German AFV jack block finishingSeptember 24 2017 at 10:46 AM
|Andrew Lang (Login andrewjnlang)|
from IP address 126.96.36.199
I'm currently painting a 1/72 scale model of the Panzerjager 1 in France during 1940. I should be interested to know how the square jack blocks provided with most German AFVs of the period were finished. I realise that many modellers depict the wooden elements in an unpainted state: I just wondered if this finish was borne out by period photos - if indeed it is clear from the latter.
I did try the 'search' function before posting, but this seems not to be working. Thanks in anticipation.
|September 24 2017, 12:42 PM |
|September 24 2017, 2:05 PM |
They are mostly natural wood color or main camouflage color. I have three in my collection.
If natural color it seems the steel parts were painted the period camouflage base color.
I remember a jack block for a Panther G that was painted black.
Thank you David & Eric - one follow-on question
|September 24 2017, 4:33 PM |
Firstly, thank you both for taking the trouble to respond. I found the photo of a black-painted/creosoted jack block on Google, but I saw that it was apparently taken from a Tiger in Normandy.
Eric – You mentioned that the jack blocks appeared in a natural finish or painted in the main camouflage colour for the time in question. Is the block in the second of your hyperlinks one of your preserved items ? It appears to be painted in the early war Dunkelgrau colour, suggesting that I could finish the jack block on my model in a similar way.
Thank you again.
Look at it this way...
|September 24 2017, 5:13 PM |
Now, I have never seen one in person (or a color photo) in natural unpainted raw wood. To me that seems impractical anyway, as it would rot very easily. If you google German panzer jack blocks (and they have been discussed here before) you usually see black or very dark brown ones, or new made or cleaned up ones that are lighter.
I can see them being painted in some camouflage color, especially if a vehicle was repainted.
Now, even if it were painted, by the time you put it in the mud, or in gravel, or on concrete and then jack up a 10-50 ton tank a few times, it's going to get beat to hell. And if it were unpainted natural blonde wood it would be dirty and grimy from the ground, grease, etc.
So, in the end, I just paint them a dirty greyish, blackish color and maybe add a couple lighter "flakes" around the edges to represent the wood being worn and chewed up.
My 2 cents......
|September 24 2017, 5:34 PM |
These pictures show a VERY weathered piece of wood. See the steel, very rusted!!
Your best bet is to find pictures, such from the tanks in the French Museum that have the blocks. Those vehicles have been parked in side, so the wood has not been weathered. Even the ones in Russia have the blocks. Some people will say they are new blocks, but you have to now wood, from old to new, to determine it's age!!! The French museum did have some original colored tanks AND the goodies, cleaning rods and such, all original.
I usually paint mine in a tannish color, then wash it with a dark, black or brown, wash, then come back with a light dry brush of the base color. BUT, go look at different wood at the hardware store. See the colors of the wood. Google the types of trees in Germany and see what they look like cut.
When you get picky about your build, like me, you have to put in the leg work
BUT everything is what you would like the build to be!! Where is your camo where the block is?? Do you want it to stick out or blend in?? If you have a green pattern, go lighter. If you have a light pattern, go darker. Contrast is what you are after. BUT I like my above. It works for me.
BUT I also look at when the vehicle was in service to my time frame of the build. Early or Late. All depends on the weathering.........
I would trust Museum examples
|September 24 2017, 6:51 PM |
As far as I could throw them. Sorry. Even if they are original, who knows if they have been cleaned, refinished, "restored" etc. And Saumur and most other museums have some pretty shaky reconstructions, paint jobs etc.
As to surviving original blocks, yeah the metal may rust but wood doesn't rust. And, if it is kept indoors or well kept, it doesn't just turn black. I own a few WW1 and WW2 wooden items and none of them went from natural wood to black. They are still wood color.
Re: I would trust Museum examples
|September 25 2017, 7:19 AM |
The fact we often see a void in colour/camo scheme when a block is removed indicates they would have paint applied. Same with factory schemes.
I think David's point about natural wood is true and the default model look of a "varnished coffee table top" is unlikely
Wood is very seldom brown, more often wood that has been used outdoors is greyish. Check out the handle of an old shovel which has similar use to a jack block.
Either same colour as vehicle or weathered grey is my bet.
|September 25 2017, 11:58 AM |
Here is a pic of jack block from the Panzer grey era of the war.
As you can see both the metal parts and the wood (oak) was painted grey.
Hope this was of any use for you.
Amended assertion : PAINTED OVER
|September 25 2017, 5:00 PM |
A hot subject !
I gave a very close look to my jack blocks... A kind of archeology !
I now say : they were PAINTED, both metal and wood.
Unfortunatly, I can't upload the picture I made. ( disabled for maintenance... ).
On the upcoming soon picture, you will see ( L to R ) :
- a block from truck like Henschel 33D, with tread plate as anti-skid ( useful as the driver would put his feet for climbing in the truck ). This block is thinner than the one for Pz/StuG, but other dimensions are the same. It was found under one foot of some flak projector ( another war use ! ).
- a near mint block from SdKfz231-series. It is plain sand yellow. I was happy when I found it. I was also happy when I found a picture of this block on SdKfz233.
- A block for a Pz/StuG : It was painted sand yellow.
The paint can be seen with my eyes, but with a camera this is something else...
To contributors here :
- Yes they were made of oak, I was say so.
- The block "on the second link" is not mine, it is a good sample from a friend in Spain. It was painted grey.
- Amended on 2017/10/15 : the block with a steel rail posted by David, I thought it was post-war modified until I see as picture with a Stug which shows that VERY UNUSUAL jack block.
Why do I collect jack blocks among other things ? Because I collect jacks !
Well if you remember my post on fire extinguishers which are not red ( 2006 ) and my post on the rear tubular panzer light which has a black perspex tube which can give a green light (2012 ), and as we are now in 2017, I should do something with those damned jack wooden blocks !
|This message has been edited by JFeder504 from IP address 188.8.131.52 on Oct 15, 2017 8:59 AM|
Thanks all for your contributions
|September 25 2017, 7:45 PM |
Many thanks for taking the trouble to contribute to this surprisingly emotive subject !
I think that I have enough evidence to leave the jack block on my Panzerjager 1 in its current grey finish. I don't plan to attempt any great degree of weathering as the Panzerjager 1 only entered service shortly before the campaign in France.
Thank you again.
I am actually looking for some jack info...
|September 28 2017, 10:22 AM |
May I contact you off board for info about an unknown pre-war German jack?
yes you can !
|September 28 2017, 1:26 PM |
Re: yes you can !
|October 9 2017, 4:05 PM |
Something to consider?
|September 26 2017, 12:40 AM |
I can't offer anything regarding the painting of the jack blocks but I doubt that extending longevity would be the purpose of doing so. These blocks wouldn't likely be susceptible to rot in the brief lifetime of these AFVs.
Painted or unpainted, the color of these items might best be rendered as dirt (if they've ever seen any use). I make this suggestion based only on my own 12 years experience in oilfield/pipeline work in a temperate climate. Blocks and timbers of a wide variety were used in this work, None were painted. One particular unit I was involved with had several wood chocks (certainly not oak) that was reinforced with angle iron and strapping. They spent a lot of time on the ground in dusty, dirty or muddy conditions and took on the color of the earth. There might have been the occasional bit of gleam on the metal but not much. They sometimes cracked and were replaced with similar but usually someone borrowed them. They never rotted.
Early color Pz IVB/C photo
|September 28 2017, 9:41 PM |
Well known closeup photo of a model B or C with commander in early hat type helmet, 10th Panzer bison on side and sensored number plaque. Color photo. Sides below fenders are mud covered, typical period dark gray paint and a dirty jack block that appears same gray as vehicle with mud on face but looks to me as having been totally gray judging by sides.
I really can't see crews not painting these blocks the vehicle color.