Small fry AFV's, light panzers, halftracks, trucks & armored cars etc

Great topic, nice to read all those different working methods, and great looking models!
For the AK snow, I used it on my latest build, it works really great, and there is a youtue video explaining how to use it and shows the differences between them:
AK youtube
There is also a video from Night shift using that stuff


Thank you, Bert.
Checked out the videos, much appreciated!
Order more snon goodies, so hopefully that part will go well enough.

Today, the hobby room…started like this…


Exhibit 1 - My stash inventory card for Fruilmodel track links.

Exhibit 2 - found the Fruilmodel Pz 38t track links…

What say you haven’t see a flat bag of Fruilmodel track links in like ~25 + years?

Oh we’re just getting started.

Exhibit 3 - Original design folding clasp track. Note this bag comes with it’s own sprockets which means the tracks didn’t fit the available kits back in the early 1990’s.

I didn’t recall the 38t tracks listed on the inventory card were the original style from 30 years ago.

The sense of dread, that another set of tracks aren’t going to fit the sprockets swept over me. Was the Panzer Dentist going to have to reclock the Pz 38t’s sprockets like with the old 1970 Tamiya Tiger or would this be a file to fit like the T-55A?

Only one way to find out…

That’s a pretty good wrap, it’s off a little but I think it can be tweaked into working without too much hassle.

I think a file to fit will work.

…couldn’t resist…:wink:



And now you know Jujitsu. :ninja:



Wow, that is quite the stash of tracks, but dang, you don’t have an ATL-046, just kidding lol… Future project in the hopper is building a Sd.Kfz.11 towing a Pak 40.

On the Fruildmodel website the man # is no longer in the line up (though still on download list) and I didn’t see anything that cross refers to another.

Then again, do you know what AFV Club tracts like?


Steve, I haven’t assembled any AFV Club tracks so I can’t provide an opinion based on experience.

Given my Dragon’s 251/23’s trials & tribulations, I picked up a set of AFV Club tracks for it just in case the Sector35’s wouldn’t fit etc.

The AFV’s look nice.

That’s the limit of my AFV Club track experience.

Sidebar, Soap Box, Rant…

I fell out very badly with AFV Club in the 1990’s and still don’t trust them to know what they are doing.

  1. 1990’s the two terrible sink mark riddled kits were purchased back to back. Pure garbage, with 30 to 40 sink marks per parts tree plus some short shots.

  2. The AFV Club M36 Jackson, the kit is unfortunately more like a genetic experiment gone wrong.

  3. Twenty some years later, excited, I finally purchased AFV Club’s kits again. Sdkfz 231/232 They had improved but still had some minor issues.

I’m very cautious with AFV Club products until they are well reviewed by trusted sources.


My Sd.Kfz 251/20 Uhu didn’t have any issues like that.


Nice to hear AFV Club has improved their game.

1 Like

Thanks Wade for your input. I see those fit the Sd.Kfz.11, which I thought the Fruilmodel ATL-07 (Sd.Kfz.251) fit the Sd.Kfz.11. I should have expanded more on the AFV rubber band track vs aftermarkets. I really don’t know what are good/ poor manufacturers these days. 40 years ago Tamiya was my go to brand.

So much has changed in those years and with new manufacturers and techniques, I am truly relying on this boards input helping me choose a kit. So hearing what people experience is important. I have four AFV Club models on my wishlist; Sd.Kfz.251/3 Asuf D, Sd.Kfz.11, Sd.Kfz.222 and Pak 40.

I want to buy kits that are aesthetically detailed, and scaled as best as possible. These kits may be beyond my skill ability, however I really like a challenge myself with patience lol.

Unfortunately I don’t have the space to build a stash (I would rather have a larger guitar stash) so I really can’t just buy willy-nilly. I also need to buy more paint which quickly adds up.

I will look to see if there are threads on peeps “Top 10” brands list on AFV’s, figures, etc, if not I will create one for newbs like me.


Happy to share my ten cents worth. Online build reviews are sometimes helpful. I find in the box reviews interesting but not particularly helpful.

There’s a lot of opinions expressed in kitmaker: best-armor-kit-company on that very topic. Some of the opinions may even be valid.

Wink, wink :wink: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :kissing_heart:

Here’s my current view three years later of what I said in post #57 or #58 etc.

Multiple apologies in advance etc. Just calling it with candor as I see it. Others with different criteria very well may have entirely different views and lists based on what’s important to them respectively.

My criteria is #1 Fun Build, #2 Well Engineered #3 Quality Instructions and all else is secondary. Based on my experiences.

Tier 1 Best Armor Model Companies Today

RFM aka Ryefield Model’s edges out Tamiya as Best of the Best for what I like.

Tamiya - Tamiya held my #1 spot for 40+ years. Tamiya is consistent. :clap: In today’s world they are behind RFM in my opinion.

Tamiya’s newest Pz IV kits are very nice but they cut some corners in the suspension etc.

If a Tier 1’s have consistent, proven excellence. I will pre-order product as the manufacturer proved Trustworthy.

Tier 2 - always disappointing in one way or another but still generally excellent, worth buying and building. Improvement required to reach Tier 1 status.

Academy - new kits A+, potentially Tier 1, on the way

Meng - potentially a Tier 1

Hasegawa - you can only repackage the same kit so many times

TriStar - KIA, tears :cry: :sob:

Amusing Hobby

Dragon - could be Tier 1 with improved instructions and better engineering

Airfix - new tooled, most improved, moved from tier 4 to tier 2, I actually purchased one of their new kits, a minor miracle.

If a Tier 2 company’s name is on the box of a new release I have moderate expectations based on past experiences.

Tier 3 - always lacking in multiple ways but generally very good. Probably worth buying and building.

Border Models (Stug III’s :nauseated_face:, good for a laugh)
Takom (Stug III’s & Pz III’s vomit :nauseated_face:)
AFV Club (industry leader in sink marks in my experience :cry: :broken_heart:)

ICM (more crude than expected)
Zvezda (better than expected)
Hobby Boss (TriStar re-hashes are good)
Polar Lights (nice subjects, lots of land mines)

Bronco (complexity & I’m unimpressed with molding)

Mini-Art (complexity & fragility, very soft plastic, I greatly dislike engineering design of these kits) Tried hard to be a fan, bought half a dozen kit, gave most away

If a Tier 3 company’s name is on the box, I won’t buy the product unless it’s irresistible subject matter.

Tier 4 - means garbage, not worthy of a look. The reviews are often pure comedy with a plethora of avoidable goof ups. Kits by these manufacturer’s are generally suitable for filling empty landfills and packaging materials with possibly a few exceptions. Same bottom of the barrel pretty much as 30 years ago. At least they are consistently terrible.

Airfix - old
Academy - old

Most good models with a Tier 4 company name on the box are reboxed and some other companies product in most cases. Probably from a Tier 2 company.

Bizarrely, Tamiya likes selected Italeri kits enough to reboxand sell with the Tamiya’s name on the box. I won’t claim to understand why Tamiya would taint their brand name with any Italeri product.



Ooops, I started a new thread. I could not find anything using the search. Thanks for your list.


I have the Pak 40 but my Sd.Kfz 11 is the one set up to resupply a Nebelwerfer squad. Neither built yet but they looked good in the box.


Okay, so I made the mistake of going and looking at the Pak 40 and the Sd.Kfz 11.

Now they’re both on my ‘Next Up’ list.


Tier One -

Rye Field
Tiger Models

Tier Two -

Trumpeter new - best of the tier twos, at their best are absolutely tier one, but lack the consistency to be rated that high across the board.
Border - could be tier one if they stopped rushing their instructions and stopped making silly mistakes.
Airfix - same as Academy new basically
Academy new
Zvezda new - like Wade says, better than expected, newer stuff improved an amazing amount.
Takom - would be knocking on the door of tier one were it not for the silly sprue gates
Asuka - not as good as people think, they have this near-God like status. I rate them merely as good to very good.
Amusing Hobby
Copper State

Tier Three -

Takom Blitz

Tier Four -

Trumpeter old
Zvezda old
Academy old
AFV Club

…in order!


I’ve just finished the build phase on the Italeri/Tamiya Staghound and have wondered the same thing. No doubt the experience is raised by improved Tamiya instructions and some nice PE, fun little photographic booklet for references, and some nice Tamiya figures, but at the end of the day it is still an Italeri. I didn’t hate it but was not a Tamiya “feel” build that’s for sure. Have a feeling it will paint up nicely, though.

I had an eye on their Chaffee rebox but I heard a rumour Tamiya are going to do their own soon so lets see.


Wow, AFV Club last, even behind Revell!


I just dont get on with them - had a couple of bad experiences and dont get the hype. Flimsy plastic that is brittle, instructions that don’t quite cover what you need them to, finicky parts count, some warped parts, dodgy fit, lack of guide pins, thick sprue gates… I understand lots love them but they arent for me. Miniarts the same thing.

If you compare the molding, instructions, crispness, sprue gates and detail, sensible build processes and so on you get with Tiger and RFM for example, I just think there’s no comparison.

But that’s just my opinion. I’m still a newbie comparatively speaking so maybe I’ll grow into AFV Club one day, who knows?


Seems like the perfect opportunity to mention the Dark Horse Airfix. Not a fan of in the box generally but this one merits mention.

Molding looks like new Academy level quality which is excellent.

Back in ~2021, I’d seen comments the number of bilts on the wheels were wrong with only six bolts. However, if that were the case, looks like that issue was fixed. Eight bolts.

Real deal at Bovington w/8 bolt wheels.

Digging deeper more pleasant surprises with the needed PE, band tracks & plastic.

Cost $39 shipped to my door, for this Airfix 1/35 Cromwell. I’m favorably impressed

My first good words about Airfix since the 1970’s.


I haven’t had those experiences myself, but perhaps you got them during their early years similar to those ICM, Zvezda, and MiniArt had before getting to the level they are now?

You are fortunate in that much of AFV’s catalog is produced by other companies but there are a few items I can’t find an alternate for like the Sd.Kfz 233 and 263.

I found their Sd.Kfz 251/20 to be a much better experience than Zvezda’s 251/1 B Stuka Zu Fuss.


Weathered tracks before installing.

When I find a spare brass Aber antenna, another piece plus flat coat, I think the build will be wrapped.

Still waiting on snow products to arrive for final completion.


Prepped a base…

I blemished the top and especially one corner last summer refinishing this base. The sides were OK if the top disappeared under ground work.

Slapped a frame together out of strip balsa from JoAnn’s and gave it a quick finish. Surprisingly, my cuts with the miter box were dead accurate this time thanks to a new StarBond mechanical pencil :pencil2:

Test fit

Sealed with StarBond superglue & accelerator.

Since I have no idea what I’m doing with groundwork and snow the 251/23 will be the sacrificial goat. The Pz 38t will benefit from the experience gained hopefully.

Too much dead space…need something to fill with…

Mig matt for ground, add paint plus snow…