Friday, August 18

Video review guide: Clayton's build, paint & weathering of Takom's Full interior 35th scale Hetzer...

Clayton continues his build of Takom's "Early" Jagdpanzer 38(t) in 1/35th scale. Construction, painting & weathering of the interior is on the menu today. See how he makes it look easy in the second part of his build guide.

Buid Guide Pt.II: Jagdpanzer 38(t) Early Production Full Interior
From Takom
Kit No's 2170
1/35th scale
Photo etch included
Full Interior included
Metal Barrel is included
Clear top included
Link and length track included
Four marking choices included
Price: $48.97 USD from Hobbylink Japan

Takom Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer – Early Production with Full Interior – Kit 2023/2170
Interior construction, Paint & weathering:

As you not doubt recall from my review a couple of weeks ago, first impressions of this kit were extremely positive, and expectations were high…but we’ve all been caught in that trap of being sold the dream only to end up with the nightmare. All the beautiful renders and moulding in the World would mean nothing if the pieces didn’t fit, so it was time to start the build and see if Takom can bring this home with the engineering to match the moulding.
Now before we go too much further, I’d like to point out, that I am in no way, nor have I claimed to be an authority on the Hetzer, or any subject for that matter. All I can comment on is what I see and what I know. Since the review of the kit some errors around accuracy have been highlighted to me. I did say in the review video that I wouldn’t obsess over the interior however I will address some of the issues that were brought to my attention over the past couple of weeks in the hope of at least informing you of what to look out for if the accuracy of the model is important to you. So, let’s get on with the build!
A successful model is always about planning. That has never been more important than with a kit like this. Given I am building and painting the interior it is crucial to plan the process, so the execution is efficient and purposeful. After consideration and studying references, it was clear I would have to treat the interior assemblies of the model in a similar way to an aircraft modeller in that I’d build them in a series of subassemblies, paint them in the appropriate colours and then look to assemble the bits and pieces from there. This will ensure tight lines and greater control of the end result.

The build begins...
Construction starts with that gorgeous transmission casing and gear box. Whilst the parts look quite busy and complex the assemblies were straight forward. A little care is required to ensure you use the correct arm on the correct side as they are slightly different lengths, so getting that wrong will cause you grief in later stages.

Unfortunately, one of the steering arms broke when removing from the sprue and founds its way into that portal we each have on the model room floor. This was something I would address later (FYI – It happened to show up after crawling around on my hands and knees).

There was a noticeable seam in one of the assemblies but as stated I wasn’t going to obsess over the interior parts. Especially this one that is at the front of the drivers compartment and will never see the light of day. In hindsight I kind of wish I had had to at least give me the option to pose the model with the top off.
The next assembly is the floor of the vehicle. Any parts on this section that would be the same colour as the floor were fitted so the colour could be applied in the one pass.
The Hetzer accommodated its ammunition in both a floor mounted rack as well as along the side walls of the fighting compartment. Not ideal when the thickness of the side armour was only 20mm and made from a low-quality alloy that was vulnerable to even small arms fire. That aside, the floor rack is made up of three vertical walls that are connected with cross beams. I found lining all of the pieces up by dry fitting a few of the shells was the best way to tackle that assembly.
Whilst I was on the shells, the remaining parts were removed from the sprues and prepared for painting. I wanted the brass elements to really pop on the inside of the cabin, so ensuring all of the seams and connection points were removed was crucial.
The engine block starts to take shape with no challenges to this point.
The seat assemblies, radio units and the battery are next in line, and so far, so good. Everything seems to make sense in the instructions and the fit is excellent. I’ll look to enhance the battery with some lead wiring during the build, but for now it’s just about getting some colour in place.
The Commander’s Periscope is a series of two assemblies and looks to be refined and well detailed.
The Horizontal rails from along the sides of the vehicle have the parts that will be treated with the same colour fitted, with the other brackets, bits and bobs set aside to be painted in an alternative colour.
The interior side walls follow suit with the battery sub assembly attached as well as a fuel tank (I believe) on the opposite wall.
The rear wall of the fighting compartment is one of the elements I suspect that will be visible once the model has been built, hence the pre-assembly and pre-painting would need to be as close to perfect as I could make it. Again, the appropriate pieces were fitted that could be painted in the same colour and the other nicks and knacks were set aside to be attached later.
The radiator and air filters were prepared, with a small amount of filler required to hide some seams and gaps.
The assemblies around the gun breech are complex and require a little patience however the fit seemed reasonable and present no issues to speak of. Some filling and sanding may be required but I strongly suspect the most prominent areas will not even be seen on the finished model.
Moving on to the engine block and a maze of pipes and fittings are attached to the engine block. I’m not even going to try and identify the pieces, but the pipe pieces were left off at this stage to make the painting a little more user friendly. For those of you inclined you could like to wire the engine up with lead wiring to make it look a little more authentic, but I found it quite difficult to get good reference for what that should look like. Most of the engine will be obscured once the top section is attached so in the interests of keeping the build moving, I didn’t go down that path.
Painting begins...
I will preface the painting stages with this. Whilst researching this build I have seen multiple interpretations and conjecture around what should be painted what colour, so by no means take this as gospel. This is the best representation of an early Hetzer I could come up with given the information I had at the time. So, with that aside…time to get some paint on the plastic.

The interior walls were finished in the Cream white often seen on the interior of German vehicles. White can be a difficult colour to paint and can often look stark and bright. I decided to lay a pre-shade using Red-Brown direct to the part. The red brown should slightly shift the tone of the white and hopefully create an interesting finish to the part. Anything darker would have been too heavy under the white.
The German Cream from SMS if them sparingly laid over the shaded sections of the model. Here you see the result of the Cream over the shading next to the shading without the cream. Washes and additional weathering will follow, but the pre-shade seems to be presenting the effect I was hoping for.
The floor section is next in line. The floor of the fighting compartment is painted in a medium grey and the floor of the engine compartment, fuel tank and radiator assembly are painted in a red oxide colour mixed using Red, Cream and Hull Red. The line where the colours change was achieved by using the firewall piece as a makeshift mask. It didn’t have to be perfect because it will be obscured for the most part once the model is built.
The storage racks for the ammunition were painted in a black primer and chipped using NATO Brown on a sponge. I’d painted the shells using Polished Brass (with a black primer) however the wind was taken out of my sails when I found out the shells in the late war period were generally steel with a greenish look to them.

I’d gone too far to change them, but to my eye the varnish gave them a bit of a brassy look anyway, and the chipping and scuffs gave them away as not being brass. I chipped the shells using the sponge technique using Gun Metal and Steel colours from the AK Extreme metal series. It wasn’t perfect but was presenting more like what I was seeing in reference pictures. The assemblies were a little fiddly, but again with a little patience came together well.
The engine block was painted in a predominant German Grey colour and details were painted using a fine brush. Some light chipping was added using the NATO Brown and the sponge.
With most of the sub-assemblies pre-painted I was now able to start attaching some of the parts. I was able to use regular cement for the majority of the connection however where there was a risk of the cement melting the paint, I used CA glue to avoid that.
I really liked how the fine chipping looked on the boxes on the floor. The Black/NATO brown chipping worked really well. It’s a shame there will probably never be seen,
Seat cushions were painted in a base coat of leather brown and were set in place as well as the pre-painted engine block.
The side walls were pre-painted using the reference I had and were ready to attach to the floor section.
The side walls are now attached to the floor section and so far, everything seems to be sitting in harmony. Things are starting to get busy now!
Now to the part I was dreading a little, and that was the fire wall but mainly the detailing of the radio bay. 
Details like this always present better when you add that visual noise to the equation, and that was done using lead wiring. Dipping the lead wire into the blackening agent removed that bright lead finish and will allow the parts to hold paint better.
Small holes were drilled in some on the parts to make attaching the wire easier. The evolution and workings of German radio systems is a hobby unto itself, and something I am clearly clueless about. I tried to find wiring diagrams to make it accurate, but it all got a little hard, and the build needed to keep moving.
The wiring was only there to help create an added layer of detail in the model, and is not even remotely close to being accurate, so please take it for what it’s worth.
And now for the elephant in the room. Step 19 - when the kit comes with a couple of radio units on the left hand sponson. This setup is only appropriate for the command version of this tank, and hence shouldn’t be there. Or at least if they were to be there a mounting bracket and star antenna would be required for the exterior of the vehicle. You’d also have to find alternative schemes should you wish to include this detail.
I’d considered wiring the engine, but I was conscious of keeping this build moving. I struggled to find detailed reference and it was all getting very confusing, so I compromised and added some wiring to the battery and a few other places simply just to add some interest to the sections.
The ammunition rack is attached to the inside face of the top section of the tank as well as the other bits and pieces around the interior. I’d pre-painted the periscopes and once the masks were removed, they had come up a treat. They were a little tricky to fit, but fitting the armoured visor to the outside of the model helps locate their position.
The radiator and rear armour plate are attached to the rear of the model and in terms of pre-painting and assembly I was just about done.
Washing up...
Nothing brings a model alive like a pin wash can and it was now time to add the enamel washes to the model. I selected a range of colours ranging from light to dark. Realistically I’ll probably end up using predominately one or two of these washes on the model, but it’s always good to have options as you are working and experiment with different colour combinations. The lightest of the colours is used mainly around the white walls and details. This was further enhanced with the mid brown after review.
Engine Grime and the darkest brown washes were focused around the engine and transmission sections to help elevate the detail.
The final effect for the interior was to add some dust and dirt to the equation. Oil paints were first used to establish the areas that would receive the treatment. The Shadow Brown was focussed around the recesses and edges of the floor sections and the dust was used around the centres of the panels. Whilst the paint was still wet a mix of dry pigments were worked into these sections. The Oil paint, once dry will act as a binder for the pigment and hold it all in place.

With the bulk of the heavy lifting done and the interior all but complete I think that is a good time to wrap this initial stage of the build. It’s been a while since I have tackled a full interior kit, and I have to admit I forgot how taxing they can be. In saying that, it’s only as taxing as you allow it to be. It’s really going to come down to how you are intending to display the model. If you were closing it up, then don’t bother building it at all.

A look inside the hull now complete, ready to be sealed up...
If you were planning on a couple of open hatches here and there, then be mindful of what you will actually see and focus on those areas. I promised myself not to get too caught up with the interior, but given I am trying to create something meaningful for you all to reference, I tried as best I could to deliver something of value.

...With the roof ready to go on top.
For those of you who are so inclined there is so much scope for additional work, accurate wiring with the radios and the engine as well as stencils and details around the interior. This really is the tip of the iceberg, and probably the bare minimum I could have done. I was planning on sealing the model and preparing for paint, but now looking at all that work I am having second thoughts and reassessing my display options. In hindsight I wish I’d been a little more diligent addressing some of the ejector pin marks. But for now, I have chewed up all on my brain capacity and that will be a decision for another day.

Clayton's video of this construction is up on his excellent YT page - Workbench Hobbies - great watching!
I’m planning of having the next stage of the build ready in a couple of weeks’ time, so stay turned!

Clayton Ockerby

Thanks to Takom for sending this kit to Clayton to build and review
See more of Clayton's amazing works on his YouTube Channel, his modelling portal "Workbench Hobbies" or his FB page