Tuesday 2 February 2016

Tinkering with... Panzerfehlspanzer III

There's a theme emerging here, another Early War command panzer, this time using Army Group North's Panzer III E. 

This is very much a work in progress and is more of a story board for the turret work. The chassis and rear deck will need modifying too!

Two turrets for comparison. As you can see I've drilled and chiselled out the two side hatches on the future command panzer.( note the tack commanders (TC) hatch hinges which cause me thought later...)

I've added some rudimentary hatch hinge bars in prep for adding some crew and hatches.

The crew are heavily modified Perry miniatures. I wish I'd taken pictures as it was some work to get them to this stage! Legs and heads chopped to assume the correct positioning of the torsos in the hatches. 

Some blank hatches have been added to see how they fit. I wanted a relaxed look for the crew, difficult to achieve when modifying metal!

View from the other side.

The torsos were drilled and the heads were pinned and reattached, this permits positioning at the right angles to make the "scene" work. I will add green stuff mods later, around the necks, and the legs, and to modify the TC's jacket into a panzer wrap. ( At this stage I've just removed the pockets as it was originally a DAK field jacket depicted, not correct for France)

At this point I added the commanders hatches, as you can see the fit was wrong with the hatches not sitting parallel as in my references, I was sure there wasn't any hatch stops to achieve this angle, time to muse......

Decided to crack on with the detailing on the hatches. As I always point out, this is not heavy-weight scale modelling, just enough detail to get the aesthetic.

So......regards the TC hatches,  I went back to my references, lucky the TC hatch hinges on the model are proud on the turret ring  (see earlier picture! this is excellent for glue purchase for a secure fit, ok for normal,  but not here for me) so essentially the hatches hinged open too far. This was resolved with new hatch blanks being made (much better representative thickness anyways, internal hatch details will be added later) and fixed at the correct hinge point (which is inside the ring), hey presto the ensemble fits!

I drilled the hole for the Kurbelmast and added the extra turret roof fixtures (note Ive used a metal rod here for now, I will have a removable, brass extending tube affair by the time I've finished). 

I also decided to reposition the left crewman to take advantage of the new brass hatch handle, and with his arm to sit on the open, mast hatch cover.

I also added the hatch "stops" on the turret sides, I assume the forward hatch halfs lock into these? My only problem now is that this is one of three so some detailing will have to be duplicated! 
Still not sure what the raised dotted lines are depicting on the turret, not on my references, but i'm sure someone will come to the rescue, theres usually a devil in the details somewhere.....

The last shot shows it with the more developed Panzer 1 command, posted earlier, but now with a new TC figures, again from the Perry DAK TC set.

Remaining mods are:
a) dummy barrel and mg Mantlet
b) hull 2m antennaes, trays and visor repositioning
c) rear deck frame mast 
d) rear deck fittings, tow cables and probably a field mod stowage box.

This is quite a bit of work, and more than for a usual build but its for a "regular" , I'm sure it will be the "accent" piece on the table once finished, especially with 9 scale-metres of Kurbelmast! 

Coming up in the next week ...

- QRF Hips - Rotors or discs?
- 15mm Heer46
- 15mm "Allied" '46

Loads more on the cusp of finishing, now the weather is letting me back in the shed!

Current FOR SALE items

1/56 Weasel
Will update soon, contact me for details

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