Category: Eastern Front


On 15 June 1936, the order was given to develop an armoured vehicle for infantry support, mounting a gun of at least 7.5cm calibre. The gun was required to have a minimum of 25 degree traverse, and to be mounted in the hull, eliminating the requirement for a turret, which could result in a vehicle not exceeding the height of an average man. The experiment (o-series) series consisted of five Pz Kpfw III Ausf  F chassis (Chassis Nos 90216-90220)., upon which were mounted the soft steel superstructure containing the fixed 7.5cm StuK. After the successful testing of these prototypes, the 1 serie Ausf A went into production in January 1940.

The Sturmgeschütz Ausf.A was the first production version of the StuG III assault gun, designed to provide the German infantry with a fully armoured mobile artillery gun. Develop of the StuG began in 15 June 1936, when Daimler-Benz was given a contract to develop an armoured vehicle capable of carrying a 7.5cm calibre short barrelled gun, capable of being elevated to 25 degrees above horizontal, fully armoured (although the original design called for an open roof), in a vehicle no higher than a standing man.

The StuG Ausf A had the same suspension, drive-train components and basic hull shape as the 5 ZW (Pz Kpfw III Ausf F), but the similarity stopped there, The StuG front and rear armour was thicker. There were no escape hatches on the hull sides, and the brake access hatches on the glacis were hinged at the sides instead of fore and aft, The 7.5 cm StuK37 was mounted offset to the right in the squat superstructure. Vision for the driver was provided by a pivoting visor and a tin periscope device in the superstructure front, and a vision port in the left superstructure. The gunner’s artillery-type periscope sight was provided with a direct vision port in the left upper superstructure, and the commander had a scissors access hatch. Additional armour protection was provided for the crew by attaching 9mm plates at an angle to superstructure sides.

Power was provided by the Maybach HL 120 TRM 12-cylinder petrol engine, at the rear of the StuG, with the drive wheels at the front.
The first StuG was issued in February 1940, and twenty four were in service by the end of May. They were used to equip Sturmartillerie Batteries 640, 659, 660 and 665, and took part in the fighting in France in May and June 1940.

This was from DML’s Imperial Series ’39-’45 Kit # (9031) StuG III Ausf A. This is the kit with the Michael Wittmann figure included although I didn’t use that option. It was involved in the initial invasion of The Soviet Union in 1941,which was ” Operation Barbarossa”. Wittmann was part of the 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler.

The LSSAH was attached to the LIV.Armee-Korps and held in reserve during the opening stages of the attack. In August 1941 it was transferred to III.Panzer-Korps, part of Generalfeldmarschall Ewald von Kleist’s Panzergruppe 1. During this time the LSSAH was involved in the Battle of Uman and the subsequent capture of Kiev.

I cannot recall when this kit came out. It might of been in the late ninties or early 2000’s. But whatever was the date ,it was a gem of a little kit. I didn’t like the quality of the plastic, it was easy to distort when sanding if you were not careful. Also there was a lot of cleanup as I remember. Even though the details were not that bad,and the tracks being that of the individual variety, it took time to clean up, unlike todays “indy” tracks.

This kit was built “SOTB”,with some scratchbuilt jerry can racks that I constructed out of Plastruct strips. The boxes I believe were from Italeri. The tow chains came from Verlinden. I used Testors Enamel Model Master Paints. Winsor and Newton Oils for the wash. For the pigments I used pastel chalks and earth from Hudson and Allen. The markings were Archer Fine Transfers. Looking at the markings, I noticed that these are not of the (LSSAH) ,but rather that of the 3rd SS Division Totenkopf. Oh Well.

In these final pictures of  my “Weathered White Chariot” I applied the Pigments. I used MIG  Gun Metal (P231),MIG Track Brown (P414),Vallejo Burnt Sienna (73106),AIM Weathering Powders Grimy Black (3102),AIM Weathering Powders Medium Earth (3103),Pro Modeller Rust Weathering Powder (PMP Rust), Pro Modeller Sand Weathering Powder(PMPSand) and Tamiya Weathering Master Set C: Orange Rust,Gunmetal,Silver (TA87085). After the application of these pigments I did some more chipping using Testors Model Master Enamel Schwarzgrau ’39-’43 (2094). Afterwards I applied the Testors Silver Enamel  Paint for the chipping and scratching of the tools. And thus was the last step of “Project Pz III @ Leningrad”.

In this sequence I applied the wash using MIG Productions Dark Wash, MIG Productions Brown Wash,and MIG Productions Standard Rust Effects. I used a variety of brush sizes,and just let it flow naturally.These Products from MIG are very user friendly,with totally awesome effects. No more Winsor and Newton Oils for me. And with the Fluoquil Railroad High Gloss Enamel Clear made it a snap. Thanks MIG. You Can also add your own spill pattern,with a mix of these washes and a little dab of tissue or a dry brush makes it very manageable.

In this photo set it shows the finished application of Testors Model Master Enamels by brush,and the application of the kit’s decals. Obviously I chose the markings of one of  the support tanks   of  s.Pz.Abt. 502  Tiger Battalion near Leningrad in 1943.  After a day or two, I applied a coat of Testors Model Master  High Gloss Clear Enamel and  let dry for two full days.  After two days I was able to handle it without causing any print marks.  There is when I applied Flouquil   Flat Black Enamel to the tires. I thinned it  out enough to apply the paint with O size brush and  let the capillary  action do the work. By doing this method it leaves the running wheels and small upper support wheels nice and clean. I Then applied MIG Productions Dark Wash to the track and some parts of the rubber. This took me about three applications for what I was looking for. Today I  applied a light wash of  MIG Productions Brown Wash on the bottom hull and underneath  as well. Still wet, I sprinkled some #4 from the Rustall  Set, It gives a natural earth and rock look. 

In these photos I had just finished the initial “Detergent Chipping Method”. For a brief summary, two days after I had applied the Testor’s Model Master Schwarzgrau ’39-’43 Enamel Paint. After finally drying enough to handle. My next move was to mask off  as much of the vehicle that I didn’t want overspray on. The color I used was  Citadel Colour Acrylic Skull White, a French brand. What a choice huh? Couldn’t get a hold of any Tamiya X-2 Acyrlic Paint. I now shot the white,with no problems. Then while the paint was drying I cleaned my airbrush up,because my Iwata Revolution  for some reason hates acrylics. At this point I carried my “Baby” to the sink, for the “Bath”. I rinsed the two main parts the turret and the hull under the sink with a gentle rinse. Took them out ,and sprinkled dry laundry detergent over the obvious areas. I then let set for 30 seconds,and then repeated the rinse. In some cases of what you are looking for ,you can repeat the Detergent Step to get a light to heavy chipping look. Also you can use a light brush such as a old toothbrush for stubborn areas.  Bye for now.

After finally resolving the airbrush problem,I continued with the project. I painted the underside,the wheel carriage and tracks with a mixture of Model Master Enamel Black mixed with Tuscan Brown. I then sprayed the interior with Floquil Enamel Reefer White. After that I hand brushed the interior parts. Tomorrow I will spray Floquil High Gloss Clear Enamel in the interior area for a light wash.

Finally the brown/black undercoat has been applied,whew.Next is the spraying of the interior parts.

All the major construction is done. Next on the agenda is to paint a dark undercoat of  Floquil Railroad Colors (Enamel). Engine Black and Tuscan are my choice on this project.  I do not prime my models with grey,I use a brownish-black  color and then spray the topcoats on. 

Here I assembled the “Winterketten” tracks with ice cleats spaced every three tracks. The tracks were a joy. Nicely done. Also included is a shot of the front upper hull with the PE shields on the front. I decided to go a step further and complete the whole front using Edurard PE  plates and mounting plates. Now to the gun assembly.

Here is a practice fit of the upper front hull,rear deck and two fenders. To my great delight all these fitted very well. It is almost like a “snap fit” kit. Love this newer generation of Dragon Kits.

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