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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
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Panzerjagerwagen Build Log
wbill76
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Posted: Saturday, August 11, 2007 - 05:16 PM UTC


Since this project deals with a rail car mounted Pzkpfw IV-H turret, it makes sense that the build would begin with the car chassis itself as the first sub-assembly. Step 1 has three sub-steps to complete the construction of the undercarriage.

The first sub-assembly is the spring and hub mounts for the wheel trucks. The springs are nicely represented but have prominent mold seams on the spring tops that have to be dealt with. The springs mount directly to the hub base via a post mount and the hub faces are made of three separate parts with some very nicely molded cast in lettering detail.

The axles have hex-keyed ends that match up to the hub ends and trap the wheels between the hubs and the axles and small insert, A13, that is a spacer to insure the wheels are placed at the correct distance from the hubs. The fit on the hex-key end is tight enough that no glue was necessary and I likewise didn't glue the A13 inserts or the wheels, which allows the wheels to rotate freely, something that will be handy later on for painting.



The second sub-assembly deals with the wheel wells. There are four of these, labeled D8-D11 and I'd recommend you mark these somehow with a Sharpie to keep them apart. I didn't do this and it caused a little head-scratching as I built them up because they look very similar to each other but aren't quite exactly the same. More on that in just a bit. Each well receives 4 parts, 2 mounts for the springs and 2 pistons for the brake arms. The brake arms are mounted directly to the back panel of the well and then matched up to the pistons. The directions here have an error, they have an arrow showing the brake arm attaching to the spring mount, something that's not physically possible if you try it. As you can see in the photo below, there are large ejector marks present on the interior of the wells, but these won't be visible unless someone flips the whole car upside down, so I didn't spend time on filling and sanding them.



The third sub-assembly is to get the axles/wheels into their respective wells. This is a little tricky as the only installation points are the springs themselves, so a nice level surface is necessary to get them to glue to both wells and be straight for installation.



Step 2 directs for these to be installed into the hull of the car. There are molded in points for them to mate up to and this is where it's important to remember which of the earlier D8-D11 is which. When the axles are installed into the wells, they pair up, but it's possible to get them switched around if not paying close attention. When this happens, you will know right away as the slope angles where they meet front vs. rear are slightly different. When mismatched, they look like this:



And when properly installed fore and aft, it looks like this:



Once placed in the proper spots, the well tops sit below the rim which is how they should to allow proper fit for the upper deck plate. I dry-fit this just to be sure and everything is in good order for the next steps.

ALEX_HELLAS
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Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2007 - 12:51 AM UTC
Will you correct the turret?
tatbaqui
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Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2007 - 01:36 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Will you correct the turret?



I actually have the same question. Have read thru the PMMS review -- seems that there are dimension issues on it. Plan to get one of this, do look forward to reading thru the build log.
mark197205
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Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2007 - 02:28 AM UTC
Nice start Bill, the wagen itself goes together very quickly.
Am gonna follow closely as I picked one up last night.
wbill76
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Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2007 - 04:04 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Will you correct the turret?



As an OOB build of the kit, I will not make any modifications to it (add AM, correct dimensions, etc.) beyond what's necessary to get it built up so that people can see what the kit actually builds up to. In order to correct the turret, I would think it would have to be replaced wholesale as the issues cited with the height front and back produce the incorrect slope on the turret roof. It's not something that can be corrected by just shaving 2 mm off the rear and 1 mm offf the front. One of the areas that I can already see that would benefit from AM would be replacing the barrel for example. On the sprues, one of the halves is slightly warped which will make gluing and sanding the seam a little bit more of a challenge.
mark197205
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Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2007 - 04:16 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Will you correct the turret?



As an OOB build of the kit, I will not make any modifications to it (add AM, correct dimensions, etc.) beyond what's necessary to get it built up so that people can see what the kit actually builds up to. In order to correct the turret, I would think it would have to be replaced wholesale as the issues cited with the height front and back produce the incorrect slope on the turret roof. It's not something that can be corrected by just shaving 2 mm off the rear and 1 mm offf the front. One of the areas that I can already see that would benefit from AM would be replacing the barrel for example. On the sprues, one of the halves is slightly warped which will make gluing and sanding the seam a little bit more of a challenge.



I was planning on doing some corrective work on the thurret til I saw that the roof was moulded as part of the turret walls, I'll either just go with it as is or see about getting replacement turrets, I'll be swapping the barrel out either way for a ally one.
Panzerkommandant
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Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2007 - 06:23 AM UTC
Hi Bill,

nice built so far.
Is it possible to use Tamiya`s Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H early turret to replace the scrap one? I think it is possible to glue Trumpeter`s interior parts in the Tamiya turret.
I guess,there will be sanding or cuts to do, but it is an alternative.

Keep us posted and good luck.

Nils
wbill76
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Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2007 - 06:26 AM UTC
Nils,

I'm not sure if the Tamiya turret would work or not having never built that particular one. I do have the Academy H/J turret which I believe was derived from it from an old build. Checking the exterior dimensions, the Academy turret is 42mm wide at the mantlet vs. 40mm on the Trumpeter turret. At the front the Academy turret is 15mm high vs. 19mm on the Trumpeter. At the mid seam of the turret, the Academy turret tapers to 40mm wide and matches the same width on the Trumpeter. If the Tamiya turret dimensions are the same, you will have more room width wise but less room height wise, so it could probably work. I've no idea though if the Tamiya/Academy turret are the right dimensions though, the only one that I've seen confirmed as having the right dimensions is the DML F2/G turret from the most recent Smart Kit.

Edit: I also checked the turret ring diameters, and the Academy turret ring matches up exactly with the Trumpeter turret ring and with just a slight modification of one of the ear tabs, also matched up with the top of the mount on the rail car, so it would fit there as well.
mark197205
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Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2007 - 06:51 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Bill,

nice built so far.
Is it possible to use Tamiya`s Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H early turret to replace the scrap one? I think it is possible to glue Trumpeter`s interior parts in the Tamiya turret.
I guess,there will be sanding or cuts to do, but it is an alternative.

Keep us posted and good luck.

Nils



You could, but the Tamiya turret is missing the flush screw heads on the roof that the Trumpeter one has, although it shouldnt be too hard to scribe them into the Tamiya one using the kits as reference.
Panzerkommandant
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Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2007 - 07:15 AM UTC
Guys,

I see...it is possible to use a Tamiya or Academy turret. But isn`t Academy`s
Pz. IV the old Pz. IV H late from Tamiya of the 70ties?
Sure, the early Ausf. H is copyright 1997(?), but still poor in detail like Marc said.
When you like to have a fully detailed turret and the Ausf. F2/G Smart Kit turret works, it is also the modernest on the market, I think, go with this.

Nils
wbill76
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Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2007 - 03:28 PM UTC
Nils,

That would likely be the most accurate option, although buying the DML F2/G just for the turret for use on this one would also be the most expensive way to do it. No more expensive than if someone brings out a resin turret for it though I imagine.
wbill76
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Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2007 - 04:18 PM UTC
Lots of progress today on multiple fronts. Picking up from yesterday, I continued on with Step 2 and added the debris plow to the front of the car. This is a two-piece arrangement with each piece using 2 small tabs to attach to the lower hull on the rail car. I mounted the left side blade first using liquid glue to get it into the right position and then mounted the right side blade. The point where they meet, or rather are supposed to meet, at the front to form the angle of the wedge didn't line up perfectly but since the blades are a bit flexible, it was possible using regular glue and finger pressure to get them to match up. Once the regular glue had set, I came back with some liquid glue to fill the seam and then sand it down to finish the join.



The remaining part of Step 2 is the creation of the linkage gear for the front of the car and this is a complex assembly of 7 different parts. In the review I'd stated that these can be left workable with some care but after test fitting them together, the fit is sloppier than the linkage arrangement on the BR52 I'd built, which I'd assumed was the same on this kit. This combined with the complexity of the arrangement meant I held off until the front plate of the car was mounted before gluing and attaching.

Step 3 deals with the attachment of the front car plate and the necessary details. I attached the front plate first to the car hull to avoid damage to any details and the fit was generally ok, with some use of liquid glue and finger pressure at the edges necessary to get a good fit. Care is needed to make sure the plate stays flush with the top of the car sides as the deck plate will sit flush against this when it is installed. I was happy to discover that the bumpers do indeed have locater holes inside for the head-lamp bases, they look like ejector marks at first glance but are the exact diameter for the posts, so a few twists of the appropriate drill bit and they were opened up. These were attached without incident and the whole bumpers mounted to the plate. The linkage gear was assembled and installed, aligning it with the plow blades so it didn't snag. Last but not least, the side steps were installed. These are a delicate arrangement and the posts are smaller than the holes in the plate, so not only did they need bracing to get them to set in the right position while drying, they also required some putty to fill the gaps as well.



Step 4 is a simple step, it calls for the construction of the rear bumpers and the installation of the rear plate. The rear plate had the same issues as the front plate but otherwise installed cleanly.



Step 5 is a major step, it deals with the installation of the deck plate and the addition of the large wooden box to the deck rear. Test fits with the deck plate in previous steps prepared me for some slight gaps front and back and I'd deliberately not glued the sides to the wheel wells to insure it had some flexibility for this step. I used regular glue front and back and at the corners and several large rubber bands along with liquid glue along the sides.



While drying, I assembled the wooden box, creating the square out of the sides and sloped front and back first to get them aligned and then added the top. The molding has very nice wood grain and alternates the boards so that the pattern isn't the same over the different planks.



The rubber bands then came off the car. The sets set up well but the front and back plates needed more attention. I used additional liquid glue and finger pressure in select spots to get them closed up. Only a couple small spots needed some putty help.



That completed the car construction, so the next step started in on the turret interior. First up was construction of the two-piece gun and breech. I used regular glue here and then sanded down the seam with a sanding twig.



The coaxial turret MG34 was also constructed out of its three parts and the muzzle drilled out with a pin vise.



The gun mount and recoil guards were constructed and attached. The recoil shield has a very large ejector mark on the surface facing the breech, so if the right side turret hatches are left open, it will be very visible. Since I'm not going to have the interior displayed, I didn't fill this or any of the other many sink marks present. The left side of the gun mount includes a gear that keys to the elevation teeth on the recoil guard, which means that the gun will not elevate easily once installed, so before installing into the turret it would be a good idea to make sure it's set at the angle you want.



Next up came the construction of the exterior armored cover for the recoil housing. This is a four part assembly and the two square parts of the housing, B33 and B32, fit together really well. The same was not true of part B34, the gun barrel sleeve. This didn't align at all and I was able to get the top to align but all the other three surfaces required putty and sanding to get them to match properly. This was slid down over the barrel and glued into place and another problem revealed itself, the diameter of the sleeve is too large relative to the diameter of the barrel. Whether the gun barrel is too small or the sleeve too large is up for debate, but there's clearly too much room there for one reason or another. Last but not least, I assembled the two-part muzzle brake and cleaned up the exterior seam with a sanding twig but couldn't get at the interior surfaces very well for the obvious reasons. The opening on the front of the brake also wasn't molded circular between the two halves, requiring some attention with a round needle file to correct.





Next up will come the turret details and interior.
SGTJKJ
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Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2007 - 10:16 PM UTC
Very interesting build. The subject is quite unusual and it is definently an interesting model. I will follow this one with interest.

Thank you for your time and effort in supplying us with an OOB review.
goldenpony
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Posted: Monday, August 13, 2007 - 01:00 AM UTC
Very nice thus far. The ending should be well worth it. Thanks!

210cav
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Posted: Monday, August 13, 2007 - 01:03 AM UTC
Bill-- basic technique question. What adhesive are you using and how are you applying it? Looks marvelous and I need to police up my gluing ability.
thanks
DJ
wbill76
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Posted: Monday, August 13, 2007 - 01:24 AM UTC
Jesper, Jim, appreciate the comments.


Quoted Text

Bill-- basic technique question. What adhesive are you using and how are you applying it? Looks marvelous and I need to police up my gluing ability.
thanks
DJ



DJ,

I use two glues, both by Testor's. The "regular" glue is their Model Master glue in the black bottle, the tip of which I've cut down with sprue cutters and use a clear tip, also by Testors, that were designed to work with the orange tube type glue to provide more precision (and to keep the tip from inevitably clogging and rendering the whole bottle useless! ). The other glue is Testor's liquid glue in the glass bottle but instead of using the supplied applicator brush in the cap, I use a 3/0 brush to apply it as it gives more control. The black bottle glue has lasted me months as I typically will only use it for stuff that needs extra adhesive help on the first join, otherwise it's the liquid glue as the main glue.

Jamesite
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Posted: Monday, August 13, 2007 - 02:26 AM UTC
Bill,

Great to see this WIP thread as I have been drooling over this kit for a while and think I have finally managed to track one down (no names mentioned in case he is inundated with requests, but thanks mate you know who you are!!)

It's an odd but interesting kit, one thats exactly my kind of thing!

Will be following this thread with interest in the meantime anyway. Particularly interested in seeing the turret schurzen go on (I take it you are using the PE schurzen?).

Keep up the great work,

James
210cav
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Posted: Monday, August 13, 2007 - 02:52 AM UTC
Bill-- thank you for the information. I will certainly get the MM glue.
Appreciate your help. The build is going well and we welcome more photos of your work.
Well done
DJ
Henk
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Posted: Monday, August 13, 2007 - 03:30 AM UTC
Good work so far Bill. Some good construction tips for future builds.

Cheers
Henk
wbill76
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Posted: Monday, August 13, 2007 - 07:11 AM UTC
DJ, my pleasure. A note on the liquid glue, be careful to keep the lid tightly sealed as it's highly volatile and will evaporate on you before you know it. I actually had half a bottle disappear overnight once before I realized what had caused it!

Henk, so far the build has been about par for the course for a Trumpeter mold without anything too horrendous, but the turret interior presents more challenges yet to come I think.


Quoted Text


Will be following this thread with interest in the meantime anyway. Particularly interested in seeing the turret schurzen go on (I take it you are using the PE schurzen?).



James,

I was thinking about that today and I'm leaning towards building up the PE schurzen first to see how they look with the frames and then deciding which one will actually be installed. The slot tabs in the turret are deep, but I think if the matching tabs are cut off the styrene mount arms, they can be filled that way and then sanded down or puttied if any slight gaps are still present. Don't want to commit to the surgery though until I've actually got the PE versions built though. The styrene pieces are nice as both a guide for forming the PE and a fall-back if the PE don't work out for whatever reason.

mark197205
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Posted: Monday, August 13, 2007 - 09:04 AM UTC
Something I've noticed looking at the plastic turret scherzen is that it varies in thickness across the parts, and I dont know if its just on mine they seem thinner on the bottom edges vs the top and the triangular bit at the front is the thickest of all and would need thinning down somewhat if used.
wbill76
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Posted: Monday, August 13, 2007 - 01:26 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Something I've noticed looking at the plastic turret scherzen is that it varies in thickness across the parts, and I dont know if its just on mine they seem thinner on the bottom edges vs the top and the triangular bit at the front is the thickest of all and would need thinning down somewhat if used.



Mark, on mine they are beveled top and bottom and thicker in the middle as a "trick" to make them appear more to scale in thickness. Still not as thin as the PE though. The triangular piece at the front is noticeably thicker than the sides and would need to be sanded/thinned to match the beveled portions.
wbill76
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Posted: Monday, August 13, 2007 - 04:03 PM UTC
More progress today, I decided to take a stab at correcting the barrel sleeve gap issue as it bothered me too much to leave it alone. I cut a strip of 0.3 mm Plastruct sheet styrene and using some liquid glue, carefully inserted it as a "spacer" around the inside of the sleeve. Once the glue had set, I came back with a sharp #11 blade and carefully trimmed back the excess, then sanded it down flush around the perimeter.



Then it was on to the turret. I combined steps 7 and 8 since they are essentially the same thing, adding details to the turret exterior. The rain guards, parts B63, required their mount posts to be removed in order for them to sit flush against the turret as the mount holes aren't deep enough. I removed the posts with sprue cutters, leaving just a small nub to help insure the alignment and to cover the holes. The lifting hooks, parts B22, also needed some help. These have square mount pegs that don't match up to the holes on the turret and have the added bonus of being super thick, about twice what they ought to be. I removed their pegs and gently sanded them down with a 600 grit sanding board and a pair of tweezers.

The hatches themselves have very large and deep ejector marks and the vision port has the added bonus of a sink mark on the inside. If leaving the hatches open, these will have to be dealt with. Since I'm closing it up, I left them alone but show them to you here so you can get an idea of what to expect.




The hatch bump stops also have slots in the turret (Trumpeter went all-in on this design approach) that are too big, once the posts were installed, some putty was needed to fill the remaining gaps. The hatch hinge mounts were installed on both sides, these are a very tight fit due to the dimensions of the cut-out openings, but don't fit flush against the sides of the exterior on one end, requiring more putty work.



After the putty had dried, I went back over it with a sanding twig and carefully trimmed down the excess with the point of my knife blade and secured the hatches in place on both sides.




Jamesite
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Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 01:49 AM UTC

Quoted Text

James,

I was thinking about that today and I'm leaning towards building up the PE schurzen first to see how they look with the frames and then deciding which one will actually be installed. The slot tabs in the turret are deep, but I think if the matching tabs are cut off the styrene mount arms, they can be filled that way and then sanded down or puttied if any slight gaps are still present. Don't want to commit to the surgery though until I've actually got the PE versions built though. The styrene pieces are nice as both a guide for forming the PE and a fall-back if the PE don't work out for whatever reason.



Bill,

That sounds like the sensible option, i'd be interested to see how you get on with the PE as there seems to be a lot of small parts from the frets.
Keep up the great work,

James
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Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 03:12 AM UTC
In regards to the Testors cement you use, What is a good solvent to clean your brush with the thin liquid stuff? Same question for the kind with the orange label.
Greatbuild thread so far.

Juggler