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First, I have to say I am blown away by the quality of the builds being posted for this GB - congratulations to everyone on some extraordinary work ! Back at the bench I have been plugging away at my attempt at a Pz. III Ausf. H since by pile of parts post, and have made some significant progress:
As you can see, the front is from the Mk. III kit, the back from the Stug. most of the details will come from the former, the suspension from the latter.
Now for a shout out to John O'Reilly for the silicone mould compound used to make all the small parts. Really, this project is not possible without castings, and this product makes them easy. John, you are a great guy, thanks for sending me this stuff, it is stone amazing !!
Next, a big thanks to Malcolm Collier for the CAD drawings I used to turn the 50mm L/42 gun. Fortunately this part is not too hard to make on a lathe, as you can see. They are made from 1/8" aluminum rod. The part fit perfectly - thanks Malcolm !!
Finally a shot of the Grandt Line nut-bolt castings I am using for the vorpanzer (appliqué armour). The patterns are from the Pazertracts drawings, an essential reference series for the Panzer builder.
Just another precise surgical exhibition from your AFV medical center joining that Stug rear deck into the Mark III plus some nice extra home detailing.
Your use of the lathe tech amazes me! That´s something far beyond the average modeller limits!
And about the moulding stuff, seems to be one of that silicones that you can reuse just keeping it clean and heating it -in example, in hot water-. Am I rigth? Those are a quick and rather reliable way to replicate small and/or almost flat and/or moulded on parts and details. BTW, what the black coloured stuff is? Resin?
Well, great (clean and precise) backdate work, Konrad)!!
I notice you are adding the trop air cooling cowls on the engine access hatchs. Please be aware that the ausf H cowls are smaller and a different shape to the ausf J,L,M,N cowls.I'm sure you are aware of this, as you have great attention to detail. Hope you don't mind the shout out.
Looking forward to seeing how you tackle the fahrerehklappe 30 (driver visor)and brake cooling air intakes
Would also be interested in the resin casting system you used.
Finaly would be happy to buy some 5cm barrles off you !!! lets hope someone releases them or you get some one to cast them in resin -Gasoline perhaps ? !
I can make a mold of some Hornet heads ears, and then fix all my kit heads up with new ears...the ears on kit heads are the poorest thing about them.
Or the body armour/pouches from a figure and cast them too.
Thanks for the very educative and illustrated SBS building process. Yes, I can clearly see here the Ausf.H conversion is not that hard to make as you mentioned in your mail and it is a very fresh variation in the Panzer range, so you are having here a winner for many reason sure. Good job amigo.
Needless to say I want one of those wonderfull barrels too.
Appreciate all the enthusiasm and encouragement for this project - having your support for a project like this keeps me interested through the rough patches
The mould making material is a Japanese product, perhaps John or Toku can provide more details on where to get it. It substantially the same silicone based product as the material Alvaro posted the link to - you heat it in boiling water and smash mould it over the master part, then cast the new part out of the resin of your choice. For a casting resin with extended working time I use JB Weld 5 Minute Epoxy - a steel filled epoxy that dries to a tack free dark grey and is pretty hard. Available at most home improvement stores here in the USA. JB Weld makes good small parts as they will withstand handling and don't damage easily, but it sets in 5-10 minutes, so you are able to make them pretty fast.
Andrew - thanks for the heads up on the engine deck. Seeing your comment I was comparing the two Trop covers in Pz. Tracts and they are definitely different, but based on the drawings they actually have the same width and length - and they are also even about the same thickness in the Pz. Tracts plans, but the details differ. I will go back and sand mine smooth on top (which will sharpen and reduce the roll on the edge which seems to be the big difference) and add the early style screw pattern per the drawings, and that seems to do it - let me know what you think of that plan. If more is needed it will not be that hard to do more to them as they are not committed to glue yet. Please e-mail me about that if you have a moment.
For the barrels, some of you have expressed interest in getting one or more - I am not mass producing them but there are a few available. E-mail me off the board I will fill you in on that.
On the air cowls. Just checked Panzer tracks. As you say they measure the same, BUT do look different.
Also checked the Modelart Pz3 afv super detail detail book vol6 on the Pz III J/L. Yoshikatsu Tomiokas gives drawrings and sizes for both and these show the shape a bit clearer than PT i think. his sizes are as follows. ( 1;1 measurements)and outside edge measurements.
Early cowl for 2 piece hatches.
length 640mm width 320mm
Leter cowl for single piece hatches.
length 656mm width 340mm.
He does not give height measurements, but in his drawrings the ealier cowls do measure about 15% thinner.
The drawrings do show the rolled edge lip to be smaller on the earlier cowls. This results in a larger flater top to the cowl.
I love the PT books, but I do find their drawrings of complex curves difficult to follow, as they sometimes don't add any curves or shading lines (i'm not an draftsman)
Hate to do this, but my email server keeps bouncing your e-mails - not sure if any have made it to you - if not you should be able to click on my ML name and load my email address, but if not it is also available through Track48