sWS Supply Vehicle

ROCO 1:87 Scale Vehicle Conversion

sWS Supply Vehicle Conversion, 1:87 H0 Model Kit ROCO 126.

Conversion of the sWS heavy military tractor made by ROCO to an armoured supply vehicle for infantry.

Materials and Tools

  • 1 mm Polystyrene Sheet
  • 0.25 mm Polystyrene Sheet from a Yoghurt Cup
  • 0.2 × 0.4 mm Polystyrene Strip
  • 1 mm Polystyrene Rod
  • 0.5 mm Piano Wire
  • 0.25 mm Piano Wire
  • Tissue Paper
  • Scalpel
  • 0.5 mm Drill
  • Super Glue
  • Polystyrene Glue

For this simple conversion, the short cargo area of the armoured sWS is cut away just behind the cab. Take the model apart and draw a scalpel blade two or three times along the right edge of the row of rivets immediately behind the armoured cab, using only gentle pressure. Snap the cargo area off along the scored line. The resulting edge may have to be filed flat with a needle file.

Experienced modellers may want to cut the frame with a razor saw immediately behind the cab, and extend the frame by 4 mm. This extension moves the tracks further to the rear of the vehicle to where the first road wheel is located almost completely behind the cab, like the original. Now glue the cab and the tracks to the frame. Typically, the tracks do not fit the recessed area in the frame like they should. Excessive mould lines need to be removed here, and the right-hand track needs to be cleared of excess plastic where the top of the locating tab is inserted into the track section. The carpet rollers are removed, and the underside of the vehicle filed flat. Close the resulting holes in the chassis with free 0.25 mm polystyrene sheet from an old yoghurt cup.

Score and snap a 40 mm strip of 1 mm polystyrene sheet. From this strip, take one 28 mm wide section for the cargo bed and two 6 mm strips for the dropsides. This ensures that the cargo bed and the dropsides are exactly the same length. In addition we will need a 26 × 6 mm tailgate, and a 28 × 11 mm front end for the cargo area.

Mark the center point of the 28 mm long edge of the front end section of the cargo area with a soft pencil. On the left and right side, mark a point 1.5 mm below the top edge. Using the scalpel, score a line from the center point to the left and right points, then snap the top corners off to create a roof gable with minimal pitch. All four sides of the cargo area are scored horizontally at 1.5 mm intervals to simulate the gaps between individual boards. If the cargo area will be in view later, the cargo bed and the dropsides need to be scored on the inside as well.

Tailgate and dropsides are now glued to the cargo bed. The front end section of the cargo area is glued to the top of the section of armoured cargo area immediately behind the cab so that it extends 6.5 mm above the armoured cab.

Using a 0.5 mm drill bit, drill a socket for the hood sticks at the end of each dropside where it meets the tailgate. Place a 54 mm section of 0.5 mm piano wire into the right-hand socket, and mark a point 10 mm above the dropside. Hold the piano wire with flat-nosed pliers immediately below the marked point and bend the wire toward the center of the cargo area at an angle of approximately 84 degrees. Now mark the center point of the hood frame and bend the wire toward the opposite dropside at the same 84 degree angle. Compare the hood hoop to the front end section of the cargo area to ensure that the roof pitch matches. Make any necessary corrections. If the two roof gables match, bend the vertical hood stick down to the left-hand socket. The piano wire will need to be shortened to the proper length of 10 mm above the dropside, plus 2 to 3 mm for the socket. Fix the hood hoop in place with super glue.

Finally, glue four roof slats of 0.2 × 0.4 mm polystyrene strip to the front end section of the cargo area and the hood hoop above the tailgate so that a tissue paper tarp can be placed on the vehicle. Cut the tarp to the approximate size, place it on the hood frame, and carefully push it in place with a moist paintbrush. Fix the tarpaulin in place by painting it with diluted white glue.

In addition the ROCO sWS will need a scratch-built muffler, head- and taillights, width indicator rods of 0.25 mm piano wire with rear mirrors sliced off 1 mm polystyrene rod, tools, handrails, licence plates, a trailer coupling, and other small details parts.

Schwerer Wehrmachtsschlepper (sWS)