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StuG.III F/8 Early Production - Dragon 1/35 - update 03/05/21


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250 StuG.III Ausf. F/8s were produced from September to December 1942. The F/8 made use of an improved hull design similar to that used for the Panzer III Ausf. J/L and had improved rear armour. This was the 8th version of Panzer III hulls, hence the designation 'F/8'. The hull had towing hook holes extending from side walls. 30mm thick plates of additional armour were bolted on to speed up the production line from October 1942. From the F/8 onwards, the 7.5 cm StuK 40 L/48 gun was standard until the very last of the Ausf. G. 

 

I'm thinking of making this Dragon kit as one of the ones based in Sicily:

50902405797_5a7388aac9_b.jpg

 

Back of the box:

50901579953_23ff0f59c7_b.jpg

 

I was very lucky when I found this kit, which was reduced in price, in the old Ian Allen bookshop in Birmingham before it closed down:

50901579873_4e9f773130_b.jpg

I always used to enjoy hunting through the stack of reduced kits in that back kit section upstairs. I managed to get quite a few Dragon kits, including several Dragon Panzer IIIs as well.

 

I was also lucky, in that this kit included Magic Tracks as well as the normal DS tracks usually included in this kit. Most versions of this kit only came with the DS tracks alone. The reviews I have seen only seem to have the DS tracks so I assume this boxing was a limited run:

50902287916_44b38e07f6_b.jpg

 

I will probably add a figure or two, some stowage and make a base for it.

 

Can't wait to get started.

 

Kind regards,

 

Stix

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  • PlaStix changed the title to StuG.III F/8 Early Production - Dragon 1/35

Hi Stix, hope you are keeping well.  A nice choice for the build, I have the older kit  of this that Dragon produced, with all the axles moulded as part of the lower hull, this, along with a Stug Ausf.G  and a couple of Panzer III M/Ns that are all in Revell boxes they had the lower hulls with all the axles moulded on, I wasn't sure of their accuracy so I have moved them to the unwanted pile.  Life's too short for bad kits. :winkgrin:

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Looks like a good deal Stix’s, have you got a shrink ray to reduce to 1/48?

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22 hours ago, Robert Stuart said:

Oh, nice.
Will watch with interest since I've wanted an F/8 for a while now.

Hi Robert and hopefully it goes together okay. It's been a while since I've built a more complex 1/35 kit. 

 

22 hours ago, Retired Bob said:

Hi Stix, hope you are keeping well.  A nice choice for the build, I have the older kit  of this that Dragon produced, with all the axles moulded as part of the lower hull, this, along with a Stug Ausf.G  and a couple of Panzer III M/Ns that are all in Revell boxes they had the lower hulls with all the axles moulded on, I wasn't sure of their accuracy so I have moved them to the unwanted pile.  Life's too short for bad kits. :winkgrin:

Hi Bob. I am well thank you and I hope you are too. It took me a while to decide what to build for this GB and I think it's a reasonable compromise between complexity and not overly too many parts. We'll see. And I understand what you mean about kits that aren't quite right. Might as well build kits that you think you'll enjoy from the outset.

 

21 hours ago, Ozzy said:

Looks like a good deal Stix’s, have you got a shrink ray to reduce to 1/48?

Hi Ozzy. Yes I think I got lucky with this kit when I purchased it. Yes I was just mentioning to Bob that's it's been a while since I've made a 1/35 kit!! Have to see how it goes!

 

I'm hoping to get the sprues washed tomorrow and I may take some photos of them if I get chance.

 

Kind regards,

 

Stix

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Following along with interest, as like Bob I have the older kit (Think it was originally a Gunze Sanyo one). However I've built most of mine so will finish it off one day.

 

All the best

Ben

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Great choice Stix, as Robert has suggested these F/8 are getting hard to come by.

 

Cheers

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20 hours ago, badger said:

Following along with interest, as like Bob I have the older kit (Think it was originally a Gunze Sanyo one). However I've built most of mine so will finish it off one day.

All the best

Ben

Thanks Ben. Hope you are well. Be interesting to see your F/8 complete at some point. Just been looking on Scalemates at what I think must be the original kit from what must be about the mid nineties then?

 

17 hours ago, Jasper dog said:

Great choice Stix, as Robert has suggested these F/8 are getting hard to come by.

Cheers

Hi Darryl. Thanks. Yeah, from checking after it was mentioned that these kits are a bit scarce now, I discovered that some boxings of the actual kit I'm building here, are going for silly money on places like eBay. The only one available through Scalemates is from the Ukraine for 60 Euros. Don't know what the postage would be though.

 

Looks like I got very lucky. Wasn't particularly looking to purchase a StuG III F/8, it just happened to be in the reduced stack when I went in the old Ian Allen shop a while back. Didn't know anything about this tank. I do like a bit of a bargain though! Hence the reason I'm hosting the Less Than a Tenner GB when this GB has finished.

 

Kind regards,

 

Stix

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Decided to get the sprues washed in warm soapy water, so also took some photos of all the parts. Everything in the box:

50908712912_d5c08f8227_b.jpg

Wow that looks like a lot!! I've mostly built 1/48 and 1/72 kits recently - so not seen our kitchen table this full for a while!! I know quite a lot of parts won't get used - check out the blue areas on the instructions top left. That may help!

 

Some closer views - the detail looks quite nice:

50908582296_3b15b6900f_b.jpg

 

50907886378_4bd60a8189_b.jpg

 

50907886338_d7529752b0_b.jpg

 

50907886303_cac7ae80f1_b.jpg

 

50907886313_e842f81f97_b.jpg

 

Main PE parts:

50908714977_aa8aa5348c_b.jpg

 

Decals:

50908714917_0faa65e03a_b.jpg

 

Magic Tracks:

50907888583_43a053ba69_b.jpg

 

Clear parts:

50908714772_18f523ebf4_b.jpg

 

Sample of the instructions - they look a bit busy!:

50907888458_70627a186c_b.jpg

 

Painting instructions for the one I think I'm making it as:

50908584321_3188dc144f_b.jpg

 

Looking forward to making this!!

 

Kind regards,

 

Stix

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On 04/02/2021 at 16:34, PlaStix said:

\Wow that looks like a lot!! I've mostly built 1/48 and 1/72 kits recently - so not seen our kitchen table this full for a while!! I know quite a lot of parts won't get used - check out the blue areas on the instructions top left. That may help!

Looking at those parts spread out, as you say a lot won't get used...there are 3 sets of mudguards, if the ones on the close-ups are the ones to use, they are the type made by the MIAG factory, (I've been doing some research) well it's past midnight on Friday so It's time to start building. :winkgrin:

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Hi @Robert Stuart, @modelling minion and @Retired Bob. Thanks for the comments. Bob - yes I'd noticed there seems too many mudguards. And yes - the instructions indicate to use the ones you said - thank you.


I have spent a couple of pleasant hours finding some of the parts on the sprues for the early stages and getting them ready for painting and/or assembly. There are few seam lines here and there - like on the outsides of the tires:

50915088246_e502172e24_b.jpg

....which I filed off. You can probably also see I removed some of the sprue bits:

50915216537_5453b3f3e1_b.jpg

.......but left some parts, like the wheels, still attached in a couple of places to the sprues. This is so I have something to hold on to while I brush paint them.

 

These are all the parts I have been doing some work on:

50915222712_1297a7ce00_b.jpg
 

Hopefully I will get some assembly done and get some paint on tomorrow.

 

Comments and suggestions welcome.

 

Kind regards,

 

Stix

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  • PlaStix changed the title to StuG.III F/8 Early Production - Dragon 1/35 - update 1 - 06/02/21

Lots of parts ,lovley looking kit and a fine scheme too , how many bottles of fairy liquid did it take to wash that lot😁

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This'll be good to watch!

I've been puzzling over the etched bits #3 and how they're supposed to be attached the rear wheels? 

Any words of wisdom? 

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Looking forward to seeing this model completed Stix.  It's definitely true that there's certainly no shortage of parts and build stages in a Dragon kit is there!!  You'll certainly be kept busy :whistle:

 

Kris

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7 hours ago, Hewy said:

Lots of parts ,lovley looking kit and a fine scheme too , how many bottles of fairy liquid did it take to wash that lot😁

Let's put it this way, it would probably have been cheaper if I'd bought shares in Proctor & Gamble!! Took me a fair while too!!

 

6 hours ago, AaronKSJ said:

I've been puzzling over the etched bits #3 and how they're supposed to be attached the rear wheels? 

Hi Aaron. I'd been thinking about getting them done today and your question pushed me on to get them done. Please feel free to check further down this post to see what I did with mine.

 

5 hours ago, planecrazee said:

Looking forward to seeing this model completed Stix.  It's definitely true that there's certainly no shortage of parts and build stages in a Dragon kit is there!!  You'll certainly be kept busy :whistle:

Kris

Hi Kris and thank you. Yes Dragon do put lots in their boxes! On a couple of largish sprues only a limited few of the parts get used. I suppose it works for them as a company - just being able to dump in sprues from other versions is easier than making new moulds.

 

Today I have spent another few hours just pootling away on bits and pieces on this kit. I have to say, I like these early stages where I'm hunting through the parts and looking at all the details on parts I have yet to use......or won't use on this build!!

 

I have basically been carrying on from yesterday - filing and cleaning up parts that will be assembled for the lower hull. Most of it was very straight forward. Also been doing some assembling.

 

One minor thing to watch for if you end up making this kit in future is in Stage 2. At one point the instructions say to use four parts - Q38:

50919065387_90eeb756fa_b.jpg

 

On checking sprue Q - as seen here:

50918933426_9465efb129_b.jpg

 

.............I found that Q38 appears to be this:

50918933351_29f347965b_b.jpg

Four shovels just aren't going to fit..........even if there were three more on sprue Q.

 

So I checked all over sprue Q and discovered these four parts - Q22:

50918933246_f09c94fb4d_b.jpg

 

50918933281_3982fea5fe_b.jpg

They look like the parts in the instructions (above). A quick check through all of the instructions showed that there were no Q22s parts used at any other time. And they are not highlighted in blue, to indicate not used, in the kit parts diagram. And they fitted perfectly where they were supposed to. So, if you make this kit - you want parts Q22 not Q38.

 

These photos show the parts I got cleaned up attached to the sides of the lower hull:

50919065097_cc64530d79_b.jpg

 

50919065047_33a71bc419_b.jpg

 

On the insides of the idlers the modeller has to fit three PE parts to form a thin, inside rim. @AaronKSJ asked earlier about them. I have fitted the same parts on a Panzer III Dragon kit a few years ago. Looking at the instructions for this stage - it isn't immediately obvious how they should go on - so I checked back on my previous build to see what I did before. 

 

Once I had an idea, I fitted mine but took some photos to show how I did it.

 

This first photo shows all the bits and bobs involved:

50918247878_7a06de0d4a_b.jpg

The PE fret is what comes with the kit. You can see I had already removed three of the curved sections for the inside of the first idler half. I removed the three bits using the craft knife - which has a new sharp blade, Each of the curved parts is held on the fret, at each end, by a slightly thinner bit of brass. When you cut them from the fret you need to cut right up against the end of the actual part. They are a VERY tight fit once all three are together and, in fact, I had to remove a tiny piece off the end of the third piece to be fitted on each idler part. They are just a bit too long once they are all fitted - well I found them to be too long. I only had to remove about half a mm or less. The cocktail stick with a tiny bit of Blutack on is for picking up the small PE parts and putting them in place. The other cocktail stick is used to apply a small amount of the Super Glue in the right place.

 

This is how the inside section of each idler appears - with the outer rim sitting a little higher than the spokes where they join.

50919067272_3bc4fa4af2_b.jpg

The curved PE parts fit on top of the flat section of the spokes - and right up against the inside of the raised outer rim.

 

In this photo you can see the first piece in place:

50919067432_b110ed622a_b.jpg

A small amount of the CA glue (Super Glue) was applied, using the cocktail stick, to the flat sections of three of the spokes. I picked up the PE part (using the cocktail stick with the Blutack) and placed it in place. Then I carefully held the part in place with the other end of the gluing cocktail stick and pulled the Blutack one away. Using the dry end of the cocktail stick I made sure the part was in the position where I wanted it to be. 

 

Once the glue was set, I applied more glue to the next spokes and fitted the next PE curved section in the same way - making sure this time that it butted up well to the end of the part last fitted:

50918247723_f89a52e39e_b.jpg

 

I test fitted the third and final part each time and found that each one had to have a bit less than a half mm removed, using the craft knife, before it fitted between both the previously fitted curves:

50918247653_9661cbd8fe_b.jpg

This time the curved part only went over two spokes - but each had Super Glue applied to the flat section as before. Once set I applied a bit of Super Glue at each join in the brass circle. I also added a bit of glue alongside each curve on each spoke. This, hopefully, gives some added strength.

 

....and before long I had each set done:

50918247543_db08e79755_b.jpg

 

It's a fiddly job, but gets easier with practice. I don't know why Dragon did it like this, but I know, in some kits, they have done this circle as a complete circle - which must make it a lot easier!!

 

I still need to add more parts to the lower hull before I start painting.

 

Comments and suggestions welcome.

 

Kind regards,

 

Stix

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  • PlaStix changed the title to StuG.III F/8 Early Production - Dragon 1/35 - update 1 - 07/02/21

Aye up Stix,

 

Nice work with the brass rims. Dragon kit instructions can be a real pain at times and it doesn't help when some parts are mis-numbered etc. You seem to have got a firm grip on things though 👍

 

Look forward to updates as things progress.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

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Good lord stix ,well applied etch details on the wheel rim insides 👍,  I'll hazzard a guess you won't be using mud texture and covering all that lovley pe detail

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Ah, the joy of Dragon kits - random parts miss numbered - or not called out at all in the destructions. 
And why use one part when five will do?

Looks like you have made a good start there Stix ... and you are using the PE, I've yet to cut any of mine.


p.s. Don't look at blue A5

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Excellent work Stix - loving the PE additions.  Pleased you managed to get to the bottom of the parts mystery.  Maybe Dragon just didn't want to make it too easy for us modellers and thought we might like a challenge of trying to decipher the right part no after they put the wrong one.  Well done for tracking them down and for flagging the issue for us BMers - although I think I'm personally somewhere off getting round to a Dragon kit!!!

 

Kris

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  • PlaStix changed the title to StuG.III F/8 Early Production - Dragon 1/35 - update 2 - 07/02/21

Wow-those rims look unnecessarily complex indeed.  Nice work tackling those-they do look great when finished, I’m just fortunate to be building one of the older ones with the single-piece circles!

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5 hours ago, PlaStix said:

It's a fiddly job, but gets easier with practice. I don't know why Dragon did it like this, but I know, in some kits, they have done this circle as a complete circle - which must make it a lot easier!!

I mentioned in another thread that the older kits had a single piece ring that Dragon have replaced with 3 parts that are too large, some improvement!  That's the great thing with Dragon kits, when they mix and match sprues to make different variants, not only do you get lots of spare parts but you get a treasure hunt to find the parts to build your kit. :whistle:  Those suspension arm bumper stops were on sprue A in my kits.

Looking good Stix, a lot of the parts are the same as in my StuG/StuH kits :winkgrin:

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A correction to my last comment, having had a nights sleep and check of my kits plans I have found the correct bits, parts Q38s are attachment supports for the track guards, the same parts in my kit are B11(B12) and G21(G21) good ole Dragon kits, they keep you on your toes. :undecided:

(Barely keeping up in North Yorkshire) :winkgrin: 

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  • PlaStix changed the title to StuG.III F/8 Early Production - Dragon 1/35 - update 03/05/21

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