Flakpanzer IV “Wirbelwind” Sd.Kfz.161/4
4th Company, Flak Platoon
Schwere SS Pz.Abt. 101
Finally finished my my Wirbelwind!
For some reason I kept delaying this project until December 2013 I decided to attack it to completion!
As with most 1/6 vehicles this is a combination of parts and pieces from MANY 1/6 providers. To all of them my huge thanks. Of all the areas of 1/6 tackling a vehicle and getting it battle ready, is what I like the most.
Here some images with the SS crew:
This Panzer IV chassis is a Mardon Callanta PzIVG which I got MANY years ago from Greg Brown from Kriegsmachine. This model is now available through Keith Holmes of True Scale Armor. When bought I was planning to do the PzIV as a vehicle in the Eastern Front with a bunch of Panzergrenadiers all over the tank, similar as the well known Tamiya model of ages ago. As time went by I concentrated, more and more, on the Normandy Front. So I started exploring the possibility of making a Normandy PzIV. The Callanta vehicle is a late AusfG, so that was a good fit, but to make it credible I would need side skirts (schurtzen). I have absolutely no metal working skills, so I thought, if I can get the skirts on the turret and only the brackets on the chassis it would work as many images of the PzIVs in Normandy show them with all the lower side skirts off. I got the BRA chassis brackets and pieces for the turret, but I kept postponing the project. Then a while back, maybe 2-3 years, Dennis (thetoysurgeon) started talking of a Wirbelwind turret. Once the Dragon Wirbelwind piece came out, it made the project a little easier. He would take care of the turret from a kit ( I forget who provided the kit) and add the flakvierling that I sent to him. I think I revceived the turret around 18 months ago… I was so ready, that I made the crew for the vehicle, once I saw that the sPzAbt101 had four of these in August, barely making it to Normandy. I made the crew so long ago that now I can’t figure out what 5 fgures are the crew I made for the WW! I have it down to 7-8 figures, so it is not that bad, but it just gives you an idea how long it has been!
Many other parts make up this vehicle:
PzIVChassis: Mardon Callanta
Turret: Metal kit (? ) and Dragon 20mm Flakvierling put together by Dennis Widner
Steve Hoeger (Panzerwerk): Bosch light, Notek light, extra links (actually I believe all links are his, but the main links came with the tank), spare wheels, spare 20mm barrel cases, 20mm ammo cases
Armorpax: antenna base (metal)
Sixth Scale Icons (Mike Stannard): All tools and fittings. Most are placed in the typical late PzIV locations, but some adjustments were needed , as I had to adapt some positions to the Callanta PzIV. Some mix and match from earlier PzIV types.
I scratch built a couple of items, aided as always by Aves apoxie. Made a bracket for the extra links on the top front area. Made a bracket box for Panzerwerk’s 20mm ammo boxes. This is purely a modeler’s license piece, as I have no reference of such an item on any Wirbelwind. The one item that had me the most worried was making some sort of brackets for the spare barrel cases on each side of the chassis to the rear. Used styrene brackets and plenty of Aves to make it strong. Not a simple task as these Mardon Callanta vehicles are fantastic, but not necessarily symmetric or with all straight edges straight.
The Nuts and Bolts #25 publication came in handy. These books are fantastic for any vehicle project.
Most of the Callanta tools came off the vehicle so I only had to remove a couple of items. The rear Notek and the jack block. As usual I begin any vehicle project by flipping the vehicle and starting with the running gear and tracks.
For my texture mix, this time around, I used a new mix with dirt and HO scale ballast as always, but also added grass clippings and static grass to the mixture. Most of that work is left unseen, but since low angle shots are the best for 1/6 vehicles, I feel that any angle will be taken care of by weathering the undersides first.
The painting process is similar as with my other vehicles, so I will not bore you with the process. But as I do sometimes, I took MANY WIP images, which you can see in the Picturetrail album linked in this post. I began with one idea for the camo and switched during the process. Eventhough I have given a unit and place to this vehicle,as I always do, the vehicle has no markings so that I can use it in a variaety of scenarios, both SS and Heer.
Hee the direct link to many WIP images of this vehicle. These are taken with flash photography from my work bench and are just to give an idea of the process as the quality of the images are very poor.
If you want to see even more angles of this vehicle, here is the link: