Monday, January 30, 2012

Building the Plastic Soldier Company Stug III F/8 1/100 15mm

     Having a few minutes of free time I decided to try my hand at assembling one each of the types of Stug IIIs found in the PSC boxed set. As always the kits are crisply and cleanly cast  in a sturdy, but not fragile, styrene plastic. For no better reason that keeping with chronological order I decided to build the F8 first.

the track assembly, these have the same situation as the other models,
the wheels must be installed right and the tracks have a definite direction and are "side specific"

thankfully the designer was wise enough to make improper assembly both difficult and readily noticeable, there is a flat spot on the holes that the sprocket and idler wheels go into and a corresponding flat part on the pin of those wheels, but make sure that you have the correct sprocket, if you use the wrong one the  teeth will be facing the wrong way!)

 the idler assembly

test fit the tracks before gluing, there is one "right way"
and you will spot it as soon as you get it right

they have fixed the problem that they had with the Sherman tracks,
these tracks are not specific as to which side of the model they belong on,
but still can only be installed properly one way

tracks ready to be installed

upper hull components

the F8 had a sloped rear compartment, at first I was puzzled by this part,
 the terrible instructions were no help so I spent a little time looking at photos on Wikipedia

it goes on like this

and pops right into place

the hatches are not rectangular, be sure to put them on right-way-round


the glacis plate is nicely detailed

and a darned sight easier to install before you put the gun on the model

gun components, a touch of flash along the barrel

no shrinkage problems with this, too bad they didn't think of that for the PZ IV

gun ready to mount

and in place, it was a very tight fit and I was tempted not to glue

upper and lower assemblies ready to be joined

another part not well addressed by the instructions,
 fortunately I knew where the mufflers belong

right there

     Another top-notch model from PSC.I really think that they should flog the person responsible for the instruction sheet. In a kit that builds four distinctly different versions of the Stug the instructions only "suggest" where the parts belong, and for one version only. PSC went to great lengths to get as many options as possible into one box and created a very good model along the way, but the simply horrid instructions really let the whole effort down. I can't imagine being a new modeller, or a youngster trying to get started in the hobby, only to be confronted with the confusing mess that the instruction sheet will cause. Be prepared to do some research on Stugs before you build to be sure you get things right.

      Superb model, poopy instructions.

     It still gets a Very Highly Recommended because of the many options, excellent detail and all-around usefulness to the WW2 wargamer.    John

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