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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 Flakpanzer 38(t)
c5flies
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Posted: Thursday, May 01, 2008 - 01:23 AM GMT+7


After reviewing this awhile ago I figured it was time to start construction on this kit. Since I want to portray a combat duty Flakpanzer, the first item to take care of is the lightening holes in the drive sprockets. Now, if I wasn't so cheap I would have purchased the ModelKasten set to correct this, but cheap I am! So, let's see what we can do with the kit parts and build this right out of the box...........

Mixing up some Squadron green putty with a little Testors liquid glue I worked it through the inside of the sprockets and then scraped off the resulting blob on the face with a toothpick..........



Making a mess is easy, cleaning it up is a bit more of a challenge. The inside will be easy to sand as it is a flat surface, the outside surface a little more difficult due to the recessed area. What I needed was something to fit inside of the recessed area and an 11mm socket fit the bill. I glued a piece of 1000 grit wet/dry sandpaper to the end with a dab of CA and then just cut around the outside and inside to make a 'disc'. Then it was just a matter of lightly wet-sanding and refilling with putty where needed. I use silver paint to check my progress as this shows up any flaws that need retouching, if, after sanding,silver showed up where the holes were then most likely it needed more filling.




All done, not perfect by far, but after painting with flat and weathering they should look OK. And the best part is I'm using the kit parts (told you I was cheap!)


More to come, all comments welcome of course
GaryKato
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Posted: Thursday, May 01, 2008 - 03:04 AM GMT+7
Brilliant use of the socket! I'll have to dig out my socket set now!
lespauljames
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Posted: Thursday, May 01, 2008 - 05:00 AM GMT+7
i love the look of this kit. (and really want one!)
what camo are yo paintin it in?
bill_c
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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Posted: Thursday, May 01, 2008 - 09:46 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Since I want to portray a combat duty Flakpanzer, the first item to take care of is the lightening holes in the drive sprockets.


If you don't mind my asking, why? Not familiar enough with this AFV to know the answer.
c5flies
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Posted: Thursday, May 01, 2008 - 09:48 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Brilliant use of the socket! I'll have to dig out my socket set now!



I can't take all the credit, Gary, after all this is a 'smart' kit I did it half-heartedly since I really thought the 'plugs' would pop out or crack, but they're in there pretty good.

Hi Jimmy........I'm leaning towards the snaky line camo like on the box art, or just mono-tone Dunkelgelb.

Thanks for looking guys
c5flies
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Posted: Thursday, May 01, 2008 - 09:57 AM GMT+7
Hi Bill, DML gives two style of drive sprockets...both with these lightening holes. Reference photos show that only the prototype (one produced) had this style. The actual production models had solid sprockets. Not saying it is cut and dry that in the field these 'holed' ones weren't used, but photos I've seen only show the solid style.
whittman181
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Posted: Thursday, May 01, 2008 - 11:18 AM GMT+7
A very ingenious way to solve a problem This is an interesting vehicle and it will be nice to see it built , thanks Bob
bill_c
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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Posted: Thursday, May 01, 2008 - 11:31 AM GMT+7
Thanks for clearing that up. Personally, I'd go with the Modelkasten sprockets! Got too many kits waiting to be built!
c5flies
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Posted: Sunday, May 04, 2008 - 07:21 PM GMT+7
Thanks, Bob, after pawing through this kit for the review it's good to get building it! After the parts come out of the bags it doesn't stand a chance

Bill_c, for the price the ModelKasten set is a great alternative. I do like to see what can be done with a kit without any AM stuff, and if they look awful at the end I can still go that route or the cover it with mud technique!
c5flies
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Posted: Sunday, May 04, 2008 - 07:21 PM GMT+7
Now that I have the sprockets out of the way it's time to continue with the rest of the running gear. Clean-up was minimal here, scraping and sanding as is the norm. At first I was leaning towards the open style spring brackets but in the end I opted for the solid bracket springs. The back section of the spring bracket is a separate piece which is the open style, but mounted it is all but impossible to see so it didn't bother me. After getting all that cleaned up and roughing up the tires everything went into a baggie, since this kit has an interior I wanted to get that done first.



Skipping to step 4 and 5, which is mainly the drivetrain. I'm not going to have the trans or drivers hatches open, still deciding on the engine hatch. The trans/final drive went in first with the drivers seat and front plate and first bulkhead. The engine consists of quite a few parts, with the part callout of G22 actually being G25, took me awhile to locate it! The 3 pin marks on the fan shroud were filled, if any would be seen it would be these.







The battery stand and cover are PE and this gets attached to the left fuel tank. Get the fuel tanks in, then the engine, fan assembly and finally the rear bulkhead.



A quick paint and weathering and ready to go back to step 2!







wbill76
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Posted: Sunday, May 04, 2008 - 08:19 PM GMT+7
Coming nicely James, are you planning to leave all the hatches open to show it off?
c5flies
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Posted: Sunday, May 04, 2008 - 08:32 PM GMT+7
Thanks, Bill, the transmission and drivers hatches will be kept closed. One reason is the lack of padding on the drivers hatch and the other being the lack of detail up front. Most likely the engine hatch will be left open, even though I didn't add any wiring/plumbing, DML did a nice job on this section.
razorboy
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Posted: Sunday, May 04, 2008 - 10:29 PM GMT+7
Well done Sir, well done.
Scratchbuilding is a dying art, you can get almost everything you need in brass nowadays. Refreshing to see not only the action but also the old "Necessity is the mother of invention" dictum in effect. In other words, I'm cheap too.
Nicely done,
Dave "razorboy" Creel
Spiff
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Posted: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - 11:55 AM GMT+7
Oh man, that interior looks sweet!
gringe88
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Posted: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - 06:12 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Thanks, Bill, the transmission and drivers hatches will be kept closed. One reason is the lack of padding on the drivers hatch...



James, one thing you could try is cutting a piece of styrene to shape. Just round down the edges.

also, I know I'm a day late n' a dollar short, but Tamiya's Marder III M has the early prototype sprockets, without the lightening holes. I'm not sure if they'd fit the DML tracks as is, but that could be fixed.

The interior looks great! Looking forward to the rest of your build.
c5flies
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Posted: Sunday, June 15, 2008 - 09:20 PM GMT+7
Thanks for the replies, guys. I have not been able to find much bench time lately but did manage to get a little more done. Matt, I did give your suggestion for the hatch padding a try, though as you can see in the photo below I need a lot more practice doing that!



The build is straight forward at this point with each step being pretty busy, with the usual blue/black sprue designations that is typical with DML when they use multiple sprues with the same callout letter. I make a scan of the sprue sheet and tape it to the wall so I can readily find the correct sprue.

As I mentioned in the review, there is quite a bit of PE for a smart kit, with details such as the engine compartment (intake? exhaust?) screens.



Looking at references, the drivers hood appears to be flush at the top. The DML version has a lip along the top section, and due to the bolts along the side and the shape of the hood, would be difficult to modify without throwing everything off kilter. So, I left it as is. Curious to see what the Tristar Flakpanzer has in this regard.



The fenders provided are perfectly straight OOB and I wanted to portray a slight bend about halfway down as seen in many photos. No holes or markings for tools and such to be mounted on the fenders though a nice overhead view is included in the instructions. The pioneer tools provided use PE clamps, which no matter what I tried would not go together well enough. DML tool clamps are not too good to start with and these are even worse! If somebody can figure out how to get these together, please let me know. As it stands, I'll have to pick up some AM ones to continue.







The rest of the time was fiddling around with the PE ammo holders, tool box and spent shell basket. The jack gets mounted on the tool box, unfortunately no hold downs were included in the kit so some will have to be fabricated.



I'll begin working on the Flak until I can locate some tool clamps, which is a kit in itself! Just to find more bench time...............

210cav
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Posted: Monday, June 16, 2008 - 10:08 AM GMT+7
James--- very nice work.
DJ
wbill76
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Posted: Monday, June 16, 2008 - 02:31 PM GMT+7
Nice to see you're still working on this one James. I'd suggest perhaps trying some of the Griffon tool clamps if you're looking for an alternative?
biffa
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Posted: Monday, June 16, 2008 - 04:07 PM GMT+7
Looking good James this is definatly a vehicle that i want to build so i am following with interest and ditto on Bills reccomendation of the Griffon tool clasps they are good value and the easiest i have used to date.

Ron.

heres pics of the instructions and how they look

thedoog
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Posted: Monday, June 16, 2008 - 05:03 PM GMT+7
Isn't it both amazing and yet infuriating that with ll the amazing new molding technology today, they can't produce some parts without those annoying, maddening little holes in them?!
Good "save" for a difficult fix!
medicman
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Posted: Monday, June 16, 2008 - 05:21 PM GMT+7
Great build so far James, I am also working on this kit right now. I ran into a snag as the sprue containing the proper radio's & brackets is missing. I had to borrow some from a 251 kit to overcome. I was wondering if this was an isolated prob or if possibly your kit was also missing these? Keep up the great work.
c5flies
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Posted: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 01:07 AM GMT+7
DJ, thank you for the compliment.

Bill and Ron, those Griffon clasps look great, ordering a couple of sets since the DML ones always give me problems, and the ones in this kit are just downright impossible. Thanks for the pics of them.

Karl, agreed! Some things just make me scratch my head and ask 'what were they thinking of?' Then again, it would not be nearly as much fun if everything just fell together!

Rick, keep in touch and let me know if you see something I'm doing wrong! Great little kit even with it's problems. Sorry to hear that sprue RD is missing from your kit, sounds more like an isolated problem than the norm. From what I hear, DML is pretty good with customer service with those types of problems. Give them a shout and hopefully the parts will be sent out to you ASAP.

Have you tried the tool clasps yet? If you can get them together share the secret! And any idea how the drivers hood should look?

Thanks again, guys
c5flies
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Posted: Saturday, July 05, 2008 - 01:58 AM GMT+7
There was plenty to do while waiting for the Griffon tool clasps to arrive. The fighting compartment is a pretty busy place and work continued on getting the smaller items together. There are a total of 10 ammo boxes, 4 go into the PE holders and the rest fit into the base of the raised gun platform. I assembled all 10 and will decide later if I'll use them all or not. Of course the one with the crooked top will have to be hidden These will be painted and weathered separately, so they just get put to the side for now.



The 3 piece spare barrel case has 2 locating pins that protrude between the barrels, these got cut off and filled in the event I decide to keep the case open. Gas mask cylinders have PE straps which details them nicely. And speaking of straps, there may be a couple on the PE fret that can be used for the jack, we'll find out later.



The radios were assembled and installed, thankfully there are locating marks for the radios as there is not much wasted space in here. A PE rain shield tops off this area and then the raised platform was installed. I got a bit involved in building and forgot to take photos of all this, but everything went pretty smooth.



The PE ammo frames and rear end of the tub are on, along with a few other minor details.



Since I'll be leaving the engine compartment hatches open, the front fold down armor will be in the raised position. I'm going to also leave 2 other panels on the left side raised and all the others in the down position. The panel latches used are different depending on 'latched' or 'unlatched', the appropriate ones were glued in place along with 14 half hinges on the body. There are raised marks for these and the only ones that were slightly off were the small side panels towards the front.



At first I was going to install the folded down panels in the down position, but after the first one found out that painting would be very difficult! I'll be going with a 3 tone camo, so I tack glued them temporarily in the up position. Why would it matter if the camo followed through on the fold down panels you might ask? I have no idea, it seemed like a good idea at the time I'll be paying for this 'good' idea later, I'm sure!



The instructions do not show the track cable, though one is included. This should be mounted on the rear, above the muffler, looped through 3 PE straps.. After getting the ends on and dry fitting it in place, I thought it looked way too large in diameter and the ends looked too big, so it went into the scrap pile. If I was going to keep the fold down armor in the up position I would probably find a substitute, in this case i can do without it.

Assembly is almost complete on the panzer and before it gets overly crowded some painting will need to be done. The engine compartment hatches were assembled and painted separate. The exhaust will be done later since a good portion snakes under the louvers and would be impossible to rust up later. I usually have the pioneer tools installed but the Griffon tool holders just arrived yesterday and I haven't tried them out yet. Sprayed on some grey primer using about 12 psi and 1/3 throttle to get all the nooks and crannies. I'll give it a good going over to try and correct any flaws, such as that lovely seam on the gun, and start the Dunkelgelb.







Thanks for stopping by, comments and criticism always welcome.
Plasticbattle
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Posted: Saturday, July 05, 2008 - 02:23 AM GMT+7
Nice clean build so far James. The interior looks great, so it must be seen .... no matter how little is actually visible. I have the Tristar version of this kit, so its interesting following your build.
9thSSReenactor
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Posted: Saturday, July 05, 2008 - 01:24 PM GMT+7
Very nice James, I finished this kit about a week ago, I loved bulding it and it came out great, I cant wait to see how yours is going to look.