Saturday, May 30, 2015

PSC 1/72 StuG wrecked

After building my wrecked truck I set about looking for a kit for a tank to wreck. My choice was a StuG as I couldn't bear to build a tank I don't already have one of just to wreck, and since wahj has built two StuGs, I didn't need another "live" one...

There is no shortage of pictures of wrecked tanks on the internet; in fact, there seems to be some sort of fascination for them, with books and websites dedicated to the subject. My guess is that wrecks (and tanks in repair) allow the scale modeler to expose the inner workings of a tank and therefore allow them to show off their skills more. Anyway, my conclusion after looking at dozens of photos is that: to make a tank look wrecked at first sight, there must be something wrong with the wheels or tracks, the hatches must be open, and the machine-gun must have been removed.

After further googling, I decided that the best kits to use for this kind of project would be the Plastic Soldier Company's kits. Their tank tracks come in two halves, like two 'C's, and are soft enough for me to bend them to certain shape - and if they snapped, it was easy to glue them back.

The problem though was that the front drive wheels are incomplete - the front part has no teeth to allow an easy fit with the tracks, This meant that I couldn't recreate a wreck where the tracks fell off the wheels altogether. After further googling, I decided to base my wreck on this photo:

I chose the early version of the StuG III G, and went for the same three-tone camouflage I have used for the truck. I built and painted the model pretty much as is, only cutting the machine-gunner's hatch into halves and gluing them in an open position. The right-side tracks I simply bent into shape and fitted them over the wheels, then cut the skirt above where the tracks broke with wire-cutters and dabbed some black paint around the area. I weathered the model using a wash the sponge technique and applied decals I bought from Peddinghaus, attached the tracks, and brushed some mud on them. I am quite pleased with how the whole thing turned out, although I must explore those decal-dissolving liquid if I ever come across them at a model store...