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Building a 1:8 Scale Panther: Part 3

Zimmerit Hell

My wife helped apply the Zimmeritte (anti-magnetic mine paste) and the final finished result was most pleasing. I used Zimm-it-Right as this had received the best write up in the excellent Paul Owen article on Zimmerit. After considerable research and taking Pauls valued advice, I decided to copy the style of Zimmerit shown in photographs on a late Panther A on another tank web site.

In view of the large scale of the tank paper templates were made and the shapes cut from rolled 1.5 mm thick Zimm-it-Rite. (The actual Zimmerit I have read was applied in 2 separate sessions to a total thickness of 12mm). The use of talcum powder prevented the rolling pin sticking and we discovered that adhesion to the model was improved if all of the powder was washed off and the model surface well whetted with copious quantities of washing up liquid added to the water. A lot of trial and error proved that it is better to allow a short delay of 10-20 minutes after fixing it to the tank allowed the Zimm-it-Rite to semi-set and by doing this, the impressing of the tools that I had made to create the pattern did not cause the Zimm-it-Rite to lift. In all in 9 separate sessions were needed to finish the Zimmerit.

I really do not like Zimmerit but it had to be applied to depict the original. Applying the Zimmerit was bad enough but additionally a squared pattern was applied through the Zimmerit on most Panther As. The actual tank I had selected to model obviously missed this procedure and only sports horizontally ribbed Zimmerit without the scribed squares apart from a small amount on the rear plate only! Not lazy, just did not like the look of it! It did dawn on me however when I was initially deciding on what tank to depict the purpose of the squares. By drawing squares through the Zimmerit to the armour beneath the shock effect of an AP hit was localized and the unhit Zimmerit remained on the armour.

Without doubt in all of my modelling life of 40 years, the application of the Zimmerit was the least enjoyable modelling aspect that I have ever undertaken.

Thank you Margaret for your help, your encouragement and your support.

Project Photos

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About Peter Mealing (trackpins)