Today's StuG facts concern the operators of the StuG. Unlike most German vehicles the vehicle was operated by by quite a few nations. Apart from Germany, the StuG was operated by Romania, Finland, Bulgaria, Hungry, Italy, Norway, Spain, Syria, Turkey, Russia, Sweden and Yugoslavia.
Rubicon's StuG is currently up for pre-order with it's various distributors, and comes on 3 sprues along with instructions and transfers. The kit is smartly molded in dark grey hard plastic, and is very cleanly molded. You get options to build early, mid and late versions of the StuG, with optional super structure roofs, early square and late Saukopf gun mantlets, both types of Machine gun mount, optional stowage bin rails for the engine deck, optional open or closed crew hatches, optional spare tracks for the front hull, early and late 75mm guns, and also a 105mm StuH 42 weapon too. The kit also includes clip on Scurzen.
Detail is good, although the tread pattern on the anti slip decking is a little pronounced. If you wanted to you could lightly sand it so it doesn't stand out quite so much. Pioneer tools and machine guns are nicely done too, and quite delicate. I did find the late style V shaped remote control machine gun mounting a bit thick for my tastes though, and opted to use the earlier style mounting instead.
Assembly is fairly quick, and the tracks are one piece with separate wheel halves that attach at the rear to show the two part nature of the wheels. The only draw back to this is that there is no tread detail other than the teeth of the tracks, and the inside runs are smooth apart from the guide teeth.
The Scurzen is clip on, similar in style to that found in Rubicons Panzer III and Panzer IV kits, and is designed more for strength and gaming rather than modelling, as it doesn't include any hanging rails or supports. The fit is quite secure, but I'd still suggest a little caution when handing the model with the Schurzen on if your not intending to glue them into place.
The main guns are also optional, and you can fit either the 105mm gun for the StuH or the StuG's 75 mm gun, and these are designed to be interchangeable, however the tolerances are quite tight, and I painted my weapons before adding them to the vehicle, and found that I couldn't get the 75mm out again once it was in place. the gun mantlet fits onto a bar in the superstructure, and I didn't want to try using too much force as the part could have snapped, and I didn't want to loose my weeks supply of gruntle.
Painting was the same as for the other models, so instead of repeating myself I'll talk about how I do the scratches and chips to the paint work.
1. Paint the model, all the camo and decals, but before any washes.
2. Get a piece of packing foam from a blister pack, tear off a chunk so it's a rough triangle shape then dip this in some dark reddish brown paint, I use Vallejo hull red, but any's good, then dab and drag the foam over the model in a random pattern, adding more dabs to areas of high use and anywhere you want to have more damage to the paint.
3. Get another peice of packing foam, and dip it in a dark metallic colour, I like Vallejo Gun Metal, though Bolt Gun Metal is equally as good. Do the same dabbing of paint onto the model, but restrict yourself to areas already hit with the dark red colour. This will give the impression of bare metal showing through the priming layers.
4. Mix whatever colour you used for the bulk of the model with some white in a roughly 50-50 ratio. In the case of these StuG's I used Middlestone and White from the Vallejo range. Then, using a very fine brush paint this onto the edges of the scratches you made using the foam, you don't have to paint around the entire edge, just a little dot or a scrape is fine as it gives the look of peeling paint catching the light.
5. Give the model a coat of gloss varnish, anyone you like. Personally I use Pledge Multi surface wax as it's none reactive to paint and very cheap, but whatever you have to hand works. Leave the model to dry for 24 hours.
6. Using artists oils Burnt Umber mix a thin wash and paint this into the recesses and also let it run to create streaking. Add as much or as little as you like. to show wear and tear.
I found Rubicons StuG to be a quick and simple model to build, the details not quite as refined as on other kits, but it will be a sturdy model for the gaming table and does look nice.
The other StuG week reviews can be found at the following links :-
You can find Rubicon's distributor in your region here
Volley Fire Painting Services