simon_manning wrote:is your vent the same as the small vent on my G
Thanks for commenting so I know atleast someone reads this saga.
Yes, this type of shroud was also in use for a Late Ausf G.
But maybe the type with 4 "bulbs" just as Tim has made them are more appropriate for the Late Ausf G but then at the end of the war everything was possible...
But now to something completely different...
Today the cast armored exhaust guards and pipes.
When I many moons ago heard that the Armortek Panther was to bee an Ausf G I decided to make my own as an early G.
That´s because my keen interest in WW2 is the period spring 44 until winter 44-45 and mainly the “zimmerit period”
Two mayor items was in need to have to convert the kit Late model to my desired Early.
New idlers and the early, cast Ausf G armored exhaust guards.
Two absolute must have and I was prepared to convert the kit parts alternative make new ones.
But my workshop is not that well equipped and metal casting is a blank paper on my cv to put it mild…
Thanks to this forum it was easy to get in contact with others sharing a desire for the early G.
Fellow hobbyist with better skills in metal work and workshops I can only dream about.
My US friend Bob Morey made the early guards cast in metal with a stunning result, absolute world class items and I can´t cheer them enough.
I am sure you all have seen them and can confirm my high thoughts about Bobs work.
One thing I wanted to add to them was the cast numbers/letters seen on the real thing.
As the rivetcounter I am I wanted the number/letters to correspond historically to an early Ausf G but that was easier said then done…
There is only one surviving early Ausf G with the correct cast guards left and that is the Houffalize Panther.
Every other now existing Panther Ausf G has the welded or the late cast guards
No good enough photo can be found on the net revealing what number/letters the Houffalize guards had but here the forum come to an aid again.
As I live high up in Sweden very, very far from Houffalize to go and have a look for myself our Belgian member Sven Strobbe came to my aid.
Also I have to mention another hobby friend not a member here but well known on other forum with the nick “rivetcounter”, Mark from UK now living in Brussels was also kindly assisting me in this research for the “truth”.
Here is now, thanks to Sven, for the first time a good photo of the Houffalize guards:
The 2 guards don´t have the same letter/number outfit so there was obviously a huge variation.
The left one with its 2 rows looks more interesting and that was my choice for both of my guards.
Also not that both “normal” and castle nuts was used at the 4 taped bolts and that only 2 / guard was used (left one for convoy light and the right one for starter crank bracket)
As to tiny nuts are in use here I had not small fingers enough to create castle nuts this time.
Don´t make much sense at a first glimpse but rotating it 180 degrees one can see the 2 rows are “CKC” and “712” with the “712” with insert plates.
As “CKC, 712” obviously never was on my 12SS #126 I went for “CKC, 713” and “CKC, 715”
Also I made the 4 bolts from M3 screws with M2,5 locking nuts cut out to look like castle nuts.
Added the circular top plate and changed the location for the bolt holes a bit.
The both exhaust guard positions at the rear plate are also in need for correction but more of that later.
And the exhaust pipes:
Looking at a real Panther one notice how thin the steel the pipes are made of.
Not thick as the King Tigers and there fore so often seen “banged up” taking a lot of punishment.
I wanted to have them with thin ends like that and bought some 9/16x0.014 brass tube to make the pipes from.
Well that was plan A but boy was I in for some disappointment…
Begun in all good faith heating and with a tool that was supposed to bring a nice curved bending them but I soon had to realize my skills in this wasn’t enough for this kind of metal work.
The tube thickness was simply to thin to be bent so time for plan B…
As mentioned before I am a happy owner of one of the outstanding aftermarket exhaust set from Bob.
Bob made nice looking curved ends from cast white metal but that comes with a price, the thickness is a bit too thick.
Yes it might be possible to remove some with Mr Dremel but then become too brittle for creating the “banged up” look.
Decided to cut of 3mm and make new ends from my by now badly damaged brass tubes.
Did also silver solder a brass pin to the part.
Superglue + Epoxy putty, some grinding and removing some material inside to have a smooth crossing between the brass and white metal.
Looking at the real thing one also notice the bending marks caused by the use of so thin thickness.
Made them with a small file.
Please note how the pipes were rusted all the way down including the coupling.
This photo is from the Saumur Ausf A frequently used running in shows at least 2 times/year.
I used “RUSTALL” + Mr Surfacer here to create the rust effect.
I know there are other techniques and products but wanted to try RUSTALL here.
Sadly it is a US product and can’t be sent by air according to new regulations.
But there is a way to go round it if the stuff is shipped without the diluted Alcohol for you to be added at arrival.
I did so and it worked but I found RUSTALL quite tricky to use at first as it is very important to let it dry between layers.
Well here is the end result:
Be kind to me as this was my first attempt top paint rust myself.
Everything will get weathered with the rest of the Panther in the end.
(will also bang up the pipes a bit more later on)
As always thanks for watching.