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Dragon Jagdpanther Late

 
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:42 pm    Post subject: Dragon Jagdpanther Late Reply with quote

Build log for Dragon kit #6393 Jagdpanther Late Production with Model Kasten SK-10 workable tracks.



Last edited by Bill Plunk on Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:52 pm    Post subject: WIP 09-26-10 Reply with quote

I had a lot going on this weekend so even though I got started on this build, the progress at the outset was somewhat limited. Work started where it usually does with the roadwheels, sprockets, and idlers in Step 1. I cleaned up all the mold seams with a sanding stick and assembled the middle road wheels, the idlers, and sprockets and left the inner/outer wheel halves separate for painting later on.

I also had assembled a run of the MK links to test the fit for the sprockets and idlers to make sure I wouldn't have any issues there down the road. The sprockets fit perfectly but the idlers were a little too thick. I compared them to the middle road wheels and they are thicker, leading me to believe that the problem is with the idlers and not the MK links since the middle wheels fit just fine between the guide teeth. Some quick work with a sharp #11 knife and careful sanding on the inner surface of the idler did the trick.



Step 2 is a time-consuming step as it deals with all the different suspension elements for the lower hull. The time consuming part is cleaning up the different contact points on each swing arm and the matching torsion bar parts that install to the hull interior. All of the swing arms were glued into position and checked for alignment to make sure the suspension would sit level. The hull sponsons are also added at this point and the instructions have the part numbers reversed, a minor pitfall to watch out for. The step also calls for the install of the front and rear tow hooks but I left them off for now to avoid potential issues with the installation of the glacis and rear hull plate that comes in later steps.





Any progress is good progress, more to come next weekend when I can devote a full round of bench-time hopefully!
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:38 pm    Post subject: WIP 10-03-10 Reply with quote

This weekend's efforts were very productive and a lot of progress made. First up was to continue from last time and complete Step 3. This step calls for all the road wheels to be installed and this was skipped until after painting but I did go ahead and assemble and install the radiator and fans for the interior. The instructions have a small pitfall here if you're not careful, you have to make sure the end with the slots is at the back on both sides otherwise when it comes time to fit the upper hull with the grills, things won't fit properly.



Steps 4 and 5 deal with the rear hull plate and its installation into the lower hull and I reversed the order of the steps. The instructions would have you add all the detail to the plate first, then install it, and that of course makes things harder in terms of getting everything to fit properly and line up as it should. So I installed the plate to the lower hull first and did a test fit with the upper hull to make sure the alignment was correct. For the hull details, I added everything except the clear part for the rear Notek light and also assembled the jack but left it separate for now to make it easier to paint that area before it is installed. I also used a drill bit and pin vise to deepen the look of the air cooling pipes since the parts were molded hollow but not deep enough for my tastes.
I also added the tow shackles from Step 2 but didn't glue them down so that they remain free-swinging.




Step 6 is a simple step, it adds the cast collar for the gun mount along with the hull MG mount and the periscope for the driver. Step 7 assembles the hull MG and installs it into the ball mount so I combined the two as a single effort. You can assemble the multi-part MG which is highly detailed if you want but none of it will be seen...so I took a shortcut and only used the barrel portion, J28, and glued that into position in the mount. The fit of the cast collar doesn't exactly correspond to the shape of the cut-out in the hull, so I needed to use small amounts of Squadron White putty around the edges to fill the slight gaps that were present. I used a small amount of poster blue tack putty to mask the clear portion of the periscope that would be visible after painting and painted a small amount of MM non-buffing Metalizer Steel on the back side to create a slightly reflective surface that will still show through once the rest of the periscope is painted.



Step 8 deals with the construction of the main engine compartment access hatch and also adds quite a bit of detail on the rear engine deck with the various fuel port covers, lifting eyes, etc. I did need a small amount of putty around the catch for the crew compartment rear hatch as the opening provided was larger than the small tab on its base.



Step 9 deals with the assembly of the gun cleaning rod tube and I skipped that for now and will come back to it after the upper and lower hulls are joined. Step 10 adds the large grates for the engine deck along with their PE mesh grills but I only added the grates for now to help stiffen the rear deck a bit and avoid potentially damaging the grills when the upper and lower hulls are joined. Test fits had shown that that was going to require some major help and I didn't want them to get damaged in the process.



Before the upper and lower hulls could be joined, the main gun had to be assembled and prepped for installation into the upper hull. The assembly takes place in Step 15 so skipping ahead to that step showed that the breech and external portions of the gun needed to be assembled separately. The breech is relatively straight forward, just the two halves of the breech plus the recoil housing on top. This joins to a trunnion mount that then is trapped against the collar from the inside using the large square/rectangular piece T21. If you don't glue the pins on the trunnions mount into T21, the gun will remain free to elevate but the weight of the barrel portion is too much and the gun will droop as a result. In order to get the right elevation pose, I avoided gluing the trunnion mount just yet.

The gun barrel assembly is a multi-part process and the instructions contain an error in directing you to use TF3 as the base of the muzzle brake. The d-shaped opening on that brake is not aligned properly and instead you need to use part Q2 to get the right arrangement. The barrel is molded as one piece and only slight sanding was needed to remove the barely visible mold seam top and bottom. Once the muzzle brake had set up, I used a sanding twig to carefully remove the join seam on it and then glued it into position before installing the barrel into the mantlet.



After everything had set up properly, I installed the breech first into the upper hull using regular glue to insure a solid bond. The external barrel and mantlet were then glued in place and I applied regular glue to the trunnion pins on the mount, holding the barrel in place to keep my desired pose elevation for a few minutes until the glue caught. I set the upper hull upright off to the side and let gravity do the rest of the work until the glue had fully set up.



Now came the tough part, joining the upper and lower hulls together. The instructions save this to the very next to the last step in the assembly order and that's a recipe for disaster in my opinion. There's an incredible amount of tension at the front hull due to the angled surface of the glacis and the way it joins together with the lower hull and the only way to get a solid join was to approach this in multiple phases. The first phase was to use multiple rubber bands and regular glue to insure the sides mated up properly with the hull sponsons added back in Step 2. At the same time, finger pressure, regular glue, and spot applications of liquid glue were needed at the hull front so there's no way to clamp or use rubber bands easily at that area. I held it with my fingers for a good 10-15 minutes until the glue had caught sufficiently to hold it on its own.



Once the sides had set up thoroughly, additional rubber bands were needed to bring the rear plate and deck into proper alignment.



Once the patient was removed from the traction, I returned to Step 10 and added the PE grills. These fit fairly snugly into their respective positions so only liquid glue was needed to get them to stay in place. This had the added advantage of not running the risk of CA clogging the grills and showing up later when painted.

I also added all of the rear superstructure details from Step 13 and opted to add the rear hull storage box since the vehicle I want to portray, #323 with the sHPzAbt 654 with the striped camo pattern, shows this box installed. I removed the stub antenna post from the antenna mount part M3 and drilled out the rubber base portion with a #72 finger drill so I can mount a brass 2m antenna later on. I also added the two cable clamp bases called for in Step 17 although the cables themselves won't get installed until after the hull is painted.



Rounding out the day's activity, I completed the assembly of the roof plate as directed in Step 14, opting to have all the hatches in the closed position. The instructions contain a small error in this step in that the armored periscope cover on the rotating mount for the rabbit ears scope is incorrectly identified as N9 when it should be N10 since N9 is too small and is already used elsewhere on the roof plate. All of the clear periscopes received the same MM metalizer treatment and were masked with blue tack before their installation.

The fit of the roof plate into the superstructure is a tight one and I used regular glue around the inside of the base combined with liquid glue around the outer edges where the molded on weld seam detail was present to get a good consistent join all around.



Next up will be the addition of the remaining hull exterior details that were skipped before it will be time to start the exterior paint work.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:56 pm    Post subject: WIP 10-10-10 Reply with quote

As often happens, several odds-and-ends things interfered with my bench-time this weekend but I did manage to get all the external details attached in anticipation of painting next weekend.

Going back to the skipped steps, I started first with Step 11 which adds all the various gear and equipment to the right hull side. In terms of order, it's best to start by adding the small fender strip, H24, and then add the supports underneath it vs. the other way around. This is due to the fact that the part, at least for my kit, was slightly warped and by gluing it first to the hull and then adding the supports, I could work out the warp slowly one bit at a time instead of trying to do it all at once.

Some of the parts on the C sprue were also warped which meant that things like the spare track holders and the tool racks for the front of the hull had to be carefully glued into position and held with tweezers until the glue had caught enough to keep one side from popping up. I opted for the version of the jack block holder that had the block separate as that will allow for greater flexibility for painting and detailing that particular item. All of the pioneer tools will be painted and detailed separately after the hull is painted so these were also put off to the side for now.



For the left hull side, I first went back to Step 9 and assembled the gun cleaning rod case as directed. I used a sanding stick to carefully remove the join line once the glue had set up and set it off to the side until I had finished with Step 12 when it was installed to the hull as the last item.

Just as with the left side, the right side parts were also slightly warped and had to be dealt with in the same way. I also added the Bosch headlight and didn't bother with adding the clear styrene insert.



I also managed working in short sessions throughout the week and finishing up this weekend to get the MK track runs together. Since the guide-horns are separate pieces, it was a little more time consuming than usual but was worth the effort in the long run.



Next up will be the exterior paint work.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:09 pm    Post subject: WIP 10-24-10 Reply with quote

It's been a little while since I was able to get back to the bench due to the usual prep-for-fall activities and being busy with work but I was able to get some time in this weekend. Work picked up where I had left off with the focus on the exterior paintwork.

First order of business was to lay down a primer coat of MM enamel Italian Dark Brown by airbrush. This allowed me to check all the seams and other work prior to the base coat application and also has the handy dual use of serving as a primer coat for the PE that was added.



Once that had dried, I applied a "base coat" of 50/50 MM enamel Panzer Dunkelgelb/Light Gray by airbrush. I say "base coat" since it wasn't a true overall coat due to the fact that the camo pattern was going to end up covering large portions of the hull surface area. Rather than apply the Dunkelgelb color to the entire vehicle, I only added it over the surfaces that weren't going to receive camo and/or that had deep recesses like the gun mantle. I deliberately applied the stripes in a wide pattern so that when I applied the other camo colors there wouldn't be any of the primer coat potentially peeking through at the borders.



I also painted the road wheels at this point. They were primered the same as the hull and the rubber portions were added by airbrush with MM enamel Gunmetal. The exposed outer hubs were painted with the same hull base coat color using a draftsman's circle template to mask the rubber portions.



The camo pattern was up next. I started by adding the Olivegrun portions using MM enamel Khaki and "filled in the lines" left by the base coat application. I used the kit-supplied finishing guide as, well, a guide and applied the stripes free-hand. The Rotbraun strips were added last using a 50-50 mix of MM enamel Leather/Military Brown. I cleaned up some over-spray using the original base coat color mix and then heavily thinned what was left in the paint-cup to almost a wash-like consistency. This thinned mixture was sprayed over the pattern from a distance of about 12 inches to tie the scheme together and provide a touch of fading to the darker colors.





This will get a chance to sit during the week and hopefully next weekend I can start work on adding the details and getting this one closer to the finish line as a result.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:54 pm    Post subject: 10-31-10 Reply with quote

I've been battling a severe cold all week and that had an impact on my bench time this weekend as well. I still managed to get some work done though and the focus was on the exterior details for this round of effort.

First order of business was the installation of the road wheels to the lower hull. Since they are interleaved, it's necessary to also install the sprockets although the idlers have enough room that they can be slid in and out if needed. The sprockets weren't glued down, just slid into position on their mount posts so it's still possible to turn them to facilitate installation of the tracks.

I used MM Metalizer non-buffing Steel to create the bare metal surfaces on the contact areas of the sprockets and idlers as well as the inner set of road wheels where the guide horns would rub on the rims. This will get toned down in later weathering steps and is just a foundation at this point. I also did a test fit with the assembled 84-link runs and discovered that the left hand side needed 2 more links (86) while the right hand side only needed 1 more (85) to get the desired sag.





That led me onward to the exterior tools and details. The spare tracks turned out to be the trickiest element since the racks that DML provides in the kit are nice but the holder clamps themselves are too thick to properly fit the kit-supplied Magic links by a good margin. Fortunately the MK set had sufficient spares left over to equip the racks but they too required some modification to fit properly although not nearly as much as the Magic tracks would have, so they ended up being the lesser evil in this case. The spare tracks were base coated with MM Metalizer non-buffing Gunmetal, heavily dry-brushed with MM enamel Steel, then given an overall wash of thinned MM enamel Rust. Once the wash was dry, they were dry-brushed again with MM enamel Burnt Umber to deepen the look prior to installation into the racks.

All of the pioneer tools were cleaned up and detailed by hand. The metal portions were base coated with MM Metalizer non-buffing Gunmetal and then lightly dry-brushed with MM enamel Steel. The wood handles were given a base coat of my 50/50 Light Gray/Dunkelgelb mix (my infamous "wood" mixture that I've used for years finally went bad and was no loner usable!) followed by a wash of thinned MM enamel Leather and dusted with Burnt Umber artist pastels. The wire-cutter's Bakelite handles were painted with MM enamel Italian Dark Brown and the rubber end-caps with MM enamel Gunmetal.





The rear hull also got some attention. The exhaust pipes were base coated with MM non-buffing Metalizer Gunmetal then given successive washes of Rust followed by a dry-brushed MM enamel Burnt Umber. The jack was painted with the 50/50 Light Gray/Dunkelgelb base coat and installed into its rack and the clear styrene insert for the rear convoy light was pained with Tamiya Clear Blue and glued into position. Last but not least a small amount of Insignia Red was used for the lower hull reflector



I'm leaving off the tow cables for now and will add those in after the weathering process is done. Due to the way the tracks fit with the lower hull, I'm also going to leave them off for the time being and proceed with the weathering process there first and then weather and install the tracks separately.

Happy Halloween everyone!
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:47 pm    Post subject: WIP 11-14-10 Reply with quote

Progress has been slow due to a variety of non-model related activities/events interfering with my bench time but I was able to get in more time this weekend and keep this one moving forward. Life has a tendency to do that from time to time!

Picking up from the last installment, I worked on the lower hull weathering first. I added some chipping/scuffing/wear to the lower hull, road wheels, idlers, and sprockets by taking a round 0 sable brush and stippled some MM enamel Burnt Umber onto the desired surfaces. The key with this technique is to treat the brush as if you were going to dry-brush with it and instead of using flat strokes, use a stippling/stabbing motion and let the randomness of the bristles create the desired pattern. This was followed by an overall MM enamel Raw Umber wash to blend it in with the base color and also to tone down the bare metal surfaces I'd created earlier. Since the base coat had cured thoroughly over the last couple of weeks, there was no need to seal the surfaces prior to applying the wash although I did have to exercise care in terms of not letting it build up too heavily in the process. All of this creates a foundation for additional weathering still to come in the form of pigments down the road.



With that out of the way, it was time to seal in the rest of the base coat with an overall coat of acrylic Future floor polish. Even though the enamel work there has thoroughly cured just like the lower hull, the application of filters/washes still to come will be more aggressive in terms of the use of thinner and scrubbing so the paint still needs protection against that. While many often describe Future as a gloss coat, it's actually not a true gloss as it creates it's own tooth/texture when applied in light mist coats vs. heavy wet coats.

The kit decal markings were applied to create # 323 with the sHPzJgAbt 654 as per the instruction marking sheet. The decals were treated with Walther's Solvaset solution to insure they snugged down tight. Once the decals were thoroughly dry, a 2nd coat of Future was applied to seal and protect them as well from the follow-on weathering process.





Time didn't permit me to get to the weathering stages just yet but I did work on one of the other remaining details, the tow cables and the small track changing cable. The kit supplies braided steel wire of different diameters for both of these items but it's got a lot of tension in it and is very "springy" as a result. Braided copper would be a better option IMHO but DML insists on using steel for some reason. The kit instructions in Step 17 show how the large tow cables should be positioned but doesn't provide any guidance as to the needed length, so I had to test fit multiple times to figure it out. You get a good bit more wire than you need to create both cables which is good as it's tough to cut the stuff cleanly and still be able to fit it into the styrene cable ends. I used CA gel to insure they wouldn't separate and, due to the tension, it's again critical that you not make the mistake of attaching both ends the same way...you need to orient the ends so that they will lay properly with one vertical for the hull side end and one horizontal for the rear deck end.

The smaller diameter wire provided for the track changing cable is totally inadequate. It has a lot more spring to it and doesn't take kindly to being wound tightly like you need for this one to be mounted properly on the hull side holder/rack. I decided to replace it entirely with 0.010" waxed ship rigging thread which is a perfect match for the diameter of the holes on the kit-provided cable ends for this item.



While I'm not permanently installing the tow cables or track-change cable until after the weathering is done, it was necessary to tweak them to insure they could install properly when the time comes. I used small amounts of blue-tack putty to hold the ends in place on the rear engine deck and used a combination of tweezers and needle nose pliers to gently shape/curve the cables into the desired position and orientation. Here again the choice of steel vs. a more malleable/adjustable material like copper made things a challenge but eventually I got it done.



The cables will get removed and painted separately now that they are in the proper shape and installation will come after the weathering to allow for easier access to the hull side and engine deck areas for that process.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:00 pm    Post subject: WIP 11-26-10 Reply with quote

Due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday, was able to get in a little more progress on this build. I've been fighting some sinus issues and that's made it tough to work on things that require a breather mask such as the heavily-thinner-involved weathering/filter steps but hopefully should be able to get to that tomorrow as it's the largest remaining task now to march this one on to completion.

As a result, this update is mostly about the details. I decided to go ahead and fit the tow cables so that they would blend in with the rest of the weathering, so they were painted up by hand and installed. I used MM non-buffing Metalizer for the cables over the steel wire and then lightly dry-brushed enamel Steel on the ends to show some use/wear. The collars were painted with the standard dunkelgelb mix I used for the base coat earlier on. The cables were installed into position with a small bit of CA gel used to secure the wires into their u-shaped retainers and the DML-provided cotter pins at the rear deck were glued in place with ordinary liquid glue.



I also painted and detailed the small track-changing cable and installed it into position on the right hull side rack. There's no way this could have been done with the kit-supplied wire without breaking things and the ship-rigging twine made things much easier. I still needed to use a pair of tweezers to thread it into position and used a small amount of liquid glue on the cable ends to insure they stayed put.



I also got around to painting the tracks. I tried something new this time around and airbrushed the MK track runs with MM enamel Burnt Umber. I followed this up by dry-brushing enamel Steel on the wear/contact points and then applied a thinned wash of enamel Raw Umber to mute/blend in the Steel a bit. Normally I would now install the tracks but given the prominence the tracks have on the JP suspension, I'm actually going to apply their pigment weathering and such first (also allowing greater access to the road wheels for their same process) and then install them.





Should have another update at the "usual" Sunday delivery point as well...maybe even finally get this one across the finish line depending!
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:45 pm    Post subject: WIP 11-27-10 Reply with quote

More progress to report today! The tow cables were secured more firmly in place using small amounts of CA gel on the engine decks as well as the hull sides to insure a more "natural" look.

Weathering work began in earnest with the first step being an overall application of an MM enamel Raw Umber wash to the entire vehicle. This was followed up by a dot filter treatment using MM enamel Flat White, Panzer Dunkelgelb, and Raw Sienna. The dots were applied to small sections at a time then blended together until virtually gone using a square tip blender brush lightly moistened with clean thinner. It's a tedious process that took several hours all while wearing a breather mask to avoid heavy fume exposure to the thinner.







This will sit overnight so I can look at it with a fresh pair of eyes tomorrow and see if anything more needs to be done. In addition, a pin wash of Burnt Umber will get applied as well to bring out the details before it all gets sealed up and ready for the final leg of pigment treatment for the lower hull and tracks/running gear.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:22 pm    Post subject: WIP 11-28-10 Reply with quote

The Thanksgiving holiday bench session came to an end today and while I had hoped to get to the pigment stage, it was not to be so this one will linger on just a bit longer unfortunately.

I did however make some more progress. I applied a thinned MM enamel Burnt Umber pin wash to bring out all the details, particularly the weld seams, that's present all over on the JP. I used a pointed 3/0 brush to apply the wash and then used clean thinner to come back over various areas where there was excess and removed or adjusted it as needed.

The JP is deceiving, there's a lot of detail work involved in this step with all the different elements on the roof and engine deck, so it took longer than I had originally anticipated. Since I was working with thinner, I wore a breather mask during this step to reduce the fume exposure.





I'll let this sit overnight and then take another look at it tomorrow to see if any further adjustments are needed before applying the sealing dull-coat. Then it will just be the pigment step remaining!
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Bill Plunk



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Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:22 pm    Post subject: Completion 12-12-10 Reply with quote

Finally managed to get this one across the finish line this weekend! Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that this build would take 2.5 months to complete, but that's life for you I guess.

I sealed up the previous weathering with an application of Testors Model Master Lusterless Flat in the spray can and let that dry overnight. That left only the pigment weathering for the tracks and lower hull. I mixed up a combination of Mig Pigments Dark Mud, Light Dust, Europe Dust, and Rubble Dust as a dry powder until I had the tint/color I wanted. This was converted to a wet mix using ordinary tap water with a drop of dish-washing soap added to break the surface tension. The wet mix was applied using a round sable brush to the lower hull, running gear, and the tracks. After it had air dried, I removed the excess using a stiff bristled brush (while wearing a dust mask to avoid inhaling the fine particles!) and then made further adjustments using several q-tips.

This was the first time I had tried doing this with the tracks off the vehicle and it made a difference so will likely be something I continue when using workable tracks at any rate.





The tracks were then installed on both sides and the idler properly tensioned to produce the right amount of sag.



The final step was the installation of a JB brass 2m antenna using some CA gel and painting it up with MM Non-buffing Metalizer Gunmetal. Then it was off to the photo-booth for the walk-arounds to finally, finally! get this one across the finish line.



















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