Tuesday, November 27, 2012

King Tiger Build Proper-Zimmerits with or without

This is the continuation of my King Tiger build proper (see related posts below) which was my very first scale model kit build EVER. The build is presented chronologically guided by questions I had in mind as I progressed with the build with some representative (amateurish) digital pictures.

2. Zimmerits- with or without

Zimmerit was a non-magnetic coating produced for German armored fighting vehicles during World War II for the purpose of combating magnetically attached anti-tank mines like the British "Clam" experimental ordnance. 
Close view of Zimmerit on the glacis of a Tiger II
It was developed by the German company Chemische Werke Zimmer AG.The coating was a barrier that prevented direct contact of magnetic mines with metal surfaces of vehicles. It was normally ridged to increase overall thickness. The magnetostatic field decreases very rapidly, with the cube of distance; the non-magnetic coating holds the magnet of the mine too far from the steel of of the vehicle for it to adhere.

My earlier post on the Captured King Tiger Project (see My King Tiger (KT) Build Proper: Kit Inventory and General Planning) shows a KT with Zimmerits which I planned to do. When I bought the KT kit, I never had an idea that the word Zimmerit in model building causes much fear for modelers of WW2 German armour! I was actually discouraged by some members of my local IPMS forum to make the zimmerits myself considering that I was a newbie and that the KT will be my very first kit ever. I was told that there were kits with already preformed zimmerits in them which would facilitate the build but unfortunately the kit series I bought were the more "challenging" ones where the modeler will be the one to create the zimmerit itself. Since the KT kit was already bought, I decided to go on with the build after much research especially on the added zimmerit challenge. 

My main Zimmerit guide is Mikey's Modeling Pages on Applying Zimmerit by Paul A. Owen. I will make a separate blog post on the application of the zimmerit proper to save space in this post. Enough to say that I tried to follow the 'Putty Texturing" and the "Putty Raking -The Tamiya Method" techniques mentioned in the  literature. For both techniques, Model putty is  applied on the tank surface and the difference is on how the the zimmerit pattern is applied: for Putty Texturing method the pattern is stamped with a trowel; for the Putty Raking  it is made by dragging a serrated tool across its' surface. 
Using a trowel perpendicular to the surface to gently press in the zimmerit ridge

Here is a brief description on how I did it:

Materials:   Tamiya Epoxy Putty Basic Type

                zim pattern  using a small pinion gear
 pinion gear zim pattern; not actual photo but similar to what I used
from zimmerit-it.blogspot.com
Repeating zimmerit application instructions per tank surface:
1. Smear a thin layer of Tamiya grey putty on a patch of hull (turret or whatever), let it set up for a few seconds.
2. Start pressing the zim pattern small pinion gear. Start from the top and work down making a vertical column, then move to the right for the next column etc. 
 pinion gear zim pattern application; not actual photo but similar to what I did
from zimmerit-it.blogspot.com
3. Do one side of a piece then set it aside to dry. 
4. Once dry, sand the zim a bit to knock off any putty chunks and to take the edge off the ridges.

Actual work done below: Not that pretty but I had lots of fun doing it!

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  1. Hiya! I can notice that you really understand what you are speaking about over here. Do you own a degree or maybe an education which is somehow related with the topic of the blog article? Thanks in advance for your answer.

  2. Hi Kevin. Thanks for the compliment. I do have a degree but is totally unrelated to this blog article or scale modelling in general. This is one of my hobbies which takes my mind away from my usual work..:-) I consider myself still a newbie on scale modelling that's why I go out of my way to learn/research as much as I can about the craft not only on the techniques but also the history behind my subjects. I guess I'm more of an obsessive compulsive (OC)that's why I try to get as much detail as I can with my hobby which I try to share through my blogs. :-)

    Thanks for the visit. Please feel free to join/subscribe to my site if you have time. There are other subjects also in this blog like Digital Photography, Volkswagen related, etc.- all about hobbies I'm presently interested on. I have two other blogs that are not "too serious" like the "ODD ORBIT" (http://adf.ly/BxUKm) and "Still the Best Medicine" (http://adf.ly/C4o57) which you can visit if you want.