A Tale Of Two . . .

. . . StuGs!  For those unfamiliar with the word, StuGs were reasonably well armoured self-propelled guns used by the Germans and their allies in WW2 to support infantry units in operations against bunkers, strongpoints etc. the idea being that their armour would let them get relatively close to the target and provide accurate close range fire.  StuG is short for the German term Sturm Geschutz, which can be translated as assault gun.  I don’t often do work in progress posts but I’m on a roll after getting a couple of tank kits built during the week so last night I built the 20mm scale StuG IIIG kit I had from the Plastic Soldier Company.

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Quite a few years ago I bought the Armourfast StuG III kit, which had two models in the box.  I think this was one of the early versions of the model since it didn’t contain the side skirts that were common on late-war StuGs and which were intended to provide an additional measure of protection against hand-held infantry anti-tank weapons.  Any way, I built one of them, added skirts from plasticard, and finished it as a Hungarian army vehicle (and it was the subject of one of my first posts on this blog).  The second model got built without skirts and primed in light grey ready to be completed at some point as a Finnish army vehicle.

The Armourfast kit lacks a lot of detail though, and the lack of side skirts just compounds that to some extent.  So I was pleased last year when I managed to get a single Plastic Soldier Company StuG from eBay (they usually come in boxes of three).  The PSC model goes together well, is quick to build but still contains a lot of detail.  It allows options to fit side skirts, a 75mm gun or 105mm howitzer in either early or late mantlets, early or late roof-mounted machine guns (the latter in a remote-controlled mount), extra armour in front of the commander’s cupola and a commander figure as well.

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I decided I’d build it as a basic Finnish StuG III with the early external machine gun shield in place (but with the MG stowed inside), the early, blocky, gun mantlet and no side skirts.  Most Finnish StuGs carried a large stowage bin on the rear engine deck, so I knocked this together from plasticard and added a support frame around it from plastic strip.  The spare roadwheels normally carried on the engine deck were moved to the forward superstructure sides, with retaining straps added from plastic strip as well.  The plastic strip was tricky to get in place so I’ve maybe not gone for a truly accurate representation of some of these bits, but they’ll do for me.  The only bits that didn’t fit as well as the rest of the kit were the top runs of track, leaving small gaps above the front sprocket and rear idler wheels.

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So having built the PSC kit to represent a Finnish StuG I decided to tidy up the neglected Armourfast model that was originally intended to fill that role.  To resolve the lack of detail issue on the Armourfast kit, I just took the side skirts and spare track from the PSC kit and glued them onto the Armourfast one!  Sorted!  Although some manufacturers represent similar vehicles with slight detail variations, the PSC side skirts and support rails fitted onto the Armourfast kit perfectly.  This StuG is going to be finished in overall dark yellow at some point, with no markings whatsoever.  That will allow it to be used as a German, Hungarian, Bulgarian or Romanian vehicle (although I’d also need to have Hungarian, Bulgarian or Romanian troops to go with it)!

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Once I can finally work out what colour to use for the brown on Finnish tanks I’ll have to think about painting the PSC StuG (I’ve got plenty of references, some contradictory, but in the end I’ll have to go with what I think looks right to me).  But I’m not on enough of a roll to think about painting it at the moment.  Well done if you’ve got this far with this post – it seems only right to dedicate it to my Finnish followers (and those of you with Finnish ancestry)!

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17 comments

  1. Can’t wait for the end results!

    For what it’s worth, the original Flames of War painting guide suggests Vallejo Stone Grey, Beige Brown, and German Camo Bright Green for the Finns’ three-tone camouflage scheme.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Veroo, but you’re probably going to have to wait I’m afraid, although I’d like to push Finnish vehicles to the front of the queue! Appreciate you listing those colours – I think I’ve got beige brown on order to give it a try. I actually tracked down and bought some Finnish Armour acrylics but the brown and green seem too dark to me and don’t provide much contrast so probably don’t work too well at disrupting the vehicle’s shape. Otherwise Vallejo light grey seems close to the Finnish grey I bought and Humbrol 86 olive seems OK for the green (close to Vallejo Russian cam green). None of this is helped by the fact that Zaloga’s two books covering the subject show the brown and green completely differently!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Looking good! The additions to the Finish one is top notch. 👍 I have two Flames of War ones to paint up. One of the reasons I haven’t printed any. I will probably do a panzerjaeger IV or two. There is also a Jagdpanther too…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The III is quite possibly my favourite thing to use in ‘world of tanks’ (a video game if you don’t know what I’m talking about 😉). Mainly as I really like the low squat profile of it. Looking forward to seeing the finished model.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good choice and, surprising myself here, I do know what World Of Tanks is, although I haven’t played it! Think I actually like the StuG more with the skirts on it, seems to look more menacing. I think the Armourfast StuG has a better chance of getting painted first, since it’s really just dark yellow and a mucky wash! I need to mentally psyche myself up for the Finnish one (or that could be because I’ve also got three T-26s, a T-28, a T-34 and a BT-42 to go with it)!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Really cool to see Finnish stuff done by the miniature community! (A Finnish follower here!) Your scratch-built extra details are great, I’ll be looking forward to seeing these both painted. And speaking of StuGs, I remember my first scale model was a Revell 1:72 StuG IV that I got as a Christmas present when I was a kid. Those sideskirts were really distinct!

    Liked by 2 people

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