The publication of any images or informations related to nazism, fascism or any other totalitarian regimes must be understood as the reproduction of historical accuracy and not as apology to these regimes, leaders or symbols.
A publicação de qualquer imagem ou informação referentes ao nazismo, fascismo ou quaisquer outros regimes totalitários deve ser entendida como reprodução do rigor histórico e não como apologia a estes regimes, líderes ou símbolos.

Ford V3000S 4x2 fuel tanker truck - Luftwaffe Brennstoff Tanker - case report

         Today we are going back in time, in those foggy and dark years when the kit factories only produced Tigers, Panthers and Shermans ... Let's go back 15 years ago and see how the modeler had to adapt to have something different in his collection .. And different things have always been my preference (and Kojak's ...). We will meet not an Opel Blitz Tankwagen Kfz.385, but a Ford V3000 Luftwaffe Brennstoff Tanker, a Luftwaffe fuel tanker .
       During World War II, Germany was considered the precursor of the Modern War, with intense use of mechanized equipment. His entire Lightning War combat doctrine (Blitzkrieg) was based on the intense use of mechanization, both for attack and supply. Numerous factories in Germany and in occupied countries have been called upon to assist in the German war effort. Ford AG was one of them. It produced several types of vehicles, among which we can highlight the G917, 3 ton truck, manufactured from 1939 to 1942.
Ford G917T  feeling hot in the African Desert, as well as its crew.
Deutsche Afrika Korps - 1941
      As until the end of 1941 Germany was not yet at war with the United States, Ford Germany followed the releases and the innovations of the American matrix. The 3-ton Fords with a 3.9-liter V3000S engine was one of them, produced from 1942 until the end of the war. More than 24,000 Ford V3000S trucks were built and used, as well as a large number of Ford vehicles captured from factories in occupied France, the Netherlands and Belgium.
In the foreground, a Ford V3000S with flat fenders,
followed by an Opel Blitz. Old logistics companions of Germany.
Kursk, 1943
Ford V3000 made by Netherlands in German use - Luftwaffe
(notice the windshield divided)
         These trucks were generally rear-wheel drive (4x2), and German doctrine differed greatly from the Ally in this sense. The first-line allied support material was normally full-tracked, that is, they had all axles pulled (4x4 or 4x6), like the English Bedfords or the American CCKW 353 deuce and a half.

        The 4x4 Fords (Ford V3000A) were extremely rare (only 758 were built, between 1943-44), with Germans preferring to use half-tracks when greater traction was needed. 
The rare Ford V3000A 4x4 3 ton. german truck.
This is a COE (cabin over engine) model
Ford Maultier Sd. Kfz. 3b
      But the objective of this article is to show how scale models were made at the turn of this century, especially when we wanted to build something different from the ordinary. The idea would be that at an airfield in the interior of Germany, an Opel Tankwagen Kfz.385 has reached the end of its days, but a Ford V3000S was still available.
An Opel Tankwagen Kfz.385 in the Russian front - 1943.
Opel Tankwagen Kfz.385 
    The mechanics of this Gruppe did not hesitate: they installed the 3.000 liters fuel tank on the Ford chassis, turning the Ford V3000S into an unique  Ford V3000S 4x2 Luftwaffe Brennstoff Tanker.
Ford V3000S 4x2 Luftwaffe Brennstoff Tanker
    Therefore, in our case, we can place our rare vehicle on an air base, feeding the latest models of the veterans Heinkel He-111 model H-22, in their missions to attack London with V1 bombs launched from the air.
   Our Ford V3000S Tankwagen would be added to the III / Kg 53 (III Group of the Kampfgeschwader 53 "Legion Condor"), based in Schleswig, in the final days of 1944, under the command of Major Emil Allmendinger.


Ford V3000S 4x2 (standard)
Medium 4x2 3 ton. truck
Place of origin                     
Service history
In service
1941 - 1945
Used by
Germany - all armed forces
Production history
1940 - USA
1941- German
Number built
Weight load max   
3310 Kg
5830 Kg
6.390 mm
front axle: 1650 mm
rear axle; 1652 mm
Height (cab)
2.175 mm

Ford V8-3,9 liter 95 HP - gasoline
Engine disp.
80.95mm x 95.25mm - 3922 cm3
Oil hydraulic brakes in all wheels
manual - 4 foward + 1 reverse

Wheels size
Fuel tank
Front: half-spring long.
Rear; half-spring long+aux.
Disc wheels with flat base rim
20x6 (front and rear)
190x20 (front and rear)
110 liters
Operational range
500 km
Speed max.
85 km/h

The kit:
    As I said at the beginning of this article, in 2005 there were no incredible Ford truck kits from ICM or the option of a Tankwagen, like the beauty of the Italeri kit. 
Kit Ford V3000S from ICM (#35411)

Kit KFZ.385 Opel Tankwagen from Italeri (#6467)
    If you wanted a Ford V3000S and if you dreamed of making a tankwagen model even more, the only options were the resin and / or vacuform kits. In these bitter and dark times, these kits were rare and expensive ...
    But even in this Valley of Shadows and Death, there were opportunities, such as kits manufactured by the now defunct Panzer Resin Models, here in Brazil. They were practically garage kits, but met the requirements for detailing and scale. And they were a fantastic training school, in addition to being a lot of fun and challenging to build. But without further ado, let's get down to business: the truck being built !!!
The following images are intended for mature audiences and content extremely graphic and raw pictures. 
Precaution and care are recommended.

    Well ... after that warning, let's go ahead ...
The parts of Panzer Resin Models kit.
It was an extremely simple kit, homemade, made of polyurethane resin
and with minimal detail ...

The Ford V3000S cabin, made in a single part...
 left front view

The Ford V3000S cabin - right front view
      Nowadays, when we see 3D printers printing intricate, mobile and delicate tracks, it is almost unimaginable to remember how difficult it was to make a master a few years ago. This tank was carved from a piece of feldspar rock (known in Brazil as soapstone) by a friend of ours, who was a true artist ...
The fuel tank was a solid block of resin. Very heavy...and beautiful!!!
Right side

Fuel tank . Left side
    The assembly is initiated by the chassis which, after cleaning the excesses, has the front and rear suspensions installed. The ideal (because of the weight of the kit) is to use cyanoacrylate glue to position and stabilize the parts and reinforce the joints with Epoxy
The chassis with front and rear suspensions in place

The kit really was very rustic, but it was the lemon we had for our lemonade !!!

Building the cabin's interior.
Notice the gear lever made with clothe-pin and
hand brake made with plasticard

Testing the ergonomy...

Dark-yellow base color

...and painted.. The glossy aspect is the
oil spirits used in the wash, still wet...

Adapting the cabin (previously painted on the inside ...) on the chassis.
Hard and difficult work ... Nothing like the modern buildings of today ...

Testing the alignment of the cabin-chassis-tank assembly
Did I say the tank was heavy ???
Well ... here are the metal reinforcements at the junction
of the wheels with the differential to prevent accidents ...
Dry run to test alignment ...

As the fuel tank is massive and heavy, I decided to make two supports
in plasticard on the rear spring bundles, for the suspension set
to support the weight of the tank without bending or deforming.
Notice the white inverted trapezoids glued with epoxy in the chassis

And the Ford girl standing on her own feet ...

Right side view

Rear view

Testing the spare wheel rack
Notice the civil pattern  tires...

Rack in position...

The special exhaust and muffler, made in scratch....
The exhaust system exits under the cab, on the left side and not at the rear,
to prevent incendiary accidents.
On second thought, a very logical thing to do ...
Notice the rough cardan shaft made of metal ...

Repair the end of the exhaust system.
Also note the box of the wooden ramps  (white plasticard) that allowed
the truck to be lifted to drain all the fuel from the tank

Three tool boxes in the right side, below the fuel tank

The access ladder to the top of the tank was constructed with welded copper wires ...

Belly view...
I know it is crude and primitive, but believe me: very, very fun ...
and satisfying, for the conditions of the time !!!

Trying to sketch a steering system on the truck ...

The truck's lifting ramps, made of wood from popsicles ...

And adding more simple details in the design ... hinges, handles, license plate ...

Right side...

The wood ramps...

Rear view mirror...

Hey, Kojak ?? Can you see me back here ???

Starting the painting...
      At that time I did not do this, but as I am publishing today, we will maintain the blog pattern: A guide profile for painting the vehicle and its markings.

dark-yellow and post-1942 green-brown cammo

The wood ramps...

Wood ramps in position...

Windshield wipers in scratch...

Gluing the windshield

Windshield wipers markings...

    And our Ford field adaptation tanker truck is ready. Meet the Ford V3000S 4x2 Luftwaffe Brennstoff Tanker number 5, added to the III / Kg 53 (III Group of the Kampfgeschwader 53 "Legion Condor"), based in Schleswig, Germany. December, 1944.

Ford V3000S 4x2 Luftwaffe Brennstoff Tanker number 5
III / Kg 53 (III Group of the Kampfgeschwader 53 "Legion Condor")
Schleswig, Germany. December, 1944.

Although it is not a modern or very detailed kit, it was pretty !!!

And the best: the project was extremely fun !!!
Ford V3000S 4x2 Luftwaffe Brennstoff Tanker number 5
III / Kg 53 (III Group of the Kampfgeschwader 53 "Legion Condor")
Schleswig, Germany. December, 1944.
You might be wondering by now:
 "...but why didn't this guy build an Opel Tankwagen, then ??
Wouldn't it be a lot easier ??"
Calm down, this is the subject for another article ...
 A little spoiler above: Ford and Opel tankwagen trucks...

Ford V3000S 4x2 Luftwaffe Brennstoff Tanker number 5
III / Kg 53 (III Group of the Kampfgeschwader 53 "Legion Condor")
Schleswig, Germany. December, 1944.
Bis später!!!