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The end of the beginning


When building these models I generally reach a point where most or all of the main structural elements are finished and most of the remaining work involves detailing, painting and decaling. With this project I believe that I have now reached that point. Most of the 'big bits' are finished and the thing all fits together quite nicely.


Quite nicely except for this gaping great gap here that has been bothering me for ages and that I have kidded myself will be OK with a bit of filler.  Filler might fix this but it promises to be a very bodgy fix and I have been determined from the start to try to build this model as 'precisely' as possible. So let's have a go at fixing it properly.



First cut the triangular wedge off the front of the shurzen.  (I believe that's the correct German term for this type of side-armour. Feel free to correct me if need be).



Now sand away some of the excess thickness in the underlying structure that was causing the shurzen to stick out too far.



Re-measure the entire wedge shaped component, cut out a new one and stick it on with some very bodgy-looking plastic strapping behind the skirt, none of which will ever be shown on this forum.



I also took the opportunity to fashion the first part of the little box thing that sits on the top of the glacis plate on the port front of the hull. 

The whole thing fits together much better now and looks much more satisfactory.



Now I think I really have reached the structural 'high-water' mark on the build. All of the major large shapes are complete and fit together quite nicely. Now I must start on the details - starting with the ones that will be hardest to access when the permanent assembly begins.  The drawing stuck on the side of balsa block below shows the detailing that must go onto the side of the hull behind the wheels and under the side skirts. There's quite a bit of detail here and although it will be partially obscured by the side skirts and the wheels I think that if its not added the whole vehicle will look unconvincing. 



Let's start with these little dudes. I'm not sure what they are called but there's one behind / beside each roadwheel.  Strangely their curvature is exactly the same as that found on a 1/144 De-Haviland Tiger Moth rudder.  So let's use one of those as a marking up template! Use a scalpel to cut out the base plate.



Use a disc-cutting set to cut out the larger of the circular disks on top of the base-plate...



and some circular punch-pliers for the smaller discs.



Stick-em all together...



and finish with this little detail in the center of each piece.  These are children's 'art beads' used for carrying out a sort of plastic form of embroidery; you are supposed to embed these little different coloured beads into a lattice to make pictures. That's all good - but we of course have a better use for them!  The little beads have a flat backing and a satisfactory dome shape on their front. They respond perfectly to model building cement and are as cheap as chips (I got about 500 for $2.00 at the local reject shop.) These are a very useful detailing item and am likely to buy more if the opportunity arises.



I also had to make six of the little bracket things that you can see in the photo below (three each side). These are very simply made from 'H' section evergreen strips cut into thin slices, small squares of gridded card and a couple of little 'bolts' cut from evergreen fine circular section rod.  Quite straightforward really.



This is my Eduard 1/48 P39 Q Airacobra.  Built about six years ago.  I put it here because this kit has been an absolute hero WRT providing excess unused parts for scratch-building. It provided the gunsight for my Mig15, the windlasses on RMS Carpathia and now....



the rear shock-absorber fluid / pressure reservoirs (I'm guessing that's what they are) on the PZH 2000. These are made from four half-section unusued bombs from the Airacobra kit and they bear a very strong - but perhaps not perfect - resemblance to the real things.  I have said it before; when the universe gives you a gift like this just smile and accept it! 👍 



Now there are four more little durverlacky's that must be made. I'm not even going to guess what they are but here's how to make them. Get a piece of dowel and chuck it into a powerdrill and then use the drill as a sort of makeshift lathe.  Not really the best practice from an OHS perspective but there's no need to run the drill full speed and if you take your finger off the trigger it all comes to a stop pretty quickly.



Fiddle-faddle a bit with the resulting bits and make these little thingos - which must now be superglued onto the side of the hull.



Here's how it all looks when done. 



And now - just to make the point that we really have reached the end of the beginning - hit the entire underside of the hull with a couple of coats of grey primer.  Mr Hobby 1500 in case anyone is interested.



And here's how she looks with the side of the hull primed and all of the major bits temporarily put together. 



From here on I'm expecting that most of the work will be detailing & painting - at least I hope-so anyway. If I start having to build really big pieces from scratch again something's gone wrong.


Best Regards,

Bandsaw Steve 😎





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Gidday Steve, I have to agree, I think the sides could have looked a little bland without the detail you've added. Plus I think it's consistent with the detail that's gone into the wheels.

     It's interesting that you've made good use of the parts of the P-39. Using them for another aircraft build I can understand, but aircraft parts for a ship, and now a tank (sort of)? That's ingenuity. However I'm a bit concerned about your choice of title at the beginning of the post. I think it was Churchill that said that, and when he did the war still had about three years to run. 😲 Are you trying to hint/tell us about the expected longevity of this build? 😁

     Regards, Jeff.

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Cripes. It better not be three years!


I’m hoping to have this one on the tables at WASMEx 2021 (01 May) along with the Avro 504 and Baby Bandsaw’s Hogwarts Express. 

So there’s no time for messing about. 👍

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Great work and photo descriptions as usual!

Where did you find the  disc-cutting set I see?

Is the WASMEx 2021 the model show I've been to occasionally in Cannington? Definitely need to go next year and see your stuff in the flesh!

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1 hour ago, Clogged said:


Where did you find the  disc-cutting set.

Is the WASMEx 2021 the model show I've been to occasionally in Cannington? Definitely need to go next year and see your stuff in the flesh!

 Hi @Clogged


The disc cutting set came from Murray Burfitts’s small tools store which has an online outlet and is a regular vendor at WASMEx.


Yes WASMEx is the annual model show for Western Australia and is held at the Cannington Agricultural Exhibition Grounds. 

2020 was canceled for COVID but we are planning to return in 2021. The planned dates are 01 & 02 May. I will be there and an hoping to have three models on the competition tables. 

Should be a big show with two year’s worth of work on display.



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Love the lateral thinking and spare model part recycling. Thats proper modelling that is.

When life gives you lemons scratch build a giant lemon-flinging trebuchet and decorate it with the spare parts of other failed siege engines.


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A Brief Diversion


Progress on the PZH 2000 continues and there will be another update soon.  In the meantime, let's allow ourselves a brief diversion.


Pop Bandsaw - that's my dad - lives in Christchurch New Zealand and is an accomplished model builder who has enjoyed scratch-building a wide variety of subjects over the last 40 years or so.  


As Pop is not especially keen on these fangled computer things (are any of us?) he doesn't have all the guff required to post here so I've taken it upon myself to share a photo of his AFV collection here.  


These are all 100% scratchbuilt, 1/32 scale models. They are mostly constructed from high-quality cardboard and assembled with PVA and 'Ados  Contact Adhesive' which is a kind of superglue generally used by upholsterers to hold fabric to wood. Pop's an upholsterer by trade & so bought some fairly specialized tools and methods to each of these.





I think I know what each of these are but rather than itemize them all here will leave it open as an AFV recognition competition for anyone who wants to have a crack.


First respondent to get all seven correct will win either:

  • $100 billion worth of unmarked gold bullion or
  • 'Eternal Glory',

whichever the judge (that's me) decides to award on the day.

The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


I note that the A7V is missing. That's the one that Pop was building when he accidentally punctured his ear-drum by scratching the inside of his ear with a 1/32 scale machine gun. 😱   Ah... Memories eh!


Anyway - as you can probably gather - much of my life-long interest in building models stems from watching dad build these and many other projects.  So thanks for that Pop!  I'm trying to pass some of that interest to my own kid - Baby Bandsaw - and the results to date (and some more of Pop's work on page nine) can be seen on this thread...




Am aiming for an update on the PZH2000 later today.


Stay safe, and don't stick any machine guns in your ears...


Bandsaw Steve


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Gidday Steve, These are very good models by Pop Bandsaw, and the detail such as rivets etc would have convinced me they were kits, had you not told us otherwise. As I know very little about AFVs of any era, and about 1% of zilch of what appears to be WW1 I'll have to pass on the $100 billion gold bullion or the eternal glory. 😪 The vehicle at left bottom shelf looks a bit familiar, but the one above it with the red and white stripes looks to me like the designers couldn't decide which was the front. Still, I guess it was pioneering days for AFV designers back then.

     I've been waiting avidly for any more progress on Baby Bandsaw's project, particularly now that's she's on a deadline. But I suppose that the last few weeks of school gets a bit busy. However, now that there is only one week to go I expect, no DEMAND (like that'll do any good 😁) a progress report no later than next Sunday evening!

      So regards, and I promise not to stick any machine guns in my ears. Regards, Jeff.

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36 minutes ago, Clogged said:

I'm afraid I can only recognse the Whippet and Mk1 lower right corner.  Is that a French tank on the right middle shelf?

Well then....

No hundred billion for you!

It’s all or nothing... 😀

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Stay safe, and don't stick any machine guns in your ears...


Bandsaw Steve

Sounds like good advice!  Nice selection of AFVs from Pop Bandsaw.  No idea what they are but some look familiar.  My dad pulled a motorised British Army Chieftan from the cupboard when I was a kid.  Never knew before that had any model making experience.  He did his national service in the Royal Engineers & was always in to HGVs & pretty much anything with an engine.  He made a few more kits when I was growing up and took me to airshows where I got the bug for flying things.  He is still about & likes to see my latest builds.  Did try to get daughter building kits & she did a BAE Hawk but didn’t really get any further although she is far more artistic than me.  Teenagers & phones don’t make for many hobbies.

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Back to the Tracks


Right - enough of the diversions - let's get back to the main game which in this case was always going to be how to make the tracks.


When I started this project I genuinely had no idea how I would make the tracks and the challenge that presented was part of the appeal.  Here's where I've got to after the latest round of 'three steps forward - two steps back'. All of the errors and reversals are at least part of the reason why there may appear to have been little recent progress on this. Take it as read that all of the faffing about and dead-ends have been edited out of this post.  


Firstly - the tracks need some more external detail, and having studied several photos of the real thing I realized that what I had so-far was far too '2D'.  I needed to boost up the pads on the outside of the tracks. This is a fairly straightforward process, just mark out a series of small squares as shown.



Then cut them out and stick them on with everyday modelling cement. No sweat really, just a bit time-consuming.



Here I've also added some bits of plastic rod in between each link.  This is a somewhat arbitrary detail but it makes the track look more convincing; a bit more 'mechanical'.  Subsequently I also added some more tiny little rectangles on the centreline to suggest that each pad is linked to it's twin, just like on the real thing.



At this point - and at the completely wrong point in the build since I should have done this before shaping the entire plastic strip - I decided that this needs some more detail on the inside surface as well. So here I've marked up the position of each link...



and scribed each one with an Olfa cutter.



If you want to do any scratch-building, sooner or later you are likely to need a means to make lots and lots of small circular plastic discs. Here's my current weapon for this purpose and here is the first batch of the roughly 250 3mm disks that I'm going to need.



Here's where the first ones go... there are plenty more to follow.



Now switch to a bigger hole cutter / disc maker. Each of these are 6mm across. Note when using one of these things it's a good idea to work over a bowl so that the carpet monster doesn't get over-fed.



Now stick two little 3mm discs on the side of each 6mm disc and cut the larger disc twice as shown to leave a sort of 'almost oval' shape with two little ornamental circles on it representing articulation points.



Each 'oval' gets stuck on the side of the track as shown. Note that their dimensions are specifically cut to ensure that the cogs on the drive wheel interleave with the ovals - just like on the real thing.  Here I'm using Tamiya thick cement - for strength - but applying it with a Tamiya thin cement brush (the green top brush). This gives the accuracy of the smaller brush but the adhesive strength and longer working time of the thick cement.  Crazy risk-taking stuff huh!  Just the kind of on-the-edge dude I am... 😎



Here's what it looks like up close - I'm pretty happy with this!



And in place I think it's looking reasonably convincing. It'll look even better when the teeth are added to the inside of the track.



and from the front, ditto. Better than I might have hoped.



Unfortunately, this is as far as I'm likely to get for a little while.  That plier punch that I've shown you is a very cheap item and already the 3mm punch has gone blunt to the point where it crushes and tears the plastic rather than cutting it. So for now this is as far as I can go,  until I get a new / better one.


Still - there's plenty more other stuff to carry on with.


Hoping to post again soon. 

Bandsaw Steve


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Hi Steve, to save you from the tedium of cutting thousands of discs, put a latex mould and resin casting kit on your Christmas list - I didn't use any on my Wolseley, but did on my whippet...

....it's great for those repetitive tasks!

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7 hours ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

What's the maximum thickness styrene you've been able to punch through with that sort of punch? Regards, Jeff

so far 2mm with one of the larger punches. It managed that easily enough and I reckon it would do 3mm if pushed hard.


Hi @Model Mate


Good suggestion. The wheels on this thing were my first ever attempt at moulding and I can foresee some more in my future. I have a lot to learn about casting. In the meantime I actually don’t mind some of these repetitive tasks; as long as the process is working as intended they can be quite therapeutic. 👌


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Nice to see that someone's scratching is crazier than mine.  Great job Stave!

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