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Dave Shaw

The Dreaded DML 6022 Panzer IV Ausf J

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Objective

My plan is to have a machine that fought in the fall of 1944 (late October) This will entail trying to sort out the differences between a late and mid production Ausf J because the kit I’ll use for the base will be the old Dragon 1/35 #6022, released in 1994. This was the original release of the Dragon Ausf J, which was for the late production variant.

Untitled-1-2.jpg

There is not an over abundance of information about this kit on the internet. It has taken weeks of searching every forum I could to find what I have about it. None of the following is of my own findings, but that of fellow modelers with more resources to their disposal. I am just trying to convey the main consensus of opinion.

The findings

It is likely that the kit was based on an incorrect Museum Pz. Kpfw IV J reconstruction, which had incorrect fabrication of different features. It was unfortunate that Dragon picked this machine as the basis for their design of the kit.

The Turret

Untitled-4-2.jpg

There is a multi-bolted ring, like the commander's hatch of a Jagdtiger, on the museum specimen between the commander's cupola and the turret-roof. Some where along the line this tank must have had its cupola removed and reinstalled using that bolted spacing ring. The cupola has been welded on to the spacing ring, the welds of which do not appear to match any other weld marks on the tank. Dragon followed suit with this odd set up, making the copula sit high on top of the turret in a strange looking manner. Speaking of welding seams, the kit lacks even rudimentary weld details anywhere. The kit’s cupola was molded with the vision ports closed, this is not necessarily wrong, but it is more common to see them open. The hatch is also of the late swiveling style which I’ll need to convert to the hinged type. The side doors are solid one piece non opening affairs. I am not too concerned by this, because if opened, I’d need to detail the turret interior. The kit’s overall turret base length is about right, but the angle of the side plates, with the side hatch openings, and the curved rear plate is too far forward. This throws the other angles off. It is possible that the turret shell is a bit too tall as well, and the turret kasten (storage bin) may be under scale. The last two I am not going to mess with since the turret armor will not give a clear view of the turret anyway.

The Hull

The first all-original kit from DML (6022) had problems with the hull.

The Upper Hull

Untitled-3-2.jpg

The driver’s and co-driver’s hatches are too far forward on the kit part when compared with the drawings in Panzer Tracts 4-60, assuming the drawings are right.

The front armor panel was a scale 20 mm thick instead of 80 mm. The hull machine gun mount is poor but it’ll do for my needs. The driver’s vision port is closed, like the copula ports, this is not commonly seen.

The Lower Hull

Untitled-2-3.jpg

There' is a scale problem with the forward superstructure deck. The access hatch plates do not look to be in scale. The hinges for the final drive access hatches look too small. On the plus side the kit does offer the choice of using handles on the final drive access plates, as seen on very late production runs, or the vent hoods that are more common. The hoods are not mentioned in the instructions but they are in the kit. The shape of the mudguards are said to be based on the incorrect museum restoration, so the shape was wrong. The fender tread plate starts too far aft.

Untitled-6-2.jpg

To try and fix some of these issues, Shanghai Dragon then mated their parts with the lower hull and mudguards from the Gunze Sangyo Panzer IV, the kit then became 6080. This “new†kit’s lower hull was a little better detailed and corrected the some of the shape issues. It was a great improvement, but the upper hull parts and turret were largely unchanged.

Conclusions to Plan

There may be more but these are the most talked about issues that this kit has without going into the limitations of molding techniques of the era that it was produced.

At this point one might ask why go to all the trouble of building this kit since the arrival of the new “Smart Kit†or Tamiya’s Ausf J? The answer is simple, this is what I have and could afford at this moment in time. Trust me… I would much rather have the Smart Kit.

Pressing on with this project. I will try to make improvements in the kits appearance, not corrections to flaws. I have no drawings or books to work from so all of my references will be taken from the internet.

The front lower hull I have built up with sheet stock to give it the 80mm armor plate.

Untitled-11.jpg

Untitled-12.jpg

I think this looks much better.

I cut out the added plate on top of the turret.

Untitled-9-1.jpg

Untitled-10.jpg

Now the copula doesn’t look odd sitting up so high on the turret.

I have made a new top deck for the forward upper hull.

Untitled-8-1.jpg

Now… Dare I go through with it? If I do the next part there will be no turning back… *GULP!*

Well that’s it for now… Let me know what you think, save for the cracks on my sanity.

Dave Shaw

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I don't have a clue in what the heck I’m doing but I am doing it.

newdeck.jpg

newdeck2.jpg

Well I got the new deck on, got a little clean up to do yet.

weld.jpg

I started to add weld seams.

newangle.jpg

newangle2.jpg

I modified the first fender. Here you cans see the difference.

brakeplates.jpg

I have re-scribed the brake access plates, still not finished.

asis.jpg

Once I get the front of the hull done I should be able to make some real progress.

Dave Shaw

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Dave,

I think you have done a great job so far...like what you have done to the upper deck

and the scribing looks VERY GOOD...

I think you have mastered the art and I am sure to be back to look ...

I think I have seen these Panzers used in old war movies,

keep up the good work...

HOLMES :salute:

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I’m slowly gaining ground.

almostdeck.jpg

I have just about got the front deck to where I want it. I have the plates rescribed and the bolts on the transmission plate.

GUNEXTENDED.jpg

I cut the barrel of the gun tube and extended it with plastic rod and built it up with Milliput. I lightly chucked it in my cordless drill and turned it down with sandpaper.

REDONEGUN.jpg

I drilled out the base of the gun tube so now the gun tube it self slides into it as it should.

MOREWELDS.jpg

I’ve been adding more weld seams. I think I done adding them to the turret.

ringbolts.jpg

I have added bolts to the outside of the ring around the copula.

armorstart.jpg

Though I have no plans to overhaul the turret itself I am going to have a go at the turret armor. Just getting started here.

closer.jpg

That’s it for now, I think It’s starting to look more like a Panzer now. Let me know what you think…

Dave Shaw

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Dave..

I think it is looking tremendoulsy SUPERB...Love the bolts etc...great workmanship...

Hope to see more ..Kep up the good work

HOLMES :) :monkeydance:

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Go ahead,blame me again for this sudden case of ARCSE (Acute Rivet Counters Syndrome Expertitis) :taunt: Great work,hope to learn more from you!

HEY HEY HEY! You ain’t no count for all that name callin! I couldn’t possibly have ARCSE. I don’t even have a drawing of this beast. :shoot: I have been using only my MK I eyeball. (Isn’t denial a sure sign? :blink:) Anyway that doesn’t matter, it is YOUR FAULT and we ALL know it. No use trying to say it ain’t. You just look and see what you done to me! :shoot: I jist don't know how you can even live with yerself...

So do you like it? :crying2:

Dave

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Dave,

I did the same thing about 10 years ago. It was a kitbash of the Dragon and Tamiya kits, along with a bunch of PE and scratchbuilt details. Here's a pic of how mine turned out.

IMG_1812.jpg

I am really looking forward to seeing how you make out, you are adding a bunch more detail then I did, so far it looks outstanding.

Regards,

John

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deckdone.jpg

deckside.jpg

It’s all in for the front deck now. The only thing left that I can do is paint it and hope for the best.

I am an FNG when it comes to PE, I gotta hand it to all you guys that live by the stuff. Geez, is it fiddly.

frontarmor.jpg

I didn’t like that the driver’s vision block was closed so I had to open it.

ballmount.jpg

I grinded out the back side of the MG mount with a round stone bit to fit a small plastic bead in place for the ball mount. I also had to add a shim to the front armor to get the 80mm of armor and I also had to shim the bottom of the plate as well.

LRhander.jpg

RRhanger.jpg

I got the rear turret armor brackets done so I just had to add the armor…

rearturretstart.jpg

… The armor being so thin got melted by the cement (too much) so that’s the putty drying there on the back.

Maybe I’ll get to the track by next week.

Dave Shaw

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Jeez Dave,

That is very impressive work there mate. I loved your front deck build. I built the DML Pz IV late J some time back but all I needed to do was add the field mod for the splash guards on the hatches. This is it..

PzIV06-1.jpg

Geoff

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Not too much to update, I have been cleaning up the wheels and track shoes… no fun. These are not the magic tracks. These had to be cut from the sprues. Chalk up another point for modern conveniences.

My evil plan was to temporarily fix the wheels in place with blue tack. This seems to have worked okay. I still can remove the tracks and wheels to paint.

rightflank.jpg

I didn’t have the rear turret armor on straight so I removed it. I’ll make a simple jig to keep it level when I reattach it and the other armor. I think it may be better to leave off the armor until after paint, since I will be doing the soft edge ambush scheme.

leftgutter.jpg

Turretscrews.jpg

To break up the monotony of that task I have added the rain gutters fashioned from thick foil, the screw heads on the turret. I still need to come up with the grab handles.

fenderbolts.jpg

rightgutter.jpg

I have also added a lot of bolt heads, knocking a few off as I go.

I can say one thing… this is the last time I’ll do such things to a kit if there is a better offering already available. I guess I can just say that I am getting some good training in on scratch detailing. I am about ready to just wrap up, with what I’ve got going, before I run out of steam with this project.

TANKLIKE.jpg

I know my little Ausf J is far from perfect but at least once it is done, it might make a modeler experienced with the Ausf J’s have to take a closer look to see which kit it was.

Dave Shaw

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Outstanding work, great scratch and attention to detail.

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By now the question has to be, “Has he come to his senses and given up on this silly endeavor?†The answer of course is… NOPE! I have slowed down as life has gotten in the way of my modeling but I have tried to squeeze in a bit here and there.

frontofbrackets.jpg

leftbrackets.jpg

Could there be painting in the near future? Since the last update some of what I have done has gone according to plan, some hasn’t. I got the hull armor brackets on without much trouble, it was just time consuming. The tools were no problem. I probably spent the most time doing clean up of the fore mentioned items.

leftarmor.jpg

I didn’t like the angle of the front turret armor brackets so I tore those off and repositioned them. I was going to try and modify the commander’s hatch to the earlier flip type but thought I have to get this thing off of my bench and on a shelf. I wanted a machine that would have been built before the Battle of Aachen but just had to let that go.

frontarmor-2.jpg

rightarmor.jpg

I have also been adding bolt heads everywhere. Not that it is a hard task, but punching them all out is tedious.

rearbolts.jpg

Yes, I am getting closer to painting. I am so close I can taste it. I did have to do a little painting, if you want to count the base coat on the tracks.

tracksandarmor.jpg

The next post should show the painting stage. The turret armor is only tacked on right now for the update, they still can be removed for painting.

Dave Shaw

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... and just like that, the project heads for the Closet of Doom. After a failed miserable attempt at fixing the tracks, the panzer is trackless. There was no way I could have lived with backwards track staring me in the face every time I looked at it.

*sigh*

If there is a bright side to this it is you can bet your life I will NEVER make that mistake again.

Dave Shaw out.

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Theres plenty of photo evidence out there showing panzer IVs running with the track both ways. SOmetimes either way on the same tank. I understand it something to do with getting more even wear out of the track cleat and more miles off them. Yes there is a "factory" way they should be but that gets thrown out in the field.

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You could be right on tracks being switched for wear but I ruined one of the tracks when I thought I could fix them. I would like to see those photos. The first thing I did was to try and find at least one war time photo that showed this before I tried to fix them. I did find two museum tanks where they had the on backwards.

The other option is of course AM track. My problem is I can not see paying twice what I paid for the kit on aftermarket track. How could I justify that when this model lacks the detail in other areas, even after all I have tried to do, it would kind of be like putting the most expensive highest performance racing tires on a Yugo. Sure it can be done but why do it?

That was before I found the affordable Tristar workable tracks. They are just what I need to keep going. They are mid production with open horns but what would be wrong with that? I got them ordered from Lucky Model yesterday so I should have the tank painted by the time they get here.

I can’t say that I am looking forward to getting the new track cleaned up and ready to go, but at least this project has been saved right from the very jaws of the closet of doom!

Dave Shaw

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Dave,

I will check my stash to see if I have at least an extra set of rubber band tracks, if not I am sure I have another set of individual track links that you can use to complete your build. I would like to see it finished being that you so close. I will get back to you by this weekend.

Regards,

Robert

You could be right on tracks being switched for wear but I ruined one of the tracks when I thought I could fix them. I would like to see those photos. The first thing I did was to try and find at least one war time photo that showed this before I tried to fix them. I did find two museum tanks where they had the on backwards.

The other option is of course AM track. My problem is I can not see paying twice what I paid for the kit on aftermarket track. How could I justify that when this model lacks the detail in other areas, even after all I have tried to do, it would kind of be like putting the most expensive highest performance racing tires on a Yugo. Sure it can be done but why do it?

That was before I found the affordable Tristar workable tracks. They are just what I need to keep going. They are mid production with open horns but what would be wrong with that? I got them ordered from Lucky Model yesterday so I should have the tank painted by the time they get here.

I can’t say that I am looking forward to getting the new track cleaned up and ready to go, but at least this project has been saved right from the very jaws of the closet of doom!

Dave Shaw

Edited by Ro-Gar Hobbies

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Robert,

I want to thank you for the offer on those tracks. That is most kind of you but I won’t need them. I already ordered the Tristar replacement tracks. They were within my defense budget.

Glad you have my back though.

Dave Shaw

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Robert,

I want to thank you for the offer on those tracks. That is most kind of you but I won’t need them. I already ordered the Tristar replacement tracks. They were within my defense budget.

Glad you have my back though.

Dave Shaw

Dave,

Ok, not problem. If you ever need anything, please feel free to contact me. I work in Tampa, so its not out of my way to deliver or meet up to get you something. By the way, have you ever been to the Pelican Meetings in St. Pete? We have our meetings at THE ARMED FORCES MILITARY MUSEUM in Largo on the 1st Tuesday of the month. Would like to have you bring some of your work. Here is a link to the club if your interested.

http://www.percongrp.com/pelikan.htm

Regards,

Robert

Edited by Ro-Gar Hobbies

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Now I’m seeing spots before my eyes!

This will be just a sneak peek with the paint job. Now that I have the base on, I need to fix a few things that broke loose before I can seal it up then get the wash on.

PAINTFRONT.jpg

pAINTLFRONT-3.jpg

I know I probably should have assembled the skirts before painting so I wouldn’t have to reload each color in the old airbrush again but I just couldn’t wait anymore.

PAINTTOP.jpg

PAINTTURRET.jpg

I still have not gotten the replacement track from Lucky Model yet. I am not too worried about that yet as I still have a way to go with painting and weathering.

PAINTCLOSE.jpg

PAINTREAR.jpg

So how do we like the ambush scheme? I don’t think I like it but it just says late war panzer to me.

Dave Shaw

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Looks GREAT to me. How long a wait on the replacements?

Thanks, They should be here soon, I'm told that they were shipped last Monday.

Dave

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It looks great to me. I think once you add a few washes and weathering, you will be very happy with results.

The Pz IVJ late version is my favorite of the entire IV family. However, I'm starting to get a yearning for that very nice looking Dragon H model with the molded on zimmerit. I saw a picture years ago of a IVH on the eastern front, loaded up w/ spare tracks, covered in a filthy white wash / mud and with a bunch of infantry on the back. Always thought that was a cool looking tank.

Keep posting those pictures, I am looking forward to seeing how this bad boy turns out.

Regards,

John

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Dave,

I like...No LOVE .. the "ambush " scheme.... it is flawlessly done and I am glad that you DID NOT give up on this as I

Like following this build.

I cannot wait to see the tracks being done ..Doing a geat Job Sir.

HOLMES :)

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Thanks fellas, it has been a rollercoaster ride for a while.

I am still working on it. I got the tracks last week. I have them assembled already. I am impressed with these Tristar tracks. They are nicely detailed and need minimal clean up. Though it would have been rare to see these tracks on an Ausf J, I am most happy with them and will order more for any earlier panzer IV chassis builds I do.

I have also been fiddling with the mesh skirts. I have all but one more main one to assemble which shouldn’t take too long… however, the kit does not supply frame work for the horizontal screens. I have to scratch those from styrene strips (finished one).

The other thing I have been messing around with is hinges for the turret armor doors. After some trial and error attempts I think I have come to a solution. One down, seven more to go… then of course the locking handles too. *sigh*

So it is coming along slowly.

I didn't mean that there was anything wrong with my ambush scheme, I meant the "real" soft edge ambush schemes look a little funny to me. What with the polka dots and all. At the same time I like how it turned out on the model because it captures the feel of a mid Ausf J.

I know one thing, I have got to get these skirts and doors done because it is KILLING me not being able to press on with the weathering!

Oh yeah, one more thing... I'm glad I didn't give up on it either.

Dave Shaw

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