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Valenstitch

USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

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With work on My two current builds stalled due to lack of funds (two birthdays and a trip to Stalag Luft 3 and Colditz this month!) I thought I would complicate life even more by re energising my modeling Mojo! So, after trawling the interweb for inspiration and rooting through my stash I dragged these two out!

 

22448671_1727539803923778_53345013743651

 

22448639_1727539647257127_52409411603782

 

Both kits are getting on a bit, although the LAV 25 is a reboxed anniversary reissue. I do like USMC armour, so it didnt take long for the juices to start flowing, the basic kits are ok for accuracy given their age, so which to build?

 

I know........ coin flip!

 

22491661_1727539537257138_16212417357037

 

Well there`s the answer........................BOTH!

 

22448523_1727539763923782_19026524111597

 

So the LAV 25, three sprues in sand coloured plastic, an aftermarket 25mm barrel and two lots of photo etch, one specific to the Italeri TUA and one for the Trumpeter LAV 25, I dimly recall being unable to find a specific set for the Italeri LAV 25 so when I came across the Trumpy set thought I would give it a punt and use that for the turret and the TUA set for the hull!

 

22449885_1727539727257119_23342585834991

 

The LAV TUA has two common sprues as per the 25 and the TOW turret parts are on a third, and there's also a photoetch for the specific kit.so all good for a straightforward more or less OTB build then!

So the plan is....................Two LAV`s a 25 and a TUA, I`ll go with early vehicles, (the kits have the early pattern tyres and these two have been in the stash for a while, so the cost of replacing the wheels with later pattern resin wheels would be excessive and counter to the Mojonation restoration of this build) Marine Corps MERDC camouflage, limited stowage, crewed up and restrained weathering, might even build a base for em, a bit of beach or something eh?.................Well, that's the plan, that way I can avoid the characteristic tail down attitude of the heavily loaded Gulf War and Afghan vehicles, so no drastic chopping of the suspension or weighting the wheels and save a bundle on resin aftermarket stowage! Oh, and I can make the front wheels steer too! Already figured that one out!

 

Ta for lookin` no "G"

 

Granto 

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I remember the first vehicle I made with the airbrush was the TOW launcher, and it was not too bad, although now maybe I would not think alike ... lol:popcorn:, cheers mate :yes:

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Good choice. Only question that I have is will they be finished before the New Year (2019 that is)?:D

 

John.

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13 hours ago, Bullbasket said:

Good choice. Only question that I have is will they be finished before the New Year (2019 that is)?:D

 

John.

You sir, are a Cad Sir! I have already started work on the pair, well I've been looking at the "manufacturers opinion" sheet while I drink my coffee, and planning the modifications to the steering to allow it to turn, these things take time, and another mug of coffee, minimum! I can assure the honorable gentleman that plastic has already been cut and progress is tangible!:lol:

 

Granto

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It is a well known military axiom that no plan lasts beyond first contact with the enemy...........................tn.lib.php?id=1195&r=4:3&s=lg&m=2 Accurate Armour resin wheels £13 a set............Game on!

 

Granto, £26 worse off!

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Nice  pair I'll follow along as well if you don't mind?

 

   Roger

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Looking good, they are nice kits & go together very well. But they look a bit bare when finished, they definitely need aftermarket kit hanging off them, especially if they are recce in front of the main body.

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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!

22528077_1730162213661537_84130172252751

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!

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The upper frame for the turret basket was warped and was a bit of a pain to bend back into shape.

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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.

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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!

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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. 

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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.

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The TOW gunners turret has had etch episcopes fitted and lots of filing, filling and sanding of its various components.

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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!

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRgc_1WJ8EEjqZ1Z9LtaG5      9119248_f520.jpg 

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?

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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!

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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

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Twenty years apart, look at the flash! Same part, same place!

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I`ve had to drill out holes for the grab rails on both hulls, I`ll make these from wire. 

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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

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Nice start Looking forward to watching these progress

 

  Roger

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Wednesdays pre-work update!

I have fettled the Trumpy photo etch basket mesh to fit the Italeri frame...............

22491532_1732009793476779_64668374429880

 

22552481_1732009830143442_68067381659186

 

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It`s not bent like it looks in this image!

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That`ll do for now! Several straps to go on here yet!

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Ready round rack assembled and dry fitted in its mounts, there are a number of straps to go on here too...............

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Rear interior of the 25, seat back now in place............

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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..........

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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.

22448203_1730162650328160_36650600256378  

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

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Is this the start of the slippery slope of detailing..........................................?

Great progress so far

 

  Roger

 

 

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16 hours ago, Hamden said:

 

Is this the start of the slippery slope of detailing..........................................?

Great progress so far

 

  Roger

 

 

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! 

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Granto,

 

it is great to see you working on these kits - I was an LAV crewman from 1991 - 1999.  The old Italeri kits don't seem to get any love after the Trumpeter kit came out.  It seems to me that the Italeri -25 kit is based on a pre-production model or a variant used by another country (I suspect switzerland, but am probably wrong) and the interior is pretty close but noticeably inaccurate.  I have a few period photos if you want some Gulf War era references.  I will be watching as your work brings back some great memories of haulin' butt across the desert and what it was like to live out of these for a while. 

 

A few tips for accurizing it for a Gulf War era vehicle, if you are interested.  First, I have NEVER seen an axe on the interior of the rear door as in the photo - I suspect that the photo is of the later SLEP vehicle.  They were just coming into the fleet as I was getting out.  All our vehicles had the old muffler, smooth barrel (no grooves down the exterior sides) and the original thin Michelin tires.  In your posted photo, you can barely make out the later, wide tire below the door and the black racks across the transom below the toolbox, which are a giveaway that it is a later vehicle.  All of our vehicles had the axe on the top of the hull by the shovel, mattock handle and blade below the turret bustle rack.

 

We almost always had the top compartment doors open.  Yes, there was a limit switch, but we used a piece of wire to jump the pins and bypass the switch - same with the back door switches which turned off all the interior lighting when the back doors were open.  We just made sure the lead scout (only 4 grunts rode in the back, even though there were seatbelts for 6) was on the intercom and could keep his boys out of the way of the turret if we needed to swing it either direction.  We actually wanted them to be standing up through the top doors and keeping a lookout for air threats (can you say HIND) - they were our biggest worry on the battlefield.   There was also a limit switch on the driver's hatch too, to keep you from firing it over his head or whacking him with the barrel - we didn't bypass that one, I guess we were more concerned about our driver than the grunts in the back....  which would make sense, it is probably not very wise to kill your driver while doing 50 mph across the desert in a 15 ton vehicle!  

 

Also, we did not put the ready ammo (7.62mm or 5.56mm) on the starboard side of the interior compartment, that space was additional crew stowage - usually comfort items (junk food, baby wipes, etc.) or the corpsman's medkit and never in the big block as represented in the kit pieces.  The kit piece almost looks like jerry cans - we carried all our jerry cans (water only, never fuel) on their exterior racks or in the bustle rack.  They were green or tan plastic.  Occasionally one would see jerry cans painted black - they were homemade alcohol! Some adventurous crews would save their freeze dried fruit from MRE's and add water and yeast and it would ferment over a couple of weeks or so into a pretty strong hooch.  Never drink anything out of a black painted jerry can! 

 

The crew heater (which almost NEVER worked on any vehicle I was on) shown on the port side really went about mid way forward on the starboard side - the little mushroom on the top of the hull by the turret is it's exhaust - it siphoned and burned diesel from the main fuel tank under the troop seats in the back.  The space on the port where the heater is shown was actually an NBC decon filter system taht fed filter air to our gas masks.

 

Eduard did a PE set for the Italeri kit - #35-485 - I suspect it has long been unavailable.

 

Keep up the great work, I can't wait to see them finished!

 

Semper Fi,

Arrin

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On 10/26/2017 at 5:09 AM, holtaa said:

Granto,

 

it is great to see you working on these kits - I was an LAV crewman from 1991 - 1999.  The old Italeri kits don't seem to get any love after the Trumpeter kit came out.  It seems to me that the Italeri -25 kit is based on a pre-production model or a variant used by another country (I suspect switzerland, but am probably wrong) and the interior is pretty close but noticeably inaccurate.  I have a few period photos if you want some Gulf War era references.  I will be watching as your work brings back some great memories of haulin' butt across the desert and what it was like to live out of these for a while. 

 

A few tips for accurizing it for a Gulf War era vehicle, if you are interested.  First, I have NEVER seen an axe on the interior of the rear door as in the photo - I suspect that the photo is of the later SLEP vehicle.  They were just coming into the fleet as I was getting out.  All our vehicles had the old muffler, smooth barrel (no grooves down the exterior sides) and the original thin Michelin tires.  In your posted photo, you can barely make out the later, wide tire below the door and the black racks across the transom below the toolbox, which are a giveaway that it is a later vehicle.  All of our vehicles had the axe on the top of the hull by the shovel, mattock handle and blade below the turret bustle rack.

 

We almost always had the top compartment doors open.  Yes, there was a limit switch, but we used a piece of wire to jump the pins and bypass the switch - same with the back door switches which turned off all the interior lighting when the back doors were open.  We just made sure the lead scout (only 4 grunts rode in the back, even though there were seatbelts for 6) was on the intercom and could keep his boys out of the way of the turret if we needed to swing it either direction.  We actually wanted them to be standing up through the top doors and keeping a lookout for air threats (can you say HIND) - they were our biggest worry on the battlefield.   There was also a limit switch on the driver's hatch too, to keep you from firing it over his head or whacking him with the barrel - we didn't bypass that one, I guess we were more concerned about our driver than the grunts in the back....  which would make sense, it is probably not very wise to kill your driver while doing 50 mph across the desert in a 15 ton vehicle!  

 

Also, we did not put the ready ammo (7.62mm or 5.56mm) on the starboard side of the interior compartment, that space was additional crew stowage - usually comfort items (junk food, baby wipes, etc.) or the corpsman's medkit and never in the big block as represented in the kit pieces.  The kit piece almost looks like jerry cans - we carried all our jerry cans (water only, never fuel) on their exterior racks or in the bustle rack.  They were green or tan plastic.  Occasionally one would see jerry cans painted black - they were homemade alcohol! Some adventurous crews would save their freeze dried fruit from MRE's and add water and yeast and it would ferment over a couple of weeks or so into a pretty strong hooch.  Never drink anything out of a black painted jerry can! 

 

The crew heater (which almost NEVER worked on any vehicle I was on) shown on the port side really went about mid way forward on the starboard side - the little mushroom on the top of the hull by the turret is it's exhaust - it siphoned and burned diesel from the main fuel tank under the troop seats in the back.  The space on the port where the heater is shown was actually an NBC decon filter system taht fed filter air to our gas masks.

 

Eduard did a PE set for the Italeri kit - #35-485 - I suspect it has long been unavailable.

 

Keep up the great work, I can't wait to see them finished!

 

Semper Fi,

Arrin

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!

13925334_1283817568296006_14292981449087

 

14022086_1283815458296217_45470681575958

 

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

 

 

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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...............

22814298_1742297149114710_84979666010453

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........

22788841_1742297249114700_12803524127238

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.......

22814417_1742297502448008_44671082362532

The backs of the hubs have small holes to accept the CV drive shafts, these are too tight to allow any turning movement............

22894150_1742297279114697_19905863787724

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...........

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Here are some of the components dry fitted......................

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I will replace the moulded spring units with wire.........

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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. 

22814068_1742297575781334_74171842512915

Here is a view of the running gear dry fitted with a bit of left lock on!

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And a bit of left and right lock on here!

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I`m happy with that! Only two more  hulls to go...........................

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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!

22851755_1742298175781274_51259486106558

So here it is, an olive shade of plastic............so no getting parts mixed up!

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And here is the pattern for the engine bulkhead!

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And here is where the parts fabricated from the patterns will go! ( they`ll also go in the TUA!)

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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...................    

22788830_1742298382447920_44327413325134

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

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Searching for images I found this!

 

01513-5.jpg

 

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!

1280px-LAV-25_Thailand.JPEG

 

I wonder how big a 1/35 scale LCAC would be?......................................................

 

Ta for lookin` no"G"

 

Granto

 

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So, an evening of trawling the interweb revealed these images!

 

lav-25-dvic374.jpgLAV-AT_00.jpg

Rear compartment hatch open on the TUA..................................Early one too, look at the thin Michelin tyres, bow saw on the roof.................

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Hells Bells! Here we go again................................

129_0706_07_z+lav_military_vehicle+contr                                    Bondage?       973cc6_422d701208b74296959f1d5d3741edaa.

Usefull!

973cc6_4996c5b3d6c644688b8fdb9dbdf32f12.  Ah, ok!     129_0706_12_z+lav_military_vehicle+winch  No.............definitely not!

 

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Cleaned up the rear roof of the TUA after its unscheduled surgery.....................

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The hatch came off in remarkably good shape.............

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Although a bit wafer thin!

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So I decided to double it`s thickness by laminating it to a suitable bit of stock.............

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The coaming on the rear compartment hatches of the 25 got a smear of dissolved sprue..............

22853082_1743251729019252_89837501189204

And I used "Longshanks" method using card and tape to profile the longitudinal engine bulkhead! Thank you Sir!   

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Here is the pattern piece dry "plonked" in place with the rear transverse bulkhead from the LAV M

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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!

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So here is the TUA with it`s roof Dry plonked..............

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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

 

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Great workmanship as always looking forward to more of the same!

 

  Roger

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Well the Memsahib was in her shed, so after my lunch I went back to mine................

22814531_1743391849005240_38955168369081

Put the rear suspension on the LAV M along with the rear hull bulkhead

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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!

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Trouble is there's nothing to support it.................Just the 1mm ring around the turntable and the three 90 degree bends..........

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Hmmmmmmmm................that`ll never do

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so It got some serious underfloor reinforcement!

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The turntable got its texture scraped off! Etch to go on here tomorrow!

22814226_1743392159005209_11777176864830 

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 

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