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.


Friday, 4 June 2010

Let's get pasting!

Hello to one and all, and welcome to this blog! First off all, my thoughts and intentions upon what we can achieve on this open forum, a home if you like for all matters relating to Zimmerit, including, scale application, after market detail sets, tools, materials, and insight upon the actual substance, it's application procedures, and look, upon factory fresh AFV's, in the field, and wrecks... Something for everybody really! If any body has a question relating to Zimmerit, I will be more than happy to try an assist you with your enquiries. Also anyone who wishes to add too this lexicon (hopefully) of Zimmerit is more than welcome to. Maybe at some later point, it can be migrated to a site of it's own, making it a bit more open? Until then just feel free to drop me an email.

 Back later on today with the first post proper...  Cheers Phil!