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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
SdAufKla
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Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 01:26 AM UTC
@ Eddy: Glad to be of assistance (such as it was).

To clearify, the scrap detail views on p. 190 in P-T 5-3 illustrate minor manufacturers' variations in the Panther / Jagdpanther standard Kgs 64/660/150 single-link, dry-pin tracks. Jentz doesn't reference these in the Panther Ausf. G P-T 5-3 book, but he does mention the casting with the "Reinforcing Side Bar" in his P-T book on the Jagdpanther. (I don't recall if he mentions the "solid Guide Tooth" though.) Sadly, I've also loaned my Jagdpanther P-T copy, or I'd cite the paragraph and page number of Jentz' comments about the tracks for you.

The only track variation that was considered for the Panther that I know of was to use the Tiger II transport tracks on the Panther II design. I think a lot of Panzer '46 models use some variation of that idea, but I'm not sure if the track tooth spacing on the "late" drivers from Panzer Art would fit the Tiger II transport tracks. Those tracks are a double-link design and their pitch (the length of each link as measured from hing-pin to hing-pin - also the circumferential distance between the drive sprocket teeth) was about twice that of the standard single-link Panther track.

HTH,
SdAufKla
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Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 01:53 AM UTC
Not much new and exciting in the way of progress to post, but in the interests of "completing the record," the work over the last few days has been painting and finishing the roadwheels and tracks.

As is usual with German armor, the ol' Panther has a lot of wheels to paint:



Just one of those tasks that you just have to grind out. Also, I'm and "Old School" kind of model builder, and I hand-paint my wheels rather than use an airbrushing stencil. I tried the stencil route a couple of times, but still wound up hand brushing the highlights and details. In the end, I just didn't find any real savings in time or effort (plus I had to clean my airbrush!).

While painting the rubber tires and rim wear, I also started to add some of the chipping:



Much of this will be hidden by later weathering, but where it can show, now it will...

For hand-brushing the tires, I can't offer much in the way of tips or shortcuts. One thing that I do do, tho, is to use a wash or ink to "cut" the edges of the tire-rim lines before I paint the rubber. This makes for a neater and somewhat faster job of it. Here's an example:



If you look closely, you can see the thin black line between the tire and the rim. This was done with Citadal / Games Workshop Black Ink. On these wheels, there're actually two rim-lines that need to be painted. There's the one between the metal rim and the rubber (here black) and then another where the rubber tire flairs out just at the metal rim. I used the black to make a sharp shadow line between the flair of the rubber tire and the metal rim.

On the center duel-wheels, I used a wash made out of my "rubber" color mix to cut the rim-tire line in before painting the rest of the tire "rubber."

I simply flow the wash or ink around the molded on rim-tire line and allow capillary action to make the painted line neat and sharp. Occasionally this won't work as there is no distinct molded-on line, but where there is, it makes the work much neater and easier.

Finally, for mixing hand-brush paint colors, I use these small paint cups:



They're the same little cups that come in "paint-by-numbers" kits with a dab of oil paint in them, But you can buy them at large craft stores like Michael's or Hobby-Lobby. They come in a bag with several sets of cups, are inexpensive and handy to mix Vallejo or other acrylics in.

They're convient to keep all of the colors mixed for a single project together for figure painting or chipping, etc. I often write the color mix on the lid using a Sharpie marker.

No pics of the tracks yet. I'm using a new (to me) technique to weather them and will post some pics if it works out well. Same with spraying Dull Coat over the decal Balkan crosses - You guys don't need to see a picture of that.

Stay tuned... Hope to post more progress in the next few days.
sauceman
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Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 02:13 AM UTC
Thanks for the update, really like your close-ups, well done.


cheers
metooshelah
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Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 03:19 AM UTC
fantastic. thank you for sharing your techniques alongside with your build process. I can't wait to see the finished model!
SdAufKla
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Posted: Monday, October 24, 2011 - 02:31 PM UTC
@ Rick and Matan: Thanks guys! I really appreciate the kind words.

It's been a few days since my last up-date, so I guess it's about time to show what's been going on in the ol' work room...

Since I'm planning on articulating the suspension, I need to finalize the layout of my base so that as I'm finishing things, it will all fit during final assembly.

Here's a shot of the basic parts of my usual base design:



The terrain "module" (shown here up-side down) is made of 1/2" styrofoam sheets cut out and glued together "layer cake" fashion with hot glue. I then smooth the edges with a sanding block and contour the edges of the terrain relief with a serrated knife. I use ordinary plaster of Paris to create a smooth edge and to blend the contours of the terrain relief.

In the above photo, you can see the bottom of the terrain module, a piece of the left over styrofoam sheet, and the wooden plaque that's been stained and finished. The terrain module will be finished separate from the wooden plaque and glued on during final assembly.

Here's a pic of the terrain module with some pre-painting on it to help me visualize the final look. In this picture it's just sitting loose on the wooden plaque.



Finally, here's one of several dry fits with the partially assembled model to establish the final pose or display.



Note that the road wheels and tracks will add about a 1/2" to the vehicle's height, and there will be some final ground cover made of Celluclay and other materials on the terrain. However, this view shows the look that I'm trying to get - An agressive climbing pose with the front of the tank actaully in the air just a bit and the road wheels at maximum deflection as they go over the edge of the small hill.

More to follow...
SdAufKla
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Posted: Monday, October 24, 2011 - 02:37 PM UTC
In so far as finishing the model, my next step after the base colors and markings was to spray on some preliminary dirt and dust.

I used a thin, glaze-like mixture of Tamiya Flat Earth and Khaki that was also one of the colors that I used on the terrain module in the last post.

I sprayed all of the wheels and the put a "spotty" coat on the lower hull and bottom:





I also brought some of these colors onto the upper hull and turret and used it to lessen the stark colors of the markings.

More to follow...
SdAufKla
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Posted: Monday, October 24, 2011 - 02:56 PM UTC
After spraying the dust and dirt colors, I intensified the dirty effects by applying a general wash made of umber oil paint, liquin, and ordinary mineral spirits. No particular ratios here - just mix and season to taste, so to speak!

The liquin causes the wash to become "grainy" and "forces" it to make "runny" tide marks that can replicate the look of water running through the dust and dirt. This is a technique that I read about in one of Steve Zaloga's Osprey books. It is also one that you just have to experiment with. The effects are somewhat random, but also pretty controllable with small brushes and applications of clean thinners.



In this picture, hopefully you can see the effect I was going for on the running gear, that of mud being shed off the wheels as they rotate during operation. I did this on both sides of all of the wheels and paid particular attention to the insides of the inner wheels.

These will be very visible when looking at the model as it climbs over the small hill in the display, so the extra effort is called for.

If I don't forget, I'll take some pics of the lower front and rear hull areas where the liquin wash made some very nice effects.

More to follow...
SdAufKla
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Posted: Monday, October 24, 2011 - 04:48 PM UTC
While I was waiting for various things to dry or set, I painted and weathered the tools and other bits to be added later:



Most of the rest of the tools are based coated in dark yellow with scratches, chips and rust details. All of these, along with the wheels shown in the last post, will get a flat coat to take of the "shinies."

I'm now working my way around the hull and turret adding chipping and scuffs. I use the "bulls eye" technique for most of my chipping.

First I paint the color which will form the outter thin lines followed by each successive interior color down to the rusty or bare metal colors.

In this picture, you can see some of the finished chips, but if you look closely, you can see the dark yellow spots on the nearest upper hull corner:



This is followed by the red primer leaving thin dark yellow lines around the edges of the chip:



In the centers of the primer red spots, I then add some small dark brown metallic spots, again, leaving thin lines of the primer red and dark yellow.



Note that this is not a particularly good photo of this last step. The glare from the work lights on the still damp metallic paint makes this last bit hard to see.

For areas that would get continous wear from crewmen walking or going in and out of hatches, I sometimes add another brighter metallic bare areas. I try to keep these to a minimum, tho, as a little bare metal goes a long way visually.

Also, I try to restrict my chips, scuffs, and scratches to logical areas. This type of wear and tear shouldn't be evenly distributed all over the vehicle. There should be reasons why it's where it is on the model.

Next up will be pin washes and dust streaks, etc. This will be followed by a very light glaze sprayed on the model to blend the various effects together and tone down the contrasts of some of them.

I'll then add the pigments to the lower hull and suspension. Do final assembly on the suspension, and then move on to the ground cover for the display base (ensuring the suspension is embedded into the terrain).

But all that's for later. Right now, still lots more chipping to do....
SdAufKla
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Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 02:23 PM UTC
Well, I'm coming down to the wire on this project. Still quite a lot of small things to take care of, but the major work on the vehicle is done.

Today I was able to test the completed suspension on the terrain module foundation and mark out where the tracks will be. Tomorrow I'll begin adding the turf and ground cover. While I'm waiting on various layers of that to dry, I'll continue working on some of the final details.

Here're a few over-view shots of what I believe will be the final positioning on the base:













Here're a couple of close-up shots. I was particularly pleased with the way the rusty damage on the right front fender came out:





At any rate, that's all for now. Maybe a few more WIP's as I do up the ground work on the base.

Happy modeling!
Big-John
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Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 10:46 PM UTC
Looks AWSOME Mike. looking forward to seeing it on the completed base.
jrutman
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Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 - 02:30 AM UTC
No better way to improve interest in a Panther model than by articulating the running gear! Way to go buddy. It makes an outstanding build even better.
J
pseudorealityx
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Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 - 04:28 AM UTC
Mike, looking awesome. If I had only one critique of the base mounting, it would be that, to me, the tracks are bit slack compared to what I've seen in some videos of these tanks climbing up a hillside.

one reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7f0JdTW3rUE

It seems to me that almost any time under power, the tracks are taught along the top.
SdAufKla
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Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 - 12:44 PM UTC
@ John: Thanks for the complements. Hopefully the final result won't disapoint!

@ Jerry: Hey old friend, I really appreciate that coming from you!

@ Jesse:

Thanks for the kind words, too.


Quoted Text

... If I had only one critique of the base mounting, it would be that, to me, the tracks are bit slack compared to what I've seen in some videos of these tanks climbing up a hillside.... It seems to me that almost any time under power, the tracks are taught along the top.



That's a good observation and a fair critique, and I appreciate you pointing it out!

All of the suspension parts are still loose in the photos, but I'm hoping that during final assembly most of the slack in the track will be taken out. (Seems to work during the tests!)

When I glue the drivers, I'll be able to rotate them to pull some slack over the tops of the track runs, and I'm going to cut the torsion bars to allow some of the road wheels to depress more as if under weight. During my test runs this took out most of the slack in the track.

However, I still might have to take a link or two out the tracks. It's really hard to see how all the moving parts will finally come together in the end...

Your points, though, certainly provide some motivation to do the job right! :-)-<

BTW: Great link!
SdAufKla
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Posted: Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - 11:52 PM UTC
Moving right along...!

The suspension has been finished (which did require removing one link from each track). The drive sprockets have now been glued on along with the outer roadwheels (which had just been a press-fit).

Before finishing up and fixing the suspension, I completed weathering the rear hull - adding some mud build-up and dried spatters. The rear stowage boxes have now been glued on too.

I've now added most of the tools and other OVM. These are pretty "contrasty" at the moment since the hull has received some weathering but the tools have not. I will tone down this contrast with a glaze later.

Still to add are the tow cables, MG's, cleaning rods (which I still have to make!), and periscopes.

Here are some general views of the hull right now:











Here's a shot of some of the missing details. The periscopes have had their lenses masked. I then painted them silver followed by flat black (the prototypes had a shell made of Bakelite - either black or an orange-brown color). I'll keep the masks on until last so that later clear flat coats don't reuin all the work. This might seem like a bit of over-kill, but when the light catches them just right, the periscopes really do look very good finsihed this way.



BTW: I finished and installed the radio operator's periscope before I glued up the hull. It still has the mask on the outside lens and has been touched up with black paint after the cammo colors.

The "terrain module" is coming along.

I've added a layer of Celluclay to it with a few sprinkles of sand and small rocks for texture mostly along the road way and the foot of the dry-washes. Once dry, this was airbrushed with Tamiya Flat Earth, Khaki, and Buff mixed in various ratios.

I then added a layer of pigments (the same colors used to weather the tank) followed by the static grass. Lastly, I added some ground foam and dead leaves.

Still to come on the base will be clumps of long grass, weeds and some small, leafy bushes in autumn colors.





So, probably not too many more up-dates to go on this project, and hopefully I'll have it done by the end of this week.

Have a great armor model-building kind of day!
Big-John
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Posted: Wednesday, November 02, 2011 - 10:32 AM UTC
Looking very nice mike. its comming together very well. Just make sure that last update has plenty of pictures of the finished model..........lol
SdAufKla
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Posted: Wednesday, November 02, 2011 - 11:57 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Looking very nice mike. its comming together very well. Just make sure that last update has plenty of pictures of the finished model..........lol



Thanks, John!

Hopefully, "if the dam don't break and the creek don't rise" I'll have some finished photos up tomorrow.

SdAufKla
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Posted: Friday, November 04, 2011 - 07:18 AM UTC
This one's basically finished, so here are a few final photos. Hope these show everyone all they want to see. If there's something not pictured that anyone would like to see, let me know and I'll see about adding another "happy snap" or two.









I'll post these in three or four different posts so as to not make this single one too big. Also, I've expereimented a bit with the size of the pics, so I want to see how that works out before I post a ton and then have to go back and re-do them all...

More to follow.
SdAufKla
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Posted: Friday, November 04, 2011 - 07:22 AM UTC
Well, the change in the image size didn't seem to make any improvement, but also no harm. So, without furthur ado...













A few more still to come...
SdAufKla
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Posted: Friday, November 04, 2011 - 07:25 AM UTC
A couple of close-ups...









But wait! There's more...!
SdAufKla
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Posted: Friday, November 04, 2011 - 07:37 AM UTC
And one last 360 from a bit closer and lower down...















So, that's all folks!

I enjoyed this project. The AM-Works PE up-date set was fun to use and the DML kit (my first Panther since Tamiya's Panther G release back in the 90's) was a joy to build. It's not perfect, but the few problems I had with it were pretty easy to overcome. As with most other DML kits, it's major weakness is its instructions.

The AM-Works Pe set assembles and fits pretty well. Like most full-blown up-date sets, it has some challenges. However, it's a good value for the price and even beginners should be able to use most of it.

The new Uschi von der Rosten "disk" ambush cammo masks are a breeze to use and, IMO, also give a very good value for the money.

I hope you've enjoyed watching the progress on this one as much as I enjoyed building it.

Thanks to everyone who posted suggestions, observations, and thoughts. I appreciated the feedback and believe that the final result is better for your input!

So, barring any questions or comments - That's a wrap!

Have a great armor model-building kind of day...
chicane
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Posted: Friday, November 04, 2011 - 02:58 PM UTC
great work realy enjoyed watching this build thanks for sharing
SdAufKla
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Posted: Friday, November 04, 2011 - 10:58 PM UTC

Quoted Text

great work realy enjoyed watching this build thanks for sharing



Thanks for the kind words, Chicane!

I should get back to my StuG IV Late project in the next few days. It's burried pretty deep in the 'ol Armorama forums, but maybe I can breath a bit of life back into it.

Take care and happy modeling!
Big-John
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Posted: Friday, November 04, 2011 - 11:15 PM UTC
Mike, That is just down right awsome! Thank you for sharing this build. It serves as insperation to many of us.

I wondered what happened to the Stug IV build. Looking forward to seeing it completed as well.
jrutman
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Posted: Saturday, November 05, 2011 - 03:07 AM UTC
That is just out-freekin-standing brother. You worked out the track tension thing in your usual logical way as well. When turning(pivoting) the track on the far side of the turn is taught on the top while the down side track is limp from the application of the brake.
So you have articulated a Panther climbing,hitting a berm and turning,all while in forward motion. No small accomplishment.
As I have already commented earlier on the excellence of the build,I have nothing new to add!
J
Battleship_Al
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Posted: Saturday, November 05, 2011 - 04:38 AM UTC
Outstanding work. What a great way to display a Panther. May I steal your idea for my Panther build? I may have mine going down a hill and over a small downed tree or something like that.