restoring I have never found any to have lost the rear discs or have had broken tracks.

I can seem to remember in my last new built of these the tracks still did actually fit.

The missing cable reels on the gun's wheel assemblies were its only real issue I think and the amusing crew on parade poses, but at least it had a crew!

Any initiation should include a German Armoured Car rebuild to a 234/4 standard type.

Model on.

Tim Gow said...

It's all coming back to you? Me too.

Tim Gow said...

They wee good kits - and could usually be saved no matter how bad the original build was!

Archduke Piccolo said...

In mid-'70s Wellington (where I lived for 12 years) the Airfix kits available tended to be Panthers, T34s, the occasional IS3, and the dear old Pzpahwg 234/4. Carrier and 6pr; 25pr field gun , they would yurn up now and then (I still am fond of the 25pr kit, which gave you the whole ensemble: tractor, limber and field piece, with crews). I always felt ESCI separate Quad was a bit of a rip off, however good the kits were overall. Joy of joy when the Afrika Korp Recon kit turned up. I bought the shop's entire stock of 3.

Never saw a PzIV, Tiger, 88 and tow. Never saw a WW1 vehicle (though that might have been because I wasn't looking).

So I branched out very quickly into ESCI, Fujimi, and Matchbox. I always liked the elegance of Matchbox kits, but disliked what seemed a habit of missing bits of kit and/or wrong tracks (a Firefly came with PzIV tracks; a Honey lacked its glacis plate, and there were other niggling annoyances. Fujimi I always found a bit fiddly to assemble - at least to begin with - but end product I liked (my favorite probably being the KV2).

Overlapping wheels? The trickiest bit about that was getting the bally things intact off the sprue...


peter said...

Excellent models! It brings back childhood memories! Thanks for sharing!


Tim Gow said...

Archduke Piccolo
I'm sorry to hear you were traumatised by missing kit parts. Not a problem I've had with Matchbox. But you're right about the tracks being a bit snug!

Tim Gow said...

A good old wallow in nostalgis does you good!