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Superdetailed Dragon/Tamiya 1/35 Panzer III Ausf. J/L and its COMPLETE methamorphosis!

Manu Della Valle

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Manu Della Valle

@Davejb,thank you so much for your very kind words mate!I brought this WIP with me to the last Eduard Day in Prague last Sreptember,along with a few others WIPs ,including the 312T4 Ferrari but......there was no WIP category like in many other contests!^_^
As far as theadvanced construction leaflets are concerned...if I can do that EVERYBODY can ;)...it only takes dedication and love for the subject!
@Bil4338...my eyesight has been sorta impaired with years of long range shooting with high magnification rifle scopes which are hard on the retinas but I can still do a few things!Thank you for your words,mate..sio glad you liked my work so far!

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Manu Della Valle

To avoid burn-out I've started playing with a hybrid I've been working on and off (mainly off) for the past two years ;an early H!
The lower hull comes from the Tamiya Stug B,the rear engine deck is a reworked old Dragon part,the upper part of the fighting compartment is partly scratchbuilt and the glacis is a resin copy of a master consisting of old reworked old Dragon,Tamiya and scratchbuilt parts.The turret is a solid resin casting of a modified and detailed Tamiya turret while the mantlet/ recuperator housing /gun barrel assy is a resin copy of a master consisting of a 90% scratchbuilt mantlet/visors unit,a reworked recuperator housing,a scratchbuilt armored sleeve for the gun barrel and the resin copy of a lathe-turned barrel...ok...I didn't want to wait for an AM part...I had a bud's lathe handy,some aluminum tubing and a few free hours!
The new-tool Dragon turret is a left over from the J I've used to update the Tamiya kit and it'll fit the scratchbuilt upper hull to a tee...noise of Manu's only neuron thumbing thru his refs to put an early interior together...well..let's see...the Aires transmission comes with early hydraulic steering system and all I have to do at this point is make a resin copy of the glacis from the new "H" by Dragon so it'll show through the hatches.The turret's ready and I must have a MIG's cupola somewhere..or use my scratchbuilt one...or the detailed Tamiya one if I won't use the new-tooled Dragon's,and in the case I'll use the former the latter will be put to good use on the very Dragon turret!Here we go again...another hopeless,clueless,frustrating,pathetic never-ending WIP!!!!
Cheers one and all







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Manu Della Valle

I've started working again on this WIP.The progress is slow but steady (been busy scratcbuilding a few structures for the engine compartment)..the most noticeable little details added of late are the commander's cushion on the bin for five ready rounds made of Tamiya epoxy,the brass grab handles/bin supports,the small box for the Fernhorer and the radio inside the glacis plate.
The clamps for the towing cables on the engine deck come from a Model Kasten detailing set.
I've also made the master for the crew's gasmasks and their supports to be cast in resin..retaining straps to be added later.
Next thing will be detailing the ammo bin/commander's seat further by adding the support on which he stood while peering out of the cupola








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Manu Della Valle

The master for the crew's Atemschlauchen (rubber breathing tubes):
Next update will feature the completed interior...and going by the vehicle's handbook it's AMAZING to learn that this tank was a true rolling bazaar..."(you'll find)everything but the girls" would be a much appropriated title to the handbuch's internat stowage section!


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Manu Della Valle

I've put aside the interior for a while and I’ve turned my attention to the fenders.I had a few PE sets to choose from and two were already soldered together,i.e. the beautiful Aber set and the nice Part one.Since the former had all the support already soldered to the very fenders it’s been the obvious choice…it was intended for the Tamiya hull and fitting them to the Dragon tub has been a PITA and blasphemy was at the order of the minute but I succeeded in the end.
The Aber fenders are beautiful,lend themselves to realistic battle damage and the front and rear flaps can be made workable on their hinges.
The Red Oxide Primer is a shade the local paint shop custom mixed for me after a WW2-vintage original primed part.They conveniently put it into a rattle can that once warmed up and thoroughly shaken sprays like velvet,but I’ll decant and airbrush it for the final priming not to hide delicate details.It’s incredibly tough and I think it’ll withstand the realistic (read mechanical) form of weathering I’ve got in mind quite well!











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Manu Della Valle

I've only added a few pieces of equipment inside,namely two resin atemschlauchen and the PE box for the signalpatronen on the starboard ammo bin, the MP40 rack ( primed in ROP like the box for the signal flares), three kochgeschirren a canteen and the P38 holster on the rear firewall and two gasmasks on the turret's turncradle...cannot call that mess of pipes turntable for the life of me!
Now the interior is getting interesting...the tanks modified for Tropen were equipped with two 20 liters Jerrycans inside....gonna find out were they were stowed.On the Tiger three such Jerrycans were stored on the turntable...I think that on the "Three" they were fitted in a way not to fowl the turret while it was traversing
I've enlarged the holes for the driving sprockets to fit two Model Kasten units and that's all!









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Manu Della Valle

I've changed the internal stowage around a bit;I've moved the lone messkit to make room for the MP 40 mag pouch(es),fitted a Dragon Schmeisser in its bracket,stowed a few MG ammo bags and a couple spare vision blocks on the rear bulkhead and momentarily placed a fire extinguisher behind the driver's seat.On the real machine the Tetra was kept in a small recess and only the upper half was visible.Gonna cut it in half and build the reenforcing lips of the recess with 0.05thou plastic strip.The more I look at the pictures of the prototype the more I discover new things to add/correct
All in all I'm having a hell of a fun with this build!




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Manu Della Valle

A few more items have been added inside the turret,steering levers blue-tack'd on and I've started making a few trials with the resin Dragon mantlet...surgery required to make it fit snugly into the Tamiya front turret plate!
I know..the track slack would translate into a thrown track on the real thing but I had this track ready for another project and had no time to assemble a new one!







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