1/35 Tamiya Panzer IV Ausf. J, Sd.Kfz. 161/2
Here’s an older build of mine. It’s Tamiya kit number 35181, and uses the kit decals from an “Unknown” German Armor unit. This model was built using Dragon individual track links and the crew members were sourced from the kit, with a possible addition from a Dragon Panzer crew set… (I honestly don’t remember exactly). Figures are my weak spot, I must admit.
This Panzer IV was initially sprayed in Model Master “Panzer DunkelGelb” from a rattle can. After it dried, I sprayed on a heavy coat of “Schokoladenbraun” to replicate the twin colored camouflage pattern using an Aztek air brush. The tank was given a coat of Dull coat to seal the decals. I used a brush and applied gloss clear to the muddy areas to make it look “Wet” as if the tank just drove through some mud.
Zimmerit was an anti magnetic coating, developed to counter the Soviet Army’s use of magnetic mines that were placed on the sides, bottom or where ever they could be planted on unsuspecting German vehicles. Zimmerit was applied on the exterior, normally within a hands reach of the ground on German tanks, some soft skin vehicles, and some self propelled artillery. This is why you normally don’t see Zimmerit on the upper sides and roof portions of German vehicles.
“Arty” self propelled guns are not tanks… 🙂
This particular version of the Panzer 4 may, (or may not) have had Zimmerit applied from the factory depending on when it was manufactured. The J model Panzer 4 was introduced in March of 1944, and manufactured right up until the end of the War. Zimmerit anti magnetic coating was no longer applied to Panzers after September 9th, 1944 from the factory on any tank. Zimmerit was not added to any German vehicle in the field after October 7th, 1944.
So as far as I know, this one can be built either way, with or without Zimmerit.
Most of the Panzer IV “J” models were fitted with the same type metal skirts as the earlier H model had. I opted not to add any skirts, since it would hide the individual track links and mud.
This model was a test bed for my “home brewed” mud. I mixed up some fine sand in with white glue and stirred it all together. I had to add sand when too much glue was present, and then back to adding more glue until I got it looking just right for my tastes. Once I achieved a proper “Mud” consistency, I simply mixed in various shades of brown Model Master enamels until I got the color I wanted.
Then it was simply a matter of globing on the mud in various places… even the undersides.
I also made a replacement tow cable from twisted wire.
If you look really close at the photos I posted of the road wheels, you will see that I also chipped off a little of the rubber, as if the road wheel was slightly damaged from debris or almost throwing a track.
Being a former U.S. Army tank crew member, from the Loader’s through the Tank Commander’s positions, I have had experience with road wheels chipping. When they get bad enough, (I’ve seen them without any rubber at all after the rubber had totally disintegrated), you have to replace the wheel. Luckily during my military career when I was a driver in a M-60A1, I never threw a track, even after logging over 2,000 miles behind the “T-bar”.
My tank crew experiences have also taught me just how mud accumulates on real Armored vehicles. I tried to apply this knowledge with the application of mud that you see on this model.
It’s been a while since I have posted any of my Armor builds. I’ve been busy with the Midway Group build.
As usual, comments are encouraged.
26 additional images. Click to enlarge.