Review of FCM model.
Design of this vehicle started in 1942, the intention was to built a kind of ferry so PzKpfw IV and vehicles with a similar weight could be transported over rivers.
A complete Panzerfähre consisted of two amphibious vehicles wit a pontoon slung between them.
When the combat weight of the tanks in use soon increased above the capacity of the Panzerfähre its development was stopped.
The complete kit has two vehicles and the pontoon, you can also buy a kit of single vehicle without pontoon.
The vehicles are made of a hollow cast hull, two track units and a couple of loose parts (propeller, air inlets, driver cabin etc).
The pontoon is cast in one piece and only some lifting brackets have to be glued to it.
As the pontoon is to heavy to be carried by the model flat chains of the vehicles I made a support of clear plastic to carry the pontoon and glued it against the vehicle inner tracks.
For more information: Panzer Tracts No 14 has some pictures and a short description of the Panzerfähre IV.
One of the developments in the last year of the war was the waffenträger series.
A large variety of vehicles were designed (it seems that every firm which could make a tractor tried to built one) but only a few were actually produced. Some of these Ardelt Waffenträgers were used in action and a surviving example can be found in the Kubinka tank museum.
This is one of the best kits of FCM sofar, all parts are good quality resin casting except the gun barrel which is from turned aluminium. The parts fit well, the 88mm gun is a bit complicated with all the small parts. An instruction sheet with pictures of the finished model is included and is a great help.
For more information see "The military Machine no 4", it contains a photo series which shows all the details of the Kubinka waffenträger.
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