Google+ Panzerserra Bunker- Military Scale Models in 1/35 scale
Atenção - Attention:

A publicação de qualquer imagem ou informação referente ao nazismo, fascismo ou outros quaisquer regimes totalitários deve ser entendida como reprodução do rigor histórico e não como apologia a estes regimes, aos seus líderes ou aos seus símbolos.

The publication of any images or informations related to nazism, fascism or any other totalitarian regimes must be understood as the reproduction of historical accuracy and not as apology to these regimes, leaders or symbols.

sábado, 21 de outubro de 2017

M19 / M20 Diamond 6x4 tank transporter - under construction

      This is the M19/M20 Diamond T 980 tank transporter, one of the great engineering vehicles used by allies throughout WWII.

M19 Diamond tank transporter
carrying a Churchill Mk IV tank
Rhine, Germany - 1945.
      The M19 Tank Transporter (US supply catalog designation G159) was a heavy tank transporter system used in World War II and into the 1950s. It consisted of a 12ton 6x4 M20 Diamond T Model 980 truck and companion 12 wheel M9 trailer.
M20 6x4 Diamond T980 heavy truck
M9 12 wheel trailer

      Over 5.000 were produced, and employed by Allied armies throughout all theaters of war. It was superseded in the U.S. military by the M25 Tank Transporter during the war, but usefully redeployed in other tasks.
    It was superseded by the Thornycroft Antar in British service by the early 1950, though a few remained operational in units through 1971.
      Designed as a heavy prime mover for tank transporting, the hard-cab Diamond T 980 was the product of the Diamond T Company in Chicago. In 1940 the British Purchasing Commission, looking to equip the British Army with a vehicle capable of transporting larger and heavier tanks, approached a number of American truck manufacturers to assess their models. The Diamond T Company had a long history of building rugged, military vehicles for the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps and had recently produced a prototype heavy vehicle for the US Army which, with a few slight modifications met British requirements and an initial order for 200 was very quickly filled.
British Diamond T980 6x4  tank transporter
carrying a Churchill Mk II infantry tank
     The result was the Diamond T 980, a 12-ton hard-cab 6x4 truck. Powered by a Hercules DFXE diesel engine developing 201 hp and geared very low, it could pull a trailer of up to 52.000 kg and proved capable of the task of moving the heaviest tanks then in service.
British Diamond T980 6x4  tank transporter
carrying a Bishop 25pdr. SPG
Italy, 1943.
Specifications (M20 truck)
      The M20 used a Hercules DFXE, a 14.700 cc displacement naturally aspirated inline 6-cylinder diesel engine developing 185 hp at 1,600 rpm and 902 Nm of torque at 1200 rpm. Designed for a British requirement, this was one of the few diesel engines used in US tactical trucks.

      A two plate dry disk diaphragm spring clutch drove Fuller four-speed main and three-speed auxiliary transmissions. The main transmission had a “low” first gear and three road gears, 4th being direct. The auxiliary had low, direct, and overdrive gears. The low gear allowed several very low gears for extreme off-road use. The direct and overdrive allowed the three road gears to be split, making 6 road gears.

      Spicer driveshafts drove two Timken double-reduction rear axles with an 11.66:1 final drive ratio.
      The M20 truck had a riveted ladder frame with three beam axles, the front on leaf springs, the rear tandem on leaf springs with locating arms. The wheelbase was 455cm, measured from the centerline of the front axle to the centerline of rear bogie.
      A pintle hitch of 52.000 kg capacity was mounted on the rear frame crossmember; another pintle hitch was mounted on the front crossmember for positioning the trailer.
    All models had Budd split rim disc wheels with 12.20×20-20” tires. Dual rear mud and snow tires were used.
      Air powered drum brakes were used on all axles; the trailer brakes could be operated independently of the service brakes. A single disk transmission brake parking brake was also provided. This used four brake pads with a cable clasp mechanism onto a 41 cm, mounted behind the auxiliary transmission.
      A Gar Wood winch of 18.000kg capacity, with 91 m of cable, was mounted behind the cab.
     In the Model 980 it was intended mainly for hauling damaged tanks aboard the trailers. The Model 981, introduced in 1942, had a winch with 150m of cable, which could be used from both the front and rear. This allowed tank recovery, in addition to loading.
      Early trucks used a standard Diamond T commercial cab, also used by the 4-ton G509 trucks.
      In August 1943 it was replaced with an open military cab. A long butterfly hood had vertical louvres along both sides.
      A short ballast body was mounted behind the winch. There were closed tool compartments along both sides, two open containers in the front, and a bottom-hinged tailgate. The spare tire was mounted in the front. The box could hold 8.200kg of ballast to increase traction on the rear tandem axles.
Specifications (M9 trailer)
      The M9 had tandem rear axles and a single front axle on a rotating dolly. Ramps hinged down at the rear end of the trailer. Cable rollers and sheaves let the winch from the M20 truck pull tanks onto the trailer, chocks and chains were used to secure the load.

      The front axle suspension system was trailing beam assemblies on coil springs, with a dual tire wheel on each side of the beam. With an assembly on each side there were 4 wheels on the axle line.
      The rear tandem beam assembly was a center pivot type, with axles on both ends of the beam. A dual tire wheel was on both ends of both axles, with a beam on each side there were also 4 wheels per axle line. Twenty-four 8.25x15” tires on demountable rims were used, two on each wheel.
Operational use:
      Production began in 1941. The first batch was received in Britain in 1942 and very quickly demonstrated their rugged reliability in the British campaign in North Africa.
A british Diamond T980 carrying an Aussie
Valentine - North Africa, 1942.
      Battle-damaged tanks needed to be quickly recovered, often under hostile fire, and returned to workshops for repair. The Diamond T, with its powerful engine and winch, could accomplish this, even in the harshest desert conditions.
Diamond T980 tank transporter in action
Grant under transport - North Africa, 1942.
       Almost 5.871 were eventually built by 1945 and were used by virtually every Allied army in every theatre of World War II.
Diamond T980 tank transporter with
Buffaloes - Rhine Crossing, Germany - 1945.
Diamond T980 tank transporter with
Churchill Mk IV - France - 1944.

American M19 open cab  towing a King Tiger in his trailer
Who cares with overloading ??
     The British Army took delivery of around 1.000 during the war years and many continued in service afterwards, being replaced in the early 1950s with the Thornycroft Antar ("Mighty Antar"), although a few remained in tank transporter units up to 1971.
      Many of those sold off by the Army after the war were snapped up by heavy haulage and recovery specialists, notably Pickfords and Wynns.
A brave Diamond T 980 in civil use (Pickfords)
England, 2009.
      And many still were a familiar sight on Britain's roads, pulling heavy lowloaders and fairground trailers or parked on garage forecourts, in readiness for a heavy rescue operation equipped as wreckers (breakdown recovery trucks).
Diamond T980 wrecker in civil use
      Today, many of the 70-year-old Diamond Ts can still be found in private ownership in Britain and frequently appear at historic vehicle shows.
Diamond T980 soft cabin

M19 hard cabin tank transporter carrying an APC.
The old and the modern togheter...

M19 soft cabin tank transporter carrying a M4A1E8 Sherman
     The combination unit  referred as M19 tank transporter, consisting of the M20 tractor and M9 24-wheel trailer. In the nomenclature system used by the U.S Army Ordnance Corps Supply Catalog this vehicle is referred as the G159. It was superseded by the M26. After the introduction of the M26, the U.S. relegated M20s to ammunition hauling, for which they proved "tremendous".
M19 tank transporter rescuing
a broken M4A1 Sherman.
Notice the modified canvas in the ballast body
 and the Kraut helmet in the radiator's grill.
Germany, 1945.
      British designation for the tractor unit was Diamond T Tractor 6x4 for 40 ton Trailer with "Model 980" or "Model 981" added to distinguish the two.
Two Diamonds T tractors 6x4 pulling a Tortoise...
three big, very big girls...
    The British-built trailers were known as "40 ton Trailer British Mk. I (Crane)" "40 ton Trailer British Mk.II (Dyson)" being manufactured by Cranes of Dereham and R. A. Dyson and Company of Liverpool.


M19 Tank Transporter
Type45 ton 6x4 Tank recovery truck-trailer
Place of origin   United States
Produced                                  1940 - 1945

Production history
DesignerKnuckey Truck Company
Diamond T (M20 truck)
Fruehauf, Winter-Weis, Rodgers (M9 trailer)
Number built6,554 (M20 truck)
Specifications (M20 truck)
12,090 kg empty
20,000 kg loaded
Length7.11 m
Width2.59 m
Height2.57 m

Hercules DFXE Diesel
185 hp (138 kW)
Transmission4 speed × 3 speed auxiliary
SuspensionBeam axles on leaf springs
482.8 km
Speed37 km/h
Specifications (M9 trailer)
9,990 kg (empty)
50,810 kg (loaded)
Length   9.04 m (incl. drawbar)
2.90 m
1.45 m
Trailing beams (front)
center pivot beams (rear)

The kit:
      I'll build the Merit (#63501) U.S. M19 tank transporter with hard top cabin. See the kit in my workbench...Kojak is very pleased!!!

Stay tunned!!!

quinta-feira, 12 de outubro de 2017

17 cm Kanone 18 Mörserlafette - German heavy field gun - case report.

      Now let's talk about a very powerful weapon of the WWII: The German 17 cm Kanone 18 heavy field gun. Achtung !!! This is a commission project for my friend Alois !

17 cm Kanone 18 German heavy field gun in action
      The 17 cm Kanone 18 in Mörserlafette (German: 17 cm Cannon 18 on Heavy Howitzer Carriage) (17 cm K 18 in MrsLaf) was a German heavy gun used in the Second World War.

   In 1939 the 21 cm Mörser 18 began appearing in the German Army Corps level Artillery Regiments, replacing the obsolescent World War I-era 21 cm Mörser 16.
21 cm Mörser 18 captured by Allies
Germany - 1945
Captured German 21-cm Mörser 16 in Stanley Park
Vancouver - 1923
     The 21 cm Mörser was able to send a 113 kg  HE shell out to a range of 14.5 km, however by 1941 the German Army was seeking a longer range weapon and Krupp responded by producing a smaller 173 mm caliber increased velocity weapon utilising the same carriage, with the designation Kanone 18.
      The Kanone 18 quickly impressed German Artillery officers, firing a 68 kg HE shell out to a range of 29.6 km, the real surprise was the explosive power of the shell, which was little different from the 113 kg shell of the 21 cm Mörser 18. Production commenced in 1941, in 1942 production of the 21 cm Mörser 18 was halted for almost two years so as to allow maximum production of the Kanone 18.
17 cm Kanone 18 in Tunisia
The Afrika Korps gunners preparing the gun for firing
Tunisia- 1941
      A notable innovation introduced by Krupp on the 21 cm Mörser 18 and used by the 17 cm Kanone 18 was the "double recoil" or dual- recoil carriage, the normal recoil forces were initially taken up by a conventional recoil mechanism close to the barrel, and then by a carriage sliding along rails set inside the travelling carriage.
17cm Kanone 18 firing in Normandy
Notice the shield over the top recoil oil cilinder
The gunner seems to be expecting the worst...

      The dual-recoil mechanism absorbed all of the recoil energy with virtually no movement upon firing, thus making for a very accurate weapon. For all of its bulk, a full 360 degree traverse could be achieved by one man.
The same gun abovr...17 cm Kanone 18
Notice the gun in total recoil, after fire...
Afrika Korps - 1941.
      For travel both the 21 cm Mörser 18 and the 17 cm Kanone 18 were broken down into two loads, which was common for heavy artillery of the period, with the barrel being transported separately.
17 cm Kanone 18 waiting restoration...
The gun is dismantled for long distance transport
Sapun-Gora Diorama Museum - Ukraine.
The cradles of two 17cm Kanone 18 under transportation
     The carriage was well equipped with a series of ramps and winches which made removing the barrel a reasonably quick task for its time, but still required several hours. For short distance travel the 17 cm Kanone 18 could be transported intact.
17cm Kanone 18 traveling slowly in one piece.
North Africa - 1942
      The 17 cm Kanone 18 was considered a technically excellent long range artillery piece for the German Army, its greatest weaknesses was that it was expensive to build, and it required careful maintenance. It was quite slow to bring in and out of action, fairly difficult to manoeuvre and very slow to move off road, many were lost when their crews abandoned them to avoid capture by advancing Allied forces.
The haste in retreat ...
17 cm Kanone 18 ready for transport, but
abandoned by gunners.
This weapon was thus found, by the New Zealanders
North of Africa -1942.
      The 17 cm Kanone 18 was employed at the Corps level in order to provide long-range counter-battery support, as well as filling the same basic role as the 21 cm Mörser 18. See the movie below, with the 2 heavies guns in action:
     In 1944 some Allied batteries used captured 17 cm K 18s when ammunition supplies for their usual guns were disrupted by the long logistical chain from Normandy to the German border.
    It was also proposed for use on the Geschützwagen Tiger (only 1 prototype built), in the Sturmgeschutz Maus and Sturmgeschütz E-100 super heavy assault tanks. Nothing ever became of the proposal.
Geschützwagen Tiger - artistic view and prototype

17 cm Kanone 18 Mörserlafette
TypeHeavy gun
Place of origin               Germany
Service history
In service1941–45
Used byNazi Germany
WarsWorld War II
Production history
ManufacturerKrupp (until 1942), Hanomag
No. built+/- 338
Weightcombat: 17,520 kg
travel: 23,375 kg
Length8.53 m

ShellHE shell: 68 kg 
Caliber173 mm 
Breechhorizontal block
Recoildual-recoil hydropneumatic
Elevation-6°to +50°
Traverse16° on wheels
360° on platform
Muzzle velocity925 m/s 
Maximum firing range29.6 km

The kit:
      The kit is the Trumpeter (#02313) German 17cm Kanone 18. The box art:
Trumpeter (#02313) German 17cm Kanone 18

      The kit is very good, very well detailed, as PMMS described years ago... Building by the book:
Starting by  the two side arms of the gun

In artillery pieces, alignment is everything !!!
Chassis and carriage frame

The beast is huge!!!
      Studying the byuilding of the chassis, I discovered that I had glued two inverted pieces. Glad I'd glued with a drop of welder...
Holly crap!!!
      It was easy to take off and reposition the pieces in the correct position !!!

Adding many details...
      My good friend Alois wants his girl in a firing position. I listen and obey, Pukka Sahib !!
Preparing the girl for firing position !!!


Adding details... Notice the big wheels!!

...and details...

      As I said before, I like to study about the weapon I'm building ... The kit comes with two (excellent) steel springs (see red arrows, below..) , to support the rear bogie. But looking at the spring in scale, I thought the thickness of the spring wire is a bit thin. I compared the actual photos of the gun and this impression seems correct: the spring has its wire with a very thin thickness ...
The kit with the original springs in the chassis rear...
      I compared the actual photos of the gun and this impression seems correct: the spring has its wire with a very thin thickness ...
The real spring. Notice the thickness of the spring's wire

      Well ... Let's test the theory ... I'll make the springs using a thicker wire ...
New springs in coo´per wire

Testing in the chassis...  No doubt!!
Chuck's right again!!!
Much, much better!!
      And the chassis almost ready, with gun and kojak, for size comparison. Indeed, this gun is very huge!!! 
Big, big  badda boom gun!!!
      And the building is 99% done. An absurd: why the trumpeter don't send a single shell for this big gun??? The kit is full in details, but dont have a SINGLE PROJECTIL??  WHY???
The adults are stupid!!!

The Kojak in the catwalk...Big girl!!!
      Details of the advantage of a good search: shooting tables in a real photo ...
German gunner aiming his girl...
      And the reason of the 2 plates in the kit:
The reason of the two mysterious flat parts in the gun ...

I do not settle for the Trumpeter silliness !!

      Next step: painting and markings. As usual, I like to made a profile as a guide for my markings. My friend Alois request an artillery piece in Russian Front. I introduce to you guys the 17 cm Kanone 18 Mörserlafette "ANTON" serving in the German Army Group North; German Eighteenth Army; 1st Infantry Division; 37th Artillery Regiment; A Battery in the Siege of Leningrad, March 1942.
Tod den Bolschewiki !!!
The bluish Panzer-Gray...first colors...
            Our friend Cesare (he have an excellent blog: NEBELWERFER) asked me "What's the recipe for my bluish Panzer-Gray??"
      Well, Cesare...Thanks for your presence and sorry that I did not add my alchemy in the photos, but here it goes: I use Vallejo Acrilic Model Colors. For base color, I used Field Blue (#70.964) pure, in my airbrush (after dilution, of course ...). When the base color dries, I apply a thin layer of light tone, obtained with a mixture of 5 drops of Luftwaffe Uniform + 1 drop of White. After dilution, apply to the flat and convex surfaces of the model. After the light tones, I apply the dark tones, using a mixture of Field Blue (4 drops) with Black (1 drop). I apply the darker tones in recesses and concavities. You must realize that I belong to the "Old School." I particularly do not like the exaggeration of "Color Modulation" !!!
The colors for my Panzer-Gray

Base color: pure Field Blue

Light tones: Mixture of Luftwaffe Uniform and White

And dark tones...
      Well you can vary the amount of white and black, getting interesting intermediate tones ... The cool thing is to try. But I liked the result of this mixture: the Panzer-gray does not get so dark and, at the same time, not very gaudy blue, as it seems to be the fashion nowadays ...

      After the painting, markings: The decals, made with my Laserjet:

In position...

Battery and shooting tables (red arrows)
A of ANTON...
      Almost ready:
Weathering almost ready...

      And the Big Girl  was ready: 17cm Kanone 18 Mörserlafette "ANTON", in service with German Army Group NorthGerman 18th Army1st Infantry Division; 37th Artillery Regiment; A Battery in the Siege of Leningrad, March 1942.
17cm Kanone 18 Mörserlafette "ANTON"
18th Army; 1st Infantry Division; 37th Artillery Regiment; A Battery
Leningrad, March 1942

17cm Kanone 18 Mörserlafette "ANTON"
with Kojak and rover, the dog.

Kojak in the 17cm Kanone's catwalk...

17cm Kanone 18 Mörserlafette "ANTON"
with Sherman II DV for size comparison
The Alois girl is really huge!!!

17cm Kanone 18 Mörserlafette "ANTON"
18th Army; 1st Infantry Division
37th Artillery Regiment; A Battery
Leningrad, March 1942
Stay tuned !!!
The end is near!!