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Flakpanzer IV "Kugelblitz"

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  • Flakpanzer IV "Kugelblitz"

    A box arrived from China today. Looks like I have a new project on my hands!

    No, this isn't what I got, but maybe someday mine will look similar, I hope! The Kugelblitz (ball lightning) is a late war effort to defend against the overwhelming allied air assault. Only a few were ever built, and only two were found during combat. It mounted two 30mm anti-aircraft cannons.
    Click image for larger version

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    What I got was this:
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    A seller in eBay offers build-ups of 3DP tanks and modules. He's in Toronto, but has the objects printed in China (of course). I've seen this product's files on Cults3D. I took a blind leap and went for it. All or parts of products can be assembled. In the case of the Kugelblitz, one can get just the turret up to a complete tank. In my case, I have a Heng Long Panzer IV chassis so I wanted the top hull with the turret assembled and mounted. This took some email back and forth to clarify my choice. From first contact to delivery took 20 days. No complaints!

    I selected a yellow Heng Long hull. The seller enlarged the turret hole since the turret is larger than the original. A custom ring gear was fitted, which involved removing some interior sections. A turret motor was hot glued in place to run the new gear. The ball elevation is accomplished by a small geared motor. Yellow LED lights are installed in the gun barrels. Four turret hatches have metal hinges.

    One never knows what quality the print will be, so I had my fingers crossed. Although there is some texturing, it is quite minor and will be readily sanded. I anticipate this being a fun project. Now, this NOT a fine scale replica. The originals had the front hatch area altered, with hull hatches relocated for one. But, since the originals were basically prototypes, who's to say following versions weren't like this?
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    By the way, the seller states the file author receives a commission for any print that's sold. I have no way to verify this, but the fact he even mentions it is encouraging.
    Twenty six tanks, and not done yet!

  • #2
    Originally posted by SoCalBobS View Post
    By the way, the seller states the file author receives a commission for any print that's sold. I have no way to verify this, but the fact he even mentions it is encouraging.
    It's an interesting project. Encouraging yes, but in some cases he has used the design without permission and only asked permission after getting caught. Then he wondered why the designer was pissed off and wouldn't grant permission. I just wonder what materials are being used and whether or not they will deform in the sun. On second thought, I really don't care what material it is since I print my own stuff purchased from the original designer and won't do business with folks like him. Some are happy with the printing services he provides and some are not. Seems like a crap shoot to me.

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    • #3
      I hear what you say, but not all of us have the equipment, expertise or desire to do so.
      Twenty six tanks, and not done yet!

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      • #4
        A surviving real ball turret:
        Click image for larger version  Name:	Kugel ballmount.jpg Views:	0 Size:	142.8 KB ID:	404024

        Note the Wirbelwind in the background of the above photo. Here's mine:
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        Muzzle flashing on the machine gun circuit:
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        After some sanding on the turret:
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        Click image for larger version

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        The supplied Panzer IV hull didn't include the add-on pieces. Toucan to the rescue! Parts enroute.
        Twenty six tanks, and not done yet!

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        • #5
          Progress pic. First coat of camo. Decals, filters & weathering will be next.

          Click image for larger version

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          Twenty six tanks, and not done yet!

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          • #6
            Decals:

            Click image for larger version

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            Twenty six tanks, and not done yet!

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            • #7
              That looks really great, Bob. I wonder if he could do one in 1/6 scale. That would be very, very tempting.

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              • #8
                Protecting the Railyard...


                Click image for larger version  Name:	Kugelblitz 17.jpg Views:	0 Size:	290.7 KB ID:	404793

                All done!

                Kugel’s older brother Wirbel, helping out.

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                Twenty six tanks, and not done yet!

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                • #9
                  By the way, if anyone has extra Heng Long Panzer IV bogies, perhaps I could take them off your hands. They are one of the more breakable parts of HL tanks. lefts and rights both. PM me if you do. Thanks!
                  Twenty six tanks, and not done yet!

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                  • #10
                    What a cool subject. How hard is it for a total idiot like me as far as when it comes to wiring etc. to hook up to an HL or Taigen board?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Panzermechaniker View Post
                      What a cool subject. How hard is it for a total idiot like me as far as when it comes to wiring etc. to hook up to an HL or Taigen board?
                      For the Kugelblitz it's just a matter of plugging into the correct ports on a 7.0 or higher Heng Long board. I don't know anything about the Taigen board. The Wirbelwind was more complicated. You'll need a 7.1 Heng Long board to run the servo actuated gun elevation, otherwise it's just a plug-in. But the LED's and gun barrels had to be purchased, mounted and wired up.
                      Twenty six tanks, and not done yet!

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