Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sturm-Infanteriegeschutz 33B and PSC

Hey All!

In the continuing saga of everything Stalingrad, I have begun work on another period vehicle - the StuIG33B. This vehicle saw combat in November in Stalingrad with the Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 177 and Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 244 and also in the with the Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 243 and 245 in the attempt to relieve the trapped 6th Armee. I am used Battlefronts GE133 blister for this project and all in all its a pretty good model with a few flaws.

The Battlefront kit has the usual issues with simplification and rough road wheels as well as a few. inaccuracies.

No extra road wheels (or much of anything) are included in the kit so I have added a few items seen in photos and was pleased to note that extra road wheels and track from Plastic Soldier Companies new Panzer III boxed set fit the bill perfectly! These items look great and are only slightly smaller than BF extra road wheels/tracks but the detail is no contest! This boxed set is really a must-have for fans of the PzIII and I cannot wait to put these together! I will spotlight the build in a future blog entry.
One other problem with the BF kit is the hole along the bottom of the superstructure sides to accommodate the fender supports that are present on the metal track part. It seems Battlefront simply used the tracks from the StuG kits for the StuIG33. This results in there being fender supports where there should be none and tools being in the wrong position. (jack on wrong side, no axe/wire cutters, track pry bar should not be where it is etc). As well the track pieces sit too low and should mate up tight with the hull. Picture below from Battlefronts site:
I removed the fender supports, ground down the hull so it fit flush and filled the holes with JB Weld. I also added back a couple fender supports where they belonged, an MG34, and a headlight.
I will add a fender stowage box, a tow cable and maybe a few roadwheels on the superstructure front although I am not too sure this was done in Stalingrad?!

Card above for vehicle for Schwere Kompanie rules.

PS: Did a bit more work on the StuIG. Moved the jack, added an axe, stowage box and fire extinguisher.

...and primed...

...whats that lurking in the shadows?



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Buildin' Bloggin' Part II: Cork Buildings and SMoGs

Hey All!

I finally got around to finishing up a bit of Stalingrad terrain to fight over - and this time it didn't end up in the garbage! I found a few pics on the net of terrain made from 1 x 1 foot cork tiles.  Looked great and seemed simple...a trip to the Dollar store secured 2 tiles for 2 bucks and a 2 days later, I had 3 buildings! They are light-weight and durable and can be built as large or small as you like.
Cutting with a drywall knife was easy and gluing with PVA produces a strong bond. I used pins to hold in place until dry. But the best thing about the cork (over anything else I have tried) is the beautiful crumbled concrete look that is produced by simply breaking off chunks! Also, bullet holes are a snap - just dig into the wall with the tip of a pin and pop out!
I added some cardboard trim from cereal boxes, some hand-painted slogans and a few propaganda posters to flesh these out. Once complete, I brushed on a coat of thinned PVA to strengthen.
Floors and walls were positioned with miniature placement as a determiner so some simplification was required.  Rubble was a mix of sand, kitty litter. I will probably put these buildings on a removable base so the bottom floor can be used with ease.  Still working on how to add brickwork to future creations...
  Above are my finished SMG squads (SMoGs as my buddy John calls them). I added various scratch-built items and rubble to give them a Stalingrad-era look.