Thursday, 8 June 2023

Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.B Sd.Kfz.142 [WIP - Assembly of Upper Hull Section Part 02 and Commander Figurine]

 Attachment of more parts onto the Upper Hull of the Tamiya 1/35 scale Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.B Sd.Kfz.142 as well as assembly of the vehicle's commander figurine are the focal point's of this post. While there wasn't really much to do in relation to the Upper Hull itself in this particular step of the assembly process, things took longer than expected because of problems I faced in putting together the commander figurine. What was supposed to be a post showcasing Steps 17 through to 19, ended up being just a write-up of just this one step. So please bear with me on this.

Sturmgeschütz commander assembled plus more parts for the Upper Hull

Steps 17 of the Tamiya Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.B Sd.Kfz.142 assembly process

 While the parts used in this step are mainly plastic ones, there was one PE metal part used i.e. the vehicle's left air intake grille. The other grille, for the right side of the hull, will be attached in a later step. These grilles are the largest PE parts provided in this kit, and also the easiest to work with. Apart from its large size, the grilles are also easier to handle because there is no need whatsoever to manipulate the PE parts e.g. bending. All that was needed was to cut the parts from its sprue/runner and glue them onto the hull. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

More metal and plastic parts for the Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.B Sd.Kfz.142 ...

... all of which will be attached to the left side of its Upper Hull.

 To date I've always had trouble assembling 1/35 scale tank crew figurines whether they are from Tamiya or other third party kits. It was no different for the commander figurine (see below) included in this kit. Because the commander's arms doesn't have a male/female type joint connection to his torso, both arms have some flexibility in their final position in relation to the torso. This can be a positive as it allows for a slight customization of the figurine's stance through the open hatch. But for me it was a nightmare as I struggled to glue his arms in just the right position so that both hands could rest flatly on the Fighting Compartment. In the end, I don't think I managed it, at least not completely flat.

1/35 scale commander figurine (and his headphones) for the Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.B

 To make the assembly process easier, I had detached the Upper Hull, which at this point is only dry-fitted onto the Lower Hull. This made gluing on the metal/plastic parts less of a hassle. In Step 17, all the parts were glued together one way or another except for one i.e. the commander's headphones. Even after painting it, I intend to leave it hanging loosely around the figurine's neck as opposed to gluing them onto the figurine in a set position (see above).  

Because the Upper Hull was only dry-fitted to the Lower Hull, the former was easily ...

... detached first in order to facilitate the gluing or attachment process as directed in Step 17.

 Only after Part 2 of 3 of the Upper Hull Assembly was complete did I start to reattach, or dry-fit rather, the Upper Hull onto the Lower Hull. Following this, I dry-fitted the Fighting Compartment back onto the Upper Hull. Note that I didn't bother putting the main gun back in. This is because at this stage, my only aim was to see if the commander figurine could stand straight out of the open hatch with his hands resting flatly on the Fighting Compartment. Going forward, I intend to paint the interior, gun, figurine, and compartment separately so there's no point in gluing them together for now.  

Upper Hull with two thirds of its assembly done; shown here with interior exposed (sans gun); ...

... the Fighting Compartment was then dry-fitted to determine whether the Commander figurine's arms ...

... had been glued on correctly, based on the position of his hands on the hull when standing out of the hatch. 

 So this leaves me with just two more steps to go before assembly of the vehicle can be deemed as fully complete, more or less. Soon after, I hope to snap some shots of the Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.B Sd.Kfz.142 in its entirety - a combination of glued and dry-fitted parts - before proceeding to paint the vehicle. Most of the difficult steps are behind me so I don't foresee any issues in the final steps. I'll be back soon with the last two steps, but until then do take care. Be well and happy!


  1. Seeing the progress on this project is always great, and makes me notice how much work you are putting into it!

    1. It's a lot of work because I'm an obsessive-compulsive-hobbyist XD More experienced scale modelers than I would've finished the work much faster than I did :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you ... I'm just glad it doesn't look drastically different from what is being shown in the instructions :)


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