Every so often a new tool comes along that just catches my eye and I have to have it. Recently while perusing Armorama, I noticed a new announcement for a zimmerit tool produced by Lion Roar. I read over it and thought it could be a useful tool. A few weeks later while pawing through the cases at Colpar Hobbies in Aurora CO. I spied the Lion Roar tool and its companion set for more complex patterns. Kerplop, they went into the shopping basket.
As many of you know, applying zimmerit to your armor piece by hand can be plain tedious, if not down right frustrating. The putty won’t co-operate, you can’t get the pattern to look right etc, etc. Cavalier’s offerings of resin sheets were great, but they can be hard to find at times, and your particular subject might not be available. Add to this that they could be somewhat fragile if not handled correctly, or if applied a little askew you end up tearing them trying to reposition them, only adding to your frustration. I won’t even go into using a hot knife or other methods for applying the patterns. Well, in comes Lion Roar with their nifty little tool to help alleviate your zimmerit application woes. You still have to use some form of putty, but the tool does the, forgive the pun, lions share of the work.
what's in the box?
The basic tool consists of a heavy aluminium handle with a small recess cut into one end that has a locating pin and a threaded hole for a retaining screw, which in turn holds a small brass pounce-like wheel or a brass stamp with the same pattern on it. Why I didn’t think of inventing something like this several eons ago escapes me. It really is that simple.
The additional set I purchased contained four additional wheels and stamps including the always popular waffle pattern. Yeah baby! One of the wheels is narrower and features finer “teeth” than others which made me curious about it. After looking at the instruction sheet for a second or two, I found out it is for 1/48 offerings. I imagine you could even get away with using it for some 1/72 subjects as well. The instructions for use are pretty basic, but straight forward
- “The raw material for Zimmit is putty.”
- “Please use sand paper to burnish the surface of models kits at first.”
- “Lay the putty on the surface uniformly and roll after awhile.”
- “Before rolling, the roller should be smeared by adequate lubricant, such as water, Vaseline, and glycerin.”
I don’t know that I could expound on that much further. I would say that the putty should be applied in as thin a layer as possible for the best possible look. My test subject was just a small piece of .030 sheet I had lying around and I used Apoxy Sculpt as my putty. I pressed it out relatively thick as I wasn’t going for the “Scale” look, I just wanted to see what this tool could do and I used each wheel to see how the patterns looked. Being that I am a male, reading the instructions was a “No-go” and as a result, the putty stuck to the wheels and stamps after just a few passes. Reading is fundamental. Instead of water, or the other lubricants the instructions suggested, I went with my tried and true baby powder and things went smoothly after that. Once finished, and the putty dried, I had to add a wash to bring the patterns out for photographing. As you can see, the tool made short work of applying the patterns. It took longer to swap out the wheels/stamps than it did to actually make all of the test runs.
The only faults I have with this tool is the machining tolerances were so close on mine, I had to file some of stamps down a bit, and hog out the locating holes as I couldn’t get them to slide over the locating pin. That’s it! I can live with that. The tool is very well made. The other minus is this baby isn’t cheap, for both sets, it set me back $40 . The individual modeller will have to weigh that on an individual basis. It is a nice addition to the tool box though.
And just think, you can add zimmerit to whatever you like. Got a Sherman lying around not doing anything? Hook em’ up! Okay that’s just wrong, but you get the idea. Seriously though, if you like your German armor wearing more than a coat of paint and kill marks, look into this tool.
Thanks to my understanding wife for the loss of cash from my wallet-