Tamiya FAMO sd.kfz.9 mit sd.anh.116 trailer, 1/35

Calling finished on the Tamiya FAMO - build time 99 hours.

As you likely know, this FAMO kit with the Anhanger 116 trailer is widely regarded as Tamiya’s finest in this scale and I cannot argue with that. It is stunning. I admit I had high expectations but this absolutely blew them out of the park. If there is a weakness in the kit is is the rubber/vinyl tyres and the (relatively) dodgy crew figures but these can be overlooked. I’m not a good enough figure painter to start clamouring for better figures!

So here is my interpretation, in all her weathered, chipped, battered, scratched, abused and scraped glory. Not sure I’ve managed to do it justice but I gave it my best shot. This was shot with black MiG OneShot primer with VMA burnt umber and Mig Red Primer mix for preshading.

The base cost was VMA Dunkelgelb with four layers of highlighting - that got totally lost in the dust layers unfortunately. The camo was VMA dark green which in hindsight I think was too dark.

On the rear driver section I didn’t like the roof canopy thing in the kit so I scratched a folded roof canvas and I think it looks better, if not 100% true accurate to the real thing which should have the canopy offset from the back wall of the driver’s cabin. I dry fitted it there and it didnt look “right” so I took a semi-artistic flyer and placed it at the back. I think it looks better like that.

I also replaced the FAMO wheels with PanzerArt resin ones. I still think they look a bit clean (could do with a dust coloured wash I think) but I’m ok with them. Reasoning here is the dio this is going into is set in September 1944 in Sothern Holland and the FAMO will have been going around on paved roads and grassy areas with little mud as it was summer. So there is a heavy dust layer but only a little bit of mud on the running gear. The stowage and bike, lantern, etc just what I had in the parts box. I quite like the idea these guys had a whole cargo compartment full of random stuff they accumulated over time.

This is going in my big diorama as more or less the centerpiece and to quote Jaws - “we’re gonna need a bigger base!” - This thing is HUGE!

In the Dio it will have a broken down StuG III on the back and I’ll put a rear driver into the trailer steering compartment. The FAMO itself is stopped on the road while the guy stood up in the back of the cargo compartment speaks to an NCO in a Schwimmwagen coming the other way. The driver and the rest of the guys in the FAMO look a bit bored, clearly this conversation has gone on for long enough. The title of the dio is “HURRY UP, THE TOMMIES WILL BE HERE SOON” so this is an integral part of it.

The FAMO (for me) is nothing special in the end result which is perhaps why I’ve gone the extra mile with the stowage and bits and pieces in the back, but the trailer I think is really dramatic and striking. I found the decals on the trailer section to be too large for the parts they were supposed to go on but I discovered (totally by accident) that if you very gently run the TETC brush applicator along the edge of the part where the excess decal overhangs from above it, it does a brilliant job of cutting away (dissolving!) the excess (and only the excess) and also wrapping the decal on the part very nicely. If you really gently “stab” the brush into the extremities you can actually chip the decals! Total accident (I was trying to get the decal on there really strongly so I could try to slice away the excess with a hobby blade) but a very cool thing to know.

Followers of my builds on my Insta will likely know I tend not to chip and scratch AFVs models as in WW2 they usually didn’t survive long enough to get chipped and worn paint like you see here. But the tank transport and recovery teams behind the lines will have had very worn and weathered equipment indeed and that’s why builds like this are great fun as you can really let yourself off the leash a bit. Is it too much? Maybe, but who can say?

I looked at a lot of pics online and the theme I came away with was that these vehicles were worked very hard indeed, were incredibly dusty and in most cases you can barely see the camo (if it was even painted at all), so I’ve tried to capture that as best I can.

The wood on the trailer was a light brown base coat, then a series of washes and localized filters in black, different shades of brown, grey etc. Then distressed with a Buff drybrush to age it, then a satin coat. Once the varnish dried I ground in various oil paints in several different shades in different parts. I also spattered some oil marks and rust wash/streaks which were enamel based. Once done, I repainted the dunkelgelb areas with a lighter shade and washed around the edges with panel liner in dark brown so bring them out a bit. Some areas got some chipping too. I actually think it’s not aged enough and needs more spots and stains etc. looks too uniform to me. But it’ll do. I figure you aren’t going to see much of it once the StuG is on the back :slightly_smiling_face: the oils really make it pop. You can see about six different shades of grey and yellow and brown in there. Thing I like about it is you can put loads on then use a brush dipped in thinner to take it down so it’s never over-done. Oils are a new thing for me, I’ve only incorporated them into my last two builds. I’m still learning a lot - I only started modeling in September 2020.

It is always the case that you can only notice the problems with a build once you see the pictures online. In this case I see one of the roof canopy supports on the left side of the FAMO has snapped which is an easy fix and the rear trailer number plate has started to come away as two coats of MarkFit Set weren’t enough, clearly hahahaha. :) I am also promising myself to take a lot more care on seam lines on the figures from now on as you only really see the seams when they are already in the model. I don’t know why that is, but it is frustrating.

Other than that I would love the benefit of your feedback on areas where I can improve. I wont get better otherwise!

Next up is the AFV Club Bussing Nag crane truck and finishing the Miniart Werkstattkraftwagen and the Takom Chieftain Mk10 for a UK Group build on FB. Wish me luck!
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13 Likes

For anyone interested Panzer Art has sets of resin wheels for both the Famo and its Trailer
They are #RE35-072 SdKfz.9 front Wheels with a spare. 7.99 Euros
#RE35-112 Wheels for the SdAnh116 Trailer . 19.99 Euros
They are available directly from panzerart.com
I hope this helps others with this kit
Donald

2 Likes

Nice! Very attractive build!

The first thing that I’d complement you on is just finishing this monster! If there’s any such thing as an “epic build” right out of the box, this kit has got be in the running for it. Alignment and fit-up of the parts are good, especially considering the number of parts you had to deal with.

Your overall finish and weathering are, to my eye, quite nice. I like the continuity and general completeness of the way the total finish all ties together. There’s a very consistent and complete look to the work. Your detail painting work is very good, too. Things like the buttons and insignia on the figures are nice and precise, with sharp, clean edges between the colors.

In particular, I really like the way to handled so many of the subassemblies and components as separately painted and finished parts. This gives a very “clean” and “crisp” look to the build. It is a lot of extra work, but it’s one of the things that, IMO, really sets off a model and separates its builder from the pack.

In so far as suggestions for improvement: I’d just say to keep working on polishing up on the basic techniques - basic construction (mold seams, join seams and sprue attachment points), basic finishing (some small air brushing issues on the camouflage), and decaling (lifting decals and some visible carrier film edges).

There are a number of mold seams and a couple of sprue attachment nubs visible on parts on the model (not just on the figures). There’s also a very visible join-seam on at least one of the rusty barrels and a couple of other places, like the top rear corner edges of the hood-body areas. As tedious as it might be, there’s simply no substitute for cleaning up the mold seams on every part, no matter how small. Holding the parts up to a strong light source and rotating it to get a glancing light reflection will show partially cleaned seams as thin shadows. Some join-seams will require extra work to fill and smooth them out no matter how careful the initial assembly was done.

Decals will benefit from placement on glossy surfaces which can be given a flat clear coat later. This will help with the adhesion (lifting) and visible carrier film edges). Spot shoot the decal areas with a clear gloss, then use your decal solvent, over-coat the deals with another shot of clear gloss, and finally give the area a coat of flat clear to blend them in completely.

Finally, there’s a very bright shiny glue spot under the rusty barrel stack in the bed. A shot of clear flat will take care of this. (Mask off the clear windshield areas before spraying any clear flat now.) This should also eliminate any sheen on the figure uniforms, which should be dead-flat.

[It may be that you were going for a glossy “fuel spill” look here, but that’s really hard to pull off effectively. Spilled gasoline and diesel “puddles” are only briefly shiny right after they occur before they “flash off” and take on a semi-gloss, satin-like sheen. They also partially wash off the dust and dirt of the area and create “muddy” tide marks. At a “scale distance” the most you should probably have with simulating spilled fuel or other liquids on other surfaces is a tiny “glint” of shine. Deeper puddles of standing bodies of liquid are a different matter…]

Anyway, I’m sure this all sounds terrible, but honestly, these are all small things that can be easily improved as you gain experience and practice.

Thanks for sharing!

A tip for the rubber wheels is something I learned from building car kits.

Slip the wheel onto a socket wrench socket large enough to be snug without stretching the tire. Attach the socket to a drill (this may take going to the store to get the appropriate connector). Then take some sandpaper–not super coarse–hold it against the tire and turn on the drill. Wear down the tire a bit with the sandpaper and take off a bit of the surface and this helps simulate road wear and cuts down the ‘shiny and new’ aspect.

2 Likes

i love rge grunge and grim feel of tge vehicles but i did notice the soldier’s boots do look very clean, that’s my only niggle with this fantastic work of art.

Nice model.

Same idea: Use a Dremel.

Courtesy of Sheperd Paine

I think the build looks wonderful and you should be really proud of it!

99 hours? That’s 4 days. You’re an animal!!!

My only feedback would be the barrels on their side look weird to me.

Great build!!

Empties might be easier to tie down this way.
Filled barrels should normally be standing up.

image

Note that they have the opening on the side

The small fuel trailers towed by Panzers had the barrel/barrels lying down …
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Agreed Robin.

My thinking was that whatever may have been in the barrels may leak and make that area slimy back there.

Yup.
Barrels vertical feels better in many ways. Except when tying them down …

Wow, what a marvelous combination! Love it, and those tiny details that others mention, well, I doubt if anyone will ever notice them…

Pretty good!

Really like this. The FAMO and trailer is one of my favourite models, Tamiya really excelled themselves IMHO. When I made mine about 20 years ago, it required me to gear up in my approach to modelling! The weathering on the trailer looks really good, I only wish mine had come out like that. Like you I’m not a huge fan of heavy weathering and mud, you’ve paid good money for the detail, so you don’t want it hidden under lumps of mud!
I would have to agree about the barrels, upright makes more sense, full or empty.
As for the figures, no criticism of you intended, but Tamiya messed up with these I believe. They are wearing the wrong uniform, I believe Tamiya confused the lightweight drill uniform with working denims. The “dirty work” denim suit had no visible pockets, was of a cement coloured drill and was a very simple and popular item used specifically for work like tank recovery. Other working dress was the sort of overall worn by the standing figure. The other mistake they made was that unusually for a kit manufacturer, they gave you too many figures! The standard crew of a FAMO recovery vehicle was three - driver, NCO mechanic/commander and a mechanic who also steered the rear axle - this position had to be manned when the outfit was driving. The other seats were of course intended for the rescued tank crew!

Yes, barrels standing up would seem far more correct. Also no tie down points existed in the bed of the Famo to lash that chain of your’s to; whereas standing barrels can easily be “corralled” by just wrapping a cable, rope or chain around them. (also maybe use smaller chain.)

Also you might want to hit the spokes of that bicycle with some black wash to tone down that “Fresh silver” look you have there. Such spokes after a short time take on a very dull gray appearance.