Thursday, December 6, 2012

Zimmerit 2: Patterns and Scale Reproductions

Zimmerit patterns- general guide.

Different zimmeritt patterns were applied to certain vehicles which may be due to preferences at particular plants. 

Ridged Pattern (Most prevalent)

Panther Pattern

StuG III Pattern

StuG IV Pattern

Early Jagdpanther Pattern

Below are common patterns for some vehicle types noted by the Paul A. Owen:
Vehicle Name
All but early
Not on Ferdinand
Not known if applied
Jagdpanzer (very early)
Early mantle vehicles only
Possibly on Porsche suspension vehicles
Kingtiger (early, mid)
All Porsche turrets and early Henschel
Panther D(late), A(all), G(early)
Vertical ridged with secondary cross-hatch
Ausf D rebuilds only
Pz III M, N (late
Very rare
Pz IV H(mid/late), J(early)
Sometimes on side skirts
PzIV L/70 (early)
Pz Jg IV Ausf F
Sutg III G (early, mid)
Stug IV (early, mid)
Ridged, "zigzag" on hull sides
Zimmerit left over from conversion
Tiger I (mid, late)
Raked on hull, ridged on turret
All late

Methods of Zimmerit Scale Reproduction.

Here is a list of selected methods from Paul’s article with their pros and cons.

A product from Australia made of latex material in sheets with the exact panels for a particular AFV kit moulded into them.

Pros: Easy and realistic.
Cons: Currently hard to find outside of Australia. Restricted to one pattern. Looks a little too thick.

Hot Knife Scribing Method

This employs a hot knife (with rheostat for temperature control) to scribe the zimmerit pattern into the kit parts. A pattern is drawn on the model as a guide and the zimmerit is melted into the surface following this pattern.

Pros: Free (assuming you have the tools.)
Cons: Pattern looks fake. Only one shot at a good pattern. Easy to the destroy model. Difficult to model damage zimmerit.

Injection Moulded Styrene Sheets
Dragon 1/35 Panther G with injection moulded Zimmerit
Italeri started this trend with the Panther Ausf. A with injection moulded zimmerit sheets and replacement parts. They are acceptable but should be thinned out by sanding from the back.

Pros: Easy to use. Readily available.
Cons: Expensive. Needs thinning out (at least Italeri parts do.) Need to modify for different vehicles.

Textured model putty method looks the best because it is replicates in scale the way Germans applied zimmerit to their AFVs'. It is not difficult as it sounds or as it’s described in literature. The application description follows in the next post.

Pros: The most realistic DIY method. Free!
Cons: Intimidating at first. Time consuming

Putty Raking - "The Tamiya Method"
This is similar to Putty Texturing method except the pattern is made by dragging a serrated tool across its' surface using a Tamiya set of tools (catalogue number 35187) specifically made for this purpose - hence "The Tamiya Method". DIY tools can be used including razor saws, corrugated metal, etc. The pattern produced looks good but fails to capture the true troweled pattern well. The method is perfect though for Tiger I's which received raked on zimmerit coats.

Dragging a serrated Tamiya zimmerit rake on a Brummbär scale model

Pros: The easiest and most fool proof of the DIY methods. Free!
Cons: Only accurate for "raked" pattern, as on Tiger I hulls.

Resin Replacement Parts
Resin Zimmerit set from Cavalier
Kirin, Cavalier and Accurate Armour have zimmerit kits for the popular kits (Tamiya Panthers and King Tigers.) While the patterns are good, they would require fixing up- removing molding lugs, filling in bubbles, etc. more than for other methods.

Pros: Perfect zimmerit representation (assuming the guy who did the master was good!)
Cons: Very expensive. Vehicle specific. Difficult to modify. Replacement kit parts often simplified.

This material is very similar to epoxy putty but is much softer and easier to work with. It is used in the same way as plastic putty in the Textured putty method. According to Paul, it is the best method available currently for simulating Zimmerit which is described in the next post. Zimmer-it Embossing Tools are used with putties such as above which are a set of patterned stamps. They can be used either as "combs" or "stamps" to texture the putty.
*Note: R & J Enterprises USA s used to make Zimm-it-rite but has discontinued this product according to their web site updated 27th May 2007.

Pros: Excellent material for use with the textured putty method, as it has a long working life and doesn't affect the plastic.
Cons: None.

Textured Paper Dinner Napkins

This is the best method for smaller scales, 1/48th, 1/72nd and 1/76th which was described in FineScale Modeler. It uses paper dinner napkins embossed with appropriate pattern cut up into roughly the shape needed and coated for strength; Paul used plastic goo (sprue dissolved in liquid cement) and Krazy Glue. The material is trimmed to exact size and glued to the model.

Pros: Almost free. Easy. Fun to use (I tried it and it was!)
Cons: Pattern may look soft. Restricted to one pattern.

These innovative, "quick fix" zimmerit sheets are embossed paper sheets which don't look convincing with patterns too indistinct. It is difficult to get the sheets (which do not stretch) to cover an area with compound curves (a surface which curves in more than one axis.The Tamiya sticker sheet enables easy reproduction of Zimmerit by simply applying the stickers on the Model and then painting a realistic Zimmerit effect 

Pros: Easy. Was the best "quick fix" method until Cavalier's Zimmerit came out.
Cons: Expensive. Difficult to fit to compound curves. Looks fake - too smooth.

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