Fianally done! Sd.Kfz 161 PanzerKampfwagen IV Ausf.D, inspired by the machine used in the 4th Battalion of the 11th Armored Regiment of the 6th Armored Division of the Wehrmacht, whose images were taken during the military exercises in East Prussia in May 1941, just before the invasion of the Soviet Union.
The photos show quite interesting and rich accessories and equipment: traffic lights and notek, fire extinguisher, jack, barrel cleaning rods, ammunition box, spare links, spare wheel, and the coolest: four canisters held by a holding rod marked with the Division’s sign.
The number “421” on the turret identifies the commander of the 2nd platoon – unfortunately, I did not have any decals or masks of the right size to properly reproduce it – therefore it is slightly too big. Two yellow “X” on the front plate next to the driver’s viewfinder are the markings of the 6th Panzer Division introduced shortly before the Barbarossa Operation.
The color photos presented in the gallery are a selection of a unique collection created in 1940-1944 by Colonel Helmut Ritgen during his first round of the front service. He has taken these pictures with his Leica III camera and used the color film. Ritgen’s wife, then a nurse at a military hospital in Paderborn, had previously been an employee of the Agfa company, and thanks to her direct and personal contacts in this company, he had an access to a new and very rare Agfa 35 mm film for taking photos in color. For the war conditions, these photos are just excellent.
The model is very old Tamiya, to which I added metal barrels (gun + machine guns), correct tracks 360 mm wide, and metal sprocket wheels from Friul, and some of the details from the old Aber etched fret. Lights and some details were just “borrowed” from the leftovers of the Tamiya’s StuG III Ausf B and the accessory set of canisters and ammo boxes.
Of course, there would have to be a lot more improvements to make it look like the IV D, but it was not my goal, considering the drawbacks of the kit itself. The model was made as a relaxation between other works, its build lasted something around four years or more, don’t exactly remember… it has always been somewhere at hand – but finally I decided it was time to consider the work finished. I am pleased with the result and interested in your opinions.