Saturday, 8 November 2014

Third Update (Factory production guide) finished

I have managed to finish and uploaded the latest Update to the "PzKpfwIV at the front" series. This update is a guide to factory differences through Ausf G and into early H production. For the first time the differences between vehicles produced by all three factories are described in detail. 

Click on the the cover image or the link below it to go to the Blurb website:













      PzKpfw IV at the front: UPDATE No3 - factory production guide (G) by from the collection of 8wheels-good
      Make Your Own Book

      PzKpfw IV at the front: UPDATE No3 - factory production guide (G) by from the collection of 8wheels-good
      Make Your Own Book
 I have also set it up as an ebook, which can be accessed through this link:

I have been able to identify a number of features that can enable a differentiation between vehicles of a similar time period. That is, if you can see certain elements you can now ascertain, with relative confidence whether the vehicle was build at the Krupp, Vomag or Nibelungen factory. These features range from new observations on small details to realigning features that were previously thought to be date specific alterations to factory specific styles instead.

The key to this research was an investigation into new and existing images of vehicles with their Fgst Nr (chassis number) visible (I have managed to gather 43 such example, 12 of which are documented photographically in the book) and relating them to a chart built around info on factory specific contracts, see this old post

I have split it into the following four periods:
Early F2(G) - where the differences are harder to spot (including info on long & bendy aerial deflector)
Mid G - where they become quite distinct (including new info on the implementation of changes to Bosch headlights, smoke candles, tool stowage and the new roof/cupola)
Late G - where other distinguishing feature are added (including diagram showing new info on schurzen variations)
Ending with a short intro to Very early H, which will conclude in a future update along with Ausf J.

This Update is longer than previous at 102 pages and now contains a total of 139 original period photos covering the early 1942 through to mid 1943. As usual the majority of them are previously unpublished. There are also 9 diagrams, three tables and multiple thumbnails introducing specific details in each of the chapters. 

The final appendix of the book covers applying this new information to modelling using the Dragon Ausf G kits. It includes three models of mid production Gs illustrated with 11 photos showing in detail how to accurately produce one from each factory from a similar time frame.

Stealing the Panzerwrecks style here are some of the questions answered in this Update:

How many ways can you mount a fire extinguisher? How many styles of long & bendy aerial deflector were there and who had an interim style between long & Bendy and short? Who mounted the short aerial deflector horizontally? What’s the difference between the mounts for gun cleaning rods? Who fitted their tracks backward? Who was last to mount Bosch headlights? When was the bar across tracklinks on the hull front first deleted and by whom? Who was first to mount smoke candles on the turret sides? Who plugged the hole for the smoke candles and when? What does field-applied turret schurzen look like? What distinguishes additional armour fitted in May? Only one factory actually fitted 3 track links to the rear plate, who was it? How do you distinguish between schurzen fitted by the different factories? Who was the last to fit S-hooks?

Overall I am extremely pleased with the brand new perspective this information gives a familiar old friend.