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Academy Panzer III Ausf J North Africa


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Hi all, thanks for welcoming me to join in the fun. This will be my thread for the GB and here's what my entry currently looks like. I'll get some pics of the parts at some point soon but it looks like a good kit. Some areas are a touch disappointing, the 'continental' marks on the rubber for example are hardly visible but I can live with that. My plan is to build it OOTB, possibly with a decent resin figure if I can find one, and for the tank to be painted with the Tamiya DAK paints.

 

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Hi again WA and welcome to the GB. As Dennis said, that's a nice looking kit. I'm looking forward to when you make a start on it! :popcorn:

Kind regards,

Stix

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Welcome to the build warhammer,

 

looking forward to seeing the paintwork as I’ve got a pot of that DAK paint, I just need something to try it out on.

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I'm itching to get started but unfortunately I had to deal with a fallen tree yesterday and only managed to snap a quick picture of the contents of the box. This isn't a 'review' type picture as I'm sure someone has done a better job elsewhere but look at the amount of stuff in that box. There are a few bits of PE, most of it is plastic and I'm genuinely quite intimidate by the sheer quantity of it. There is far more than the Meng Char 2C I'm working on which is comfortably double the size. The instructions are also pretty complicated although I'm reassured by how much of it is taken up by fitting outer detailed panels to an inner framework which will hopefully make for a robust kit.

 

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Hi Stefan. Wow that's a lot of plastic! Be interesting to see how it goes together.

Kind regards,

Stix

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I found time to make a start whilst my Char B2C was drying, here are a couple of photos of my progress:

 

Firstly the underside of the hull which went together nicely and has lots of detail. There weren't any gaps and the internal bracing makes it pretty robust.

 

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I have now fitted most of the suspension, cleaned up the wheels and about half of the track links, hopefully my progress will be a little more dramatic once the tracks etc are done. In the mean time I'm going to browse the other threads on here to see if anyone has any tricks I've missed for doing the running gear.

 

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Hi Stefan. Great to see this one is underway and it looks like you are making excellent progress. :thumbsup:

Kind regards,

Stix

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Hi all, thanks for your comments. I've finally managed to get a little more work done and now she has tracks!

 

These weren't too bad, the top run of the tracks is all link, the bottom part link and length which works well. I used the ruler trick an quick drying cement. Normally I leave all the wheels removable and keep the tracks separate, then I saw Panzermeister 36 had one a Panzer 3 type suspension and glued the wheels to the track. I was toying with this approach but decided against it as it seemed a bit pointless and decided to leave all the wheels detachable. Once I started applying the tracks it became clear that this was an error, the return rollers weren't fixed securely enough and it felt like the tracks were too big to take the stress without being formed into a complete circuit so I decided to glue them to the rollers, idler, drive and road wheels. I left off the outer road wheels so that I can paint those individually (a trick that works brilliantly with Christie type suspensions if you haven't tried it already) and left them to set overnight. I'll see whether I can get them off the hull tonight when I crack on with the build.

 

I was hoping to have some spare track left over to put on the turret but unfortunately there aren't that many left, if anyone has a spare sprue of track links they would be willing to part with (potentially in exchange for money or I can make up some custom masks using my vinyl cutter if that would be of use) or knows of some cheap ones I could pick up in the UK I' be most grateful for any help you can offer.

 

Anyway, tracks:

 

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I’ll have a look, how many are you thinking of?

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2 hours ago, WarhammerAdjacent said:

Thanks, ideally 15 or so links but beggars can’t be choosers and all that.

I thought I had a couple of bags of magic tracks from a Panzer IV build, can I find them. Not sure where they have gone. 

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Thanks for looking Ozzy, I'm sure I'll work something out.

 

In the mean time I've managed to get a bit more work done on the hull. I've done a few Meng kits recently and this build seems so much more complex, not difficult but there are so many steps and small details to add. That said, this is a really well engineered kit and the fit has been pretty great so I've really enjoyed the construction stages.

 

Most of the hull details are together, I've been working in the living room in the evenings so I've put off messing around with CA and PE but hopefully I can do that  today and finish the hull. Then it'll be on to the turret which has a huge amount of detail.

 

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I've been doing some research looking at colour photographs of German vehicles in the desert and I'm wondering about trying something a bit different with the paint job and using the 'black basing' technique. These pictures show quite a lot of variation in tone across the larger surfaces, I am thinking of using panzer grey over the black for the base but then adding marbling in yellows with some brown for a little warmth. I can then blend that with the DAK yellow and chip it back to the grey in places. It is a little out of my comfort zone but hopefully it'll be in the 'magic' zone rather than the 'mess' zone.

 

I've also got plans for some scratch built stowage racks for jerry cans and such on the back, it looks like there will be a lot of spares on the sprues so hopefully I'll have a couple of other bits to add as well as bits from the spares drawer.

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Hi Stefan. Great to read the kit is good and you have been enjoying the build. It looks great so far. Looking forward to seeing more.

Kind regards,

Stix

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14 hours ago, PlaStix said:

Hi Stefan. Great to read the kit is good and you have been enjoying the build. It looks great so far. Looking forward to seeing more.

Kind regards,

Stix

 

Thanks, I managed a fair bit of progress over the last couple of days. Firstly I managed to finish the basic build, applying the rear decks and assembling the turret which took a little bit of finageling to get together but nothing extreme. There are a few little bits of PE which are easy to apply and shouldn't put off even a total beginner.

 

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Next came scratch building a jerry can rack, this is made from plastic card cut into strips and roughly fitted around a jerry can. I then cut a 'plank' from some thicker plastic and used some very coarse sand paper to give it a woodgrain texture.

 

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Finally last night I managed a base coat of 'panzergrey', actually a mix of Tamiya Sea Blue and Dark Grey. It's probably a touch too blue but it will only show as light chipping in places and its main function will be to (hopefully) provide a little variation in tone for the final coat of paint.

 

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Nice work on building the Jerry can rack, can’t do a DAK build without some sort of Jerry can storage solution! Good to see some paint on it, good plan on the chipping. If it all does go too far you can always add more desert yellow over the top. 

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Really progressing with this, looking good!

 

Good luck. 

 

Atb

Darryl 

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Hi Stefan. That is coming together beautifully. Always good to see when the paint starts going on. And I do like your scratch built jerry can rack. :thumbsup:

Kind regards,

Stix

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Thanks all, I'm afraid I've sacrificed time on my computer for bench time hence the lack of an update recently. The good news is that that means this is going to be a mega update!

 

As I think I said earlier, I wanted to experiment with black basing using different colours to create a range of tones in the final coat, I started off with Tamiya's new German red-brown over the undercoat of Panzer Grey and two layers of hairspray. It's a weird paint, it looks a sort of dirty green until it dries but it does go brown eventually.

 

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Next I applied a thin layer of Tamiya XF-92, DAK Yellow Brown, marbling it over the brown.

 

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I think it looked pretty cool at this stage and it makes me want to do another Panzer 3 in one of the obscure panzer grey and brown schemes you sometimes see, there's at least one in Stalingrad which looked a bit like this. Next I lightened and heavily thinned some XF-92 and applied it as a blend coat over the top.

 

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What doesn't come across from the pictures is the lovely pinky shade of the XF92, it's a really nice colour and works well. I was pleased with the overall effect at this stage, the panzer grey peaking through creates some depth and interesting tonal variation. You can't actually see the brown coming through so I don't think I'll bother with that step next time which would effectively make this a pretty standard 'black and white technique' job. Next came chipping, another step where it's hard to get the balance right so I tend to err on the side of 'less is more'. That said I really want to err on the side of 'artistic overweathering' with this build so I scuffed at the corners, around hatches and hinges with a wet brush.

 

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At this point I remembered that I was supposed to put on some camouflage, I thinned some vallejo model air 116 but this was virtually invisible against the yellow brown so I added a little green to create a shade that would actually show up.

 

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If I'm honest I'm not overly happy with the way the camo turned out, it is too stark and doesn't have the same variation as the paint below which is a bit frustrating. That said, I think (hope) that a light filter and then enamel sand effects will break up the contrast enough to work. I've been working on painting up the tools and fitting them to the hull but haven't managed a photograph. I think tonight I'll get a coat of varnish on ready for decals and a filter tomorrow.

 

Thanks for all the comments so far, any feedback or criticism is more than welcome.

 

 

 

 

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Hi Stefan. Your paintwork is looking awesome - your black undercoating really paid off!! Hopefully your decals will settle okay with a bit more work.

Kind regards,

Stix

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