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Pak 44 - 12.8cm Anti-Tank Gun (1:35)


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#1 Mike

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 02:02 PM

As soon as I saw this one arrive from airbrushes.com, it piqued my interest, as it was just crazy looking, with its 6-wheels and giant perforated flash-hider. You can see the review here, and I decided straight away that this would be the next item up on the build pile.

The kit's instructions are complex, and as such I resolved to follow them closely, to avoid any mistakes on my part during the build (if possible). The build starts with the "legs" that support the base, which have a few bits of added Photo-Etch to busy them up. Here I spotted a goof with the instructions, and the bases of the side legs B32 and B33 should be transposed, as they're handed incorrectly on the instructions. There's a helpful positioning diagram to help place the PE in the proper places, which is full-scale, so makes that particular job easier. The "front" leg is rigid, while the side legs hinge sideways. The rear leg however raises, but there doesn't seem to be any pivot point included with the kit, so it wobbles and falls off once complete, as you're told not to glue it. I might put a brass rod through it later on to allow it to pivot if I feel the need.

I decided to build the kit with the supplied plastic barrel and flash hider, as Airbrushes.com were out of the upgrade set (which looks great btw), so I glued the parts carefully, paying attention to the alignment of the parts. This paid off, and the seams were soon obliterated with a bit of sanding. There is a strange shallow depression at 90o to the seam though, so that also needs some work. The flash-hider went together nicely, but due to the restrictions of tooling, all of the perforations pointed in one direction. To remedy this, I inserted a suitably sized reamer in each hole, and reamed it out slightly to the same size for each one. The result is a much more pleasing look to the part. I also replaced some rather weak raised lines around the barrel with some styrene strip, as they had got damaged during sanding.

Next up was the front trolley, with working suspension. I had my doubts about whether this would work, but apart from a bit of three-handed juggling of the parts during assembly, it worked out well. I found that gluing the two top suspension pivots together around the chassis and the wheel back, then inserting the spring, and finally adding the bottom suspension pivot worked well. Far fewer hands needed, and you get plenty of time to fill the small sink marks in the parts. I've yet to add the soft wire representing the brake hoses, and I think I'll leave those until later.

Anyway - a picture of all the assemblies so far.

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#2 daz greenwood

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 02:04 PM

Looking good Mike.

Looks like it's a nice kit.

Looking forwards to seeing more :)

#3 Deon

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 02:36 PM

Its good to see it going together, I wont be able to start mine till October, so hopefully you'll catch all the pitfalls :)

#4 Skii

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 04:35 PM

gahhhh you wouldn't want that bugger pointing at you !

Nice looking kit that Mickles, very sharp mouldings :)

#5 magman2

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 05:16 PM

Nice Kit

Edited by magman2, 27 August 2010 - 08:17 PM.


#6 Mike

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 05:18 PM

See what I mean? :wicked:

#7 Mike

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 01:34 PM

A bit more progress in the build to report.

I've now build the 2nd suspension unit, which is a torsion bar affair, with lots of fiddly parts to break off, and the occasional bit of PE. I replaced one of the winder shafts with a piece of brass wire, but everything else went together just fine... it's just time consuming removing all the seam lines on the parts :)

Work on the gun mount has also begun, with the breach causing the most work. It appears that it's milled from a single block of metal from photos, so I set about removing the mould seams, which took a bit of doing for no apparent reason other than my own ineptitude ^_^ The rest of the gun support was easy to build, although a prominent seam needs obliterating underneath. The side parts that mount the rams are laminated from two parts, which you glue together after sandwiching the end of the ram slider in its socket.

The instructions give you an option of having the rams stuck in one position by using a one-piece ram, or using a separate slider (supplied), and taking a 3mm drill bit to the ram after cutting off the protruding slider. I gave this a whirl, but drilling 19.75cm into a narrow plastic cylinder is tricky unless you have a drill press, so I gave up and decided to scratch the rams. I had some Evergreen tube of o/d 4.75mm, which helpfully had an i/d of 3.5mm, only 0.5mm wider than the slider. I cut two pieces to length, glued an end-cap on from thin sheet, shaped it and drilled through with a 3mm bit. Then I stopped the other end up with some rod, and cut off the top mount from the kit parts with a razor saw, sanding it back so that only the mount an octagonal(ish) mounting plate were there. This was glued to the top of the new ram, into which the slider fits nicely. To simulate the outer sleeve at the top end I cut, annealed and rolled some 0.1mm brass sheet, which I glued in place with wicking CA. They stand out a bit at the moment, due to their white finish.

I also drilled a 4mm hole in the rear of the barrel part, so that no plastic is visible in the breach when open.

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#8 Slippery Jim

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 02:39 PM

My word, what an impressive Bang Stick !

#9 Siggi

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 03:14 PM

That's beginning to look very impressive Mike, especially the scratch-built components. Are you going to mount it on a dioramic base? That kind of fine complexity needs it I think, to really set it off. :)

#10 petetheplane

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 03:36 PM

What was the intended prime-mover for this weapon ? The Sd.Kfz.8 or was anything else available ?

#11 daz greenwood

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 03:38 PM

I guess the intended Prime mover for the 12.8cm would have been the SdKfz. 9 FAMO.

#12 Mike

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 04:00 PM

I guess the intended Prime mover for the 12.8cm would have been the SdKfz. 9 FAMO.

I think he's right... shame it's not a model I have in my stash though :doh:

Cheers guys :) Just attaching some of the smaller bits such as the sights & adjustment wheels now. I figured out how to hold the rams onto their attachment pins though - I heated a screw-driver tip and melted the ends of the pins, widening them just enough so that the rams wouldn't slip off ;)

#13 andym

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 04:08 PM

I guess the intended Prime mover for the 12.8cm would have been the SdKfz. 9 FAMO.


More likely it would have been SdKfz. 8

HTH
Andy

#14 daz greenwood

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 04:09 PM

Well the FAMO was heavier than the SdKfz.8 thats why I thought it would be the FAMO.

I'll check my references as I do love the FAMO

#15 daz greenwood

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 04:21 PM

Ok I stand corrected the Sd.kfz.8 was used to tow the PaK 44. The SdKfz.9 was used to tow the 24cm Kanone 4 and the Karl mortar in broken down assemblies.

#16 andym

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 08:53 PM

Ok I stand corrected the Sd.kfz.8 was used to tow the PaK 44. The SdKfz.9 was used to tow the 24cm Kanone 4 and the Karl mortar in broken down assemblies.


No probs. I only knew it was SdKfz 8 myself as I had been looking up what was a likely tow vehicle for PaK 44. Now it's a matter of waiting for an injection SdKfz.8 or getting the expensive Des resin one, are you listening Tamiya/Trumpeter/Dragon? As for Pak 44 you wait ages for an injection one and then two come along!

Andy

Edited by andym, 30 August 2010 - 08:54 PM.


#17 Mike

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 03:22 PM

The majority of construction is done - surprisingly easily really. I just kept building up the little assemblies, deciding whether to glue them or not to ease painting, and it wasn't long before it was all done. I've left the carriage parts and their wheels loose, the gun shield loose, and so far, the barrel too. That should allow me to get in everywhere with the paint.

I've also decided to model it in the firing position, so there's the possibility of a diorama at some point... another first for me :unsure:

Posted Image

The gun shields were interesting to build, and have the potential to trip you up if you over-think it. Using liquid glue, just laminate the two pieces of each face together, and glue the back-side of the triangular cowling for the rams perpendicular to the other part, then let them set up for a while. Once they're set enough to not slip & slide around, slip the flange on the ram cowling in between the two layers of the front shield, then glue them. Leave them for 5 minutes to set up, then do the same for the side of the shield. If you're careful, you can get them perfectly aligned, so you won't need ANY sanding of filling. Once I'd got these parts together, I then glued the support bars inside the shield in place, being very careful to get them aligned in their nicely raised positions. Make sure everything's still aligned, and put them to one side to cure properly. :)

#18 andym

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 04:07 PM

The majority of construction is done - surprisingly easily really. I just kept building up the little assemblies, deciding whether to glue them or not to ease painting, and it wasn't long before it was all done. I've left the carriage parts and their wheels loose, the gun shield loose, and so far, the barrel too. That should allow me to get in everywhere with the paint.

I've also decided to model it in the firing position, so there's the possibility of a diorama at some point... another first for me :unsure:

Posted Image

The gun shields were interesting to build, and have the potential to trip you up if you over-think it. Using liquid glue, just laminate the two pieces of each face together, and glue the back-side of the triangular cowling for the rams perpendicular to the other part, then let them set up for a while. Once they're set enough to not slip & slide around, slip the flange on the ram cowling in between the two layers of the front shield, then glue them. Leave them for 5 minutes to set up, then do the same for the side of the shield. If you're careful, you can get them perfectly aligned, so you won't need ANY sanding of filling. Once I'd got these parts together, I then glued the support bars inside the shield in place, being very careful to get them aligned in their nicely raised positions. Make sure everything's still aligned, and put them to one side to cure properly. :)


Looking good.

Now we can only hope that someone will release a decent kit of the Krupp version.

Andy

#19 Mike

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 04:15 PM

Cheers Andy - that's the 4 wheeled jobbie, isn't it? Now about this Sd.kfz 8 - I saw a mention of AFV Club doing one... was that wrong?

#20 Skii

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 04:27 PM

BOOOOM so this is the same gun as fitted to the JagdTiger ? I bet that playd havoc with old eardrums :o

Nice work boss, START PAINTING IT NOW !!