Villie Vonka Panther Factory
FRIES 16-Ton Mobile Crane
One of the most versatile heavy equipment movers of the German Armed Forces during the Second World War was the FRIES 16-ton mobile crane. From Tiger I turrets to assembled V2 rockets, this crane could lift them all. Even better, the entire apparatus could be erected in about two hours.
You can locate vintage photographs of the crane in action at the "Das Bundesarchiv" (Federal German Archive) Photographic Archive Web Site: https://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/
Use the search term: panther
NOTE: "Panther" is a German tank model name.
This is a 1:35 scale model of the FRIES 16-Ton Mobile Crane. As such, just about any 1:35 scale plastic model tank kit can be staged alongside the completed crane. Assembly is very straightforward and can be easily discerned by studying the accompanying photographs and supplementing these pix with the previously mentioned vintage photographs.
Some short assembly notes:
The upper three-sided box girder frame is built-up from three girder side pieces. Each side piece is made by cementing two long and one short girder piece together. These joined pieces form one side of the final frame.
Add the girder plates, motor, and cable winch to the corresponding ends of the girder box.
The rails are built similarly to the girder frame pieces with two long and one short rail piece cemented together. Two complete rail lengths are made in this manner. Slide these rails inside the girder box and attach them to the girder plates.
Assemble the trolley. Slide the trolley along the rails to the center of the crane girder box. When properly installed the trolley will "hang" from the rails. Use the various lengths of chains for suspending the block and hook from the trolley.
- Add the supports, support plates, and wheels for holding the girder box.
Finally, the "Villie Vonka" signage is supplied as a bit of whimsy for the final model. This sign is not a historically-accurate feature. A TAKOM 1:35 scale Panther A Late Production Sd. Kfz. 171 plastic model kit (No. 2099) was paired with the crane model in the accompanying photographs. In these images, chains were used for "dangling" the turret, upper hull, and lower hull from the crane. This is an "artistically-licensed" representation of how to build a Panther tank. There is absolutely no record of tanks actually being built in this manner.