Pz III New Build

Forum for discussion relating to the Panzer III/StuG III
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Kevin Hunter
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Re: Pz III New Build

Post by Kevin Hunter »

Perhaps making room in the workshop for tomorrow’s new release......?
:D

simon_manning
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Re: Pz III New Build

Post by simon_manning »

never look back, it's too scary,, i would say one of the best completed Armortek models out there, the journey from start to finish at this level is a marathon, great build, dos'nt the time fly, regards simon.

Stephen White
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Re: Pz III New Build

Post by Stephen White »

Somewhere on a dark street in Berkshire, two blokes and a van.......

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Looking suspicious.....

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I've heard it said that you put a lot of your life into these models. I started this thread in 2008 and finished it in 2019. "Stotten's Panzer III" then migrated to Hong Kong. Hearing recently that Vincent Hung was offering it for sale, the decision didn't take long. Today, the Pz III Ausf N has come full circle and is back where it started, a little dusty, a few bits loose and the two crew AWOL - they didn't fancy the trip out East. I really have to thank Vincent for looking after it with such care and making its return so painless. Thank you Vincent.

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It's at times like this that you really appreciate what a great community we have. David Brady and Adrian Harris were also importing and have been generous in their help - thank you both.

And here is the icing on the cake. Adrian was able to help replace half the absent crew. Vincent threw in some after market parts which will find their way onto the model. And from Australia, a package arrived from Liam Mahoney - Liam, your true to scale steel tracks will be magnificent. Thank you - Christmas come early.

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So now, a few repairs, a new LiFePO4 battery, a change of radio and some other tweaks and we're back up and running. Stotten's Panzer enters its second decade.

simon_manning
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Re: Pz III New Build

Post by simon_manning »

Nice to see the old girl back, always was a stunning Model and looks like it's stood the test of time, well done all concerned, regards simon.

Stephen White
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Re: Pz III New Build

Post by Stephen White »

Simon, it was your wise words that set me thinking about repatriating her. Since I built her, I've been doing a lot of video and photo editing using AI software and so I thought I'd revisit the photos of the original tank and tart them up, to see what Ai can do. These pictures show Hans Guenther Stotten during his time in command of Panzer Regiment 8 in Tunisia in 1943, for which he was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves.

Stotten commanding his Pz III of Abteilung 1, passing through a Tunisian village
Stotten commanding his Pz III of Abteilung 1, passing through a Tunisian village
Commander of Pz Regt 8 briefs his company commanders. Stotten is third from the right. He later assumed command of the surviving tanks of Pz Regt 8 at Kasserine.
Commander of Pz Regt 8 briefs his company commanders. Stotten is third from the right. He later assumed command of the surviving tanks of Pz Regt 8 at Kasserine.
The regimental command tank and crew relaxing
The regimental command tank and crew relaxing
Stotten facing the camera in the regimental command tank
Stotten facing the camera in the regimental command tank

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Robert E Morey
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Re: Pz III New Build

Post by Robert E Morey »

Stephen
That is so cool to get your P3 back! Sounds like my Panther saga - although I think yours travelled more miles! Looks like it was packed well and arrived with minimal damage. I'd like to hear how the steel track conversion goes. Love the historical photos as well. Congrats - Its like having a long lost son/daughter come home.
Best regards,
Bob

Stephen White
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Re: Pz III New Build

Post by Stephen White »

Batteries - if anyone is in the market for a new battery, I have a recommendation. My Pz III had its two Yuasa 12v AGM batteries removed for shipping. The replacement is a single 24V 15Ah LiFePO4 battery. It's literally half the size, twice the performance and not a lot more expensive.

Capacity. On my much heavier Centurion, I use a 24V 20Ah LiFePO4. It's never fallen below about 23.5V in two or three days of running at shows, so I'm happy with a reduced capacity of 15Ah, particularly as the Pz III is a relatively light model.

Peak discharge current. Both the Cent and the new battery have built in BMS. The Cent battery has a Peak Discharge Current of 60A for 10mS. I've had a couple of occasions where this has been exceeded and the BMS has cut in. Resetting is simple but it's a pain. I was therefore looking for a replacement with a higher peak discharge limit. It's something you have to be aware of with cheaper LiFePO4 because many of them come with very low limits eg 30A, which runs the risk of a lot of shutting down. The selected battery has a Peak Discharge Limit of 70A <1sec.

The Ultramax 24V 15Ah battery I've selected is form and fit almost identical to the AGM battery and can just drop into the battery fitting. It's sold by Batterymaster for £169.99 incl VAT and delivery. It comes with a dedicated charger. Their service is outstanding. The battery arrived within a couple of days of placing the order. I'll replace the plugs with XT90 connectors and install it when I refurbish the hull. Christmas came early.

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This is the old AGM battery array for comparison. The new LiFePO4 battery is literally half the size.
This is the old AGM battery array for comparison. The new LiFePO4 battery is literally half the size.

Stephen White
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Re: Pz III New Build

Post by Stephen White »

One casualty of the international freight was the mountings for the 15T jack. The old ones were inaccurate white metal so were due an upgrade. The new ones are brass, modelled after the ones on the Bovington Pz III Ausf L, bolted on, painted and weathered. Good fun breathing new life into an old model.

Original and model
Original and model
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simon_manning
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Re: Pz III New Build

Post by simon_manning »

Looks real, if you know what i mean, convincing, Happy Christmas simon.

Mike Kasputis
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Re: Pz III New Build

Post by Mike Kasputis »

Jack brackets look great.
What jack is that, it is one of the better one's I've seen.
Could you show a picture of the other side.

Stephen White
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Re: Pz III New Build

Post by Stephen White »

Simon, good to hear from you and Happy Christmas too.

Mike - the jack is, from memory, based on Mike Stannard's original, which I modified with new bits and bolts. It's brass rather than white metal, which helps.

So glad I modified the torsion bar setup with grub screws let into the suspension bars. On inspection one was adrift and setting it up again was so easy with just an external grub screw to tighten. (The first batch of 2006 Pz III had a different system).

The new Ultramax 24V 15Ah LiFePO4 battery is a perfect form, fit and function drop in replacement for two lead acids. The previously installed sealed AGM batteries had obviously leaked in storage and there is some corrosion control to do but that's trivial and I"m pleased not to have to make a new battery cradle.


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Stephen White
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Re: Pz III New Build

Post by Stephen White »

Restoring old aeroplanes taught me that there is no such thing as quick and simple - whenever you touch something which needs fixing, you uncover layers of other things that could do with a refresh. And that's how it's been with the Pz III since it came back from Vincent in Hong Kong. I decided the old Futaba radio was beyond hope and replaced it with a spare Spektrum DX7. Simple? Not really because the Futaba came back sans battery, so I couldn't look to see the mixes and other fancy bits of programming. It was 2008 when I started it and I now can't remember how it was set up. The lights for example were run from the Auxiliary Module, the MG flash from the Benedini and there is one of Adrian's excellent smoker controllers. As I started to work it all out, it dawned on me that rewiring might be a good idea, not because there was a lot wrong with it but knowledge and tools have improved so much that I"m embarrassed to let the old stuff continue. So with these great Armortek models, if you hang around long enough, you get to build them twice. Good value.

One other thing has moved on significantly, battery technology. I've now replaced the two lead acid AGM batteries with a single LiFePO4 which is a real delight to fit and run. It's created so much more space at the back.

I just need now to rewire the smoker and refurbish it and I can close everything up and start doing what Dave Dibb is so good at - equipping it with a new crew to replace the ones who went AWOL on the journey out East. I've now got the figures and a pile of equipment to play with. Great fun.

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Stephen White
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Re: Pz III New Build

Post by Stephen White »

Here's why I don't like Milliput, that staple of the weld simulation.

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Apart from it being hard to work and lacking adhesion, once it's been on a model for some time, years in this case, it becomes very brittle and prone to cracking. I'm now finding a lot of the weld seams on the Pz III have been shaken loose in transit from Hong Kong. Where I can find the fillet, I've used very thin cyanoacrylate to fix them but in some cases, the fillet has fallen off and will have to be repaired.

I've found fabric paint to be very good for very small welds, much finer detail than can be done with Milliput. For the bigger jobs, I've used UV glue. It's not ideal because there is a very fine line between it being workable and being rock solid, depending on the length of exposure to the UV source. It does stay in place though and bonds the surfaces.

I did do a Knowledge Base Topic on how to simulate surfaces and welds - it had links to a number of good ideas found here on the Forum but, alas, with the change of host, the links no longer work and I'm not sure I can now find the ;posts, If anyone does recognise their input, I can resurrect the links. Thanks.

Derek Attree
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Re: Pz III New Build

Post by Derek Attree »

Hi Stephen
I use Gripfill for my welds a big green cartridge does easily
a whole tank.
Just pipe it on through a small cut angle nozzle and tool it and let it harden sets hard but still flexes.
You can paint it over and no mixing needed . Hate milliput.


Regards Derek
we must stop making stupid predictions

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Peter Quambusch
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Re: Pz III New Build

Post by Peter Quambusch »

Hi Stephen,

I went from Miliput to Acrylic paste. Easy to apply through a nozzle. And the cartidges can be bought for a few Quid at the local hardware store. Remains flexible and can be painted!

Cheers

Peter
Lord, give me strength to change the things I am able to change.... and patience to endure the things I can not change :-) A bunch of Tiger and Panther variants, a few 88`s and smaler ones like Hetzer, Stug III, etc. and soon a Leo II

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