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Review – FAMO’S Sd.Kfz.9, 18-TON Zugkraftwagen, armoured and unarmoured variants


The Famo must surely be one of the most popular WW2 softskins for modellers. MAFVA Information Officer, Chris Lloyd Staples reviews the perfect companion for the prospective Famo builder.

FAMO’S Sd.Kfz.9, 18-TON Zugkraftwagen, armoured and unarmoured variants

Nicolaus Hettler, Nuts and Bolts No.43

In the 20 years since Nuts and Bolts released their Volume 12 on the Famo half-track, a lot more information has become available.  The release of the completely new Volume 43 is an opportunity to incorporate all of the new information, along with drawings and colour artwork which did not feature in the early issues in this series.  Indeed, virtually nothing is in common with the earlier volume, and if you have Volume 12, there is every reason to also get Volume 43!

In line with the more recent volumes of Nuts and Bolts, the first 60 or so pages cover the technical design, development, production, and use of the vehicle, along with its issue to units.  The model releases are also listed, so that the modeller can see what they need for a project.  Some of the listed kits and accessories may no longer be available.

The next 80 pages have contemporary photos, 2 or 3 per page, with detailed captions, covering all versions of the Famo.  This is followed by nearly thirty pages of 1/35 scale drawings and 3D sketches to illustrate the versions of the half-track, and also the Sd.Ah.116 tank transporter trailer.  Next we have 16 colour profiles, each one linked to a particular photograph, and showing how the artist has interpreted the black-and-white image.

The next 40 pages are full of photos of preserved vehicles in museums, giving sharp images of details useful to model-makers.  The last few pages show some excellent models, those in 1/35 scale are all based on the Tamiya kit.

All in all, this is an absolutely outstanding book, and essential reading for anyone interested in the 18-ton halftrack, and wanting to add detail to the wonderful Tamiya kit from 1999.  Personally, I am pleased to have the earlier book as well, as it is easier to read and the new book is very technical with some text being heavy going.  This is not helped when a translation programme is used to convert the original German text into English, and words such as Abteilung (=Battalion) are translated as ‘department’.  A number of technical descriptions need concentration to work out what is being said, but the effort is worth it, and the value of the book lies in the detail and the whole wealth of new information.  Very highly recommended! 

Chris Lloyd Staples


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