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"A Balanced Diet" - Late War Winter StuG.III - 1/35 Dragon Ausf.G


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Time to jump in to the GB with a StuG III.  My contribution will be Dragon's Late Production Ausf.G.

 

StuG III Construction 6

 

Here it is now - a box of plastic, a little PE and some Magic Links I was able to pick up to replace the DS Tracks.

 

StuG III Construction 7

 

I decided to do a winter scheme as I have some winter figures that I should be able to cut up and pose.

 

StuG III Construction 2

 

Plan is winter white wash East Prussia 1945 out of the box.

 

StuG III Construction 9

 

 

Pleasingly no Schürzen, so I can show the running gear, and no Zimmerit to make my life a little easier. 

 

If any one can assist with an image of the actual subject that would be useful. Cannot find one in my limited StuG III references. Any tips or comments very welcome.

 

Ray

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Hi Ray, good to have you join in with this nice kit, I am waiting on one coming from China so that I can use some spare parts to build my Das Werk StuG correctly.  Built after September 44 it would not have had any zimmerit but they found the schurzen helped protect the tank from anti-tank rifles so the rails were fitted at the factory like the box lid shows but I agree, it's a pain.  Other late production features are the co-axial m/g firing through the saukopfblend mantlet and the V shaped, remotely fired, m/g shield.  Pictures of these late war machines are rare, mostly found in books like Panzer Wrecks, but that' not much of a help for you.  I'll be looking in offering any help I can. :popcorn:

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Welcome to the build Ray,

 

nice choice of kit, I’m looking forward to seeing the figures as not built that set before.

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6 hours ago, Retired Bob said:

I'll be looking in offering any help I can. 

Thanks Bob, I am certainly no expert on the StuG III. Any input greatly welcome.

 

 

15 minutes ago, Ozzy said:

I’m looking forward to seeing the figures

 

Hopefully I will do them justice.

 

And let the games begin ...

 

StuG III Construction 10

 

Ray

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Hi Ray. Welcome to the GB. Great to see you are underway. Hopefully Dragon's instructions will be a little better than some we have seen so far in this GB. Keep a careful eye on them to make sure they are correct and not missing information! Good luck!

Kind regards,

Stix

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26 minutes ago, PlaStix said:

Keep a careful eye on them to make sure they are correct and not missing information!

Thanks for the good advice Stix. I've noted already you can mess up the torsion bars and the instruction drive sprocket part labelled A11 should be A9 and I have only just started. It'll be just like doing a jig saw puzzle. An expensive little kit but I expect it will deliver its money's worth. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Today, I had a very pleasurable evening doing some assembly (running gear, superstructure and main armament). I broke from the instructions to get a couple of the major sub assemblies together to check fit while working towards a stage, hopefully, where all will be ready for painting with sprockets, wheels and track done separately. 

 

StuG III Construction 11

 

I had heard about some fit issues with this late Ausf.G kit and can report nothing significant. The worst I have is this narrow gap at the front of the glacis plate. Once glued I expect the gap will be minimal and may even close up, or, worst case, may need a thin sliver of card to thicken that bottom plate slightly.

 

StuG III Construction 15

 

Note that I did not follow the instructions and mounted the gun base directly in the hull and at this early stage. The superstructure can still be slid on - doable if there is only a gun mount to get in the way. This simplified the interaction of the sub-assemblies (two only) in checking fit. It will also allow me to paint everything in the interior in a generic colour when I am ready. 

 

StuG III Construction 12

 

The top crew hatches will be open and stuffed with figures so there is need to detail up the interior - just enough to hold the barrel. I also left out the radio installation and racking. I am not planning to have a removable roof, avoiding the need to do a fully detailed interior. Very tempting when you see the lovely gun detail, but this would only be a start.  

 

StuG III Construction 13

 

Pulled it apart after checking fit and will next complete any details needing interior access before closing up. I may still opt to paint hull and superstructure separately. We will see.

 

StuG III Construction 16

 

All progressing nicely. This Dragon kit is a delight. Thoroughly enjoying myself.

 

 

Ray

 

 

 

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Hi Ray. Great to read you are enjoying your build. These Dragon kits do seem to be pretty good - it's just the instructions that let the kits down a bit. Looks you are getting this one nicely into shape.

Kind regards,

Stix

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On 03/04/2021 at 20:03, Ray_W said:

Note that I did not follow the instructions and mounted the gun base directly in the hull and at this early stage. The superstructure can still be slid on - doable if there is only a gun mount to get in the way. This simplified the interaction of the sub-assemblies (two only) in checking fit. It will also allow me to paint everything in the interior in a generic colour when I am ready. 

Hi Ray, I build my StuGs the same way, adding the completed parts to the hull as I go to ensure they fit without any gaps.  Comparing your parts to my last couple of builds, yours is an Alkett built machine.  How are you going to tackle the tracks, I've found it easier to assemble the tracks gluing them to running gear pushed onto the hull and then slide it off once dry to paint, depending on how "muddy" you want to make it, you can attach the outer wheels or leave them off for detail painting.  They appear flimsy but I haven't had many problems doing it this way, and having tried assembling the tracks in top and bottom sections, painting and weathering all the parts then attaching the two track sections back to the wheels, sprocket and idler afterwards, it always ends in a fight that I have not always won.  My shelf of doom can prove this. :unsure:

IMG_1520

 

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33 minutes ago, Retired Bob said:

How are you going to tackle the tracks

 

Hi Bob,

 

I like your method. This will work very well with my track weathering technique. Thanks for the suggestion.

 

34 minutes ago, Retired Bob said:

yours is an Alkett built machine.

 

I smiled when I read this. I am definitely not a StuG III expert so had fully expected, in advance, that I would build in some errors. Any suggestions are most welcome.

 

Ahh ... The Gun Sight

One thing that caught me out with my hull/superstructure assembly technique was the gun sight part J3. There is always this danger jumping around instructions and double the danger with a Dragon kit. Part J3 protrudes through the roof.

 

StuG III Construction 18

 

I thought there was no need to worry about the gun sight detail as I was planning to have the roof flap closed but my assumption on this may well of been wrong. Dragon does not give you the option and moulds it open. The hole has to be filled and no better way than with the sight itself.

 

StuG III Construction 19

 

So I added parts E7 and E10 to the gun then assembled the hull and superstructure. I had to slim some unnecessary detail off part J3 and will be able to poke it through that hole and glue it in place after painting. 

 

 

The Glacis Plate Gap

I did some research on the gap at the glacis plate.

 

StuG III Construction 17

 

I measured the distance from the back of the weld bead to the far side of the plate and got approximately 2.2 mm. A full size 77 mm. To me that front plate looked thin for a solid piece 80 mm late war StuG. So a fill and scribe is in order and try and replicate it more like as follows. That simplifies things

 

 

 

StuG III Construction 20

 

 

So all is coming together and ready to add some detail. That "saukopf" mantlet does go on. It is one of those jobs that is easy to put in place and much more difficult to remove, so, best now to leave it off until I am ready.

 

StuG III Construction 21

 

Ray  

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Hi Ray. Looks like you have been making excellent progress and I do like your annotated presentation. Despite some obvious issues with the kit it appears you have everything well in hand! :thumbsup:

Kind regards,

Stix

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3 hours ago, Ray_W said:

I smiled when I read this. I am definitely not a StuG III expert so had fully expected, in advance, that I would build in some errors. Any suggestions are most welcome.

I wouldn't call myself a Stug expert either, just read a few things on t'internet and some books,  from what I can see of your instructions Dragon are directing you to build the Alkett version, these are the "L" parts in the kit, the couple of things that visually identify an Alkett machine from those built in other assembly factories are the interlocked engine cover, part L12 with air intake boxes parts L10, L11 and the track guards, parts L1 and L2 with their four support brackets, parts L5.  Did use the glacis plate part L15, there is another in the kit, part D11 which is an earlier thinner glacis plate?

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6 hours ago, PlaStix said:

Despite some obvious issues with the kit it appears you have everything well in hand!

 

Hi Stix, well not everything. Read on ......

 

 

5 hours ago, Retired Bob said:

Did use the glacis plate part L15, there is another in the kit, part D11 which is an earlier thinner glacis plate?

 

I thought I would check and discovered I had been caught by the dreaded Curse of the Dragon Instructions. A very nice L15 sitting attached to sprue "L" in the box screaming out "take me, take me", which of course I chose to ignore and blissfully carried on with D11 from the instructions.

 

StuG III Construction 22

 

Not to worry, I had already commenced making the thin version thick. Sometimes you can fluke it. I left enough width on the top strip to accommodate a thickened front face. This was through luck not design. It should finish up OK. If nothing else I have a good template I can copy. 

 

StuG III Construction 23

 

Ray

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5 minutes ago, Ray_W said:

I had been caught by the dreaded Curse of the Dragon Instructions. A very nice L15 sitting attached to sprue "L" in the box screaming out "take me, take me", which of course I chose to ignore and blissfully carried on with D11 from the instructions.

I'm sure there must be a practical joker working in the Dragon plans office, we put the correct parts in the box see if they notice that we have put the wrong part on the plans.....it's so funny. 🤣

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Up early this morning and decided to knock over that front armour plate irritation.

 

I made a scale thickness 30 mm piece (slightly thinned 1.0 mm card). Chamfered the edges to clear the side weld seams and to better fit the top piece. This will give a total armour thickness of a scale 80 mm. 

 

StuG III Construction 24

 

Glued in place with a little Revell Contacta, for workability, and edges with Tamiya Extra Thin.

 

StuG III Construction 25

 

Glued a thin strip across the bottom to square the base. The strip is thin, but is casting a shadow as it slightly overhangs and thereby appears thicker in the photo.

 

StuG III Construction 26

 

Now I will let all dry well, then sand edges square and flush followed up with some CA on the joins and sand again to ensure no possible seams and all should be good.

 

Time to think about how to replicate the welding beads. Super neat, German style to match Gunze representation. I was thinking of stretched sprue glued in place with Tamiya extra thin and worked with a scalpel and pin. Any ideas welcome.

 

Ray

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Ray_W said:

Time to think about how to replicate the welding beads. Super neat, German style to match Gunze representation. I was thinking of stretched sprue glued in place with Tamiya extra thin and worked with a scalpel and pin. Any ideas welcome.

I've tried various methods of replicating weld seams and stretched sprue worked with Tamiya extra thin has produced the best results and it's less messy than miliput or filler.

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8 hours ago, Retired Bob said:

stretched sprue worked with Tamiya extra thin has produced the best results

 

Hi Bob,

 

Yes this technique works very well. I found a toothpick gave the best results. A simple and clean technique for a very reasonable result.

 

This must be late in the war with an inexperienced welder who should of upped the Amps a little. Also, I expect that sideplate was also welded where it butts up against the sloped top plate. I'll have to find a pic. 

 

StuG III Construction 27

 

I also used the same technique around the Commander's cupola deflection shield. Watch out, I'll be welding everything in place. 

 

StuG III Construction 28

 

With that front glacis plate now done I can push on with the other details. But first, let me see 🤔 what else can I weld in place.

 

Ray

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Ray_W said:

But first, let me see 🤔 what else can I weld in place.

There's no stopping some people once they learn a technique. :whistle:

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Hi Ray. Great to see you have managed to successfully sort out the front plate issue. And I am well impressed with your welding!! :thumbsup:

Kind regards,

Stix

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@PlaStix

 

Thanks Stix,

 

A lot of fun. I always like it when I have to take out the card stock and do some mods even if it is just to replace what was in the box. 😬 Hopefully get to glue a little more plastic this evening. 🎉

 

It is certainly a slow build as that which pays the bills is taking up a lot of my time. I am not complaining, always helps - more kits, more kits - and my order today for some Vallejo Model Color. I am a traditionalist with regard to figure painting (oils), but I have decided to give the acrylics a go. Well I should say I am going back to aqueous paints as I used Tamiya when I was younger, when it was brushable out of the jar.  I hope I have time to finish the 4 crew members planned for this build. 

 

Ray

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I have started to play around with the crew. Always, like people with my armour to give it some perspective and I think this will show how small the StuG III was:

 

StuG III Construction 29

 

I am calling it the slightly cryptic "A Balanced Diet" and amending the thread title accordingly. Hopefully, as it comes together, you will see why.

 

Ray

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  • Ray_W changed the title to "A Balanced Diet" - Late War Winter StuG.III - 1/35 Dragon Ausf.G

Hi Ray. Mmmmmm................I will be interested to see where you are going with this.......

The figures look good.

Kind regards,

Stix

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On 08/04/2021 at 14:38, Ray_W said:

I have started to play around with the crew. Always, like people with my armour to give it some perspective and I think this will show how small the StuG III was:

 

StuG III Construction 29

 

I am calling it the slightly cryptic "A Balanced Diet" and amending the thread title accordingly. Hopefully, as it comes together, you will see why.

 

Ray

Is the guy leaning over pointing out some really bad welding? "Just look at that, Willi. There's hardly any penetration at all. It won't last five minutes..."

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The story is coming together,

 

I am happy with the Loader and Driver on the back deck. Time for some Milliput and clean up of gaps and joints. I also want a plain fur cap so will fill the eagle.

 

StuG III Construction 32

 

I like the Commander's face, wry smile to the Loader's joke. Ok for a Dragon head. 

 

StuG III Construction 30

 

Having repositioned the Commander's arms/hands and getting them just where I want him, I'll probably swap him out. I think the jacket is too bulky for the Commander and will pick something appropriate - less bulky and hoodless. I still might change my mind as this shows someone in the Commander's position with a hooded coat.

 

StuG III Construction 33

 

And then there is this wonderful image with competition in the 1944-45 Winter Fashion stakes.

 

StuG III Construction 34

 

My Gunner is conspicuous by his absence, still playing with his pose sitting with legs in the loader's hatch.

 

Ray 

 

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Lovely work on the figures Ray. Looks like it's going to be an interesting vignette.

Kind regards,

Stix

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