Progress On Many Fronts - Week #9
We advanced the Reproduction Panzer IV Build on many fronts in week # 9. As we get hung up in one area we turn and make advances in another.
We kicked the can forward on the upper nose piece. We added the backing strip that holds the Transmission/differential access hatch and inserted the tapered screws. The screws are backed with typical 6 sided nuts.
Then the nuts were welded to the backing strip. This is 100% accurate, exactly following the original Vomag construction methods.
Finally, we get to attach the rain drip channel that was made a few weeks ago. The time has come…
Another trial fit so that we can admire the beauty. And much beauty there is…
Looks exactly like an original…exactly…do I sound boastful or proud? Maybe a little of both.
Yep ! It's just missing the big shiny fat weld to attach to the hull.
Love it! Remaining work are the latches for the brake access hatches and a small piece of conduit for the front left Bosch headlight. Also missing still is the pad to mount the odd fender brace on the right side.
Regarding the drive train, this PTO clutch housing will be re-purposed into our reversed bell housing. It will hold our clutch and provide a location to attach the transmission. The big central shaft you see here will be re-invented to receive the drive shaft from the backside and mount a flywheel on the inner side (seen here). The clutch will then mount to the flywheel in the normal way as if the flywheel were on an engine.
The bearings that can be seen here will support this shaft once the PTO bell housing is mounted firmly in the hull. It will act like a pillow block. I had to take the thing apart to see how it was constructed.
Mistakenly, I thought the shaft was pressed in and I broke the case trying to remove it. Durrrrr. So, now I know not to do that…and a replacement is on the way.
Jon got all 8 Bogie stations drilled and bolted. We can only access the holes on the sides of the hull for now. When the hull gets pulled out and flipped over we will drill the holes on the bottom.
The front and rear pair of laufrollenwagen get additional work on the hull’s inside. The central 4 simply bolt on without additional bracing on the inside.
We began to process more original pieces by soaking them in mild acid, scrubbing them down with soapy water and then glass bead blasting them. The end product looks like its painted with silver paint but that is actually the bead blasted steel ready for primer.
A little heat and a big hammer. After that treatment, the hinge worked just like new. From frozen to functional.
We fabricated a couple of sub-parts.
The above piece is a bizarre shaped brace that runs from the face of the fuel tank section and mounts up inside the aufbau. It has a crazy specific shape for no apparent reason. But, who are we to question???
Here we see the elusive “unicorn” Funker seat with hinge and strap base. Its true this one has seen better days… but its the real deal none the less. It takes an original item to accurately make a pattern and reproduce a copy. Ive reproduced items both with and without the original item in hand. The reproduction based on an actual piece is ALWAYS better than one take from inference, a photograph or scale model.
The hinge was the object of our affection just now. We will reproduce the whole seat soon. But some friends need a hinge so we knocked off a couple extras.
Next on the agenda is to make a replacement for the crazy frame looking reinforcement pieces that belongs in the front hull floor. The transmission mounts to this structure.
We have two examples that we can copy. The one on the left with the “lightening” (ha ha) holes is from an earlier ausf. H and the one on the right is from our Late ausf. J hull. We are going to copy the earlier pattern since we are reproducing an earlier J that has more H features. And it looks fancier. Maybe next week we will have something to show you.