: C7P(p) Recovery Tractor
The C7P was originally designed for the Polish army as an artillery tractor for heavy mortars. A battery consisted of several tractors, these served as carrier, base of the mortar as well as transporters for the ammunition.
The C7P was designed using the Vickers chassis that was license-built in Poland, a large number of T-26 were also built on this chassis.
After the German take-over of Poland in 1939, a lot of these tractors were used by them as well as by the Russians who also occupied a part of Poland. Needless to say, the ones that were captured by the Russians later also fell into German hands.
The Germans adapted these vehicles to their standards by adding additional equipment and repainting them in Panzergrau.
They used them not only as tractors but also as recovery vehicles by adding a crane jib to the rear of the vehicle. The most renown of these vehicles is “Klara”, a tractor rebuild as a recovery vehicle and from which several pictures were made, probably for propaganda purposes.
The kit is apparently a smaller version
of their 1/35 edition.
The box-art shows a model of this kit, presented on a map as a background.
There are options for 3 vehicles.
Parts come on 6 sprues and the tracks are in soft vinyl. The parts are very fine en even the individual armament of the soldiers is there in the form of 4 Mauser rifles.
A small PE fret is also provided on which a very fine grille of the engine compartment and the imitations of the leather band used to tie the canvas shields.
The construction stages:
The construction sheet beholds no less than 30 stages and I will follow these in order to complete the kit.
I: construction of the chassis: The only problem that imposes itself is the right place for the (probably) ventilators on the underside of the chassis. The drawing does not show its exact place.
When supposed that it are indeed ventilators, then I think they should be situated on the rear part of the vehicle but in case they should serve as parts of a winch than they should be placed up front.
Unfortunately I did not posses the necessary documentation to help me out on this and I opted for their positioning at the front side for the simple reason that I did not see the use of ventilators on the bottom side of a vehicle.
II to V: construction of the running gear. Be careful and place the teeth and the spokes right in front of each other.
VI: Transmission and engine compartment.
There is a difference between the left and right part of the hatches on top of the transmission cover. Part E2 of the engine compartment can only receive the plastic part E9 or the PE parts PE1 and PE2. They cannot be mounted together.
VII: Tow eyes. Look out not to place piece W14 in the middle but 3 mm to the right.
VIII: Details on the transmission cover. Choose between clear glass and the PE grille on the headlamp.
IX: Inner side of the motor compartment. Detail painting must start from this stage on. The 4 rifles must be put in place in this stage.
The construction plan suggests painting the interior in green but I kept it to Panzer grey with some white. A first aid case hangs between the rifles. I painted this white before adding the decal on it.
X: Construction of the seats with their back rests upright or in folded position. I painted the back seats in khaki.
XI: Adding the windows in the rear wall. Here you have a choice of options; I made use of F6 indicating the version for the Ministry of Transport, it must be noted that once this selection has been made careful attention must be given to follow this choice through to the end.
XII: Construction of the interior. Detail painting needed.
XIII: Adding the back wall to the interior. Detail painting of the head rests on the back wall.
XIV: Front panel and window in clear glass. Careful masking is needed here as this part is totally clear and the windows need to be masked before painting. The dashboard is a combination of decal and a PE part.
XV: Side panels, choice of 2 types of window. The ones needed for Klara are not exactly described and the box-art does not show either. I opted for the oval ones.
XVI: Roof, choose between parts W1 or its PE3 variant. The PE version is much finer and needs very careful handling. Beware.
XVII tot XIX: inner and outer roof, sidewalls and front window.
This stage looks easy but it is not. I found out that it was better to mount the sidewalls and the front window first and then to adjust the roof to align with these. I also found out that the pre-mounting of the inner and outer roof panels is not good. It is better to mount the inner roof section closing as well on the front window as on the engine compartment from stage XIII.
After drying overnight, construction of the rest of the roof can proceed. It is much easier than to make some adjustments in order to let the roof get into place.
XX: Spare wheels. I opted not to make these parts until the end to be sure that there would be no need for me to use these parts. The wheels are very small and roll off your workbench.
The kit suggests to mount the exhaust and its surrounding parts first and to add
some fine wire around the exhaust pipe. I opted to paint the parts before
joining them together. Piece W19 needed some adjustment in length and I was glad
that I did not add the fine wire around in the first place as called out in the
instructions. The construction plan refers to the fact that this exhaust would
only apply on vehicles that were used by the Ministry of Transport but I did not
find any picture of a machine that did not have this exhaust. A mistake or does
it only refer to the metal wire around the exhaust pipes?
XXII en XXIII: fixing in place of the wheels and a few supports.
Pieces A9 and A10 are better replaced by their PE counterparts pieces 9, 10 and 11. The hand bars W6 and W7 are better left away until the end.
XXIV: Footsteps. Not all of these vehicles had them but I mounted them on “Klara” according to the box-art.
XXV: Front window details: be careful because these are very delicate.
XXVI: Mounting of the canvas covers and external details.
The construction plan presents printings to use as a stencil when you would like to cut these out and use them on your model. These canvas parts on the other hand prevent looking at the interior of your model and I do find this a shame because you hide a lot of interior detail that has taken you a lot of work. There are also leather bands made from PE on the PE fret in order to fix them on those canvas screens either if they are open or close. You will need a lot of time and attention if you want to have a good result. I used the rolled up types of canvas as provided in the kit and painted them in dark grey, still lighter than the Panzer grey.
I used this stage to mount the rear idler wheel. The construction plan suggests waiting to do this until the end and after fixing the tracks in order to be able to straighten the tracks. Experience with earlier models has taught me that this is very difficult to do and so I fixed them in this stage.
Wait with parts PE6 till after the tracks are in place.
I also constructed the parts with the spare wheels as described in stage XX and fixed it on the right rear, taking care not to put it straight against the side wall of the engine compartment.
I want to make the recovery version and so one of the tow hooks needs to be placed there.
XXVII: detailing the rear panels. Look out because very tiny. You need to construct a left rear light and its electric cable from scratch. I used Evergreen polystyrene rod and fine copper wire.
XXVIII: Fixing of the tracks. Part A6 in combination with the wheel from plan V had been fixed in advance.
Start with bringing in the pre-painted tracks by the front side (drive sprocket) and take care that the teeth do fix good in the tracks. Gently pull the tracks until mid-way between the 2nd and 3rd return roller. Let the track find its place in the lower wheels and lead the track back to the top and to the front. The track on my model was a bit too long but that does not matter because it allowed me to glue it with super glue, return it in its place and to give it a little slung.
Parts PE6 can be fixed when completely dry and this right were the tracks joined together. I glued it with the help of white glue, a technique that I used before when PE parts need to be fixed to small surface areas. White glue or wood glue keeps it all good together and dries invisibly.
XXIX and XXX: the crane.
First fix parts N1 and N2 and paint them. Continue the fixing of all kind of parts that you did not fix before on this vehicle until finished. Retouch the paintwork if needed en give the vehicle a layer of Future (Klir).
Fix parts N3, N4 and E23 and leave to dry.
Add the decals to the vehicle, finish the paintwork were needed, give it another coat of Future, wash and dry brush. Only then, fix the rest of the crane parts.
The reason for this is the fact that you otherwise risk to break crane parts. The kit does not provide any rope or chain so you will need to search your spares box.
I used fine copper wire to act as a cable.
German Panzer Grey, with some white added for the interior parts.
Wash with Raw Umber, dry-brushing with Panzer Grey + sand and Panzer Grey + white.
Tracks receive rust colour and dry brushing with silver until silver rules.
I found out that the kind of material from which the tracks were made created a problem. I did wash them before painting and they were degreased but for some reason they did accept the rust colour but they did not keep it. From the moment I started to dry-brush them with the silver paint, they gave the under laying paint back.
I tried it several times but always with the same result. The only paint that kept to the tracks was that lying in the holes of the tracks and where I could not dry-brush.
I left it like that because I did not want to risk loosing the tracks when using product like white spirit or thinner.
I’d rather have a model wit all silver tracks than a model with no tracks at all.
As said from the start, I kept myself to “Klara”. The vehicle was used in service in these colours by the Germans in the Warschau area during the winter of 1939 – 1940.
“Klara” would than, together with her sister “Käthe” have seen service in France.
Nothing is known about her further fait, can anybody help?
A very nice and attractive model with very fine and tiny parts and a PE fret for a reasonable price tag when bought at E-Bay because at least 5 € more expensive in the shops.
Certainly a more exotic model of a (German) vehicle that speaks to the imagination.
The possibility to make it a tow vehicle adds to its possibility’s when wanted in use in a diorama.
A very fine kit requiring a lot of patience and skills but that gives a good result in return.
I certainly would not advise it to the novice or to someone wanting to use PE parts for the first time because they are very fine.
But the kit gives you trust in the rather unknown name of Mirage kits. If all their models are as good as this then you can build a very fine and exotic collection. Perhaps a bit more expensive, but a lot better. A pity for the results on the tracks, I will have to research this to see if I can come up with some sort of a solution.
Keep ‘m building.