Finally on holidays at home. I can get into the forum and on with this. So, most of the lower hull crew area detail is complete. I still need to do some things like gas mask holders and the like, but work on the upper hull areas can proceed in earnest. This has already started in the driver's area and (as the photos) show with the forward MG mount. I'll then make the holders for the spare MG boxes to the right of the radio operator and the position locator for the driver. I need to add another stowage box to the left of the driver below the sponson roof line and then I can work on all the ammunition stowage boxes, both beside the driver and in the main crew area. Then its on to all the details on the rear firewall. The lower hull should be finished by Christmas and then I can move on to the turret. Haven't even started looking at the outside yet. I'm really pleased that this one will last awhile. It won't be the last as I've just realised that I still have to make the flatcar for the Pantherturm, but that's for next year. For now though, some photos. There is some initial painting, but there is tons of basic painting of parts to be done before the small details and weathering can bring it to life. This will be a relatively new vehicle to the front.
The two MGs under construction with various reference pieces for guidance. Neither will have a full barrel, but the one for the turret will have more barrel than the hull MG.
For some days now I've been working on the MGs and particularly the forward MG mount. Very few Panzers had enough MGs to have the forward, the gun and the commanders cupola mounted MG so usually the forward MG was either forward or on the roof. In this case it will be forward, with the cupola MG being missing from the mount. The second MG will take it's place beside the 88 in the turret. It will get to hibernate for a while. I will complete the hull before I get anywhere near the hull, making them as separate models as I did with the Tiger II and as in reality they were constructed during the war.
And the mount prepared along with the initial painting of various other items (the vision block mount has a number of over paint areas to fix around it ). Boy there is going to be a huge amount of weathering to do.
And then some shots of the MG mount completed minus the paint fix and pattern additions to the pistol grip on the MG
So next up I can now complete the upper details of the forward crew cabin. Driver's side includes the position indicator and the forward ammo case (88mm). Radio operator's side includes carry trays for spare ammo boxes (7.62mm) I should make more MG bags so now I know how easy it is I shall make about 7 more. These will sit all over the tank so it will be worth the boredom
Once the upper crew details are added I'll go back and add the wiring for the dash and sort the radio out. Then I'll be able to attach the forward bulkhead and proceed with the central upper interior. This will be easy until I get to the rear firewall, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
So, the front crew sections. The photos show the completed sections, including the driver's side compass and ammo container, and for the radio operator's side the racks for the ammo containers and the rack (just sitting there unattached), for the soon to be constructed MG ammo bags. The bulkhead is just sitting there to give you an idea of how things will look. The compass is a mock up of the real thing, the later version. It will be painted before attachment as it would be impossible to do so once its in place.
And more shots of things painted such as the speedo cable and the drive shafts. The red wire will be painted a different colour once the bulkhead is actually glued in place. There are more details to add yet such as the finished seats before the bulkhead finally stays there. Once it is in place I can add the remaining cable to connect the radio stack to the battery behind the radio operator's seat. It is yet to be constructed.
And then... some days... it just works. Set out to make these ammo stowage racks as nice and as calm as I could... with my bestest english and they worked. Fit like a glove behind the bulkhead and under the hull roof. There is a God!!! This now means that I'm getting close to finishing the front area and will be able to install the seats (just there for the photos), and paint dials and so forth on the dash. I can also install the MG and finish the wiring in of the radio stack. I'll do all that soon, but first I'll now move to the rear firewall and make the details there. Once this is done I can then go back and paint the ammo racks and the upper rear firewall ivory all together. Once this is all done i can then complete all the details previously listed and finally glue the seats and bulkhead in place. Then I can turn to the engine bay. Of course the one thing I haven't even started to think about yet is the hull roof and the hatch periscopes etc. And this is just the hull.... then there's the turret and on it goes. So, three months and three weeks later here is where we are so far.
And with some additives such as through the hull roof and down through the turret. These long forgotten items are now returning for some preparatory work. Once the engine area is done I'll turn to the hull roof for the added details. I'll do the same to the interior surfaces on the engine deck.
And finally, some shots of the extra detail on the firewall added after the painting and the installation (finally), of the radio operator's seat and the attachment of the radio stack, the spare driver's vision block holder and the bulkhead. I'll weather everything first before the MG is installed. Nice to get this far. It all looks very neat and tidy, but we'll fix that.
Now for the engine compartment and components. Glad I made the engine to start with