Gather ye sources while ye may (refrain) – using Google

July 29, 2009

Last week I needed some good interior photographs of the Sd.Kfz. 250/3 leichter Funkpanzerwagen, to see exactly how the FuG12 radio should be glued into the Italeri kit (the instructions provided weren’t clear on this point). I wanted to know if the radio and it’s frame should be pressed up against the rear wall, or should there be a gap? How about the side wall?

I worked my way through Horst Scheibert’s “Schutzenpanzerwagen: war horse of the Panzer Grenadiers” (Schiffer Publishing, 1992) and found some dandy photos but none met these precise needs.  I turned to Google, that well-known search engine, and began working through the pages of results that I got for my searches.

Now, I know most people will try a new search or give up completely after looking through one or two pages of results for a search, but I don’t. Given that for most simple searches you’ll get over 100,000 results, to give up after looking at the first two pages of results means that you are giving up after only looking at 20 of those 100,000 – which is a miniscule 0.02% of the results.  I usually start to think about trying another search after the first 10 pages, and will usually do it after looking through the first 20 pages of results if nothing worthwhile comes up whilst checking.

My successful Google search was as follows:  sdkfz 250/3, and I searched with the default “the web” setting.

Result #6 was

Sd.Kfz 250/3 Greif 1:16 GPM

Sd.Kfz 250 “Greif” 1:16 GPM. CONSTRUCTION REPORT · HOME. ©Johnny Svensson 2007.

Johnny Svensson is/was assembling a paper-card 250/3, in 1:16 scale. He provides nice, clear colour photos of both unassembled components and then step-by-step photos as each part is glued into place. Page 3 had all the clear, well-illuminated photos that I needed. My thanks to Johnny for such a thorough report and also for putting it all online for all to see! Thank you, sir, and well done!
So, that was from a successful Google Search. I tried over an hour with many unsuccessful search combinations before I got to that particulr result. Other searches I tried were things like:
  • 250/3
  • 250/3 photo
  • 250/3 interior
  • 250/3 interior photo
  • 250/3 cabin
  • 250/3 radio frame
  • etc.
With those unsuccessful searches, I looked through many pages of results, and began to consider the next permutation of the search terms after page 10 of results.
What is obvious from all this (and what I hope you learn from this) is that there is no “magic search” that will always get what you want. You have to try a few different search terms & search combintions and be prepared to spend some time checking results you get.  Don’t discard the results you get too quickly, either! Check at least 10 pages of results for each search.


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