Now that I have my spinner rack project out of the way I have had time to ruminate on how to deal with the debris shield on the STuG III. I kept trying to make this from three pieces and I now think that was a mistake. I went back to how I handled bending the top edge of the side skirts and thought that approach might work better. Well it actually worked, mostly. As you can see in the photo I have managed to get something that at least resembles the debris shield from the pictures and I might just call that good enough.
I only have three reference photos to work with. The first is from the Tank Craft book STUG III & IV, German Army, Waffen SS and Luftwaffe Western Front 1944 - 1945 (by Dennis Oliver) page 17 the second color plate has a photo reference. This is one of the better shots, although it is slightly different in appearance than the other photos. There are three photos of the same STuG in: Sturmgeschutz III on the Battlefield 2, vol 4 from Peko Publishing (by Matyas Panczel). These photos are full pagers, found on pages 99, 100 and 101. Of these the one on page 99 is the best and it is obviously at least slightly different from the one in the Tank Craft book. Its also a better photo in general. The picture on page 100 is not useful at all, but the one on page 101 you can sort of see the shield just over the top of the superstructure. Both of the STuGs in these pictures are from the 341st Sturmgeschutz-Brigade, 2nd and 3rd companies so it was definitely something peculiar to the unit along with the inward bend of the side skirts.
The thing that I'm puzzling over is how the shield was made. Did they just bend a piece of side skirt (it looks to thin to be side skirt material) or was it three pieces welded together and then bolted to something. I haven't been able to find anything that might help me on that score. However, if I continue with this method then I think I need to make it look like three pieces welded together. Without being able to find anything to contradict me, I think its the best way to proceed and finally get to the painting step on these STuGs.
|I'm slightly concerned with the shield being to thick. It doesn't look that thick in the pictures. Its really just there to keep falling debris out of the gun mantlet.|