StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Andy J on Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:32 am

Casemate in place and the first lick of paint.



I skipped the steps that call for the attachment of the track-guards as due to my replacement of the brackets with more accurate C-section their fitment and location is a bit iffy. Therefore fix the casemate in place and this will act as the guide for their attachment. Also gave the cooling air intakes a coat of red-primer before fitting the debris guards. I'm leaving the hatches shut on this one as there isn't any detail on them and there will be plenty of opportunity for open hatches with the other StuIG.



The main armament has been given a dose of 1-[4-ethoxy-3-(6,7-dihydro-1-methyl-
7-oxo-3-propyl-1H-pyrazolo[4,3-d]pyrimidin-5-yl)
phenylsulfonyl]-4-methylpiperazine in the form of liquid cement to fix its elevation so that it now looks a little more perky Wink

btw, any recommendations for a replacement MG34? It doesn't look good for the kit part Suspect


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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Andy J on Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:41 am

Still cracking on with this build with the track-guards fitted and starting on the details, which is when things will slow down a bit.



Details started on the casemate with the guard wires on the gun-sight shield and the aerial mounting, both these were from the Eduard set, with the latter further detailed with a length of solder to represent the cable.



Detail on the aerial mount, which just needs a little bit of weld beading and it's done.



And whilst I have the Mr Dissolved Putty out for the weld beads I'll also be filling the sink marks on the engine air inlet mushrooms Neutral


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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Pavel Zabák on Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:33 pm

Great progress on this panzer box Very Happy

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Andy J on Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:05 am

Thanks Pavel. Panzer Box! An excellent name for it Laughing

Started on the wheels the other night, along with bits of brass.

Front mudguards fitted and the wheels paired up and awaiting clean up. There will be more on the wheels later as basically, they're effing awful and I'll compile a catalogue of woes as I go along with them No



More solder used, this time for the light cable.



Followed up with some welding, this time on the casemate.



and gun aperture fillet, I wasn't sure if this was welded but J&D show it as a weld...


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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  John T on Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:39 pm

That's going great! (Carefully taking notes...)

Cheers
JT

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Andy J on Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:25 pm

get yer note book handy JT, I'm going to vent on the roadwheels...

It had to be done and I could procrastinate no longer, the roadwheels, return rollers, idlers and sprockets have been assembled, cleaned up and dry fitted to the hull. It's starting to look like a tank erm... big armoured box mounting a BFG all bodged onto an overloaded tank chassis Razz



I'll start with the wheels first and then work my way round clockwise.

Did my usual of pairing each wheel up and then cleaning them up, makes it easier to hold onto but probably doesn't save any time as each one get the treatment. I use a big old file for this and I'm none to gentle either as the accidental nicks and cuts that inevitably occur, rather nicely duplicate the damage that the tyres would have suffered in use anyway. Each wheel has a really thick sprue attachment to remove and a heavy mould line on the outside edge, usual stuff to be expected. The alignment of the two halves isn't brilliant as the lightening holes don't line up. Difficult to tell from photos but I'm sure that they're meant to Suspect Anyway, you need them to line up as they need to be drilled out to remove flash or in the case of the smaller ones, to open up the odd one or two (several tbh).

Next is the sprocket, only two attachment points and very minimal mould lines all of which are easy to clean up. There's a bit of clean up needed when the two halves are joined but not too much as it can't be seen too readily. But once again the alignment is out, Dragon have three little locating pins so that the sprocket rings line up, trouble is the spokes and cutouts on the two halves don't line up and from photos these should Evil or Very Mad I removed the pins on one set but this really was a nightmare in trying to get everything lined up again, as without them there isn't any lateral locating either so the two halves just slide all over the place whilst trying to line them up. So for the second sprocket I followed the instructions and parts locating whilst cursing Dragon for doing a 1/4 arsed job.

Return rollers have similarly thick attachment points and a big mould line. Gentle clean up this time as they don't get knackered like the roadwheels. Dragon's little "gift" on these is the knockout pin mark in the middle of the hub. Yes really. In between the bolt detail. Shocked This required some very gentle carving with my micro-chisel.

Finally the idler, these need the most clean up as there are four knockout pins in between the spokes which leave huge nubs of plastic to remove all whilst trying to preserve the profile of the spokes. At least these parts line up nicely even if each one does seem to take an age to clean.

That's it, rant over.


Last edited by Andy J on Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  John T on Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:54 pm

Hi Andy

I've been dabbling with mine, starting with the wheels and I concur with all you've said. They're pretty unimpressive, the idler is the thing that's bugged me the most so far; removing and cleaning up the knock out pieces inside the narrow gap between the spokes -arr!! Evil or Very Mad

So that's another another rant over!

Apart from that trouble, your big armoured box with BFG is looking most impressive! Cool

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  hmgroth on Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:04 pm

Yep, I totally agree re the wheels on these kits . . . thick attachment points, seam lines, mis-alignment . . . the whole ball of wax. I've just about put mine off as long as I can.

Mark

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  G Cooper on Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:45 am

Ohhh. I think that is one of the true marks of the advanced modeller when they start to notice all the things that are wrong. And I don't know how old those kits are, but just something I learned a long time ago and something that most people do wrong when doing German armor is they always remove all the mold seems on the road wheels and return rollers Suspect . The reality is that there were mold seams on almost every rubber road wheels the Germans made during the second world war.

http://data3.primeportal.net/tanks/erik_torp/stug_iii/images/stug_iii_15_of_39.jpg

These are kind of dirty and muddy, but you can see the seam on many of them, and some of the return rollers also. And on ones that are not so dirty they are even more noticible. It's just one of those things that there are not that many good close period photos of. I guess tank wheels weren't that fascinating to photographers back then like they are today Rolling Eyes . And while it is true that with some good heavy wear they would dissapear in time, but most of them usually had some visible seam on them. As far as the alignment issue, can't really help you too much on that. Except that in the future if you don't already use this trick all you need is a short run of track to put the drive sprocket in to align every thing while you glue it together. Fruilissimo tracks work great for that.

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Andy J on Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:39 am

Thanks chaps, I did need to get that rant off my chest, it wasn't unexpected as I knew this kit was old and I think the hull and suspension is even older (Gunze Sangyo?) so I suspected that it would need some work and tbh, I'm greatly enjoying the chance to practise my scratchbuild and photoetch skills. But the wheels really are a catalogue of awfulness.

The mould seams on the real thing is something that I've only recently learned about, same thing with Shermans as well (likely to be true of any rubber tyres due to the moulding process) but Dragon scuppered even this as the mould seams on the wheels were on an edge not the centre Rolling Eyes Although I think it would be a very brave or well referenced modeller who keeps that little detail, but I for one would stand by them and defend their work. Wonder how long it will be before we see Dragon loudly proclaiming this aspect of the moulding process to be the latest detail on their kits Cool

Unfortunately none of the tracks I had were really suitable as a template for the sprocket due to being fragile and needing a sprocket to form the links around, oh wait... hang on... scratch Anyway Friul tracks would be ideal for this as once they're pinned they're rock solid and you know, even rubber band tracks would have worked... and as I type this I realise that there are a set of 40 cm rubber band tracks sitting in the panzer IV munitions carrier kit


Last edited by Andy J on Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:12 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : New smiley)

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Andy J on Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:39 am

Bit more work on the rather extensive brass set from Eduard, which includes vehicle specific details as well as replacement parts for the somewhat heavily detailed kit parts.

Jack with kit shackles (moulded blobs) replaced with PE parts and the two carrying handles replaced with Cu wire, after rechecking my references it is apparent that the jack is the wrong way round Neutral



Finally decided on which gun to depict, it's going to be the one on the on the top of page 18 of Trojca's sturmartillerie book (I'll scan the image later). This gun has the stowage box on the right trackguard and a third (I think) spare wheel sitting on the front superstructure and a second run of spare track on the glacis. I replaced the MG with one from Aber, bit of a puzzle with the MG as Dragon depicts a standard MG34 complete with pintle mount and sights, however I have no idea how this would work in reality and so I've used an armoured AFV barrel. Photos are indistinct on this feature so I've based this decision on purely (fairly logical) conjecture.



The headlight needs a bit work too as it's too long, luckily Dragon leave a mould seam about 1 mm from the front face of the lamp. I removed the plastic back to that seam, which leaves the dimensions about right and then replaced the pintle with some rod of the correct diameter.



Last edited by Andy J on Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:54 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Jenny Ryan on Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:50 am

Looking absolutely superb , good call on the MG , I am sure they could use either .

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Andy J on Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:07 pm

Jenny Ryan wrote:Looking absolutely superb , good call on the MG , I am sure they could use either .

Jenny flower

That's what I was thinking, and rather than use one of the rather excellent Aber standard MG34 barrels (keeping those for AA or infantry mounts) I went for the armoured barrel. It was whilst I was building one of those barrels that I started to doubt that an infantry weapon would be used as it would need to be withdrawn into the vehicle from time to time, which would be somewhat difficult with the pintle mounts and foresight in the way Exclamation

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  G Cooper on Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:26 pm


Hiya Andy:

It's still looking real good. And all your work on the little details is really paying off. But I am affraid you may be right about that jack being facing the wrong way Mad . And I also totally agree with the choice of the armored mg barrel. I believe that they were standard issue from
when the vehicle was manufactured.


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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Andy J on Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:06 pm

This is the vehicle that I will be using as inspiration and a guide, likely put this in a small vignette too.


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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  John T on Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:41 am

Hi Andy, I found images here some of which I had not seen before:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/deckarudo/sets/72157626012367767/detail/

My apologies if you already have them. I agree with your logic about the MG, I think I will grab a new one with an armoured sleeve also. Very Happy

Cheers
JT

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Andy J on Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:11 am

Thanks JT, I haven't seen a few of those before, excellent find. Looks like I'm building gun G4; there's a nice side on view of that gun and the stowage matches the other photos, also looks like this gun sported the unit insignia on the right trackguard as well.
Interesting photo of one of them being towed by a Pz IV or Stupa IV, never seen that one either.

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Andy J on Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:30 pm

Finished! Well I've finished the construction of the vehicle and fitted the wheels using blu-tack so I can form the tracks. Still to do are the tracks, the stowage, some sort of base and a figure. But after a lot of scratchbuilding, modifications and just good old fashioned modelling here's my first StuiG 33, gun G4 of 23 PD at the battle of Kursk.








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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  John Short on Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:50 am

Its looking really good Andy. The metal box on the back deck looks great.

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Andy J on Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:01 am

John Short wrote:Its looking really good Andy. The metal box on the back deck looks great.

Cheers John. The box was part of the Eduard PE set, seeing as practically all of the guns had these it's a mystery why Dragon missed it the first time round, the new smart kit has it though. The kit out of the box will however build into a nice looking model but is limited to the Kubinka example only or conceivably the other 11 guns lost at Stalingrad.

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Jenny Ryan on Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:18 pm

Excellent work , well now the dreaded tracks affraid , always the anti fun part of the build Razz .

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Andy J on Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:16 pm

Jenny Ryan wrote:Excellent work , well now the dreaded tracks affraid , always the anti fun part of the build Razz .

Jenny flower

Cheers Jenny, this one has been a fun build. Except for those tracks Suspect Why can't there be something simple like... you know... wings or propellers Razz

I'll get my coat, and I know where the door is Laughing

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  John T on Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:57 am

Welcome back to the naughty corner Andy, some of us never leave! Wink Nice work on this StuIG!

Cheers
JT

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Andy J on Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:14 am

John T wrote:Welcome back to the naughty corner Andy, some of us never leave! Wink Nice work on this StuIG!

Cheers
JT

Cheers mate, I'll take my usual place in the corner Wink TBH, I'm surprised it's taken this long to end up back here. Oh well, I suppose I should crack on with those tracks by way of penance Rolling Eyes

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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

Post  Andy J on Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:14 am

Right! Can't put it off any longer, time to get those track sorted out. First thing is to clean up each link, as although I'm using the smart tracks from my other StuiG 33, they still have two pin marks on each inside face. Luckily this is the sort of thing I can do from the comfort of my sofa so suitably armed with music and refreshment I set to cleaning up approximately 200 links.



Lengths of track made up using a steel rule as a guide and my calipers acting as a weight, so that everything remains square.



Complete set of tracks made up and formed round the wheels (held on with blu-tack) and allowed to set. I found the best way to fit the tracks is to remove the sprocket from the hull and fit it in the tracks as the locating pin is low and wide so allowing an easy fit (sometimes Dragon can engineer things well), fit the tracks round the other wheels and then fit the sprocket. As the idler is on an eccentric the correct tension is easy to achieve.



Finished result.



Also took the opportunity to assemble the tow cables and form them around the vehicle, and make the set of nine spare links for the lower glacis as is shown in the reference photos.


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Re: StuIG 33 - Kursk, 1943

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