Trumpeter 1/72 Sd.Kfz.9 FAMO 18 Ton Halftrack Kit First Look
|Date of Review||May 2005||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||Sd.Kfz.9 FAMO 18 Ton Halftrack||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||7203||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Highly detailed body and chassis||Cons||Individual track links in this scale may not appeal to many modelers|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$24.95|
The Sd.Kfz.9 was the heavy lifter on the battlefield. This 18 ton halftrack was used for a variety of chores from hauling heavy artillery and moving troops to towing disabled tanks.
At 18 tons, this beast weighed in at more than the early Panzer III tanks and a little less than the late model Panzer IIIs. One of the more impressive feats is seeing photos of three FAMOs cabled up to a Tiger tank stuck in a ditch to yank it out again.
Variants of the FAMO include a crane-equipped model to lift tank engines and other heavy items.
This latest release from Trumpeter could easily be a 1/35 scale kit for its parts breakdown and detail. At 383 parts, it is hard to believe that the kit is actually rendered in 1/72 scale. Many of the parts in this count are on four trees of black parts representing individual track links (duplicate trees not shown). The other five trees are molded in desert tan styrene comprising the chassis and body of the halftrack. Three rubber tires are also included for the front wheels and spare tire.
Assembly begins with a highly detailed chassis and suspension. This is enhanced with a highly detailed engine that goes under the hood. A second detailed engine is also included to drive the heavy duty winch system.
As with any tracked subject, you'll be spending a little time with the road wheels as any imperfection left over from the wheels' attachment to the sprue tree will be evident in this scale.
While assembling individual track links in any scale (but especially in 1/72!) may sound intimidating, Trumpeter has provided an assembly jig to speed assembly along.
Assembly of the interior is straightforward with the crew and passenger seats, as well as the cargo bed in the rear of the vehicle.
Some of the options available to the modeler:
- The hood is molded in three parts, allowing for the side panels to be removed to display the detailed engine
- The windshield on the driver's side can be posed down or lifted
- The draw bar is included should you want to attach a 1/72 Tiger or Panther
Markings are included for three examples:
- 237th StuG Bde, Russia, 1943
- 190th StuG Bde, Russia, 1944
- Hermann Foring Workshop Btn, Germany 1942
Trumpeter is definitely raising the bar on detail for 1/72 scale armor. While perhaps a bit over-engineered for the average modeler, this kit offers a great deal of diorama potential as the tracks and suspension can be articulated over an obstacle with minor modifications. Where does an 18 ton FAMO park? Anywhere it wants!
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!