Panzer IV Build
* Its Becoming a Panzer IV Hull *
Week # 6
We had some very good days last week #6. The project is actually starting to look like a Panzer IV Hull. In German nomenclature the hull is referred to as “Die Wanne” or “The Tub” in english. Makes sense, just big steel bathtub. Right?
The week found us continuing to wrestle with he placement of the motor. To better zero in we needed to temporarily attach the tail piece.
10 degree angle, 20mm plate.
Chamfered joint, just tack welded for now. When the Panzer IV hull was redesigned in late 1944 this back plate was laced and interlocking as it is on the nose.
Now we see the full volume of the engine compartment.
Still struggling with engine placement and driveline angles. AAARRRGGGGHHH!!!
So on to the exciting stuff… mounting the front nose 80mm armor plate. Michael preps for the lift into place for a trial fit. Tack welded where we think it goes. Had to put on the tow points… just for the fun of it.
Add the lower 30mm plate and Behold! A Panzer IV nose. This is EXACTLY accurate Panzer IV geometry by the way…
So beautiful it brings tears to my eyes….
Interior of the nose after welding first pass.
Lets throw in the FV-432 Steering Differential and see how it likes it. This is rough placement for now. Just a first look.
The engine is under the red cover for a little debris protection. You can see the line that the drive train will follow.
On a Roll. Let’s test fit the glacis plate… Is this the “glacis” or is the lower 80mm face the “glacis” by definition I can’t decide.
More work on the glacis… er…. whatever. After examining several examples we deciphered the method that the original builders used back in the day. First the hatches were bolted and set. Then a sloped rest was welded into the crack between the hatch and the plate. After smoothly grinding the added piece the hatch has a custom fit backing plate.
We found a couple of nuanced differences in the several original pieces we studied. This is how we decided to approach it. Backing down both long sides and a shorter section on each end. All the examples we saw had the long sides backed but the small ends varied quite a bit. Some had nothing, or in some cases there were small tabs or backing on one end and not the other.
Here is our functioning, mounted, and fitted brake access hatches.
So this was one of those weeks where we jumped far ahead in a big leap. But the pattern is that we will get bogged down in the detail to perfect all of these new advances. But it was a fun week seeing the Panzer IV hull take shape.
Until next week… send us the good vibes. There is a dark cloud that is the drive line placement and working joint angles. There are many aspects of the drive train that are unsolved as of today.