As I mentioned before, I have to scratch build the holzgas setup featured in my third military diorama. I like to scratch build and utilize “found” materials in my projects. It stretches my abilities and it helps keep down the cost of modeling! I had no choice but to carry out some scratch building for this project, as I could find no 1/35 scale holzgas resin kits on the internet.
Images of holzgas-equipped World War II vehicles reveal that, while the science behind holzgas was the same everywhere, the appearance of the power generating systems that were cobbled together for it across Europe and the British Isles were anything but standardized.
Photos I gave me a good idea of a gassifier tower’s dimensions and appearance. I cut a 1/2-inch dowel to the height that looked correct to me. To obtain a metallic look I glued Mylar from a Maxwell House International Coffee container around the cylinder (not a product endorsement!), using thin strips of adhesive HVAC metal foil for the top and bottom bands to help keep the Mylar in place. Then I clipped a length of coat hanger, twisting it to match the down pipe on the cylinder’s side, super-glued the pipe into a hole I drilled into the tower.
Gassafiers featured a top hatch, by which wood chip fuel that generated the gas were shoveled in. Given that the holzgas rig would be located in the Citroen’s trunk area, I fashioned the hatch from the trunk lid’s spare tire bump out. Cutting it out with my trusty X-Acto knife was a laborious process but once I’d sanded the edge, and added a handle and hinge (courtesy of the spare parts box that’s a must for every modeler), it came out okay.
Its difficult to see in this picture but I glued several fittings from the parts box onto the gassifier. The flat black paint I brushed on the tower streaked nicely on the Mylar and the clothes hanger “pipe.”
The gassifier’s fittings are more visible in this shot, taken after I mounted it into the auto’s open trunk area. I decided to place the tower before I finished assembling and attaching the car body. I constructed a shield of sorts between the tower and the back seat, to mask the gassifer from view. It looks pretty rough-hewn but it serves the purpose.
I close this blog post with a picture of the automobile from a different angle. Of course, the interior remains in the colors in which it left the Citroen factory in Paris, as only the exteriors of German-appropriated vehicles were re-painted.
Let me know if you find the record of progress on my third diorama to be of interest!