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A13 Mk.ll, Cruiser Tank Mk.lVa.

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Having recently posted an A13 in the RFI section, I was keen to have another go at one of these nice little models from Bronco. I’ve had this in the stash for a number of years now, having picked it up for a bargain price at the Saumur model show. I say bargain because not only was the price good, but it came with two sets of Miniart figures, all for the desert, which was handy as I intend to finish this as a North Africa based tank.

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This was one of the later issues of Bronco’s A13 and I’m glad to say that they made some modifications, such as individual link tracks and corrected the engine deck. There are four options on the decal sheet, three in N.Africa and one in France. The three N.African ones are all finished in differing versions of the Caunter scheme, so hopefully, I’ll be able to pick up a paint set at Saumur, weekend after next.

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Also included are a couple of etched sheets which negates the need to spend out more money on AM sets. All in all, this should be a pleasant build. If memory serves me right from the last Bronco A13 that I built, it doesn’t hold any nasty surprises.

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Update soon. Thanks for looking.

 

John.

 

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Interesting looking project, mind if I sit in and watch?

 

  Roger 

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I picked up one of these a couple of months ago, so I will be following along, mine's going to be a N.Africa one too, although I really should finish off at least one of the Sherman Vc, Cromwell, Comet, Centurion and Chieftain that are all sitting semi-finished in the stash before starting another.

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1 hour ago, Hamden said:

 

Interesting looking project, mind if I sit in and watch?

 

  Roger 

You're very welcome Roger. Glad to have you watching.

 

John.

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23 minutes ago, AntPhillips said:

I picked up one of these a couple of months ago, so I will be following along, mine's going to be a N.Africa one too, although I really should finish off at least one of the Sherman Vc, Cromwell, Comet, Centurion and Chieftain that are all sitting semi-finished in the stash before starting another.

Such a familiar story Ant. I've got three Shermans, one Centaur, an A9 and a Chaffee in various stages of build. There are probably others buried in the cupboard of doom.

 

John.

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Nice looking set of stuff there John......try it in the "rubble" camo' in place of the Caunter........although the Caunter seems easier to do on this one than a Matilda with all the rear engine shape etc.........

 

 

I just picked up my first Bronco kit myself  John........a 1937 Opel Olympia Light Saloon for a song, that I intend to paint up in military colours for a Normandy unit.

 

Looking forward to seeing this one go together, if it works out I might consider Bronco's in the future.

 

Redcoat....:yes:

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2 hours ago, Redcoat2966 said:

Nice looking set of stuff there John......try it in the "rubble" camo' in place of the Caunter........although the Caunter seems easier to do on this one than a Matilda with all the rear engine shape etc.........

 

 

I just picked up my first Bronco kit myself  John........a 1937 Opel Olympia Light Saloon for a song, that I intend to paint up in military colours for a Normandy unit.

 

Looking forward to seeing this one go together, if it works out I might consider Bronco's in the future.

 

Redcoat....:yes:

'Afternoon Simon. I might be tempted with the rubble cammo on another A13. This on is going to be Caunter with the red/white track guards, but I think that I will spray those colours instead of using the decals. I quite like the Bronco kits, despite the soft plastic. They do tend to over do it though on the number of parts in some cases. I tthink that they use the "Mozart" theory; why use one note when five will do.

 

John.

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This kit has the worst etch ever, really cheap more like a Pot Noodle lid. Apart from that it builds into a nice kit.

 

Darren

 

 

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38 minutes ago, MADMUSKY said:

This kit has the worst etch ever, really cheap more like a Pot Noodle lid. Apart from that it builds into a nice kit.

 

Darren

 

 

You haven't had the pleasure of some of Dragon's etched sheets then. I didn't have any problems with the first A13 that I built, and I've just attached the pieces around the final drive with no problems. True, it's wafer thin, but that allows it to conform to the curves easily. If anything is too thin, I'll just cut a new piece from scrap etched brass.

 

John.

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I tend to stick with Aber or Eduard, sometimes Voyagermodel. I have a stack of Dragon PE building up in the box as it sometimes doesn’t stand up to Brands mentioned.........the one brand of PE I won’t use again is PART from Poland........ now there is a Mozart driven maker......5 parts, instead of one.......more like 25😖

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3 minutes ago, Redcoat2966 said:

I tend to stick with Aber or Eduard, sometimes Voyagermodel. I have a stack of Dragon PE building up in the box as it sometimes doesn’t stand up to Brands mentioned.........the one brand of PE I won’t use again is PART from Poland........ now there is a Mozart driven maker......5 parts, instead of one.......more like 25😖

I tend to agree with you. The only PART that I've used was for 1/48th.

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Ouch ... Tracks are a pain on this one

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'Evening Rob. Are you thinking of the rubber band variety? This one's got the individual links, and as I said in my RFI for my other A13, providing that you make a simple jig, they are not too much trouble, just boring.

 

John.

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Thankfully, Bonco have improved their instruction booklet and the assembly sequences appear to be more logical. That said, the first job was to assemble the lower hull. No real problems, just making sure that all of the pieces of the Christie suspension were fitted in the correct places. There are some etched parts to be glued in place around the final drive housings.

As is always the case, once all of the parts had hardened, I realise that I had glued one side on, 1mm higher than the other, which would have made the upper hull seem to be at an angle. Sadly, there are no locating pins to get it in the right place, plus both outer sides were slightly warped. Every build thread that I’ve read of these Bronco A13’s says the same thing. So with great care, I eased the part off again, and as luck would have it, nothing broke, and it’s now glued in the correct position. Miracles do still happen.

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The Tamiya tape is there because that part had interlocking cut outs in it which stopped the part from lying down properly. Once the glue had set, it was fine.

Those etched parts between the two halves of the drive sprocket were a PITA. They have to be bent around from a flat piece, to form a conical piece, and the ends glued or soldered together. Some kind of former would have been good. Don't ever think about buying one of these for a child or someone inexperienced in kit building.

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I jumped ahead slightly and made a start on the upper hull as I wanted to fit it in place at this point as it was proving to be a bit difficult as the outer parts of the double skinned hull sides were a little warped. On the undersides of the track guards there are several ejector pin marks which I filled with a new (to me) filler from Deluxe Materials in a tube called Perfect Plastic Putty. It’s quite thin but seems to do the job OK, just dries a little powdery.

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As always, thanks for looking.

 

John.

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After much prodding and poking I managed to get the upper hull to sit on top of the lower hull. The problem was that all along the underside of the upper hull, just inside where I filled the ejector pin marks, there are raised ridges which have to go inside the outer parts of the lower hull. They can be seen in the photo of the underside. This proved to be a bit difficult due to the fact that the outer parts were warped. But once they clicked into place, I clamped the upper and lower halves together and ran some MEK into the joints and left it overnight to harden. Job done.

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There’s quite a bit to do around the rear of the hull, because, as is usual with a Bronco kit, everything is made up of multiple parts. The exhaust is no exception. It consists of eight plastic parts and eight etched brass. The outlets of the exhausts are a little on the thin side and solid. To open them up, I (very) carefully ran a sharp blade down them and kept doing this until I had a definite slit. I then opened it up a bit more using a larger blade and finally scraped it with a saw blade.

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I dispensed with some of the etched parts as apart from being very fiddly, they can’t be seen once fixed in place. One of those was the bracket that joins the outlet to the exhaust pipe. Instead I wrapped it with thin strips of masking tape and added small pieces of card. Before fixing the exhaust in place, it needed to be painted because if it were to be left until after final assembly, it would be nigh on impossible to paint it.

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Bronco supply you with a rear stowage bin with moulded on flimsy cans.

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Thanks for looking.

 

John.

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Nice work so far John

 

  Roger

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Nice work.

If you don't mind I shall draw up a chair in the corner and watch with keen interest.

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14 hours ago, Vaastav said:

Nice work.

If you don't mind I shall draw up a chair in the corner and watch with keen interest.

You may have to wait a while as this has been languishing on the shelf of doom for several months now, but thanks for your interest anyway. I'm working my way through the shelf queens gradually, so hopefully, I'll get back to this one soon.

 

John.

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Don't want to be the prophet of doom but I started this model a few years back and got roughly to where you are at now before the whole thing came to crushing halt.

 

Things started to unravel for me when I came to do the tracks.

 

I found that because of the sand shields the tracks really had to be assembled and attached to the model before final construction and painting. The problem was that the contact points between each track link is so minute that with the inevitable handling of the model the tracks literally exploded into many individual segments that could not be placed back together again.

 

There may be aftermarket replacements available now but at the point I built this model I could find nothing.

 

If you can get the kit tracks to work then you are a better man than me. My kit ended up in the bin. 🙁

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I built one of the earlier versions of the Bronco A13, not the one with the rubber band tracks that were too short, but the first one with the individual track links. At first I was a bit daunted by the task of building the tracks, but I made a home made jig and was able to construct them without too much trouble. Admittedly, the sand shields on the A13 Mk.ll Cruiser Tank Mk.lV are a lot smaller than on this one, so I'll take on board what you have said when I get around to finishing this one off.

 

John.

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