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AFV Painting & Weathering
Answers to questions about the right paint scheme or tips for the right effect.
Pz. IV J Periscope Glass Color
gkedwards
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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 02:39 AM UTC
Ok, .. Here is a question that I have, that has me stumped. I have read that the vision port glass, and the periscope glasses should be a "greenish tint" and some others say a "blueish tint".. and.. I have also read that the glass was just "clear" with no tint.

Would someone please tell me which is the correct answer, please.

Thanks

Greg
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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 02:55 AM UTC
Hi Greg,
here's a picture I took of a Panzer 4 in the Munster Tank museum in Germany. As you can see it has no tint at all, and believe me the glass is in there:





Paul
panzerbob01
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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 02:57 AM UTC
Greg:

The Germans did not have any of the modern lens-coatings in WWII - periscope and episcope and bullet-proof vision-block optics were made from very good clear glass - most of these German optics were made by the big glass makers - Zeiss, among others - from the clean sands of Jena.

So... I would strongly vote for either leaving them clear or very very lightly green-tinted (there is a prismatic effect and some very slight greening seen in these large blocks of glass). IF you are working with some Dragon kit where the periscopes are provided as clear pieces...

First paint the sides / frames in silver, leaving the viewed faces top and bottom clear. This will heighten light reflection thru those bits and add a little depth and pop to your periscopes.

The frames and casings of periscope otics were either satin black industrial enamel or a dark green version. In some open-top vehicles, these may also have been painted dunkelgelb. Note that the periscopes were pretty standard bits, and that they were easily pulled and replaced (and tanks and SPG often carried spares, as they would get dinged...). The replacement parts came in those OEM black or dark green colors and were slipped in place as needed.

So paint over your silver with your frame color.

IF you want that slight greening.... add a very tiny amount of green food color to Future and apply a drop to one or both veiweable lens surfaces. Tamiya clear green mixed into clear gloss or Future also works. Keep it SLIGHT!

Bob
chumpo
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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 02:59 AM UTC
What about Vallejo and their periscope color ?
gkedwards
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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 04:55 AM UTC
"IF you are working with some Dragon kit where the periscopes are provided as clear pieces..."

Yes, this is a Dragon kit PZ.IV Ausf.J mid-late and the kit supplied glass pieces are clear, I think that I will trim the frames with "silver" as you suggested, and possibly mix a small tad of green food coloring to some future, and very, very, lightly, highlight the lenses with that,.. just for an interesting reflective tint.

Thanks for the help...greatly appreciated.

Greg
gkedwards
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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 05:05 AM UTC

Quoted Text

What about Vallejo and their periscope color ?



Not sure,..but from what Bob says, I am understanding that the actual factory "tinted" glass issue came into service production after WWII. And if so, I've seen a bunch of WWII panzer models with the glasses painted wrong. Which it doesn't really make any difference in the "real world", but I, myself.. have kinda gotten peculiar about detail in my old age.

Thanks for the input.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 09:49 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

What about Vallejo and their periscope color ?



Not sure,..but from what Bob says, I am understanding that the actual factory "tinted" glass issue came into service production after WWII. And if so, I've seen a bunch of WWII panzer models with the glasses painted wrong. Which it doesn't really make any difference in the "real world", but I, myself.. have kinda gotten peculiar about detail in my old age.

Thanks for the input.



And I'm guilty as charged on that painting, too!

And I should really have known much better - having several old German prisms and such from the 1930's and 40's, and growing up deep in technical discussions of lenses, glass types, optical standards and manufacture, etc., for, oh, about 50 years!

But when what a kit offers is a piece of gray styrene for the periscope, you want to paint that something other than dunkelgelb or olive green or whatever the tank's color is! So many of us historically opted for the green... but it IS "wrong" in terms of what was found on WWII panzers. The clear bits offer us real opportunities to make such pieces and details pop!

PS: @Greg: Please be sure that what I meant was for you to paint all of the outside of each periscope piece silver (other than those lens parts folks look in and through). And then you follow-up with painting over the silver with the black final finish. There should be NO silver paint showing! Just clarifying!

Bob
Thudius
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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 10:52 AM UTC
While we're on the subject, anybody know if the Pz IV E had glass for the driver? Or was it just the periscope?

Pardon the slight threadjack

Kimmo
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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 11:52 AM UTC
So cosmetically Vallejo periscope colors are not correct , but like it was said they just look good .
panzerbob01
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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 01:51 PM UTC

Quoted Text

So cosmetically Vallejo periscope colors are not correct , but like it was said they just look good .



Ed;

I know nothing about the Vallejo "periscope" color(s)!

The problem with periscope "glass" in WWII kits is confounded by the fact that some kits use the solid styrene parts colored as the rest of the kit, while others, like Dragon kits, offer us clear parts. The first route mandates that we paint the "glass" something - it won't be clear and it will not let light through the part - so we are faced with what color to use. The clear parts offer us the option of having "clear glass" already in place. Both routes require us to tackle the casing and framing aspects of the parts. It's two different subjects, questions, and answers!

IF you are asking about Vallejo colors intended to depict "glass lens faces" - I really have no idea what those colors are and could not comment to them. Painting something opaque to effectively look like "clear glass" is a challenge. Some folks like silver followed by clear dark gray or Future with a hint of green or... but not strong green, blue, or shades of red - no coatings used! Others like gloss black. (Which, IMHO, looks fairly good if the hatches are set closed and one thinks of a tank being very dark inside).

IF, on the other hand, you are talking about frame and casing colors - those are the "industry" satin black or dark green enamels I mentioned - or in some cases dunkelgelb as an interior coat on some SPG. IF Vallejo offers some color(s) for painting German periscope casings and such... they should be something like the black or dark green or maybe dunkelgelb?

I have read and seen purported historic examples of these optics in casings of other colors - a "field gray", a dark gray, etc. I'm NOT saying they cannot be - but the general industrial standards were pretty consistent and conservative.

Bob
gkedwards
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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 01:58 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


Quoted Text

What about Vallejo and their periscope color ?



Not sure,..but from what Bob says, I am understanding that the actual factory "tinted" glass issue came into service production after WWII. And if so, I've seen a bunch of WWII panzer models with the glasses painted wrong. Which it doesn't really make any difference in the "real world", but I, myself.. have kinda gotten peculiar about detail in my old age.

Thanks for the input.



And I'm guilty as charged on that painting, too!

And I should really have known much better - having several old German prisms and such from the 1930's and 40's, and growing up deep in technical discussions of lenses, glass types, optical standards and manufacture, etc., for, oh, about 50 years!

But when what a kit offers is a piece of gray styrene for the periscope, you want to paint that something other than dunkelgelb or olive green or whatever the tank's color is! So many of us historically opted for the green... but it IS "wrong" in terms of what was found on WWII panzers. The clear bits offer us real opportunities to make such pieces and details pop!

PS: @Greg: Please be sure that what I meant was for you to paint all of the outside of each periscope piece silver (other than those lens parts folks look in and through). And then you follow-up with painting over the silver with the black final finish. There should be NO silver paint showing! Just clarifying!

Bob



Hey Bob, thanks for all of the help for sure. And don't feel like the Lone Ranger either. I have screwed up so many model cars, and pickup trucks globbing on the tube glue when I was growing up, that I could start my own miniature junk yard.

I just got into armored vehicles recently, and what got me interested in this side of the hobby was the amazing work that you guys on this site create. I have absolutely been blown away staring at the fantastic art that some of you guys post in the gallery on this site and of course YouTube, for literally hours and hours just trying to figure out how you get the effects that you get.

Things have changed so very much since the '60s and '70s the kits are so much more realistic and detailed, not to mention the weathering products that are available to us. It gives the average builder more leverage to really dig down deep and discover talents within himself that he didn't even know that he had.

And, this is a great forum....with good folks, that are ready and willing to share their skills and their knowledge with guys like me. I am very blessed, and thankful to have met all of you good people....

Greg
panzerbob01
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Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 01:52 AM UTC
@Greg;

You mention from the "'60's and '70's".... sounds like you may be one of us old gray-haired modelers!

I can identify super-well the gray-hair age part as well as with almost any awed perception one might have of how much things have changed in the styrene hobby over the past 45 - 50 years... I recently returned to modeling after about 35 years elsewhere. I did a fair amount of glue-spreading and so-so painting and crappy decal-placement back in the 60's and early 70's. I think I actually did about 175 planes ranging from some cool little kits of pre-WWI flivers made with tissue for wing fabric through substantial portions of what Airfix and Heller sold in 1/72 for WWI and II stuff, and modestly explored the 1/25 - 1/72 armor offerings before I gave it all up for girls, hockey, college, war, jobs and family - you know, LIFE!

One day back late in 2008 I almost literally crashed into the local plastic model show being held one Sat afternoon in town. Never knew we had a club nor hosted an annual show before that! Stepped in, and was floored by the really awesome stuff on the tables. Checked the vendors (last time I had even handled a kit box was ca 1975...) and saw the extraordinary stuff now available. I stupidly bought a Dragon tank kit on a whim, looked inside and fondled the many many sprues, and got re-hooked on the hobby! It's like a heroin junkie trying to shake his monkey off finding a "nice" new needle-full one day! Joined the club, bought WAY too many kits and do-dads and stuff, started building, won a few prizes, ran a few and judged a lot of shows, and shared a certain amount of my interest with others on numerous model sites.

ALL of the paints, cement, kits, building and painting practices, available AM goodies and new decals, and the available heaps of info and guys willing to share info and ideas was a huge change from what things were like when I put away the Testor's glue tube! The hobby has changed indeed. One really big new "accessory" is the advent of internet sets like THIS one - that, and the ability to readily share photos of stuff, ideas on techniques and answers to the myriad questions, etc.

Enjoy and have lots of FUN!

Oh, and PS: I NEVER feel like the "Lone (St)ranger" - there's lots of us goofy old styrene junkies and model fans around - you just have to gently poke in the dusty corners and bins a bit to stir us hornets up!

Bob
SdAufKla
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Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 02:33 AM UTC

Quoted Text

While we're on the subject, anybody know if the Pz IV E had glass for the driver? Or was it just the periscope?

Pardon the slight threadjack

Kimmo



Yes, Kimmo, there was a glass block for the driver on the Pz IV E.

The Fahrsehklappe 60 (60 being the thickness of the armor it was designed for) and the later Fahrsehklappe 80 both used replaceable armored glass blocks for the drivers of Pz IV's.

This direct vision type of system with armored glass and movable armored shutters was common to most German AFV's through the Tiger I and Panthers D and A. The main exceptions (there were others) being later Panthers and Tiger II series vehicles (which used periscopes only for the drivers).

Even the external viewing slits used on German armored cars and halftracks had internal armored glass blocks that could be replaced from inside the vehicle.

HTH,
Thudius
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Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 02:58 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

While we're on the subject, anybody know if the Pz IV E had glass for the driver? Or was it just the periscope?

Pardon the slight threadjack

Kimmo



Yes, Kimmo, there was a glass block for the driver on the Pz IV E.

The Fahrsehklappe 60 (60 being the thickness of the armor it was designed for) and the later Fahrsehklappe 80 both used replaceable armored glass blocks for the drivers of Pz IV's.

This direct vision type of system with armored glass and movable armored shutters was common to most German AFV's through the Tiger I and Panthers D and A. The main exceptions (there were others) being later Panthers and Tiger II series vehicles (which used periscopes only for the drivers).

Even the external viewing slits used on German armored cars and halftracks had internal armored glass blocks that could be replaced from inside the vehicle.

HTH,



Thanks. I figured it would have to, strangely Dragon doesn't provide a block for the driver's station. And of course, my refs didn't clear up the issue any. So it would basically look the same as later versions just thinner? And that would also mean that the opening in the visor should be a rectangle instead of having rounded corners?

Kimmo
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Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 04:16 AM UTC
Hi Kimmo,

That's all correct - the same as the later driver's vision device just thinner - rectangular opening and a black metal frame around clear glass.

(AFAIK the actual glass blocks used were the same and only the levers and such were made to accommodate the thicker front armor although logic might suggest that thicker armored glass was also used for added protection.)

In so far as the discussion about the color (or lack there of) of the glass, I would submit these photos on David Byrden's website as instructive. Although these show periscopes, I would suggest that the lack of color in the glass suggests that the Germans made the optical devices for AFV's clear and that the "green" tint is a modeler's affectation based on circular discussions.

David Byrden::Panzer Short Vertical Periscope

Note how crystal clear the glass in these views is.

The slight tint imparted to clear model vision blocks or periscopes might be advantageous from a scale-lighting point of view (which I'm a proponent of) to add emphasis and contrast, but from a strict accuracy point, I don't believe it's correct. The few original items of WWII German optics that I've examined were all clear (except for the occasional effects of age which is mostly "yellowing" and not "greening").

FWIW, I personally paint my clear periscopes and vision blocks as described earlier - mask the faces, bright silver, then followed with the base color. Remove the masks after all else is done.

The Wildcat::V_2_N_1 "Painting Clear Parts"

(Scroll down to the feature article.)

Of course, painting solid colored plastic optical devices is totally a matter of aesthetic - what looks best to you. The Vallejo periscope paint color (Panzer Aces #309) is an interpretation of what glass reflecting blue sky might look like. I personally find it horrible looking, but that's just my opinion and preference. Other's think it looks great. (It certainly stands out...)

I prefer black with a horizontal blue highlight and several layers of clear. Of course, even that's just my own interpretation which I think creates an illusion of depth and reflected highlights.

You could easily substitute dark green with a green highlight to simulate the light reflection off of trees and grass.

Or, the Vallejo dark sky-blue color...

HTH,
ivanhoe6
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Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 04:37 AM UTC
Thanks Mike for the links ! I'm gonna give it a try on my next build.
Thudius
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Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 04:44 AM UTC
Ditto
gkedwards
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Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 12:30 PM UTC
Yes Bob, I am one of the gray/balding elders. I also took a vacation from the establishment in my younger days. I found my way back into the world of reality when I hit my late 20's early 30's. Almost the same scenario as yourself, parties, women, raising kids, although I flunked out of the higher edjecashon deal, I just couldn't sit still. I had to play Rock and Roll in those days... missed the war by a couple of months (but I would have gone, it's the way I am) I truly do still love my U.S.A. I bleed red white and blue.

I have a lot of time to fiddle with things these days, and that is one of the reasons that I got back into modeling. I sit for hours at a time and I don't have to worry about punching the clock anymore, my health left me several years ago, so now I have my models and my metal detector (and my wife) and of course the dogs too, .. can't forget them.

I think I might have opened up a big can of worms with my original question about the glass. I hope I haven't messed anybody up, with their builds. It's just something that was bugging me and I wanted to find out what the real answer was about the glass thing. These German war machines fascinate me, they were truly works of art, although they were very deadly works of art.

Oh,...and by the way, I was down in your territory back in May. We almost ate ourselves to death!! LOL

Greg
panzerbob01
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Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 04:30 PM UTC
Greg;

[quote]I think I might have opened up a big can of worms with my original question about the glass. I hope I haven't messed anybody up, with their builds. It's just something that was bugging me and I wanted to find out what the real answer was about the glass thing. These German war machines fascinate me, they were truly works of art, although they were very deadly works of art.[quote]

Fear NOT, friend! Info and getting more informed is always a good thing, and the arguments, experts, opinions, repetitions and expansions one may stir up here almost always interesting, even exciting! And I would hope about no one gets upset or messed-up in any way with their builds on account of any "historic revelations" - we are building models, and it's a hobby, not fighting a war or (I hope) seeking to be "right". While knowing some technical tidbit is good and may contribute to or refine some future effort, I would stay far away from letting new knowledge make me think my less-informed prior efforts were somehow now become less or inferior to what they were before the learning! But that's me, and I can readily see others are perhaps a bit more obsessed, perfectionist, and didactic! Some wiser sods have said somewheres that we are often our own worst critics!And how true, that!

War is H**L. I volunteered and I'm proud of having done my part, but I can say I frankly would have been glad to skip it and wish we all had done so. Friends went and came back in boxes or damaged, much treasure was spent, and much harm done to our society. But I also still love this place, and serve the people to this day (and for 1 more year)!

PS: I'm really no kind of native to LA - I'm really a mountain kid from northern AZ, and moving back for good in a year - but I can see how a guy could indeed eat himself to death down here... Me, too

Bob
gkedwards
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Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 - 06:47 AM UTC
Yep, Northern Arizona is good too. Went to Phoenix and Reno in the early '90s on a couple of parts and service seminars with Deere & Co. Rented a car and took a mobile trip up into the Sierra Nevadas, Truckee, and around Tahoe, Virginia City, and saw the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff etc. The locals laid out a Western style BBQ for all of us back in Tempe AZ. during the first trip. All of the mesquite cooked beef, and fixins' that we could hold, I had a blast ... (both times) lol!

Always wanted to go back and visit the Sierra's and the Desert again. I love the desolate wilderness areas, or what's left of it, it is a very spiritual experience. Good for the soul.

Take care Sir, and we will talk again soon.

Greg
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Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 - 05:13 AM UTC
What a great discussion and learning experience....I had no clue about German optic glass but now I know a little more than before!

People like you guys make the internet truely a learning curve but a very big curve it is...

Thanks for the replies and great info.....

I don't come here often enough but still in the hobby.

Take care guys....

Best regards, Paul
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Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 - 05:22 AM UTC
It's OK I still will use the Vallejo periscopes color, it still look nice and unless you bring an eye loop with you it hard to tell the error.