AFV Club
German 3 Ton Halftrack

AFV Club 1:35th Scale Kit No. AF 35040
Build Review by Terry Ashley

AFV Club

The Sd.Kfz.11 was produced from 1937 to 1945. 25000 were produced by Hansa-Lloyd, Hanomag, Adler, Borgward, Horch and Skoda. They were used to tow light 105mm howitzers and 75mm Pak 40 guns. From 1939 16000 of the chassis produced were used for mittlere Schuetzenpanzerwagen Sd.Kfz.251 - medium personnel carriers.

The Sd.Kfz.11 was produced in following variants:

Sd.Kfz.11: Light 3-Ton Towing Vehicle
Sd.Kfz.11/1: Nebelkraftwagen - smoke generator / ammunition carrier.
Sd.Kfz.11/2: mittlere Entgiftungskraftwagen - decontamination vehicle.
Sd.Kfz.11/3: mittlere Spruehkraftwagen - decontamination vehicles with spraying equipment.
Sd.Kfz.11/4: Nebelkraftwagen - smoke generator.
Sd.Kfz.11/5: mittlere Gasspuerkraftwagen - gas detection vehicle.


Fuel Capacity:
Load Capacity:
Pulling Capacity:
8-9 men
D7 Maybach HL 42TUKRM / 6-cylinder / 100hp
D6 Maybach NL 38 / 6-cylinder / 90hp
Road: 53km/h
Road: 250km
110 litres
1.5 t
1 t

The Kit:

This eagerly awaited kit is now upon us, so without wasting time let's see what's in the box?

There are 7 sprues in light tan plastic with 207 finely moulded parts, added to this are two clear parts for the windscreen, five etched metal parts, two lengths of vinyl track the decal sheet and 16 page instruction booklet with well laid out and easy to follow instructions.

The quality of the plastic parts in very good, with no pin ejection marks on the inside of doors and other places hard to eliminate. This is what first struck me when examining the parts as AFV Club have been know for their generous pin ejector marks in the past. This is most notable on the large rear compartment moulding and the separate doors which are blemish free inside and out and the many very fine parts such as door handles and gear levers. Well done AFV Club.

The etched parts are for the side tread plate on the fenders below the doors, and it is already bent to shape to simply fit over the plastic fenders, another tick for AFV Club. Also on the etched fret is the 'Hanomag' emblem for the top of the front radiator frame.

Etched parts
AFV Club

The standard of moulding is again excellent overall with virtually no pin marks to be seen which is especially noticeable on the hull sides, the real hull panel and doors which have details on both sides but not one pin mark to be seen. There are a number of small plastic ‘nodes’ on some parts to be carefully removed but these help to reduce pin marks and a few minor sink marks most notable on the front lower hull extensions plus the odd bit of minor flash but nothing to get excited about and are easy to deal with as are the normal mould seam lines on the parts.

The details included on the parts is also very good with nice bolt head details on the hull and fenders as well as nicely rendered weld seams on the forward hull/engine compartment and the excellent tread plate pattern on the interior floor panels. There are quite a few very small parts that will need care removing from the sprues and during assembly but shouldn’t pose problems for those will some basic modelling experience.


The kit has been built straight from the box for this review; the only alterations were the thinning of some parts for better scale thickness, drilling out the exhaust pipe, adding towing shackle chains front and rear, the rest is as it comes and very nice it is too.

For the construction I used Tenax-7R, Testors Liquid Cement, Cyanoacryiate (Super Glue) and Humbrol Enamels throughout.

Steps 1 - 5 Lower Chassis:

Construction is fairly straight forward although there are quite a few parts, some small to be fitted. The two side chassis beams (parts C24/25), are joined with a number of cross members trapped between the two. The main centre part (C10) which is actually the torsion bar channels is quite large and helps to position the two sides, but you should check that all is lined up squarely as this will govern the final "sit" of the model.
I found the rear idler wheel cross bar (part C7) was a tight fit and I didn't use any glue on this part.
Added to this assembly are the large fuel tank and transmission/gearbox, although I didn't glue the transmission now but waited till I had painted and weathering it (it's easier this way than painting attached to the chassis).

The running gear is made up of 16 parts per side and is quite detailed, the fit of the rear idler axles (parts B3/4) was very tight and I used a pair of tweezers to pinch them into place rather than opening up the holes which would have allowed movement. These two parts (as do the other axles) correctly show the offset found on the torsion bar suspension of these half-tracks.

I found there was some slight movement when attaching the six road wheel axles (parts A6) so make sure they are all lined up correctly before the glue has dried.

The front wheels have the tyre moulded in plastic with the hub in two halves and the road wheels have nice detail on both sides, there are small pin ejector marks on the inside of the road wheels but you won't see these anyway.

Step 7 Front Suspension:

A nicely detailed assembly which gives a good representation of the real thing, the front wheels have the correct 2 degree inward inclination.

The only problem I had here was with part (B6) the rear part of the central axle support. It has two pins, one fits into the axle proper and other into the leaf spring. This pin didn't line up with the hole in the leaf spring so I simply cut the pin off which didn't effect the final assembly.

Steps 8 - 9 Road Wheels:

I left all road wheels off at this stage until after painting to make things easier.

Step 10 Forward Hull Fenders:

Here you fit the two side fender panels between the front wheel and the drive sprocket (parts D15/16), the seam of these must be completely eliminated as it is part of the fender stampings on the real thing but the fit was so good it only needed some light sanding after the Tenax 7-R had dried (no putty required).
The only time I needed any filler was for two small sink holes either side of the centre tow shackle on the front of the hull, very easy to remedy though.

The two etched tread plates are also attached; take care not to bend the pre-formed etchings when removing from the fret as they are quite thin.

Step 11 Forward Chassis Assembly:

Fit the assemblies from Step7 (Front suspension) and 10 (Forward fenders) to the lower chassis. No fit problems here as again the fit its spot on and there is enough room to add the transmission later as I had left this off to paint separately as mentioned earlier.

Step 12 - 18 Driver's compartment and Forward Body Assembly:

This assembly is straightforward but we have now reached the stage where some painting is required before continuing.

I diverted from the instructions here as it is better to paint the firewall/dashboard and driver's compartment before final fitting to the forward hull as it would be near impossible afterwards.

Firstly assemble the firewall and dashboard parts as shown in the instructions, I attached the rear bulkhead parts and seats but left everything else separate for painting, this included the windscreen, side doors and engine compartment (due to the firewall still being unattached).

After all the interior parts were painted and weathered they were then attached to the hull, again no fit problems as everything just fell into place.

One small point though, the two cab side panels (parts E8/9) have locating tabs to fit into the rear cab bulkhead (part E7); these tabs for whatever reason don't line up so I simply removed the tabs from parts E8/9 and they then fitted perfectly.

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Step 19: Exhaust Pipe:

This can either be painted before or after attaching but as it is fairly exposed it is easy to paint after assembly so I glued it in place at this stage after drilling out the end of the pipe.

Step 20 - 23 Rear compartment:

This is dominated by a single large moulding with the base, sides and front bulkhead in the one piece. This is a superb moulding with subtle bolt heads on the outside and tread plate on the inside bottom, the two large storage compartment openings on either side have plenty of support to prevent warping during moulding and transit.

Fitted to this are the inside bulkheads and top plate which in turn has some very finely moulded railings attached.

Seats are provided in the rear compartment with separate handles on the rear plate and separate storage compartment doors are provided to allow you to have these open or closed, again there is detail on the inside and out without blemishes.

Unfortunately the good fit at the front of the vehicle ends here; the seats and compartments inside the rear section were all over the place.

The side seat back parts (E6) and top storage boxes (parts E27/28) were all about 1mm to long, which meant they would not fit between the centre bulkhead (part E26) and the rear of the main compartment (part M1).

That may not seem much, but try to squeeze an extra 1mm of plastic where it won't go and it's a lot.
The lower seats (parts E5 & E29/30) were the right size, so why the other parts are oversize is puzzling?

I initially thought I had installed the centre bulkhead the wrong side of the location ridges on the compartment sides. But no, there are also pins on the bottom of the bulkhead fitting into holes in the compartment bottom and as mentioned the lower seats fit OK, so the bulkhead is in the intended position.

Parts E27/28 have a small square locating cut-out on the lower edge of about 1mm so I removed the plastic level with this and fitted them in place as they should be, the two seat backs (parts E6) were also shortened and fitted in place. I also left out parts E23/24 which are supposed to be the forward supports for the seat backs (parts E6) as they simply would not fit either.

These problems were easy to remedy but someone got the measurement very wrong.

The side storage compartments have separate doors, but unlike the Tamiya FAMO there is no interior just an open space, therefore I glued the doors in the closed position.


These are soft vinyl Zgw 5001/280/140 rubber pad tracks and have quite good details for the medium, although you may want to update to one of the available individual link track sets for better detail definition.

I left the tracks off until just prior to the weathering process. BUT and a large BUT!
When I came to install the tracks I found they are far too long and you need to remove three links from the left side and two links from the right side. This can be done with a sharp scalpel blade (or new #11 blade).

Thankfully the tracks will glue using normal plastic glue (or Tenax 7R in this case). Allow the join to dry thoroughly before fitting them. I also found the fit around the drive sprockets to be very tight and it would be easier to leave the drive sprockets off and glue the tracks firmly in place around the sprocket and then attach to the hull.

AFV Club


Humbrol Enamels was used throughout except where noted. As mentioned the cab interior was painted during assembly. The base coat was airbrushed using Humbrol 63 Dark Yellow, when dry the detail parts such as road wheel rubber, seats etc were brush painted in the appropriate colour and left to dry.

Next the areas to receive decals were glossed using Metalizer Sealer and the decals applied using Micro Set/Sol in the usual manner. Finally the model was given an overall coat of Matt Varnish to seal the decals and paintwork for the weathering process.

This was done by adding a wash using thinned Ram Umber oil paint (thinned with Humbrol thinner) and applied with a small brush around the details, cleaning up with cotton buds moistened with thinner.

After this had dried completely (24 hours min.), lighter colours were drybrushed to lighten the paintwork and highlight the details; areas of wear showing the underlying gray paint were applied with a fine brush and thinner Humbrol 67 Panzer Gray.

Finally a mist of light sand was airbrushed for the dusty effect on the vehicle and windscreen.


The decals are nicely printed with good register and relatively thin carrier film, certainly a lot thinner than on Tamiya decals. Markings are provided for six vehicles:

  1. Unknown unit, Poland 1939 in German Gray.
  2. 119 Pz Art, 11th Panzer Div, Eastern Front 1941 in German Gray.
  3. 33rd Pz Art, 15th Panzer Div, North Africa in Dark Yellow (probably the most photographed 3 Ton in WWII).
  4. 89th Pz Art, 24th Panzer Div, Eastern Front 1942 in German Gray.
  5. SS 3rd Panzer Div, Kharkov 1943 in German Gray with whitewash.
  6. 4th Pz Kp "Grossdeutschland" Panzergrenadier Division, July 1942 in German Gray.

Decal Sheet
AFV Club


This is simply a superbly done kit with very fine mouldings on the main and smaller parts; the elimination of virtually all pin ejector marks is noteworthy.

Not withstanding the couple of minor anomalies (fit of rear seats and tracks length) which are very easy to remedy I would say that on a points for size (and price) basis this kit is almost as good as the Tamiya FAMO.

It builds into a very nice replica out of the box and is a welcome addition to the growing list of German Half-Tracks in plastic following on from Tamiya's superb FAMO. As with any kit there is scope to add additional details to make it even better, that basically being what modelling is all about.

Now all we need is the 5 and 12 Ton (and possibly a new 8Ton at today's standards) and half-track fans will be very happy.

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The Sprues:

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Leichter Zugkraftwagen 3 ton Sd.Kfz.11
Nuts & Bolts Volume 20
German Light Half-Tracked
Prime Movers 1934-1945

Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
Halftracked Vehicles
of the German Army 1909-1945

Walter J. Spielberger
Sd.Kfz.251 1939 to 1942
Panzer Tracts No.15-2
Covers /1 to /10
Ryton Publications
ISBN: 1930571291
Ground Power Special
GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd

AFV Club is distributed in Australia by J.B.Wholesalers

Page created January 29, 2002