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Trouble with building 1/35 scale Tamiya Stug III Ausf. B kit (please advise)

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  • Member since
    February 2021
Trouble with building 1/35 scale Tamiya Stug III Ausf. B kit (please advise)
Posted by ScaleModeler_1973 on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 2:00 AM

Hello. I'm wondering if anyone can advise me here-maybe someone who has built this particular kit. It has twenty four road wheel parts (twelve pairs of 'half-wheels' that are glued together making twelve wheels total). Each 'half-wheel' is roughly the thickness of a dime. I have been trying to remove the molding seam lines that run the circumference of each 'half-wheel'. I've been scraping a hobby knife held perpendicular to the surface of each half-wheel and also used sanding sticks to 'smooth' them out. So far, this technique has worked well with most of them, but I'm running into real problems with about eight of the 'half-wheels', because they just aren't 'molded right'.

I've been scraping and sanding (A LOT) but I just can't get the seam lines to disappear. In looking under 10x magnification, I can see that these eight half-wheels were  'misaligned' during manufacture: one half protruding/bulging out farther than the other-with the seam line running between them). Apologies if I am being confusing here? All I have gotten for my efforts with these eight piecces is a lot of plastic sanding residue, but the seam lines are not disappearing:( I once heard that for these kind of 'defective wheels', one can use putty to fix the 'misalignment' and then sand  them smooth. But I am not clear on how this works? Does one simply slap a small blob of putty (I own a tube of Tamiya putty and one of Vallejo), and smooth it out by hand and then using sanding sticks)?

I have been trying to remove these seam lines, because my understanding from reading scale modeling reference books is that experienced, veteran builders do these kind of things (and have pride in the work they do:) Part of my motivation is to become a better, more skilled modeler, too. And that means expanding my skill set. But gettting these wheels smooth really has me scratching my head: I've been working long and hard at this task, but maybe not the right way? I am just not getting the desired result with these 'dreaded' eight half-wheels. Anyway, sorry for what is a very-long winded story/explanation of my trouble. I would be grateful for any guidance others can give me to solve this particular challenge, maybe from modelers that have encountered the same problem with this kit (or another similar 1/35 tank kit). Thank you in advance! 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 2:19 AM

Just to be clear, is this the kit you have.

Odd that a Tamiya kit should be as bad as you say. I have this kit in the stash so will have to check mine. But if it really is as bad as you say, then i think i would opt for resin replacments. If you keep sanding, you are going to end up with odd sized wheels. Are the wheels you are having a problem with all the same ones, i.e. all the inside or ourtside wheels or are they a mix. And can you post a photo of them.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

On the bench: Italeri 1/72nd Bell 212/Revell 1/72nd Type VIIc U-Boat/Trumpeter 1/32nd Me 262A-1a

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by ScaleModeler_1973 on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 2:57 AM

Yes, that is the exact same kit I am trying to build:) (I didn't expect such a quick reply- I guess I am not the only early riser on these forums) Let me explain that I am not very tech savvy, but will try to share a picture of a few of these wheels. The eight that I speak of are all of the same part (I believe it is 'A25' in the instructions). I should have asked for advice first before sanding away though - likely I have misshapen some of them further already:( But they were already honestly 'misaligned' when I cut them off the sprue, too. I think at this point I should  probably take your counsel to buy some resin replacements-I did not know such a product existed for this kit (thanks for explaining...)

I have take a picture of several of these 'problem wheels' using my phone camera, but I don't know if there is a way to attach them to this thread? I've tried clicking insert on this thread but it asks me for 'Source'? I guess I should maybe search on this forum for a 'tutorial' on how to attach pictures...I am using a Samsung phone that I bought almost three years ago (I think it is a S10).

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 4:20 AM

I am in the UK so a few hours ahead.

While that kit dates from 2005, i believe the road wheels are from a much older kit, so its possable the molds for that part were not up to standard. Looking at the instructions on line, A25 are the inner roadwheels. I'll check the wheels on mine at the weekend, so thanks for the heads up.

You need need a 3rd party hosting site for posting images, most model forums require this. I use Flickr but there are plenty to choose from.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

On the bench: Italeri 1/72nd Bell 212/Revell 1/72nd Type VIIc U-Boat/Trumpeter 1/32nd Me 262A-1a

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 4:41 AM

Bish
i believe the road wheels are from a much older kit, so its possable the molds for that part were not up to standard. Looking at the instructions on line, A25 are the inner roadwheels.

Indeed, they are the same sprues from the PzKpfw III Ausf.L kit. I just pulled mine out of the stash to look and the inner roadwheels do have a slight mismatch while the outers don't appear to.

It's worth noting that carefully scraping/sanding the high sides will correct the problem, as the mismatch makes them slightly ovoid. Filling the lower areas will cause the wheel to remain ovoid.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 6:18 AM

And i just checked, and no one seems to do resin road wheels for tehse. Plenty of top rollers, but no road wheels. I thinik your going to have to follow Phil's advice.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

On the bench: Italeri 1/72nd Bell 212/Revell 1/72nd Type VIIc U-Boat/Trumpeter 1/32nd Me 262A-1a

  • Member since
    April 2020
  • From: Central CT
Posted by xenon55 on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 9:22 AM

Since I can't attach the link due to "403 forbidden" error, search in the Techniques section of the forum for "how I sometimes remove mold lines from armor road wheels". It's near the top of the second page at least on my phone.

I posted this a while ago. It may help depending on how much the mold is off and whether or not you can put the wheel in the chuck of the cordless drill. I don't have that kit so I can't check it.

Jay

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by ScaleModeler_1973 on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 3:12 PM

Thanks to all of you folks for having taken the time to advise and inform me with this challenge. I have been trying to use the 'scraping and sanding' technique, but it looks like I have wound up with some oblong wheels. I don't  know whether 'eyeballing' the wheels  with the naked eye when shaping them by hand is best or using a 10x loupe to periodically gain some closer perspective on areas that need to be sanded down more helps. Maybe I just overcomplicated what might be a simple process (by alternating between the two). I guess you only improve evenutally by continuing to try, though....

I've already learned a lot through this lesson.  Knowledge of model kit characteristics  and proper selection sound like they are important, too. I didn't realize that major manufacturers (for example Tamiya) sometimes have kits with part designs that were re-used from earlier molds. I thought I would be OK with a 2006 dated model kit (it didn't seem that old to me), but I guess maybe molding and design technology have improved in recent years? To build myself up for success, might it be sensible for a beginner like me to stick with building newly designed model kits that have come out in the past five years, say (in the sense that the parts will fit better and that there will be less misaligned parts, inaccuracies and such)? Thanks again for all the guidance. I will keep trying... 

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 3:40 PM

The problem with building more recent kits is that some can be a bit over whelming so far as parts count and lots of detail. Dragon are well known for useing 5 parts when 2 would do. You are pretty safe with Tamiya kits due to the fit and nice detail without going OTT. Best bet is find a subject you wnat and do a bit of searching, there are reviews on most kits these days, and even if they are only in box reviews, you often get to see images of the kit and an idea of how complicate it will be. Some of the newer companies, Meng, takom etc seem to be striking a good balance between fit and detail without being overly complex.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

On the bench: Italeri 1/72nd Bell 212/Revell 1/72nd Type VIIc U-Boat/Trumpeter 1/32nd Me 262A-1a

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Thursday, February 11, 2021 1:17 AM

Hi ScaleModeler. All of the above is top advice, however I would just like to add a small item. In my experience, sometimes mould lines are almost like fracture seams and no matter how much you sand or scrape, they still appear. Its almost as if they have a continuos line through the plastic, which is visible to the eye, but is no longer an actual 'ridge' line. Try a bit of primer on the parts. If it still shows up, you have a problem, but if it dosen't, its just a line through the whole part and not an actual seam.

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Thursday, February 11, 2021 1:24 AM

Dodgy
If it still shows up, you have a problem, but if it dosen't, its just a line through the whole part and not an actual seam.

In this case, it's more than just a seam. Imagine stacking two coins together and then pushing the top one ever so slightly off centre. That's what we're dealing with, a slight overlap rather than a mould line.

It is a little baffling since it only affects the inner roadwheels, whilst the outer roadwheels are on the same sprue and are unaffected.

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by ScaleModeler_1973 on Thursday, February 11, 2021 3:31 AM

OK. Thanks for the information. The analogy of stacking two coins slightly off center is a good one (helps me visualize what I am dealing with on my inner roadwheels). On some of my outer roadwheels, I think I see the 'effect' that Dodgy is talking about: it looks more like a 'ghostly' line running through the circumference of the wheels. And at first, I was trying to get rid of them, but I don't think there is really anything to sand away...

I have a couple more miscellaneous questions here that I don't know if warrant their own threads so I pose them here:

1) How can I get rid of the sprue attachment points on my road wheels? For a time I was attempting to sand them away. But in looking at them under 10x magnification, I clearly see that some of them are 'incuse', sunk into the surface of the wheel. This is surprising to me in that I am very careful to use sprue cutters and modeling knife to cut off my road wheels with plenty of extra sprue 'sticking out' (that I thought I could then remove with knife and sanding). Alas, I'm not sure how to get rid of these sprue attachment points...

2) I have plenty of extra modeling knife blades (I use No. 11's), but I am wondering if I should be replacing my blades more frequently? Put differently, how many blades does a competent modeler go through, say completing an average 1/35th scale tank kit? I have read that if one cuts photo-etched/metal parts, the knife of course dulls more quickly. And I suppose if one is doing a lot of scraping (say of road wheels), it behooves one to replace blades more frequently, too?

Thanks in advance for explaining!

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Thursday, February 11, 2021 4:18 AM

One thing youj could do is take a rough file and rough up the wheels. The rubber on AFV's often has chunks out of it and even on occasion large sections could be missing.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

On the bench: Italeri 1/72nd Bell 212/Revell 1/72nd Type VIIc U-Boat/Trumpeter 1/32nd Me 262A-1a

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, February 13, 2021 4:59 PM

Bish is an excellent resource for achieving modelling greatness.  And quite correct about roadwheel rubber (go check ou some of the "In the Chieftan's Hatch" videos on YT for walk-arounds of actual examples).

Also, this may be a good example of a "when" to not use 10x magnification, at least not before a primer coat.

There are many ways to skin the cat.  Some blutac a suitable rod and a motor tool at suitablely low rpm and a sanding stick gently used might be the best approach.  Or not.

An investment you might want to make is a drafting circle template--these are semi-common at office supply shops, or artist's supply stores.  They are handy masks to paint the centers of road wheels.  In this case, they'd tell if your roadwheels are not severely out-of-round.

Replacing the roadwheels probably involves finding a Tamiya Pz III using the kit refernced above.

On the photos, you need an external web source.  You will want to Copy Image Source (usually via a right click on the image).  That inforation is what you Paste into the Source field using the Image Insert tool  (I typically assign a width of 450 pixels and let the image scale to suit).  Sadly, Kalmbach has issues with Google Photos; if you use DropBox, you have to set the sharing to Public--which is hard to verify.

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by ScaleModeler_1973 on Saturday, February 13, 2021 6:36 PM

OK, thanks for explaining about 'roughing up' the wheels a bit to add more realism and the circle template idea. I think I read somewhere that some compaines even sell  airbrushing templates for road wheels, too. I should explain that I don't own any power tools (yet)- except for a simple airbrush compressor- Truthfully, I'm still trying to get the hang of properly using sanding sticks, hobby knife, and plastic cement, etc. -the basics I guess. As careful as I try, I make a fair number of mistakes on my models. For example, I already made a glue blob/mark on my Stug III upperhull that I hope to eventually turn into battle damage-maybe wishful thinking, though.

I'm an apartment dweller, and it limits some of the hobby tasks I can work on during the work week. (I leave airbrushing/painting for weekends when I spend time visiting my mother (her basement is my 'workshop' -no joke)). This question might belong in another thread, but I decided to give a shot at brush painting for the first time today. I tried using Testor's enamel flat white on the interior compartment parts of my Stug III Ausf. B kit before installing them in the lower hull. I made a real mess, but more concerning is that I felt a little light-headed afterwards. Normally, I wear a respirator when airbrushing (and I do it outside, to boot). But for this hand brushing I just worked at my hobby desk in the basement. I probably need to get a strong fan going, but even so, it is apparent that I should probably also be using a respirator (as cumbersome as it is) even for indoor brush painting....My long-winded question is what kind of protective gear do you folks use while hobby gluing and painting? 

Thanks again for all the information shared on this thread, folks. Just trying to process and gradually make use of it... 

 

 

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Monday, February 15, 2021 2:46 AM

Phil_H
In this case, it's more than just a seam. Imagine stacking two coins together and then pushing the top one ever so slightly off centre. That's what we're dealing with, a slight overlap rather than a mould line.

My apologies Phil. I've obviously misunderstood the problem. Thanks for the clarification.

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Monday, February 15, 2021 2:56 AM

Hi Scale Modeler. Just keep working. Mistakes are how we learn. As for protective gear when brush painting, I don't use any, but I always work in front of an open window. Good ventilation is the key to fumes. When it comes to spray painting I wear a mask with two filters. Also with brush painting, don't try and cover it with one coat. Thin your paint and give it several light coats.

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, February 15, 2021 9:45 AM

A lot of good questions. 
I find that about the point where I'm halfway through model#2; flaws in model #1 don't matter so much.

Try putting the lesser parts in positions not easy to see.

This particular kit has a "fair" level of quality, so don't get too down about it.

And there's mud.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

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