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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
Hosted by Darren Baker
DML Pzkpfw III N sPz.Abt.501
wbill76
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Texas, United States
Joined: May 02, 2006
KitMaker: 5,425 posts
Armorama: 4,659 posts
Posted: Monday, February 11, 2008 - 03:07 PM GMT+7
Build log for DML/CH kit #6431.



More to come in the next few days.
DAK66
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Tennessee, United States
Joined: April 28, 2006
KitMaker: 286 posts
Armorama: 120 posts
Posted: Monday, February 11, 2008 - 03:20 PM GMT+7
Lookin forward to this one Bill your a Machine
Jamesite
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United Kingdom
Joined: December 05, 2006
KitMaker: 2,205 posts
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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2008 - 10:05 PM GMT+7
I too will look forward to this Bill as i'm expecting one of these to arrive on my doorstep in the near future!

James
210cav
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Virginia, United States
Joined: February 05, 2002
KitMaker: 6,097 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 01:22 AM GMT+7
Bill-- this will be a build that receives a great deal of attention. She looks like a fabulous kit and I am most anxious to hear the paint mix and weathering you will use to attained that Afrika Korps shade.
Looking forward to you next installment.
DJ
imagoodsniper
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: December 26, 2006
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Armorama: 111 posts
Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 03:00 AM GMT+7
yeh cant wait for this one.
wbill76
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 07:27 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Lookin forward to this one Bill your a Machine



No rest for the weary! Since I only build one kit at a time, as soon as one rolls off the bench another takes its place.

James, Ethan, appreciate the interest!

DJ,

Considering when these were deployed to Afrika in late 1942/early 1943, they would've been finished in RAL 8020 at the factory before shipment to Tunisia. Testor's Model Master II line has this one available as Afrikabraun and will be the color I'll be using as the base-coat. Weathering of course is still TBD, but it won't follow the heavily chipped/scarred pattern that would be appropriate to an early DAK type of paint scheme.
Mojo
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: January 11, 2003
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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 10:54 AM GMT+7
Look forward to another build log Bill.. You stop to eat at all??

Dave
whittman181
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Massachusetts, United States
Joined: December 30, 2006
KitMaker: 646 posts
Armorama: 473 posts
Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 03:00 PM GMT+7
I love the N version. Cant wait to see your progress.
wbill76
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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 03:22 PM GMT+7
Dave,

Yes, but don't tell the others!


Bob,

Appreciate the interest, have to agree that the N is one of the more interesting variants to me as well.
Pavlovsdog
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Carlow, Ireland
Joined: June 05, 2006
KitMaker: 437 posts
Armorama: 351 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 12:07 AM GMT+7
Bill ,

Great to see you are going to embark on this lovely kit, I was thinking of getting one to convert to the ostfront version of the Ausf N, I have a set of side skirts wich look very difficult.!!! does the ket include a deep wading exhaust? Or will I have to cannibalise one from the old imperial series kit?

Thank inadvance lofoward to seeing your progress

Jerry
wbill76
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Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 02:10 AM GMT+7
Jerry,

This kit represents a J/L converted to an N vs. an M converted to an N, so it doesn't have the M-style deep wading exhausts or the schurzen mounts included. While this kit only has markings for vehicles serving in N. Afrika, it's possible to build this as one serving on the Eastern Front, just not as an M-to-N serving on the Eastern Front, by just omitting the special jerry can racks and finding alternate decal markings.
Pavlovsdog
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Carlow, Ireland
Joined: June 05, 2006
KitMaker: 437 posts
Armorama: 351 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 11:01 PM GMT+7
Bill,

Thanks for your help and clear answer, I thought that only the Ausf Ms where used for convestions to Ausf Ns. May have to re-think slightly because I seem to remember that Ausf J/Ls are quite a bit different to Ausf M series in many details. To you knowledge did Ausf J/L conversions to Ausf N ever have side skirts fitted when in Russia , I can't find any evidence of the Africa version having side skirts ?

Thanks again ,

Jerry
wbill76
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 02:25 AM GMT+7
Jerry,

As near as I can tell, the only N's to have the schurzen fitted were those that were converted M's to N's, inheriting all of the other M features along with it in the process (special intake covers, exhausts, etc.). About twice as many J/Ls (450) were converted to Ns as Ms (213), so the J/L features are much more common as a result.
t34-85
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California, United States
Joined: August 16, 2006
KitMaker: 232 posts
Armorama: 230 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 09:56 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

I can't find any evidence of the Africa version having side skirts



That's because the Germans started fitting skirts to Pz.III/IV's after the DAK had surrendered (on 5/13/43.) Kursk was the first major battle where the skirts were used.
t34-85
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California, United States
Joined: August 16, 2006
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Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 10:04 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

the only N's to have the schurzen fitted were those that were converted M's to N's



I'm not sure about that. There are pictures of Pz.IIIN's with skirts taken from the front and you can't tell what version the tank originally was. My guess is that before Kursk they would have refitted all surviving N's with the skirts, regardless of what type they were converted from. At Kursk you can see plenty of photos of Pz.IV's with skirts, including G's and early H's, both types originally left the factories without Schürzen. That means a lot of tanks were retrofitted with those. Logic dictates the J to N conversions were no exception.
wbill76
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Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 11:55 AM GMT+7
It's possible that you'd have schurzen on converted J/L-to-N versions as a retro-fit I suppose. The IV G analogy isn't quite the same though as the IV G factory production run went into 1943 when the schurzen were being introduced and it's typically late G's and then Hs with the one-piece hatch that you see with schurzen (exceptions to every rule of course). I don't know when the III N conversion process came to an end exactly...but some could also have received schurzen as part of their conversion possibly? The photos I have for reference on the III N with schurzen all show the M-style exhaust, hence my conclusion.
wbill76
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 01:44 PM GMT+7
After thumbing through the Schiffer Military History "Panzer III" by Horst Scheibert that just arrived on my doorstep this evening, there are 2 photos that claim to show III J/Ls with the schurzen in place. Interestingly enough, one of them is captioned as a J ...and the caption even calls it a "rare" picture, however I'm fairly certain it's a mis-caption and should be captioned as an M as it has the twin Bosch lights on the fenders common to the M, the spaced armor for the mantle and hull as seen on the L and M, but you can't see the exhaust to be 100% sure as the defining feature.

The second picture however is clearly that of an L with schurzen from the rear which shows the "normal" vs. the "deep wading" exhaust on the M. So is it possible that some late L's with schurzen were converted to N's with schurzen? I think so, but they wouldn't be a common occurrence necessarily.
wbill76
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Posted: Friday, February 15, 2008 - 05:49 PM GMT+7
Step 1 starts where most kits start, with the road wheels, sprockets, idlers, and return rollers. I removed all the road wheels and trimmed/sanded down their seams and set them off to the side for much later when I do the hull painting. The sprockets were assembled without any issues. The idlers have a very nice detail in the form of PE rim inserts that required some careful removal from the fret to avoid bending them and had a couple of nubs that needed cleanup, accomplished with careful use of a grinding head on the Dremel.



This step also calls for the assembly of the idler mounts and the diagrams are a little tricky here and aren't exactly crystal clear. You have to be sure to attach the screw arm covers, B2/B3, correctly for them to line up properly when they are attached to the hull in Step 4. I test fit both sides multiple times before committing to glue just to be sure I had them lined up correctly. The design of the parts means that the idlers are not positionable but will be fixed in place once installed, something to bear in mind if you choose to go the aftermarket route for Fruils or MKs instead of the kit-supplied indy links.



Step 2 is a simple step, it installs the lower half portions of the fender support arms. The parts in question are all labelled as "blue" A sprue parts since there's more than one A sprue, so don't panic if you don't find them on the first A sprue you hunt for them on. I also removed the tabs on the hull sides with sprue cutters at this point since the instructions don't tell you to ever remove them and they will interfere with the fender installation in later steps if left in place.



Next up, Step 3 deals with the installation of the torsion bar suspension and arms. The layout on the sprues makes it a little tricky at first glance to tell the difference between the A1 and A2 bars, so look closely as there are 6 per side and they all need to match up properly to avoid issues with installing the arms themselves. The default on the kit is a non-workable suspension however that can easily be modified by removing the support pins on the hull and not gluing the torsion bars down but rather keeping them "trapped" by the interior caps (parts A4/B18) if you like. I chose to install them in the fixed position and even with that, there's a little bit of play in the arms, so alignment checks after each one was installed were necessary to keep everything lined up and level.





So far so good!
Plasticbattle
#003
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Donegal, Ireland
Joined: May 14, 2002
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Posted: Friday, February 15, 2008 - 10:40 PM GMT+7
The build is looking very good so far, Bill. Im very impressed with the details of this new kit. Im going to convert Revells flammpanzer III (copy of Dragons III M/N) to an N version converted from an L, and lookng at the details on this kit and that one ..... theres light years of a difference. I´ll be using the images of your build for details and ideas .... so all these great pics are gold!!
Ive been buying a few reference books as well, looking for ideas, and its amazing how little the N version is featured ... and the most of them are of Africa versions!

What do you make of the panzer III N below (left side) with zimmerit?? Norway 1945 ... its from an old waffen-Arsenal book.

koenele
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Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Joined: January 17, 2006
KitMaker: 4,194 posts
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Posted: Friday, February 15, 2008 - 11:32 PM GMT+7
nice picture,
the first Pz.III is see with zim on
sgtreef
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Oklahoma, United States
Joined: March 01, 2002
KitMaker: 5,612 posts
Armorama: 4,015 posts
Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 01:59 AM GMT+7
Darn Bill another save it looks like.

Great Kit don't have it but I bet will put one on my list of things to buy with our Rebate Check
Uncle Sugar send to spend it correct so spend it we will.
But did not say where to spend it.

Look forward to this build I am sure will pick up a Bunch of things to add to our Knowledge.

To bad you were not building for that Guy Pat of MMIR might have that issue by now.

Great Clear Pictures also.

Need to learn that stuff.

I am throwing in a gloat have that Panzer IV E coming today.


Cheers
wbill76
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 06:22 AM GMT+7
Frank,

That's a cool picture...not only does it have zimmerit, it seems to have undergone other re-builds/replacements...the cupola has the single-piece hatch but still retains earlier "L" type features such as the headlights on the glacis, etc. Standing orders were that any vehicles sent back for repair/rebuild would have the zimmerit applied...hard to say for sure but it looks like it might also have zim on the schurzen...so that would mean it had been refurbished sometime in 1943 before being sent to Norway to wait out the war.

It also only has the turret schurzen while its partner in the foreground part of the photo is an M-to-N with full schurzen and Bosch lights but no zimmerit.

As far as the N not being featured much...I think it might have more to do with the fact that it's not a true production variant like the others...for example in the Schiffer Pz III book it stops at the Ausf M and doesn't discuss the N at all! The Osprey New Vanguard book also barely mentions the N, just a few sentences, and has only 1 picture of the Black 04 in Tunisia (same as on the DML boxart).
Plasticbattle
#003
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Donegal, Ireland
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Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 09:14 AM GMT+7
Hi Bill. I had a feeling you´d like that one ... it some proof for the discussion above. Below is another early conversion to an N, with both the side and turret shurzen. The side shurzen appears to be removed in the second image for transport. Images are from the Tankograd book and for discussion purposes only.


wbill76
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Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 10:56 AM GMT+7
Frank,

That second shot is pretty neat...helped confirm something else I was checking on today as well regarding the rear lower hull.

In browsing through an e-book I have on the Pz III (wish I could credit it to a publisher and author but the whole thing's in Russian Cyrillic! however I can still see Ausf J, L, M, etc. in te captions...strange but true!) it shows a diagram for the L and M schurzen variances on the front plate of the side skirts, perhaps another way to tell the difference between an L and an M without seeing the exhausts?

johnnyboy
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New Hampshire, United States
Joined: December 18, 2003
KitMaker: 173 posts
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Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 11:06 AM GMT+7
this is great bill we just started this as a club build,so its great to see thanks and looking foward to more progress