Tag Archive: Panzer IV


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.

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Painting ,Chipping and initial Wash

I will make this short ,I basically used “AK Interactive Heavy Chipping”. It went along with no problems,it was rather a fun process. I then painted the unboard tools with Vallejo German Grey. I then did a was with “MIG” ,brown wash and thinned out a black tube of Abteilung 502 . It really thins out nicely for a wash. I applied some thinned out MIG pigments for various areas. The onboard shovels,hatches,barrel cleaners,were painted off the vehicle.
Tonight I am going to work with the “indy” tracks.

 

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The Finished Project

Well It is finally done, I have to say it was a paint at times but I am very proud of the results. I dedicate this to my wife “Andrea”. I want to thank MIG Productions for their amazing products all down the line. As well as Vallejo Air Acrylics and Model Master and Fluoquil Enamels.

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Applying the Dunkelgelb

Here I sprayed the Dunkelgelb using the modulation process , starting with Floquil armour yellow(F110166) darkened with brown and gradually lightening with white. Next comes the camo. My Vallejo Model Air Set (WWII German Starter Set. just arrived today,from those great folks at Scalehobbyist.com. I am definitely going to use those fine camo colors for this project.

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Panzer III was the common name of a medium tank that was developed in the 1930s by Germany and was used extensively in World War II. The official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen III Sd Kfz. 141 (abbreviated PzKpfw III) translating as “armoured fighting vehicle”. It was intended to fight other armoured fighting vehicles and serve alongside the infantry-supporting Panzer IV. However, as the Germans faced the formidable T-34, stronger anti-tank guns were needed. Since the Panzer IV had a bigger turret ring, the role was reversed. The Panzer IV mounted the long barreled 7.5 cm KwK 40 gun and engaged in tank-to-tank battles. The Panzer III became obsolete in this role and for most purposes was supplanted by the Panzer IV. From 1942, the last version of Panzer III mounted the 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24, better suited for infantry support. Production of the Panzer III ended in 1943. However, the Panzer III’s capable chassis provided hulls for the Sturmgeschütz III until the end of the war.

The Ausf J was the first model of the series to have the armour protection increased to a basic 50mm. An initial order for 900 was later increased to 2700 and assigned a second chassis number series.

The increase to 50mm of the main front and rear surface armour, necessitated newly-designed fittings. An improved for the driver was fitted, together with a new ball-shaped hull machinegun mount. Single-piece access hatches in the glacis, hinged at the front, were fitted in place of the double-hatch. Newly-designed air intakes for brake and final-drive cooling were mounted on the upper hull front. The smoke-cradle rack was re-positioned and mounted inside the redesigned upper tail plate, for additional armour protection. From April 1942, 20mm spaced armour was added to the gun mantlet and/or superstructure front.

The Ausf J with the 5 cm KwK L/42 were used to equip the 2nd and 5th Panzer Division, and an independent Panzer regiment, which were sent as reinforcements to Russia in September 1941. The remainders were used to replace the loss of approximately 1400 Pz Kpfw III during the first year of fighting Russia and North Africa. At the start of the summer campaign on the Eastern front in June 1942, approximately 500 Pz Kpfw III (5cm KwK L/42) were with the Panzer divisions at the front. A year later, at the start of the offensive at Kursk, there were still 141 with Army Groups Centre and South.

Dragon Kit No. 9054,came with the Borgward IV Ausf.B.It was officially designated Schwerer Ladungsträger Borgward B IV (heavy explosive carrier Borgward B IV), and was a German remote-controlled demolition vehicle used in World War II.

As far as the kit goes, I remember it went together very nicely. Cyber Hobby/Dragon now has an updated version of this kit Cyber Hobbyies Kit No. CHC6510. And of course it has been retooled. And that should be a joy to build.

Nashorn is German for rhinoceros, pronounced Nahz-horn,was initially known as Hornisse,which is German for hornet, was a German tank destroyer of World War II. It was developed as an interim solution in 1942 by equipping a light turretless chassis with the Pak 43 heavy anti-tank gun. Though only lightly armoured and displaying a high profile, it could frontally penetrate any Allied tank at long range, and its relatively low cost and superior mobility to heavier vehicles ensured it remained in production until the war’s end.

The 8.8cm PaK43 was an outstanding weapon which was the result of a contract to develop a new 8.8cm anti-aircraft gun, awarded to Rheinmetall –Borsig and Krupp, to replace the Flak 37. One of the terms of the contract was that the weapon should be capable of firing in the ground role. The Rheinmetall –Borsig was successful in winning this
contract. The Krupp design lost out due increasing performance demands from the Luftwaffe, however it entered service as an anti-tank gun designated the Pak43 in 1943 and it is now regarded as the finest anti-tank gun of WW2. The Pak 43 was modified by fitting a horizontal sliding breech block, similar to the Pak 40 and the semi-automatic loading system of the Pak 43 was simplified. This simplified gun was designated the 8,8cm Pak43/41.
The chassis chosen for this project was the hybrid Panzer III/IV chassis which had been developed for the Hummel mounting the 15cm sFH18 Howitzer. This was a hull which was the same width as a Panzer III, but lengthened with the engine located in a central position, it utilised Panzer III and Panzer IV components in the drive train and running gear. For example the sprocket was of the type designed for the Panzer III because the transmission was also from the same vehicle, whereas the engine was from the Panzer IV.
They were produced from February 1943 to March 1945; the initial order was for a series of 500, of which 494 were completed before the end of the war.

The Nashorn has also been a very popular subject for scratch building and was Dragon’s first WWII kit,(‘39-‘45 Series No. 6001), back in late 1992.When putting this kit together, I can recall it was a challenge. Parts did not fit or line up, it was nearly impossible to get the tracks on, the fenders were too short for the hull, the gun sat too high, and many of the details were totally wrong. DML was likewise caught off guard by the bad review. In that period they did find that some of their draftsmen were not doing a good job and summarily fired them, replacing them with better researchers and competent ones. When they released their Hummel kit (No. 6004) they corrected many of the hull problems with the Nashorn kit, but it was still considered to be a bear to assemble correctly and to get all the parts to fit right. I built it straight out of the box, and this was my first “soft skin” kit,which added to the frustration. But as we know now, Dragon Kits evolved to become a true work of art.

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