1/72 Revell Sd.Kfz. 9 Famo with 8.8cm Flak 36

Gallery Article by Lance Braman on Nov 30 2011

A couple of years ago I came across an old issue of Armor Modeling which had an article in it on converting Tamiya's then-new 1/35 Famo to the mobile flak cannon version.  Now, normally I build airplanes but vehicles also interest me if there is some connection to airplanes.  The Germans developed an impressive variety of anti-air tanks and vehicles during WWII, most being based around 20mm or 37mm cannon.  A massive armored half-track with a 8.8cm flak gun on the back looked really cool, so I bought the mag from the used book shop and stuck it in the bookshelf at home as a reference for a future project.

Revell Germany recently released a 1/72 Famo, and that finally provided the impetus to pull the Armor Modeling back down off the shelf.  A 1/35 Famo is simply massive, but in 1/72 the size becomes much more reasonable, plus most of the rest of my collection is also 1/72, thus making size comparison easy.  Trumpeter has also just released a 1/72 Famo, and while it has a lot more detail than the Revell kit (and every bit as much as Tamiya's), the Revell looked to be the easier build plus most all the extra detail would be wasted in a conversion like this.

 

Click on images below to see larger images

The Armor Modeling article provided templates for the armored cab, bed and magazine.  Modification was required as the two kits are different (aside from the scale, of course!), but with test fitting and trimming everything went together pretty well.  The cab, bed and magazine were made from sheet styrene, with brass rod, pipe and sheet being used for handles, the bracing legs and other details.  The ladders on the cab were cut and filed out of aluminum sheet, wire mesh was used on the lowered sides of the firing platform and premade brass anti-skid plate was cut to size for the floor.

The Flak 36 is from Hasegawa, with some details added.  The figures are also from Hasegawa, some from the Flak kit and some from their German Infantry set (modified so the poses looked better).  Gunze and Tamiya paints were used throughout.

The Germans only made less than 20 of these beasts, and only 2 photos seem to exist, each of a different vehicle and there are apparently numerous differences between the two (I could only find one of the two photos).  Apparently all completed examples were sent to Italy, but details of their service there seem lost to history.  Supposedly none were lost in combat, however what did happen to them is a mystery.

On the one hand, this lack of detailed information could be seen as a hindrance, on the other hand it is something of a blessing.  You can make one of these vehicles without being dogmatic or worried about whether best guesses made during construction are "right", and if anyone says anything just ask them for "proof".  What's important is that you have fun building something you find interesting, and I know I had a lot of fun with this conversion.  

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Lance Braman

      

Photos and text by Lance Braman