Thursday, 2 April 2015

Rapid Fire! 20mm - Turning the Matchbox Sdkfz 232 into the Sdkfz 247Ausf. A - Part 1.

Battistelli's Osprey Order of Battle on the Afrika Korps mentions the existence of two Sdkfz 247 in each of the 15th and 21st PD command groups.

The Matchbox Sdkfz 232 is a relatively good base for the 247 as it has 6 wheels and share some common components on its chassis. 

I checked a little more in other books and Internet and it seams that the models of the Sdkfz 247 must have been the Ausf. B (4 wheels) as only 10 of the Ausf. A (6 wheels) were produced. 

The problem, better, the problems were three. First the 6 wheel version is much nicer than the 4 wheel; second, I have already built a total of 8 Matchbox 232 from the times in which this pre-war vehicle fought happily alongside Panthers  in Normandy so two could be easily spared to become Sdkfz 247 Ausf.A for the Afrika Korps; third, this will look like the 247 only from a safety distance...

So grab your surplus 232, take out the turret and make the open area from the turret hole. 
Use X-Acto or small scissors to do so. 

This is the result. 

Then add Evergreen walls to the open part. I used 3mm tall beams as if you use taller the open area of the vehicle will be too small. I just kept on adding these rectangles until surrounding the entire area with no big measurements. 

Add extra boxes, vision slots, tools and climbing supports. 

The many holes left will be desguised with bags, jerrycans and backpacks. I used Valiant miniatures because they are big and as the Sdkfz 247 was a smaller vehicle than the 232 as you can see here...

...and the big 1/72nd scale figures go well inside the vehicle. 

Follow some good drawings as is the case of Bradford's plans in 1/72nd. The most noticeable difference at the end is the top part of the castle which should be some 4 or 5 mm longer enlarging the area for the figures and reducing the size of the nose. Another difference is the rear of the vehicle which has been disguised as you have seen.  But this is just a makeshift solution to make the rare model of the Sdkfz 247 Ausf. A, not the perfect solution. 

Also look for the lovely photos of the Gaso.line 1/48th scale 247 or even the Shapeways 1/87th model. 

But if you want no work and love your dozen Matchbox Sdkfz 232 already made order the SMA 20mm version of the 247 Ausf.A and save yourself a lot of work. But it's not as funny :)

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