Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Imagineering: Munitionspanzerjäger 38(t) mit KwK F34(r)

Munitionspanzer 38(t)
One of the troubles when starting new projects is too much choice.  First of all it is scale, then period - followed closely by the pleasant task of choosing models.  I am often derailed by one or all of the above.  A case of too many toys and too little time.

The other factor that proves troubling is my severe trepidation - a simple fear of making a mess.  I realised recently that it is almost 20 years since I last completed a 1:35 kit.  This hiatus has caused me to become increasingly indecisive!  These things cost money and I don't want to waste it.  Anyway, it is time to draw a line under this and "Get her done" as our American friends like to say.

Readers will be aware of my preference for "make do" type vehicles.  As I have explained before, improvisation and field modification were very common in the Ostheer - as they are in most armies.  In fact almost every documentary I watch these days has some weird field-mod sitting in the background or rolling past whilst the narrator drones on.  Of late I have toyed with a few conversions but have settled on this creation as my project of the month!

The rugged and reliable (yet under-gunned and armoured) Panzer 38(t) was, from 1942/3,  frequently relegated to service as a Munitionspanzer.  This was a relatively simple conversion involving the removal of the turret and covering the resulting circular hole with a tarpaulin or wooden "lid".  Occasionally these vehicles sport a box-like superstructure that appears to be made from sheet-metal - however this seems relatively rare.

Munitionspanzerjäger 38(t)
My "what-if" vehicle depicts such a Munitionspanzer that has been given a new lease of life at the divisional workshop.

An F34 cannon has been removed from a T34 wreck and mounted upon the chassis.  Scrap metal (old schürzen perhaps?) has been welded into a protective box - giving the creation the appearance of a crude "Marder".

I have no idea if anything similar to this "Imagineered" vehicle was made, but it is certainly possible.  When you consider the various oddballs floating around this looks decidedly conservative!

The photo has been snapped on my iPhone and is therefore not too great.  However the card mock-up (which needs tweaking) should give readers an idea of what is to come...

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