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Panzerhaubitze 2000, 1/24 scale, Scratchbuild


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Panzerhaubitzer 2000 - Pzh 2000

 

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in the 1980s the German, Italian and British governments attempted to develop, in collaboration, the next generation of NATO self-propelled Artillery.  For various reasons that project failed. Britain pressed on and successfully developed the AS-90 while the Germans pursued their own project which combined the expertise of leading German companies,  Wegmann, Krauss-Maffei and Rheinmetall to produce the truly awesome Panzerhaubitze 2000. In the 1990's this was arguably  the best Self Propelled Gun in the world and it remains a cutting-edge weapon to this day. Today it is used by several NATO nations including; Germany, Holland, Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Croatia and Hungary.

 

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The Pzh 2000 features an extremely long - 52 calibre - 155mm gun  with a largely automated gun-loading mechanism for very high rates of fire to ranges in excess of 40km. The weapon's fire-control is among the most sophisticated in the world, and allows a single gun to be fired in 'multiple round, simultaneous impact' or MRSI mode. In this mode up to five shells can be fired, each with its own charge and trajectory in such a fashion that all five shells hit the same target at the same moment. The gun is also capable of firing GPS-guided precision rounds with a circular impact error of about 1.5m. 

 

The Pzh 2000 has seen a significant amount of action in Afghanistan where both Dutch and German examples have been used to provide fire-support to the International Security Assistance Force.  This was the first time that the German Army has used artillery in combat since the end of WW2.

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One day while on my lunch break (long before all this COVID 19 business broke out)  I was checking out a little-visited corner of the local gaming / model / bookshop and found this in among a pile of largely neglected publications.

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Upon opening the book I was greeted with this fold-out (and there are front and rear views on the flip side too).  Now this might just be the most exciting centre-fold I've ever seen. :thumbsup:
In any case, a few minutes later the book was purchased.

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About a week later I had decided that this project was going ahead but that 1/35 just wasn't big enough. I took the book to my local printing / copying shop and got the drawings enlarged to 1/24 scale and copied 8 times. I got one 'master set' laminated.

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And now we are off... Let's scratchbuild one of these things! 

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This is going to be an unusual build for me because much of the work will be done in plastic card, but I want a good solid wooden hull to work from so I'm starting with this block of 'Liquid Ambar' - a superb carving wood - which needs to be cut to the correct size.

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Here's the first cut of the entire project.

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Here's the interpreted curve on the leading edge of the hull being marked out...

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and here it is being carved to shape.

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Then rasped prior to a final filing and sanding smooth.

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OK - looks about right.

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Now I use the bandsaw to cut the wood to exactly the correct width for the hull. The bandsaw! Best tool in the shed!

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And following a bit of research (especially looking at photos) and some ‘interpretive’ carving and cutting at the rear of the hull I have this basic starting point.

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After two years of slaving away building a WW1 Biplane (an Avro 504 to be precise) I'm dead keen to work on this project which promises a complete change of subject and modelling method.

 

I hope that some of you will follow along and see what comes of this little venture.

 

Bandsaw Steve 

 

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2 hours ago, Stef N. said:

This looks like a really interesting project. Will be following along. Good luck👍

Thanks Stef N. It’s a bit of a change of subject for me so yes; should be interesting.

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What are you doing up here? I thought you’d decided to go to sea after the Avro??

 

I can’t keep up with you - planes, trains, ships and now a tank?!?


As a thought, are you going to be building the tank transporter to go with this beast? And, before anyone else asks, will it have lights and a smoke machine to simulate the gun firing?

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6 hours ago, brianthemodeller said:

What are you doing up here? I thought you’d decided to go to sea after the Avro??

 

I can’t keep up with you - planes, trains, ships and now a tank?!?


As a thought, are you going to be building the tank transporter to go with this beast? And, before anyone else asks, will it have lights and a smoke machine to simulate the gun firing?

 

Well,  the Avro is now finished and in the cabinet, the Hogwarts express is my daughter’s project (and seems to be temporarily on hold) the SS Xantho is at this point is in the research phase. So this is my only active build at the moment.

 

Tank Transporter?   No!

 

Smoke and lights? Probably not- although some of the work people do with LED’s and ‘smoke’ to make explosions these days is incredibly good.

5 hours ago, DAG058 said:

Watching with great interest! 

Great! I’m very pleased to hear it! 👍


You are most welcome.

 

 

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Hull

 

Righto you lot! This is army stuff now - not Air Farce! So let's get on with it and be a bit 'mission focused'.  Let's press on with the Hull. 

 

There are going to be two materials used far more extensively in this build than in any of my other Britmodeller projects. The first is evergreen styrene sheet. In the photo below you can see the bit that’s cut to shape to form the left side of the hull. The 'cuttting-to-shape' bit is fairly easy really so no photos. Just mark out which shape you want on one of the non-laminated sets of plans, then cut out that particular bit of paper, stick it onto a bit of sheet plastic - using spray on photo adhesive - and using the paper as a pattern cut the plastic to the required shape. Use white spirit to remove the paper and glue. The only real trick I've found is to use a Stanley blade for cutting this thick plastic (it's about 2mm) rather than a scalpel. Scalpel blades break too easily.   Also note that it's a good idea to use a steel rule as a straightedge and to run the knife lightly many times rather than trying to cut too deeply straight away.

 

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Once the styrene is ready, go to the wooden cut-out of the hull and score some cross-hatching on the side of it. 

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Now slop on copious Amounts of cyanoacrylate and glue the plastic onto the wood. It's not rocket science this stuff you know.  🚀

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Now to the other bit of 'seldom previously used' material. MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard). I think this stuff is widely overlooked in the world of modelling - but it's cheap, plentiful and versatile; with a bit of care you can do some really good work with it. In this case we just need to cut it to the correct width.

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Then doubling it up on itself to fill in the void on the top half of the hull.  I'm determined to make this damned model strong enough to last a good long while, so a solid block of MDF and wood in the centre of the thing seems like a good idea.

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At the rear of the hull a couple of steps of MDF stick out like this. That's no good so...

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Take a plane (not an Air Force plane but a proper plane) and angle them off.

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Leaving this. It's a bit rough but this will be covered with a sheet of styrene soon enough.

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Now to the front of the vehicle. 

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Cut some more appropriately shaped bits of MDF. In this case a mere 3mm wide.

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Cut some slots in the other bits of MDF and...

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Voila! The start of a Pzh-2000 hull. Sorta...

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Of course there's an awfully long way to go on this project, but so far so good!  No major dramas yet, but don't worry folks, as you military types well know; no plan ever runs smoothly, so I'm sure something will go horribly wrong sooner or later and that will be fun to watch! 

 

Bandsaw Steve

 

 

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Bloody hell Steve, what are you up to now! Anyways, what you're doing looks fantastic and you've actually got your namesake out and in use, good show. I'll tag along and watch your creation come alive.

 

Stuart

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On 07/04/2020 at 02:21, Courageous said:

Bloody hell Steve, what are you up to now! Anyways, what you're doing looks fantastic and you've actually got your namesake out and in use, good show. I'll tag along and watch your creation come alive.

 

Stuart

:ditto:  I couldn't have said it better.  I'll be following along as well. :popcorn:

 

John

 

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On 4/7/2020 at 2:26 AM, Bandsaw Steve said:

I’ve decided I want to make my collection as eclectic as I can manage.

 

Eclectic?  Yes.  Eclectic.  Let's go with that shall we.

 

 

rather than a stonking big chopping blade to cut through the styrene, have you tried scoring it with the scalpel blade then folding along the line?  It should snap cleanly along the slice.

 

 

I can see the young lady in the haberdashery shop grinning already

 

 

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9 hours ago, Gorby said:

how you doing the tracks?

Come on Gorby! You have been watching my work long enough now to know that I have no plan at all. If anything I’ll look at some of your scratchbuilt tanks and just do whatever you do!

 

 

3 hours ago, Clogged said:

I think MDF is great stuff to use as well.  Haha 😂you might need to get hold of a mask,  to avoid the  toxic dust it produces when cutting.


That’s actually a very good point! 🤔I’m generally not too concerned about sawdust in the air because in model building we are only making small cuts once every so often but I’m using the bench sander more and more these days and who knows what chemicals go into MDF.

 

 

45 minutes ago, hendie said:

 

rather than a stonking big chopping blade to cut through the styrene, have you tried scoring it with the scalpel blade then folding along the line?  It should snap cleanly along the slice.

 


I’m not sure  I could ever score as often as you do Hendie. 


 

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3 hours ago, bar side said:

Not going to use the wood as a vacform buck are you?

No. Just using the wood as a solid core to build onto. Theoretically I Guess I could make the whole thing out of styrene sheet and leave it hollow but I’m not that experienced with building with plastic sheet so I’m essentially building the basic shapes in wood and then ‘skinning’ it with plastic. 

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On 4/4/2020 at 10:00 PM, Bandsaw Steve said:

Now this might just be the most exciting centre-fold I've ever seen. 

Gidday Steve, you need to have a serious talk on the facts of life.

 

7 hours ago, hendie said:

have you tried scoring it with the scalpel blade then folding along the line?  It should snap cleanly along the slice.

Actually, with straight cuts in thick styrene this works quite well. HTH. Regards, Jeff.

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2 minutes ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Gidday Steve, you need to have a serious talk on the facts of life.

 

OK Jeff...

What is it you want to know? 🤔

 

2 minutes ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

 

Actually, with straight cuts in thick styrene this works quite well. HTH. Regards, Jeff.

Careful Jeff...

I have found that agreeing with Hendie just tends to encourage him. 😕

 

 

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Hull - Part 2

 

Not much to say really; have to carry on building the hull. Just following on from the previous post which got us this far...

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More and more I'm finding uses for balsa. I used to shun the stuff as too soft and too fluffy but it does have it's uses.  I learned this trick from @Marklo who builds a lot of his aircraft models this way. Basically cut out the cross-section templates of the shape you want and then pack and glue in some balsa blocks between each template.

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Then carve, file and sand the balsa to comply with the shape of the templates. Here it's a very simple shape, just the slope on the front glacis plate. 

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After repeating the first line of balsa you are left with this. You could fill in the gap entirely if you wanted but in this case I saw no need..

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Now using a bit of 'Power Grip' glue - a new type of glue to me but one that allegedly 'outperforms superglue' - just smear some all over the top of the hull where some cross-hatching has been pre-cut...

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and stick a sheet of plastic card onto the top of the hull.

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To leave this... which even looks slightly clean after a rub down with some Isopropyl alcohol.

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Now repeat the process on the glacis plate and mix up some car bog filler to fill the worst of the gaps. 

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Leaving this...

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Which after a bit of sanding and an application of grey Tamiya filler will leave a clean basic outline of a Pzh 2000 hull. As mentioned before, there's nothing about this shape that could not have been made purely out of  styrene sheet but since it's now full of wood and MDF this structure is very strong and should last for a very long time indeed. Assuming of course that 'Power Grip' glue is any good. 

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Note that there's a teeny tiny hole about 3/4 of the way to the rear right in the middle of the top of the hull. This is the point about which the turret will traverse. Next time we will start having a look at that turret.

 

See you soon.

Bandsaw Steve

 

 

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Cool build, Steve. How are you going to do the tracks.? Will retrospectively start following.

 

I've only ever scratched 1/72 armour and subjects with very simple track patterns. Like my current Schneider build, a modern track is going to be quite a challenge. Resin cast from a master?

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Edited by Marklo
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