Dated: November 3, 2006.
German self-propelled guns are popular sights in most battlefields in World War 2, beginning from the invasion of France and ending in the ruins of Berlin.
Many of these vehicles were made from outdated tanks, some of the captured, to overcome the lack of firepower to support infantry, hunt tanks or attack enemy positions. Most were troublesome, with overloaded suspension, engine problems or thin amour, but some become excellent fighting machines with impressive war records. Other self-propelled guns were planned and made to suit specific tasks and among them the SturmgeschŘtz III or StuG III is probably the most popular.
Intended to support infantry during assaults and equipped with a short 75 mm L/24 gun, the Stug III saw limited service during the invasion of France with only 3 vehicles in the front, but large numbers are available to later campaigns in Eastern Europe. Experience was successful and better amour and a longer L/43 gun were introduced to defeat enemy tanks. The newer StuG III version become more a tank hunters than a self propelled gun, helping German tanks to counter the massive number of Soviet and Allied tanks.
The new kit made from Hat depicts the later version, with the long L/48 gun and larger upper structure, sharing the hull from the recent Panzer III J. As usual, the kit is easy to build, with just a few parts without flash and easy to assemble and most of the final result is due to the paint and finish.
I decided to try something different from the DAK Panzer III and instead of a primer with a similar color, choose to paint the whole kit with acrylic matt black.
Then, added the "double wheels" following the same method explained for the Panzer III model, gluing small strips of card around the inner wheel section. This gave the impression that two wheels are in place instead of a single external wheel.
Was now time to assemble the whole kit with the exception of the wheels and track parts and a few small parts as hatches. With the main parts in place, time arrived to start the real paint job using acrylic desert yellow.
The process I choose was to dry brush the whole kit, including the hull, wheels set and remaining parts. This can take a while, but is easy to be done with a almost dry paint brush and don't require too much attention. Is even possible to watch TV when doing it.
After the whole kit is as yellow as intended, the wheels are painted black and the tracks dark red, with some metal highlights and the hull behind the wheels is coated with matt varnish and sprayed with a little powder.
Now is time to do the final assembly, gluing wheels, tracks and the small parts in place before applying the two tone camouflage. The method was also to dry paint with green and red brown as many crews done to they vehicles.
These armored cars are usually supplied in plain yellow, with a paint kit to allow crews to choose a suitable pattern to the specific battlefield and imagination or taste and more or less skill lead to very different patterns. I choose one easy pattern seen on pictures and decided not to apply any decals for the moment.
Most tanks have the German cross, some also have call numbers or unit insignia, but others are too worn to show any identification and, as Hat don't include decals, decided to show the kit with only the box contents. If were to use some decals, that will be the moment, before washing out the models with a very thin black layer to give a more uniform and worn out finish.
From start to end, this kit took just a couple hours, but the second Stug is to be slightly modified and may take somewhat more.
Nuno M. Cabešadas
Many thanks to Mr. Nuno M. Cabešadas.
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