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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
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Where did Tigers get their Zimmerit applied?
SpeedyJ
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 01:46 AM UTC
Hello Tiger Experts.
Question came up, where did early Tigers that served in, e.g. Tunisia, get their Zimmerit coating, if applied? Did the tanks went back to the Henschel Plants in Kassel for example, or was it possible to apply the paste in the field? Maybe it sounds stupid but I don't know, so I ask.

Kind regards,

Robert Jan
RLlockie
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 01:52 AM UTC
I don’t think any of the Tigers that went to Tunisia came back from there (not to German hands anyway) so that question would be academic.

It was normally a factory job (applied to Ferdinand during rework for example) but could be applied in a workshop. An example of the latter would be the Pz IIIs in Norway, for example, as production had ended by the time Zimmerit application started.
ericadeane
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 02:04 AM UTC
Robert is correct. None of the 31 Tigers sent to Tunisia were saved -- only two captured ones remained (one to the USA and one to the UK -- both of which survive today). There is no evidence of any Tigers that were issued being returned for repair/upgrade and having zimmerit applied to them.
SpeedyJ
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 02:18 AM UTC
Thanks for quick reply. From inquiry on several sites I understand, and is mentioned above the tanks went for checkups, re-equipment and general adjustments / upgrades. The logistics were pretty ok round 42/43 so multiple movements were made using the railway network to Germany. Is it reasonable to set a diorama with returning Tigers from Italy, again example given on a transport to Kassel?
Another question that came up is when the Tigers leave the factory. Was the paint scheme for specific theatre painted, or did they have the basic scheme that applied for the time, like the base yellow, and were field adjustments done at the scene?

Kind regards,

Robert Jan
Bravo1102
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 04:53 AM UTC
In 1942 and 1943 the shipments of Tigers were nearly all one way to the front from the factory. Most tanks of that period were not returned to Germany unless the whole unit was going for refit. Tiger battalions were forming in that period not refitting. If a tank needed maintenance it was done at the front going up the unit echelons.

At this time tanks were camouflage painted at unit even crew level. There was field zimmerit application by unit maintenance units.

The trip to Tunisia was one way. Whatever Tigers were in Sicily was the stuff that didn't make it to Tunisia. The battalions in Italy generally were not formed until after the introduction of mid and late production types which had zimmerit from the factory.

Some of the modifications specific to Tunisian Tigers were carried out at the unit level.

There were a handful that were sent back from the Russian front to the factory usually when the units came off the line for refit.

Or so I've read.
Byrden
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 07:08 AM UTC
Some fun facts:

No Tigers in Africa got Zimmerit.

No Tigers returned from Africa to Germany except for the 2.company commander's tank, which spent time in Germany postwar.

The word "early" is now used to refer to Tigers with the original turret design. Production of these Tigers ended before Zimmerit was used. A few of them were given the paste later, probably in training schools. They would end up on one front or another eventually.

At the end of the Tiger's production run, the last batch were all complete rebuilds of returned tanks, and they got Zimmerit. This surely happened to some rebuilds at earlier times also.

I believe that the Tigers left the factory with only one base colour applied, but I'm not sure this was always the case.

David

panamadan
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 08:45 AM UTC
So, at what point in the production process did the vehicles receive the zimmerit?
Dan
GeraldOwens
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 10:07 AM UTC

Quoted Text

So, at what point in the production process did the vehicles receive the zimmerit?
Dan


After the application of primer, before the Dunkelgelb base coat.
panamadan
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 10:59 AM UTC
Thanks-what color is it before painted?
Dan
brekinapez
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 01:31 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks-what color is it before painted?
Dan



Are you referring to the unpainted color of the zimmerit itself?
panamadan
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 02:29 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Thanks-what color is it before painted?
Dan



Are you referring to the unpainted color of the zimmerit itself?


yes
Ringleheim
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 02:42 PM UTC
There is a Panther gun mantlet at the Deutsches Panzermuseum with a chunk of its zimmerit peeled off.

The Zimmerit material itself is sort of an off-white color, kind of an almond sort of color. Or maybe a "light sand brown" of sorts.

panamadan
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 03:18 PM UTC
thanks all!
Dan
brekinapez
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 03:44 PM UTC
Zimmerit was made from:

40% barium sulfate and 10% zinc sulfide; these two mixed into a white compound. It is water insoluble; which is good since you don't want it to melt off in the first rain shower. Then, mixed with 25% PVA glue (white school glue) and 15% ochre pigment which gave it an earth-tone color and turned it into a paste. The remaining 10% is sawdust as a binding agent and to add strength.

Basically, it was like making old-school bricks from mud and straw and smearing the mess all over the tank, then tidying it up.


SpeedyJ
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 05:10 PM UTC
Thanks for all the information. Now I have some basics to start my project for transport of Tigers on flatbeds.

Kind regards,

Robert Jan
165thspc
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Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 03:22 AM UTC
Since it seems this thread is drawing to a close with the Zimmerit question having been answered this seems a good spot for pose my King Tiger question.

Some years back I bought the Dragon Sd.Kfz.182 King Tiger (with Porsche Turret) kit. (#6189) It sat in my stash all these years but this past week it moved to the head of the line. Construction is now about 85% complete.

Only now do I notice that the box art shows the #114 King Tiger as having been covered in Zimmerit whereas the plastic model itself is of a non-Zimmerit Tiger.

Which is correct? What is Dragon up to?

I can purchase an after market Zimmerit set but I am afraid it is a little late to be applying the coating to the rear wall of the tank around the mufflers and all the other engine access plates and details.

Comments/guidence Please.
Frenchy
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Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 04:00 AM UTC
Looks like #114 (Oberstleutnant Alfred Rubbel, 1. Kompanien/schwere-Heers-Panzer-Abteilung 503) had Zimmerit :

Normandy, France. 16 July 1944 :







Related thread

H.P.
165thspc
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Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 04:14 AM UTC
Zimmerit has now been ordered.

Do not appreciate Dragon portraying a particular tank as one thing when in reality is was something else. Then they show it properly on the box art but one cannot build THAT tank given the materials in the enclosed kit.

I know, I know - happens all the time in the model industry.

p.s. Thanks Frenchy!
165thspc
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Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 04:31 AM UTC
Taking another tack to this problem:

I rather like the clean look of the Tiger without the Zimmerit. Perhaps it is new decals I should be ordering instead.

Could someone suggest other King Tigers with Porsche turrets I should be looking at that don't have Zimmerit? (Note; I am already committed to using the multi-part gun barrel.)
165thspc
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Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 04:42 AM UTC
Well I answered my own question at least in part.

Konigstiger #204 captured/abandoned near La Gleise.

brekinapez
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Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 04:57 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Well I answered my own question at least in part.

Konigstiger #204 captured/abandoned near La Gleise.




You know the KT pictured has the production turret, right?
Kelley
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Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 05:33 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Could someone suggest other King Tigers with Porsche turrets I should be looking at that don't have Zimmerit? (Note; I am already committed to using the multi-part gun barrel.)



All "Porsche" turret Tiger II's were manufactured during the time frame when zimmerit was applied. So if you want to model one of those and be accurate it should have zim.

Mike
panamadan
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Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 05:35 AM UTC
Although not 100% the same as the Dragon kit, this one doesn’t have zimmerit.
https://www.scalemates.com/kits/1114054-takom-2096-king-tiger
Dan
165thspc
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Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 05:40 AM UTC
No Shell I didn't.

Bad call on my part!

Oh well, the Zim appliqué is already ordered and on it's way.
165thspc
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Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 06:13 AM UTC
Current status on Dragon King Tiger construction (WIP).

Running gear complete. Tracks all painted & weathered. Tracks now 50% assembled.



Very happy with how the tracks and running gear turned out. I just hope I can do half as well with the super structure. I am not very good at doing airbrush camo.