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135
Building 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 that!

I built the independent links as follows:

  1. I cut all links off sprue and put them into a film container. Much clicking of the snippers to drive the wife nuts!

  2. 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, long session.

  3. 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 this case).

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. 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 drying.

  7. 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.

Copyright 2002 - Text and Photos by Andy Herbert. All Rights Reserved.

Project Photos
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About the Author

About Andy Herbert (herberta)
FROM: , CANADA


Comments

Andy, Really nice article and subject, enjoyed reading it very much, nice pictures also! I just love those Stug's! Good job and keep it up!
JUN 27, 2002 - 11:32 AM
I second this. Very beautiful job! And the Stugs, can't live without them!
JUN 27, 2002 - 12:16 PM
What a job! Its an impressive very well done job! I liked the system he used to link up the individual track links. Very good!
JUL 02, 2002 - 06:51 AM
Thanks guys! For some reason, those Stugs really appeal to me. The low slung profile and all those angles I guess!! Cheers Andy
JUL 06, 2002 - 12:22 AM