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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Dragon Sdkfz 138/1 Geschutzwagen 38 H Blog
wbill76
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Texas, United States
Joined: May 02, 2006
KitMaker: 5,425 posts
Armorama: 4,659 posts
Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 09:37 AM GMT+7
As a follow-up to the In-Box Review of this kit, I will be beginning the build log of this project as an OOB effort. Stay tuned for additional updates.

bill_c
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 09, 2008
KitMaker: 9,588 posts
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Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 09:49 AM GMT+7
Looking forward to it, especially since it's the same chassis as my Hetzer from Hell!
lespauljames
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: January 06, 2007
KitMaker: 3,661 posts
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Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 09:55 AM GMT+7
Good luck Bill. we are also working on the same chassis
PatB
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 12, 2006
KitMaker: 337 posts
Armorama: 19 posts
Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 10:13 AM GMT+7
Looking forward to it Bill.
Will turn out great for sure !

Pat
TuomasH
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Turku ja Pori, Finland
Joined: September 10, 2008
KitMaker: 470 posts
Armorama: 175 posts
Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 10:41 AM GMT+7
Can't wait this! I loved your StuG and Panzer IV, and this can't become much worse than those !
wbill76
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 02:58 PM GMT+7
Thanks guys, appreciate the interest. An update will be posted this weekend once I've got enough progress done to justify a post.
jimz66
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Connecticut, United States
Joined: December 15, 2006
KitMaker: 1,159 posts
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Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 05:25 PM GMT+7
Were have you been? My thinktank is all dried up when I can't watch you work!
Plasticbattle
#003
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Donegal, Ireland
Joined: May 14, 2002
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Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 06:24 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

An update will be posted this weekend once I've got enough progress done to justify a post.



Wot??? I thought you´d have it half built already! No time for slacking .. we want pics!
Actually looking forward to some in progress shots of this. Good choice.
Belt_Fed
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: February 02, 2008
KitMaker: 1,298 posts
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Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 07:43 PM GMT+7
Its been a while Bill. Glad to see you are back at it again.
wbill76
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Texas, United States
Joined: May 02, 2006
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Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 08:26 PM GMT+7
James, sorry to be absent for a while especially since it threatened your thinking ability...hopefully this will restore the natural balance of things for you.

Frank, such a harsh taskmaster! Speaking of that, where's your H39 and base, eh?
I started in just a little bit this evening and promise to have pics up this weekend if the mob will allow it at any rate!

Jon, thanks for the comments and encouragement!
jimz66
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Connecticut, United States
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Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 09:45 PM GMT+7
I'm just trying to rile you up Bill. I guess its working. I know we all need a break once and a while.
PanzerMike
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Hamilton, New Zealand
Joined: May 09, 2007
KitMaker: 298 posts
Armorama: 162 posts
Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 11:02 PM GMT+7
Looking foward to this one , i will be watching with great interest. Big fan of your builds
Tarok
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Victoria, Australia
Joined: July 28, 2004
KitMaker: 10,889 posts
Armorama: 3,245 posts
Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 11:11 PM GMT+7
Hi Bill,

Great to see you building again - always a treat Hey, maybe we'll even see you do a crew and base for this beastie? C'mon - you know you want to!

Rudi
Plasticbattle
#003
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Donegal, Ireland
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Posted: Friday, March 20, 2009 - 01:45 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

:D Speaking of that, where's your H39 and base, eh?


Touché!!!!!
Both have been finished a few months ago ..... but if you want to drive it home ... why not ask about the four figures to go with them? .. they´re about 50% painted. Modelling time is severly reduced again, hence the need for inspiring images and build reports!
tjkelly
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Maryland, United States
Joined: May 04, 2007
KitMaker: 1,132 posts
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Posted: Friday, March 20, 2009 - 03:10 AM GMT+7
Another beauty you're tackling Bill. Looking forward to seeing your log for this one.

Thanks for sharing! Cheers -

Tim
f1matt
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Manitoba, Canada
Joined: August 13, 2006
KitMaker: 1,021 posts
Armorama: 805 posts
Posted: Friday, March 20, 2009 - 03:11 AM GMT+7
Another interesting choice Bill. I love that camo pattern. It looks like the shadow from a tree standing over the vehicle.
smitsan
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Latvia
Joined: September 05, 2008
KitMaker: 51 posts
Armorama: 50 posts
Posted: Friday, March 20, 2009 - 03:41 AM GMT+7
Good luck to you.hope to see this model in build process.im trying to buy this model in future
good Luck
wbill76
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Texas, United States
Joined: May 02, 2006
KitMaker: 5,425 posts
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Posted: Friday, March 20, 2009 - 10:58 AM GMT+7
Thanks guys, appreciate the interest!

I had this all written up last night but got distracted and so didn't get around to posting it. Work started on this in the evening since there wasn't anything particularly good on TV, and began where it normally does with Step 1 dealing with the sprockets, idlers, and road wheels.

Each road wheel was removed from the sprue and has 4 connection points and a largish seam that needed to be sanded down. I used a flexible sanding board to accomplish this, one wheel at a time. The step instructions appear to give you an option of using two different types of sprockets and idlers but only one type is really correct for the Grille H. That's the "early" type that have holes in the sprockets (parts A3/A4) and the tear-drop shaped holes in the idlers (A5/A6). The sprockets in particular have difficult sprue attachment points, some so close to the guide teeth that they are almost integrated, so I cut them away from the sprue with enough of the stub remaining to allow their removal with a sharp knife vs. using sprue cutters for that job.

The sprockets are a two-part assembly with a small locating tab designed to help insure correct alignment but the tab is smaller than the socket so there's a little bit of play there. This can cause the sprocket teeth to not align properly which of course will cause problems when fitting the tracks, so I used 6 links of loose Magic tracks to insure that the sprockets were properly "gapped" to allow clearance of the link guide horns as well as proper fit and alignment of the teeth into the links. The track links were evenly spaced around the sprocket and left in place as the glue dried. The idlers also use interlocking tabs, 2 instead of 1 like the sprockets, but these are also loose so care is needed to insure they too are properly aligned when installing.



The next little item was the addition of 3 bolt heads to the lower hull brace for the idler mount. The bolt heads come on sprue K and have to be carefully sliced off and then glued into position on the lower hull. Not something that will be readily seen on the finished build unless you flip it over, but it's there for the curious.



Continuing on with the suspension, the sub-assembly step that constructs the bogey mounts was assembled. The diagram here is a bit misleading...it seems to indicate that you can add the springs to the hull mount plate but that actually isn't possible until Step 6 because the post that the spring would attach to is molded onto the lower hull. The little gray arrow that points to the hole in the plate is marked as not to be glued...which doubles the irony because there's nothing to glue it to anyway! You are presented with the option of using either springs with the open slotted cover or the solid cover, the solid cover is the correct type as the slotted covers were used primarily on the early gun-tank versions while the solid cover was a later style. For those interested in super accuracy, both spring types feature 15 springs when the slotted cover type should only have 14 per the descriptions in Panzer Tracts No. 18. I attached the swing arms to both plates and carefully glued in the caps so that the arms would remain movable. This will help insure the road wheels sit level later on when they are installed. Since Step 6 is a long way off, I used a permanent marker to mark the two A13 plates since the instructions indicate it's important which set goes on which side.



Total session time: 2.5 hours

Total time to date: 2.5 hours
jimz66
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Connecticut, United States
Joined: December 15, 2006
KitMaker: 1,159 posts
Armorama: 1,104 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2009 - 07:50 AM GMT+7
Very good Bill off to a fast start as always. I wish I had the stamina to sit at my bench for two and a half hours. I need to get a more comfortable chair but right now their is no money for that. I'll check in with your build tonight or tomorrow night as you usually make a lot of progress on the weekends.

Cheers for now.
Jim
martyncrowther
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England - West Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: September 12, 2007
KitMaker: 1,548 posts
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Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2009 - 07:56 AM GMT+7
Nice start BIll.
wbill76
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Texas, United States
Joined: May 02, 2006
KitMaker: 5,425 posts
Armorama: 4,659 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2009 - 12:51 PM GMT+7
Thanks Martyn!

James,

Having a good chair and workbench setup is crucial for sure...I work best when I know I can devote a good block of time to the build and be able to focus. Weekends work best for that so that's why I get most of my work done then. An update will be posted today or tomorrow depending on the amount of progress and photos taken of course!
lespauljames
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: January 06, 2007
KitMaker: 3,661 posts
Armorama: 2,764 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2009 - 02:27 PM GMT+7
looking great Bill!
thebear
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: November 15, 2002
KitMaker: 3,960 posts
Armorama: 3,579 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2009 - 03:43 PM GMT+7
Good start Bill and I will be following this one closely as I have that kit sitting here in the pile ...If you want to take a look at this blog I've been following it might help you steer clear of a few problems with the instruction sheets...

http://www.militarymodelling.com/forums/postings.asp?th=24061

Rick
wbill76
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Texas, United States
Joined: May 02, 2006
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Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2009 - 04:02 PM GMT+7
Thanks Richard, I'd noticed that one on MilMod and took a read through it before I started mine so am aware of some of the landmines out there in advance. Forwarned is fore-armed!

I pray for the day when DML will realize that quality instructions are just as important to the kit as the attention paid to the details on the parts. Then they would truly be "committed to the modeler" in my book.
wbill76
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Texas, United States
Joined: May 02, 2006
KitMaker: 5,425 posts
Armorama: 4,659 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2009 - 09:58 PM GMT+7
Made a lot of progress today on the little stuff...since this is an open topped vehicle and the interior will be largely visible, I focused on that and skipped around in the steps as a result.

First up was the completion of the items in Step 2. This installs the return roller mounts and final drive housings to the exterior. It also calls for the installation of the idler mounts but I'm leaving that off until later to allow for more flexibility when the time comes to mount the tracks and get the proper position/tension. This step also calls for the installation of the ends of the final drive shafts, something that after I had installed them I think would've been better to wait on due to the way the brake housing and actual shafts install into them, more on that in just a bit.



Step 3 deals with the assembly of the rear hull plate details but since the plate itself doesn't get installed to the hull until Step 5, I decided to rearrange things a bit and installed the plate first, then added the details. This proved to be a wise approach especially in regards to the muffler mounts as they have a very small surface area to mount to and it's best done on a stable platform.

The muffler assembly requires a modification to the exhaust pipe to allow it to be positioned at the correct angle instead of vertical and the instructions point out that the pipe needs the tab cut away to do this, easily done with sprue cutters and cleaned up with a #11 knife. The instructions include a helpful diagram to get the pipe aligned at the correct angle and the easiest way to achieve this is to glue the pipe into the muffler then use the diagram like you would any line drawing and rotate it to match the angle. I also enlarged the hole in the pipe with the point of #11 knife as it appeared too small for my liking. The seam from the two part assembly was sanded down and a test fit of the pipe that enters the hull showed the hole in the hull was too small...so I used a round needle file to enlarge it to the right diameter. The armored cover also required some adjustment with the needle file to have sufficient clearance to mount flush to the hull.

The rest of the details were added, the step gives you the option of armored or unarmored idler covers but only the armored are appropriate. An option is provided for the tow hitch and I chose the one with the rectangular latch vs. the open hook based on reference photos. The armored cover was added to the round transmission hatch and the rear tow hooks installed. Some putty was required to fill gaps on the molded in slots, more on the bottom than on the top. The tow hooks also had to have their tabs trimmed down as they were too large to fit the cutouts provided.





Step 4 deals with the fenders and I skipped that for now but will come back to it shortly. Step 5 calls for the installation of the rear hull plate (already done) and the fenders, so it too was skipped. It's important to note that this step shows the driver's knee pad already installed on the right hull side but doesn't have a part number assigned to it. It's A17 and I will paint and install that separately. This is an error/oversight on DML's part in the instructions and is an easy one to miss if you aren't paying attention.

I skipped over Step 6 since that installs the suspension and I'm not ready to do that just yet. Step 7 deals with the interior details beginning with the brake housing and transmission. The brake housing is only visible if you elect to have the glacis hatch open but it's still a necessary component to get the transmission and drive-shaft placed properly. Because the end mounts were installed in Step 2, it's imperative that you DO NOT glue parts D46 into the brake housing at this step...if you do, you cannot install the brake housing in place because there isn't enough clearance to achieve that. Parts D46 have a d-shaped end that must be perfectly aligned with the ends in the hull...so I left them off for now. I opted for the styrene version of the driver's controls and assembled and attached the transmission and drive shaft. The drive shaft is a little loose on the transmission square peg so I used the rear bulkhead dry-fit to help it set up in the proper position and alignment.



Also included in this step is the driver's seat. I must say I'm extremely disappointed in this area...the seat mount is 100% wrong...and it's something DML has known about since this came off the 38t G sprue and yet they've perpetuated it into this kit. Probably too expensive to correct the entire sprue mold, but that doesn't excuse the fact that the mount is pure fantasy. The seat itself is also very inaccurate...it doesn't have a cushion for the bottom but does provide one for the top. There are no straps for that cushion on the back portion of the rest but they do replicate the ratchet details for the seat adjuster correctly...go figure.



Step 7 also calls for the assembly of the front hull plate. As with the rear hull plate, it's easier to install the plate first and then add details to it. The mounts for the tow hooks were installed first and, just as with the rear, the hooks needed their tabs trimmed down to fit properly.



The next little interior detail was the racks for the K98 rifles...there are two and are a combination of styrene and PE parts. The bases are styrene and mold locator lines are provided in the lower hull. The are locator lines for the PE top portions as well...but the kit doesn't provide any rifles. I scrounged around in my spares bin and located a pair, with some careful gymnastics, the rifles can be taken in and out of the racks so they will be painted separately and then installed. These racks aren't called out in the instructions until Step 18 and it's much easier to install them now rather than wait until then when there's a lot more in the way and a whole lot less room to maneuver the rifles.



Another interior detail got attention at this point, the pedestal mount for the sIG 33. This is also called out in Step 18 but I went ahead and assembled it now so it could be painted before installation. The choice is provided for either the stacked stair-step style mount or simple I-beam mounts, I opted for the stair-step style. The assembly is a delicate one as the bases are free standing and the only thing holding them together is the pyramid shaped top portion...which is attached to two small base pieces in turn. I made sure to assemble this on a level surface and insured the bases were square as this is an integral piece for mounting the gun.



These are all the separate interior pieces assembled today...they will be painted separately from the lower hull and then installed after they've been detailed.



Total Session Time: 6 hours

Total Time to Date: 8.5 hours