GlenP

Ordnance 3: StuG III Ausf B SBS

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Thank you, both! Tools and tool mounting coming up next.

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Wo bleibt mein Panzer???

 

Die Englander kommen!!!!!

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Thanks X. It's the Ostfront though. Shouldn't that be Die Ruslander kommen?

 

Back to the fun...

Tanks carry tools. Tools for the mechanical aspects of the tank and tools for working soil (i.e. dig a trench Hans). Small tools are carried inside the tank or in external stowage boxes, while the larger tools are carried externally and are fastened to the hull and fenders using clips and latches. Externally carried tools were often painted entirely in the main camouflage color of the vehicle, or unpainted, or have painted metal parts with the wooden handles being left bare wood or stained in some oil-based preservative. For the most part I go with painted metal parts and stained wood handles. It adds a little color to the camouflage scheme – especially if the camouflage is a monochromatic dark gray…

 

Where appropriate, I added the clasp latches to each tool. These are the wire loops you seen in the pics. These were cut, bent to shape, trimmed off, then superglued to the clasp. The tools were then sprayed the dark gray of the vehicle. Once dry, the wooden parts of the tools were painted a wood tone, in this case Reaper’s Shield Brown triad with a bit Tanned Leather run across the top. A final glaze of Chestnut Brown was then applied to replicate an oil-based preservative stain. The one exception was the wire cutters. Apparently, the handles were made of Bakelite (an early plastic) impregnated rolled paper. Bakelite had a red-brown color, although I suspect this varied from one manufacturer and one production batch to another. The metal parts of the tools were then chipped and scratched using a Prismacolor Steel colored pencil.

 

The next step is attaching the tools to the fenders using superglue applied with a pin. I usually start with items that are low to the fender and work my way up when there are tools and mounts of varying heights. That way, my fingers and/or tweezers aren’t banging into other tools while I try to set another one. This was the case with the tools on left fender. The right fender was easy; I started at the front and just worked my way back to the jack. Speaking of the jack, the Germans employed a jack block of dense wood bound by metal straps to spread the load under the jack. These were secured to early war vehicles using a leather strap. The jack block is located under the tool bin near the front section of the right fender.

stugIII_tools.jpg

stugIII_tools_left_side.jpg

stugIII_tools_right_side.jpg

stugIII_tools_above.jpg

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Nice! I'm looking forward to working with more (and bigger!) pieces when I start the 1/35 Matilda. That's one thing I'm starting to see with my exploration into armor. There's a constant push for more and more historical accuracy and detail. Now, I'm not convinced that all historical detail is actually historical, but there's definitely a bias towards more history than the whatever goes in fantasy/sci-fi minis. What sources do you use to do this out of curiosity? I remember (and have seen) books that were dedicated to (in my case in the past) specific aircraft with many of their variants included. Then again, I used Google to search for my muddy Tiger, but even in that case, there were many more variants of Tigers than I would have thought. LOL!

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Awesome!

 

*** Wir sind am Ostfront???? Deswegen ist es so kalt!!!***

 

*** Sind das die Russen? Bitte mach das Panzer fertig!!!***

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@Kharsin: you are right about the push for more and more detail. It started back in the early 80s. When kids began abandoning model building for mall arcades and home gaming systems (curse you, Atari!). Kit companies began focusing their marketing efforts towards adults. Adults expected more accuracy in terms of size, shape, and detail. Kits have generally gotten better since then, but their prices have been in an upward spiral since. 1/35 scale armor kits have risen to 40 - 60 bucks for medium and large sized tanks. The old one-piece rubber band and vinyl tracks have pretty much disappeared to be replaced by the model glue friendly flexible tracks on the Stug III and hard plastic individual link or link-and-length tracks (the latter common in Tamiya's line of 1/48 scale tanks).

 

Reference-wise, I have an extensive library of military aircraft, armor, and ship books, most of which are technical in nature in that they chart the changes from one variant to the next. There is also the interweb. You can find books at squadron.com (their own line of squadron/signal publications and other book lines they carry), amazon, Schiffer Publishing, and a myriad of others. There are also armor specific modeling sites like track-link, missing-lynx, perth military modeling site, and track48 (this devoted to 1/48 scale armor).

 

@xherman: Ostfront yes, but it's summer 1941 - warm and dusty... And we're on the downhill run to finishing the project.

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Attaching the wheels and tracks is next. As I mentioned, the tracks are a flexible polystyrene that can be assembled with regular plastic model cement. When joined, the tracks want to take the form of a tear-drop with the narrow part where the ends are joined together. I glued them together and clamped the joint with self-clamping tweezers and used hobby knives to flatten the tracks so that the joint was a flat run. This relieved the strain for a stronger joint. It’s important to not use too much cement where the narrow mounting tab joins the track proper. Too much cement can melt the thin tab allowing it to separate from the track. Ask me how I know…

 

The next job is attaching the roadwheels, track return rollers, and the rear idler wheels (the drive sprockets are left alone for now). These do not roll and are cemented into position. It’s an easy enough task, but make sure each axle shaft gets a swipe from medium grit sandpaper to remove the gray paint. While the cement can melt the paint some, it will re-harden and make a weak joint. Once cleaned, I simply painted the axle with the glue, attached the wheel, and rotated it about 20 degrees left and right to spread the glue and seat the wheel. Repeat.

 

Once the tracks and wheels are fully cured (I gave it 24 hours – BSTS), the tracks are looped over the idler wheel and the guide teeth are fed into the gaps between the wheel pairs. Next the drive sprocket is placed into position with the teeth engaging the slots at the outer ends of the track links. The drive sprocket shaft is then pulled to the sprocket mount and sprocket pushed into the hole. There is some resistance as the shaft squeezes through the soft plastic. All this can a bit fiddly because you have to hold the hull steady, keep the drive sprocket engaged with the tracks, pull (gently) on the sprocket to align the sprocket shaft with its mounting hole, then push it in – all with two hands. Then you get to do it again on the other side.

 

 

stugIII_tracks09_glued.jpg

stugIII_wheels05_attached.jpg

stugIII_tracks10_attached01_left_front.jpg

stugIII_tracks10_attached02_left_side.jpg

stugIII_tracks10_attached03_right_rear.jpg

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Wow!

 

Looks amazing!

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On 4/25/2017 at 10:47 PM, Kharsin said:

Nice! I'm looking forward to working with more (and bigger!) pieces when I start the 1/35 Matilda. That's one thing I'm starting to see with my exploration into armor. There's a constant push for more and more historical accuracy and detail. Now, I'm not convinced that all historical detail is actually historical, but there's definitely a bias towards more history than the whatever goes in fantasy/sci-fi minis. What sources do you use to do this out of curiosity? I remember (and have seen) books that were dedicated to (in my case in the past) specific aircraft with many of their variants included. Then again, I used Google to search for my muddy Tiger, but even in that case, there were many more variants of Tigers than I would have thought. LOL!

 

A little late but here is a link to just a few of the books I use for reference on just the PzKfw III and its variants. I have added to this part of the library several times since that post was made. http://wargamesandrailroads.blogspot.com/search?q=PzKfw+III

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I’ve added a radio antenna to the antenna mount. This is just a thin brass rod fixed in place with superglue. It’s important to keep the antenna aligned with angle of the mount and the protective trough hanging of the side of the engine deck. Once cured, the antenna was primed and painted. I’ve also painted the tail lights.

 

Now that the model is pretty much assembled and painted, it’s time for my last step – chalk pastels. I’m using basic earth-tone chalks from craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s. I use a small file to grind off some material onto a post-it note stuck on the desktop.  I usually have it off to the side so a sneeze or exasperated breath doesn’t blow it away. It’s happened…

 

I apply the chalks using and old paint brush, Q-tip, or one of those fuzzy ball tipped applicators (they can also be used for glue application, special effects painting, etc.). The chalks are applied in areas that, like the dirt/dust washes, are protected from human activity – the little nooks and crannies that are found all over the vehicle. The concentrations are varied. Each wheel gets a treatment as well. I don’t use a clear coat or other fixative, so some care in handling is required.

 

At this point, I usually consider the model done. I set it aside for a few days and then go back over it with a fresh set of eyes looking for missing/damaged parts (remember, fat hammy fingers), stray paint blobs, and glue spots.

 

The pics show what I’ve got so far. The next set of pics will be in the Show Off forum. I’ll crosslink the two threads. I hope you all enjoyed it and, as always, questions and comments are welcomed.

 

See you in the Ordnance category in October.

 

stugIII_chalks+details01.jpg

stugIII_chalks+details02_left_front.jpg

stugIII_chalks+details03_right_rear.jpg

stugIII_chalks+details04_rear.jpg

stugIII_chalks+details05_above.jpg

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I think this is an awesome job!

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Thanks! Better (I hope) pics this week in 'Show Off'. Now working on a Scale 75 'Bitsie' armored space babe.

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FInal pics posted here: 

 

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