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Old 04-08-2008, 11:09 AM
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Aberdeen newly restored Elephant by Th. Jentz.

Hi guys, I seldom post on this forum, even if I regularly pay a visit, but I've been asked by Thomas Jentz to post a message on his behalf after pictures of the newly restored Aberdeen Elephant were published on various forums. So here I go, or should i say here goes Thomas Jentz :


Comments on the Newly Repainted Elefant at the Ordnance Museum by Thomas L. Jentz, Panzer Tracts
Surviving photos that have been found to date of the Elefant with tactical number 102 do not have sufficient contrast to determine the exact camouflage pattern on all surfaces. However photos of three other Elefants from the same unit, the 1.Kp./s.Pz.Jg.Abt.653, reveal that the camouflage style and pattern varied significantly on each one. From early 1943 to the August 1944, usually camouflage patterns were sprayed on by personnel from the maintenance workshop following the general guideline that camouflage patterns were to be different on every vehicle, gun, tank, etc.
In February/March 1944 the refurbished Elefants left Nibelungenwerk with a base coat of RAL 7028 (Dunkelgelb). At this time, general orders instructed units to apply RAL 6003 (Olivgruen) and RAL 8017 (Rotbraun) to create camouflage patterns that would best blend in with terrain in their operating area.
The attached photos of the newly repainted Elefant provide an excellent example of how spray painting camouflage patterns causes the color to vary based on the number of passes. With a single pass the base coat still shows through, medium coverage is achieved by two passes, and a much darker shade is the result of three or more passes.
The new paint job does not have the same dull "Matt" finish of the paint used during the war. However it should be recognized, that a thin coat of matt paint is not an acceptable protective coating for a museum artifact that is on display outside in the elements.
A recent attempt by a private restorer to make an authentic batch of Zimmerit using the original mixture of ingredients was not successful because some of the chemicals are not available at acceptable costs. In addition this original Zimmerit coating quickly deteriorates on an artifact that is displayed outside in the elements. Museums in other countries have substituted a synthetic epoxy based "Zimmerit" which withstands a lot of abuse. However, the Ordnance Museum is not funded for this type of restoration. Is there someone so interested in exacting authenticity that they are willing to donate the funds needed to get a coating of synthetic "Zimmerit" applied to this Elefant? Their generosity would be greatly appreciated.
The staff and new director at the Ordnance Museum should be thanked for creating a camouflage pattern on this Elefant using paint colors that are close enough for government work in matching the original RAL 7028, RAL 6003, and RAL 8017 colors. They should be congratulated for having added one more unique specimen to the few members currently in the exclusive club of authentically painted Panzers. The Tiger I and Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.L at The Tank Museum in Bovington, England and a Jagdpanther in the SdKfz Foundation in Kent, England are also members of this exclusive club. This small cadre are now available as a useful reference source for those who desire to paint their models accurately.
Sending your thanks and congratulations for a job well done to the Ordnance Museum at their email address: museum@ocs.apg.army.mil will encourage them to paint additional Panzers in authentic camouflage colors and patterns. This will help create a great reference source for the modeling community which currently depends heavily on erroneously colorized drawings in publications as references.
Thomas L. Jentz, April 6th 2008.



here are the pictures posted by Steve Zaloga a few days ago :

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Old 04-08-2008, 12:33 PM
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Nice Elephant, but whats it gonna cost? Who do we talk to? APG
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsleigh View Post
Nice Elephant, but whats it gonna cost? Who do we talk to? APG
you mean me ?
Nothing to do with APG

no, just an irregular member of this forum, who happens to be friend with T Jentz ... we thought his message could be of some interest.
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:22 PM
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"Is there someone so interested in exacting authenticity that they are willing to donate the funds needed to get a coating of synthetic "Zimmerit" applied to this Elefant? Their generosity would be greatly appreciated."

No, I don't mean you, I mean are they/anyone really looking for some one to fund "Zimmerit"?
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsleigh View Post
"Is there someone so interested in exacting authenticity that they are willing to donate the funds needed to get a coating of synthetic "Zimmerit" applied to this Elefant? Their generosity would be greatly appreciated."

No, I don't mean you, I mean are they/anyone really looking for some one to fund "Zimmerit"?
Ah ... I get it ! Sorry my english is far from beeing perfect.
What happens is that some blokes on other forums complained about the lack of zimmerit on this tank (let's face it,it SHOULD have zimmerit on !) and Thomas Jentz felt quite upset by these posts ... that's why he asked me to post his message one the forums I usually visit.

needless to say, creating "new / old" Zimmerit seems to be so expensive the Aberdeen museum just can't afford it and any sponsor is most welcome.


See I am a member of the "les amis du musée des blindés", Saumur museum friends society and we pay (something like €25) each year to help restore the tanks ... maybe Aberdeen needs this kind of help ? who knows ...

Last edited by gibsonfndr; 04-08-2008 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:44 PM
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I like the look of this restoration. It's great to se it painted in a "german" three tone camo. I hope that APG will continue with this and give some of the other gems they have an "Extreme make over, the tank edition".
But two things:
1. It's a shame that the tank have to sit outside again. How many Elephants are there left in the world? This one and the one in Kubinka? OK. I know that there is a size difference between a tank and a Rembrand (Well, not if you compare it to the Rembrand at the National museum of art in Stockholm ), but it would be smart to keep this one inside for coming generations.

2. I would much more prefer if the bullet marks would have been painted in a not so eye catching color.
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Old 04-08-2008, 06:59 PM
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Mmmmmmm, while applauding APG/Jentz for even this "token" restoration (vis-à-vis the repair work to the last restoration attempt, not a return to its1944 condition), there are some units at APG in truly dire straights that need immediate attention.

There needs to be an innovative approach to the collection that may require a relocation of items to Europe (specifically Germany) on a long term loan basis with a restoration caveat attached.
I'm positive that if this was a M4-Sherman collection in Eastern Europe, that got a "lick of paint" while rotting away internally/externally, there would be a more parochial view that's not showing up in these USA/North American English speaking web sites regarding irreplaceable historical items (when there gone we can get into 1/1 replica collecting ).

Sorry for the rant but I'm still miffed about the joy ride Tiger I (I gave money to this project because it was a total restoration and before I found out that it would be driven around as a "crowd puller" ) in Britain or the circus performing Tiger II in France. Just shaking my head in disbelief, with respect to Mr Jentz, at yet one more clumsy indication of the reenacter's approach to history and not an antique collection of ancient weapons (well one day).
Again, sorry for my frustrated naiveté.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:07 AM
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Brand new beast!
But why din't they want to use a matt finish?
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james84 View Post
Brand new beast!
But why din't they want to use a matt finish?
as TJ said it wouldn't stand the weather. He is also puzzled by silver paint on the impacts ...
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:02 AM
joeblow2 joeblow2 is offline
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I was fortunate enough to be at APG on the Thursday the Elephant was painted. I was taken into the paint booth. I took pictures of the Elephant up on blocks as well as parts as it was being painted. Of course, I was not allowed to touch the beast as the paint was wet.

I was especially interested as I had one of the rare Imai Elephant kits in my possession for 35 years.
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