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Valenstitch    785

The autumn is upon us, Nights are drawing in, the garden needs tidying before winter, there are a score of household seasonal maintenance jobs that need doing before the weather breaks, but why waste ideal modeling weather! So what better to accompany those long dismal dark evenings staring at "the Leg Iron" over a plate of Findus crispy pancakes and pot noodle, than a build that`ll frustrate the bejesus out of you! I`m Granto, you may remember me from previous threads such as DML Saladin ++ and "first build in donkeys years", well don't let that put you off, here`s my remedy to Seasonal affected disorder, DML`s Conqueror Mk 2! (cue fanfare)14523012_1336943549650074_77176967733704

 

No, trust me, I`m a doctor! So here it is.................I couldn't wait to get my hands on this when I first heard about it, and I spent hours trawling the interweb looking for news, and then came the reviews. I couldn't believe they had got it so wrong, but a part of me still wanted to believe, so I kept the faith, and Brothers and Sisters the good Lord of plastic spoke unto to me in a dream! And he said that my faith would show me the way and that I should show that way unto you, my good Brothers and Sisters, so here tiz`!

 

So, we've all read the reviews about Dragon and their black label series, being a sceptic and believing everyone is selling something or can be bought I parted with my spondulicks for the kit as soon as it became available, I compared my kit with various "experts" opinion and I thought there was a build here, just as I believe there is a worthwhile build in their M103! ( yes, it`s a big job but are you a modeler or an assembler?)

 

Dimensionally the kit is good apart from the main armament, there are a few items out of position by a couple of MM here and there, but the basics are there and as I go through the build I will show how I overcame those that are an issue, there was one review though that really got my back up, the reviewer categorically stated that one major flaw "couldn't be corrected without major surgery", well I got you there big man, because for once I am blessed with knowledge denied to lesser mortals! At that point I knew I could I could do a proper correction to this error and build a decent representation of a Conqueror Mk2!

 

Conqueror has always been one of my favorite tanks, One sat as the gate guardian at the Junior Leaders Regiment at Stanley barracks, Bovington when I was there, I climbed all over and inside of it, and she`s still there to this day, a behemoth of the cold war battlefield. Conqueror was developed, as was the M103, to kill soviet tanks at extreme range with her 120mm gun whilst sitting one bound behind the more numerous Centurions with their 20 pounder guns. Conqueror was not designed to accompany the Cent`s and therefore was not given the same kit or design features, she didnt have a boat shaped hull to deflect mine explosions because she wasn't supposed to encounter mines by virtue of the fact her job was overwatch not patrolling, her gun kit didnt work until she went over 1.5 mph, Centurion`s worked all the time whatever, despite being over twenty tons heavier she had the same meteor engine (albeit fuel injected) and  a similar merit-brown crash gearbox. As far as the Army were concerned she was nothing more than a glorified mobile pillbox! There were 20 Mk1 vehicles built which were used for troop trials, these took place while the construction of the MK2`s were under way and the two marks differed in some respects, there were a host of internal changes but the most visible difference is to the front of the hull, and this is what wound me up in the review! Conqueror`s hull was constructed from armour plate, the thickest being the upper and lower glacis which was 5 inches thick and angled at 60 degrees. Behind this formidable armour sat the driver and a whole heap of ready rounds, however the design committee were not satisfied that the weld seam between the upper glacis and the roof plate was able to withstand an impact from an explosive or AT round, they also felt that the join to the roof plate was weakened further by it`s proximity to the three episcopes provided for the driver. Rather than a redesign, the most economical and practical solution was to reinforce the the join by an applique patch that was chamfered to the rear to resemble a very thin wedge and lapped at the front to engage with the top of the glacis plate in addition two of the episcopes were deleted as it was felt that the vehicle, being one bound behind, would not necessarily be driven closed down for long periods. these modifications were incorporated into the vehicle during construction of the hull giving the now characteristic crease across the hull roof, there was no internal difference due to this modification. This as you will see is probably the easiest fix in the history of modeling! An applique patch! Hardly major surgery is it?

 

Anyway, enough of my ranting, in accordance with modeling law here are the guts!

 

14572377_1336943616316734_37292439281454  

 

One sheet of manufacturers opinions, double sided!

 

14632894_1336943669650062_10649770013985

 

Hull top and bottom, Nice detail, big Dragon sprue gates!

 

14523071_1336943776316718_42550309522187

 

Turret and mantlet sleeve.

 

14519689_1336943696316726_36677159678139

 

DS tracks!

 

14632979_1336943802983382_18704088049857

 

Optics and headlight lenses.

 

14639609_1336946666316429_28336265473594

 

As is usual with Dragon, you get sprue duplication. There is some very nice detail on here, all apart from the big drainpipe on the left!

 

14523160_1336946712983091_38455869231975       Hideous .30cal!

 

14595738_1336946759649753_15941707591913

 

Again, it`s not all bad news!

 

14492479_1336946819649747_64264650415813

 

Plastic everywhere!

 

-PAXP-deijE.gif

 

Here`s the Conky next to Zero Echo!

 

-PAXP-deijE.gif14522937_1336946909649738_33435969945324

 

Hehehehehehe She`s a big old girl!

 

Oh, I almost forgot the drainpipe....................................................14462972_1336948129649616_12296948680518

 

14572412_1336948429649586_48342958470938

 

OMG! S`lush! But wont I need to solder the bits?

 

14502846_1336948212982941_44837715911325

 

No you Donkey! It all screws together!

 

 

 

14595536_1336948412982921_29756674338234

 

14650712_1336948372982925_40798186385630

 

Sweeeeeet!

 

14572936_1336948462982916_67251751137822

 

Sooo Sweeeeet!

 

So there you have it Brothers and Sisters, Conqueror coming! 

 

Shed first thing in the morning!

 

Ta for lookin` no "G"

 

Granto

Edited by Valenstitch
Photobucket!

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Etienne    633

Hello,

 

very interesting project ... I'll take a seat ;)

 

E

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Widow 65    255

What an introduction!

I have my eye on this kit too but wont commit the cash until it drops a bit more.

I shall be watching this, as I do all your builds, with great interest. I too remember it from the front gate of JLR RAC and of course it stays with me forever with the obligatory Troop photo taken in front of it.

There was also one outside the Wo/Sgts Mess in the top camp which I did get into whilst on guard one night, nothing else to do!!!!

 

So lets get down to it......unleash the beast.

 

Nick

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Valenstitch    785

Sunny and fresh in Portsmouth, You know the score! Pot of coffee on and off down the shed! So this morning`s job!

 

14641995_1337649809579448_63694267143236

 

To correct the drivers roof issue I need to remove the detail on the roof and the weird blob in the episcope rebate. The rebate is a feature but it is too low, the production vehicles had slightly taller glacis plates, not by much, but they came up beyond the original roof height to allow for the lap join with the additional armour, hence the reason for the rebate anyway, its not there on the MK1. 

 

14522951_1337649542912808_37370749809292

 

If you look at the left side you will see a rough pencil mark on the edge of the glacis plate, the bottom corner needs removing parallel with the front face of the glacis at a scale 5 inch depth, my mark is there to give you a rough idea.

 

14516316_1337649602912802_46156666508624

 

On the underside you can see the moulding steps out to accommodate this feature, in addition there is a cable conduit for the headlights that shouldn't be there.

 

14567976_1337649712912791_54052132166731

 

So I glued a couple of plasticard wedges in place, once they have gone off I can mark the glacis depth and cut the bottom corners off both sides.

 

14494798_1337649726246123_71188525023885

 

Here is the removal of detail underway, I have removed the headlight conduit where it bends over the top of the glacis plate, the vertical tube like conduit is going as well. The next job will be to fill the episcope rebate with scrap card and build up the height of the top of the glacis, then blend it in. The new roof panel will be the same width as the kits roof and will start at the edge of the turret ring, it will need a corrected drivers hatch, the kit hatch is the wrong shape, and the corresponding "coal hole" will need scratch building parallel with the horizontal, even in the MK1 the drivers hatch and associated optical devices were parallel with the horizontal and did not follow the slope of the roof. Naughty Dragon!

 

Ta for lookin`

Granto

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Bullbasket    1,966

I can't believe that I had the chance to pick this up at Telford last year for £15......and didn't! A trader was selling off a deceased modellers kits sans box cheap. I bought an AFV Centurion for the same price and thought I'd come back for the Conqueror later only to find that it had gone....muppet!

Definitely going to follow this build.

 

John.

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Hamden    1,082

 

 

Nice start will follow along as well

 

  Roger

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Mike    10,672

I like that barrel - Aber stuff is always top-notch, but you gets what you pays for.  I missed the final word on the accuracy of this kit after people got their hands on it.  Is it the "unbuildable" kit that everyone promised, or are the issues a lot more realistic? :)

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Valenstitch    785

And here`s the second update of the day! Yeah, the Leg iron is out for the day, I`ll just give her some old codswallop about the things i have done about the place, she`ll never know I've been in the shed so often the neighbours probably think I caught my braces on the door knob!

 

14632990_1337782472899515_31446412730702

 

Here is a rough shot of the underside of the glacis, there was an odd shaped gap which I have filled with dissolved sprue, and while I was at it I slapped some all over the other seams as well.

 

14522991_1337782569566172_22976398937331

 

Topside I started trimming back the first strip of plasticard and the plug pieces in the episcope rebate, then I glued a second strip on top and to the rear, also there are two small strips either side level with the original roof.

 

12961661_1191556177522146_27775060827655 

 

This is the Gate guardian from Stanley barracks! Here you can see what I need to duplicate, the glacis plate rises higher than the original roofline which is evident just above the headlight cable junction. You can see the lap join between the new applique roof armour and the glacis, the rebate for the drivers episcope is at the original roof level, no lower12924516_1191556120855485_44527248485764

 

Here you can see the depth of the armour on the glacis! Hatch and roof are now horizontal not sloping forward.

 

12961493_1191555937522170_39679988126969

 

And here it is from the left.

 

12717888_1191556190855478_34943848548993

 

And from the front. The applique patch is also chamfered at the front edge and it stands slightly proud of the glacis across the top.

 

14591815_1337782436232852_91168821575324

 

Here is a rough cut of the new roof patch to give you an idea of where I`m going with this, I`ve cut it overdeep because the important edge and the one with the most work involved will be the back edge, that needs a shallow chamfer on the underside, it also needs piercing for the drivers hatch.

 

14519798_1337782346232861_66408449346606

 

Another terrible image, but you get the picture! Chamfer the rear edge, packing under the front, Robert is your fathers brother!14516500_1337782232899539_44714408397569

 

Here is the kit lid! Yuck! It should have a straight edge to it top left of the semi circle, and it should be a shallow dome casting. There is also a large bolt head bottom right that secures it to its lifting post, so there is a bit of work to do here!

 

14595559_1337782279566201_59457652407435

 

Just playing, while making tank noises!

 

14610984_1337777786233317_65249635403408 

 

I also got the turret together, there are some shape issues here, but it`s all minor, a bit of shimming here a dab of filler there, a bit of filing, a bit of sanding, and a final coat of MR Surfacer!

 

14611131_1337777852899977_86520323636060

 

The beauty of this bit is that the turret was a casting, every one was slightly different!

 

14642309_1337778006233295_61197487025411

 

So there we have it, Sunday! It`s been emotional!

 

I`m off down me shed

 

Ta for lookin` no "G"

 

Granto

 

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Valenstitch    785
48 minutes ago, Mike said:

I like that barrel - Aber stuff is always top-notch, but you gets what you pays for.  I missed the final word on the accuracy of this kit after people got their hands on it.  Is it the "unbuildable" kit that everyone promised, or are the issues a lot more realistic? :)

 

Mike, in my humble opinion this is a good kit, the detail is good, there are some nice little touches, in terms of overall accuracy it`s almost there, we`re only + - 1mm in most respects which is good enough for government work! There are a few parts out of place by a couple or three mm but it`s close enough, if you are desperate enough to want total accuracy you could correct it. The main armament and the commanders MG are awful, but with the Aber barrel and a suitable MG it`s something any average modeler could correct and have a blast doing it! Every kit has some issues, but this is for me, a child of the 60`s who grew up with early Tamiya kits, an easy correction, I've read people going off on one about the price of kits and that they expect more in terms of accuracy for fifty quid than this, but a lot of 1:35 scale stuff is that price and more these days, as I said earlier I think even the M103 is worth a punt! For now it`s the only one in town, and before anyone goes off about the Amusing hobby kit, it`s a MK1 and it`s still not out yet and no one has seen one, so you can rant and fume and bemoan all you like it wont make a blind bit of difference, or you can have a go and try to correct Dragon`s errors! Me? I like a challenge!   

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Valenstitch    785

Saturday morning, sunny, fresh, ideal modeling weather! Blast, the "Leg Iron" has plans! I`ve tried the "old war wound", no dice, rapidly drank three mugs of strong black coffee and went for option two.....dysentery! she just brought more toilet roll! So I`ll have to make this brief! (thank christ for that!)

 

Thursday evening I started to correct the shape of the turret

 

14642309_1337778006233295_61197487025411

 

The top edge of the turret bustle should not curve away, it should remain a constant radius in the vertical and horizontal. So the first job was to start to pack it out with plastic card scrap.

 

14695422_1344019058942523_26812033184852

 

Like this!

 

14708239_1344019165609179_38286799400409

 

This was then left to go off overnight and carved to shape the following evening, it got a rough sanding and then a coat of filler was forced into the rough masonry of little bricks!

 

14642467_1344022832275479_84333820521222

 

Another attack of the sander first thing this morning left this! Progress!

 

14702217_1344022868942142_67878869678317

 

14680768_1344022915608804_11769665094406

 

As you can see the radius is now correct, more or less! There is still a way to go but you can see that the fixes are not difficult, just messy!

 

14581570_1344022932275469_19116262558696

 

More filler was then applied to the rear of the bustle and down both sides of the central bulge of the turret to begin to soften the rather harsh edges that are evident in the image below!

 

14611131_1337777852899977_86520323636060

 

The turret was a casting, one of the largest used on a british tank up to that time and the sharp edges should not be there! So while all that filler is going off I`m off down the town! Bugger!

 

Ta for lookin` no "G"

 

Granto 

 

   

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Bullbasket    1,966

It makes you wonder why kit manufacturers get it so wrong given that they normally have had somebody crawl all over the tank with a tape measure. But that said, if the kit's were 100% accurate, we'd be reduced down to mere kit assemblers, and I haven't built a kit OOTB since Pontius was a pilot!

Nice job with the turret reprofiling.

 

John.  

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Valenstitch    785
42 minutes ago, Bullbasket said:

It makes you wonder why kit manufacturers get it so wrong given that they normally have had somebody crawl all over the tank with a tape measure. But that said, if the kit's were 100% accurate, we'd be reduced down to mere kit assemblers, and I haven't built a kit OOTB since Pontius was a pilot!

Nice job with the turret reprofiling.

 

John.  

Ta for the comment ref the turret! I also agree with your comments regarding modelers and assemblers! 

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Hamden    1,082

 

 

More nice work going on here, love your attention to detail!

 

   Roger

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Etienne    633
1 hour ago, FrancisGL said:

Very good correction ...:popcorn:, cheers mate

 

+1 ... much work, I'm pretty sure the end result will be outstanding !!

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Valenstitch    785

Raining all night, constantly disturbed sleep and the Hampshire Police air support unit put on a late night impromptu air display and demonstration of their searchlight! Grumpy bear this morning! Smiles all round when I went down me shed! 

So here is today's progress.

 

14702442_1345183325492763_60129189716163

 

I think I am happy with the correction to the turret bustle, and the improved shape to the front of the turret, there is a final application of filler going off here.

 

14572307_1345183358826093_79934664551769

 

With the Fire Control Turret in place you can see the improved radius, also from this angle the shape of the front left of the turret and its softened curve is more visible.

 

14680633_1345183425492753_40276568294704

 

And finally from the rear. I have since fitted the lifting eyes and set everything aside to go off!

Next up was the drivers roof!

 

14656338_1345183255492770_64477117682745

 

The applique patch is now in place and there is a smear of filler to the edge join, the hatch in the applique patch has been matched to the kit one before they are reprofiled.

 

14563569_1345183282159434_16107527091619

 

Just look at the difference in the height of the drivers periscope rebate! The sight is also too tall and the moulded on guard looks about four scale inches thick, that`ll never do!

 

So while all this was going off I thought I would have a look at the suspension, eight Horstman units, four per side

 

 14632826_1345183122159450_19681709120480

 

Here we go, Dragon and their suspension mania again! Each unit has a back plate that attaches to the hull, two arms, a spring unit and a front plate,

 

14642160_1345183052159457_17022759705988

 

The arms fit into corresponding holes in the back plate, you cant get them the wrong way round, the protruding part on the back of the arm is larger than the one on the front,

 

14650203_1345182935492802_67674866153969

 

So here is the available articulation, this..................................................

 

14713703_1345182962159466_55034035460685

 

To this!

And this is where the spring unit goes

 

14680668_1345183008826128_11277481590439

 

Anyone spot a potential issue? Yeah, no positive location of any parts, this is "slop fit" at it`s worst! to get the suspension properly lined up and level all eight units must be exactly the same in terms of the arms being level or your road wheels wont be in contact with the track! And this is item one in the "manufacturer's opinions"! You don't attach the units to the hull until item three. With that in mind I have decided to build a jig to rest the hull on to enable the suspension to be built on the hull, I will fit the eight back plates and then fit the arms, then the spring units and finally the front plates. With a bit of luck then all the wheels will be level.

 

Until then....................................14650115_1345182898826139_76183038421280

 

Sod it!

 

Ta for lookin` no"G"

 

Granto

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Valenstitch    785

Well photobucket has decided not to play so lets try and do this from Faceybiz!

14680753_1350155014995594_10839348547427

 

That seemed to work! Here is the turret as of tuesday 18 October, weather cool, showers, ideal for modeling! Various bits now have to be fitted to the outside of this lump! As well as a coat of Mr Surfacer, but the shape issues are resolved!

 

14671243_1347179875293108_90280439680034

 

Happy with that!

 

14725544_1347179808626448_53554011708025

 

I have also fitted the front and rear hull plates to the "mess tin" of a hull and the back plates of all eight Horstmann units, this is out of sequence with the "manufacturers opinions" but should eliminate any line up issues when I get around to assembling the units themselves!, that`ll do for a tuesday!

 

Ta for lookin` no"G"

 

Granto

Edited by Valenstitch
Missing fots!

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Valenstitch    785

Bright, cool, slight wind, got to go to work in an hour.............ideal modeling opportunity!

Friday`s update!

 

14680753_1350155014995594_10839348547427

 

When I removed the moulded cables from the turret I marked the locations of the bolts that secured the cables with a .4mm hole, these have now been filled with a short length of rod that I will trim to the desired length to secure the replacement cables to!

 

14650717_1350155028328926_89090139004522

 

That's both sides! There are also twelve tiedowns to go on the back of the turret bustle inside the basket! I`ll tackle that one tomorrow! Possibly!

 

14650456_1350155054995590_64698436720377

 

Here is the inside of the "mess tin", a bit out of focus but you get the idea, I have removed the frontmost reinforcement.........why? I hear you ask......So I can scratch build the drivers compartment! Woooohooooo!

I`ll start that tomorrow as well!

 

14724352_1350155121662250_71883566221967

 

Oh` and there is all this stuff going on too, suspension, smoke grenade dischargers, basket, road wheels, idlers return rollers and sprockets (the round bits are in the box!) It`s going to be a good weekend by the look of it!

 

Ta for lookin` no "G"

 

Granto

Edited by Valenstitch
Missing fots!

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Etienne    633
9 hours ago, Valenstitch said:

Here is the inside of the "mess tin", a bit out of focus but you get the idea, I have removed the frontmost reinforcement.........why? I hear you ask......So I can scratch build the drivers compartment! Woooohooooo!

 

Hi, we expect no less from you ;)

 

E

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Valenstitch    785

Cold and sunny, off down the shed! Here`s what I did!

 

14670773_1351439271533835_26512137357303

Here are the basics of the drivers compartment, two walls and a floor! On the left is the right side internal with the basics of vehicle document case, charger unit controls, handbrake bracket, fuel changeover switch, gun position indicator, hand throttle control bracket, instrument panel and main engine controls. The floor has the drivers steering interlock, gear selector box and control rods and the throttle box, and the left internal has the fuze box, master switch and drivers intercom box, there will be a lot of wiring as well!

14642387_1351439291533833_33821165324394

 

This is the drivers compartment under way! Bulkhead and the left internal wall are cut from 1mm card, the right wall is much thinner, it will be bonded to the hull directly , at this point it is dry fitted to check clearances. To the rear of the bulkhead opening will be the battery box and a stowage box inboard with two water tanks outboard just under the turret ring.

 14680768_1351439464867149_45300438517285

 

Top right of the drivers compartment will be the hatch lift mechanism, apart from that many of the internals are similar to Centurion. I still have all the pedals, steering levers, hand brake, seat, internal end of the drivers periscope, washer bottle, clutch adjustment link, horn and "punka loofa" duct and vents, hatch lifting mechanism and all the electrical cables to contemplate! The trouble is, when I look at this the FCT starts to look a bit bare! And there are two more hatches in the turret as well.............................................Hmmmmmmmmmm

 

Ta for lookin` no "G"!

 

Granto

 

Edited by Valenstitch
Missing fots!

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