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About Valenstitch

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    Established Member
  • Birthday 17/11/61

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    British/US AFV`s Late WWII-present

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    Searching for images I found this! All the bits Holtaa said were wrong for an early LAV...............the fella certainly knows his s%*t, it was from a SLEP vehicle, finned 25 mm barrel, wider tyres axe on the inside of the door (one would assume this might prevent those "Here`s Johnny" moments!) and the turret and hull has been up armoured? But I think this is where I`m going ref the paint job! I wonder how big a 1/35 scale LCAC would be?...................................................... Ta for lookin` no"G" Granto
  10. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    Well here we go again.................. Fell over at work last friday, still hurts today over a week later! So very little inclination to spend any time in the shed, however I have made some progress today............... Using the TUA hull as a prototype I have been modifying the suspension to allow it to turn, the semicircular suspension mounts were drilled out so they were circular........ I punched 3.0mm circles from card stock, cut them in half and made the semicircular tops of the suspension struts round to correspond to the modified holes in the hull....... The backs of the hubs have small holes to accept the CV drive shafts, these are too tight to allow any turning movement............ So using a 3.5mm drill bit I enlarged the hole into a cone shape. This will not be visible once the suspension has been assembled but it does allow the front wheels to turn........... Here are some of the components dry fitted...................... I will replace the moulded spring units with wire......... So all good so far! Just the Pitman arms, tie rods and stuff to sort out, none of it will really be visible so I may just fabricare a centre rod with the pitman arms integral and pin the ends of the pitman arms to fit onto the tie rods, that will maintain the steering geometry without over complicating things. Here is a view of the running gear dry fitted with a bit of left lock on! And a bit of left and right lock on here! I`m happy with that! Only two more hulls to go........................... Ah...............so I had a bit of an issue with the interior, turns out the Italeri LAV M has the requisite interior bulkheads, it was on ebay, it was a bargain and I found the correct etch set for it on ebay too............seemed silly not to left click! So here it is, an olive shade of plastic............so no getting parts mixed up! And here is the pattern for the engine bulkhead! And here is where the parts fabricated from the patterns will go! ( they`ll also go in the TUA!) If any of you have read the comments above posted by Holtaa, a former USMC Veteran LAV crewman, you will have realised that my research neglected to dig up the fact that certainly in the gulf various "unofficial" mods were adopted to circumvent the built in safety features, these allowed a certain amount of "sightseeing" from the rear compartment by the "Dismounts"! In light of this revelation I have been "Forced" to open up the back end.........I know, it`s a dirty job, but someone has to do it! So here we go................... And mere moments later there are holes! The hatch coamings are currently going off, I will cut two new hatches from stock and profile them to fit. So, there you have it, it`s gone from two LAV`s to three and as much interior as I can get away with.........................it never rains does it.................................. Ta for lookin` no"G" Granto
  11. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    Arrin, thanks for your comments, always happy to be put straight by someone who has been there! Your unofficial modifications never made the cut when I was researching the LAV, hence the hatch/door safety/lights situation! Obviously this has given me more work to do, although it has also given me the excuse for not keeping up with my ridiculous self imposed build schedule!(Thanks Buddy!) I was intending to build early examples, definately not the A2 or SLEP vehicles, and I was also going to avoid the uninspiring sand coloured gulf examples which have in my opinion been done to death in recent years, so I was going to give them the three colour camouflage prior to the gulf, M 60 mg`s, and a less abused appearance! Bearing in mind this is the sort of abuse most of my builds get! So hopefully I`ll be a bit more gentle with the Marines! Any references on the interior or exterior would be a great help as I`m back in the shed tomorrow and there will be an update over the weekend, progress has already been made! And there will be a revelation! You might even be able to shed some light on that too! Ta for lookin` no "G" Semper Fi Granto
  12. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    It would appear so...................I've tried to stop, I've had counseling, I've joined groups, I've done "Cold Turkey"..................I can go weeks and not think about it, and then the craving will hit me, I`ll see some random blob that should be nut, just a simple six sided nut, and the shakes will start, I`ll find myself reaching for the chisel bladed scalpel and shaving the blob flush, and before you know it I`ve stuck a perfect scale replacement in place, probably from MNGSPS-008 meng model 1/35-nuts and bolts set C..........................................................There's nothing anyone can do, I just have to live with it, the only people who benefit form this condition are the pushers, of resin aftermarket, photo etch and worse of all the filthy scum who deal in plasticard!
  13. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    Wednesdays pre-work update! I have fettled the Trumpy photo etch basket mesh to fit the Italeri frame............... It`s not bent like it looks in this image! That`ll do for now! Several straps to go on here yet! Ready round rack assembled and dry fitted in its mounts, there are a number of straps to go on here too............... Rear interior of the 25, seat back now in place............ Suspension underway...I`m not too concerned with the basic nature of the underside, very little of this will be visible once the wheels are in place.......... However that`s more than I can say about the interior...........My idea for a small diorama base would involve some interior detail visible, I don't intend going insane and putting a full interior in either vehicle, I want to have the vehicles probably observing, there is a safety cutout that limits the traverse of the turret on the 25 when the ear roof hatches are open, so they tend to keep them closed unless they are transiting areas non-tac, at other times they keep them shut so as to 100% enable the system, so back doors open is ok roof hatches dogged down, the 25 crews like the company of the AT platoon vehicles since their kit gives them an overwatch capability that the 25`s don't have. So at the moment, TUA launcher head up, possibly in a bit of cover back door open? 25 to the rear, commander gobbing off over the side to one of the AT platoon bods...........However I`m still concerned about the interiors. Compare the two.............notice anything? On the 25 there is an "L" shaped tab where the hull steps up to accommodate the steering....there also appears to be the mounting points for basic drivers compartment bulkheads and seat/steering wheel........................A couple of bulkheads wouldnt hurt would it? and a seat or two..............Five minute job I recon?.............................. Ta for lookin` no "G" Granto
  14. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    Right following normal practice some progress to report prior to a thrilling late shift at work! After careful consideration of the "manufacturers opinions" I commenced the build completely out of sequence! Here are the two turrets, well parts of! The TOW launcher is basic and will require a lot of cleanup of its components. The 25 turret comes in a top and bottom and a trunnion mount for the main armament that traps in between the two, there was a little bit of filler required. I chopped out the molded turret basket mesh and then cut the photo etch basket mesh for the Trumpy kit down to fit, It was only slightly bigger so it was not really an issue, and it looks a shedload better than the kit part! The upper frame for the turret basket was warped and was a bit of a pain to bend back into shape. From above. The mesh is actually welded to the frame on the real vehicle, I used CA all round the edge of the frame and then went around it with a skinny stick to deburr it. Here is the outer mesh to the rear of the basket, in terms of height its good just a mil or two too long, easily fettled! The turret sights have two apertures, so I have started to modify these with a couple of small squares of card, these will be tidied up before the armoured shutters go on. The TOW launcher head has been drilled out. These are only loaded with missiles when they are on the ranges or invading a third world country! I have some tube to line these with. The TOW gunners turret has had etch episcopes fitted and lots of filing, filling and sanding of its various components. The two interiors are basic, I still haven't decided if I am going to leave the rear doors open or not. I read a review on Armorama that said that the interior on the TUA was imaginary, having seen photos of the interior of the TUA they have got it pretty much spot on! All I have had to do is clean up the loaders seat, if I decide to leave the doors open I`ll have to build a reserve fuel tank, and I still have to assemble the missile racks, as for the 25, it`ll need an axe clipped on the inside of the right hand door, a bow saw on the compartment wall righthand side, and I still have to fit the seat backs, but it`s not that far off in terms of accuracy, even the seat padding! Given these two kits were moulded twenty years apart it`s amusing to note that the rear wall has the same warp! Here are two shots from the web with the guts visible! How sore would your bottom be after a day cross country in here eh? Here is the hull of the 25, spread around the place are various components of the TUA, just to the right is the loaders seat! Here is the rough outline of the hole I am going to have to make to fit a figure in the commanders cupola of the TUA Twenty years apart, look at the flash! Same part, same place! I`ve had to drill out holes for the grab rails on both hulls, I`ll make these from wire. I've also had to scribe the emergency hatch on the 25 hull side, the TUA doesn't have one, the kit just has a raised panel line, curious considering the engine and winch access hatches visible on the front of the hull! Ta for lookin` no "G" Granto
  15. USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

    It is a well known military axiom that no plan lasts beyond first contact with the enemy........................... Accurate Armour resin wheels £13 a set............Game on! Granto, £26 worse off!