1/35 Tamiya Panzer III

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  • Last reply 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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  • Louis Gardner said 11 months ago:

    I’ve been on a Tamiya tank building venture lately. The two Sherman kits are coming along well, and David needed some German Armor for the GB.

    So I’m stepping in with a Panzer Mark III L with a 50MM KwK L/60 main gun and individual track links.

    I’m planning on building this one in overall DAK yellow / tan from the 10th Panzer Division using the kit supplied markings.

    Now we need another Mark III as a wingman for mine……………………. or a Mark IV or even the big bad Tiger…………………

  • David A. Thomas said 11 months ago:

    Louis, you are the man.

  • Tom Bebout said 11 months ago:

    Louis, I see lots of smoke billowing from the Iron Works. Good show

  • Louis Gardner said 11 months ago:

    Yes Tom the factory is getting up to speed again.

    Here’s today’s progress on the Panzer III. I got the lower portion of the hull completed.

    The road wheels, sprockets and idlers are all just temporary. They were put on and held in place by friction.

    They’re coming back off so I can sand the seams on the rubber portions of the wheels and chip away a few little chunks to make them look more realistic.

    Enjoy !!!!!

    Comments are encouraged.

  • David A. Thomas said 11 months ago:

    Thanks, Lou! Yes, I believe we are moving towards a solid complement of features in the Build. If success breeds success, then Louis, you’re the stud!

  • Jeff Bailey said 11 months ago:

    “… chip away a few little chunks to make them look more realistic.”

    Spoken like a REAL tanker! 😉

  • Bernard E. Hackett, Jr. said 11 months ago:

    Dare I ask THE QUESTION- is there (shudder!) rust on the tracks? Doing a little community organizing here…

  • Louis Gardner said 11 months ago:

    Thanks Jeff. Only another “real tanker ” would pick up on this …………

    No Bernard there won’t be any rust on these tracks. From personal experience (and I’m sure Jeff can vouch for this too, since he has been a tanker in the desert just as I have), is that track is pretty much cleaned off of rust almost as soon as you start operating in the sand. The sand acts like a cleaning agent and takes away the surface rust just as if you had deliberately sand blasted it. Then because deserts are dry with very low humidity, the tracks don’t flash rust. It also may have something to do with the quality of the steel used when the track blocks are cast. But I have only observed rusty tracks after the tanks had been sitting idle in the motor pool for a period of time.

    Hope this answers your questions.

  • Louis Gardner said 11 months ago:

    I have been doing some color research for the Panzer III last night and earlier today. I have the series of books called “Panzer Colors” and it’s a great reference for pretty much everything on German Armor. I also did some online research as well.

    Here’s what I have found and decided to share this with you in case we have other people who are going to build German armor as operational in the DAK (Afrika Korps).

    It’s common knowledge that Germany operated armored vehicles in the early years of the War in Dark Gray, or even Dark Gray with clouds of brown, in a ratio of 2/3 dark gray to 1/3 brown. Most also know that in 1943 they started painting vehicles in “Dunkelgelb” which is the yellow color that was then used as a base. This is the “other” color that we often see used on German vehicles from WW2. It was used as a base color and various shades of brown and green were applied over the yellow base for additional camouflage, as seen fit by the unit Commanders.

    However, the first German vehicles were delivered in Africa in the dark gray solid color. This color was not suited well for operating in the desert. So they developed a series of colors for use in Africa and occasionally German vehicles painted in these colors were also delivered in Russia after Barbarossa began.

    17 March 1941 directives:
    Overall base color of RAL 8000 which was called Afrika Grunbraun. This color was to be painted on 2/3 of the vehicle’s exterior. Testors makes this color right out of the bottle. It’s part number 2099, and can be seen on the left in this picture below.

    This base color “Afrika Grunbraun” was supplemented with RAL 7008 which was called Khakibraun. Khakibraun was used on the remaining 1/3 outside of the vehicle. Testors also makes this color and it’s part number 2098.

    Afrika Grunbraun can be seen on the left in this picture below. Both bottles are oriented the same in each picture. Khaki Braun on the right, Grunbraun on the left.

    But this didn’t last long.

    On 25 March 1942, a little more than a year later, a change was made. The same principle was applied. A base color covering the majority 2/3 of the vehicle and a secondary supplemental color was used on the remaining 1/3 of the outer surface. In order to save materials the base color did not get painted in areas where the secondary color was used. This means that the vehicle had a single layer of paint with two different colors used. The supplemental color was applied directly to the surface of the vehicle and not over the base coating.

    This new change used slightly lighter colors.

    Here they are:

    RAL 8020 which was called “Afrika Braun 1942” and was used as the base color. The base color was applied to 2/3 of the vehicle. This color is on the right side of each of these last two pictures. Once again Testors makes this paint. It’s part number 2102.

    RAL 7027 which was called “Afrika Dunkelgrau 1942”. This was used as the supplemental color and covered the remaining 1/3 of the vehicle. This color is shown on the left side in each of the last two photos. This color is also made by Testors and is part number 2103.

    I’m sure there are other manufacturers out there that produce these colors too. This is what I have on hand and I wanted to give a little background information on the colors used by the Afrika Korps.

    Now I have to decide which directive I want to follow, since these “older” 1941 colors were supposed to be used up before the newer 1942 colors were applied.

    I even went as far as looking at the production times for the Panzer III “L”. The Tamiya kit is an early variant of the “L” series model, since the kit has the side exit doors on the hull right above the road wheels. The later “L’s” didn’t have this feature as it was discontinued into the production run…………… It turns out that the “L” series of Panzer III was built in 1941 AND 1942………………………… They built 1,470 Panzer III “L” tanks. Since my kit depicts an early version, I would take a guess and say it was built in 1941.

    Keep in mind that these colors will obviously look different after I have sprayed them on the model. I used an “Ott” light that is supposed to mimic natural light when taking these pictures. Lighting is another thing that will affect how these colors look on your computer screen………………….. as do the settings on your monitor…………………

    Then the colors will change again once I apply a layer of “Desert Dust”, so all of this may not even matter at all………………………. This color shift will be determined by just how dusty I decide to make the tank look.

  • Bernard E. Hackett, Jr. said 11 months ago:

    Thanks, that was my thought about rust on tracks. Constant friction, low rainfall in the Desert.

  • Louis Gardner said 11 months ago:

    You’re welcome Bernard. Besides the low to almost non existent rainfall in a desert, the humidity levels are very low too. This low humidity results in lower dew point temperatures, and that also helps to keep things from rusting.

  • David A. Thomas said 11 months ago:

    Candidly, the last several posts in this thread typify one aspect of the many that fascinate me about this campaign context, and hence why I felt motivated to start the group.

    The North Africa Campaign, in particular the last six months (Nov ’42-May ’43) when the Americans got involved, is simply remarkable and in many ways unique. The various combatants had to deal with the elements just as particularly as warriors in jungle warfare or on frozen steppe. Camouflage had to be adjusted, equipment took particular wear and tear. Air, ground, and sea warfare was involved. And there’s something odd about the romance and experience of the Afrika Corps in North Africa–winning short term victories but ultimately strategically doomed and scorned by Hitler even as they had a military genius at their head. This confluence of factors makes for wonderful modeling opportunities from any number of angles.

    The whole thing is pretty remarkable.

  • Bernard E. Hackett, Jr. said 11 months ago:

    Louis, I know about humidity. Hereabouts in August it is all encompassing. The day I got off the plane at Bien Hoa, i was walking to the shed to check in. I noticed that it was humid. I said (out loud) “This is just like home.” I noticed folks around me were sorta moving away from me… Candide goes to the RVN!

  • Louis Gardner said 10 months, 4 weeks ago:

    That’s a good story Bernard. I’ll bet you got some funny looks!!! It gets pretty humid here in sunny Florida too especially right after an afternoon thunderstorm in the summer. You can literally watch the road surface steam as the rain water evaporates away. I have even had to respond to possible structure fires in the summer time that turned out to be nothing more than steam evaporating from the roof of the house. It’s happened more than once !!! People mistakenly thought the steam was smoke from a house fire and called 911 !!!!!

    Yep. True stories.

  • Louis Gardner said 10 months, 4 weeks ago:

    This weekend I was really busy with work on my Dodge Challenger restoration. Because of this I really didn’t get too much done on the models.

    But I did manage to squeeze out some progress.

    Here’s the hull of the Panzer III now it’s all built. The other small parts are going to be attached after it’s painted.

    I also did some more digging into the production history of the “L” variant of the Panzer III. It looks like they were built in 1942 only. So I have narrowed down the colors using this information.

    This one will get painted in the lighter 1942 colors of RAL 8020 and RAL 7027, using Testors #2102 and #2103 paints.

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