Archive for May, 2015

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I have recently been doing a lot of reading

up on Zimmerit and the mystery surrounding its

limited time span of use.

Zimmerit was a non-magnetic coating produced for German AFV`s

during WW II for the purpose of combating magnetically attached

anti-tank mines. It was developed by the German company Chemische

Werke Zimmer AG and used from 1943-1944. It was basically a cement

type coating which provided small gaps and uneven ridges on the

outside of the tanks stopping magnetic mines being attached.

Strangely the Germans came up with the idea after inventing a

magnetic mine of their own(the Hafthohlladung 3 Mine) specially

to be used against tanks.

The picture below shows a Hafthohlladung courtesy of the

Bunderarchive.

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Unfortunately the Germans believed because

they had created such a mine the allies would surely follow and thus

the invention of zimmerit. In a strange irony the allies never did use

magnetic tank mines.

Zimmerit was applied to tanks as far as I`m aware at the factory and

not in the field. The following description of how zimmerit is applied

is taken from various factual sources including the Haynes Tiger Tank manual,

Military Classic Vehicles, the Bovington archive and the Mike Gibb stug

restoration project.

Zimmerit was made from zinc sulphide, barium sulphate,pine saw dust,

PVA,peeble dust,ochre and pine crystals. The process involves dissolving

the pine crystals in a large quantity of benzene(which is highly flammable and I will come back

to this at a later stage). This creates a sticky golden liquid which

when added to the other ingredients helps the PVA adhere and harden.

Next you are required to trowl on the material to the AFV applying

ridges in a set pattern(they are a number of different patterns). Firstly

a 2mm layer is applied and then from 5cm away a blow lamp is

used to harden and burn off excess moisture. This results in

significant fires. 4 hours or more later a second 4mm layer is

added in the same way. As an example a Stug would require 100kg

of zimmerit to cover it correctly.

Once dry(at least 72hrs) the surface can be painted.

Below is a picture of the zimmerit found on Tiger II.

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This is zimmerit on a Stug III

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The German high command decided in 1944 to stop applying zimmerit

to AFV`s for various reasons. The obvious being it was not needed

as the allies did not use magnetic tank mines , plus is was costly

and time consuming. A further,discarded reason was that

there were reports coming back from the front that zimmerit was

flammable ?

This is the point that interested me in the subject to start

with and has been frowned apon by the military forums for years

and to me it seemed strange. If reports are coming back from front

line units that zimmerit is flammable and is burning up tanks why

disregard the theory point blank,which is what people have been

doing right up until Mike Gibb put people in the picture.

The key to the issue is the benzene and temperature. The application

of zimmerit as described above only works if its warm. If its cold a

number of issues occur. Cold weather stops the benzene from hardening

properly(this cannot be seen by the naked eye or by touch). This un-

hardened surface is then painted over and the paint locks into the benzene

which has not evaporated. The result is a AFV being sent out into combat

just waiting for a round to ignite the benzene!

Now add to the boiling pot that most of the reports are coming back from

the Eastern Front in 43-44 of zimmerit fires where the temperature is hitting

minus 40 in the winter. Plus Germany is losing the war so the need to rush

tanks out of the factory faster and faster creates a time bomb waiting to

ignite, literally.

A number of nations tested the flammable zimmerit theory after the war

and were unable to get it to burn but they were unaware of the application

problem in cold weather and most likely used a correctly applied zimmerit

vehicle that had seen action. We will never know ?

One other thing about zimmerit that was not intended but was a pleasant

surprise noticed by German and Allied tank commanders alike was its

camouflage characteristics . It naturally created an anti-shine to any

tank that had it and broke up the outline of the tank.

Below is a link to the Weald Foundation and Wheatcroft Collection that

restore AFV`s and collected and tested the info on the zimmerit :

http://www.thetankchannel.com/sdkfzstugiii.html

http://www.wheatcroftcollection.com/

Hope you liked the brief explanation on zimmerit and please get

in touch if you know of any extra information. Its always good

to learn a little more. I would be especially interested in

any information on field application of the stuff as there are

a few suggestions on the net about it but no solid proof as yet.

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Bovington Tank Museum

Posted: May 25, 2015 in Reviews, Wargaming, WW2
Tags: ,

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I decided to take the wife for a day out at the sea side

yesterday and it just so happened that the route

went right past a tank a museum so I had to have

a look. Yes your correct she didn’t believe that for

a second but it was worth a try.

Back to the subject in hand and what a fantastic tank

museum Bovington is. Its in deep dark Dorset and about 15mins

from the South coast so it was near the sea lol.

Now I have only posted up a select few pictures to give

you a taster but I must of taken 300 plus photos easy. Its

the boring photos that are the most important and interesting

to me the modeller. Tiny little things like different types of zimmerit and

the way it is applied ,how air intakes are aligned, the way wheels overlap

between tracks and tiny details that are left off 15mm models that I can add

myself.

Just looking at weld seams is interesting to somebody that

loves detail. You also you need to stand next to some tanks

to get a feel for the size and power of the thing(the Jagdtiger

would be a great example of a beast of a machine).

If you ever think of going its better than all the write ups.

Probably the best tank and AFV collection in the world plus they

have a fully working Tiger tank. Plus its only £13 to get it and

gives you a free entry for a year.

Other plus points are that they have an open day once a year called

“Tankfest” where the tanks are let out and strut their stuff and the

local wargaming club holds its wargaming events between the tanks.

Click on any picture to enlarge it.

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Sorry the pictures are all WW2, there are all periods

of tank covered at the museum.

One small word of warning, there

is a huge shop and its impossible not to buy something.

For my Infinity project I have been trying to get

the feel and atmosphere to a certain whaling station

called Leith in the South Atlantic. I have micro zoomed

in on a still standing building called the, ” The Managers

house” in an attempt to carry across some of the feel of the

place. Now its not exact(I am no expert scratch builder by a long

way) and I have used artistic licence but I hope its in the style

of Leith and what I trying to bring out in the terrain ?

The 1st picture below is the original picture of the “Managers

House”. All the pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them .

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It not yet totally finished and I have just placed it on

a bit of empty terrain to check its suitability. Eventually it

will be surrounded by scrap metal. Also all the roof sections

are easily removed so the interior is playable.

One thing I have learnt is that I take my hat off to scratch

builders as the amount of patience needed to build these things

is nearly beyond me lol.

Enjoy .

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I have wanted to make a Berge Panzer for some

time and decided on a Panzer III. Why a Panzer III,

well I had a spare FOW Panzer III that never got

built for Early War so it was ideal. Most 15mm

manufacturers already make a Bergepanzer but I

wanted to scratch build one myself.

Its was actually a straight forward build. All I

had to do was build a plasticard box to sit on the chassis

and a winch frame of some sort. I added a few spare

vehicle bits which any decent vehicle recovery unit

would have. I also used a bit of model ship chain, a

model ship pulley and ship rope for the winching gear. The

three crew are from various places.

Please note if you click on a picture it will enlarge.

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Hope you like it ?

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I have been playing around with backdrops for a

while now and I decided to take the plunge and

create one myself. So off I went with my trusty

SLR camera and found some French-ish looking

countryside(to be honest a hedge in England looks

just like a hedge in France) and snapped away.

I then paid a princely sum of £10 and got the

picture put onto Matte card.

The pictures below are the result. Beware they are

quite big photos and if you click on an image it

will enlarge.

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So how did I get on. To be critical the trees in lower

section are too large and I should of stood back

a bit when taking the photo. The Matte finish seemed

good and I was pleased with the size(300 x900).

Overall it looks fantastic, especially when its behind

your models. I have been to a couple of wargaming shows

this year and as of yet I have seen nothing as good as this

backdrop wise, if anything at all. If you go to a model

railway show they use them to great effect but it seems

wargamers are missing a trick.

Anyway hope you liked them and perhaps it will inspire

a few more people to have a go.

Time for change.

Posted: May 5, 2015 in Wargaming
Tags:

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For no other reason apart from a late spring clean I have

decided to change the name of my site to the ,

” The Model Warrior”. The old name linked me

to just 40k and I game and model right across

the wargaming spectrum.

So same service but new headed paper😀

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I have been concentrating on the rust and that is

where all my efforts have been going as to date.

Nothing is fixed in stone at this point and I`m

still moving bits around as I decide on what goes

where.

So far I have got the basic rust colour I wanted

sorted its just the fine detail that needs to be

completed.
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If I am happy with the rust effects nearer the end I will

do a quick tutorial on how to achieve it.

Like the small rusty bridge ? Can you guess whats it made of ?