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StuG III 014 - A Team Effort

Forum for discussion relating to the Panzer III/StuG III
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Darren_Hagarty
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Location: Toowoomba Queensland Australia

StuG III 014 - A Team Effort

Post by Darren_Hagarty » Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:07 am

Hi All, This kit is our first Armortek model which we started late July. Its by no means finished but we wanted to share some photos we've taken along the way along with some quirks we found. Apart from a few photos of Steven's (003) we couldn't see any other build photo's of the Stug III.
As first time builders some close up photo's of the various stages would have really helped us. Once we've loaded our progress to date, we'll hopefully be able to get some assistance to finish off the static build section.
we had hoped to be finished the static build by Christmas but that's only an outside chance now.
The "we" is my wife Penny and myself. Its definitely been a team effort and two brains are better that one. Given we could have no physical contact with any other builders it helped to have someone else you discuss the build with.
One mistake we made was probably not seeking the help of the forum sooner.
Also if anyone else has a photo of their completed Stug could you post a photo? We've seen the snow camo version from the open day but that's the only one we've seen.

Darren_Hagarty
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Re: StuG III 014 - A Team Effort

Post by Darren_Hagarty » Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:21 am

The Basic Hull
We put this together then decided to push onto the rear deck as major module as we were having trouble getting a handle on the suspension build. The idea was gain some experience and come back.
Attachments
Basic Hull.JPG
Basic Hull Stug III G

Darren_Hagarty
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Re: StuG III 014 - A Team Effort

Post by Darren_Hagarty » Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:43 am

The Rear Deck
This went together fairly well for us. Note that the hatch support plates need to be filed back a few mm where the fasteners go through otherwise the hatches don't close properly. The guide mentions you need to do that. The attached photo that shows the underside of the rear deck had a punch pointing to one of the spots where you need to file back. Also the hatches closed better when the extra weight of the covers was applied.
Attachments
Hatch Support Plate.JPG
Hatch Support Plate - Stug III G
Underneath Rear Deck.JPG
Underneath Rear Deck - Stug III G
Rear Deck Top.JPG
Rear Deck Top - Stug III G

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leesellars
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Re: StuG III 014 - A Team Effort

Post by leesellars » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:33 am

Hello Darren

Welcome. There is loads of us on here that can either build, electrics or paint help on here. There are some aftermarket suppliers that build aswell. So you won't go wrong on here.

Lee
http://www.Facebook.com/newthorpemodels
Dont hit me so early in the morning with those negative waves.
Listen carefully i shall say this only once.
If its not broke dont fix it.
Ich Hatt Einen Kameraden

Darren_Hagarty
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Re: StuG III 014 - A Team Effort

Post by Darren_Hagarty » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:48 am

The Fighting Compartment
This is where it started to get harder. We had to do a bit of filing to get the side panels to go together. Particularly the "tongue" that goes through the side panels. See close up photo attached. We also made a mistake with the slew mechanism by assembling it incorrectly, we didn't find out until the roof wouldn't go on. We relied heavily on the exploded view diagrams during building because sometimes we found the text hard to follow. The slew mechanism was a curly one to get together but in the end it seemed to move OK.
We couldn't quite get the muzzle brake on fully as it was too tight but its hard to notice. One of the fasteners for the slide hatch for the gunners periscope (hatch closed in photos) had to be shortened and super glued as under the fastener was a bracket holding the roof together.
We'll also super glue a fastener above the recoil tubes as with the roof on you can't tightened the nut.
The Gun Mount to Mantlet Plate needed 6 by 16 mm fasteners not 5 by 16 mm as mentioned in the fastener list.
The Drivers Hood and Visor needed some filing to go together but we can vouch for the toughness of the pin to join them as it took quite a few whacks with the hammer.
Attachments
Tongue.JPG
Tongue - Stug III G
Slew Pivot.JPG
Slew Pivot - Stug III G
Recoil Tube Top.JPG
Recoil Tube - Stug III G
Fighting Comp Top.JPG
Fighting Compartment Top - Stug III G
Fighting Comp Front.JPG
Fighting Comp Front - Stug III G
Fighting Comp Bottom.JPG
Fighting Comp Bottom - Stug III G
Fighting Compartment.jpg
Fighting Compartment - Stug III G

Darren_Hagarty
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Re: StuG III 014 - A Team Effort

Post by Darren_Hagarty » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:54 am

Hi Lee,
We're in Oz about 150 Km inland from where the first Cricket test is being played at the Gabba (Brisbane). It good to see the poms getting a long overdue pasting. We ambushed them with a green top after the lead up games were on dust bowls with second rate opposition.
Seriously though it would have helped being in the UK during the build as assistance would have been easier to get. Anyway hopefully we can make it though.

Darren_Hagarty
Posts: 57
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Re: StuG III 014 - A Team Effort

Post by Darren_Hagarty » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:01 am

Drive Sprocket and Idler
These went on quite well for us. The Drive Sprocket inside edge has to be exactly 28 mm from the hull side and we found ours ended up right on that distance without any adjustment. We fixed the Sprocket Cap with our spare 5 by 16mm screws left over from the Gun Mantlet. The fastener guide quoted 5 by 10mm but 5 by 12mm were even too short.
The Return Idler has an adjustment spring that is quite hard to compress and it was one of those job where three hands may have helped, however we got it on after a few goes there certainly was a technique to it.
Both the Return Idler and driver Sprocket spin quite freely for large items. we felt that was a good sign we'd got it right.
Attachments
Track Path.JPG
Track Path - Stug III G
Ilder Side View.JPG
Idler Side View - Stug III G
Ilder.JPG
Idler - Stug III G
Drive Sprocket.JPG
Drive Sprocket - Stug III G
Drive Sprocket Top.JPG
Drive Sprocket Top - Stug III G

Darren_Hagarty
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Re: StuG III 014 - A Team Effort

Post by Darren_Hagarty » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:15 am

Return Rollers
There are six of these and while we have them done and fitted to the hull we've not convinced they are 100%. Compared the the Idler and Driver Sprocket they are stiff when spun. We had to buff up the Roller Shafts quite a bit to get them to fit (maybe not enough).
The guide mentions to polish the bores of the bushes and shafts until they spin freely. They did seem to spin OK but once the full assembly was done and fitted to the hull they ended up quite stiff. The guide mentions to back off the retaining screw a quarter turn and allow loctite to cure before attempting to turn shaft. I don't know why the quarter turn back but it seems significant.
We'll take one off this week to see if we can work out why its stiff, maybe loctite has spilt or the quarter turn back was missed.
On a positive note they seem to align with the Idler and the Drive Sprocket.
Attachments
Return Roller.JPG
Return Roller - Stug III G
Return Roller Top.JPG
Return Roller Top - Stug III G

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John Fitzsimons
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Re: StuG III 014 - A Team Effort

Post by John Fitzsimons » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:29 am

Looking good. Well done both of you. Going together nicely.
If interested in any parts used in my builds contact me at johnfitzsimons@msn.com for a price list.
Items available. See link to forum post.
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4770

Darren_Hagarty
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Re: StuG III 014 - A Team Effort

Post by Darren_Hagarty » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:05 am

Road Wheels and Suspension Arms
The Return Roller experience helped us with the road wheels. We feel as though we've done a better job on these. However of the first two Road Wheel sets that we have mounted to a suspension arm one has the ability to spin each wheel independently of each other. Whereas the other one both wheels appear locked together. Mark or Adrian which setup is correct?
The Road Wheels also spin more freely than our Return Rollers further reinforcement that something is not quite right with the Return Rollers.
The pin that goes through the suspension shaft to lock it needs to be drilled by a 2.5 mm drill. We found it hard to drill perfectly perpendicular to the shaft with a cordless drill. A bench mounted drill would have useful here. We'll just paint over the imperfections.
There's a washer that goes on the end of the suspension arm with a recess. We found that we couldn't get ours on the suspension arm. Admittedly our washers were well painted but even bare we had no joy. We'd rather not trim the end of the suspension arms so we'll see if we can find some flat washers to replace them, however that may be easier said than done as they are about 11 mm or 7/16 ths which is not a common size for a washer.
Attachments
Suspension Arm.JPG
Suspension Arm - Stug III G
Road Wheel Top.JPG
Road Wheel Top - Stug III G
Road Wheel Rear.JPG
Road Wheel Rear - Stug III G
Road Wheel Front.JPG
Road Wheel Front - Stug III G

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Adrian Harris
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Re: StuG III 014 - A Team Effort

Post by Adrian Harris » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:09 am

> The guide mentions to back off the retaining screw a quarter turn and allow loctite
> to cure before attempting to turn shaft. I don't know why the quarter turn back but
> it seems significant.

The way the shaft is designed, the rear retaining washer acts on the centre of the bearing and, with the outer bearing casing flush with the wall of the housing, too much pressure will force the two halves of the bearing against each other, and can also push the centre portion of the bearing against the back wall of the housing, introducing unwanted friction and hence making the roller stiff.

Tightening up the screw fully ensures that the bearing is seated correctly at the bottom of the pocket, and then the quarter turn eases the pressure on the centre section of the bearing, without allowing the shaft to become too wobbly.

I'm working on a first gen Panzer III, and this has exactly this symptom, as the bearing retainers have been done up too tight.

At the end of the day, to quote most football managers, these tanks usually only run very slowly, so you don't need a return roller which will do 5000rpm :lol: It will have a slight drag effect, and hence an effect on the battery life, but it will be negligible compared to the other forces at work during manoeuvres.

Adrian.
R.I.P Margaret I.L.Y

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Adrian Harris
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Re: StuG III 014 - A Team Effort

Post by Adrian Harris » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:17 am

> Whereas the other one both wheels appear locked together.

There is nothing in the kit to physically connect the two wheels together, so there isn't a "correct" or "incorrect" method really.

It comes down to the presence, or absence, of small machining burrs on the rear of each wheel. If there is a small burr around the central axle hole, the wheels can be held apart just enough to move independently. If both rear faces are smooth, the wheels tend to stick together.

When the tank is complete and moving, both wheels will be firmly in contact with the track, and the friction of the track on the tyres will ensure that both wheels move together.

You sometime see Tiger models where one wheel is moving the wrong way, or not at all, which shows that the suspension alignment is wrong, as all wheels should be doing their part in supporting the weight of the tank.

Adrian.
R.I.P Margaret I.L.Y

Darren_Hagarty
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Re: StuG III 014 - A Team Effort

Post by Darren_Hagarty » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:25 am

Torsion Bars
This is where we are up to at the moment. We seem to have met our match with this section. The guide indicates that this is the hardest part of the build and that's probably right. We found the notes a bit hard to follow here but got this bullet form style OK'd by Mark.

• Slide a shake proof washer onto M6*25 screw
• Refit fixed end finger tight onto M6*25 screw from the inside of the hull
• Fit M5*6 grub screw into underside of suspension bar leave one turn from tight
• Slide torsion bar into fixed end and align flat with grub screws
• Tighten two grub screws
• The other end of torsion bar sits in hole in other suspension bar
• Push the suspension shaft assembly through hole on other suspension bar and align the flat with the grub screws
• Tap the end of the suspension arm with a mallet to ensure they are fully home
• Tighten both grub screws
• Axle should be free to swing
• Repeat for other 11 arms
• Then work on setting angle of arms to 30-40 degrees

We had issues with the Fixed Ends going into the Suspension Bars, even after we removed primer they still wouldn't go in. It appears the holes in the Suspension Bar were a bit small they also seemed to be slightly different sizes as the same Fixed End would be a different fit in each hole (after we'd filed it down a bit). We also found one Suspension Bars holes were a bit smaller than the other. We could have got replacement Suspension Bars from Mark but decided to file our Fixed Ends to save some time on shipping.
We also found four of our Fixed Ends were missing the thread for the grub screws so we're getting some replacements for them. With the toing and froing we ended up bending a Torsion bar also.
Mark also suggested that we oil the Torsion Bar and Fixed Ends and not prime them, we're going to try that when we get our washers.
The test for the Torsion Bars is to set them at between 30 -40 % and pull down to horizontal and see if Suspension Arm goes back to 30 - 40 % position. We found we could only get halfway to horizontal in our tests however we wondered if the primer on the torsion bars made them stiffer.

I'll post some photos of Fixed Ends and Torsion Bars next time. Just realised I've missed Dr Who special.

Darren_Hagarty
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Re: StuG III 014 - A Team Effort

Post by Darren_Hagarty » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:35 am

Thanks for the reply Adrian and John.
Both Road Wheel assemblies seemed to go OK so your explanation makes sense.
I'll have to re-read the quarter turn explanation tomorrow its a bit too much for the brain at the moment (9:30 pm). I'll tease Penny by getting her to read it and explain to me.
However it a nutshell its worth taking off one return Roller and having a look to see if we can get it to spin more freely?

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Adrian Harris
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Re: StuG III 014 - A Team Effort

Post by Adrian Harris » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:41 am

> worth taking off one return Roller and having a look to see if we can get
> it to spin more freely?

I would, but then I am a committed tinkerer :lol:

Adrian.
R.I.P Margaret I.L.Y

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