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135
Sd.Kfz. 263 in Africa

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The Sd.Kfz. 263 was the main long-range radio communications vehicle of an armored division's signals battalion or the signals platoon of an armored reconnaissance battalion. This vehicle is intended to represent the latter, while in service with the 15. Panzer-Division in Libya in 1941 (Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 33). The vignette is entitled: "After the ghibli" ("Nach der Ghibli") A ghibli was a sandstorm, characterized by lots of dust and a hot wind. The kit is from AFV Club and was a bear to make: Lots of moving parts. The angles on the hull and undercarriage made it difficult to finish, and I pre-painted a lot of the kit to try to avoid impasses later on. Some efforts worked, some didn't.

The figures came from Miniart and the kit itself (resin add-on). They are painted to represent the tremendous variety of shades used in German tropical clothing (and impressed captured French stocks).

The finish was originally schwarzgrau, with an overspray of desert gelbbraun over a coating of chipping agent. Once worn to the desired effect, I finished by a light spray of dust (AK Interactive) on both the model and the figures. The model also has some dust pigments applied (Vallejo desert dust).

I was originally going to build with the 9m mast extended, but the "star" portion of the antenna came broken from the manufacturer. Even if it had not broken in transit, it would have been difficult to remove from the sprue without damaging it.
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About the Author

About Robert Edwards (RJEdwards)
FROM: FLORIDA, UNITED STATES

US Army Reserve retired. Armor officer and FAO. Stationed in Germany with 1-35 (Erlangen) and 1-68 (Wildflecken) Armor. Taught German at USMA (West Point). Lifelong interest in armor; started building models again about two years ago after a hiatus of nearly 40 years. Primarily German WW2, with a f...


Comments

Thanks for the kind words. I forgot to mention in the original description of the piece that the enlisted man at the rear of the vehicle is checking out the broken distance marker that occurred during the sandstorm. That touch was added to the model after I lost the original distance marker to the carpet monster in the course of construction. The replacement mast was easy: a small straight piece of plastic that was already lying on the workbench. The ball tip was another matter. I would up using a small white sprinkle from a cake-decorator set the wife has. Necessity is the mother of invention!
MAY 18, 2019 - 11:47 PM
Thanks for the kind words! With regard to your question...It was a bit after your time. I was in the Department of Foreign Languages from 1985 - 1990. Probably the best assignment I ever had. German with a foreign accent? I bet you can't beat one of the NCO's I knew who was stationed in my battalion in Erlangen. He later left the Army after his stint, went to UT Austin and wound up back in Erlangen as a scholarship student at the university there. His German was fine, until he spoke, at which time there was unmistakably a Texan in the room.
MAY 18, 2019 - 11:55 PM
Thanks for the kind words! With regard to your question...It was a bit after your time. I was in the Department of Foreign Languages from 1985 - 1990. Probably the best assignment I ever had. German with a foreign accent? I bet you can't beat one of the NCO's I knew who was stationed in my battalion in Erlangen. He later left the Army after his stint, went to UT Austin and wound up back in Erlangen as a scholarship student at the university there. His German was fine, until he spoke, at which time there was unmistakably a Texan in the room.[/quote] VERY Nice work! I have the old JP HOBBY Sd.Kfz.233 and -263 Conversion kits which I was planning to bash with a couple of the even OLDER TAMIYA -232 8-Rad kits- Now I'm not so sure that I want to bother with them. I'd much prefer to build the AFV CLUB kits, after seeing how you managed with your -263!!! We spoke a Southern-patois type-dialect of German at home- Kind of a Schwaebischer-Augsberger thing. My Dad, a Ukrainian who served in the Polish Cavalry and Horse Artillery, learned German while a POW after he was captured in 1939. He spoke a Hanoverian-dialect of German. 'm first-generation American and I can write, read and speak Hochdeutsch with NO trace of any kind of of an American accent, without being prodded!!! We also had some family-friends (Hedwig and Stefan) who spoke in some kind of a rural-type of Bayerischer-accent which was completely ALIEN to my ears, what with their "Affi und Obi", ("upstairs and downstairs"), and, "Rosi, mocht's a' Buid'l!" (Rosie, take a picture!")!!! Rosi, (Rose-Marie), was the eldest of Hedwig and Stefan's three daughters; Linda and Risi, (Theresa), were the other two. Much of anything else they said was indecipherable!!! JEEKERS!!! My Sister, Chris and I spoke Ukrainian with my Dad on a one-on-one basis, but we spoke German in deference to my Mom and Oma. Of course, I'm a bit out of practice with my Hochdeutsch, since I've had no cause to actually use it in about 46 years or so... My Dad also taught me a little bit of Polish, a few Czech words here and there and a bit of Russian. I had French in High School. I also had some Italian and Puerto Rican friends, and they taught me their various "bad words"!!!
MAY 19, 2019 - 12:57 AM
think we're straying a bit here...the build is terrific and the weathering subtle but also really good. I personally weather severe duty vehicles with more wear, tear and dust but I like 'em that way and still appreciate yours. really like the figurines clambering over the vehicle and am going to use your photos to inspire my eventual build of the same kit in say...a year? (optimistically spoken).
MAY 19, 2019 - 03:50 AM
Personally, I like restrained weathering on my model vehicles, EXCEPT for the ones that served in the African Theater for a while- That's because it gets pretty windy in the African deserts, and as we all know, sand is very abrasive.
MAY 19, 2019 - 04:56 AM
Great build! I have lived in the southern Arizona desert for 52 years as well as in the California and new Mexico deserts before that. I would say add more dust! The panzer grey color would pop the dust out even more. Just my suggestion.
MAY 19, 2019 - 06:45 PM
Thanks for all the comments. It's nice to know that after a long break from the hobby, I can produce something that garners praise. I like to joke: If you want a real challenge, try modeling at age 65 with deteriorating eye site and not quite so steady hands! With regard to the weathering/dusting: The model is meant to portray the unit after a relatively recent arrival in theater (Libya 1941), so the weathering would not be as intense, as if it had been there after several campaigning seasons. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!
MAY 20, 2019 - 02:44 AM
LOL..true enough! Join the club I am 68 and face the same challenges!Just want to say (in good humor and respect) I park my car in my carport and after three days I would have as much dust!
MAY 20, 2019 - 11:41 AM
Thanks for all the comments. It's nice to know that after a long break from the hobby, I can produce something that garners praise. I like to joke: If you want a real challenge, try modeling at age 65 with deteriorating eye site and not quite so steady hands! With regard to the weathering/dusting: The model is meant to portray the unit after a relatively recent arrival in theater (Libya 1941), so the weathering would not be as intense, as if it had been there after several campaigning seasons. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! [/quote] Welcome to the "Oatmeal Club"!!!
MAY 21, 2019 - 08:31 AM
Very nicely-done. Regarding the dust, I would suggest having some "pooling" of it in recesses where dust tends to collect on desert vehicles. That way the finish and understated weathering remain, but it's a little more realistic about how the desert attacks machinery. Just one man's opinion however.
JUN 28, 2019 - 03:14 AM