We finished basic construction of the Aufbau and Motorabdeckung. So we had to take it all back apart. You can see the wreck above and identify all of the major components. Hopefully our disassembly is a little less destructive...
Behold the basic construction of the Panzer IV body. (Stuff under the Turret)
It took only about an hour to break the Panzer down into its basic components. After it was apart we stepped into the empty hull and it was like going back in time 4 months ago. A naked tub. Now there is a buttload of detail work to do. Time to make each of these parts complete.
With the aufbau off it was time to tip it up and do the chrome/nickel welds on the sides and underneath. Apparently the original final welding was done on a rotisserie. The side welds all have the look of being welded in a horizontal position. We don't have a rotisserie so we have to make due with the forklift.
After the welding was completed we set the aufbau up on stands where it will stay for awhile. It will be easier to work on it here than having to crawl inside a panzer. Now getting a screwdriver is no problem
More work on the Motorabdeckung rear panel. Added flanges for the motor cover doors, with all the nuance. Actually this rear panel is about 99% done.
Of course it takes the tapered specialty fasteners and lots of manipulation to make the small door work. The small door accesses a device that releases the cooling fan drive. With he fans being mounted on the top engine access door the linkage must be released to free the fan drive motors from the fan belt. That will be an adventure when it comes time to re-create that little gem.
We finished the swing arm bump stops. More work went into these bump stops than we anticipated. But we did make enough for three Panzer IVs. You know.... Just in case.... Do you agree that Tad looks like something out of the bar scene in the original "Star Wars"? And I do mean that in a complementary way.
Track Pins. One of the Facebook followers pointed out the hard truth that our new pins had some authenticity problems. It was true. So we had to re-work the pin. Now they match original pins much more closely.
More work on carving cast pieces. Not only the aufbau lifting hooks were needed but the little cast stops that are on every Panzer IV located on the tail just above the rear lifting hooks. They were a mystery to me until someone pointed out that one would need a stop for the lifting cables if the hull was to be lifted by an overhead crane. The lifting cables would crush the upper features on the top of the hull. The stops would be a block and the lifting cable could rest on them to prevent damage. Jon did a great job carving them even down to simulated casting parting lines.
The air intake and exhaust vent boxes need a lot of bells and whistles. We added several flanges that carry other accessories and added the sheet metal guides to direct airflow.
I am backed up on posting progress. We are further ahead than where this post leaves us. I always promise myself that I will post in more frequent chunks. Hopefully you will see another post sooner rather later. We'll see :-)