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.