Generator for German tank painters

There’s a different variant made by FCM :


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Must be my oldtimers creeping up on me, I just realized the topic switched from the generator power source to the air source! ha ha Wayne

Some compressors had their own petrol engine and others depended on a petrol driven generator if there wasn’t a mains supply in the vicinity.

Yes, the petrol driven generators was my original query for running the small compressors that they have in the painters kit. Wayne

If you’re looking for a small generator, Lead Warrior makes 2 variants of the Zundapp 7.5 kVA German Field Electric Generator :


Thanks Henri, I have seen those, plus the Plusmodel WG3000. I have the Riich generator and antenna set also. Wasn’t sure if their output would work. Wayne

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The Plus Model generator would power most things, including cranes.

Many German vehicles had small engine mounted air compressors just for this sort of paint work, especially if they employed an air over oil brake system or if they were intended to tow a heavier gun with brakes of it’s own.

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Later production Sd.Kfz. 10s had an extra large air tank installed just for this reason: to provide more braking power for towing heavier guns.

Mirror Models used to make an extremely nice gas engine driven air compressor for their Diamond T / Holmes Wrecker truck model in 1/35th. They also packaged this item in a two pack that was sold separately. You might come across a set of these on eBay or at a model show. I am looking for one myself!

All-in-all there would be very little design difference between a US and a German air compressor.

Someone spoke earlier of using compressed air to start a tank engine.

The M3 Stuart with its’ radial airplane engine employed blank shotgun shells to provide starting compression for the engine.
(Just like Jimmy Stewart used start his airplane’s engine in the movie “The Flight of the Phoenix.”)
The restoration crew at the Patton rigged up an alternate starting system. They took a large welder’s gas bottle and charged it with compressed air. Then they connected a 12’ hose with a quick release air fitting on one end to this tank.
They carried this arrangement around in the Museum service truck on event days and whenever they needed to start the M3 they would fish the hose in thru the driver’s open hatch. He would plug the quick release into the tank’s air system and “start 'er up!” Worked like a charm!

I’m not saying this particular air compressor is original to this Maybach Engine but this is where/how they were mounted, up front, right side of engine, and were belt driven off the main crank pulley.

Photo found on line.

If you are going to have air brakes (most German halftracks did) then you are going to need a source of compressed air on the vehicle, which will also serve for the occasional spray paint job.