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Tamiya /Verlinden 1 /35 Panzer IV Kugelblitz

 

 

 

 

 

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Tamiya /Verlinden 1 /35 Panzer IV Kugelblitz
The Build

As I was building this Trumpeter Bergepanzer IV, I had an issue with the crane posts. But I found that the CMK/Tamiya kit had the exact parts I needed. So I used the Tamiya upper and lower hull, the road wheels, idler wheels, drive sprockets and the much needed PE details.

I already had the Tamiya Panzer parts. So I bought the Verlinden FlakPanzer 3cm KugelBlitz Turret and built it into a Panzer IV Kugelblitz. For the tracks, I used Voyager German Pz.III/IV 40cm Normal Tracks Middel Patten B.
This Panzer IV Ausf H was the third Panzer IV they introduced in 1975 I believe,and the only thing new was the box art.

Tamiya kits have a reputation for ease of build. Construction of this kit should be fairly straight-forward. If you are less experienced as a modeler, it is an ideal kit to start with, and will turn out nicely. If you are more advanced, there are a variety of aftermarket products available to meet every skill level.

It went together very nicely and the fit was great. Adding the aftermarket parts was no problem, I just had to fill the tool mounting holes, where the stock tools would of been installed.

Also the hole for the turret,had to be widened so that the Flakpanzer would fit nicely.
The verlinden turret is a very fine quality item. There is little cleanup to be done,and the quality of the resin is right on. I didn’t have any issues whatsoever. I then primed the turret and the hull with a dark grey automotive primer, that went on great ,dried fast,and sanded great.

On the Hull I sprayed Tamiya’s Light Tan, then set aside for about 20 minutes and started with the chipping process.

I used Verlinden Acrylics, AK Interactive Washes, and Mig Pigments. I can say that I a very pleased with the outcome.

Tamiya /Verlinden 1 /35 Panzer IV Kugelblitz

                                               Background

The Flakpanzer IV Kugelblitz (ball lightning) or abbreviated Flak Pz.Wg IV was a Wehrmacht self-propelled anti-aircraft gun developed during the Second World War. However by the end of the Second World War, only a small production run of 2 units had been completed. Unlike earlier self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, it had a fully enclosed, rotating turret.

The need for a specialised self-propelled anti-aircraft gun, capable of keeping up with the armoured panzer divisions, had become progressively more pressing for the Wehrmacht Armed Forces, as from 1943 on the Luftwaffe was to a lesser extent unable to protect against opposition fighter bombers.

Consequently a large number of makeshift and specially designed self-propelled anti-aircraft guns were built, many on the Panzer IV chassis, starting with the Flakpanzer IV Möbelwagen and progressing through the Wirbelwind and Ostwind models. The Kugelblitz was the final development of the Flakpanzer IV.

The first proposal for the Kugelblitz envisioned mounting a modified anti-aircraft turret developed for U-boats on the Panzer IV chassis, which was armed with dual 30 mm MK 103 Brunn guns (a configuration known as Doppelflak, “dual flak”). This was however abandoned as impractical, as development of this gun had not yet been completed, and in any case the entire production run of this gun turret was reserved for Nazi Germany’s Kriegsmarine.

The most advanced feature of the Kugelblitz was its fully enclosed spherical turret. The sphere was attached at its sides to a protective mantlet, and could rotate vertically, while the mantlet and entire turret could rotate horizontally.

Alternatively, the 3 cm MK 103/38 twin gun, a twinned mount version of the 3 cm MK 103/38, was used, which had also been fitted to the Henschel Hs 129 and Dornier Do 335. The rate of fire of the twin 3 cm MK 103/38 was 450 rounds a minute per gun.

It had been hoped that the Kugelblitz would enter series production in February 1945, but by then only the five (or possibly only two) prototypes had been built due to the cancellation of Panzer IV production. Interest then switched to a similar vehicle which would have seen the Kugelblitz turret mounted on a Hetzer, but work on this design only began after November 1944, far too late for anything to come of the idea.

It is also unclear what happened to the few Kugelblitzes which were built; some sources say that they ended up being used in the Battle of Berlin.

One Kugelblitz was also involved in the fights near the town of Spichra, Thuringia, where it was destroyed and remained buried in the Spatenberg hill until its excavation in 1999.

Tamiya 1/35 Jagdpanther (Sd.Kfz. 173) Late Version Kit# 35203

  The Pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tamiya 1/35 Jagdpanther (Sd.Kfz. 173) Late Version Kit# 35203

The Build

The kit itself appears to be very crisp in detail,not many parts,but they looked clean and I test fitted several of the main panel sections. The areas that obviously stood out to me was,those god awful “rubber band tracks”, the barrel with the seam that travels along the whole length of the barrel, after you glue the two halves together,and the absence of engine screens. The decals are rather lifeless.

I went ahead and started with the wheel assembly,lower tub,rear panel, they went together very nice, the running wheels didn’t look that bad,had some nice details in the bolt pattern. I went ahead and prepped and painted the lower tub ,and painted the wheels using a circle template you get at any art store.

I then attached all the road weels,left and idler and drive sprocket to rotate for easier acceses for installing the tracks. I had to do this one on a budget, after getting their coat of black primer, then some gray , I sprayed a gloss clear coat ,so the next day I can apply a wash of AK’s track rust. I let dry for a day then applied a light European earth pigment and dry brushed it with MIG pigments gun metal,and some Model Master Enamel Silver.

When that was dry I installed the two sections of track that were alreay connected using cyanoacrylate. Carefully working around the idler and drive sprockets,it went very nicely. Did some weathering inside the road wheel assembly with oils and pigments, before it got to cramped inside the wheel compartment.

I next mounted the upper hull assembly and the clumsy looking 88 was replaced by a aftermarket barrel from RB Models, a company in Checkoslovaia who does kick ass work for a reasonable price,even with shipping.

Now that everthing is coming together left only the small parts like tools,hatches,handles,exhaust, photo etched motor and heater intake grills.

Now for the Prepping ,Primer and Paint. I first sprayed a mixture of Vallejo Acrylic German Red Brown and Black for the primer coat. I then used MIG Ammo Dunkelgelb dark base and Dunkelgelb base for the lower halves,and Dunkelgelb Light Base for the upper halves. These were paints that I have from the Dunkelgelb Modulation Set.

I then sprayed AK Acrylic Olivgrun , and Rotbraun I pulled from the “Olivgrun and Rotbraunn Modulation Set”, from AK.
I was able to apply the modulation process with all three camo colors. After a day and a half of letting the acrylic gloss clear coat dry enough to continue with the project.

Much of the tools were painted off the vehicle,as well as the two cables on each side. By the way the plastic cable from the kit was cut off and each eyelet had a small hole drilled with a pin vise,and installed a thick thread into each end with a little cyanoacrylate. It worked out just great. I mounted them ,and applied the wash, I used several types and brands to get the effect I wanted. Then on with the chipping, and some pigments, and did a final walk around,and I was pleased.

Tamiya 1/35 Jagdpanther (Sd.Kfz. 173) Late Version Kit# 35203

The Kit

This kit, which was first produced in 1996, corresponds to the basis of the 35174 and 35176 kits, which are also available.

As with the Panther and Panzer III kits already presented on model versions, all components are also sprayed cleanly and burr-free in this kit.

Again, only a few ejection points in later visible areas are given a little more attention. As usual, detailing and accuracy are still good, despite the “high” age of this kit. n the body of the degree of integration is relatively high, and the ease of the fitting of parts. The body of the welding wire and cutting marks are very beautiful. The details of the wheels, such as road and drive wheels are very crisp.

The tracks are that of Tamiya’s rubber band one piece conctruction,which are relatively nice,but not exceptional. No photo etched parts are included,and the gun barrel seems to be rather clumsy looking, so I purchased a aftermarket barrel and muzzle from R/B models from Eastern Europe and engine screens from Tamiya.

Overall the kit went together very nicely, and sections fitted very easily together. Again the detail,remember this is Tamiya, is excellent.
Both for beginners and advanced model builders they can create a very accurate model.

 

Tamiya 1/35 Jagdpanther Late 

                                                       History

The Jagdpanther (German: “hunting panther”) was a tank destroyer built by Germany during World War II based on the chassis of the Panther tank. It entered service in 1944 during the later stages of the war on the Eastern and Western Fronts. The Jagdpanther combined the 8.8 cm KwK 43 cannon of the Tiger II and the armor and suspension of the Panther chassis.

It was planned that production will reach and output of 150 vehicles per month, but the highest output was in January of 1945, when 72 were produced. Overall from December of 1943 to March of 1945, only 392 were produced. The total number of Jagdpanthers produced was a direct result of Allied bomber raids, which caused much destruction and disruption at the two production centers.

The Jagdpanther was armed with excellent, long barrelled 88mm Pak 43/3 L/71 gun (similar to that used on Tiger II) and single 7.92mm MG34 or MG42 machine gun mounted in the same ball mount as Panther Ausf A. The 88mm gun was fitted with Sfl.Z.F.1a (5×8) gun sight and was capable of destroying enemy tanks at ranges of 3000 meters. Both weapons were mounted in a well-sloped frontal plate (80mm at 55 degrees). The main 88mm gun was protected by massive 100mm “saukopf” (pig’s head) type mantlet.

It was powered by a 12 cylinder Maybach HL 230 P30 23.1 liter V12 gasoline engine, which would give it an effective range of 160 km (1000 miles) and a top speed of 46km/h (28.6 mph), making it as fast as contemporary Allied medium tanks such as the M4 Sherman, despite the latter weighing 15.000 kg (33070 lbs) less.

Two main variants can be distinguished, the earlier (1944 model) G1 with a small internally bolted main gun mantlet and a modified Panther A engine deck, and the later (1945 model) G2 with a larger simplified, outside-bolted mantlet and a modified Panther G engine deck, though late G1s also had the larger mantlet. Early Jagdpanthers had two vision openings for the driver, whereas late versions had only one. The main gun originally had a monobloc gun barrel, but later versions were equipped with the Pak 43/4 gun with a two-part barrel.

Jagdpanthers equipped heavy antitank battalions (schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung) and served mainly on the Eastern Front.[1] In the West, they were first encountered in very small numbers late in the Battle of Normandy, where the German 654 schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung (“654th Heavy Antitank Battalion”) deployed about 12 Jagdpanthers against British units. Later, significant numbers were concentrated in the West for the Ardennes Offensive.

 

Schwerer Panzerspähwagen (8-Rad) Sd.Kfz. 232

The Build

Tamiya’s Sd.Kfz.232 heavy armored car 8 wheel first came out

Buildin 1974, kit# 35036. Unlike it’s re release that came out in 2009, kit# 35297, it does lack in todays standards such as detailed welded seams,PE parts and a added two man crew. 

But the beauty is still there. The construction went very well with parts fitting quite nicely, and for that time tooling is rather crisp. I added resin detailing ,that would be on board for the drew. I used Testor’s Model Master Enamel for the basecoat,and used Windsor and Newton oils for the wash and Hudson and Allen Pigments and ground up chalk. The markings are from Archer Dry Transfers.

It was a total joy to build. It is very hard now to locate this kit,but the re release is not bad, to say the lease.

 

 

 

 

 

Schwerer Panzerspähwagen (8-Rad) Sd.Kfz. 232

Brief History

The term Schwerer Panzerspähwagen (German: “heavy armoured reconnaissance vehicle), covers the 6 and 8 wheeled armoured cars Germany used during the Second World War.

In the German Army, armoured cars were intended for the traditional cavalry missions of reconnaissance and screening. They scouted ahead and to the flank of advancing mechanized units to assess enemy location, strength and intention. Their primary role was reconnaissance, but they would engage similar or light units and at times attempt to capture enemy patrols.

Production started in 1932 and123 Sd.Kfz.231/232 and 28 Sd.Kfz.263 were produced to 1937 by Daimler-Benz (36 Sd.Kfz.231/232), Buessing-BAG (12 Sd.Kfz.231/232) and Magirus (75 Sd.Kfz.231/232). Armored bodies were produced by Deutschen Werke AG in Kiel and Deutsche Edelstahlwerke AG in Hannover-Linden.

Sd.Kfz.231/232 were issued to Aufklaerungs Abteilungs, while Sd.Kfz.263to Nachrichten (Signal) units, where they remained in active service during the Polishand French Campaign. Later, they were used for training purposes.

The SdKfz 232 Schwere Panzerspähwagen (8-rad) (FU) with additional radio equipment and frame aerial. This was 0.2 tons heavier than the standard armoured car. It had a crew of four and was similarly armed with the 20mm cannon and co-axial machine gun.

Trumpeter 1/35 Bergepanzer IV

Trumpeter 1/35 Bergepanzer IV
The Final Steps

After completing the modulation process, I painted the tracks, the rubber on the running wheels, the tools, etc. Then I sprayed an acrylic clear gloss coat on everything and let it sit for two days. After it dried, I applied a wash with MIG and AK Interactive enamel washes. To achieve that dried mud and dirt effect, I used an acyrlic binder for the pigments around the inside of the lower hull. For Dunkelgrau, I used washes such as rust, engine grime, and MIG German/Blue. Again I let it sit for two days until it was good and dry. Then laid down a coat of acrylic matte clear.

When that step was finalized, I began work on the “chipping”, using a mixture of Vallejo Dark Grey and Primer Red. I highlighted and dry-brushed the upper surfaces and details. Then completed the weathering effects with the necessary pigments to achieve that “shattered and tattered” look. When all was finalized, I added a light spray of matte acrylic clear coat.

 

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