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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 #6370 Panther Ausf. G with AM-Works PE
tommy1drop
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Posted: Sunday, October 09, 2011 - 11:00 PM UTC
Fantastic detailing, really impressed with the build and the updates, looking forward to seeing .

Tom
PantherF
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Posted: Sunday, October 09, 2011 - 11:05 PM UTC
This build has me pumped up for the upcoming Panther Campaign.

This is one detailed Kat!


~ Jeff
SdAufKla
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Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011 - 03:45 AM UTC
@ Dan: Yea, those rain guards do look pretty flimsy! I'm surprised that you don't see them damaged more often, but I gues sitting high up on the hull they were mostly out of harm's way. Interestingly, the most common damage does appear to be from a crewman stepping on them...

NICHT BETRETTEN!

@ Steven and Tom: Thanks for the props, guys! This has been an enjoyable build.

@ Jeff: Hey, DML and Alliance Model-Works have made it easy! The last late G I built was based on the Tamiya kit, and I added a ton of bits and bobs to doll her up. But DML has done such a good job with this kit that I'm having to look really hard to find any extra details to add!

Actually, I can't say enough good things about this kit. DML has done an excellent job on it. The kit, ref. no. 6370, contains all the parts and details to build ANY Ausf. G from the initial vehicles with Zim all the way to the final versions still sitting on the assembly line at the end of the war. The only missing detail from all of that is the "U-shaped" guard on the turret roof in front of the commander's cupola for the IR sight connection with the gunner's elevation indicator. Aside fom that, it's all there!

The instructions are typically (for DML) incomplete and confusing, but the plastic is outstanding. However, if you can get or borrow a copy of Panzer Tracts 5-3, the quality of the instructions becomes a non-issue.

The only problem is that the kit is out of production!

Oh well, if you can find one, it does have great "bones" to base a build on...

Happy modeling all!
SdAufKla
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Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011 - 12:09 PM UTC
@ Brian: Those are all very valid observations and are the kinds of details and insight into the PE design process that someone not involved in the practical end of things wouldn't appreciate. An alternative to the DML plastic part would be ideal, but as you point out a stamped replacement part would undoubtably be too expensive and a multi-part PE replacement would be tough to design and build.

Thinning down the DML part would be a good solution to show an undamaged guard. However, I had something a bit different in mind and wanted the ability to show the damage as realistcally as the PE parts allow on the fenders, etc.

To be sure, forming the lead sheet over the plastic part does produce a replacement part that is a bit larger than the plastic piece. I would guess that this over size is about .5mm on the width and .25 mm in lenght and height. This was a compromise that I could live with on the model, although when enlarged, this would be very noticable on the prototype. Interestingly enough, the optional DML periscope guard, part C13, fit the inside of the lead foil rain guard exactly. So, there is appearently a difference in the dimensions between the two DML driver's periscope guards.

I confess to a bit of laziness in takig the photos. I should have flipped the replacement assembly over and photographed its bottom side. Here it is now:



You can see the addition of the rectangular chunk of metal that the shield was bolted to and which clamped to the periscope guard. This feature is present on the DML kit part, too. (See the above photos.)

You correctly point out that it should be added. It is quite visible when the periscope is viewed from the front:



This rain guard would have been a bear to form on the work bench if made from PE unless it was made in at least two pieces. As it was, working the ripples and folds out of the lead foil required quite a lot of work, especially on the rear corners. Also, these lead foil parts are quite fragile and need a light touch when handling and finishing.

BTW: I should have paid more attention to the other PE parts available. It was only after I added the rain guard over the gunner's sight opening that I realized that I could have combined PE parts D27 and A44 to make the enlarged guard. This would have been way faster and easier than forming the one I made from lead foil!

Thanks for the observations and insight!
majjanelson
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Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011 - 04:23 PM UTC
Mike,

I can't wait to see this in person again at our club meeting Wednesday evening. All I have to do is copy all of your superb detailing down to 1/72 scale for the Revell and DML Panther Gs I have in my stash.

As usual, EXCELLENT craftsmanship, sir!
BLACKWATER
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Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011 - 08:31 PM UTC
Hi Mike
Thank you for giving us a display of ultimate perfection.

Cheers

Blackwater
SdAufKla
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Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 02:54 AM UTC
@ Brian: Yea, I guess in the end, accuracy and fidelity to detail will always have to be matters of compromise. You just have to say to yourself, "Well, it looks like what it's supposed to be..." and then drive on with the project in spite. Without a set of plans right next to the model to compare and contrast, if the final result is convincing, then sometimes that has be "good enough."

Examining the DML rain / periscope guard, you can see how DML had to make the periscope guard a little smaller in order to compensate for the interior thickness of the plastic rain guard. This allowed some slight undercuts at the sides for "visual" effect (giving some simulated separation in the "parts") as well as being able to show at least some of the interior mounting hardware (the rectangular block) and detail.

It's been interesting to read through your analysis and thought process to see how it could have been done differently. Maybe next time, I'll ....

@ Jeff: Well, I'm all conflicted about whether to bring it in to the meeting without any paint or start painting now... I'm kind of working toward a Nov 5 deadline to see if I can finish this one up for the show in Fayetteville, NC, though, so I'll probably start painting today.

That means for the meeting it'll probably be my usual mess of a "zillion" parts rattling around in a box - Hopefully this time I won't drop it on the way in to the meeting though! (I never did find that missing towing "C" hook!)

BTW: I've already started finishing the tracks - Thanks again, Brian, for the tips!

@ W.J. "Blackwater" : Aw schucks... you're making me blush! Thanks for the kind words, though, and I'm glad you're liking the build. Hopefully the final finish won't dissapoint!

Happy modeling guys,
SdAufKla
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Posted: Saturday, October 15, 2011 - 04:05 PM UTC
Well, I've been squirting a bit of paint on my Panther over the last few days, so what follows in the next few posts are (in my typical posting style) a data-dump to up-date the project's status.

My first steps were to primer (primer red) followed up with some limited assembly. I don't have any photos of these steps, and really, you can see some of my initial painting in the earlier posts. This time, I just painted everything with a few parts, like the gun mantlet and commander's cupola still not attached. This allowed me to get primer into all of the nooks and crannies so that no bare plastic could be visible.

I also masked the cooling air intakes and outlets and painted the louvers and screens separately.

After all of the red primer, I assembled the vehicle to what I imagined the Germans might have been working with at the factory. I then masked a few additional areas where I wanted hints of red primer to show on the finished ,model. A secondary effect of the red primer is to act as a pre-shade color.

I then sprayed my base coat of dark yellow all over the vehicle and wheels. This color is a mix of Tamiya XF-60, XF-57, and XF-2 at about 20:10:10. I think this with Tamiya XF-22A thinner and ordinary laquer thinner mixed together at about 20:10. Finally, I add about 5% Tamiya X22 clear to all my thinned Tamyia airbrush paints.

I've deliberately attempted to make my color pallet for this model quite a lot lighter than I have for my past few German vehicles. I'm hoping to get more from some of my later finishing layers, so we'll see how these lighter colors work.





You can see some of the masked areas in these pics if you look closely.

While the base Panzer yellow was drying, I did a little bit of research on my particular camouflage paint scheme. Panther tanks built starting in Sep '44 until the end of the war were camouflaged at their assembly plants, and each plant had unique features and characteristics for "its" camouflage.

We have a couple of very good basic articles on our website that are posted with the permission of the Panther: El Mito website for those who are interested in more information:

AMPS Central SC Group-Builds Page

My particular subject is an MAN produced Panther from about the third week in Sep '44 (Fahrgestell Nr. - chassis number - 121036). I selected this vehicle since it would have been produced after the end of Zimmerit and within the window for the "circle-dot" ambush camouflage pattern.

I made some assumptions (which may or may not be correct) based on my research: 1 - The factory instruction for base painting in dark yellow still applied; 2 - The ambush pattern was applied last over the red brown and olive green cammo; and 3 - The factory "pattern" for the brown and green was close to the same as painted on vehicle 121052 (manufactured about a week later).

(Panther 121052 was one of the limited number of MAN steel-wheeled Panthers and there are very clear photos of both sides and its front.)

So, with these planning assumptions, I photo copied the plans in Panzer Tracts 5-3 and while referencing the photos of 121052, sketched up a plausible camouflage pattern for my model.



I used these as the basis for the underlying 3-color cammo when I painted my model.

More to follow...
SdAufKla
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Posted: Saturday, October 15, 2011 - 04:16 PM UTC
My next step was to apply the red brown and olive green cammo pattern.

For the red brown, I used Tamiya XF-64, XF-60, and XF-55 mixed at 20:8:1 and thinned as described above.

I then sprayed the brown using my sketched 5-view plans shown in the last post. I simply sprayed the each side followed by the front and then the back. Once the sides were done, I connected the patten across the top.

I painted the tank with the turret in place and the gun travel lock up.

I then applied the olive green using Tamiay XF-58, XF-60 and XF-55 mixed 20:12:2 and once again, thinned as described earlier.

After each color, I sprayed the appropriate wheels per my color plans with the same paint.





You can see that I've also kept the exhaust heat shields separate for painting the the exhausts later.

Next up is the ambush stencil...
Big-John
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Posted: Saturday, October 15, 2011 - 04:19 PM UTC
Mike,

You need to publish some books! I would buy them.

Your work is first class man!
SdAufKla
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Posted: Saturday, October 15, 2011 - 04:35 PM UTC
For the MAN "disk" ambush pattern, I used the new Uschi masks. These have been reviewed and discussed here in the forums, so I won't "beat a dead horse..." They're a very nice product and the included instructions pretty much tell you everything you need to use them.

I used the same Panzer yellow paint mix described earlier.

As I started the stenciling process, it became appearent to me that no factory worker doing this for production purposes would have bothered to line the stencils up to get perfect "wallpaper" matched edges to the patterns and no factory worker would have bothered to mask the edges of the stencils to avoid any slight over-spray.

The surface of the tank is simply too "busy" to make either of these tasks (lining up and matching the stencil edges and masking) practical. So, after my first couple of stencil moves, I ceased bothering to mask of particularly worry about matching the pattern edges.

In some places on the tank, it was possible to get the edges to line up, so in those places, I did what seemed to make sense. However, across the majority of the surface, there is simply no way to do this. In the end, I believe the purpose of the camouflage was to mimic "dappled" sunlight through trees, so I imagine that as long as that effect was achieved, our factory workers would have been good.

(Consider the Daimler Benz ambush pattern which has no edges to match, consisting only of a series of "dots" sprayed ramdomly across the vehicle. Obviously, no concerns there for achieving perfect "wallpaper" matched edges...)

At any rate, even without masking and allowing some haste in lining up the stencil for the next spray, the process took a surprisingly long time - several hours.





Again, the camouflage pattern was painted on with the turret in place (since surly they didn't take it off at the factory to paint this either...).

Next up are the marking...
SdAufKla
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Posted: Saturday, October 15, 2011 - 05:09 PM UTC
The next task in the basic finish was to apply the markings.

My subject is an "imagined" vehicle from the 7. Kompanie, II. Abteilung, 9. Panzer Division. My research sowed that this unit underwent several "battlefield" reconstitutions from September through December '44, to include the receipt of many new Panthers in late Sep and Oct. Although I couldn't find any photos of a vehicle that matched my subject exactly, the II Abt. had many September production Panthers, some with "disk" cammo (all of those that I could identify did have Zimmerit). However, there are only a few photos of the divisions Panthers from this time period, so I believe that it could have received some that were configured like my model subject.

The first thing I did was gloss coat the spots for the Balkan crosses on the hull front corners and the the right / starboard rear stowage box. These were the marking positions most commonly used by MAN. For the crosses, I had wanted to stencil and paint, but the hull front corner positions are too crowded with the tool racks to make this practical, so I used Tamiya decals that were released many years ago as separate sets. I used Tamiya X-22 clear gloss for the decal locations.

While these gloss spots dried, I stenciled the Fahrgestell Nr. (chassis unmber) to the hull front. I used the alignment fixture from an AM-Works stencil set but use HO scale PE locomotive number plates for the digits. These matched the style of the MAN numbering in most of my reference photos. The black is Floquil Scale Engine Black thinned with lacquer thinner.

I brush painted the "block" capital letter "A" on the front of the gun travel lock mount using Citadel Skull White. This marking is common on MAN Panthers, but its meaning is unknown. It's possibly an aceptance indicator from the inspector at that factory.

The "Glysantin" white capital letter "G" on the left / port rear hull side corner is a dry-transfer from Woodland Scenics. This is a marking that is more common on the hull front, but I have at least one reference photo that shows it in this location.

In the center of the right / starboard fan cover is a red cross. This is a marking that is based on a written description in the Jentz/Doyle Panzer Tracts 5-3. It is said to indicate that the Panther has the modified / strengthened fans (the DML kit provides these as optional parts). I had no further information and no photos, so I made my red cross in what seemed to be a reasonable size and shape. I though it added some interest, anyways.

Next, I moved on to the turret. I added the turret numbers using two different AM-Works German numbers stencil sets (large numbers for heavy tanks on the sides and small numbers on the rear). These were sprayed with Tamiya XF-2 with a couple of drops of XF-57 and XF-55 added to "dull down" the bright white. I'm sorry that I didn't record the mixing ratio.

Finally, by this time the gloss on the hull and stowage box had dried so I added the Tamiya Balkan crosses. I used Micro Sol on these to get them to snuggle down on the welds (hull front corners) and stiffening ribs (stowage box).





Here're a couple of shots of the un-masked pre-painted details under the air louvers:





I'll add the extra pie-shaped warm air diverters to their stowage location later. These are still in primer red as if they were covered by the two camouflaged ones installed on the crew compartment heater.

And here are a couple of overall views of the basic finish ready for weathering:





That's all for now.

Happy modeling!
BillGorm
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Posted: Saturday, October 15, 2011 - 11:46 PM UTC
Mike - Fantastic work! I have a feeling a lot of guys will be referring to this thread during the Panther Campaign. Couple questions about your paint job:

1. I see your green and dark brown colors incorporate the Dark Yellow (XF-60) and Buff (XF-55) from the base coat. Is this the key to getting colors in a two- or three-color scheme to work together properly?
2. Once you had your camouflage scheme sketched out did you transfer it in any way to the model or did you just eyeball it? Did you mask the model at all?

Plasticbattle
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Posted: Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 02:21 AM UTC
Fantastic build Mike. Enjoyed reading this through from the start .. lots of tips and cool scratch ideas. Makes for great build blog. The model is looking tops as well!!
SdAufKla
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Posted: Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 03:55 AM UTC
Hi guys...

@ John: Thanks for the complements! If you know any good publishers, send 'em my way - maybe we can "work out a deal-deal!"

@ Brian: Well, you know who gave me the advice to lighten the pallet up! I'm looking forward to seeing the results, too...

I'll give that exhaust idea a try too. I can see already how that might turn out, and I think it'll look pretty good for a vehicle with only a few weeks of service.

I'm still trying to decide what to do with the numbers for their final look. In reality, they were probably hand-painted over chalked on outlines done through stencils, so there would have been no stencil-breaks as you point out. I was in a it of a hurry to take the photos, so I hadn't filled those in yet. My main question is whether to fill in the centers. My reference photos suggest either hollow outlines or filled with a dark color (probably black). However, many of the tanks with the filled in numbers were possibly vehicles transfered from Pz. Bgd. 2105 when it was inactivated and its reminents moved to the 9. PD. Anyways, I'm pretty certain I'll fill in the stencil breaks.

@ Bill: Glad the info will be useful to others. To answer your questions -

1. The buff and dark yellow were added simply to lighten the red brown and olive green. I use those colors to avoid making the mixed lighter color too "chalky" looking. This is the danger to using white alone to lighten up model colors. If used alone, the white is too strong and "bleads" all of the color out. You want a lighter VALUE while still retaining the HUE of the original color. So, use yellows and tans to lighten up most other colors instead of pure white.

Friend Brian (BrassNautilus) has suggested to me some paint mix colors that add a small amount of each of the three foundation colors into the mixes of each final color to achieve the exact "complementary" effect that you question implies. Next time I do a three-color vehicle, I'm going to take Brian's advice and give that a try, mostly by adding a touch of the green and brown to the dark yellow.

In this case, however, these were the colors that I was already using for my camouflage mixes, and I just increased the ratios of the lighter colors to lighten up the final results more than I have in the past.

This lighter pallet is the key (I hope) to bringing out the later weathering effects. In the past, I've noticed that much of the work that I've done with my weathering has been lost in the final results because there wasn't enough contrast between the weathering and the base colors. I'm trying to overcome this problem with this model.

2. No, no masks were used for the green and brown - all free hand. Also, I didn't use any methods to transfer the patterns to the model. I just refered to the cammo plans that I sketched out on the photocopied Doyle Panzer Tracts drawings.

The technique I used for the free-hand airbrushing is to move the airbrush close to the model and spray the outline of the cammo spot with the brush tilted at an angle spraying toward the center of the spot. This keeps the overspray mostly inside the spot. I then filled in the outlined spot. Ths is a method that's very commonly described in painting articles for aircraft modelers if anyone is looking for a better description.

In so far as getting the pattern itself, I just matched reference points on the model with the same points on the drawings doing each side. I stopped each pattern spot at the edge of the side I was working on as I moved to each successive side. Once I had all of the sides done, I moved to the plan view and connected the pattern spots across the top of the model. It sounds complicated, but really, its just the exact same thing that you would do if you were going to draw the cammo pattern out.

And this is one of the values of the extra effort to do just that, draw the cammo out on copies of the plans before painitng the model. (Again, a very common technique used by aircraft modelers.) You've already "practiced" the cammo once before you start painting!

The color filling I added to the sketched cammo plans was to just make it easier for me to visualize the final result and keep all those pencil lines straight! I used smudged artist chalk pastels from a set that I keep handy for the occasional odd pigment weathing colors.

3. I should have mentioned in my earlier post that the paint mixing ratios listed are "per drop" of paint and are NOT percentages. I mix my colors right in the paint cup of my airbrush and use an eye dropper to transfer the paint into it. I also use the eye dropper to agitate and mix the paint and thinner together by drawing the mix into and out of the eye dropper.

So, I record my mixes using the "per drop" formulas rather than mathmatical ratios.

BTW: Rinse the eye dropper out between colors, or the paint remaining in it will throw off your mixing ratios.

Hope that answers the mail!

@ Frank: Thanks. I'm glad you're enjoying the build and hopefully as much as I am!

Have a great armor-modeling kind of day!
Bizarre
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Posted: Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 08:23 AM UTC
camo looks very good.
SDavies
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Posted: Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 08:31 PM UTC
I really love your Panther, and your painting skills are impressive to say the least.

One of my main problems is that spend so long on the build that my painting and airbrush skills get rusty as I only really use them twice a year.
SdAufKla
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Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011 - 04:05 AM UTC
Hi guys:

@ Roman - Thanks!

@ Steven - I have some of the same trouble. I build so slow that I don't use my painting skills often enough either. That's one reason why I've become so anal about recording my paint color mixes and writing down and planning out my painting and weathering steps. I often refer back to my notes from other builds to remind me of what worked and what didn't.

@ Brian - Yea, this is an endlessly interesting debate / discussion.

And in fact, your observations about the disk "ambush" stencil margins and overlaps identified on the turret of 131 are some of the freshests contributions to the discussion!

A close examination of that same photo reveals some other places (like the area at the top of the second "1" digit where it's clear that the stencils were not matched and also overlap) that confirm your points.

The problem that I have with Ron's conclusions that the "ambush" cammo was painted directly over the primer red is that there are simply no existant photos that show that, and Jentz's list of production modifications is not footnoted.

(I also think some of Ron's other points in this thread - dated from 2010 - have also been over come with more recent research and information. For instance, it is clearly understood now that MNH had at least one variation of their disk stencils that was quite different from the "perfect" disk stencils used on MAN and some other MNH Panthers. This is the stencil with the "extra" cutouts that adds complexity and more "randomness" to the pattern. But I digress...)

So, the only "evidence" that the actual method of applying / spraying the "ambush" patterns directly on the oxide red primer are the paragraphs in Jentz's books (Panther a Quest..., p. 93 and Panzer Tracts 5-3, p 5-169) where Jentz states that:

"Starting in mid-September 1944, directly after Zimmerit was dropped [ 7 Sep 44], the Panthers left the assembly plants without the base coat of Dunklegelb RAL 7028 camouflage paint. At the assembly plant, the camouflage patterns were sparingly applied in patches, leaving much of the vehicle surface covered only in red oxide primer."

Unfortunately, as I said, there are no photos published (that I know of) that illustrate the implementation of this directive in this manner as early as Sep '44, and Jentz does not footnote or otherwise cite his source. Thus, no additional study or research is possible by anyone else to either confirm or possibly reach a different interpretation. We're simply left with Jentz's conclusion that this was so. No disrespect is intended to Jentz, but it's customary and sound practice to cite one's sources in serious historical research works so that one's peers can review the original sources themselves.

So, without any photographic evidence that this directive was actually implemented in the manner that Jentz describes, we're left to examine what evidence we can find.

In Panzer Tracts 5-3, p.5-182, there's a close-up of the front of a prototype IR Panther. This tank is unusual in that it is clearly painted in what is assumed to be the unique Daimler Benz (DB) "ambush" scheme (sprayed contrasting dots over 3-color cammo), and it is marked in the "style" of MAN (hull front corner Balkan crosses), but the developement of the IR prototype was the responsibility of MNH (which was directed to install the FG 1250 sight into one of its tanks). So, what do we have here? An exception to the rule that ONLY DB used the "sprayed dot ambush" pattern (if this is an MNH tank) or an error in the record of which firm developed the prototype (DB or MAN?).

The point is that the written record is incomplete, and the conclusions drawn thus far on the factory "ambush" cammo patterns are not 100% certain.

However, what is certain from an examination of that photo is that the green and brown were sprayed over the dark yellow on a non-Zimmerited "ambush" pattern painted Panther. There are clear drips and runs in the brown and green on the side of the gun barrel that are over the dark yellow.

Now, perhaps the yellow was sprayed first leaving patches of red oxide primer clear for the green and brown, but the photo evidence does not show that. It only shws that the green and brown were sprayed over the yellow. Since we know that up to that point the vehicles were entirely base coated in yellow, I think at least one valid conclusion is that this is how the "ambush" pattern was actually applied.

But wait, there's more evidence that the Panthers were still being base coated entirely in dark yellow in late Sep '44.

On pages 5-187-189 in the same Panzer Tracts 5-3 there are a series of photos of a MAN assembled steel-wheel Panther. (The same vehicle that I based my cammo base on). This tank is chassis no. 121052 which was produced on or about 22 Sep '44 (according to Jentz). The right / starboard side view shows that tank with the Schurtzen installed. However the plates are a mis-match from (possibly) both sides, and when overlapped, the center two panels show their original, pre-cammo, overall dark yellow base coats.

There are also other indications that the green and brown were over-sprayed on top of a uniform dark yellow base coat on this tank. The front 3/4 view on page 5-187 is particularly suggestive of dark yellow base coat paint "shadows" (see the head light and the top right edge of the MG ball mount, for instance) where the sprayed brown or green paint left spots of the yellow still visible.

In the end, I trust that Jentz has mostly reported the "official" directives accurately, but in this case, he also draws some conclusions about the results of that implementation ("... camouflage patterns were sparingly applied in patches, leaving much of the vehicle surface covered only with the red oxide primer."). It's this conclusion, stated as a fact with no evidence and not as an interpretation, that has caused a lot of contraversy. Reading Ron's posts in the thread you linked suggests to me that his conclusions are based on Jentz's writings and not any new photographic evidence.

Finally, we now have photographic evidence that the recently accepted method of applying the disk "ambush" pattern in a seamless, "interlocking" pattern (i.e. "... a repeating pattern that looked as though it had been applied with a roller." DITM, p. 282) is also incorrect. In fact the stencils were applied with some overlap and little attention to matcheing up their edges to achieve a perfect continous repeating pattern.

So, without any evidence to the contrary (and with what I believe to be evidence in the affirmative), I believe that my interpretation of the manner of application of the MAN disk "ambush" cammoflage is as valid as any other (and more valid than some).

But this is one of the things that makes German WWII armor so interesting - the endless study and discovery of new information about it!

Thanks fot the great photo of 131 and picking out the details about the stencils!
Braille
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Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 02:56 AM UTC
Mike,

Keep it coming, simply fantastic! Thanks for sharing. Listen, I have a set of Final Model Panther drive wheels on the way - thought they looked the part for a hypothetical Panther F build that I will be putting together for the Panther Campaign. Curious if these drive wheels were ever produced and used? Would you, anyone here or anyone in your club know about them. Couldn't find anything about these drive wheels in any of my references (Jantz & Doyle).

Any information on these wheels would be appreciated!

Thanks,
~ Eddy
SdAufKla
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Armorama: 2,150 posts
Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 05:05 AM UTC
@ Eddy: Thanks for the complements! I'm pushing to finish this one up in the next two weeks so stay tuned...

Wow, I've never seen those drivers before. After checking out your link, I went through the refs sitting on my desk (Jentz and Doyle's "Panther Quest for Combat Supremacy" and "Panzer Tracts 5-3").

Those drivers look like a cross between the Versuchs-Panther II sprockets (designed to work with the Tiger II transport tracks and double-wheeled steel road wheels) and the Panther F, but they really don't match either.

The drivers that are on the Panthers that were still on the assembly line when the MNH factory was captured (April '45) are the "standard" design (also shown in Doyle's plans on P-T pages 5-201 and 202). Those partially finished Panthers are arguably the "latest, final" production Panther design of the war. So, any "late, final" drive sprocket design should have been present on that assembly line.

The Doyle Panther F drawings in "Panther Quest..." show the standard driver design. The changes listed for the Panther F by drawing numbers in "Panther Quest..." are all for the hull and turret.

The best info that I can find about the possible Panther F suspension changes is contained in sections 6.1.3 and 6.2 starting on p. 112+ in "Panther Quest..." However, no mention is made there about the drivers, only the steel wheel road wheels.

I've loaned my copy of Speilberger's Panther book, but I also don't recall ever seeing that drive sprocket design in it either. But just to be on the safe side, I ran up-stairs to check my copy of "Auchtung Panzer No. 4," too. No joy there either.

So, I'm not saying the design is completely hypothetical, but none of my references show anything like it. Maybe the guys at Panzer Art can put you in touch with who ever mastered their drivers, and that person can offer some insight into the origins of his design (?).

Sorry I can't help anymore than this.
Braille
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Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 05:46 PM UTC
@SdAufKla - Mike,

Thank you so much for taking time off to do research on these drive wheels. Your suggestion for contacting the makers of these drive wheels is an outstanding one, and I will take immediate action on that. When and if I do receive information I will let you know by both sending you a message and posting an answer here, for those reading through this post and interested in these wheels.

A set of alternative track link castings with a single solid horn are partly illustrated on page 5-190 of Panzer Tracks No.5-3. I think that these would be appropriate for these drive wheels and the steel road wheels but I don't know of anyone making them?

Again, thank you so much and keep up the excellent work, I'm enjoying it!

~ Eddy