Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Back to basics!

Hello out there!? My apologies for my protracted absence, usual kind of stuff, life and one thing and another!

 A change of plan on the next pasting project, as I already have a few of these under way! Can you guess what it is yet?  ...No prizes if you said Tiger 1!

I have three of these on the go presently, so it will give us all an opportunity to study the Tiger 1's distinctive Zimmerit patterns. We will look in depth at the application upon the many large areas that the paste was applied to, and reason as to why the pattern looks the way it does, with many different approaches and techniques of applying them.
Also with this opportunity, the differing turret and mantlet patters can be visited.

Here is a quick example of the 'Broader' turret pattern applied using a scavenged gear from a venetian blinds inertia mechanism.

 Hope this whets the appetite? Back soon, and thanks for the continued interest... Phil

Monday, 6 December 2010

Time to send this one over!

 Hello again! ...Are you still there? Sorry for the massive void between updates, there is always one thing and another recently!
 Well with the Mantlet, Kugelblende and Turret rear completed, I think that it is about time this Tiger was 'shunted' over to the other blog 'Barkmann's Corner' for it's final finishing touches... Allowing us the chance to get pasting once again here on 'Zimmerit... It!

As you can see, I could not resist having a look at the Turret's Zimmerit pattern with a little paint upon it. I am moderately happy with the look of it.
 On the whole my experience using the Aves Magic Sculpt, was not as plain sailing as I thought it would have been! I find it a little soft with an awkward curing cycle, as well as a lower level of adhesion that I am used to with other mediums. Another negative for me with this time of two part epoxy putty is it solubility with water, this in my opinion takes away the best lubricant known to 'pasters'! Too much and you run the risk of slurry, adding oil or talcum powder, also creates problems for the way I apply the putty. I will try the sheet rolled method at some point, when I finish the 'factory style' application procedure with various mediums.

 Back soon! ...Panther or Tiger 1?You decide what is next upon the menu!

 Cheers Phil.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Eyes front... And rear!

Hello again Zimmfans!

 Well without pause, I think that is best that we get underway again... Don't you?
I am slowly 'finding my way' with the Aves Epoxy Sculpt, normally I use Tamiya Epoxy Putty Smooth, and this goes down onto the surface with a little more 'tack', and is 'stiffer' allowing a 'rolled' or 'imprinted' pattern to be put down instantly. The Aves is extremely soft, and needs some time to part cure, before you attempt to place a Zimmerit pattern into it. Another drawback with this medium (in my opinion!) is that being water soluble, this negates the liberal use of it as a 'lubricant' (the most harmless in modelling!)  during spreading the putty, and stopping 'grab' from the Zimmerit applicators.

 The turrets 'Glacis' face on the 'Porsche/Krupp' prototype turret, has a really attractive, near aerodynamic form to it, whilst the production series turret has a far more brutal blunt aspect. As mentioned above the characteristics of the turret in DML KT #6312, and the properties of the Aves putty, created a little difficulty in applying an even surface ready for the patterns imprinting.

 So to the pasting parlour then folks!

Spread to a thickness of around 0.5mm, the putty is left to cure a little, (around 45-90  minutes depending upon your local atmospherics!) when you fell that a 'workable' soft yet firm surface has been achieved, you can start imprinting the pattern.

 For this aspect of the turret, I used a 3mm flat headed screwdriver. It is essential that the imprinted pattern is pushed into the medium starting from the top and at an angle of around 45 degrees. Like so!

With a steady movement of the screwdriver head, you can now move onto the next column, slightly overlapping into the adjacent row.

If you look carefully, the outer edges of the pattern have been 'neatened' with a roller tool.

Now instantly moving onto the rear hull plate, I have decided that after looking at images of Zimmerited Tiger Ausf B's, a varied application of patterns can be seen, 'gear rolled' on the larger un-obstructed areas, and 'spatula' raised ridges around the access panels and obstructions. Once again, after the surface was roughened up a touch, the  Aves putty was spread and levelled with an artist's palette knife/spatula, to a desired depth of 0.5mm - 0.7mm, to avoid an overly deep 'messy' appearance to the pattern.

Right my fellow 'Panzer Pasters' it is onto the rear of the turret and the main gun's mantlet...

 Thanks for looking in again, Phil.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

2nd Pattern & 'Curious Marks'!

Well finally back at the pasting table! So without further procrastinations... Lets get the second type of Zimmerit pattern applied to the 'Posh Uber Panther' (sorry prototype 'Krupp' turreted Tiger Ausf B'

The 'Aves apoxy' was once more spread upon the roughened/sanded hull plates (Glacis, and hull side plates) with an artists palette knife, after pushing 'pea sized' lumps of the putty into the area you are pasting, to a depth of ideally 5-7mm. I have found that wetting the surface slightly aids the final smoothing process (you can leave the spread epoxy putty to cure for half an hour or so, thus aiding it's adhesion to the styrene, and removing some of it's 'softness' that will not aid the pattern being applied!), prior to the imprinting of the smaller ridges with the 'Lion Roar Zimmerit tool'. Take you time on this as, the pattern is generally uniform, with some narrower vertical columns where an obstacle has been encountered, or a correction in the angle slightly, to keep the rows fairly straight to the vertical aspects.
1: Pea sized lumps of putty applied.
2: Roughly applied with thumb and fingers!
3: Smoothed with Spatula/Palette knife.
4: Zimmerit applied with 'Lion Roar Tool'
                                                                            5: Sehr Gut!

Now the Glacis plate upon a lot of 'Royal Tigers' had these curious vertical 'tramlines' running down the plate, sometimes a couple and and occasionally four. It has been suggested that this was because of the need for ladders, so that the 'staff' could reach all of the Glacis Plate, when applying the Zimmerit. I am not altogether convinced on this, surely the fitting platforms and gantries could have been used, perhaps? But the one thing that leads my train of thought away from this view, is the actual pattern itself. When you look closely at this 'occurrence' on quite a few Konigstiger, you will see that the 'rolled' pattern of ridges have been 'dissected' with the applied vertical lines, and matches laterally to itself, and neighbouring columns. Rather than being re-applied over any 'missing' or flattened areas... Though in theory a ladder could have been used, if it was fitted with 'stand off' plates or vanes, that disrupted the pattern with minimal effect... But! When you look at the 'KT's' with four of these 'tramlines' they are seldom very regular in their placement... Different sized ladders maybe?(perhaps that is just an illusion or my 'tired' old eyes?) Or 'channels' to aid 'dispersion' of 'atmospherics' such as rain and melting snow, that could undermine any damage to the pattern, causing it to come away in huge chunks, (as can be seen on many Tiger 1's stationed on the 'Ostfront') aiding a field re-application, within a smaller area?  ...Well whatever they are, you can apply them by 'cutting' into the cured Zimmerit pattern with a blade, or impress them into the wet putty, if you did not forget to do so... Unlike myself!     

Once again study the pattern of the vehicle you are aiming to represent, and with a little time,practice and patience, I can guarantee you will get the look and feel that you desire. Think logically how the 'worker' when applying the Zimmerit in the factories, would have got around, obstacles etc... As I don't believe quality control were all that bothered with the aesthetics of the finished pattern, as long as it met the order for it's application.

 Well I had best get cracking on with the final pattern to be applied. This 'spatula' applied pattern was fount upon the Mantlet, the majority of the Rear Hull Plate, Kugelblende, and the Turret's Rear Plate, and Hatch!

 Thanks... Phil.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

First pattern on!

Welcome back everyone!

 In the recent past I have tended just to use Tamiya 'Smooth' Epoxy Putty... But with a thirst for new techniques, tools and mediums, forever driving my interest in Zimmerit, and it's application, relating to the final look of the vehicle, I have decided to try other 'putties' and materials despite being very happy with the Tamiya 'Smooth'. But I have noted that a lot of modellers are getting some outstanding results with the Aves Epoxy Putties. So why not give it a try?
As mentioned previously, for this build Aves 'Apoxie Sculpt' is being used. This two part epoxy putty coves in various sizes, that suit all pockets, and a few different shades to give the modeller/taxidermist/sculptor/repairer a choice of base colour or match to the item it is being applied to. I suppose in theory, I should have chosen a 'Yellow Ochre' variety, in order to give as true to life application as possible... But then I would have had to paint the AFV in a dark brown/black for the armour plate areas with a covering of 'Rot Oxid' prior to the Zimmerits application! And as a lot of my other builds are quite 'protracted' affairs, this Tiger will be built almost straight from the box. Before I continue, are there any major or minor detail areas that need refining? I know of the pry bar aperture on the engine bay access door/hatch, I was wondering about the Turret face gun sights... Did this later run of Krupp/Porsche Turreted Tiger B's have the binocular or monocular sight aperture?

 Right then without further ado' let us get to pasting! After a few experiments with the 'Apoxie Sculpt' I found that this epoxy putty is very soft, yet not overly tacky. It will adhere to an unprepared styrene surface, but it will ease the application if the surface it is to be applied to is 'roughened up' a little prior to the putty being spread.

Next mixing up a large pea sized lump of the 'Apoxie Sculpt' in equal parts, I split the lump into two 'petit pois' sized portions and began to work the putty onto the Turret's sides with my thumb and finger. A little water to 'moisten' the 'Apoxie Sculpt' helps this process.

When you have covered the area that is to receive the Zimmerit pattern, take a 'smoothing tool' of your choice, I tend to utilise 'Artists Palette Knives', but small craft spatulas, sculpting tools, and even cocktail sticks, can all be used in order to cajole the putty into an 'evenish' thin layer. Remember that on the actual vehicles that were given this protective surface coating, it was not overly applied in a heavy thick coat, due to weight concerns, and that the surface disruption caused to any 'magnetic mine/grenade was due to a combination of factors relating to the properties of the Zimmerit paste, and the patterns surface creating an 'awkward' adhesion' point, plus the effect that raising the paste in ridges/grids created a 'magnetic void' by not allowing the 'mines' magnets to make any firm contact with a 'ferrous' surface.

A little more water and work with your 'tool of choice' and you should easily be able to achieve the desired putty thickness of between 0.5-.08mm. Any thicker and you risk the creation of excess putty, causing build up on the patterns vertical columns.
When satisfied with your applied layer of putty... Go and put the kettle on, grab your 'gear roller', step back think about your references, any particular 'difficult' appear upon the surface that you might encounter... And you will be ready to start applying your Zimmerit Coating Pattern! ...If you wait for around half an hour, the putty will have very slightly 'hardened' upon the surface, making it easier to imprint the ridges into the 'Apoxie Sculpt' without removing any of the fresh extremely soft and tacky 'moistened' putty.

Start your application of your 'ridged pattern' at either end of the Turret side plate, by rolling with your thumb or finger the 'gear' in both up and down motions, overlapping the columns... This probably only relates to this particular pattern though, as I have not seen much pictorial evidence of such 'over-rolling' and 'meshing' of the pattern upon the smaller hull (and more commonly applied smaller Turret pattern upon the KT) applied ridges, only that the pattern would be a bit untidy around fixings mounted to the armour plates.
 Again check your final covering against your references,and when happy with your pattern... Put it aside to dry/cure.

So the first part of this three pattern application done.. Next up the hull!

Thank you all, for checking this Zimmerit blog out... Back real soon.

 Cheers Phil.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The Victim awaits!

Welcome back 'pasting pals' !

 Well the subject has been assembled ready for it's application of  Zimmerit. These KT's were huge eh? I think it puts into context how heavily protected yet fairly compact the Tiger 1 was.
Will you notice that I have opted for the 'Apoxie Sculpt' This is a two part Epoxy Putty, available in many colours, and in various sizes, it is a very malleable putty, quite soft with an average curing time. It is water soluble, but not as much as say... Milliput!
Also of note in the image above, is the holes drilled for the stowage and track hanging location points, these are re-drilled from the rear when the putty has hardened, so the clamps etc area of affixing can be cleared back to styrene, giving an easier time when gluing.

I have received a couple of e-mails I received have asked about how I will achieve the 'heavier' pattern often seen on the Turret of the Tiger 1, and very rarely on the surfaces of other vehicles. For this I have used in the past, the 'inertia gear' from a set of roller blinds or venetian blinds. These are located in the pull-string mechanism on the main housing of the blinds.

Though I hope to achieve a slightly less deep pattern on the 'Krupp' Porsche KT Turret, as I believe that it was not as heavily applied as it was upon the Tiger 1!
Here are a couple of images of a 'lighter' application of the 'broader' Kassel Turret Zimmerit pattern. To illustrate my view. Note the Very Early Mid Production Tiger 1, with a complete coating of the Broader Zimmerit Pattern, except for the Mantlets 'Spatula/Trowel' applied pattern! This would have been produced around August/September 1943... Right at the start of the 'Golden Age of Zimmerit'.

The hulls pattern will be realised with the fabulous 'Lion Roar Zimmerit application Tool.

Well without further ado' I'm off to the pasting table! ...Cheers Phil

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Voulenteers Needed!

Evening All!
 The first thing on the agenda is what AFV to give a Zimmerit coating to first? My intention is to attempt to cover all the vehicles and patterns encapsulated within the production window when Zimmerit was applied under the OKH order. Possibly with a little help from my friends?

 So after mulling over the possibilities for a willing victim... It's a Tiger! No shock there then? Though this is going to be a Tiger Ausf B, King Tiger, with the prototype Krupp turret... Okay commonly now known in error as the 'Porsche King Tiger'.

 The reason for choosing this vehicle for a pasting, is it's pattern. The KT that I have chosen is one from the 1st Kompanie of the Schwere Panzer Abteilung 503 in Normandy, this particular vehicle has a horizontal ridged pattern applied to the hull and turret. ...Although this Big Cat has the heavier, broader pattern applied to the turret, this is more commonly associated with the Tiger 1 Ausf E. it does have the 'standard' smaller ridged pattern usually applied on the turret coating the hull, and 'spatula/trowel ridges upon the turret face, mantlet, and turret rear.

There are a few more images of 'other' Krupp turreted s.Pz.Abt.503 KT's with the same pattern applied to the turret... But are they the same specimen?


 I just have to decide which medium to use now!

God I love the smell of Epoxy Putty first thing in the morning! Does anybody have any other suggestions for mediums that they have had satisfactory results with recreating Zimmerit patterns with?

Well I go and crack open the box and pots and see what I can conjure up!

Cheers Phil.