FlightLineRC P-38L Lightning Allied Green

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Sturmgeschutz IV

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  • Sturmgeschutz IV

    Me again! I just received my Vandra StuG IV conversion kit for the Heng Long PzKfw IV. I got it from USA's Vandra distributor, DAK RC. Kenny the owner is great to work with.

    Short backstory: I'd attempted Vandra's Mobelwagen conversion but stopped. For various technical reasons, it wasn't what I wanted. I'd already prepped the PzKfw IV chassis, so this looked like it had good potential.

    Most of the build seems quite straightforward, so the singular feature I'll be focusing on is barrel elevation and traverse, I believe ~10 degrees left and right. IR will be in the barrel. This last presented the first "challenge". Vandra supplies a resin barrel with an internal aluminum tube, but it is not large enough for my IR bulb. Also, it was slightly warped, hard to remedy with resin over aluminum. Having anticipated replacing the barrel, I'd bought a metal barrel from China. To make it fit I had to drill out the whachamacallit sheath. (Anybody know the proper term? Mantlet?) fun to do with a hand drill, but I prevailed.

    Here are most of the parts sitting on or spread around the chassis. Metal barrel in the whatever.

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Thanks for the likes, guys. I post these threads to share experiences, tips and such. Threads like this have been a great help to me.

    To those planning to work on Vandra kits, a strong alert: Nothing is exactly straight, and resin will warp! In this case the bottom of the main structure had bent inward almost 1/4 inch. Other oddnesses too. Bottom line is, dry fit over and over! All good though, until Heng long produces a StuG IV (Ha! 😏)

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    • #3
      Hi Bob,

      Great project! I will follow your lead. How long have it taken for you to get to that stage? From the pics, you use the Heng Long Panzer IV short barrel version. And your mention on the barrel that came with the kit was warped. To start, I will use the Heng Long Panzer IV F2 which had the long barrel for me to use instead of the one from Vandra. If possible, kindly post a picture of the cut you made from the hull. Before, I had 3 choices in my mind for conversion: the L/70, the Jagd, or the Stug. The L/70 seemed like the easiest one for me to work on by myself. Now with the conversion kit available for the Stug, I will have a new type of tank this summer :-)

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      • #4
        Hey David;

        Ok, bunch of questions in your post. Yes, I used the Heng Long Panzer IV. I'd originally cut it down for the Mobelwagen kit, but hadn't proceeded. Vandra has a slew of photos that pass for an instruction manual, you can see where the cuts are. Be aware that the hull is VERY strong and thick! I used a shop dremel style cutter and it took a few hours. You have to pace the cutting. If you go too fast the plastic melts - not good along a cut line! This is Vandra's photo, mine looked the same. His cut is just in front of the fender brace.

        Click image for larger version

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        Vandra had a Jagdpanzer IV, but he has discontinued it The Stug and Mobelwagen are his only Panzer IV based conversion for now.

        Speaking of time involved, the mantlet is a solid piece of resin. To put any barrel into it, even the supplied one, will require drilling. With a cordless drill, it took over two hours, using gradually larger bits and coming from both ends.

        Now to an issue I encountered with this conversion. As I'd said, nothing is straight. This photos shows some of the major components glued onto the body. I'd mentioned that the hull top was warped, which I remedied by spreading it out and glueing it where it needed to be. But look at the leading edge of the front plate. it's not square, even though the top is squared to the hull and the plate fits into notches on the top.

        Click image for larger version

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        The diamond plate fender have to be cut and filed, but that's to be expected.

        Lastly, there is an issue with the gearboxes. The gears sit high and hit that front plate. To give them clearance, I cut a hole on the left side where the driver's box is. On the other side I carefully sanded the underside of the plate to paper thinness. If that doesn't work, I'll have to place a box or other stowage over a hole I'll have to make. I did that on my M3 lee conversion.

        There's also a major issue with how the gun barrel pivots, but that's for later.

        Anyway hey, it's fun!

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        • #5
          Wow! Thank you for such detailed explanation. It seems challenging and time consuming. There are many major issues as you mentioned too. So many things to do and so little time. I decide that I will wait for you to finish and admire your final stage on the project.

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          • #6
            Just for fun! (Hey, I wouldn't put up with glued fingertips and broken nails if it wasn't fun)

            Here's the IV with the main structures installed or dry fitted, next to a III. Interesting to see the dimensional differences. The IV is longer, of course, but it is also lower.

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            Click image for larger version

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            ​​​​​​​

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            • #7
              Looking for answers here. I want to use HL's 6.1 MFU for its "servo elevation" feature in an otherwise stock setup. So how does it work? Is there a travel limiting capability, or do you just watch out not to over-travel the gun, or do you make the linkage so that the servo's full travel moves the gun the appropriate distance? What have you all done? Thanks!

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              • #8
                There is no end point adjustment so you need to plan out the linkage ahead of time. No reversing either unless you know how to do it inside the servo.
                Same for the cannon recoil if you use that feature.
                I set up my Stug III with both and was not hard to do.
                Steve

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                • #9
                  Just thought I'd share a small update; warm days in California make for good painting weather.

                  Click image for larger version

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SoCalBobS View Post
                    Just thought I'd share a small update; warm days in California make for good painting weather.

                    Click image for larger version

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                    My conversion kits came with a warped barrel too. If it is ok with you, can you kindly let me know where you ordered your barrel?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DavidN View Post

                      My conversion kits came with a warped barrel too. If it is ok with you, can you kindly let me know where you ordered your barrel?
                      Toucan/eBay or AliExpress, I can’t remember which. It’s the StuG III barrel.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SoCalBobS View Post

                        Toucan/eBay or AliExpress, I can’t remember which. It’s the StuG III barrel.
                        I found it. I just need to buy the barrel, correct? I can still use the muzzle brake, right?

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                        • #13
                          Comes with it as I recall. It's separate. As I said earlier, be prepared to drill out the hole to accept the new barrel. Like drilling the "Chunnel" from both shores and having the ends meet accurately!

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                          • #14
                            I hate to think about it, but eventually I will have to do it :-) It is over 2 inch deep :-(

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                            • #15
                              Waiting for China to ship the barrel. Then I will drill the hole :-) I will paint it just like the 1/72 from Dragon. Click image for larger version

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