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Mercedes L 4500


Lummox

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11 minutes ago, Pig of the Week said:

You'd think the hinge pivot pins would be removable so you could quickly remove the sides and make a "flat bed" too..

 

"Pritsche mit Plane und Spriegel" is German, "flat bed" (without bed sides) is un-German.

 

Just take a look:

Wikipedia English

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatbed_truck

switch over to the German version (and back)

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pritschenwagen_(Automobil)

 

You need bed sides, Zis is an order!

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On 5/30/2021 at 8:47 AM, Pig of the Week said:

Interesting, I also notice the thru bolts aren't necessarily in the middle of the planks either.. In fact very close to edge in some cases, This suggests to me there may be a steel backing strip the other side of the planks, which are sandwiched between the two ??

You are right Mr Pig. It does seem that the fastening bolts are not necessarily in the plank centres, in fact it looks to be the exception rather than the rule. The kit does indeed have a backing strip on the other side, the bolts on which won't line up with the etch hinge plate. No getting away from the fact that the lowest bolt is in fresh air :smile:...

74f8d5f8-581a-4d2e-9264-d97f56dfc84d.jpg

 

On 5/30/2021 at 9:25 AM, APA said:

Ha! I totally get the rabbit hole you can go done. It can take some discipline to stop yourself from going in too deep with detail.

 

As for the hinges, if you look at the top set of pics where the hinge is below, this is because the side panels come below the decking and sit in front. In the second set, your option, the side panels sit on top of the decking. (Your first picture with the red square detailing is the exception as it looks like the panel sits on top of the decking but has the lower hinges) Possibly because of different factories, specs over time etc.

 

Either way these are a good use of PE, I approve 😁.

 

As usual, some excellent work 👍🏻👍🏻

 

Cheers Andrew. I don't mind delving into the rabbit holes to be honest - the research is half of the fun!

 

 

On 5/30/2021 at 8:54 PM, Jochen Barett said:

It would be interesting to know wether Mercedes changed the width of the bed when changing the position of the hinges and which version is "early" and which is late, or if it is something linke "Stuttgart plant" vs. "Darmstadt plant" (if they had more than one plant in those days) or "bed made by local GCME company".

With the hinges below the bed and the bed sides ending next to the bed (not on top) they may have gained "two board" in bed width.

One of the versions looks "more elaborate" (getting thinner towards the top) saving some steel, the other version is made of a U-profile, easier to make, more solid, using more steel.

 

You will have to build more than one L 4500.

It's an interesting observation Jochen that the shift of the side panels from the top of the bed to the side would result in more cargo space (assuming the bed retained the same width). I've been trying to establish whether one variant was 'early' and other 'late', but there seems to be no obvious link.

One thing I do know for sure though - there is no chance that I will build another L 4500 :wink:.

 

 

Bench time has been limited recently as the lovely lovely weather has meant there has been no excuse for not painting that fence (and numerous other chores that have been languishing on that 'to do' list). I did, however, find time to add all the shiny stuff to the bed side panel. The process went as follows:

1) Establish a straight edge to keep things in line, and start by adding the upright 'fixing housing' things.

2) Then add the canopy frame 'fixing housing' things using a hinge plate as a spacer.

3) Next add the hinge plates striving to keep everything level.

4) Finally add the end plates...

5e24b7b7-8de3-43a6-bc73-436e4d6f0537.jpg

 

 

So, was all the work worth it?

Well it certainly blings things up a tad, and adds some nice finesse to the fixings (especially when viewed from above)...

4e181465-295f-4223-bd60-f0456b1f6ae1.jpg

 

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Yay, that's one side done! Well apart from the latches and hinge pivots that I'll add when everything is on the bed. Only the other side, the front and the tail-gate to go. 🤪

This will take quite some time. I'm going to dub it 'The Grind' and keep plugging away at it in the background in-between doing other jobs. 

 

Thanks for looking, and let me say that I really appreciate all the interesting comments.

 

Paul.

 

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16 hours ago, Lummox said:

You are right Mr Pig. It does seem that the fastening bolts are not necessarily in the plank centres, in fact it looks to be the exception rather than the rule. The kit does indeed have a backing strip on the other side, the bolts on which won't line up with the etch hinge plate. No getting away from the fact that the lowest bolt is in fresh air :smile:...

+++

Paul.

 

Maybe the sabotage work of some communists/socialists or forced foreign laborers at Mercedes or the French resitance.

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2 hours ago, Jochen Barett said:

sabotage work of some communists/socialists or forced foreign laborers

Talking of sabotage ever come across the story of the eleven unexploded 20mm cannon shells found in the fuel tanks of B17 Tondelayo after a mission?

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3 hours ago, echen said:

Talking of sabotage ever come across the story of the eleven unexploded 20mm cannon shells found in the fuel tanks of B17 Tondelayo after a mission?

You can't keep us hanging with that one echen, go on, spill the beans... :smile:

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Tondelayo returnred with selfsealing tanks holed. The repair shop found 11 unexploded cannon shells in the wing tanks. They unpicked the ordnance and in one shell was a litle scrap of paper. A Czech slave labourer had written "This all we can do for you now.". I think it was in Elmer Bendinners Fall of Fortresses that I read this.

 

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On 6/1/2021 at 9:51 PM, Stef N. said:

Nice clean metalwork and,as you say, the view from above makes the hard graft worth while.

Cheers Stef - the etch certainly does add a little something.

 

On 6/1/2021 at 9:54 PM, Pig of the Week said:

Definitely well worth the effort !

Thanks Mr Pig.

 

I've been doing bit'n'bobs lately that don't seem to amount to a great deal, but I have made a start on the toolbox (well I think it's a toolbox, not sure to be honest) that hangs under the truck bed. The kit provides a box affair (whose fit was far from stellar) with moulded on straps. The Voyager set would have you replace the whole thing with an etch equivalent, which seemed overkill to me as it wouldn't offer any improvement (unless you wanted to present the box open I guess, which I don't). I decided to go with the kit version but dress it up with the etch straps, padlock, etc..

1cb69ac6-b8ab-4d57-839f-e9ba47d50f75.jpg

 

As an aside the Voyager instructions are rapidly falling apart, mainly due to the fact that they are printed on something akin to rice paper which disintegrates if you look at it too hard. 🤪

 

Anyhoo I built and tidied the kit box, and then started work on the etch attachment straps. Should be easy enough, a couple of bends in each strap and slap 'em on the box.

But hang on, what's this? I'll try to explain with the help of the image below (which only shows two straps as I forgot to take a photo when all four were there!). In the left image you can see bend lines for the strap connection points to the bed - all good so far. Flipping the etch over though, you'll see that there are no bend lines for the strap curved bend round the box (see the right image). Instead there is a strange indentation that runs along the strap centre. I don't have a clue what that indentation is supposed to do, but I doubt it's going to help very much in producing four straps with identical bends. Am I being especially dense, or have Voyager dropped the ball here...?

cc458e09-94d1-453b-8c8b-81063f6a9aa7.jpg

 

Having little confidence that I could accurately bend the straps, I thought that a jig would be a good idea. A peg anchors the strap at the right angle bend, then the strap can be bent around another peg set at the correct distance...

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Before you know it, we have four (almost) identical straps...

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All this is a convoluted route to this...

a9ca6e8b-436a-4a2d-86c4-cb339587bdfd.jpg

 

Anyone else think that the right image looks like a cute little beetle? No? Perhaps I've had too much sun.:penguin:

 

Finally, a quick progress update on 'The Grind' - the tailgate is now done...

cf7dd1da-2d34-4da9-9cb2-5ca3e7548843.jpg

 

 

Cheers, and thanks for looking,

 

Paul.

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Looking fab mate.. I know exactly what you mean about the beetle, I'm always thinking up stuff like that too ! 

Making a jig is always good for repetition work, I had to make a load of short steel "ladders'  in 1-1 scale " real life" once when I was working on the railway, and a simple plywood jig made it so much easier, quicker and more accurate !

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Excellent work there Paul. Jigs is what I should be doing and I'm pondering one for the rear frame on my Bedford. I would imagine those little lines are to mark where the bend should be. No other way of showing it I suppose. Two lines for the beginning and end of the bend would be logical but counterintuitive with the rest of the lines on the PE which represent a sharp angle bend. Just a thought.

 

Andrew

 

And yes it is a cute beetle 😁

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On 6/8/2021 at 9:03 PM, Pig of the Week said:

Looking fab mate.. I know exactly what you mean about the beetle, I'm always thinking up stuff like that too ! 

Making a jig is always good for repetition work, I had to make a load of short steel "ladders'  in 1-1 scale " real life" once when I was working on the railway, and a simple plywood jig made it so much easier, quicker and more accurate !

Thanks Mr Pig. I'm always in awe of people who do this kind of thing in 1:1 rather than hammering away at a keyboard in an office

 

On 6/9/2021 at 8:47 AM, vaoinas said:

Impressive work on that truck, mate.
Great attention to detail and very clean detail work.

Cheers vaoinas. Praise indeed given the detail in your awesome Panther.

 

On 6/8/2021 at 9:39 PM, APA said:

Excellent work there Paul. Jigs is what I should be doing and I'm pondering one for the rear frame on my Bedford. I would imagine those little lines are to mark where the bend should be. No other way of showing it I suppose. Two lines for the beginning and end of the bend would be logical but counterintuitive with the rest of the lines on the PE which represent a sharp angle bend. Just a thought.

Thanks Andrew.You may be right about the lines indicating the bounds of the curved bend, although they didn't correspond to the bend that was produced by my jig (which may well suggest that I bent in the wrong place I guess :smile:). Bend lines on Voyager's representation of the tool box made a lot more sense, these being a series of lines that help to formulate the correct curve boundary. I'm not sure why they couldn't have done something similar on the straps to be honest...

5a57a580-f2fa-4722-b5a1-0cacdb7e84ed.jpg

 

 

Today's update starts with an admission of failure. Etch chains and me just don't get on, I just can't seem to get the hang of them. I've tried annealing them, twisting each individual chain link to try to give a 3D look, but whatever I do they always look a bit, well, naff. Here is my attempt at the chain on the tool box. Even the poor photo doesn't help in hiding that fact that to me the chain looks unnatural...

edf845b8-944c-4c72-baf6-39c7f0fdba22.jpg

 

I tried to tweak things, hoped in may look better with the box in situ, but in the end gave up and removed the chain leaving just the padlock. If anyone has any handy hints on dealing with etch chains I'd be eternally grateful...

d6803ede-bbaf-4dae-906e-b5087c6a31d0.jpg

 

Anyway the toolbox is now done. It's just sitting on the bed here, being left unattached to simplify painting...

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The next job on the list is the spare wheel holder, Voyager providing some etch to dress this area...

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Voyager would have you replace the cross brace with a plain strip of brass (B66), but the cross brace in the kit has a moulding that fits into the wheel hub to positively fix the wheel in the correct location. I ignored the etch 'enhancement', choosing to thin the kit cross brace instead... 

c8103e12-5a6b-4ffa-ab42-718056823921.jpg

 

The wheel holder locating holes on the bed were a tad large resulting in a sloppy fit. Some collars were added to improve things....

8c6cb2c6-6e39-49fc-a489-11d11b91e591.jpg

 

...which resulted in a nice solid join (which is good as the holder has to be prised upwards to remove the wheel for painting). This shot shows the moulding on the cross brace that anchors the wheel in the correct position...

e4837396-531f-4be2-bed1-6fc5ab74c2c8.jpg

 

The holder locking bracket is where etch comes to the fore, comparison with the kit equivalent showing a great improvement...

2119dfa0-890e-4766-bf7b-9c0b6d2eba9a.jpg

 

And here we have everything in place (again just sitting there awaiting painting)...

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Finally, a quick update on 'The Grind'. This has been taking the bulk of my bench time, namely the removal of the bench supports on one face, and the removal of detail to be replaced by etch on the other face. It is a mojo killer, but nearly there now...

31d3b7af-3d23-4fbb-a4d5-7ee8833d0e68.jpg

 

 

Cheers, and thanks for looking,

 

Paul.

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4 minutes ago, Pig of the Week said:

All good stuff as usual ! 👍.    tbh, the toolbox looks way better with just the padlock and forget the chain !

I wonder if you can get really tiny, already made proper chain, just out of interest....

Jewellery would be your best bet. I've seen it (absolutely minute necklace chain) but don't know the technical term for the links we need. 

 

Andrew 

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Exemplary etch work here - I can't even imagine dealing happily with such tiny bits of brass. Mine would be covered in superglue and fingerprints (and tiny bits of finger probably).

Ship modellers use various scale chains that are the right pattern. I got a couple of lengths recently, but I'm not sure they'd be small enough for your toolbox.

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12 hours ago, Lummox said:

Today's update starts with an admission of failure. Etch chains and me just don't get on, I just can't seem to get the hang of them. I've tried annealing them, twisting each individual chain link to try to give a 3D look, but whatever I do they always look a bit, well, naff. Here is my attempt at the chain on the tool box. Even the poor photo doesn't help in hiding that fact that to me the chain looks unnatural...

Methinks thou doth sell thyself short. The chain looks fine. OK, so a close up isn't the best way to present it, but once painted and blended in with the rest of the model, it will look fine. If you want real chain, try the Tank Workshop. They sell various thicknesses. Also, if you go online and put in a Google search for fine chain, there are several outlets selling it.

 

John.

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22 hours ago, APA said:

This is going to be a cracker. The wood grain looks nice on the kit. Different to the usual brail dots you can get. 

Thanks Andrew. Although perhaps a tad overstated I quite like the wood grain effect too

 

22 hours ago, Pig of the Week said:

All good stuff as usual ! 👍.    tbh, the toolbox looks way better with just the padlock and forget the chain !

I wonder if you can get really tiny, already made proper chain, just out of interest....

Cheers Mr Pig. Proper chain you say..?

 

21 hours ago, APA said:

Jewellery would be your best bet. I've seen it (absolutely minute necklace chain) but don't know the technical term for the links we need. 

Perhaps the term you're thinking of is 'links per inch' Andrew? The finest chains I've seen are 40 links per inch (though apparently you can get up to 50).

 

10 hours ago, Model Mate said:

Exemplary etch work here - I can't even imagine dealing happily with such tiny bits of brass. Mine would be covered in superglue and fingerprints (and tiny bits of finger probably).

Ship modellers use various scale chains that are the right pattern. I got a couple of lengths recently, but I'm not sure they'd be small enough for your toolbox.

Thanks MM - trust me, there have been a few CA moments! Hmmm, perhaps look at the chains used by our floaty friends..?

 

11 hours ago, Bullbasket said:

Methinks thou doth sell thyself short. The chain looks fine. OK, so a close up isn't the best way to present it, but once painted and blended in with the rest of the model, it will look fine. If you want real chain, try the Tank Workshop. They sell various thicknesses. Also, if you go online and put in a Google search for fine chain, there are several outlets selling it.

Cheers John. You may well be right, I am perhaps beating myself up too much. It's just when something bugs you, you can't quite be at ease with it. I'm not sure that real chain is the answer though, as I'll try to explain...

 

 

With real chains, I've discounted even the finest examples in the past because they're just too damn chunky. I think there is a manufacturing limit to how fine real chains can actually be, the wire used in the individual links can only be of a finite thickness. I've been really impressed with some chains that are incredibly fine, but they still look clumsy compared to PE.

 

The best example I could find was from an old TrackLink article reviewing some 50 link per inch chain: https://www.track-link.com/reviews/2165

The image from the article is included below which compares 50 and 40 link per inch chains with a PE representation. I think it illustrates nicely what I mean about chunkyness...

0f6ead6c-ebf0-43cd-87e0-db37eed14955.jpg

 

True chain definitely has it's uses in some circumstances, but when you get to representing really fine chain, PE is much more delicate and so more to scale (albeit flat).

Just for fun I've composed an etch chain comparison. The left most image is the chain used for the failed attempt on the tool box...

60ff05d8-d072-48ec-a505-b6bb5c5bc624.jpg

 

Running with the pistol port plug chains, this is what they are attempting to replicate (Elefant on the left, Sturmpanzer on the right)...

8d126923-9e29-4228-8c17-62ce975cb318.jpg

 

Dragon attempted to use real chain in their Elefant premium edition kit (6311) but got it badly wrong, the chain being woefully out of scale. They seemed quite pleased with it though as it was featured on the side of the box... :smile:

ac62f76f-7410-4535-845b-2c029d974401.jpg

 

 

I used the Voyager pistol port chain on my Sturmpanzer. Although not entirely happy with it, I can live with it...

b77a1fa9-8fff-45fc-9a21-8a58a781c206.jpg

 

Perhaps John is right and I should have given the tool box chain another chance, waiting to see how things looked under paint. Lesson learned I guess.

 

As an aside, I did see an article once where a maritime modeller was replicating fine chain by braiding wire and then flattening using pliers. As I recall the end result looked pretty impressive. I'll try to find the article again as it may be worth a go in the future.

 

Another rambling post I'm afraid, but thanks for the comments, and thanks for looking,

 

Paul.

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I agree that whatever real chain you can fined it will be over scale for the finer stuff at 1/35. The chains they would use would be, what, 10mm to 20mm dia at most, probably finer so you would need something 0.2 to 0.4mm at most. I don't think that exists. I did some research after posting last night and the jewelry  terms I found were 'Rolo' and 'Link' for the simple 90deg alternating simple loops. The size is measured in gauge with higher the number the finer it is. The finest standard gauge is 32. They still look a little chunky. (I swear I remember a previous Mrs APA, or was it the present Mrs APA🤔 had a necklace that was ridiculously fine and a simple link. You were afraid to even touch it, it was that fine. I thought to myself that would be handy for models)

 

As for PE chain the technique I use is to hold all the chain except the first link in a pair of pliers and use your finest point tweezers to twist the first link 90deg. Pull the next link out of the pliers and repeat. I then roll the chain very gently under something softish like an eraser. This straightens it out nicely otherwise the end result is too wiggly and unnatural and will never look right. When you apply it to your model the secret is to get the attachment right. If it's glued in place at both ends pointing directly down (Or whatever natural angle it should be) then the rest is just a case of bending to get that sag.

 

Andrew

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On 6/16/2021 at 8:56 PM, Pig of the Week said:

Yep "proper" chain I was thinking tiny jewellery chain or something, but that's been covered by the guys above, and seems that in smaller scales "real" chain is still too big, was just a thought ! 

I knew what you were driving at Mr Pig, but my poorly worded reply confused matters I think.

 

On 6/16/2021 at 9:56 PM, APA said:

As for PE chain the technique I use is to hold all the chain except the first link in a pair of pliers and use your finest point tweezers to twist the first link 90deg. Pull the next link out of the pliers and repeat. I then roll the chain very gently under something softish like an eraser. This straightens it out nicely otherwise the end result is too wiggly and unnatural and will never look right. When you apply it to your model the secret is to get the attachment right. If it's glued in place at both ends pointing directly down (Or whatever natural angle it should be) then the rest is just a case of bending to get that sag.

Thanks for the tips Andrew - I'll try that next time 👍

 

 

Continuing to work on the underneath of the bed, jerrycan holders were next on the list. The Voyager set provides two holders, one single, and one double. Their placement on the bed is pretty vague (not helped by the fact that the instruction print quality is not the best)...

104ee01a-35ba-4496-b7b3-c2f9d40c362a.jpg

 

Surprisingly the holders were tricky to form, the delicacy of the etch making it hard to keep the bends at true right angles. I ended up attaching the locking straps temporarily with lead wire so that it could help to brace the structures. Eventually we arrived at something that was passable, these being attached to the bed at some 'best guess' locations...

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Now we have some holder I guess we need some jerrycans to go in them. The Voyager set provided some elements to dress the cans, but no cans are provided in the host kit. An ancient Tamiya fuel drum set was therefore dredged deep from the bowels of the stash...

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Using a mixture of the etch and some scratch building, we soon had some blinged up jerrycans. As I have aspirations for some kind of refueling scene I thought I'd attempt to portray one of the cans open as if awaiting a top up...

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Putting everything together we end up with this (again the locking strap is only roughly fastened temporarily)...

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Something does confuse me though. If the locking strap is pivoted at one end and locked at the other, how do you get the cans in/out if the strap passes through the can handles? Would you have to unlock and unpivot the strap each time you access the cans? Seems a bit of a faff...

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Finally, we have an update on 'The Grind'. Three sides are done, the bell has gone for the last lap...

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Cheers, and thanks for looking,

 

Paul.

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On 6/21/2021 at 9:29 PM, Pig of the Week said:

The detail on this is looking really excellent now ! 

Thanks Mr Pig, nice of you to say.

 

 

I've moved onto the final job for the underneath of the bed, and that's the mudguards. First thing to do is some thinning on the guard edges, which is tedious, but makes a big difference. I'll leave it to you to work out which is the before and after :smile: ...

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The Voyager set provides some replacements for the guard supports, which are very nice, but I've chosen to ignore them. Why? Well I'll try to explain...

86fccfbd-a1ae-4c39-832c-3954e5e394ef.jpg

 

The mudguards are handed, with circular indentations on one side, and slots on the other...

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The kit guard supports are moulded onto the bed cross members, having corresponding circle and slot nubs to positively locate the mud guards...

79127126-bea7-4422-8efa-d360c63d1363.jpg

 

All this adds up to a cute piece of engineering by Zvezda, resulting in idiot proof positioning of the mudguards, to not only give the correct 'skewed' orientation (the back of the guard being lower that the front), but also maintaining the slight gap between the top of the guard and the bed. The example pictures illustrate that the kit captures the look of the mudguards nicely (the examples are also interesting in that the first appears to have oversize wheels, and the second has all kinds of strange paraphernalia hanging under the bed!)...

93704860-3074-45d2-b046-f8566059bc9d.jpg

 

So why did I ignore the etch guard supports? Well I reckon it would have been a jolly tricky job to achieve the correct guard orientation using the etch, the kit supports doing the positioning heavy lift for you. Yeah, the kit supports are a tad thick, but I can live with them if it means the guards are located correctly. It speaks volumes that the example on the Voyager web site has the mudguards all wrong :smile: ...

7be4e4c6-e3b2-40a0-944d-dc51191cc006.jpg

 

Although the etch guard supports weren't used for their intended purpose, they weren't consigned to the spares box in their entirety.  Chop off the bottom of the supports at the bend lines and the resultant 'attachment plates' can be used on the inside of the mudguards to replace the nondescript offerings in the kit...

a24a8c64-3235-46da-908f-40b588e34df1.jpg

 

This is worth doing as the internal supports are quite visible when the wheels are in place...

c96b1270-6cf3-4e6f-b5e2-d4bea55be3a6.jpg

 

 

Now for a progress report on the 'The Grind'. To mix some sporting metaphors, I was hoping for a cruise down the home straight, but the final bed side threw a couple of curve balls my way. We're dealing with the following etch to dress the front bed side...

06895081-d6fc-4729-9396-e617d404402f.jpg

 

Nothing too different to what has been done before, but I had a devil of a job getting the long vertical U shaped braces straight and true. Following the initial bends the brace had a wicked twist, and one side of the U appeared to be longer than the other...

bdcc36d8-c7a4-4b1c-8075-c6ccf4354774.jpg

 

I assumed that I'd messed up the bends somehow, but couldn't understand what I may have done to cause the problem. Having a closer look at the remaining piece of etch, the bend lines didn't look to be truly parallel, the sides of the U were different widths, and the rivet line in the middle wasn't in the middle. Hard to photograph, and I'm not sure that the red lines help much, but I did try...

7822efa9-7283-47cd-8208-fb4d4b342ad2.jpg

 

Unsurprisingly the second U brace ended up much like the first, being as twisted as a twisty thing in a Bill Haley song. Anyhoo, after much cursing, bending, hammering, bending, and cursing, I got them to something approaching usable. They still look like bananas, but as this will be behind the cab I'm hoping the worst of it will be hidden...

4903b230-4e5c-49c2-9fbe-10803adf202e.jpg

 

With that over, I moved on to the holders for the tarpaulin frame things (what are these actually called?) when they are not in use. These are definitely at the limit of my soldering capabilities, but they certainly are an improvement on the kit offerings...

c357a5db-6902-4f25-a33d-710a872a37d0.jpg

 

But, wait, there is a problem here, locating the holders as per the instructions isn't going to work very well...

c344955f-e19a-4c6c-ba51-d3d94827e448.jpg

 

The holders need to be offset so they can accept the frames, as can be seen from these examples where the holders protrude from the bed side. I'll have a ponder on what to do about this as there's not going to be enough 'meat' on the holder brackets to attach securely (just that one screw holding 'em on!)...

44654287-c35d-47fe-b067-af3243b2345f.jpg

 

 

Bit of a ramble post this one - sorry about that. Cheers, and thanks for looking,

 

Paul.

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