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.

Mercedes-Benz L1500A 4x4 Heavy Staff Car - Kfz. 70 - case report

Kameraden !!!
      This project is a commission, for a good friend. He wants a Mercedes towing a piece of artillery. My intention will be to use a Pak 40 - 75mm AT gun, but let's see how things unfold. With you, the Mercedes-Benz L1500A 4x4 Heavy Staff Car - Kfz. 70.

General Hermann Balck in his MB L1500A Kfz 70 4x4 as heavy staff car.
Panzer-grenadierdivision "Grossdeutschland" - Achtyrka (near Kharkov).
Russian front - dark gray cammo overpainted with yellow lines.
      The Mercedes-Benz L1500 (A:4x2 and S:4x4) was a light truck of the Mercedes-Benz brand , which Daimler-Benz AG, developed in 1941.
A brand new Mercedes Benz 1500S 4x2  light truck 
     The Kfz 70 MB L1500A 4×4 and L1500S 4×2 heavy cars were derived from this light truck and classified same as Steyr 1500 and Horch typ. 
      The basic type of body became Kfz.70, designed for transporting of 7 person. For bad weather condition the car was equipped with retractable top and canvas panel, which could be settled on doors and sides. Trucks Mercedes-Benz L 1500A Kfz. 70 were widely used, frequently as heavy staff cars.
An immaculate MB L1500A Kfz70 staff car with
top canvas in position
 MB L1500A Kfz70 staff car with
top canvas lowered
      Also different versions were based on MB L1500A 4x4 and MB L1500S 4x2 chassis, particularly fire trucks (4x2) , radio cars (4x2 and 4x4) and ambulances (4x2 and 4x4). More often for radio cars and ambulances were used the 4×2 version.
      The MB L1500A 4x4 trucks were produced from June of 1941 to July 1943, when were produced 4900 vehicles. The production of MB L1500S 4x2 also started in June of 1941, but was continued till July of 1944 and were produced 4100 trucks.
     The MB L1500S was a two-axle truck. It is built on a ladder frame. The engine is the R6 gasoline engine Mercedes-Benz M 159 with carburetor, which makes 60 hp (44 kW) at 3.000 rpm with 2.594cc displacement. The power is transmitted via a manual four-speed gearbox. The wheels with size 190-20 tires have drum brakes. The four-wheel model L1500A is different from L1500S by a driven front axle, a transfer case with low range gearing, a greater ground clearance and wider tires. In this version, the payload was increased by 180 kg.


Mercedes-Benz L1500A - Kfz 70
Type    Heavy personnel carrier
Heavy staff-car
Place of origin                                             Nazi Germany
Service history
In service          1941–1945
Wars                  World War II
Production history
No. built9.000 total
(4x4- 4.900) - (4x2 - 4.100)
Weight2.390 Kg (empty)
Crew2+7 (staff car)


2.594 cc - 6cyl. 60 hp @ 3.000 rpm Daimler-Benz M159 engine - gasoline
4 speed + 1 reverse
Fuel tank
70 liters
The kit:
      For this adventure, I'll use the ICM kit (# 35525) L1500A (Kfz.70) WWII German Personnel Car.
ICM's box art
      The kit is very simple, with delicate and well injected parts. Comes with a small sheet of decals and no PE or other fashion accessories. A Spartan kit, but it sounds pretty honest to me ...
The kit in my workbench... Kojak and Rover are excited and optimistic ...
       Starting by the chassi, here I decided to take a different approach following in the assembly instructions: the booklet shows suspensions and accessories assembled on the chassis stringers before building the main frame of the chassis. This allows for misalignments and bends in the positioning of the parts. I decided to build the main frame of the chassis first and then add the details ...
The chassi main frame and the engine...

After the dry chassis, adding constructive details. The alignment is key ...
I did not regret having changed the chassis building order ...

Engine, wheels and chassis... Swift and soft!!

Another change in booklet order: build the wheels on the axles BEFORE building the transmissions ...
Alignment of 90 degrees on the rear wheels and a small steering on the front, but all perfectly aligned ...

With the four feet on the ground !!!

Perfect alignment. Without any chassis bending ...
Superior German engineering!!!

      Here an ICM error: the drive shaft does not pass through the chassis hole. I decided to cut one of the connections to allow insertion of the shaft in its correct place.
Uops!!   The hole is very narrow ...

Surgery on the drive shaft

Big troubles: little solutions!!!

The MB L1500A under construction...
Starting the interior parts...

 "Un frisson": the left side wall of the Mercedes engine hood came warped ...
I'll have to force the play a bit ... Let's see how it goes ...

Done...Much better!!

The end is near!!!

Next step: painting!!!
But before: primer!!

      My friend request his girl with winter cammo. After some research, I decided to locate my Mercedes-Benz in Russia, in the Rzhev area, in December of 1942. In the Lutschessa valley, there was a battle with great losses for the Germans, in which the Grossdeutschland Division was almost annihilated... below, my suggestion of markings, based on historical events:

      First of all, panzer-gray, with ups and lows tones...

Yellow stripes...

After white stripes, Future (or Pledge...) to prevent silvering in the decals!!!

Next: markings!!

Mercedes-Benz L1500A 4x4 heavy staff car - Kfz. 70
Panzergrenadier Division Grossdeutschland
XXIII Corps - 9th Army - Centre Army Group
Rzhev Area - Lutschessa Valley Battle
HQ Motorized  Battalion - vehicle nr.1
1-3, December, 1942 - Russia
Matt varnish...

Notice some details...

      Now, it's time of Weathering,  to "reduce" the effect of the "scandalous" cammo a little !!!
Starting the weathering...

Almost there...

Stay tunned, my friends!!

7-Ton American Semitrailer, Panel Cargo - case report

Drivers !!!
      Well...it's my vacations...away of my workbench... Meanwhile, let's talk about a scratch-built project... About a companion of many of our brave trucks: the 7 ton American Semitrailer, Panel Cargo. Keep them rolling !!! ( These trailer will be finished with my Studebaker tractor...).

      The WWII-vintage 7-Ton Semitrailer, Panel Cargo (also called Semitrailer, 7-Ton, Combination Stake and Platform) is a two-wheel general cargo utility vehicle having dual tires.
      A spare wheel and tire is carried on a bracket attached to the front of the body.
      A retracting-type landing gear is attached to the frame, and is operated by a worm screw and hand crank, which is located on the right center side.

     Auxiliary supports are attached to both sides of the frame forward. The body, which is mounted on a steel frame, is of the open-top panel type, with a maximum payload of 6.350 kg.
   The frame is carried on a one-piece axle through a slip-end, semi-elliptical spring suspension. Two combination blackout tail and stop lights are installed on the rear.
      The braking for the trailer is done by means of internal expanding (Duo Servo), vacuum-operated power brakes, located on each of the inner dual wheels. The brakes are controlled through the tractor-trailer brake linkage system by an operating valve located on the tractor and operated by the driver through foot pedal or hand brake.
      The 7-Ton Semitrailer, Panel Cargo is towed by a 2 1/2-ton tractor-truck equipped with a fifth wheel coupling. The upper fifth wheel for this coupling, consisting of a plate and kingpin, is attached to the front end of the trailer.

      The 7-Ton Semitrailer, Panel Cargo was manufactured by multiple companies during World War II, with a different Ordnance Supply Catalog G number for each, including these:
  • Edwards Iron Works (G-544)
  • W. C. Nabors Company (G-546) Model 2-GC
  • Highway Trailer Company (G-572 and G-596)
  • Gramm Motor Truck & Trailer Corp. (G-595)
  • Carter Mfg. Co. (G-597)
  • Whitehead & Kales (G-598)
      The differences among the models are very small; all these trailers have the same outward appearance. Both wood and steel beds were produced. Some of the trailers have tubular axles, while model 2-GC has a solid, rectangular axle.


7-Ton American Semitrailer, Panel Cargo
Type      2 wheel general cargo trailer
Place of origin  United States of America
Manufacturer                            Edwards Iron Works (G-544)
W. C. Nabors Company (G-546) Model 2-GC
Highway Trailer Company (G-572 and G-596)
Gramm Motor Truck & Trailer Corp. (G-595)
Carter Mfg. Co. (G-597)
Whitehead & Kales (G-598)
Weight empty
Weight loaded
2.510 kg
8.860 kg
Length5.029 mm (not spare wheel)
Height (all)
2.324 mm
2.387 mm
Height of bed

Ground clearance
1.308 mm (empty)
1.225 mm (loaded)
355 mm (minimum)
Speed (max.) 72,5 km/h (road)

The model:
      As I said before, this project will be in scratch... First of all, drawing the trailer in 1/35 scale...
Side view of 7 ton. trailer
And the sketch in 1/35 for scratch the parts...
      Lets have fun!!!
Starting by the triler's chassis... Cutting the stringers: Plastruct 90769 - 2x6,4mm
and Plastruct 90767 - 2x4mm

Glued togheter...

Preparing the surgery on stringers...

The problem and the solution: Dremel !!!


 adding the transverse struts (the ribs of the chassis ...)
Plastruct 90767 - 2x4mm

The floor of the trailer's loading area, made of a 1mm-thick plasticard plate
and carved to imitate a pattern of wooden planks.

Upper view of the cargo area: wood!!!

Side view...
Side walls: wood, too...

scribbed plastic...

Glued in position....

side view
Rear view
Front view...
      Well... In this Sunday my work is yielding a lot ... Let's go to spring leafs:
Old spring leafs from my spare parts box...
New blades made with plasticard...
Reinforced suspensions done!!!
Making the suspension clips
Details in the rear suspension brackets
       Now, time to put the suspension in the trailer. The big problem at this time is a misalignment ... This would destroy everything !!! To avoid this, I invented a jig made with metal strips. Again, my spare parts box save me!!!
The metal jig (green arrow); The use of the jig as a limiter in the front
part of suspensions (red arrows). Finally, the jig in the rear portion of
the suspensions (blue arrows)

Checking the alignment ...

Chuck approves!!!!

First test with the tractor!!!  OMG!!!
Belly view!!!
      My good friend Johannes Haspels alerted me to some flaws in the dimensions in the vertical stringers of the cargo area:
Gaps in the vertical stringers...  Awful!!
      But the girl is under construction, yet!!  Let's fix these flaws:
I cut some segments of Plastruct...

And I introduced the segments with extra-thin glue in the gaps !!

Chuck and Johannes are happy, again!!!
Thanks, Johhanes!!!!
"Oh faithless and perverse generation... How long shall I be with you, Rivet Counters?"

     After this "route correction", more detailing: the axle clamps:
Plastruct rod 0,8mm diameter...


     And the fun continues:
Trailer's plate and king pin in position...

Starting the trailer's land gear...

In position. Notice the tool box (rectangular) and the vacuum tank for the brakes (cylindrical)

Landing gear rear view

Pads for the auxiliary supports...

Auxiliary supports in position: right side...

left side

Rear view

Belly view

Close up of landing gear and brales in the axle.

My precious!!

      My girl will have to work hard. I will load with blocks of Styrofoam and cover everything with "canvas" made with the tracing-paper technique.
Cargo time: styrofoam !!

Carving the styrofoam...

Ok... The monk approves!!
Detail: with the cargo in the trailer, I lowered the suspension to simulate the weight !!!
And now: scratch of chock blocks and chains!!  RB Models for my rescue!!!

Chock blocks in position (the real pic is reversed...)
left side

Chock blocks in position - right side

Chock blocks and chains of auxiliary supports - left side

Chock blocks and chains of auxiliary supports - right side
      I did not put the upper chain of of auxiliary supports because the future canvas cover will cover this detail ... We need to save chains !!!
Let save chains!!!
      After painting the traiuler with olive-drab, let's put cargo in the cargo bay. Time to use the styrofoam. First of all, glue the styrofoam in the cargo bay, with specific glue for styrofoam.
The cargo glued in place
       Now, we will extend the canvas on top of the cargio: We will use the technique of tracing-paper with PVA glue diluted 50% in water.
Cutting the tracing-paper in the correct size...
      Using soft drink caps, we will put PVA glues at the disposal of the modeler: a cap with pure PVA glue (100%) and a cap with PVA glue diluted in 50% water.
The ingredients for the canvas...
     The first thing we do is apply with brush, PVA glue 100% on the front portion of the trailer and on the top flat surfaces of the cargo and the trailer. This to allow an initial adhesion of the tracing-paper in these areas ...
Applying PVA glue in 100%  to the first canvas positioning...
      Meanwhile, we "painted" one side of the "canvas" with PVA glue diluted by 50%. The paper starts to wrinkle and curl up ... Don't worry ... this is normal ...
The paper (canvas) with first layer of diluited PVA glue...
      Then, you turn the "canvas" and apply the "wet" face on the parts previously "painted" with pure PVA glue. Do this maneuver with wet fingers, to avoid unwanted adhesions ... At this stage, you start the folding of the paper, to simulate the folds of the actual canvas...
      The work at this stage gets a bit "dirty, mass and sticky", but that's how the things evolve ... Use a wide soft brush to apply a layer of diluted glue on the applied canvas and go forming the softened paper in depressions and reentrances ...
The "canvas" softened by new layer of glue and water...
Notice the foldings in the canvas...

Use pure glue with a thin brush, punctually, to glue and align the position of the folds of the canvas ...

It sounds complicated, but it's not ... Now you expect to dry ...


After the diluted glue dries, the paper again acquires its characteristic transparence !!!

Transparent: soooo sexy!!!

Testing the spare wheel...  Next step: painting the canvas!!!
Trailer painted and with moorings!!

Almost there...Next: weathering!!

Stay connected, Drivers!!