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In-Box Review
135
Famo Crane Conversion
Sd.Kfz. 9/2 Famo with 10ton Crane
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by: Carlos Martin [ VARANUSK ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

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Introduction

The Sd.Kfz. 9/2 was one of the variants built on the Sd.Kfz. 9 (commonly referred to as "Famo") chassis.

It carried a large, characteristic 10Ton crane on an elongated chassis. Given the size of the vehicle, the result is spectacular, specially when the crane is deployed.

Panzer Concepts has produced a conversion for the Tamiya kit, providing the whole crane plus a new correct chassis for the 9/2.
The conversion comes in a medium sized white box, without markings. I have absolutely no fetish for kit boxes so this was not a problem for me.
The Contents

What is important is inside, which is full of parts leaving little empty space -padded with foam to avoid damage.
The parts are conveniently bagged in four zip lock bags marked form A to D. As they are grouped by building steps, they are easier to locate.
This is truly a multimedia kit, as it comes with parts made of cast resin, 3D printed, metal, laser-cut styrene and card stock. In total, more than 400 parts for a very detailed build.
The Materials

Due to the variety of materials, it is worth to comment the parts by type as at least for me some of them are new.
Resin
These are the bigger ones, like the chassis, fenders, crane counterweights, etc.
They are straight despite being quite long, smooth and bubble-free.
The detail is excellent and it is evident that the casting has been skilfully performed.
3D Printed
There is also a good number of parts that have been 3D printed. They are black and have crisp detail, with smooth surfaces. There is no trace of "stepping" on the curved areas.
These parts are easily removed by cutting the supporting rods with clippers, and they can be filed or sanded normally.
Styrene
Apart from rods, there is a sheet of laser-cut styrene parts.
They are perfectly formed, with straight edges.
The cut process leaves a small blurb along the edge but it goes away easily with a light sanding.
Card stock
Some grills are done with card board, which is an unusual choice. However, it looks very good. In fact they seem better than PE as it has true depth without being overscaled.
Metal
The main crane boom is supplied as a meal tube. In case you want to build it stored, it should be cut in three sections.
Being metal, it is a hard part that will not be deformed, plus it has no seams like plastic or resin barrels, so it seems the right choice.
Other
There is also a good amount of thread for the crane rigging.
Apart from that, two jigs are included to help assembling the chassis, plus a paper sheet with several drawings to be used as templates for cutting or drilling different parts.
The Conversion

It is clear that there has been a thorough research behind this model, providing detail even for parts that may end covered.
The kit can be built either with the crane stored for transport or deployed in use.
The instructions can be downloaded from Panzer Concept's website, thus ensuring you get the most updated version. Purchasing the conversion gives access also to a restricted Facebook group, where more information is available.
It must be noted that this is not a kit for beginners. The model is quite complex and although it does not seem to have unnecessary breakdown of parts, it is so detailed that it will take work. It does not mean you have to be a master, just have some experience beyond the basic remove-from-sprue-and-glue.
The instructions have drawings, photos and notes. At first sight they seem easy to follow, although there is a good number of steps -as you can expect from the part count.
Conclusion

Without any doubt this is a great conversion that will result in an spectacular model.
The level of detail and quality of the different materials in excellent, with a wise selection of the most appropriated for each part.
The conversion completely transforms the look of the already good Tamiya kit into an original variant. Although it will require time and attention due to the inherent complexity of the subject, it will be worth once finished.

Final note: A full build review will follow, which I have already started. So far the fit is perfect and the integration with Tamiya parts, absolutely precise. Last photo shows the assembled chassis.
SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent detail. Rare subject. Correct use of different media. Impressive result.
Lows: Not for beginners, the conversion is excellent but the subject itself is complex
Verdict: A great conversion, using the latest technologies where needed for a beautiful model.
Percentage Rating
98%
  Scale: 1:35
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 10, 2017
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 98.00%

Our Thanks to Panzer Concepts!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Carlos Martin (varanusk)
FROM: SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, SPAIN / ESPAñA

My main interest is German vehicles and guns, and I like spending time researching the vehicle and the options for the camo once I have chosen a subject. Sometimes I go for specific and rare vehicles, of which only two or three photos are known so it takes me a lot of time to figure how everything w...

Copyright ©2017 text by Carlos Martin [ VARANUSK ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Would be kinda nice to see it built up and in place
JAN 10, 2017 - 01:35 AM
Looks cool; I look forward to seeing it built. That sure is a lot of itty bitty parts though.
JAN 10, 2017 - 02:31 AM
Looks fantastic. I have dreamed of building such a kit for years!
JAN 10, 2017 - 04:37 AM
I've bought this kit when I first read it was coming. I talked to the maker, Billie Jean throughout the process and she has been incredible at providing insight, tips, and clarification in the Facebook group. I can't WAIT to tear into the actual build!
JAN 10, 2017 - 01:53 PM
...it's in the stash...
JAN 12, 2017 - 12:17 AM
I've still got to build the Tiger Model Design's 6-ton Bilstein that I bought years ago before I consider this one...
JAN 12, 2017 - 03:05 AM
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