Interior of Ausf A, B, and 251/6
|September 20 2016, 5:11 PM |
Unlike the interior for the Ausf C/D which is very well documented, to my knowledge there are no surviving plans or load plans for the interior of the earlier Ausf A and B. But Bruce has done significant research and provided me with some of his sketches and information, which look to be quite complete. This, coupled with numerous photos I've found or been given (some unpublished), I think I am able to make a pretty edjumacated guess about the layout. Of course I am building a /6, so it will differ somewhat from the standard vehicle.
The only difference between the A and B are the addition of the 2 vision blocks along each side of the fighting compartment on the A. There were eliminated on the B. Also, about 300 unarmored samples of the A model were made, using sheet steel instead of armor plate. A few of the external fittings and vision port covers differ on these variants, but the interior should remain the same.
It is my belief that most, if not all, of the early A/B models left the factory in the standard /1 configuration. Using parts/kits from ordnance, individual unit shops then fitted-out/converted vehicles to serve in the roles of heavy mg squad carrier, mortar carrier, IG gun towing/ammunition vehicles, engineer vehicles, and command vehicles (the 251/6). As for command vehicles, I would imagine that the more senior the commander, the more likely he was to have the layout of his vehicle tweaked to his personal taste/mission needs. So there is certainly room for variation. But photos seem pretty consistent.
So below are some computer drawings of what I believe the interior of the /6 looked like. They are based on Bruce's sketches (I used a computer simply because the only thing I can draw is flies). They are not at all to scale. Also included are some photos showing details of the interior layout with some brief notes. If I have erred, or if you have more info, please let me know.
Of course much of this will not be visible in the finished model once I add figures and gear (and probably a tarp over the antenna as in the primary reference photos showing command tracks in the desert). But this is fine, the main feature of the interior of the /6 - the radio - will be visible and the command function will be apparent based on figures, activity, and gear.
Ok... I've researched the thing to death. I guess the only thing left to do is built it... We can see that most every kit in most every scale of the 251 Ausf A/B is woefully wrong. So no worries that the Bandai interior is so bad - it's wrong anyway. And the Tamiya/AFV Club kits are not much help in this regard, either as they feature the later C/D interiors.
Re: Interior of Ausf A, B, and 251/6
|September 20 2016, 6:32 PM |
Measurement conversion error on photo
|September 21 2016, 4:33 PM |
On the Perth Military Modeling site photo above, you added the measurements for 1/48 as red correct?
If yes, then 15mm in 1/35 would NOT be 19mm in 1/48.
You're right. It should be
|September 21 2016, 5:05 PM |
11mm. Thanks for being my "proof-reader".
Keep catching those errors - let's me know someone is reading and not just looking.
Ken, your pdf of the quick reference has been sent
|September 21 2016, 5:06 PM |
Let me know if it doesn't arrive. I sometimes have less than stellar luck with e-mail...
|September 21 2016, 5:20 PM |
I personally would relocate the right side Kar 98ks back to line up with the ones on the driver's side, but that's a final fit call, as we don't have measurements. (Note that only the mounting studs are left on the sole survivor in South Africa - all the actual brackets have been removed.) I've had some good news - the 3D printed M3 half-track suspensions are done and a sample will be on its way from Shapeways. Relevance here is that I want to do the SdKfz 251 ausf Bs about the same time I do the US half-tracks. Looking forward to seeing you work the magic. By the way, note the floor racks for the MG ammo boxes under the radio set in your last photo - best shot of these I've seen - thanks for this.....
I based the approx location of the right side Kar 98Ks
|September 21 2016, 5:52 PM |
on the photo showing the radio operator and radio. In that picture, the butt end of the racks is right up against the radios, placing the rifles fairly far forward. On the /6, that will also keep them from being tucked back behind the big radio sets making them harder to access. The only good interior photo of a 6 a/B I was able to find are the ones showing Guderian in his command track. Unfortunately, they are so full of clutter and people that seeing fittings is difficult. For my six, I went with pretty much the "standard" layout you came up with on the left, but altered it on the right due to the missing rear seat, large radio, and different crew/gear requirements. For what it's worth, I plan to follow the same strategy as the Guderian track pictures - fill the inside with clutter and people.
|Andrew Deeley |
Excellent and thank you
|September 22 2016, 4:35 AM |
Thanks for the excellent references.
Looking forward to the build log.
Clutter and people.....excellent approach.....
|September 22 2016, 10:41 AM |
I had my Bandai and Tamiya '251s out last night - this project will be a lot of fun. I suspect a run of resin casting though - I don't fancy making several sets of those unique drivers' seats by hand.
Kevin, you are correct.....Jentz says in Panzer Tracts that.....
|September 22 2016, 4:06 PM |
all the SdKfz 251 ausf A/B models were completed at the factory as the basic infantry carrier (/1 version) and any unique equipment needed for special use had to be requisitioned from ordnance supplies and added at field depots as needed. Note that until 1942, all the normal '251/1s had two gantry mounts for the MG 34s - the front armored mount was introduced in 1942 and back-fitted to earlier models - so the front mount type depends on the time frame you are modeling. Exceptions would be for '251s outfitted as heavy MG vehicles (they had a heavy MG mount on the driver's roof) and those fitted with the 3.7cm Pak 36 anti-tank gun. There were also a few fitted with the sometimes seen map table over the drivers' roof, but apparently these were all field conversions. It is likely that all the normal mounting brackets on the side walls would have remained for the /6, since the armor angles would have kept them out of the way of the radio and Enigma installations. No records anyway, so have at it.....
EDIT: Look at the pictures.....Guderian's /6 has clearly the rifle brackets behind the radio sets, and so do a couple of others. Free fire zone.....
|This message has been edited by baker24 from IP address 126.96.36.199 on Sep 22, 2016 4:12 PM|
By, Jove, it is indeed there!
|September 22 2016, 5:34 PM |
I had missed it in the clutter (exactly my plan). But it looks too far to rear to be the same rack in the photo with the radio operator and behind co-driver radio. To muddy things further, the photo of the interior with the numbered references clearly shows two rifle racks and forward of them two spare barrel holders... But it has no radio. So... I think I may have to develop a new theory - please chime in if you disagree
It seems on vehicles fitted with the radio behind the co-driver's seat, the side upper hull stowage consisted of two rifle racks roughly centered. But, on vehicles without this radio (most), the right side mirrored the left, with two rifle racks aft of two spare barrel racks. But why they would do this, I don't know. It really doesn't make a lot of sense - unless the basic interior brackets on some/most/all sixes were changed.
I think I will go with single pair of centrally mounted racks on my /6 on the right (with two rifles and two spare barrels on the left). The six would carry fewer MGs and need fewer barrels. I may even mount an additional radio behind the co-driver. Clutter and people...the best answer.
The good news is, I haven't gotten that far yet - I started on firmer ground. I have the floor and underseat stowage done and am working on the seats themselves (yes, I should have photos in the next few days when I complete this step). Once I get past this step, the rest of the interior should go very quickly. But I am somewhat dragging my feet... I want to completely exhaust the research before I do something - and then immediately find contradictory evidence
Having fun with this one. Thanks, Bruce. You've been a huge help.
Interior - Lower Hull
|September 26 2016, 4:56 PM |
Before much more useful work on the vehicle exterior can be done, I want to join the hull halves. In order to do this, the interior must be completed and painted. So… time to turn attention to the interior. Whether salvaging the old Bandai kit, or converting the newer AFV Club kit, the interior will have to be completely redone. As always, I am of the opinion that paint and finish counts far more to the overall look than tiny wee details. And, as always, I believe that implied detail is an effective as exact detail. Implied detail, painted and finished well, will let the viewer “see” what he/see wants to see. If that makes any sense – but, hey, at least I know what I’m trying to say. As previously mentioned, people and clutter add life, realism, and help to camouflage any vague details. So, with all that in mind…
1. Front seat mounts are wedges of plastic attached to the hull sides with a plastic rod bar glued to the end.
2. The seats we made by mash molding earlier in this thread were attached to the wedges.
3. Stowage under the rear seats were added. A plastic strip served to model the front edge of the underseat ammo racks. Various clutter was placed under the left seats. Ammo cans from Tamiya were put under the right. With the exception of the cans on each end, only the visible ends of the cans will be seen. Thus, cans were cut in half – each can becoming two cans.
Next, the front seat backs were made. These have to be slightly curved, and have a lip around each side. So, I chose to use epoxy putty.
4. Putty was rolled-out to the desired thickness and the area inside the lip was pressed into the soft putty using a styrene form.
5. The putty was placed on a curved surface to cure.
6. Once cured, the seats were cut out. I made extras just in case. I selected the best, most uniform two and discarded the remainder.
7. Bits of plastic finished the seats.
8. The rear seats were made of sheet plastic with a plastic strip border around the edges. The corners were sanded into a slightly round profile. A strip was also added to the front underside to rest on the underseat stowage, placing the seats at the needed angle. The two left seats were made as one part with a scribed line where the two seats meet. The single right seat is shown upside down so you can see the underside.
9. Prior to the seat cushions being made, the seated figures were built. The seat cushions are epoxy putty. The figures were pressed into the uncured putty, adding the impression of their little tushies. This will ensure they have a sense of weight and sit pressed into the cushion rather than magically hovering above it. The bottom of the seat and the underseat stowage were pre-painted black prior to the seats being attached.
10. The shelf was added to each side using a plastic strip. The MG 34 and double spare barrel case were put in place under the shelf on the left. The racks were made from plastic bits and sheet pewter. On the right, only empty racks were installed.
11. To make the tornistern (packs) sitting on the shelf serving as a backrest, I turned again to epoxy putty. The putty was rolled-out, cut to shape, and the individual packs cut from or pressed into the form.
12. Details – folds and flaps – were pressed into the soft putty using my favorite toothpick sculpting tool.
13. Handles and straps were cut from wine-bottle foil and superglued onto the cured packs. There were placed on the shelf along with other clutter. Seat hinges were added from bits and wedges of plastic. Spare vision blocks were mash-molded using the AFV Club parts as the model.
14. View from the other side.
Only the radio remains to be made and installed, along with the enigma machine and probably some more clutter.
15. The enigma machine was made from bits of plastic. Most detail can simply be painted on, as the thing is quite small – the biggest dimension is only about 8mm. Other than the case (a block of styrene with a styrene “tray” for a lid), the whole thing consists of only three parts – a wedge, half circle, and small triangle.
Speaking of Enigma... Table or No Table... that is the question. Seen here are several photos taken of the interior of Guderian's 251/6 in France. Having seen the first two before, I was fairly certain there was some sort of table placed over the front seat on the right side, and that the enigma sat on the table. I was planning to do such a thing with my model. Then I found the third photo... This photo makes it very clear that there is no table - the enigma machine and other gear are simply sitting on the seat. As went Guderian, so went I. No table.
Some other bits
|September 26 2016, 4:57 PM |
Some more work was done on the Kubel. Some stowage was added on the passenger seat – helmet and MP 40 with a metal foil sling, jerry can racks for the rear fenders were made (from plastic strip on Tamiya cans), and the windscreen was covered with epoxy putty with a map case sitting on it. The Kubel is now assembled to the point it is ready for paint.
Most of the figures were also made. The first six are shown here. Some putty/conversion work still needs done (primarily to fill gaps and covert one of the seated guys to tropical uniform). The seated figures consist of a radio operator from the Afrika Korps set (with replaced arms), a seated soldier from the Protze, and the seated air guard from the Afrika Korps set. In the back row, the standing officer is a mix-mash of the Rommel and pointing officer figures from the Afrika Korps set with a field cap. The other figures are from the Afrika Korps set with some different arms.
The other photo shows figure #7 standing in the front of the halftrack. He is from the Kubelwagen kit with new arms.
Here is how the composition currently looks. One more figure, either sitting in the driver’s seat of the kubelwagen or standing just outside the vehicle, will be added (probably the former). Perhaps some additional clutter and crates will be placed on the ground outside the halftrack. A field telephone and a couple phone wires will also be added.
Re: Some other bits
|September 26 2016, 6:32 PM |
Just superb ! Loving your epoxy work, been thinking I should try to make my own tarps and tolls and thinking of trying Super Sculpey so watching your detailing is a good push down the path. ps don't forget to sag that rear suspension on the Kubel
Super Sculpey is ok, but...
|September 26 2016, 6:42 PM |
It's a modeling clay that needs heat to harden (275 degrees recommended) - not real compatible with plastic or resin. I'd recommend a GOOD epoxy putty like Magic Sculpt. Stay far away from that horrid, grainy, and hard to work Miliput.
very good call on the overloaded suspension...
|September 26 2016, 6:48 PM |
...I had not thought of that. Now I must... I will not rest until the rear fenders barely clear the tires! Thanks for that!
|Konrad Schreier |
Another Great Dio in the making Kevin.
|September 27 2016, 5:10 PM |
This project is looking great Kevin - on the HT, you may want to tinker with the front seats, the bottoms look more like conventional cushions in the pix than tractor seats to me.
For the massively overloaded Kubelwagen, after the collapsed suspension, you also need a Seargent yelling at the driver about the ridiculous amount of disorganized crap he has there - something ironic, like "this is not the retreat from Moscow and we are not the French Army" - too bad we can't include dialogue balloons 😄
Keep going, this will be Super !
|September 28 2016, 4:27 AM |
It looking good as always.
Your Q about the table or seat. I think it's a seat, in the first and second photo tour can see a padded seat back. After all mr H G has to sit down too.
If I'm honest I think the overloaded Kublewagen looks a big too overloaded.I'm not saying it didn't happen but I can't recall a photo showing such a thing ( prompts photo of such). Of course that's just my personal preference.
Kevin, it is useful to remember that broken torsion bars.....
|September 30 2016, 11:35 AM |
were one of the problems encountered with the Kubel when it was overloaded or driven in very rough terrain.....
|October 1 2016, 7:29 PM |
Andrew, thanks for you input.
I agree about the seat on the /6. What looked like a tabletop in the first photo appears to have actually been a briefcase sitting on the floor. I really didn't think a table was fitted, but I misinterpreted the first photo. Thankfully, I found the third which clearly shows the gear is just sitting on the seat.
As for the overloaded Kubelwagen, I really don't think it's all that overloaded - much of the stuff is bulky as opposed to particularly heavy. But it is overloaded. And while I've not seen photos showing one that heavily stowed, I have seen photos of them carrying even heavier loads. Based on your "prompts photos of such", here are a couple heavily loaded vehicles. One shows another car with at least 17 persons aboard. The other shows a Kubel with at least seven soldiers on board - certainly heavier than my vehicle - and at least four of them are in same location as my stowage. Such photos of trucks and cars carrying heavy loads of people and gear are not really that uncommon (think SAS Jeep with 2-3 men, lots of weapons, a heavy load of fuel and water, and other gear). So, while I agree with terms such as "ridiculous" and "disorganized" (they mean I met my intent perfectly) I don't really think I'm out of the realm of possibility.
Konrad - great idea. Even worse might be a flat tire or stuck in soft sand - with the crew looking forlornly at all the crap they are going to have to remove (and then restow) to get themselves going again.
As for adjusting the suspension, the rear axle and its pivot are molded to the chassis at two points (arrows). These were cut and the assembly repositioned with the axle sitting higher, using a plastic stop to keep it from resting on the frame. While this method would not be suitable for a stand-alone model, for a model sitting on a diorama, once the wheels and skid plate are in place and the vehicle glued to the base, it will be an invisible fix. It results in the chassis sitting lower on the rear suspension and the rear wheels slightly "splayed" out.
Here is the Kubel ready for paint. The seats, all stowage, all wheels/tires, and the driver are removeable for painting. The bar behind the seats and underneath skid plates are not yet attached.