Blender 2.8 StuG III Ausf G

Project started in v2.79, forgotten for nearly 2 years. Completed in v2.91.

Time flies…

I really like the new Collections feature in Blender 2.8, but I’m having problems with Collection Instances (which seem to have replaced Group Instances). If anybody has any suggestions for addressing my problem, I would be grateful.

Here’s my problem…

I created a single track link with the goal of using Collection Instances to place tracks on the tank. Now that I have the Collection Instances created, I’ve noticed that if I change the original track link (geometry, shader, etc.) the changes do not appear in the Collection Instances. This is not the way Group Instances worked in previous versions. Any suggestions?


A great start Mark, crisp clean modelling.

I remember building the Tamiya kit of this tank many years ago.

I’ve also revisited many of the plastic kits I made as a child, but now I’m doing it virtually in Blender. No more paint and glue fumes!



Really nice update, impressive modelling on it.

Are there any modelling features in 2.8 that are new and you find yourself using a lot on this project. ie the ability to rotate the 3D cursor ?

Oh you can still have those while you model in blender, just an open tin of cellulose paint, or contact glue does the trick! :rofl::rofl:

Lovely modelling by the way, Are you going to rig it?

Cheers, Clock.

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I categorize my 2.8 experience as: “Things I really like”, “Things I really Don’t like,” and “Things I don’t like now, but will probably get used to”.

I like the ability to have lots of layers (collections). Having more than 20 is great. Being able to label and organize them is even better. Two things I don’t like about layers, however, are:

  1. When I create a new object, it sometimes gets placed in an invisible layer. I then have to open up all my layers until I find the new object. This may just be a learning issue on my part.

  2. The shortcut keys for switching between Vertex, Line and Face edit modes are 1, 2, 3. If, however, you press 1,2, or 3 while in Object mode, all collections other than collection 1, 2 or 3 are hidden and Collection 1, 2 or 3 is made visible. This includes hiding all non-selected sub-collections. There are many times when I have accidentally hidden all the visible collections and have had to work my way through the hierarchy opening up the collections I want to see.

Group instances have been changed to Collection Instances. I could not get the Collection instance to work as well as I could Group instances. For example, I created a master track link and then created Collection Instances to put the tracks on the tank. When I made changes to the master link, those changes were not reflected in the duplicate links. This is different behavior than in 2.79. Maybe it’s a bug. Maybe this is by design. I don’t know.

I really don’t like using empties as background images. I thought the old systems was great. I know I can still setup background images for specific cameras, but it seems a lot less convenient than the old system.

I do like the many lighting options that are available while modeling. It really makes it easier to see the shapes.

I’m having some out of memory issues in 2.8 that I don’t think I would have had in 7.9. I suspect it’s due to the track links (the rest of the model is really low poly).

They’ve changed how normal directions are highlighted. I found it easy to see inverted normals in 2.79. In 2.8, the shading is much more subtle and not immediately obvious.

In general, however, the switch to 2.8 was easy. I’m sure it will get better as they get closer to final release and I’m very grateful to all the people who volunteer their time to make this product.


I will probably not rig it. If I can get past the out-of-memory errors, I plan to do an interior, like I did on my Panther cut-away and my other WIP U-Boat cut-away

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I think that it’s really important for all the folks who are doing “serious, ambitious work (such as this) with 2.8” should deluge(!) the 2.8 developer team with feedback. Especially about features such as “collections.” This is going to become “the new tool in our hands,” but it’s still in beta. They need to hear from the people who are doing these things.


I agree with sundial, this is really good info that would be great to pass onto the developers. Its good your giving 2.8 a good workout with this project.

I really like how easy it is to setup background images in 2.79 and scale them to the right size so going to miss that too.

Yes I am seeing that. I believe some sort of issue has been introduced in the past month or so. I believe there is a bug or transient memory clearing issue or leak. I haven’t had time to dissect it but files I previously worked with now often give me warnings and yet I do have enough unused memory.

BTW love your models - great details :slight_smile:

Did you try placing Image Empties for your background reference images, seems to work:

My Bike by the way, 1998 Honda CB750. :yum:

Cheers, Clock.

PS. I can scale and move it with our getting memory errors, it is a 12Mb file…

Really good! As for the flipped normals being hard to see, you can enable this option to check:


Placing the image empty isn’t my problem. I just don’t like having the background images in 3D space. I only like to see them when I’m in orthographic mode. If I’m rotating my object around in 3D space, I really don’t want to see the image planes cutting through my model.

In version 2.8, there are “Display Orthographic” and “Display Perspective” check boxes (under the Physics tab). I think these check boxes are supposed to control the image plane visibility when in 3D and orthographic modes, but checking them does not seem to make a difference. Maybe this functionality is still on the to-do list.

I didn’t get my first memory error until I enabled “Adaptive” subdivisions for my tank tracks. Ironically, I thought using adaptive subdivisions would reduce my memory and render requirements, but all it did was cause the renders to stop working with “out of memory errors”. This feature can only be accessed in while in Experimental mode, so its problems may simply be due to the fact that it is still a work in progress.


Thanks for the normals tip. I would never have found that. The option does make it easy to see inverted normals, but it overrides the shading settings. This seems like a step backwards to me, but I will use it if I’m looking for pesky inverted faces.

As long as we’re talking about things I like and don’t like, I also don’t like the 2.8 method for creating new windows. In 2.79, I could create a additional window simply by dragging the icon. Now you have to right click a window edge and select an option from a pop-up menu. This also seems like a step backwards to me, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

No worries, yeah I guess it’s more of a ‘switch it on to check then switch it back off again’ rather than leave it switched on as you model, less of an overlay, and more like an extra viewport shading mode.

Switching off ‘Display Perspective works for me’ - the image disappears as I start to pan out from an orthographic view. I do still see the image ‘side on’ as a line if I switch to a side view (With the image laying on the ground plane)

I’m glad to hear it works for some people. Maybe it’s a graphics card issue. I’m running on a NVIDIA Geforce 940mx

The performance & memory issues with 2.8 were really bogging me down. I was consistently getting out of memory errors and renders were taking forever. I exported my model to an OBJ and brought it into 2.79. All memory errors are gone and my renders only take a few minutes (vs close to an hour). I’ll try 2.8 again after it is officially released.

Progress on the remote controlled MG 34 mount…

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Nice gun you have there, but something is troubling me, why do your posted images have 653,867 character long names?

Keep up the good work and I am sorry to hear that 2.8 gives you so many headaches…

Cheers, Clock. :cocktail:

I store my renders on Google Photos. The only way I know how to get them to show up here is to copy the image address from Google Photos and paste it here. If there’s an easier way that I don’t know of, I would certainly use it.

Very nice work on the MG and beautifully detailed.

I had forgotten about this project and decided to finish it off.