The road wheels come as two halves which are supposed to fit together and then be placed on the tank. However, the connecting pegs were too large, and trying to force them resulted in the brittle wheel breaking into three pieces. I went around this however, by cutting off the connecting pegs. This meant that their alignment wouldn't be perfect, but as you can see, (above) the finished result was pretty good. I had to do the same with the idlers and drive sprockets, but I simply sharpened the connectors into arrowhead-like points small enough to fit correctly.
The vinyl tracks were not in good shape, the 30+ year old tracks were warped, though the detail was still fine. Stretching the tracks quickly and predictably resulted in this:
I plan on replacing these with some photo etch tracks if I can get a hold of them.
Another victim of brittleness was the 7.5cm gun, the muzzle brake of which I broke trying to drill out with a razor blade. So it was partly my fault for not using the right tools, but whatever. I figured I would replace this with a metal barrel, but that would be a hassle, and would ultimately take too much time, so I scratch-built a new muzzle brake from sheet styrene:
Also, during the hull construction, I accidentally sliced the rack piece that fits on the bottom front of the hull, but I cemented it back into one piece, though it is a hair short now.
I sprayed the model with a spray can of Testor's Afrika Korps Brown, it probably isn't the perfect shade, but I just needed a color that looked something like "panzer yellow".
the model comes with optional Schurzen side skirts, which were thin metal sheets attached to the sides of some panzers in order to protect from hollow-charge weapons. I drilled some holes into them and sliced them up on the outer edges in order to give them a battered, battle-damaged look, even though it appears they were molded with some degree of damage already. I sliced on the edge of one skirt too much, but I simply broke off the bad section entirely, which adds even more realism, as you will often see pictures of Panzers with one or more sheets missing, having been blown or knocked off, or simply removed, because they blocked maintenance access to the suspension. Well, that's all for now, my next post will probably focus on another kit, but there will be more posts on the Stug.-Andrew