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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 #6520 StuG IV Early to Late Version
majjanelson
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Posted: Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - 04:34 PM UTC
Mike,

As always, superb work, sir!

My only suggestion is that your wire frame should "tilt" the Stug top up on one side edge to allow viewing of the underside detail.

I also REALLY like your detailed explanations of painting techniques. I know it takes practice and experimentation, but you provide helpful insight, shortcuts, and at the very least, a place to start off on a good footing.

SdAufKla
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Posted: Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - 03:32 AM UTC
@John: Thanks for the props! You guys are really giving me a big head... %:)

@Jeff:


Quoted Text

...My only suggestion is that your wire frame should "tilt" the Stug top up on one side edge to allow viewing of the underside detail....



Dang! Why didn't I think of that to start with? That's a great idea if I can only sustain the patience to try it...

Thanks for the suggestion!

dylans
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Posted: Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - 04:46 AM UTC
Mike:
thank you for the very detailed and informative tutorial
SdAufKla
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Posted: Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - 06:36 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Mike:
thank you for the very detailed and informative tutorial



Cheers!
SdAufKla
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Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 10:34 AM UTC
Well, let's see if I can breath some life back into this build!

Since finishing up with my Panther Ausf. G Sep '44 Production, I've blown the dust off of my StuG IV Late project.

Picking up where I left off, I've now added the mud and dirt weathering textures using Gambln artist pigments. These were applied dry by sprinkling them onto the model surfaces that had been wetted either with ordinary tap water or with a wash made of Future floor wax, water and a dash of pigments for color.

The pigments were fixed using the same Future floor wax / water solution. I'm going for a muddy look as the base will feature melted snow and mud. What I was trying to avoid is a "shiny" mud look, though. Even very wet mud doesn't look shiny and reflective as much as it looks loose and damp... Anyways, that's what I'm working towards.

All of the suspension components were finished seprately and then brought together for final assembly. Refer back to the earlier photos of how I broke the parts down.

Here're a couple of snap shots of the suspension glue-up drying:





The tooth picks are wedged on top pf the track to hold it down on the return rollers as the glue dries.

You can also see the blue tape that is holding the track joint that has now been glued at the drive sprockets.

To assemble the track, I trapped the drive sprockets in the track and glued the track joint. I then added the idler wheel into the rear of the track run and added the idler axles to the hull. The axels are just press-fit into their holes.

The track with the driver and idler wheel was then fit on to the idler axle and the 8 road wheels were then press fit on to their axles. The drive sprocket was then glued to its mounting point (not really and "axel" on the DML Pz IV kits).

Lastly, the return rollers were glued on. I had to trim about 1 mm from the axels on the return rollers to fit them under the track guide horns and into their hull mounts. The tooth picks are holding the upper track runs tightly down on the return rollers while I use thinned PVA glue to fix the track to them.

I still have some touch ups to do with pigments on the idler wheels and their axles and I'll spray a light gloss glaze along the edges of the fenders and lower corners of the front and rear hull, but I'll wait to do that until I "muddy" up the Schurtzen in order to keep things consistant.

I'll post a few more pics of the suspension after the glue-up dries and I remove the tape and tooth picks, but this is all for now.
Big-John
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Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 12:43 PM UTC
Hi mike,

I'm glad to see your back on this project.

SdAufKla
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Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 03:08 PM UTC
@ Big John: Thanks, I'm glad to get back to it, too!

So, now the suspension glue up has dired, so I've removed the tape and tooth picks and taken a few more pics to show the progress to date:

















That's really about all for now. Next up, at least as I've planned it, will be the final weathering of the Schurtzen. That should allow me to progress on to adding the terrain to the base since I'll have the vehicle ready to mount onto it.

Well, at least that's the plan...
dvarettoni
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Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 05:49 PM UTC
mike nice to see you back on this one think that you will have this one done for the next meeting ?
dave
jrutman
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Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 04:18 AM UTC
This is a pleasure to look at dude,
J
SdAufKla
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Posted: Friday, November 18, 2011 - 02:48 AM UTC
@ Dave: Hey buddy, you know, I could be done with the vehicle and base by the next meeting, but I still have a bunch of figure painting to do, so I'm guessing by the January meeting it sould be finished...

@ Jerry: Thanks kind words my friend! Hopefully the final results won't be a disappointment. We'll see...

So, over the last couple of days, I've worked on the Schurtzen, adding the dried and fresh mud textures. I use Gamblin artist pigments mixed to what ever color I need for these textures. Artist pigments are much cheaper than the ready-made proprietary products, and this is good becasue it allows me to use liberal amounts when I want to. Of course, the down side is that I have to mix my own colors (which I don't mind).

I wanted to continue to emphasize the how the late StuG Schurtzen panels were free to swing (in contrast to the earlier hanging systems), so before adding the heavy textures, I masked off the areas that would be "cleaned" by adjacent panels swinging:





Because the vehicle's fenders would keep most of the mud from spattering too high on the Schurtzen, I used a piece of paper towel spaced above the Schurtzen to control where the mud spatters went:





I started with the oldest, dried (and lightest colored) mud spatters, then added slightly newer (and slightly darker colored) spatters. I then removed the tape masks and added the freshest (and darkest colored) spatters:



I repeated this process on the front sides of the skirt panels, but this time, I kept the spatters lower and not so "thickly" applied since the skirts themselves would act like fenders and keep most of the mud from splashing up too far:



I fixed the pigments with light coats of Tamiya X-22 Clear Gloss. I sprayed this heavier at the bottoms of the skirts to replicate moist / wet mud. I also sprayed it around the fender edges and lower front and rear corners on the StuG to make the transisiton between the drier areas of the vehicle and wet / moist muddy areas more gradual.

In the next post I show some pics of the skirts dry-fitted to the model to check the continuity of the weathering...
SdAufKla
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Posted: Friday, November 18, 2011 - 02:55 AM UTC
Here are a few snap shots showing the Schurtzen dry-fitted to the StuG. You'll note that I didn't press the mounting pivots all the way through the holes in the skirts. No need for that to just check to see how things were looking...













The light gray-looking areas on the bottom edges of the skirts are where the semi-gloss sheen from the clear coats are reflecting light.

Next up will be some work on the base (adding terrain textures and ground cover) followed by the figures.

Stay tuned...
SdAufKla
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Posted: Sunday, November 20, 2011 - 01:52 PM UTC
Just a quick up-date. Not much progress on the StuG, really; I've kinda been swamped with some other projects. Still, I've managed to make a little head way, so, FWIW....

I've been working on the terrain module for the base. (Some previous posts show the intial layout and preparation work.) After adding a coat of plaster of Paris to refine the contours of the terrain, I've now added a layer of Celluclay:



The photo above shows this after it dried. After drying, I applied the vegetation. I'm going for a mid-winter look with the road muddy from an earlier snow fall which is melting in the day, but re-freezing at night.

Here's the next step, the vegetation (dead grass and weeds along the verges at the side of the road):



I've also added a couple of washes made with Future floor wax thinned about 50-50 with water. I want the low spots in the ruts and ditches to look wet, but the tops of the mud ridges should only look damp and not shiny. I plan on building up the layers of the thinned Future gradually so as to not over-do the glossy, wet look.

Next up will the the melty snow mostly over the dead grass and weeds with some chunks of ice and snow along the edges of the road.

While waiting for various steps with the base to dry, I've also been workig on the road signs.

My researched me that the StuG IV that I was building was lost on the night of 18-19 Jan '45 while trying to cross the Rgilewka river in Western Poland. This vehicle was recovered from the river bottom about 10 years ago and restored to running order. It's now on display at the Museum in Poznan, Poland.

Here's a sketch map of the area (as it looks today):



I wanted to try to establish and illustrate the historical area where my model was operating right before it was lost in the river, so assuming that the StuG got to the river crossing by driving down the rail road tracks, I chose a hypothetical location for my vignette at the last road-rail track crossing to the east of the river crossing.

This is at the village of Barlogi, Poland. I was not able to find any period photos of this area, so I decided to model the crossing as an unimproved dirt road between Balogi and the next village to its south, Ponetow Dolny.

To establish this location, I will add a road sign indicating the the village of Barlogi, a warning for the RR crossing, and the distance and name to the next village, Ponetow Dolny.

My research further led me to learn that after the Germans occupied Poland in 1939, they "Germanized" all of the Polish place names and re-did all of the road signs. I wa able to determine that the actual name given by the Germans to the village of Ponetow Dolny was "Lockheim," but the Germanized name for Barlogi has been lost in time. I did discover that the Catholic church located in the village is named "St. Roch," so I thought I wouldn't be too far off the mark using that Anglo-Saxon name on my wartime road sign. This allowed me to illustrate the Germanization of the place names on the vignette and still remain at least historically plausible (I hope!).

Anyways, that was a long explanation for the next photo with is the intial work on the road signs:



The names are made of Woodland Scenics dry transfers on clear water-slide decal paper. These will be added the signs after they are painted. The signs are .010 styrene card. The place names will be painted an orange-yellow with black borders. The RR X-ing sign will be white with a red border. These color schemes also match my research for road signs used during the German WWII occupation of Poland.

So, that's all for now. Hopefully the next up-date will show the snow and completed road signs, and if I'm lucky, I might even have the StuG finally on it!

Happy modeling,
SdAufKla
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Posted: Friday, November 25, 2011 - 08:10 AM UTC
Hmmm... Well between the Thanksgiving holiday and college football, it doesn't seem that I can make much progress. But, having said that, it does seem that the closer I get to the end of a project, the slower I go, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

Still, I have a a few new pics to post.

First up - I've finished adding the melted snow to the base.









If these last coats of clear gloss dry like they look in the photos, I think I'm pretty much finsihed with this except for touching up the black edges and any touch-ups when I mount the models and figures.

I've also finished the road signs except for some addtional weathering - rust steaks, mossy-slime on the north side, a little dirt around the bottom of the post, etc).





To give a sense of scale to the sign post, here's a shot with one of the primed figures next to it.



I still have a few small details to add to the StuG, like the tow cable on the rear, the antennas, and the radio headsets and microphones for the crew dogs. Once those are done, I'll mount it on the base and add the sign...

Happy Modeling and Happy Holidays,
dvarettoni
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Posted: Friday, November 25, 2011 - 10:15 AM UTC
Mike looking great are you going to bring it to this months meeting??
Dave
panamadan
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Posted: Friday, November 25, 2011 - 12:38 PM UTC
Glad to see that this project is back on the burner!
Dan
SdAufKla
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Posted: Friday, November 25, 2011 - 12:40 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Mike looking great are you going to bring it to this months meeting??
Dave



@ Dave,

Yea, most likely will bring it to the meeting even if it's not completed (which I'm guessing it won't be ).

I'm counting on seeing your T-62 at the meeting, BTW.

I think this next month's meeting will be a pretty casual affair... Don't forget the gift exchange and hor-doe-vee's complements of the HTU staff!

Hope to see ya there!

@ Dan,

I'm glad to be making some progress on it too! I'm looking forward to getting this one done and moving on to somehting new, tho...

Not sure what's coming up next, so many tanks and so little time!

panamadan
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Posted: Friday, November 25, 2011 - 03:53 PM UTC
Mike,
How about Dragon's new PZIV J?
Dan
SdAufKla
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Posted: Friday, November 25, 2011 - 10:57 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Mike,
How about Dragon's new PZIV J?
Dan



Hey, Dan! You're reading my mind... no fair!

Actually, that one's on my "short list," but I'm waiting for the Alliance Model-Works (boo! hiss! boo! ) PE up-date set before I do it. I've been waiting a long time to build a "swivel hatch" IV with the von Thoma Schurtzen, and the DML kit is a beaut!

In the mean time, I have several other piles o' kits with all their associated AM calling my name. I'll probably do something Allied or minor-Axis for a change. I have an AFV Club Churchill III (that I want to do with the Rotatrailer -working on drawings and plans for that right now!), a HobbyBoss Pershing M26 (Zebra Mission), the Italerie Italian tankette (North Africa markings), the new Vulcan MVIb (gotta be in Cauter scheme with sandshields)... all standing by. I'm also waiting on the reviews for the AFV Club Valentine to see if I want to buld that one or the Miniart / Bronco edition.

Ah, just too many to decide on right now!
panamadan
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Posted: Saturday, November 26, 2011 - 01:58 AM UTC
Mike,
I'll be looking for the AM set and as you said I've been waiting also for a very late J.
Go with the tankette or the Vulcan kit until the PE comes out.
Dan
SdAufKla
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Posted: Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 02:49 PM UTC
Another small up-date today.

I've constructed the headsets for the crew which will be attached to the radios in the fighting compartment with one in the driver's compartment. I also have the throat microphones which I'm working on too.

The headsets are made with the PE spring-bands from one fo the DML Panzer crew sets. Unfortunately, I used the ear cups already, so I had to scratch build the ear cups for these. These are made from stacked styrene disks punched from .010 and .015 sheet and small slices from styrene tube.

The DML injection molded ear cups have the attachment clips for the spring bands, but for my scratch built replacements, I used extra PE bits from a Voyager German Clamps set.

The wiring is .010 lead wire used for tying fly fishing lures. The junctions are soldered using low-temp solder. Takes a light touch with the torch so as to not melt the lead wire, but possible and easy enough with a bit of practice.



I've also added a bit of weathering to the road signs. Nothing too special here - just some artist oil paint streaks and washes.





Not shown, but still done, are the antennas. I used the RB German 2m antennas and added brass wire rings and PE wing nuts for the locking ring-clamps on the antenna bottoms where they are placed over the rods that extend from their bases.

I've also added the tow cable on the rear of the StuG. These details will be shown in later photos.

Happy modeling!
SDavies
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Posted: Monday, November 28, 2011 - 08:20 PM UTC
Very impressive diorama, I love your attention to detail !
SdAufKla
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Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 03:43 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Very impressive diorama, I love your attention to detail !



Thanks Steven!

I hope to have some more up-dates posted soon, but in the mean time, I've been side-lined with trying to organize an AMPS club display for this coming Saturday, 3 Dec 2011.

We're joining two of the local IPMS chapters and a host of others putting on displays and exhibitions as part of the 70th Anniversary of the Columbia, SC, Army Airbase. At any rate, the affair is being pulled together on rather short notice, so we're jumping through hoops to get organized, and that's taking up most of my "discretionary hobby time" these last few days!

It should be a fun event, though, and worth the effort and time participate and show some support for the vets, their families, and the local community.
Big-John
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Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 01:56 PM UTC
Mike, Youre a very talented modeler. I am always impressed with the level of detail and skill. I enjoy following your builds.

Ill tell ya agin, you need to work on a book deal.

Good luck with your show, I hope it goes well. If you see any from the SMA fourm, tell them BJ says hi.
SdAufKla
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Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 11:10 PM UTC

Quoted Text

... Ill tell ya agin, you need to work on a book deal.

Good luck with your show, I hope it goes well. If you see any from the SMA fourm, tell them BJ says hi.



Awww shucks, Big John! Now yer just makin' me blush...

But hey, feel free to point any publishers you know in my direction! Maybe we can work out a "deal-deal..."

Yea, the show has a lot of potential to be a very interesting event. I understand that there will be re-enactors, uniform and weapons collectors, and vintage mil-vehicle collectors there, too. They also have a fly-in planned for a P-47, a couple of bands (one of them is a '40s swing band, I think), along with a bunch of other festivities.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Moon Pup or some of the other SMA folks there. If I see any of them, I'll give 'em your regards!
BBD468
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Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 02:16 AM UTC
Hi Mike,

Mike i am very impressed with every aspect of your build. your Stug is amazing as well as your attention to detail. even your road signs looked as if you plucked them from the ground in europe. very inspired by your work. and im greatfull for your guidence on my stuh 42 .

Gary