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Landwasserschlepper LWS - amphibious tractor with EMC sea mines - case report

       I built this Landwasserschlepper LWS - amphibious tractor in 2008 and now, I'll show to you guys all steps. The kit is from Bronco Models (35015).

Landwasserschlepper LWS - german amphibious tractor
        Landwasserschlepper was an unarmed amphibious tractor produced in Germany during World War II. Ordered by the Heereswaffenamt in 1935 for use by German Army Engineers, the development of Landwasserschlepper (Land-Water-Tractor) started in 1936. The  LWS was intended as a lightweight river tug with some capacity to operate on land. 
    Intended to aid river crossing and bridging operations, it was designed by Rheinmetall-Borsig of Düsseldorf. The hull was similar to that of a motor launch, resembling a tracked boat with twin rear-mounted tunnelled propellers and twin rudders. On land, it rode on steel-shod tracks with four bogies per side.
LWS rear view - Notice the propellers and rudders

     The first 7 vehicles were completed in July of 1940. Additional 14 were produced by March of 1941. In the autumn of 1940, three prototypes were assigned to Tank Detachment 100 as part of Operation Sea Lion. It was intended to use them for pulling ashore unpowered assault barges during the invasion and for towing vehicles across the beaches. 
Operation Sea Lion drills: An Infanterie Panzerkampfwagen Mk II (E) mit 5cm KwK 38 L/42
and one LWS in a German landing boat
        They would also have been used to carry supplies directly ashore during the six hours of falling tide when the barges were grounded. This involved towing a Kässbohrer amphibious trailer (capable of transporting 10-20 tons of freight) behind the LWS.
Kässbohrer amphibious trailer
      The Landwasserschlepper was demonstrated to General Franz Halder on 2 August 1940 by the Reinhardt Trials Staff on the island of Sylt and, though he was critical of its high silhouette on land, he recognized the overall usefulness of the design. It was proposed to build enough LWSs that each invasion barge could be assigned one or two of them, but difficulties in mass-producing the vehicle prevented implementation of that plan.
A huge vehicle...
      Due to protracted development, the Landwasserschlepper did not enter regular service until 1942 and, though it proved useful in both Russia and North Africa, it was produced in only small numbers.
LWS in the Russian Front
This LWS was captured by British in North Africa in1943
and sent to england for evaluation
      In 1944 a completely new design was introduced, the LWS II. This vehicle was based on a Panzer IV tank chassis and featured a small raised armored driver's cabin and a flat rear deck with four fold-down intake and exhaust stacks.
Landwasserschlepper LWS II in trials
      Landwasserschleppers remained operational until the end of the war in May 1945. There have versions early, mid and late:

LWS early production - Notice the 3 chimneys
Drive sprocket like PzII
LWS mid production - Notice the suspension springs and 3 return rollers
Drive sprocket like PzII

LWS late production - Notice the suspension springs and
4 return rollers - Drive sprocket like PzIV
LWSs in a military convoy
LWS deploying a german mini-sub in the sea
A LWS leaving the sea, crawling through the beach

LWS towing a trailer
LWS towing a camouflaged Kässbohrer trailer
LWS in the beach, after leave the landing boat
Water and land !!!!


TypeTracked amphibious tractor
Place of origin   Germany
Weight13 t
Length8.60 meter
Width3.16 meter
Height3.13 meter
Crew2 plus 20 passengers

EngineMaybach HL120, V12, petrol,
11,867 cc - 300 hp (224 kW) at 3000 rpm
Power/weight0.0088 hp/kg
Speed35 km/h road, 12 km/h water

The kit:

        The model kit is impressive, with hundreds of small parts and details...
LWS mid production - Bronco Models 35015
            I started the building by the book. The steps of the hull are small and clean these parts is boring .... I decided to replace these steps by copper wire:
I hate little parts like this. Metal works better !!!
      Note the ventilation holes closed. I'm predicting a small surgery in this sector:
Closed air vents. Notice the metal steps in the side of hull...
      Open holes with Dremel and drill:
All holes closed
Open holes...

      Suspension ( Beware ... the parts are fragile...)

Closing the upper deck
      The air vents are closed also on deck. Because the kit has metal railings,'ll open the air intakes
Using the external rail as a guide...
Holes in the angles, to permit the cut
Surgery done!!
I did the internal air deflectors with plasticard...
After painted the internal areas in oxide red, I put the metal grills

Upper deck winch
Internal details...

Instrumentspanel and radio...
The girl is huge, my friends!!!
          Painting the interior with Ivory German!!!
Before closed the cabin...
      Dirty, chipping and weathering...

       And closing...I don't detailed the interior of this kit to exhaustion ... The goal is really to make a quick assembly ...
Cabin closed
         The kit has some tedious details. Parts that could be merged together and are made in a separate!! This front bodyguard is an example: minimum parts that could be made perfectly together (such as guard rails are side ...). I had to replace the damn parts that kept disappearing from my tweezers by copper wire!!   I hate falseness useless !!!
Bodyguard rail made with cooper wire (vertical poles)
         I found an old resin rubber dinghy in my box of scraps. I'll try to use it ...

Notice the rubber dinghy in resin...
Done !!!
      Starting the painting: primmer time!!

      I intend to build this version, but with a certain artistic freedom. I'll try some painting techniques in this model, because I was angry this thing...
LWS mid production - Shark mouth
      First step: the lighter color. And it's the exact color of the primmer...Masking the light gray: 
Masking with tape
     Second step:  With the light gray isolated, painted with panzer-gray:
    Third step: Black in the masks borders:

Dark in the borders...
       Final step: Removing the tapes...Voilááá

      Decals made with my LaserColor:

The print cartridges were misaligned...I'll have to redo the decals ... But I'll do it later ...
      To forget the rage with the decals, let's do the hull's bumpers. Lyon Roar conversion kit
Using cooper wire to align the parts

       Scraping the paint to permit the perfect adhesion of the bumper in the hull
Cyanoacrylate in the scraped areas
The bumper in position...
The resin kit from Lion Roar is very fair.
You must wear the inner portions of the bumper to be able to complete.
But it´s easy...
Filling the gaps with dental acrylic
      I needed to cheer me up with the kit again, after the decal problem...I transformed the project profile in this:
LWS shark mouth with rubber dinghy in the top
      But the devil is that the dinghy is very hard to fit the shapes of the roof of the vehicle convincingly... Nothing like a good scratch to revive things ...Surgery time, again!!!!!
The rubber dinghy
Belly view...
       First of all, I removed the bottom of the resin dinghy
No floor !!!
Belly view!!
       Testing in the place...

        Adjusting the boat contour:
Removing resin...
portions worn to improve adaptation
      These rubber dinghies had a rubber floor with a "carpet" made of pieces of wood ... I'll make a new floor with tracing-paper so that it can adapt to the surface of the roof of the LWS. Then, I will build a new "carpet" of wood ...See that:
Tracing paper as a rubber-floor. Adapting the tracing-paper softened with water+white glue
Increasing the white-glue...

Using weight to maintain the new floor´s contours when the glue dried...
The new floor done!!!
Belly view
Painted and almost ready..
      At least, the desire to throw the kit on the wall is gone ... I was so excited about the history of the rubber dinghy that I made a new decal set and applied in the LWS, after a little scraping and painting ...

New shark mouth and eyes...
Much better !!!
      To building the floor of the dinghy, I used balsa-wood:
Balsa wood for the floor...
...after cut and tied:
A new wood floor...
And adjusting the wood floor in the rubber dinghy
Painting the boat's rope...
Weathering in the boat
Before gluing the boat on the LWS's roof, I finished the details in the rear hatch.
      And the rubber dinghy in the LWS. 

Using ropes to tie the boat...
Raising the flag, showing our colors!
 the anchor...
Flag with buff sprayed.......

Lifebuoy in position...

Almost ready...
And a pictorial summary of the entire  'Rubber Boat'  project
      Now, the worst part: link-by-link tracks !!  I hate this !!!
Cleaning and gluing...
left track and right track
After blood,sweat and tears ...  (I already said that I hate this?)

tracks in position...

      Starting the weathering in the tracks:
The girl with dirty shoes...
      Well, in this stage,I was almost giving the project as closed, when I bumped into the German sea mines EMC in my research.
German sea mines EMC (British designation GY)
      Spherical mine 1.12 m in diameter. Charge of 300 kg. Used 7 Hertz horns. Could be moored in 55, 109, 164 or 273 fathoms (100, 200, 300 or 500 m). First captured by the British in October 1939.
EMC sea mines ready for deploy...
   This photo in particular piqued my imagination ....
To the sea!!!!
    If I did my LWS towing some of these devices??  My idea was to build a small trailer with some of these weapons. Continuing the search, I found that there were resin kit of these mines, but they were very hard to find.
Superb Cammett EMC German Sea Mine

Cammett's booklet

    The way is to make from scratch. And I started looking spheres with size compatible...Looking around my bench, I came across the handles of the sink cabinet:

spherical plastic handles...
      Quickly, I did the math: The mine had 1.12 m (1.120mm) in diameter. In 1/35 scale, that corresponds to 32mm. With trembling hands, I grabbed my pachymeter and ....

32mm !!!  Hurrah !!!
       Now, solved the problem of the spheres, we think of the trailer tow ...I love my big spare parts box:
The trailer from 20mm flakvierling
some reinforcements in wood (something adaptation field)
A loading platform with some old tires from Opel Blitz...
testing the concept...
...and another test. Approved !!!
        And let's go to do the two mines... Making the inspection hatches...
The mines...Notice the work in the bases of handles...
the mark of welding at the equator of spheres...sprue.
details in plastic
Using eletronic welder to make the weld marks...
bijoux parts...
Big, bad and black!!!
the trailer...

EMC mines done...Cost: zero!!!  Notice the worn tires ...
The pictorial summary of the entire  'EMC Mines'  project
Painting the tools of LWS...

headlights in place...
       And the beast was done !!!
Landwasserschlepper LWS 

EMC mines and trailer...

In position...

Landwasserschlepper LWS with EMC mines

Landwasserschlepper LWS with EMC mines and
Infanterie Panzerkampfwagen Mk II (E) mit 5cm KwK 38 L/42.
Kojak approves !!!

Obrigado por acompanharem !!!
See you, soon !!!

6 comentários:

  1. wow!!! again a fantastic and original project, all of your models are truly masterpieces, congratulations

  2. Marcos, once again an inspired approach to an interesting topic with a wonderful result - that's simply it!
    P.S. are there any sources (literature and pictures) to when and where these LWS were used on the eastern front? I believe I once saw a photo with the caption "Charkow" on the flip side, but I am not sure at all.

  3. Hubert:
    thanks a lot...Big hug, my friend !!!

    thanks for the incentive.
    I used in my research books in Germans and Russian language. Pics only.... A book (in English) which quotes verbatim using the LWS on the Russian front is: German Armored Rarities - Michael Sowodny - Schiffer Military History - pag 39.


    Big hug !!!

  4. One can only admire the result.
    How much total time spent (h), this work
    The spherical plastic handles ...
    Mine and installation of trailer

  5. Hi, Maximex...No much...2, 3 hours top.

    All the best and take care !!!

  6. Nice build! Are those tracks workable, I mean, will they work in an RC conversion? Obrigado.