Category: Normandy

In June of 1944, Ausf J, the final variant of Panzerkampfwagen IV tank family entered production as a replacement for Ausf H (10 Serie BW). Its production did not cease until March 1945 with 2970 produced solely by Nibelungenwerke and in small number by Vomag. This medium tank received a designation of Sd.Kfz.161/2. Chassis numbers for Ausf J were approx.86394 to 86573 and unknown to approx.89541.Ausf J was produced in mind to simplify the production by simplifying the design of Ausf H. In general, all characteristics of Ausf H were retained including weight, speed, mechanical components and armament. The first component deleted was the electric turret drive with auxiliary generator set, which resulted that the turret had to be traversed manually by hand. Its place was to be taken by 200-litre fuel tank after the production started in July of 1944. This increased the fuel capacity to 680 litres, increasing the combat range to over 300km. It is interesting to point out that German designers decided to increase the fuel capacity at the time when German Armed Forces faced serious fuel shortage problems. Problems were encountered with new fuel tanks and installations started in September of 1944. As the production continued, more modifications were made including: deletion of turret visor and pistol ports, installation of Pilze 2-ton crane mount sockets, introduction of Flammentoeter mufflers, conversion from plate Schurzen to wire-mesh Thoma type, reduction to 3 return rollers per side, installation of Naehverteidigungswaffe close defence system and ceasing application of Zimmerit paste. In addition to new modifications, numerous changes made to Ausf G and H were also applied to Ausf J. Dragon has depicted all these changed features of Ausf.J, perfectly. The armor-strengthened turret, simplified commander’s cupola and hatches are molded with detail. Also the anti-bazooka plates are reproduced in nylon mesh, and plastic support rail parts are also included. Tracks are the  injection plastic individual track link type. When I built this model in 97′  I didn’t use the mesh skirts,because I had a problem with them.  So I scratchbuilt the support for the brackets with metal tubes to serve as the support bars. I used Eduard photo etched for the details. I don’t recall what paint I used, I believe it was Testor’s,but I am not quite sure. For an ambush look, I used Hudson and Allen foliage. I also  used your  basic Winsor and Newton oils and basic pastels combined with Hudson and Allen earth effects. Man it took me a long time with those leaves.Hope you enjoy the pics. Thankyou.

Emergency Repair

Here’s some pics of my latest diorama. This particular model the  Dragon Jagdpanther with Zimmeritt straight from the box except for the addition of an Italeri engine from the Italeri kit.  Figures were add-ons that I had, and the foliage was from Woodland scenics.l  I used MIG weathering washes and pigments. I used a picture frame as the base. It is depicting an Normandie scene.

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