Tag Archive: Verlinden


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.

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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.

On 15 June 1936, the order was given to develop an armoured vehicle for infantry support, mounting a gun of at least 7.5cm calibre. The gun was required to have a minimum of 25 degree traverse, and to be mounted in the hull, eliminating the requirement for a turret, which could result in a vehicle not exceeding the height of an average man. The experiment (o-series) series consisted of five Pz Kpfw III Ausf  F chassis (Chassis Nos 90216-90220)., upon which were mounted the soft steel superstructure containing the fixed 7.5cm StuK. After the successful testing of these prototypes, the 1 serie Ausf A went into production in January 1940.

The Sturmgeschütz Ausf.A was the first production version of the StuG III assault gun, designed to provide the German infantry with a fully armoured mobile artillery gun. Develop of the StuG began in 15 June 1936, when Daimler-Benz was given a contract to develop an armoured vehicle capable of carrying a 7.5cm calibre short barrelled gun, capable of being elevated to 25 degrees above horizontal, fully armoured (although the original design called for an open roof), in a vehicle no higher than a standing man.

The StuG Ausf A had the same suspension, drive-train components and basic hull shape as the 5 ZW (Pz Kpfw III Ausf F), but the similarity stopped there, The StuG front and rear armour was thicker. There were no escape hatches on the hull sides, and the brake access hatches on the glacis were hinged at the sides instead of fore and aft, The 7.5 cm StuK37 was mounted offset to the right in the squat superstructure. Vision for the driver was provided by a pivoting visor and a tin periscope device in the superstructure front, and a vision port in the left superstructure. The gunner’s artillery-type periscope sight was provided with a direct vision port in the left upper superstructure, and the commander had a scissors access hatch. Additional armour protection was provided for the crew by attaching 9mm plates at an angle to superstructure sides.

Power was provided by the Maybach HL 120 TRM 12-cylinder petrol engine, at the rear of the StuG, with the drive wheels at the front.
The first StuG was issued in February 1940, and twenty four were in service by the end of May. They were used to equip Sturmartillerie Batteries 640, 659, 660 and 665, and took part in the fighting in France in May and June 1940.

This was from DML’s Imperial Series ’39-’45 Kit # (9031) StuG III Ausf A. This is the kit with the Michael Wittmann figure included although I didn’t use that option. It was involved in the initial invasion of The Soviet Union in 1941,which was ” Operation Barbarossa”. Wittmann was part of the 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler.

The LSSAH was attached to the LIV.Armee-Korps and held in reserve during the opening stages of the attack. In August 1941 it was transferred to III.Panzer-Korps, part of Generalfeldmarschall Ewald von Kleist’s Panzergruppe 1. During this time the LSSAH was involved in the Battle of Uman and the subsequent capture of Kiev.

I cannot recall when this kit came out. It might of been in the late ninties or early 2000’s. But whatever was the date ,it was a gem of a little kit. I didn’t like the quality of the plastic, it was easy to distort when sanding if you were not careful. Also there was a lot of cleanup as I remember. Even though the details were not that bad,and the tracks being that of the individual variety, it took time to clean up, unlike todays “indy” tracks.

This kit was built “SOTB”,with some scratchbuilt jerry can racks that I constructed out of Plastruct strips. The boxes I believe were from Italeri. The tow chains came from Verlinden. I used Testors Enamel Model Master Paints. Winsor and Newton Oils for the wash. For the pigments I used pastel chalks and earth from Hudson and Allen. The markings were Archer Fine Transfers. Looking at the markings, I noticed that these are not of the (LSSAH) ,but rather that of the 3rd SS Division Totenkopf. Oh Well.

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