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Straightening StuGs

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Bellbottom writes:

Just put the barrel longways into a pair of tweezers and apply pressure to straighten. Rotate barrel as required to straighten it in different planes. Easy.

Revision Log
18 December 2019page first published

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian writes:

If you've gained some life experience, then you probably know that it's the assumptions that can really mess you up! grin

My lead pile includes a vast inventory of 1:285 scale models, and although I'm fairly content with my 1:285th painting skills, I thought it would be wise to send some off to a painting service to see how they turned out. (A friend had sent some off, and they turned out beautifully.)

So in this case, I sent some C-in-C StuG III models – still in their original packaging – off to our friends in Sri Lanka, Fernando Enterprises, with these instructions:

Paint in panzer gray. Assemble if needed.

And they came back like this:

Bent StuGs

Rather bent! What's happened is that the gun barrels are often bent when the models are packaged, and when the painting service painted the models, they painted them as they came from the manufacturer. (Perhaps they were afraid to try and straighten them out!)

And, to be honest, I had assumed they would straighten out the gun barrels, but I didn't instruct them to do that!

The good news is that with these and similar models, the gun barrels are easily straightened. The metal barrels are fragile if you treat them wrong, but surprisingly durable if you treat them right.

My usual approach is to use the blade of a dull hobby knife as a tool to gently raise and straighten the gun barrels, sometimes pressing the barrels against the flat of the blade to persuade them to straighten.

In some cases, traction also works – that is, pulling gently from the end of the barrel.

And here are the much-improved (but not perfect) StuGs after my ministrations:

Improved StuGs

Now that the models were 'straightened out', I could proceed to finish them up. My current preference is to base 1:285th WWII models on 1" x 1" bases. So I took some LITKO wooden bases, painted the tops dirt-brown and flocked them, marked the sides black with a marker, and attached FlexSteel (also from LITKO) to the base bottoms. I then sealed the bases (and flock) with spray clear matte, let it thoroughly dry, then superglued the models to the bases and gave them one more matte coat.

Based StuGs

I was surprised to discover that these are my first painted 1:285 WWII German models. (Or else I have more somewhere else, lost…)

Based StuGs

Some of you may remember that TMP is currently in a dispute with C-in-C regarding a hefty unpaid advertising balance.

Based StuGs

For many years, I allowed this manufacturer to pay his advertising bill with product (i.e., models).

Based StuGs

That's why I have so many models in my lead pile!

Based StuGs

Strangely, Randy at C-in-C now claims that he wasn't an advertiser at TMP!

Based StuGs

Which begs the question of why I have ranks and ranks of their models in my lead pile! grin

Based StuGs

Randy now claims he sold them to me at half-price – but why would he do such a thing, and why is there no record that I ever paid for them? But as Randy recently wrote to Personal logo Editor Gwen The Editor of TMP:

Try to get this through your minuscule brain. I never advertised in TMP. The last ad I ever placed was before 1980!!!

Such a charming man…