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Brückenlegepanzer IVb on Panzer IV Ausf. D

built by Werner Kampfhofer (1:35)

 
 
Brückenlegepanzer IVb on Panzer IV Ausf. D
Towards the end of April 1940 a total of 20 bridge laying tanks IVb were available. They were based on Pz. Kw. IV Ausf. C ( 6 units ) and Pz.Kw. IV Ausf. D ( 14 units ). The bridge was 9 meters long. A lot of 4 tanks each was assigned to the 3rd bridge laying platoon of armored sapper companies in 1., 2., 3., 5. and 10. Panzer Division. The employment in Belgium and France was against the expectations.

Thus it has been decided on 3. June 1940 to cease the project and to have the remaining 16 vehicles rebuild into tanks. Nevertheless another batch of 4 Brückenlegepanzer IVc, with a 10 meters bridge, was built. They were employed within the 3. Panzer Division, during operation "Barbarossa" in June 1941.


Construction

I built the On-Track Models kit on commission. The challenge was to allow the vehicle to be displayed either in transport or deployed mode, a feature which has not been provided by OTM, as they offer only an either or version. But I will come to this later. For many modelers this is their oneiric kit, at least my euphoria about it has vanished during construction. The parts are made of brittle and smelly resin, the swarf had a negative impact on my skin and nasal mucosa. The sprue bushes are rather heavy and there is pretty much "flesh" to be removed also.

The parts used for the tank seem to be borrowed from Modelkasten and Tamiya's Panzer IV Ausf. H/J and even Ausf. D. In the later case these are e.g. the rear idlers, but the wrong ones, with the large hubs for the battery operated version have been chosen. Also the tools cannot hide a certain relationship to Tamiya's Panzer IV tool set. By the way, no photo etched parts are supplied! The casting of the bridge assembly is rather poor and requires a lot of deburring, some pieces were torn. The hard resin is not supporting the needful corrections.

If the kit would have been for my collection, I would have rebuilt many parts from sheet styrene. The enclosed Friul-Model tracks are not suitable as they represent a 40cm version, whilst a 36cm version is required. I could have exchanged the tracks, as I had some in my stock, but was too envious to do it. This was the wrong decision, as it was not only necessary to fit the drive sprockets, I also had to reduce the drive housing as otherwise the tracks would have overlapped the fenders.
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Apart from some fitting problems the construction of the running gear went smoothly, although I did not refer to the cartoon like instructions very often. Some fuzzy drawings and color prints of a finished model, that's not enough for a kit of this price range! Lacking additional information, I could only refer to Panzer Tracts 14, the assembly of the bridge, the support arm and the boom turned into a little nightmare. To keep the supporting stand moveable all hinges had to be drilled out, partly rebuilt and fed with a wire. For the frame which is stored under the bridge during traveling position, I had to add two rails which serve as guide and support.

I am not sure if this is in any relation to the real thing. Any hints are more than welcome! Due to bad molding I had to rebuild large areas of the boom. The boom has been brought into position with wire ropes, which were moved via cardan shaft driven guide rollers. As further benefit the bridge could be prised, but how this exactly worked, I have no clue at all! As I did not have the intention to implement such a drivetrain, which on the other hand would control the right tension of the wire ropes, it was time to sit back and think.

Making a few hinges moveable, displaying the bridge in either permeated or extended position is no problem, but to carry along the rig accordingly is a different cup of tea. I found the solution in the drawers of my mother in law, a piece of white rubber band, normally used by tailors. With this band it is possible to simulate the appropriate rigging with just a few grips.
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Painting

While there is less doubt about the basic color, Panzergrau, painting the bridge, in particular the crossbeams which built up the contact surface, is a little mystery. What are they made of? Wood? Metal? Were they painted at all? One solution I can give straightaway: the instructions do not loose a word on it. So I assumed that the bars are made of iron and have been painted in the vehicle color. I used Gunze Sangyo and Tamiya acrylics. Chipped paint was accomplished by using Valleyo Air light grey. There are a lot of dots to be applied..I used several oils and MIG powders for weathering. The decals are from several Verlinden dry-transfer sets.


Conclusion

I rather built another Mörser Karl from CMK than this beast!
 
 
 
 

Brückenlegepanzer IVb on Panzer IV Ausf. D (1:35)

 
  Model built by Werner Kampfhofer, photos taken by Wolfram Bradac  
     
 
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Brückenlegepanzer IVb Brückenlegepanzer IVb Brückenlegepanzer IVb Brückenlegepanzer IVb
Image 1   Image 2   Image 3   Image 4
             
Brückenlegepanzer IVb   Brückenlegepanzer IVb   Brückenlegepanzer IVb   Brückenlegepanzer IVb
Image 5   Image 6   Image 7   Image 8
             
    Brückenlegepanzer IVb   Brückenlegepanzer IVb    
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(click the images to enlarge)
 
 
 
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  meet the modeler      
 

Werner Kampfhofer

     
         
  Hi, I am Werner Kampfhofer, born 1963-03-05 in Vienna. I live there with my wife, my son and currently 3 dogs. My modelling career started at the age of nine and a plane from airfix. What began sporadically, turned into manic over the years (that's at least the opinion of my wife).

My main focus are AFV in 1/35, without a historical limit and I have no objections against kits from other branches. I always try to get out the best of me and thus modelling is not fun for me anymore, it is work, but a work I enjoy.
  Werner Kampfhofer  
         
  Email:      
  Web:      
         
 
 
 
 
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This page:  GALLERY:Brückenlegepanzer IVb on Panzer IV Ausf. D (1:35), built by Werner Kampfhofer
was last modified on: Aug 01, 2004
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