Its been forever since my last update. We have been working on pace but I have been neglectful at posting.... as you may have noticed.
After the glorious and heady aufbau achievement in last post we jumped back into detail work. Which is like wading along a muddy road advancing on Moscow in late fall 1941. Each step is a time sucking labor that doesn't gratify like the big parts of the build.
Rear of Hull
Like fools we hard welded on these pieces wrong. Thats that happens when any move is made without serious consideration. The bar should be perpendicular to the hull rear which is on a 10 degree slope. We welded it flat to the earth. Bummer!
Cant live with such a rookie mistake. Had to erase it. The bottom lips had to come off also. wasted a total of about 3 and days grinding.
This is the way it should look.
Here is the question of the day. Why do almost all WWII German vehicles have the bucket hanging on the tail? I have a theory. I think they were used as port-a-potties. If you were on station and had to poop, what else would you do? Bring in the bucket.... Better that than leaving the panzer, finding a spot and getting shot or putting the tank in danger in case of a surprise threat.
Here is our original Radioman's seat. Not in the best of shape but its a great pattern. Nasty frag hole in the back. Hopefully this was a controlled detonation to destroy an immobile panzer and not the result of a kill shot.
Radioman's Seat Back.
Fortunately we procured this original fold down radioman's seat back. When I got it it was a ball of rust, but with a little love we turned it into a functional seat back. After soaking it in mild acid this was a decent starting point.
Below: Se the finished Seat and Seat backrest installed. The seat folds forward and the backrest flips up to give access to the escape hatch and the radio power supply equipment. Looks odd being offset... but nothing on a panzer IV is symmetrical so why would this be any different. (Sneak preview of the drivers seat which needs some modification and completion.)
Muzzle Brake and Barrel tip.
First thing is to select the appropriate brake. We chose a mid production brake which would fit the timeframe of our panzer best. The barrel tip will provide the threads and locking ring. Both were in very good condition but had some rusting. But that rust was a bitch when it came to threading it on. Lots of work
Tow Cable Storage Hooks
Original Hook and Reproduction Hook. Placement of these hooks on the upper panel of the engine cover section often times will tell the tale of which of the three manufacturers built the subject panzer IV.
More work on the Driver's Visor
It all works like its supposed to. Now all thats left is the little door that holds in the glass block.
Ongoing development of the clutch. The clutch is moved away from the engine and attached to the gearbox up in the nose. The photos here show only one evolution. This still didn't work and had to go back to the machine shop. (spoiler alert... we did get it figured out and will be featured in a future post.)
This is the first of more installments on the restoration and fabrication of two of these units. Its a many part assembly that has a million little parts, springs, latches etc... These are the easy parts.
Now for the assembly to mount the gun and sight... thats a different story. We had portions of 3 or 4 originals. All pieces were rusted and damaged from explosions. We had to slice and dice and remanufacture in order to come up with one for each of the two panzer IV builds. The following photos only represent the beginning.
Ill try and get you caught up on the Panzer IV progress in the next couple weeks . Lots more to show you.