1⁄35Building a DML Stug IIIB
Intro and Track Assembly
This is the DML Stug IIIB, built largely out of the
box with few modifications. This is a great kit, with excellent fit, nice
texture to the armor and lots of parts! The kit includes a a small sprue of
PE for the antenna protector and an engine screen. The tracks are provided
without holes in the track teeth guides. I'm not anal enough to worry about
I built the independent links as follows:
I cut all links off sprue and put them into a
film container. Much clicking of the snippers to drive the wife nuts!
As I'm building other stuff and taking breaks I
clean up the links, removing any sprue attachments and cleaning up ejector
pin marks. Ejector pin marks that are recessed get ignored or I put a
little white-out in them. Cleaned up links go in another film container. I
have a little stockpile of links on the go all the time. It's easy to
clean up 20 links a night for a couple of weeks at a time. It takes a few
minutes each time, rather than going nuts doing them all in one tedious,
Assembly of the links happens when I know I have
about a half hour of modeling time (uninterrupted, so pee first!) and the
running gear and lower hull are fully assembled. I have a long piece of
wood (about 100cm by 20cm) with a thin piece of wood nailed onto it (about
a cm wide, and half the length of the board. This is one straight edge. I
use a metal edged ruler as the other straight edge. I place a half dozen
links together, then brush the joints lightly with Testors liquid glue
(comes in the glass bottle). I add a few more links, repeat until I get a
length that looks about right (95 links or so for a Pz. III chassis in
That completed length of track is allowed to dry
for about 10 to 15 minutes. I test the state of the track by attempting to
pick it up. If links fall off, it's not ready! Once ready, the length of
track is flexible, but won't fall apart with gentle handling. I then put
the length of track around the running gear. I don't glue the run
together, but I make sure there is a nice join under a road wheel (or in
the upper run if that part is hidden).
For the Stug, I sagged the tracks between the
return rollers a bit by pressing down gently with my finger. As always, I
seem to end up with too much sag compared to the vast majority of photos,
but it's very hard to get just a little sag.
I get a short run of tracks and put them under
the opposite bogey wheels, and leave the run of links to dry overnight. So
I do one run one session, and the other side another time. The short run
of links for the other side prevents the tracks from going askew when
After the glue is dry, I pop the whole run of
tracks off the running gear so I can paint the tracks/running gear
separately before final assembly and weathering.
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Andy Herbert. All Rights Reserved.
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