Moving on from the wheels, Steps 6 through 10 of the Sturmgeschütz's assembly process was next and it involved putting together the towing hooks, fighting compartment bulkhead, and upper hull; sans the tracks, which I'll explain later. Up to this point, things are still pretty straightforward. Any complication so far has been self-imposed i.e. determining which parts to glue and which parts not to, with an eye to the painting stage that will commence after assembly is done.
|Sturmgeschütz III work-in-progress: Assembly Steps 6 through 10; sans tracks |
|Tamiya Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.B Sd.Kfz.142 assembly instructions; Steps 5 through 10|
For example, parts of both tow hooks were completely glued together while a piece of the Fighting Compartment Bulkhead that holds the gun ammo was just snap-fitted onto the bulkhead (see below). The latter was not glued on because I believe it will be easier to paint the ammo if it isn't attached to the bulkhead. This is the case for other parts as well as you'll see later.
|Sturmgeschütz III tow hooks (left) and bulkhead of fighting compartment (right)|
|Other parts of the fighting compartment i.e. structure accommodating the main gun (left) and floor (right) |
|Parts of the fighting compartment, prior to being attached to the lower hull|
Other unglued (or snap-fitted) parts include various parts of the fighting compartment as well as the drive sprockets, road wheels, and idler wheels; when attached onto the lower hull (see below).
|Fighting compartment and wheels attached to the lower hull|
Next was the initial phase of the upper hull assembly. What you see below is just the beginning as many more parts will be added to the upper hull in later steps. For now, minimal detail was added onto the upper hull e.g. hatches, heat vents, etc. (see below)
|Initial assembly phase of the Sturmgeschütz III upper hull ...|
|... in which hatches, heat vents, etc. were glued on |
Of all the steps in this hobby session, I skipped one i.e. Step 9, which involves gluing the tracks into a closed loop. This I didn't do as it'll be much easier for me to paint and weather both the said tracks in their unassembled form. Only after then will I glue them together into a closed loop. Because of this, Step 10 remains partially completed i.e. the tracks weren't attached to the wheels/lower hull.
|Sturmgeschütz III tracks still remain in their sprues; unworked|
Last in this series of steps was the placing of the upper hull onto the lower hull. This I did in the form of a dry-fit only. The reason I didn't want to glue them together was the same as for the wheels. In addition, I feel that with the upper hull attached permanently, it will be that much harder to paint and weather the armored fighting vehicle's interior namely its fighting compartment (and bulkhead).
|Sturmgeschütz III lower hull up until Step 7 of the assembly process|
|Sturmgeschütz III lower hull with the upper hull attached; after Step 10 sans tracks|
Because my painting style generally involves airbrushing parts separately before assembly, most of the parts you see assembled above have not been glued permanently. I know I've said this before but it bears repeating as subsequent posts (especially during the painting process) might seem confusing when the parts come apart again. However, all thoughts of airbrushing the Sturmgeschütz III is still far from my mind as a lot of assembly remains to be done. Incidentally, to get inspired for this project, I have been reading Warhammer 40K novels on the Astra Militarum. It's not that weird if you think about it as there are similarities between the Imperial Guard and the Wehrmacht. Anyways I've babbled on long enough. As always, until we meet again - stay safe, be well and be happy.