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Seeking Information on the Academy Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. H/J + Italian Panzer IV Image

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GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Seeking Information on the Academy Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. H/J + Italian Panzer IV Image
Posted by GAF on Friday, January 18, 2019 1:14 PM

Academy Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. H/J Kit # 13234

I thought I would turn to the most knowledgable group of armor people on the planet (a little smoozing first) to find out something about this kit.  I know it is a repop of an old Tamiya kit, and that there are better ones available, but you fight a war with what you've got, and this is what I've got.

What I need is a sort of list of things wrong with the kit (front fender, etc.) that maybe can be corrected with some scratch-building.  Maybe someone here can list some things, or point out a list somewhere that comments on the errors?  I may be able to fix some of the stuff (I'm not worried about the holes in the bottom of the chasis for the motor).  If anyone could help me out, I would appreciate it.

I'm planning a small diorama later this year using this old kit and am just gathering information.  Hopefully, it will look something like this, though it will be a Panzer IV instead of a Panzer V.

https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/germany/tanks-2-3/panther-tank/panzer-v-panther-italy/

Thanks!

Gary

 

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Friday, January 18, 2019 4:52 PM

I always liked that photo and thought it would make a good diorama. That said, I think that when you park your tank in a building with that much stuff covering it up, one may not need to worry about too many errors on the model.

I've got an old unbuilt Tamiya one in the stash, but I haven't taken the effort yet to figure out all of it's obvious problems. I guess that's why it's still in the box...

Lotta help, aren't I? Whistling

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Friday, January 18, 2019 5:08 PM

Ixion> No problem!  At least you looked.  Smile

Yes, I thought that picture was a good idea of what I was planning.  I wanted it in an Italian setting, early 1944.  I have some nice winter-time figures to place around, two rolling barrels so I thought a refueling diorama might be nice, instead of the reloading one shown in the picture.

Gary

 

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, January 18, 2019 5:28 PM

I’ve built their release of this kit with the schurzen many years back. Overall it is not a bad kit. Since this kit does not have that feature, that is one thing that you don’t have to worry about. But I would suggest some replacement tracks for a better look. That will likely include new sprockets to fit those tracks. Academy used to make some Panzer IV tracks that were ideal for this. You may want to replace the commanders AA gun, or leave it off. The kit Jerry cans are best replaced as well.

If you plan to depict this scene where the crew is reloading main gun rounds, Tamiya makes the perfect figure set for that...

 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Friday, January 18, 2019 5:33 PM

The schurzen are not to scale, but as Stik mentioned, I guess they aren't included on the Academy kit. The Tamiya ones are probably 3 inches thick if you do the math. A old Eduard PE set would probably be the first order of business, or just leave them off all together. The tool placements are all wonky; the axe, track tool, jack, shovel and cleaning rods all need to be relocated. If I had a scanner, I'd show you some drawings. Maybe I can cobble together some photos, but this will take some time and I need to throw dinner together soon. Smile Burger

Then again, I don't know if Academy fixed these problems or not?

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Friday, January 18, 2019 5:37 PM

Stik>  Thanks!  Unfortunately, I'm going to have to forgo all that, unless I can scratch-build it.  Money is rather tight, and for all that I could just buy a better kit!  Smile  I do appreciate you pointing out the problems.

NOTE: Donations of left-over spare parts will be appreciated!  Big SmileWink

Ixion> This particular kit has NO schurzen, so that problem is solved.  If there are any, they will have to be scratch-built.  Got any schematics or plans for those?  Smile

Did find a nice build review listing some of the things, so I'm making progress.

Gary

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Friday, January 18, 2019 10:01 PM

Just to clarify, I assume you are building this as an Ausf H? Even then, there are differences between early H and late, such as the straight or angled rear hull plates, muzzle brake, etc.

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Friday, January 18, 2019 10:18 PM

Ixion>  Well, I hope so!  The instructions actually say "Ausf. H" and nowhere mention the "J", so I'm a bit puzzled by the differences.  I have some research to do!  Let's not talk about zimmerit!  I'm going to assume that this one was produced before December of 1943, and place it in Italy in January/February of 1944.  I think that would be reasonable.

As to fenders, muzzle brakes, angles and view ports, well I'm just going to have to read up.

Good thing I don't plan on starting this until summer!

Gary

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Friday, January 18, 2019 10:56 PM

Let me guess, Academy's idea of total modifications from an Ausf H to an Ausf J involves changing the commander's hatch from 2-piece to one....Confused

Now that we have a time-line established, we can proceed to the nit-picking of details. Geeked Since this isn't a rush job, we can try our best to perform the sow's ear to silk purse maneuver, and hopefully stay within budget. While I have the resources available to help you with this endeavor, it's still a tricky business to catch all the changes. I'm signing off for the night, but I'll be back with some drawings later this weekend. 

Although I'm not sure how you plan to evade the Zimmerit issue. Sure, it's a PITA doing it old-school, but what are ya gonna to do? Blow more money than you spent on the kit to buy pre-made stuff that doesn't fit anyway? Personally, I find making scratch schurzen much more of a pain than doing Zimmerit, way too many fiddley brackets to build / align and too much feeding of the carpet monster....believe me, I've done it.

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Friday, January 18, 2019 11:08 PM

We can narrow it down even further, I think.  26th Panzer Division at Anzio, late January / early February 1944.  I think this one shown in March, 1944 would be close.

https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2015/11/30/26-panzer-division/

I can't make it out, but it doesn't appear to have zemmerit applied, though it does have the turret schurzen.  As I understand (and someone can tell me I'm mistaken), zemmerit began to be applied in November / December 1943.  A Panzer IV Ausf. H without it in early 1944 would not be unusual... maybe.

Anyway, I look forward to any information you may supply!  Thanks!

Gary

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Saturday, January 19, 2019 12:22 AM

Zimmerit application began in Sept. 1943 and ran to Sept. 1944. Ausf H production began in the first days of May, 1943, so you have 4 months of Ausf H production without Zimmerit. The photo you posted is a early Ausf H, as evident by the bolted-on 30mm armor on the hull and repositioned antenna. It doesn't appear to have Zimmerit. A large, but grainy photo of this vehicle can be found on page 141 of Jentz's Panzer Truppen, Vol II., The fahrgestellnummer is visible just to the left of the hull MG and appears to be 85384, which is of great help in identifying it's production date, assuming I have that info somewhere and that I can find it. Dunce which I should.

Too much mud to determine the type of drive sprocket, the kit comes with the later type. It doesn't appear to have had the additional air filter canisters fitted either. The side hull vision ports have been deleted, which was supposed to have begun in Sept. 1943, (the kit includes them, so leave them off), yet no Zimmerit, which began in September....Hmm

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Saturday, January 19, 2019 9:49 AM

Ixion> Ah, that's good info!  I do have to ask about the date of "zimmerit" application, though.  The sources I've found "online" give a date of November / December 1943, but place its discontinuation in Sept. 1944.  For instance:

http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/articles/tech/zimmerit-in-german-use/

Knowing that online sources can be suspect, do you have a source that places its use in Sept. '43?  Curious.

Gary 

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Saturday, January 19, 2019 12:37 PM

Yeah.... this is a can of worms. Dead

I'll start with the works of the esteemed Thomas Jentz and work downhill from there. On page 190 of Jentz's; Germany's Tiger Tanks, D.W.to Tiger I, Appendix F, note 4, he states that "Zimmerit application began in August 1943" (on Tiger I's at least). Then on page 61 of Jentz's; Germany's Panther Tank, The Quest for Combat Supremacy, footnote 4.3.2, he states; "Starting in September 1943, Zimmerit was applied at the factory...".

Walter Spielberger's; Sturmgeschutz & it's Variants, page 100, states; "MIAG started applying Zimmerit protective coating towards the end of September 1943." However; "For unknown reasons, perhaps due to time constraints, ALKETT delayed the application of Zimmerit until the end of November/beginning of December of 1943." "ALKETT also deviated from the instructions by creating "waffle" patterns in the Zimmerit." So there is the origin of the Nov/Dec start time, but only for ALKETT. Spielberger cites the actual order as: "O.K.H. (Ch H Rüst u. BdE), 23.12.1943 76g Nr. 16975/43 In 6 (Z/Ing)." Go ahead, try googling that one...Wink

Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson's Osprey book; Modelling the Late Panzerkampfwagen IV, page 32 states; "Zimmerit was an anti-magnetic mine compound applied to the vertical surfaces of some German armored vehicles from September 1943 until September 1944."

I doubt that all the assembly plants were supplied with the materials, tools and training at the same time, this would lead to a staggered start time for application to begin. The end date is firmly established by OKH order on Sept. 9th, 1944. 

I don't know what various websites use for references, since they don't usually bother listing them, but the authors I've quoted are some of the most respected in this field, especially Thomas Jentz. 

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Saturday, January 19, 2019 3:10 PM

Ixion>  Thanks again!  That does sound like a can of worms.  Rather hit or miss.  I have seem images of IVs with zimmerit applied only to the schurzen, and one photo claiming the zimmerit was field applied, so I'm just a bit "hmmm...".  I think I will skip the zimmerit at the moment (and maybe apply it only to the schurzen).  Or I may go ahead and completely cover the tank in mud.   Big Smile  Got time to consider the options, and discover more information.

Thanks for taking the time to relate all that data!

Gary

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Saturday, January 19, 2019 3:45 PM

Then there is the whole "Zimmerit on the schurzen" dates debate....not going there. Confused

The boss Hug has "voluntold" me for various spousal-like duties, so AFK for now...

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Saturday, January 19, 2019 9:49 PM

It took a little rummaging around to find it, but this is a early Ausf H, with the bolt-on 30mm armor plate, (June, 1943 production). Sorry about the crummy image quality, but I shot it with my phone under my desk lamp, then beat on it in Photoshop. Couldn't tell, huh? Huh? Oh well, it should be good enough for tool placement at least. Although our subject vehicle doesn't have the auxillary air filters as shown here. Perhaps they were scraped off in action or possibly never mounted in the first place. I was hoping that my copy of Panzer IV and it's Variants would have a time-line/fahrgestellnummer chart that would plot the design changes, but alas, it does not.

The publication that would have this information, but I don't own, is Panzer Tracts 4-3. But guess what? No need to buy it;

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missinglynx/panzer-tracts-no-4-3-panzer-h-j-again-t56839.html?sid=e66dc0c2f785fcfee0d6353913b3766b

And what else do we learn? Not even this publication is apparently free from errors, as the accompanying discusson reveals. Also note, according to this chart, our subject should have been fitted with the Filzbalg (sounds contagious) air filters, (see first entry under Aufbau). This means they were either removed by the crew/workshop, or lost in combat. Some sort of welded plug must therefore be present covering the resulting hole, although I'm not clear on how intakes entered the engine compartment.

A couple of other small items that are missing from the kit are the springs for the front mudflaps and the small reinforcing straps on the upper, inside edge of the front mudguards where they meet the hull, just above and rearward of the springs. One also needs to drill out the towing shackle on the rear and add the pin and retainer chain.

Here's a bit better resolution image of our subject;

 https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6a/Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-1986-013-06%2C_Italien%2C_Panzer_IV.jpg

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Sunday, January 20, 2019 5:15 AM

Ixion> That's a good list from Panzer Tracts, and I'll save it for later reference.  It's amusing to read the discussion on the rear brackets for the tracks.  It sounds like ecclesiastics arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin!  But that's okay, as it is these small details that get lost in history, and perhaps will never be completely resolved.

And that is a much better image of that particular Panzer IV.  I wonder if I could find that particular overpass on Google Earth?  Might be a frustrating search. Smile

My goal at this time is to try to fix the major errors on the kit, and try to keep the cost down.  I sort of like scratch building, although getting details right can be hit or miss without some sort of detailed plan or image.  In that regard, I've saved out this page with the 3d CAD images of Border's new Panzer IV model (its a G).  What wouldn't I give to have some good CAD drawings (I was a CAD operator for over 30 years).

http://www.themodellingnews.com/2018/10/more-panzer-phwoar-from-border-model.html

And thanks for the image of the Panzer IV top down view!  That will help locating things.  Not sure how useful this will be, but I found a "paper model" of the Panzer IV Ausf. H that can be used for templates (downloadable PDF file).  How accurate it is, I can't say.  The turret schurzen seems to be a later model (if I understand the time-line correctly).  Still, you go with what you've got!

https://papercraftsquare.wordpress.com/tag/panzer-iv/

Again, thanks for your help!  You've gone above and beyond!  No need to worry too much about looking for more stuff.  I'm still a ways off from starting, so there's plenty of time for research. Got to finish up a few other projects before I get to this one.

Gary

PS> Forgot about Sketchfab!  Found this Panzer IV model on there.  It may come in handy for making schurzen.

We'll see.

Gary

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Sunday, January 20, 2019 12:16 PM

I did think the argument over spare track placement was rather petty and amusing, as if this somehow invalidates the entire publication.

If I get really bored, I may actually have a chance at finding this overpass, although my resources on the 26th PzDv. aren't exact plentiful. I'm pretty sure this is a railroad overpass, and knowing the areas where the 26th were operational, it's not a impossible task to find it. Here is a very similar one near Anzio;

But then again, it probably was replaced long ago. Somewhat surprising this one was still standing for when this photo was taken.

I get the feeling I've reached TMI overload. But if there's anything else you might need, just ask. I'm glad to be of assistance.  

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Sunday, January 20, 2019 7:05 PM

Ixion> My thanks!  I appreciate you taking the time to educate me a bit.  Smile  There's never enough information, there's usually not enough!

Gary

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Rifle, CO. USA
Posted by M1GarandFan on Sunday, January 20, 2019 10:11 PM

Just fyi, and I may be wrong, but that picture appears to be what was called the "flyover" at Anzio.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, January 20, 2019 10:22 PM

M1GarandFan

Just fyi, and I may be wrong, but that picture appears to be what was called the "flyover" at Anzio.

 

Yes, I believe you are correct on that.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Sunday, January 20, 2019 10:38 PM

Ok, good to to know. But just to be clear, it is a railroad bridge?

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Monday, January 21, 2019 2:08 AM

To me it looks like an overpass.  The railroad appears to run through the left opening of the bridge (at least, to me).

Oh, and that image of the Panzer IV?  I took the time to look it up in the Bundesarchiv using the listed number.  It didn't have much information except that it was taken in Italy - Bruckenkopf Nettuno ("bridgehead" which I assume means battle line). Here's a link.

https://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/cross-search/search/_1548086110/

Upon studying that Panzer IV again, I must admit that it is a weather-worn, beaten up old tank!  The mud guards are torn and twisted and it's missing its left fender.  Its seen better days.  "Sunny Italy" has not been kind!

Gary

PS> Apparently this site does not like linking!

 

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, January 21, 2019 9:27 AM

Ixion

Ok, good to to know. But just to be clear, it is a railroad bridge?

 

I’d have to look it up in my books. All I do remember is that there was a serious fight there during one of the German counterattacks on the Anzio beachhead. It was a critical defensive position.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Monday, January 21, 2019 9:48 AM

It's a road overpass with a rail line and road underneath. I just looked at some other images of it. I was just hoping it was a railroad overpass because that would make finding it a bit easier, A search of "The flyover" Anzio, shows other shots, including this present day Google Earth view;

https://www.google.com/maps/place/04011+Campo+di+Carne+Province+of+Latina,+Italy/@41.5528957,12.6348944,358m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x1325980d3a630bd7:0x2896945ff52e8626!8m2!3d41.5398199!4d12.641716

So much for trying to compare this with 1944. Dead

I have to admit that I'm not up to speed on the Italian campaign, despite owning several books on it, including Kurowski's 550 page; Battleground Italy 1943-45, which I obviously haven't read... Dunce

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Monday, January 21, 2019 9:53 AM

I too checked the Anzio battlefield map and it shows that it was a road overpass.

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-A-Anzio/maps/USA-A-Anzio-10.jpg

Labeled "first overpass" on the left side of the map.  The railroad does run under the left-side tunnel.  It is quite possible that the shot of the Panzer IV is the "Flyover".

Gary

 

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Monday, January 21, 2019 10:00 AM

That our subject vehicle was photographed at "The Flyover", (as I now know it was called), crossed my mind too, although trying to prove this based on a single photo now seems dubious at best. Did 26th Pz. ever reach this spot? More research is required. Having a date on this photo would really help!

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Monday, January 21, 2019 10:38 AM

Found this online, a view of the Flyover at a later period.

Gary

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Monday, January 21, 2019 10:45 AM

A map on page 26 of Osprey's Anzio 1944, shows 26th Pz stationed to the east of Cisterna on Feb 1, 1944, about 10-12 miles ENE of The Flyover, also called the "First Overpass." 

 

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Monday, January 21, 2019 11:00 AM

I will say that it appears the brick work on the Flyover and the overpass in the Panzer IV photo are different, so I would say the Panzer IV photo was taken elsewhere.  Similar design, however.  That Google 3d view is interesting, and allowed me to look around the bridge as it appears in more recent times.

Gary

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