login   |    register
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
jrutman
Visit this Community
Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 10, 2011
KitMaker: 7,604 posts
Armorama: 7,598 posts
Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 03:21 AM UTC
As usual buddy,you are doing an over the top job here. I can't believe that you did a map study of the locale that this vehicle was knocked out at! Holy cow dude! Must be the special operator intel guy coming out again.
After driving my VW rabbit on the same roads that Kampfgruppe Peiper took on 17Dec44 I though that I was the only over the top history guy.
That road sign is exquisitly made and very convincing as is the rr crossing in general. You already know how much I love the Stug. The only thing I may offer is maybe adding some detritis from a refugee treck that passed that way? At this point almost all the German heritage people of East Prussia were on the road? Just a thought.
Out standing build dude. Makes me want to give up on my horsie dio,
J
SdAufKla
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,236 posts
Armorama: 2,156 posts
Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 09:58 AM UTC
@Gary: Thanks for the props, my friend! You're more than welcome, too, for any small help, such as it may've been, that I've been able to offer for your StuG. After all, us "Stug-Boyz" gotta stick together!

@ Jerry: That's a great idea about the "Volksdeutsche" refugee tracks. I wish I'd thought of that sooner! I don't know if I have the chops, tho, to go back and try to add that now...

IRT the research on this project - That's something that has almost taken on a life of its own. This was one of those model projects that seemed to just offer up more and more info at every turn. The more I dug, the more info turned up until I felt like Alice falling down the research "rabbit hole." When I started, I never really thought that I'd wind up with enough information to actually build something half as accurate as this has turned out.

In the end, I've actually been corresponding with one of the guys involved in the restoration in Poland, Maciej Borun. He was the gentleman that provided the final bits of info on the date and precise location where the StuG was lost. Up until then, I had the location mis-placed about 1 km to the south of the correct site.

In addition to Maciej, I've also benefited from information provided by several others. In particular, Craig Ellis (8-wheels good) was very gracious in sharing some of his research and conclusions about the "swinging" Schurtzen, and Anthony Sewards who shared some photos of critical interior areas of the restored Poznan StuG IV.

So, I owe a great debt of gratitude to these guys who've been so generous with their knowlege and information and hope that the final result does some justice to their contributions.
SdAufKla
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,236 posts
Armorama: 2,156 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 09:41 PM UTC
Well, great job Jim in restoring the site! I can only imagine how agravating and tedious the job was.

So, in the spirit of a "test" post, if you will, here's a slightly off-topic bit

As I mentioned earlier, I've been side-tracked with organizing an AMPS club public exhibit as part of the Columbia (SC, USA) Army Air Base 70th Anniversary celebration. We participated as one of many exhibitors in the event which was hosted by the South Carolina Historical Aviation Foundation (SCHAF).

The event was put on in honor of the WWII veterans, civilian workers, and their families who were stationed, worked, and trained at the air base. The air base was a major training facility for the pilots and crews who flew the B-25, and during the war, over 200 air men died from various training accidents. Two of the B-25's that crashed on training missions have been recovered from area lakes, and one of the SCHAF's misisons is the restoration and preservation of these aircraft.

Here are a couple of pics of the AMPS exhibit:





We were all honored to be invited to participate and humbled by the attendees who had served with such distinction and sacrifice during the war years!

More photos and information about the event can be found on our website:

AMPS Central SC Club Activities

Thanks again Jim for the heavy lifting and hard work to restore the site!

Next post - back on topic!
panamadan
Visit this Community
Minnesota, United States
Joined: July 20, 2004
KitMaker: 1,342 posts
Armorama: 1,279 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 04, 2011 - 10:53 PM UTC
Mike,
It sounds and looks like you guys had a big time there!
Dan
stamey
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: October 21, 2011
KitMaker: 26 posts
Armorama: 25 posts
Posted: Monday, December 05, 2011 - 04:42 AM UTC
Mike, I haven't checked on the Stug in quite sometime until now and I am speechless! It is a true masterpiece! I 1st I love what you did to "raise the roof" and show off the interior, 2nd your weathering and detail are unmatched, and 3rd your dio is looking real good as I knew it would. The illustration of historical locale and the germanized road signs are HUGE in telling your Stug's story. Can't wait to see the figures and the finished product at this coming Thursday night's meeting!!!... just kidding about Thursday.

SdAufKla
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,236 posts
Armorama: 2,156 posts
Posted: Monday, December 05, 2011 - 08:25 PM UTC
@ Dan: Yea, it was a good time and we really enjoyed getting some of our models out on public display. Of course, the old vets who stopped by and wanted to chat about the vehicles that they recognized or other memories were what made it all worthwhile!

@ Scott: Thanks for the props! I'll bring the StuG along to the next meeting.

Also thanks for the loan of so many of your US WWII models for the CAAB display. They were a big hit with the attendees and were a great addition. The models on bases add so much context along with the "human element" for the viewers!

We missed you, though. Maybe next time the organizers will give us enough lead time for guys in the club to arrange their schedules so that everyone who wants to can participate.

See ya next week - Now what day is the club meeting on?
SdAufKla
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,236 posts
Armorama: 2,156 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 08, 2011 - 11:27 AM UTC
I've finally finished up the headsets and throat microphones and installed them into the fighting compartment.

Once this was done, I was able to do some additional final assembly, so that now, with the exception of the Schurtzen, fighting compartment roof, and antennas, the StuG is done and is ready to glue down to the base.

Those final parts will be added after the vehicle is glued down. Here's a pic of these ready:



I've also added the tow cable and driver's hatch:





Here are a couple of unobstructed views of the interior of the fighting compartment showing the headsets and microphones installed:









The few color photos that I have of these items either wartime or post-war museum / collector items show the cords ranging in color from a medium brown to russet red to redish-orange. So, I went with a slightly brighter color to add some contrast and show a bit better in the shadows once the roof is installed.

More pics to follow...
SdAufKla
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,236 posts
Armorama: 2,156 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 08, 2011 - 11:38 AM UTC
Moving on, I've done a final test fit on the roof display method with the frame glued to the roof:









Some close-ups showing what a viewer should be able to see:











I think it's going to work.

A couple more to follow...
SdAufKla
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,236 posts
Armorama: 2,156 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 08, 2011 - 11:43 AM UTC
Finally, here're a couple of the test fit on the base to get an idea about the final look:





So, next up should be gluing the StuG down to the base and tidying up the track-to-ground points. I'll add the road sign, and then start painting the figures.

Still a lot more to go, but I'm getting there!
stamey
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: October 21, 2011
KitMaker: 26 posts
Armorama: 25 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 08, 2011 - 11:59 AM UTC
Wow, that german camo really pops against the drab winter base and the raised roof is done superbly. Definately worth the wait.
Can't wait to see it up close...

Scott
chicane
Visit this Community
Dublin, Ireland
Joined: March 25, 2008
KitMaker: 201 posts
Armorama: 161 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 08, 2011 - 01:48 PM UTC
great work love the paintscheme and the initive way your displaying the interior
SdAufKla
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,236 posts
Armorama: 2,156 posts
Posted: Friday, December 09, 2011 - 03:18 AM UTC
Thanks, guys! I appreciate the kind words and complements.

@Scott: Hey buddy, I sent you an email about those Panther tracks. Check it out and let me know if you want 'em.
BBD468
Visit this Community
Texas, United States
Joined: March 08, 2010
KitMaker: 2,465 posts
Armorama: 2,383 posts
Posted: Friday, December 09, 2011 - 03:45 AM UTC
Hi Mike,

Dang Man - i love the way you displayed the top! thats sweet! may have to steal that idea from you. Outstanding work Mike!

Gary
dvarettoni
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: September 28, 2005
KitMaker: 778 posts
Armorama: 763 posts
Posted: Friday, December 09, 2011 - 04:29 AM UTC
Mike you are all most there !!!!!!! Right ????
Hey can't wait to see this next week. I got my tracks finished yesterday now I just have to weather them
Dave
SDavies
Visit this Community
England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: January 09, 2010
KitMaker: 979 posts
Armorama: 959 posts
Posted: Friday, December 09, 2011 - 05:23 AM UTC
Just one word can be used to describe your model

Outstanding !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SdAufKla
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,236 posts
Armorama: 2,156 posts
Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2011 - 03:27 AM UTC
@ Gary: Hey, you're welcome to the display idea, if you want. I don't have any copyright for it!

I'll also freely admit that the idea was inspired by several other models that I've seen, the most recent of which was Cesar "Manny" Rodriguez' "Judges' Best of Show" Pz I winner at this year's AMPS International Convention.

@ Dave V.: Great news about those T-62 tracks! You're flying along with that project.

@ Steven: Thanks for the props!

Short up-date - I've attached the StuG down to the terrain module and added the road signs. Next is to add the superstructur roof and antennas and the vehicle will be done. Hopefully, all that test-fitting will pay off with some trouble free final assembly!

After that, I'll be painting figures for a while...

Have a great armor model-building kind of day!
SdAufKla
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,236 posts
Armorama: 2,156 posts
Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2011 - 09:58 AM UTC
Well, I've finished up assembly of the actual vehicle, to include attaching it to the base's terrain module.

One thing that I needed to make were the cotter pins that hold the swinging Schurtzen on their frames. These are made from fine copper wire bent around a .020 drill bit. Here's a shot of the pins ready for painting:



They are stuck to a Post-It note. I airbrushed one side Floquil Rail Brown. After that side dried, I turned the pins over and stuck them to another sticky-note and painted the other side.

They were inserted into the tubes that form the attachment points for the Schurtzen, their ends were bent out slightly, and I touched the paint up.





With that, the StuG is now finished. Here're a few general views showing the vehicle, the signs, and the final details attached to the StuG:











Here are two shots showing a "ground eye" view:





Yet to come are the crew figures. Here are the ones that I'm using:



So far, I've done some minor conversion work on all of them and got them primed and ready to paint:



All four will be wearing WH winter uniforms, camouflage side out. I did change the head on the Bodi SS figure to one wearing a WH hat. Other than that, there were no other changes needed for him. All of the other figures have had head swaps too (either Alpine or Hornet) and two have Hornet replacement hands. I filled most of the sculpted rips and tears in their uniforms and removed the Wolf figure's headset and throat mic and associated wires.

So, that's where I'm at right now. Next up-dates should be for the figures as I paint them up.

Happy modeling!
pseudorealityx
Visit this Community
Georgia, United States
Joined: January 31, 2010
KitMaker: 2,191 posts
Armorama: 1,814 posts
Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2011 - 12:57 PM UTC
Mike, what do you use to prime your figures?

What are your thoughts about adding a bit of snow in the road itself. Any high spots that would still have snow? If the snow is that old, it seems maybe a little 'too perfect' in the covered areas. Maybe some spots where it's started to melt.

I could be totally off base, just my observation.
SdAufKla
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,236 posts
Armorama: 2,156 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2011 - 03:57 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Mike, what do you use to prime your figures?

What are your thoughts about adding a bit of snow in the road itself. Any high spots that would still have snow? If the snow is that old, it seems maybe a little 'too perfect' in the covered areas. Maybe some spots where it's started to melt....



Hey Jesse,

Yea, I'm not 100% satisfied with the snow, especially the transitions between the muddy road and the snow on the grass and weeds. It's a long story, and involves a couple of different proprietary "snow" products ("Snow in a Pot" and Citadel's "Snow Flocking" - neither of which worked worth a darn), but by the time I got to the micro-balloons and PVA, the verges already had too much other snow "stuff" on them.

(Note to self- Just use the micro-balloons next time!)

I'm still contemplating what (if anything) I'm going to do to get the verges to look better, more like areas of recently melted snow rather than the "hoar frost" look that they have right now. Although it doesn't show very well in the photos, there's already quite a bit of "splashed" mud and weeds poking up through most of the snow. I'll probably do some more airbrush work in the transistion areas and follow that up with some more "splashed" mud from the road.

In regards to the figure primer - I don't use anything special. I used to use Floquil primer, but now I just use Tamiya flat white. I give the figures a wash in warm soapy water, and spray the Tamiya white on after they dry.

This works well for me since I undercoat my figures with acrylics and paint them with artist oils on top of that.

Thanks for the observations about the snow. That'll help keep me motivated to continue working on it. Hopefully have this one done for the February show in Atlanta - See ya there!
jrutman
Visit this Community
Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 10, 2011
KitMaker: 7,604 posts
Armorama: 7,598 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2011 - 04:08 AM UTC
Nice to see this nearing fruition. You have chosen the figures wisely grasshopper,
J
SdAufKla
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,236 posts
Armorama: 2,156 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2011 - 04:47 AM UTC
"Xičxič nǐ, zhǔ" (he said with a deep, respectful bow...)


I think they'll work out, Jerry. I had to look hard for some that would group together like a crew, were wearing the correct uniforms, and that didn't need a lot of conversion work.

Because, unlike you, my friend, I really don't enjoy converting and sculpting figures. If they're available, I much prefer to use nice, well-sculpted stock figgies!
majjanelson
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: December 14, 2006
KitMaker: 1,352 posts
Armorama: 976 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2011 - 07:25 AM UTC
SUPERB, Mike!!

I can't wait to see it at the meeting Wednesday evening.

Jeff
SdAufKla
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,236 posts
Armorama: 2,156 posts
Posted: Friday, December 30, 2011 - 08:31 AM UTC
Well, I've been trying to work out a technique to paint the Spilitter and Sumpfmuster cammo uniforms for my figures.

I'm basically using Andy Evens' methods and colors but adding the shading with oil paints. I'm a "classic" style figure painter, and simply can't find the patience to use acrylic glazing for highlights and shadows.

So, here are a couple of happy snaps of my practice figure:





I'm not particularly pleased with the Sumpfmuster pants, but the coat came out acceptable. I can see that on my next figure, I'll use a darker umber color for the shadows on the Spilittermuster and make the "seam" lines a bit narrower.

Also, Andy clearly said to NOT brush over the raindrops more than once, but like a knuckle-head, I didn't follow his recommendation. But next time, I'll know to simply paint each raindrop once and leave it be.

This figure still has the "glossy's" while the oil paint is still drying, but I was also playing around with a light tent my son gave me for Christmas, and trying to figure out some changes to my photo methods, too. So, I took the photos before the paint had dried.

I still have to add this figure's belt buckle and the 20 liter fuel can that he's carrying. He's a stock DML figure with a Hornet head, assembled and primed in Tamiya flat white. The acrylic undercoats and cammo colors are Vallejo with artist oils for the actual painting (except for the cammo colors, of course.).

Andy Evans' excellent SBS article on painting German Splittermuster cammo can be found here: Historicus Forma:: Painting Splinter Pattern

Anyways, this little up-date is more to keep this blog on life-support and let everyone know I'm still workig on this project.

Happy New Year and Happy Modeling!
Big-John
Visit this Community
Ohio, United States
Joined: August 12, 2010
KitMaker: 731 posts
Armorama: 711 posts
Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 12:10 AM UTC
Hi Mike,

That “practice” figure sure looks good to me! The face looks awesome too!
SdAufKla
Visit this Community
South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,236 posts
Armorama: 2,156 posts
Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 02:17 AM UTC
Thanks, John!

Hopefully the figures for the vignette will come out even better. There's always much to learn and practice. I'm trying, though, and maybe one day I'll grow up to be real figure painter!

Happy New Year!