|I bought two 1/72 scale A7V Tank's from Emhar. The plan was to build one Röchling and one Krupps armour tank.
|But let’s step back in time. Once upon a time there were no injection moulded A7V in 1/72 scale. I had the awful 1/35 kit from Tauro and thought that I would use it as a pattern for scratch built 1/72 scale model. I started with the hull but then found the large book about the A7V and started using it as a reference instead. The result was that I started on a more detailed chassis. This is how far I came with the project before it died. The main reason was that Emhar released a kit of it which I bought and quickly built.
Building the Emhar kit left my scratch build on the shelf of doom.
|I later learned that the hatch above the command station should have six vents instead of three as in the kit, so I converted it.
|Then I bought a new book and it had drawings of the roof of the command station. It showed that my old model has the wrong roof over the driver's seat, so it was cleaned up on details. I removed the second hatch,
|and a new ventilation grille was built with eight openings this time.
|It looks a little bent and crooked, but it is not as obvious with some colour in place.
As it turned out the drawing was wrong. The hatch had been drawn upside down, so I had it right before I rebuilt it.
Now it turned out to be easier to build new hatches than trying to modify the old one again.
|No.505 Hagen built with the decals in the kit
|Now I will build two new kits but while waiting for them to arrive I looked at the references to find out what would need to be changed on the kits. Dangerous stuff, references.
Only 20 A7V tanks were built but they differ in many details. One thing that are clearly visible are the armour plates. There were two manufacturers of these. Röchling and Krupp. But the plates from Krupp were twisted and couldn't be mounted so they had to be cut in several pieces. The front and rear in two and the sides in five parts while tanks with Röchling plates at front and rears of one single plate and so were the sides. My plan was to build one of each with the two kits I bought.
Starting to look at references perhaps turned out to be a bad idea.
It gave me the great idea of building the only "female" tank built. The one without a gun in the front. For this I needed a new front plate with two machine guns instead of the gun. No problems. I have two kits, so I just liberated the second kit of the rear plate. A round hatch had to be removed from it but then I would be OK.
That gave me a problem. I was now missing a hull for the second kit. The tank was built on the chassis of the A7V Überlandwagen so that might be an option. I looked at the kit chassis and decided that it wasn't detailed enough but then I remembered the abandoned scratch project.
The hull was almost finished. Why not use it on the Emhar chassis. I could then use my scratch-built chassis for a Überlandwagen. This idea ended when I compared my hull with the Emhar kit. Mine was much wider. I checked with drawings and found that my hull was of no use.
|Back to the remains of the second Emhar kit that was robbed of the rear plate. Fill the holes for the gun in both front plates.
|Cut the vents loose from the roof and lower them so they are in line with the roof.
|Remove all hatches in the hull and cut the "windows" open. Sand the hull flat and start scribing planks into it. The aim would be the prototype that had a wooden body.
|Some details had to be added to the hull.
|After some discussions on a forum I noticed that I put the hinges on the wrong side on the front door.
|With the first coat of paint on
|it was time to add rivets to it. I used "rivet decals" from Archer for this.
|Finally, I remembered to move the hinges on the front door.
|In the end I decided on camouflage instead of bare wood. I settled for some scratches in the paint instead of covering in mud.
|Nothing has gone as planned but now I am happy that I decided to build it.
It was meant that half of the A7V tanks built should be "Females" armed with only machine guns but in the end only one was finished like this and later had a gun added. I decided to build this single female.
|Using the rear plate from the prototype for a front plate meant that the round hatch at the bottom had to be removed.
|I got everything ready to mount together and that was a start for some mess.
|Everything got together but the fit wasn’t great. I also messed up the drivers hatch here to.
|But the mess didn't stop there. I managed to swap the sides, so the hinges of the doors were placed on the wrong side. Break the parts loose was easy but then I found that if I just swapped the sides the gear box would be placed in the wrong end of the tank.
This meant that I had to pull the rest of it apart but that gave me a chance to test something that I was going to do on the next build.
I found it hard to get the body parts to fit together as you must fit them to the chassis while assembling them.
I would like to build the body first and then add the chassis but that is impossible, so I decided to make an experiment. I assembled the body without the chassis and that made it easier to align the parts. I then cut the chassis in two with an ~45-degree angle so I can slide the parts into the body.
I found why the body was hard to get right in the first place. The front wall of the chassis interferes so I removed some of it to get a better fit.
I finally got everything ready to paint. At least that is what I thought.
When I was looking at the pictures, I could see that i messed up (AGAIN). Several MG's were upside down.
|I looked at pictures from the testings for this build so it has the towing hooks without covers and full armour at the boogies.
|On the pictures it was very dirty, so I covered the lower parts with mud.
|Same, same. But different. In the end I will have three clearly different versions of the A7V.
I found a paper model for a 1/48 scale Überlandwagen that I printed out in 1/72 scale and will use it as a pattern to build one with my scratch-built chassis.
So, nothing will go to waste, but I will need to buy two more kits and restart on my original plan for the kits.
|Stockholm August 02, 2020