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Found 6 results

  1. The tractor was a testbed of sorts: Now to the real thing, the Miniart kit of the SLA APC T-54 with Dozer blade. First a rust primer, then chipping medium, and finally Tamiya XF-18 (blue) and Vallejo 70957 (red, on top of some light dusting of Mig Steel). And you know the feeling when you stop just short of overdoing stripping off the paint after using the hairspray technique? I think I did it just right. Hope you agree. A little weathering (oils and what not) will follow. Stay tuned.
  2. Hi guys, hope everyone is well, onto my new build which is Miniart's SLA APC T-54 with Dozer Blade. There is only one version in the kit which is the South Lebanon Army, 1980's, so that's the one I'm going to do . I bought this over a year ago, I just liked the unusual colour scheme and that big red dozer blade, it was an easy decision to buy. As usual the kit comes in a big box, the whole lot has a good weight to it and as usual packed full of sprues. Miniart seem to have drawn upon their other T-54/T55 kits and have included multiple sprues where only one part is required. There is no turret on this model and yet I get a couple of gun barrels, oil tanks etc. At least I'll shall have some extra parts for my spares box. A couple of photo's showing the box art and then the colour scheme. The nature of the environment where this vehicle has been situated will call I think for quite a heavily worn tank and the red dozer blade should be interesting to do with lots of scratches and weathering etc. I think I'm going to build straight out the box, there's no tow ropes to buy, I'm not sure at the moment regarding the tracks. I've done these before on a T-55 and they seemed ok, but then again I really like the tracks made by MasterClub, I'll decide later on. I started work on the engine, which is typical of Miniart giving a really nicely detailed part, quite a lot of the assembly has been temporarily stuck with Maskol so that I could make sure everything fits together. I have pre-drilled the holes in the manifolds ready for me to add copper wire for the injection pipes after I have finished painting. That's it for now, I will be back when I have finished painting the engine. All the best and thanks for looking in. Ed
  3. Finished! The kit is a bit over engineered in some parts, most of all the rear hull. And half of the plastic is unused, some of it goes straight to the spares box. Great fit over all. I really enjoyed it, though. I don’t know why I’m so fond of rusted blue vehicles. Maybe it’s because of the old SAAB I drove when I was 20. Hm. The only thing I'm not so pleased with is that the dust turned out a little bit too orange. Anyway; hope you like what you see. Til next time, happy modelling! Torbjörn
  4. The tractor was a testbed of sorts: Now to the real thing, the Miniart kit of the SLA APC T-54 with Dozer blade. First a rust primer, then chipping medium, and finally Tamiya XF-18 (blue) and Vallejo 70957 (red, on top of some light dusting of Mig Steel). And you know the feeling when you stop just short of overdoing stripping off the paint after using the hairspray technique? I think I did it just right. Hope you agree. A little weathering (oils and what not) will follow. Stay tuned.
  5. Tiran 4 Sharir Early Type w/Dozer Blade (37044) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd During the fighting with Syria and Egypt that plagued the Middle East in the 50s and 60s, including the 6-Day War and Yom Kippur, the Israelis had captured many T-54s and T-55s that had been supplied to their opposition by Soviet Russia. Many were taken intact or very nearly so, and with little work they could be pressed into service in Israeli tank battalions, where they were given the name Tiran 1 for the T-54, and Tiran 2 for the more mature T-55. Initially they were used almost unaltered from the original Soviet specification, but as time went on changes were made to the T-54s, which became the Tiran 4. The next upgrade replaced the original smooth-bore 100mm gun with a rifled 105mm gun with fume extractor fitted roughly in the middle of the gun tube, which makes identifying them a little easier. It was given the name suffix “Sharir” after the name given to the gun, which had an amended breech that allowed the loader easier access to complete the task. A number of other upgrades were made including improved sights from their own stock of Sherman tanks, and western auxiliary weapons systems in the coax and crew-served weapons. The new shells also demanded amended stowage, as did the ammo for the machine guns, and the communications equipment was upgraded too. Infra-red was all the rage at the time, so an infrared searchlight with sight at the commander’s position, plus many other improvements to better integrate with the rest of the IDF’s forces. The Kit This is a partial new tool of the base T-54 kit that MiniArt recently tooled, and part of a long line of brand new and highly detailed T-54 and T-55 kits that they are producing on a regular basis over the last year or so. The kit is an exterior kit, so inside the box we find sixty nine sprues in grey styrene, three in clear, an enlarged fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, and a decal sheet, with the instruction booklet having a colour cover that also includes the painting guide for the five decal options. Many of the sprues are from the base T-54 kit, but some have been culled from the recent SLA APC T-54 with dozer blade, which shares the same rear part of the dozer in that kit. Construction begins with the lower hull, which will be familiar to anyone with another T-54 kit, beginning with the lower portion of the hull, which has the axle mounts inserted into the curved sides, then has the torsion bars inserted and the swing-arms attached around them. Armoured covers are fixed around the axles, then the side portions of the hull are made up and added to the sides one at a time, with final drive housings inserted into the holes at the ends. The engine firewall is used to brace the sides, then the glacis plate is prepared, with different parts used depending on whether you are fitting the dozer or not. A choice of bow deflectors is given, and a full set of light cages are made from PE, with the clear lensed lights hiding within, then the assembly is attached to the lower hull along with a small section of the rear bulkhead, then the upper section is detailed with parts and covered by a stowage “bucket” that overhangs the rear of the vehicle. The top surface of the tank is then assembled with turret ring, engine deck with access panels and PE grilles, and a group of straps that stretch across the aforementioned stowage bin. About this time the twin road wheels are made up with caps and attachment pins, plus the drive sprockets and idler wheels, the latter right at the forward edge of the sides of the hull. The fenders that run along the sides of the tank are both detailed with fuel tanks, stowage boxes and fuel lines, plus a number of PE parts that detail the forward mudguards and create cages for fuel cans that are also mounted on the fenders. There are a lot of parts added, including the exhaust, after which they are slotted into the sides of the hull on their tabs. The track links need to be assembled and fitted, with 90 links per side and each link having four sprue gates to clean up, but no ejector pins or sink marks – just excellent detail. They are glue-fit, so are best assembled with liquid glue and wrapped around the wheels while the glue is still “damp” and malleable, then taped, clamped and braced in place to preserve the correct amount of sag where necessary. At the rear of the hull an infantry telephone is installed on a PE bracket, which was one of the extras added to the Tiran 4 to facilitate easier communications between troops and their supporting armour. The turret is next, and there are some spare parts that won’t be used, so take care to clip the correct ones off the sprues. The ring is built first, then slotted inside the lower turret and joined by some small parts of the operating mechanism. The basics of the breech are then made into a sub-assembly and glued in place on the turret lower by two upstands with a pivot point moulded into it that allows the gun to elevate. The upper turret is prepped with track links, hatches on an insert with vision blocks, vents and emergency self-defence Uzi sub-machine guns clipped into place inside the roof. A pair of machine guns are made up on pintle-mounts with ammo boxes and lengths of link connected to the breech, with the larger M2 variant in front of the commander's hatch. The gun tube is a single part that slides into the mantlet inner during the assembly of the two turret halves, and other small parts including aerial bases, the blast bag around the gun (with PE clips), more spare fuel cans and stowage are all added before attention shifts to the dozer blade if you are using it. The dozer blade is a Heath-Robinson affair, with the first job to build up the attachment assembly, which has a large number of parts for its size. It has rams to adjust the angle and deployment of the blade, which is next to be made. The straight rear is firstly glued together with stiffeners and attachment points for the rams created, then mated with the base using three pins at the lower edge, and a small control rod at the top that prevents movement during transport. In addition to the blade, there is also a projection at the centre of the main blade surface, which attaches via two brackets and has a single “foot” at the end, then the whole assembly is glued onto the glacis and the turret is twisted into place on its bayonet fitting. Markings There are five markings options in the box, with scope for creating other vehicle number plates by using the additional digits on the decal sheet. From the box you can build one of the following: Military parade for Israel’s Independence Day, Tel Aviv, 1973 274th Tank Brigade of the IDF, “Yom Kippur War”, the Sinai Peninsula, October 1973 IDF military manoeuvres in the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea, August 1973 IDF, 1973-74 IDF 1970s Options C & D don’t have their serial numbers recorded, which explains the extra digits for you to use as you see fit. Decals are by DecoGraph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) have a long history of re-engineering less than optimum equipment, and the Tiran series is a good example of this. A dozer on a tank is also an attractive option, so this early version will doubtless be popular amongst IDF modellers. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. SKIF T-54 Northern Alliance. When I decide to build a model it has to meet some criteria:- 1/ It must be an interesting subject to research and build. 2/ It must be an accurate and easy to assemble kit. 3/ It must cost around £12. Sometimes I have to relax rule 2 to comply with rule 3 This is one of those times! I bought this kit on Ebay after reading online reviews which were generally unflattering. Upon opening the kit I found that it came with an additional resin turret and hatches. I had intended this model to be a quick 'knock up' but ended up becoming quite involved in it. I am not really interested in absolute accuracy, preferring atmosphere and perhaps a little story telling. This shows an early stage of the build. Note the Trumpeter tracks I bought on Ebay (cheaply) as the kit tracks are really poor. They do not fit over the drive sprockets at all well. I had to cut parts off. As the build goes on the impact of this bothers me less and less. (Purists may not agree but each to his or her own!) The picture also shows attempts to improve the stowage boxes, the brass wire stowage hooks, the distressed tyres and missing wheel hub cover as well as the copper shim exhaust cover made by burnishing a piece of shim over the original. This shows the unsatisfactory track run over the drive sprocket and the representation of the rubber covered fabric material of the mudguards. These were made by cutting Plasticard with serated 'Superscissors'. The tow cable is a commercial item. The cable stowage is of a type seen in the 'Topshots' T-55 walkaround book. It may be correct for certain versions of the T54/55. I don't know and don't really care. The lighting conduits are from plastic rod. The fuel tanks come with the top surface detail raised instead of engraved. The detail was removed and engraved with my famous 55 year old Xacto No1 knife. A nightmare, but worth it in the end. The scratchbuilt cable stowage and fuel pipes (plastic tube and electrical wire) The story so far
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