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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
Hosted by Darren Baker
DML Pzkpfw III N sPz.Abt.501
WingTzun
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Illinois, United States
Joined: February 01, 2006
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Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 04:44 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Outstanding work and excellent write up Bill. Thanks for taking the time to document everything so thoroughly, I can't wait for the next installment!



I agree. It's been 4 whole days since you posted some photo's of your progress. I'm going through withdrawl!
wbill76
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Texas, United States
Joined: May 02, 2006
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Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 06:57 PM GMT+7
Thaks Scott, appreciate the comments!

David,

Unless there's a three day weekend or holiday that intervenes, my time at the workbench is always on the weekends so the updates usually have a corresponding interval. My apologies if it's resulted in any unfortunate side-effects.
jimz66
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Connecticut, United States
Joined: December 15, 2006
KitMaker: 1,159 posts
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Posted: Friday, February 29, 2008 - 02:58 PM GMT+7
Looking good Bill. I am working on the sister kit. Unfortunatly my computer has had it so I cannot post right now. But my progress is coming. Hopefully I can resolve that issue next week so I can post again. Looking good. I am doing the J I think.
wbill76
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 09:55 PM GMT+7
Thanks James, can never have too many Pz IIIs I say!
wbill76
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 09:56 PM GMT+7
Today was a gorgeous day for painting in the garage, but before I could do that, some prep work was necessary. All of the road wheels, sprockets, idlers, and return rollers were mounted onto toothpicks with blue tack and then stuck into my trusty styrofoam earthworm container. The return rollers and sprockets, since they have mount pins, were stuck onto a pair of toothpicks with blobs of blue tack attached between them to provide a handling mount. The turret was positioned on a toilet paper cardboard tube that had a strip of masking tape attached to the bottom to help keep it stable, and then it was out to the garage.



When working with the airbrush, I always try to go dark to light in terms of the shades I'm using. The first thing was to spray all the wheels Flat Black in anticipation of the later stages where the circle template would be employed. Once that was accomplished, a primer coat of Italian Dark Brown was applied to the entire vehicle as well as the sprockets and idlers.



Next up was the application of a coat of Testor's enamel Afrika Grunbraun. This was applied over the primer coat by way of multiple thin passes to slowly build it up and avoid a too heavy/wet one-pass coat.



I also used the masked off circles on the circle template at this point to paint the rims, both inner and outer, on all the road wheels.



When that had dried, I applied a very light coat of the Grunbraun mixed about 10-20% with Light Gray to introduce highlights and fading. This was done very selectively with just a very slight amount of paint allowed to flow through the airbrush at any time, using the double action trigger on my Aztek to keep it controlled.





Next up will be the construction of the tracks and installation of the running gear along with all the other tools/gear for the fenders.
WingTzun
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Illinois, United States
Joined: February 01, 2006
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Posted: Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 10:24 PM GMT+7
Looking great Bill. Like your shading.
Thanks for the update - I've stopped sweating and shaking
teacher13
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California, United States
Joined: February 07, 2007
KitMaker: 11 posts
Armorama: 9 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 10:39 PM GMT+7
Bill,

I've really enjoyed watching your last couple of builds, the Panzer IV G and this one. I'm learning a lot about new painting techniques, thanks. I've just gotten back into the hobby. Back when I was building it was all washes and drybrushing. I loo foward to seeing the final product.
wbill76
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Texas, United States
Joined: May 02, 2006
KitMaker: 5,425 posts
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Posted: Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 11:26 PM GMT+7
David (WingTzun), glad to hear it and thanks for the comments.

David (teacher13), welcome back to the hobby and glad to hear the projects have been helpful to you. Never fear, washes and dry-brushing still have their place and will be incorporated into this one as part of the overall weathering process.
whittman181
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Massachusetts, United States
Joined: December 30, 2006
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Posted: Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 04:03 AM GMT+7
It's coming along great, especially the shading. I'm looking forward to the next step. Thanks.
Plasticbattle
#003
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Donegal, Ireland
Joined: May 14, 2002
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Posted: Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 05:43 AM GMT+7
Fine build again Bill. Another very useful blog. Even old dogs like meself, can learn a new trick or two!!!

Like yourself I use several cements for different jobs...Humbrol poly for when you want strength. Does the job nicely but slow setting ... so perfect to fix and let set over night. Tamiya thin for the most normal fixing. Agree with the previous opinions ... strong and sets fast. Model master thin ... excellent for brushing on and using as a capillery cement. Great for indy tracks and also to brush on sanded areas, as it smooths out and leaves a fine surface again (I use this property a lot on figures as well)! Ethylacetate ... capillery only, for invisible joining and sets fast.
sgtreef
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Oklahoma, United States
Joined: March 01, 2002
KitMaker: 5,606 posts
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Posted: Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 08:28 AM GMT+7
Looking great Bill a nice build you have going.
Can't wait to see it done up.
So any Special Unit you have in mind?
wbill76
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 12:07 PM GMT+7
Thanks Bob, appreciate the comments.

Frank,

I agree completely. Glue is like any other tool and having different types available just expands the possibilities.

Jeff, since this one's OOB, I'm limited to of course the s.Pz.Abt.501 but have chosen to go with the Red w/ White outline 07 vehicle that the finishing guide says is appropriate for Tunisia 1942/43.
imagoodsniper
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: December 26, 2006
KitMaker: 123 posts
Armorama: 111 posts
Posted: Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 12:17 PM GMT+7
Looking good bill cant wait to see the finished product.
wbill76
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 10:05 PM GMT+7
Thanks Ethan, appreciate the comments.
wbill76
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Texas, United States
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KitMaker: 5,425 posts
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Posted: Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 10:05 PM GMT+7
The focus of today's efforts went towards the suspension and running gear. First up was a return to Step 4 in order to install the road wheels and return rollers. The wheels are a very tight fit onto the suspension arms and the addition of the paint on the mount arms made it even tighter. Some careful scrapping and strategic use of finger pressure was necessary to get all the wheels seated and lined up properly, but otherwise they installed fine. I also applied some pre-weathering to the lower hull sides and the sprockets and idlers by dry-brushing some Burnt Umber to simulate scratching/wear that will be supplemented later on. The sprocket teeth also received some light dry-brushing with Steel for their wear and were dry-fit along with the idler to insure all the suspension elements had the right alignment before the track assembly and installation.



The instructions call for the tracks to be installed in Step 14 but, as I normally do, I'd skipped that until after the hull had been painted. It's worth noting at this point that the instructions incorrectly call for 98 links per side. That track length is appropriate for a Pz IV but not for a Pz III. Pz. IVs typically had 98-100 links per side while the Pz III usually had 92-94 depending. Each of the Magic track links were cleaned up by having the little nub on the guide horn trimmed down and their two ejector marks on either side of the guide horn removed. Some of the links also had some slight flash in the guide horn opening that needed to be trimmed down but nothing out of the ordinary with this type of links. The tracks were then assembled using my "speed assembly" method that I described in the Pz IV G build and were painted with Model Master Non-Buffing Gunmetal Metalizer, then dry-brushed with Steel, and finally washed with Raw Umber before being installed. I assembled and installed the left-hand track first along with the idler and sprocket, using some toothpicks to produce the desired amount of sag. I'd also constructed a short run for the right-hand side of 16 links to insure the track set up level while I worked on the right-hand track.



Each track side takes roughly 1 hour to assemble, paint, and install once the initial clean-up is done. In order to speed things along, I always clean up both sets of links first so that while one track run is setting up, I can immediately begin on the second one. Once the left side was done, the same process was repeated for the right.



While Step 14 also directs the installation of the spare track runs, it (and nowhere else in the instructions) doesn't give you any guidance on how many links to assemble and install. After test-fitting, I determined that I needed 14 links for the hull front and 8 for the glacis. Reference photos (and the box-art) show that an additional run was tack-welded to the turret roof to help add protection from air-to-ground attacks and this required an additional 11 links. Now the Magic links provided contain plenty of spares since only 92 out of the 115 per track side are used for the tracks themselves but these links are handed, so I had to think carefully about how many to use and from which set for the different runs to keep things consistent. I ended up using 14 from the left hand side for the hull front and the other 19 for the turret roof and glacis runs from the right hand side. I also used a pin vise and micro-drill bit to simulate the missing pins and open holes on the first and last links of each run...a small detail to be sure but one I thought added a bit of individuality to the runs. The runs were base painted with the same method as the regular tracks with the exception of using a Burnt Umber wash since these weren't in-use. I also applied some Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, and Black artist pastels selectively to the runs to add color and deepen their look. The runs were then installed and, as an added bonus, I went ahead and painted the hull and turret MG34s to round out the day's activities.



Next up will be adding the missing gear for the fenders and detailing the mufflers before moving on to the markings and weathering process.
whittman181
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Massachusetts, United States
Joined: December 30, 2006
KitMaker: 646 posts
Armorama: 473 posts
Posted: Monday, March 03, 2008 - 03:17 AM GMT+7
Hello Bill, the tracks are nice looking and drilling out the ends of the spare track runs is a great idea.I would not have thought to do that. Do you think the number of links per side will be the same on the J version and the Stug III G? It's 3:17 a.m. time for bed. Thanks for the tips. Bob
wbill76
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Monday, March 03, 2008 - 09:28 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Hello Bill, the tracks are nice looking and drilling out the ends of the spare track runs is a great idea.I would not have thought to do that. Do you think the number of links per side will be the same on the J version and the Stug III G? It's 3:17 a.m. time for bed. Thanks for the tips. Bob



Bob,

I had a choice between adding the missing rod pins with styrene or brass or drililng out the empty holes and decided on the holes this time around. Since the Magic tracks have the outside of the pin molded on, it looks strange for them to not have the rest of the pin present IMHO. Quick work with the knife to remove the outer molded on pin and then the pin vise and voila! empty pin holes front and back on the runs.

As far as the number of links goes, the J and StuG III had the same hull and suspension dimensions so the number of links per side should fall into the same range. HTH.
jimz66
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Connecticut, United States
Joined: December 15, 2006
KitMaker: 1,159 posts
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Posted: Friday, March 07, 2008 - 02:01 PM GMT+7
Don't give up now Bill, your in the home stretch now. Looking great. Can't wait to see it finished. Mine is almost totaly finshed. Almost ready for painting.
wbill76
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Friday, March 07, 2008 - 02:34 PM GMT+7
Thanks James, depending on how things go this weekend, it's likely to be done soon.
jimz66
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Posted: Friday, March 07, 2008 - 04:24 PM GMT+7
Bill do me a favor, I don't know if I can come to the library tomorrow, but I will try. I am a bit confused on the installation of the underside in the back. I am sorry but I do not have my instructions handy, I am refering to the installation of the two side pieces that go on after the mufflers and the small sloped piece that goes on in between. If you could shoot a couple of photos of that area from the side and bottom angles I would appreciate it. Thanks
wbill76
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Posted: Friday, March 07, 2008 - 09:44 PM GMT+7
James,

Is this what you're talking about?



jimz66
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Posted: Saturday, March 08, 2008 - 12:21 PM GMT+7
Thanks Bill, thats nearly perfect. But certainly enough for me to go on. Take care.
wbill76
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Saturday, March 08, 2008 - 10:48 PM GMT+7
Today's efforts were all about the details and that meant returning to Steps 7, 8, and 10 to install all the gear I'd left off prior to painting. All of the various parts were removed from their sprues and cleaned-up. The tools come with molded on clamp handles, but on many of them these were too thick, so I used a needle file to get them more to-scale. This was done by a combination of enlarging the interior hole as well as sanding down the exteriors to get things more reasonable. Below you can see a comparison of a before (on the right) and the after (on the left).



Once the clamps were adjusted where needed, starting with the left side fender details in Step 7, the S-hooks, jack block, and crow-bar were detailed and then installed followed by the installation of the spare road wheels. The jack block was detailed by first painting the wood areas with Leather and then dry-brushing my home-made "Wood" color to bring out the molded in wood-grain pattern a bit. All of the bare metal tool surfaces were painted with Non-Buffing Metalizer Gunmetal and then very lightly dry-brushed with Steel. I also installed the tow cables and their brackets at this point as originally called for in Step 10.



Next up was the right side fender and this one was a bit trickier. The instructions in Step 8 contain an error in that they have the arrows pointing to the wrong holes for the shovel and the cleaning rod holders. The shovel installs outboard on the edge of the fender while the cleaning rods go inboard next to the antenna rack. The mis-directing arrows causes some head-scratching at first but the position of the L-shaped rear stop for the shovel on the fender helps steer you back to the right arrangement. The starter crank, A25, didn't want to quite fit into its assigned holes either, so I carefully trimmed off the pin on the handle portion since the one near the tip did fit into its assigned hole without problems and glued it directly to the fender. All of the wood handles received a light dusting of Burnt Umber artist pastels and the canvas cover on the cleaning sponge was painted with Khaki green and dry-brushed with the Grunbraun base color to fade it a bit to round out this step.



Next up the smoke grenades were painted and installed, I left one out deliberately just to add a bit of character. These are a snug fit and I painted them first before installing to avoid problems once in their launcher tubes. Having come across a couple of reference photos for the Red 07 vehicle that I'm doing, I noticed it had the two pick-axes indicated in Step 21 as "Free Layout" items that corresponded to the box-art on the front hull plate. The points of the pickaxes were placed into the open horns of the spare track links and the handles bound together with a leather strap, so I dug around in the spares bin and modified a left-over Eduard bracket with a leather strap to fit the bill. This was installed and painted with Leather while keeping the buckle in the original metal unpainted.



Then to round out the day's activities, I painted up and installed the water jerry cans for the rear rack. The same reference photos for the pickaxes showed Red 07 with two dunkelgelb cans and the rest panzer gray, so I did the same with mine. The white crosses for the water cans were hand-painted carefully with a detail brush and some wear added by dry-brushing Steel and then counter-dry brushing Panzer Gray and Dunkelgelb back over it to dull the shine but preserve the effect.



I've also applied the foundational Future coat and will let that set overnight before applying the decals in the morning and sealing that up prior to beginning the weathering. Down the homestretch now!
TankTrap
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Invercargill, New Zealand
Joined: December 08, 2006
KitMaker: 456 posts
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Posted: Sunday, March 09, 2008 - 12:33 AM GMT+7
Coming along nicely there Bill. cant wait to see what you do with the weathering.
whittman181
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Massachusetts, United States
Joined: December 30, 2006
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Posted: Sunday, March 09, 2008 - 03:35 AM GMT+7
Awesome, I love it . Thanks and i'm looking forward to the weathering also