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About Valenstitch

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    Established Member
  • Birthday 17/11/1961

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    British/US AFV`s Late WWII-present

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  1. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    Yeah, I noticed that too, it`s the URL expiring, I`ve just signed up to Imgur this weekend and intend to transfer all the images there and then replace the images on the WIP, so bear with me and I`ll get around to it over the next couple of days! Granto
  2. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    More progress on the interiors...... The stowage cage in the Mortar carrier has now got it`s mesh doors on, these are hinged at the bottom and from what I could see from the images on the web hook onto the door hinge above..................so that's what I did! Crew heater in place and rudder hydraulics run over the top of the rear doors........................ Stowage stops in place on the -25, just straps to go now............... Despite my best efforts you cant really tell that the top right hand mesh guard is doubled up............. Fire extinguisher pulls fitted over the drivers head........ I made up three lengths of rod rounded at one end and fitted with a flange at 90 degrees, this is where they'll go in each vehicle, they are the exhaust for the crew heater.................. And here is one of the mesh guards bent up............ I`ll trim them to length and angle the top to meet the roof then fit them on a plasticard flange. I had enough mesh sitting around to bend up a step between the floor of the Mortar carrier and the back door, weather this is a field mod or not I don't know, however it is evident in several images and I kinda like it.............so I did it! Ta for lookin` no "G" Granto
  3. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    Well it`s been a bit of a bugger trying to get any shed time at all these last two weeks, but I have managed to do something! Not a lot mark you, but a bit! Here are the three ready round cage doors from the Mortar carrier, I have yet to round off the hinges and give it all a final fettle, but it`s all good! In the -25 I fitted the mesh guard screens to prevent the dismounts getting "scoffed by the traverse monster" The top right has two lots of mesh slightly offset since it is a sliding door to allow some access to the turret. I wanted it to be in it`s open position. All three interiors are progressing slowly but there is not a huge amount to do, drivers seats, a few bits of stowage, radio fit, drivers controls and some more mesh here and there, internal lights, oh and turret interior on the -25 and TOW. I just need to get my routine going again! Ta for lookin` no "G" Granto
  4. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    Finally got some shed time, cant stand christmas, everything gets in the way of modeling! The -25 has had the bulkhead fixed in place now, there is still an amount of detailing to go on the bulkhead, but the fit is good, the wiring and hydraulic pipes are going in. I have fixed the instrument panels in all three drivers compartments now, still got the the episcopes to finish .......................and the fire extinguisher pull handles! Here is the view through the mortar hatch, the fuel line and wiring harness hides the join between the top and bottom halves of the hull! The first of the gear change consoles has been trimmed down, I have fabricated three steering column braces, these will have the switch gear fitted and hopefully support the steering columns when I get around to making them! Centre shot are the gas bottles for the suspension that sit in the front left of the drivers compartment, the first one has it`s foil brackets fitted, eight to go! This is a stowage rack that sits in the back of the Mortar carrier, it should have three mesh doors, and here they are under fabrication! Well that's enough for 2017, I haven't completed a single kit! Dire! Ta for lookin` no "G" Granto Big Big plans for 2018!
  5. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    Well, that was an unexpected interruption in progress! Two weeks without any bench time! Nightmare! So today I shut myself into the shed , put the heater on and cut some strio to make the episcope bases, these will have slightly smaller pieces of triangular strip added to resemble the episcopes themselves! The interiors will need to be fully painted and weathered before they are closed up, this leaves an area of concern which is the seam in the angle. To avoid any unpleasantness I intend to hide the seam behind wiring and pipework, so stage one was to fit short lengths of triangular strip onto the hull wall adjacent to the seam in all three hulls....................... Then even shorter lengths of angle were cemented on top of the triangular strips leaving an "L" shaped bracket. This should allow me to run cable and pipework along the hull side without compromising the joining surfaces. I also did a quick experimental drilling for supporting rods under the drivers seat brackets, that worked, so I`ll duplicate it on the other two hulls. I also got a smear of filler on the gear selector boxes and made a bit more progress on the internal bulkhead walls with a view to getting them fixed in place this week, with a few days off coming up I am anticipating some significant progress by the new year, hopefully having the interiors done! Ta for lookin` no "G" Granto
  6. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    Another couple of hours this afternoon................ Here are two of the three crew heaters, I fitted mounting straps and collars on the exhausts from self adhesive tin foil, all that is left on these is a bit of wiring now. I decided that it would be easier to make the instrument panels with the switch guards down rather than all over the place, with that in mind I started populating the boxes with small lengths of strip. I also decided that having had a good look at the drivers gear select/drive select control box I would bin the previously made parts and start again..................... I have made these over long and will cut them to height once I have figured out exactly where they go! The "lean to" roof will be reduced to a lip top once the extra thin has gone off! Here is a very poor fot of the drivers seat bracket But this is a better one of where it goes! Here is a test fit of the drivers instrument panel and the crew heater control box in its intended position in the upturned hull of the TOW I also fitted the last of the rails in the back of the -25. In the later vehicles this area has a plate over the rebate in the hull, having perused every fot I could find on the net of this area I decided to go with these in this early version, they will be trimmed back once dry. It`s no good, I`m going to have to put a turret basket in here, I have marked out where I`m going to have to cut........................................................ And a final shot of my lovely tidy bench.............................Yeah I know...........but, my bench, my rules! Ta for lookin` no "G" Granto
  7. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    Didn't get much done last weekend due to being "on the lash", and for some reason this week I couldn't find my Mojo, but I had another look for it this morning and found it exactly where I had left it! So here is evidence of some progress at least! I started removing the moulded springs off of the front steering/suspension, I`m going to cut my own springs to fit these, I`ve gone this route because the steering will move on these three vehicles and at anything other than straight fore and aft the suspension will be visible. The interior is progressing slowly, centre shot here are the three drivers seat mechanisms top plates, these secure the seat and it`s pistons to the side of the hull.one of the crew heaters is left of shot. I have started to populate the interior with the various bits and pieces that have been fabricated as well as some strip and angle that will represent the stowage stops, the long tubular item is the crew heater plonked in place for the fot! From the other side...............I`m still pondering how to fill the void................. Here is the back end of the TOW, the Aux fuel tank is fitted now. And here is a view through the roof! So all good today so far! Ta for lookin` no "G" Granto
  8. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    Sunday arvo update then................... Workbench is covered in sh*te again, but as I keep explaining to the "Leg iron" that`s how I roll! So the "vista" above has from the upper left, two drivers seat bottoms, a fuel tank with the only kit drivers seat in front of it, a tool box minus it`s lid, another fuel tank then dropping down and going right to left, three drivers instrument panels, the one on the left has been experimentally drilled for toggle switches, a steering wheel rim and then the third row three gear /driver selector boxes. The three instrument panels have been dialed up, all three have been fettled to fit in the hulls, the only "true" edges are the bottom and left vertical so I`m trying to work off them, the boxes need switches fitting next, so more drilling then wire and CA and then trim the wire back to leave a 1mm protrusion. The gear/drive selector boxes need their levers fitting, probably wire and CA again. Drivers seat backs roughed out, lots of fettling here!, the seat backs are slightly curved and the bottom seat cushion is also profiled. Here are the three crew heater control boxes roughed out.............. I also cut the exhausts for the crew heaters and angled the ends. These are some of the collection of bottles and pipework that sit by the drivers left foot! I wasn't going to bother but it is visible! this is my first attempt at a steering wheel..rod bent and glued and clamped overnight................Don't know about this yet! The bulkheads are being fleshed out with panel locks and so forth and I have marked them with a centre line for the steering wheel bracket and associated levers and boxes, this is actually the busiest part of the build at the moment. and it is all visible so I want it to look ok. So that was a few hours work this weekend..............Questions for Arrin, Commanders seat in the TOW and M variant? is it like the drivers seat? the M variant kit has the commander`s seat sideways, I would have thought he would be provided with the same as the driver? Any Idea where the tool box goes in the TOW? If it goes in the same place as the -25 and the M it is right rear of the rear compartment, which in the TOW vehicle is behind all the ready rounds if the vehicle is fully stowed? This would make it a real pain to access, but that wouldnt stop the military putting it there! Radio fit in the TOW and M variant, logic would put the radios next to the commander on the left side of the hull, but I cant find any images on the web of the installation! So I`m off to think my way through the drastic surgery required to put an interior in the -25 turret...................... Ta for lookin` no "G" Granto
  9. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    And briefly for a friday morning..................... Here are the two fuel tanks.........I had intended for them to be just false fronts, but they were a bit too flimsy. so they are now full 3D roughed out, backs and bottoms! Once dry they will go on the wet and dry board and get squared off, all edges profiled and then I`ll fit em! The TOW and M variant needed tool boxes fabricating, so these have been laminated up, they just need .5mm tops with a slight overlap and catches fitting, then they can go in as well. The three drivers instrument panels are roughed out, I still have to angle the top edge to fit the forward slope of the drivers roof, but that is a quick job with a sanding stick. My plan is to punch suitable circles for the dials from thin card stock fit them in position and then drill the centres out to give me bezels, then I`ll back the holes, once painted I can fill the bezel with acrylic crystal and we`re go! The toggle switches I will represent with thin wire inserted into drilled holes and cut to 1mm for some , for the rest I`ll use thin strip to represent the toggle switch covers. For the circuit breakers on the rearwards face I thought I would run my riveting wheel up some thin card, cut strips and fit them reversed onto the relevant faces. So there is a plan of sorts for the weekend...................... Ta for lookin` no "G" Granto
  10. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    Midweek update............... I have started on the instrument panels.................they are basically cubes with corners cut off..............What a pain! So I am going to use two straight edges as a datum to work off, the roof join and the rear vertical. Here are the three panels joined at the rear edge And here is one dry plonked in the upturned TOW hull................the front face of the instrument panel is cut away towards the rear of the vehicle at the bottom. There will be another smaller box immediately to the rear of this one in the corner of the roof/hull join. This gives an idea of where I am going. next will be the front edge. then the bottom (or top in this image) and then the cutaway face last, that should give me the easiest assembly with minimum clean up. Next up were these two..................... These are the reserve fuel tanks in the TOW and M variant And this is where they`ll sit in the respective hulls, in effect they are just false fronts, I`ll not bother with the rear since its not going to be visible, once they are dry I`ll sand the assemblies smooth and profile the edges and fit em! Job jobbed! Just need to find out where the radios go now! Ta for lookin` no "G" Granto
  11. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    A bit "Pearl Harbour" outside.............nice and warm in the shed though! Here is where I stopped today, The three interiors have had the front bulkhead fitted, this seperates the drivers compartment from the winch. This is still at the "basic" scratch stage, the bulkheads have been fabricated and joined but are dry fitted in the hulls, the gaps disappear when the bulkheads are pushed home properly . I have fixed some plastic angle into the hulls to give a better join when I finally fit the bulkheads. The main inspection panels are also in place but there is a lot more to go onto the bulkheads yet, I also need to decide on what further detail I want to incorporate into the rear of the vehicles. There is a fuel tank to go on the left rear pannier in the TOW..........there might be one in the M variant too? Arrin will know! The turrets of the front suspension/steering protrude into the drivers compartment, so short lengths of stock tube were cut and fixed on top of the hull since they are very visible through the hatches. The first of many small boxes also went on, tomorrow I will make a start on the bracket that holds the steering wheel and the instrument panels that will sit on the left side of the compartment between the suspension turrets All three hull tops got their roof panels fitted, and the TOW and the M got the commanders cupola fitted too All three of these vehicles use a common hull front/top, the turretless versions have a commanders cupola behind the driver, however the -25 has the commander in the turret and the area behind the driver is empty, I assume the cheapest way around the varient situation is a separate cupola as Italeri have engineered, however if you want to have some open lids it entails a bit of surgery................... From this................................................................. to this! Still only roughed out, but you get the picture! Seven episcopes in this cupola and eight in the M, oh and three for the driver too........ And this lot need priming..........................hang on, there`s one missing! Ta for lookin` no "G" Granto
  12. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    You just gotta love the people you meet on this site...................Just look at the detail information I now have for my interiors! Wooooohhooooo! On the down side I now HAVE to build it! No excuses! So here is where I am at today The engine compartment bulkheads have been cut and fabricated, the inspection hatches have also been attached, these will have the relevant fasteners and other boxes fitted before they are fitted into the hull. the M variant uses the kits own rear bulkhead. Here is the bulkhead dry fitted, I didnt push it all the way forward so there is a gap at the front, this will disappear once the interior is glued in place. The very basic kit interior consists of the drivers seat and the steering wheel, you can see where they are supposed to go.................. This is the stock I will use to represent the steering / suspension turrets in all three vehicles Here is the -25 alongside the M hull And here are all three together..........Still got to sand down the filler on the rear suspension mounts inside of the TOW I think this is a more realistic view through the back doors than the empty hull The Mortar turntable has had it`s etch floor fitted and the mount has been cleaned up and re drilled for the mortar tube The seats for the dismounts in the -25 got the moulded mesh effect cut out.................. Some of this mesh will replace it And finally for today the TOW got a coaming fitted in the rear hatch, this will be reduced in height once dry. So all in all a good day! And a big thanks to Holtaa/Arrin for his VERY valuable input! Ta for lookin` no"G" Granto
  13. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    Arrin, keep the detail coming! I served 7 years as Tank Crewman/Driver Mechanic in the British Army, no one ever shot at me! To quote Simon and Garfunkel "When I was young I carried a gun, but I never got the chance to serve" , the way I see it, I signed up for whatever fate threw at me, I was lucky, I had a great time, made some friends I still have now over thirty years later and a whole bunch of stories I cant tell in polite company! As far as I`m concerned a veteran is a veteran, weather he was in DEVGRU or pushing a broom! (and if he was "Armour" so much the better!) The steering fix on all three vehicles will be the same, I`m going to fix a short piece of plastic tube transversely in front of each suspension wishbone, there will be a longer rod running through the tube with a knuckle on each end that I will pin to the kits adjustment rods, this rod should be able to slide from side to side and maintain the steering geometry, all the joints will be free to move so I should be able to pose the steering at almost any lock desired.............well that's the plan anyhow! Make sure mine works before you cut plastic! Ta for lookin` no "G" Granto
  14. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    Well the Memsahib was in her shed, so after my lunch I went back to mine................ Put the rear suspension on the LAV M along with the rear hull bulkhead Then turned my attention to the rear compartment interior, this vehicle has the most comprehensive interior of the three.......notice I didnt say accurate! The Eduard etch kit has a complete floor, weather or not it`s accurate, I prefer the etch floor, It would make sense having a level floor in this compartment, not that the military of any nation would pay attention to common sense, but imagine stumbling around here in the dark with a live 81mm round in your hands...................................exactly! Well, here`s the etch floor, nice and thin! Trouble is there's nothing to support it.................Just the 1mm ring around the turntable and the three 90 degree bends.......... Hmmmmmmmm................that`ll never do so It got some serious underfloor reinforcement! The turntable got its texture scraped off! Etch to go on here tomorrow! And the "Waffer thin" rear roof hatch on the TUA got a quick trimming! Now that was a successful weekend of shed! Ta for lookin` no "G" Granto
  15. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    So, an evening of trawling the interweb revealed these images! Rear compartment hatch open on the TUA..................................Early one too, look at the thin Michelin tyres, bow saw on the roof................. Hells Bells! Here we go again................................ Bondage? Usefull! Ah, ok! No.............definitely not! Cleaned up the rear roof of the TUA after its unscheduled surgery..................... The hatch came off in remarkably good shape............. Although a bit wafer thin! So I decided to double it`s thickness by laminating it to a suitable bit of stock............. The coaming on the rear compartment hatches of the 25 got a smear of dissolved sprue.............. And I used "Longshanks" method using card and tape to profile the longitudinal engine bulkhead! Thank you Sir! Here is the pattern piece dry "plonked" in place with the rear transverse bulkhead from the LAV M I now need to make two more longitudinal bulkheads since the LAV M one is too short! And another transverse! But it`s all progress! So here is the TUA with it`s roof Dry plonked.............. And the 25 with it`s roof Dry plonked............ On the "to do" list is all three drivers compartments, two of the hulls need the commanders cupola fitting and the roof removing under the cupola, I need to assemble the LAV M to the same level as the other two and crack on with the steering! Thank the Gods I`m on lates this week eh?! Ta for lookin` no "G" Granto