I am going to be doing two of these vehicles, to feature on my Berlin diorama. Therefore, I thought it might be a good idea to build them slightly differently. For this one, I have omitted any photo etch (except in one place – the brackets on the empty fuel tank holders), relying instead on my ability to alter the plastic parts to how I wanted them. There are a few compromises in places – some of the pre-moulded parts on the engine deck are a bit clunky, but I either choose to ignore them or obscure them with bits of stowage. Many pictures of the real tank show a lot of damage, especially to the fenders and fuel tank holders – see here, here, here and here – so I decided to try that. As in a previous similar attempt, I can’t be sure that I am fully accurate in what I have done, especially for the rear of the vehicle, but, well, once it is painted and weathered it is not that important!
- Replaced the kit barrel with the Aber 122mm D-25T (35L69).
- Large parts of the fenders on both sides were removed.
- The fuel tank holders were removed on one side and those on the other side were left empty, according to the pictures I link to above.
- The weld seam on the turret (where the two kit pieces join) was enhanced using 0.4mm plastic rod.
- The grab handle weld points were made less uniform by softening the plastic with thin cement and shaping with it various metal points.
- Extra flame cut edges were added to some of the back plate.
- Extra texturing of cast surfaces with Mr.Surfacer 1000, applied roughly with an old brush.
- Various stowage items – either pre-made or made from green putty – were placed on the vehicle, to be tied in with further bits and pieces later on.