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  1. Thank you. totaly forgot I purchsed some TBH. It is fragile and will no doubt look quite thin compared to foil or Magic Sculpt type creations but I am hoping under paint all will be well Thanks for the kind words Ed. Glad you are enjoying it Thanks. It doesn't appear to be that regularily modelled but I'm a bit of an axis sofskin nerd
  2. I would say the wheel boss appears larger and the spokes look longer.
  3. Little update on progress. With all the remaining fragile items like the number plate, pioneer tools, brackets and handles added, the model was washed in soapy water, rinsed and left to dry overnight in prep for a primer coat The weather in the UK has been so pleasant and warm of recent weeks I figured I could employ some rattle can primer outdoors. The model was given a coat of Mr Surfacer 1200 Grey and some Tamiya Fine Red Oxide. The reason both were used is quite simple. I'm a numpty! Using a grey primer over grey plastic is not the best idea I've ever had This became apparent pretty quickly, so I turned to the Tamiya primer to complete the job. The following day on return to the bench I realised I hadn't made the cab canvas, nor had I made a tarp I intended to drape over some items on the load bed. I decided to use some magic sculp, as with the aid of talc I could mould it over the painted surface and any clean up would be easy. But oh no, whilst looking for the Magic Sculp I happened on some VMS's paper & shaper. I had had this in the stash for a little while but had not yet tried it. In my excitement to try out this new product I started moulding the cab canvas over the primed cab. My first attempt ripped, likely because I had been too heavy handed, so I figured, why not check out the VMS product promo video for some tips. To my horror I found out it is advisable to use this BEFORE adding any paint VMS advise using their own paint remover (Clean Slate) to clean up the paper shaper liquid. Oooops! My second attempt worked better but to avoid any further spillage I kept the cover much smaller than I intended. I had used clingfilm (plastic wrap) to protect the main body whilst handling but where the canvas sat on the cab roof, there were a few areas of shaper fluid contamination. I had to resort to sanding down these areas back with a fine sanding stick! This is the video I should have watched first It also shows how you can turn the paper into an almost flexible resin cast should you wish to. https://www.vms-supplies.com/vms-paper-shaper Not wanting to make the same mistake the whole load bed area was covered in clingfilm. To add the accessories, I first cut out a thin plastic card template that fitted snugly on the load bed floor. This would keep it all in one small sub assembly that can be painted separately and will simply slot into the load bay like one of those resin bundles that are available. Various unpainted plastic and resin items were then glued to the card and once happy with placement VMS paper was used to simulate a tarp partially covering the load. Using a paintbrush and some rubber sculpting tools, folds were carefully created to show it draped over the items creating some nice contours over the artillery ammunition baskets. A little clean up at the paper edges is still required where it dried out on the clingfilm. There are a few tiny tears in the paper, but these will be hidden with a few carefully placed additional items. Once happy with my mini creation any excess plastic card was cut away.
  4. FICTION TO FACT The split bulkhead would now have to be fitted. The parts are on the sprue even though they are not called out. Although I had already removed the witness marks as instructed they were still faintly visible. They also line up underneath the cab roof splash guard and the main cab floor moulding has the cut outs for them underneath. It was far easier to remove the cab floor tabs on the bulkhead parts rather than scribe out two rectangular grooves in the floor though First up was the seat removal. A sharp knife did the job cleanly enough, but I was conscious of how the thin armoured cab walls could be damaged. Luckily, they both came off without incident. Once the areas were sanded back, the split bulkhead and rifle racks could be fitted. Unfortunately I had an issue here! On the passenger wall all manner of electrical items were already attached! (See red circled items below) I wasn’t going to remove them so instead, decided to scratch some weld marks where the rack on this side had been removed. It still needs sanding back much more. The other side would except a rack so one was sourced from the parts bin. Sd.Kfz 251 part I think? You can clearly see the cut out portion marks on the cab roof here. After having some fun with some very fine stretched sprue making the removed rifle rack, I then went all in and added weld marks to other areas of the cab that would be visible. It's pretty crude looking but hopefully should look ok under paint and a pin wash. So this is how the cab looks now. Not a jump seat in sight The wobbly interior front vision port brackets are bugging me still, so I will realign those before moving on to scratching a tarp for the roof.
  5. Finally, the tracks are assembled. The links do fit snugly into each other without miss-alignment, and they are at least, thankfully not handed. I did try slow drying cement on the curved sections of links and although I thought the slow drying would give me more time to adjust, they just wouldn't set up, so I resorted to the Tamiya fast. I first measured all five wheels end to end and made the two lower flat lengths. Then I wrapped both the sprockets and idlers with 14 links each. (7 guide horn links) leaving them to set holding them with masking tape. Bridging the lower runs to both sprocket and idler was relatively easy, however, the top run has a huge sag which, in many images, only has the very middle wheel in contact. Over time the tracks wore out and the tension loosened, and they do appear to sag far more, sometimes onto all five pairs of wheels, and this look would be far easier to achieve. Working in both 2 and 4 link sections, I eventually bridged the top length. Leaving the idler loose is a wise move, only typically, looking at the final placement of each I can confidently say I could have saved myself a whole bunch of time by just gluing them both in the one o-clock position. I guess that was all down to the top run tension I ended up with. I left both track runs in two separate assemblies. Lower and short run around the sprocket and upper and short run around the idler to make fitment after painting as painless as possible. The five sets of overlaping bogies with locating pips removed I can get some whacky articulation going on now and they will now be simple to fit once they have been painted seperately The tracks did slip back off the sprocket in the next few photos and I didn't notice until I edited them They will fit tightly once both halves are connected. I couldn't achieve the 55-pin links that the N & B book advised and TBH the 56 the kit's instructions called out had the idler sat behind the last wheel a touch. I ended up using 57 pin links and am happy how it looks with the track just clearing the last wheel. With a bit more patience I imagine building the top length tighter with 55 or 56 pins is manageable. With the seat vs rifle rack issue bugging me, I checked through the N & B again to determine what was going on. I realised that the confirmation was there all along. There are CAD images showing the differences between prototype and production vehicles and in one of the prototype images it clearly shows the rifle racks and the bulkhead cut-outs. With this info I had to remove the seats GWH/Bronco had miss represented and somehow do it without wrecking the paper-thin armoured side walls There was also the issue of the roof cut out at the rear of the cab and although the same CAD image doesn’t show it, as it is the prototype, it looks as though production vehicles did. The flak variant below clearly shows no roof material behind the small, raised splash guard. As I am now going to scratch a Tarp hanging over this ‘extra’ portion still on the kit's cab roof, I will have to design it to hide it.
  6. Yep, they are the overlapping type. It would have been easier to do like you are doing and simply add the outer wheel after painting. Sadly the fit is hopeless so a plan B was required
  7. Before I blow my mind with track construction I forgot I needed to set up the running gear My construction of the tracks will be to follow a sort of link and length method but I needed to get the wheels lined up on the chassis. This means tackling those nasty wheel connections and work out a way of assembling it all, so I don’t have to paint it all attached. The swing arms have small pips on the rear which locate in the chassis. This is a nice method to ensure all the arms sit at the same hight but, if you plan to build up the wheels first and paint them separately, they will be a pain to fit. After a short muse I figured it was possible to paint the wheels separately by gluing each wheel set to the swing arms first. To avoid the fitment issue mentioned above all the pips were removed so each swing arm could be ‘swung’ into position on the chassis. The contact points for connecting all the wheels is hopelessly inadequate. The four middle pairs are sat right up against each other so are quite easy to align but the six inner and outer pair are around 10mm apart. I resorted to making a quick little circular jig for these that ensured, whilst the glue was still wet, I could twist them, so they sat rotating in the same arc. With that little conundrum out of the way it was just a matter of gluing the wheels to each swing arm. With the connection being really loose I first added a little glue to the arm, popped a wheel pair on, left it for a few seconds, then twisted it a few times before removing it. This made both surfaces tacky and once dry there was at least some friction, and they didn’t keep falling off whilst attempting to line them all up. Again, using a little jig made from some plastic stock strips I lined up all the wheels on the chassis and then glued them onto each swing arm permanently. I deliberately left both Sprocket and idler wheels loose so I could easily ‘wrap’ around the tracks. The sprockets use the familiar long pin into hole type connection into the chassis, and they are a snug fit so they will rotate without falling off. The idler mount on the other hand is not so simple. It uses the same engineering, but the hole is not as deep so adding the weight of the idler wheel made it continuously pop out. Having an adjustable idler is always a bonus whether using workable or unworkable tracks so I decided to drill out the chassis hole and insert a metal pin into the back of the idler arm. As the kit’s idlers do not include the four inner guide pad linings I cut a strip of card and PVA glued it around the centre of each. Only a fraction will be visible so it should, at least hide the omission. Now it is finaly time to build those tracks
  8. I’m not a big fan of the repetitive process of cleaning and assembling hundreds of non-workable tiny individual track links. I find it the most tedious part of the hobby, and likely the reason why I build so many wheeled vehicles. There’s no getting round it as the only alternative is a set of Friuls and I can’t justify spending £30 odd quid on a set right now. The instructions state to use 112 track links per side yet the N&B book states that only 110 were used. Whatever it turns out to be it is going to take a few days to find out! There are two sprue gates per link and a pin mark on every pin link. So, by my reckoning that’s at least a minimum of two hundred and seventy-five individual clean up steps EACH SIDE! Wish me luck, I'm going in...........................
  9. Cheers Simon Yes, it is a nice kit and I will defo be tracking down the Bronco softskin version now
  10. Cheers. There are quite a few variants on this platform to choose from although getting any of the original Great Wall Hobby kits might proove tricky.
  11. After some discussion with another modeller, it has been put forward that the rear fold down seats I mentioned are not actually fold down seats at all! The items in the image that the red items point to are the end of rifle racks. The dark areas are slots in the split bulkhead to which the rifle rack sits. The shape of the folded down seats has always intrigued me as to how feasible they were, sat at the angle they do on the wall, as you would by sitting on them, be hunched over, face down with your hands on your knees. There is also the clear evidence of the fold down bench in virtually the same location. Although no further evidence by way of images is offered it does seem a very plausible alternative.
  12. With final design features decided it’s time to build Steps 1 through 6 concern the construction of the chassis and suspension. The main chassis is a one-piece affair and all the other components fit neatly to it. You do need to ensure the multipart torsion bar tubes are fitted in the correct order and I would recommend leaving the idler axles off the chassis. Although the kits tracks are not workable leaving them off until you get a good track sag fitment will make life easier. The adjustment screw and nut will also need to be added once the axle is set in place. The front suspension/axle assembly is quite a fiddly affair to build as per the instructions. As both leaf spring supports B72 & B73 don’t actual attach to each other, I found it far easier to attach them to the main chassis moulding first. You can then ensure that both parts sit parallel on the chassis and the remaining components added will all sit nice and square. You can move the wheels left to right, which is a nice feature, but you cannot articulate the leaf spring. Oddly you can make certain areas of the front suspension moveable yet connecting components are fixed. If you do want to represent leaf spring articulation as I did, simply cut the pip off part B19. This works but I also pinned it and elongated the hole it sat in. This allows a little movement so the remaining assembly components can be fixed at a slight angle. As mentioned, the front wheel axle stubs are designed to be steerable, but the ends of each axle half (parts B65, B66) do need to be hollowed with a round file for the axle stubs (parts A13) to fit. It’s not so apparent without the fenders present but with the wheels at almost full turn the leaf spring leans over towards the inner wheel. You get alternatives for both front wheels, sprockets, and idler wheels. The larger Sprocket is the most common one photographed. There are two locating pins between the two sprocket halves, and you should test fit these as the teeth only align with the pins one way. The photoetched stepped ring is not fitted in the pic below. It is a little short so annealing it first will hopefuly make it look decent. The sandwich designed front tyres are nice. Don’t forget to fit them in the correct order and insert the hubs in before the last outer piece though! The torsion bar swing arms locate into holes in the chassis and there are pips on the rear of them to get them all to sit at the same height. If you wish to model the wheels and tracks undulated simply cut the pip off. Unfortunately, the road wheels are extremely loose on the swing arms and the location slots to attach both the inner and outer wheels together is imprecise and care will need lining them up together. Considering how well the rest of the kit has fitted together so far, this is some very sloppy engineering! I've not decided how best to approach these issues yet so I will leave it to my last build task. Inner wheel pair The real thing. An outer wheel Steps 7 through 9 have you adding on the chassis inner bracing panels, the fuel tank and winch accessories. Fuel tank filler made from stretched sprue Steps 10 & 11 build up the Maybach HL42 TRKMS engine. The engine looks highly detailed, but I won’t be fitting this to my kit, so I have no idea how it all fits together or into the chassis bay. What is worth pointing out is, if you do fit the engine, be aware that in step 26 the instructions have you remove a big whacking lump of plastic off the lower engine firewall on the main front fender moulding part C40. This will be much easier to do before adding all the accessories in step 13 Steps 12 to 20 have you build up the upper armour components of both variants, adding tools and all the interior cab components. You are also given alternative photoetch clasps to complete all the pioneer tools although you will have to shave off the plastic clasps first. The kits instructions have you fit both a Notek and Bosch light so check your refs as I’m pretty sure it was one or the other. Also, the driver’s side width indicator was dropped on production models. In step 16 be careful aligning the multipart upper cab armour. The thickness of the armour is well represented so once the strengthening strips are removed from the cab top moulding part C43, it is very prone to bending. The front panel is a tight fit and the top panel is chamfered so it will all go together well if treated with care. Even with the small locating pins the fit of the upper cab assembly to the fender moulding C40 is very good. All the access hatches and engine panels fit well although I did have to source my own vision blocks as I wanted to display the front vision ports open. As already mentioned, the production vehicles had an enlarged driver’s side vision port, but the kit does not differentiate between them. Original kit sized drivers vision port Passenger side port made smaller Armoured cab upper and lower fender sub assemblies test fitted together. There are only two small alignment pips both sides but it all fits well with no interference from the engine bulkhead. Pic below shows my lower fender moulding slightly warped down on the right but it all sits flush with a little pressure. Step 21 to 27 concentrates only on option 1: the enclosed armoured supply ammo version and supplies all the nebelwerfer rockets that this version would likely have carried. As I am not making this one let us skip right on to step 28. Steps 28 through 34 is just for the armoured cargo version and builds up the rear cargo platform. The front two thirds of the cargo sides are hanging and are represented by a plastic frame and three photoetched grilles. The rear fold down locker panels are all seperate parts and can be displayed open. The larger lower one is offered in both plastic and photoetch. I choose the easy option as the hinges looked like too much work. There is a crew bench yet to add (Step 31) This can be added closed so the photoetch tread plate fills the void in the platform or folded open sitting in the cab. No fitment issues at all here and although the fold down side latches are moulded in, it all looks good when built up. Test fitted sub-assemblies so far. Next up is tackling those pesky, loose fitting wheels!
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