King Tiger in the SMM Full-Reuenthal
2018 2019 Winter season
Works on the turret
After we have successfully finished the sand blasting and priming job on the turret, the turret ring gear and the rear part of the gun with the breech block last autumn, the major part of the winter season work was dedicated to the turret.
First we painted the turret interior and all parts to be installed in the turret light ivory.
Uwe for most of the time took care of the revision of the toothed gear ring and the inner ring. He cleaned and polished the running surfaces oand removed 'plague' from the toothed ring.
Afterwards the gear ring and the turret were re-connected.
Willi has worked with meticulous detailing on the components which are later to be installed inside the turret at the walls and the roof: The holder for the periscope, the holder for a self-destruction shell cylinders for three breathing tubes , the hatch fixation frame for the insulation
A whole bunch of threads needed to be refurbished.
See also the picture gallery 'turret'.
Following a longer discussion the lower side of the loaders hatch was also painted light ivory.
Numerous pictures can be found which show the lower sides of hatches being painted in camouflage but apparently exceptions existed. An instruction is known to have existed for a certain period which ordered the inner sides of vertically opening hatches be just primed. Ultimately we painted our hatch light ivory as suggested by the discoloration pattern visible on a photo taken in 2007.
Uwe has re-assembled the commanders cupola with the seven angle mirrors brackets which have been revised in lengthy work. Before the inner section around the angle mirrors was painted black as was originally the case. Finally the unit was placed back at its location on the turret roof and most of the securing brackets mounted which are bolted at the turret roof from underneath
After sand blasting of the gun cradle from inside and outside we re-inserted the gun into the cradle to check the matching accuracy. Surprisingly we found that there was a play of ca. 2 mm. In the theoretical case of a shot the returning barrel would not smoothly run in its tube. Therefore we decided to rust prime the running surface instead of greasing it.
Our tank was missing the recoil cylinder and the recuperator.
The recoil cylinder is basically an oil pressure shock absorber which slows down the recoiling barrel after a shot. The recoiling barrel compresses an air volume inside of the recuperator which upon expansion of the compressed volume drives the barrel hydraulically back into its position for the next shot.
Both cylinders were taken from a different 8.8 gun which has long been sitting next to our tank. We cannot use that gun anyway since
it is a one-piece barrel unlike our two-piece barrel and moreover has a slightly different cradle.
For easier handling we drained the oil and surprisingly found that the oil of the recoil cylinder is water-soluble, so it is rather a polyglycol than a mineral oil.
Fitting the cylinders required slight modification of the cradle.