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Mercedes L 4500

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Not a ramble at all, that was good bit of reporting there!.. Those strut things that you reckon are wavy look fine to me, when in context.. Remember some of the hardware bits of the real truck would've got kicked about, had heavy stuff wallop them, and collect all kinds of damage in real life.

Looking brilliant. 👍

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On 6/29/2021 at 9:04 PM, Pig of the Week said:

Those strut things that you reckon are wavy look fine to me, when in context.. Remember some of the hardware bits of the real truck would've got kicked about, had heavy stuff wallop them, and collect all kinds of damage in real life.

Looking brilliant.

Cheers Mr Pig. Think you are right that these working trucks wouldn't be cherished like your average family motor. I don't think they'd be too bothered about a ding collected in the supermarket car park. :smile:


I've been on a nice little staycation so not too much progress to report on I'm afraid. I won't bore you with too many holiday snaps, but I did have a ride on this beauty (sorry about the rubbish photo but it was a tight platform). Must admit I now have a hankering to build a train but am fighting the temptation... 



I'm very envious of this chap who surely must have the best job in the world. No wonder he's smiling... :wink:




Anyhoo, there has been some further progress on 'The Grind' related to the hinge pivot fixture things (which truth be told I'd kinda forgotten about)...



Initially I struggled to find some appropriate diameter wire, the 0.5mm provided by Voyager being just too big and 0.3mm being far too loose. Fortunately I remembered some 0.4mm lead wire, which like Goldilocks was just right. Amazing how teeny fractions can make such a difference...



We're dealing with some pretty small parts here, namely the etch hinge brackets and some 2mm pieces of the lead wire...



I briefly contemplated making the hinges 'work', but then came to my scenes and decided to have them fixed in the 'up' position (don't want to hide that lovely chassis now do we!)  Some time later, after much fiddling and a bit of cursing, we end up with this...





I've dug out an older photo to try to illustrate how the etch improves the kit offerings. Quite pleased with it to be honest, I think all the work was definitely worth it...



Cheers, and thanks for looking,





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The truck parts are looking top class... as we now expect from your good self !👍

Nice locomotive BR standard class 5 isn't it ?

Funnilly enough I'm making a 1/35  German 52 class locomotive, trumpeter kit, I've got a thread on it, way back, in armour, have a look !.. I'm having a bit of a long break from it at the mo, mainly due to the kit being a terrible parts fit and full of ejector marks, i got a bit p!ssed off with it and I thought I'd do some other things till I fancy resuming !

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A ramble, maybe, but worth it, because the outcome is great. There's no comparison between the kit part and your finished article. Nice work.



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23 hours ago, Pig of the Week said:

Nice locomotive BR standard class 5 isn't it ?

Didn't know what loco it was to be honest Mr P, but I do know it had a nice whistle and it was good at belching coal dust into your eyes when having a cheeky look out of the carriage window! I'll certainly check out your loco build thread (and feel your pain with the infamous Trumpy ejector marks).

Investigating further it appears that it was a BR class 4MT, engine number 76079 here:



12 hours ago, Bullbasket said:

There's no comparison between the kit part and your finished article. Nice work.

Cheers John, much appreciated.


8 hours ago, Longbow said:

If you’re still looking for extremely fine mesh, look at any major plumbing supplies store. 
Some of the filters are micro fine.

Thanks for the tip Longbow, must admit I haven't checked out plumbing filters

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I've checked, and double checked, and yes, I think 'The Grind' is just about complete! :party:It's now time to stick the sides onto the bed base.


The first little problem is that the bed base is a bit of a banana on the side where there is the spare wheel break in the longitudinal member thing. The other side where the longitudinal member is unbroken is nice and flat...



This wouldn't be a issue if I'd followed the instructions and attached the bed base to the chassis before adding the bed sides (the chassis is nice and true so would force the bed base to flatten). I want to keep the bed separate from the chassis though to simplify painting (I'm planning for the bed and chassis to be different colours). No big problem, we just need to apply a little persuasion via a rigid steel rule...



The first side can then be glued onto the base. It's critical here to frequently check that the side is at right angles to the base as this will be key in ensuring all subsequent sides are true and square....



I had to wait until this first side was fully cured before I could continue, which didn't take too long as it's been jolly toasty in Costa Del Yorkshire this weekend...



So hot that I needed an ice lolly to cool down...🤪



Once the first side was dry the opposite side could then be attached, using the kit troop bench things (which won't be used apart from this) as braces to keep everything true...



Before too long we had three sides on. I've left off the tailgate for now as I'm unsure whether I'll have it up, down, or maybe even working...




Cool, job done, let's crack a beer!

Well not quite, there is some bad news - there are nasty gaps between the bed sides and the bed end...



Did I say 'gaps'? I actually mean chasms, especially on the drivers side...



Oh bother, how has this happened? I'm not sure to be honest, it probably is something I've done but can't understand what. The etch hinges do push the sides out from the bed base a fraction (as illustrated by this picture from below), but this is only the thickness of the etch and doesn't explain the resultant gaps...



I ignored the problem for a day or so, hoping it would go away. Clutching at straws I wondered if the real thing had gaps anyway. That will be a 'no' then...



There was nothing for it, drastic action would be needed. The bed end was separated from the bed base (quite easily as I'd been sparing with the TET), and then the etch end plates were very carefully separated from the bed end (this was much more taxing)...



Glue residue was cleaned up, and then strips of evergreen's finest were glued on the bed end to make it wider (0,5mm on the driver side, which was worse than the passenger side which only had 0.25mm)...



After a bout of sanding to blend the extensions in, some scribing to reinstate board lines and wood-grain where necessary, and then reattachment of the etch end plates, we end up with this. You'd be none the wiser that any extending work had taken place, apart from some kit attachment holes which were previously hidden peeking out from the drivers side end plate. These holes will be dealt with in work yet to come...



Reattaching the bed end to the base we end up with a nice snug fit and the gaps are no more. Much better - that beer can now be cracked...






Cheers, and thanks for looking,



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On 7/20/2021 at 8:26 PM, APA said:

Quality work there 👍 and great fix on the gap👌

It's a nice looking kit

Thanks Andrew, the kit is very nice. Most of the problems I've encountered are of my own making or to do with the etch. Trumpeter have recently announced a new armoured L4500A with Flak 37, so it will be interesting to see how it compares.


On 7/20/2021 at 9:28 PM, Pig of the Week said:

Expert save there !.. The body's looking really good now. That etch makes all the difference in terms of realism. 

Cheers Mr P. The etch, although annoying, does make a big difference.



Even after the remedial work to close the gaps I still wasn't totally happy as problems remained at the upper 'plank' area. I thought it would be best to pin the 'planks' to ensure a strong join and finally close the troublesome gaps. Here's a before/after comparison on the driver's side...



The pinning at the passenger side not only closed the 'plank' gaps, but also forced the bed end to the vertical (there being a slight twist which was tricky to straighten). The 'before' picture shows the holes drilled to accept the pins and how much the end was pulled into vertical once pinned (about 1.5mm at the uppermost 'plank'...



The end result is that the gaps are finally closed. Phew! I just need to trim, fill and disguise the pins so they will (hopefully) be invisible...




As a break from the troublesome bed construction I thought I'd do some scratch building.

Looking at L4500 pictures you can't help but notice a veritable Smörgåsbord of storage boxes hanging under the bed. There doesn't seem to be a 'standard', with different shapes, sizes, number and orientation of boxes, Jerrycans, and other paraphernalia. I guess that storage would always be at a premium and the truck guys would bolt on whatever happened to be available at the time. This montage gives a flavour for the diversity of 'hanging down stuff'. Some of the examples are extant and so may have additions that aren't necessarily historically accurate (maybe, maybe not)...



I've already added a couple of Jerrycan holders to the bed underside, but I fancied some extra boxes to 'busy things up'. Following a rummage through the spares bin, we emerge with a squat dual box (that originated from the bottom of a Sd.Kfz. 222 storage bin that had etch replacements), and a tall thin box (that is a 88mm shell box cut in half and stacked). Add some spare etch for hinges, latches and brackets and we end up with these...



The next problem is deciding where to place them under the bed. Hmmmm, decisions, decisions...



I think I may go for loading up the area by the spare wheel (though no doubt I'll change my mind when the time comes)...



While playing about with things the penny finally dropped as to how big this thing is. Adding the sides to the bed seems to have brought it into focus - this thing is huge!

To allow people to understand relative sizes, comparisons are made to object that people are used to seeing. So something may be the size of two football fields, or be as long as three London buses. Well as we're on an armour forum my unit of measurement is going to be a Sd.Kfz. 124 Wespe. :wink:


The bed is just about the size of a Wespe...



...and as tall as a Wespe...



I'm going to have to put some serious thought into what I'm going to use to fill that big boy - a couple of oil drums and a few Jerrycans just won't cut the mustard!


Finally for some sillyness I thought I'd leave you with this. 'Has anyone seen my Wespe? I'm sure I parked it here somewhere'...🤪




Cheers, and thanks for looking,



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On 7/27/2021 at 8:59 PM, Pig of the Week said:

Thats great, love the bloke at the end !

Of course your comparison is just the load bed without the cab and bonnet etc, so will be a big old truck in the end

Cheers Mr P. It certainly is a big old thing, the height being what surprised me the most.


Fiddly stuff has been the order of the day recently, namely trying to sort out the tarp (tilt?) frame holders that attach to the front of the bed. You may recall the problem I had where the etch holders should be located much further outboard from where they are designed to be located. This means that the holder brackets are far too short to allow a sturdy attachment to the bed,,,



The holder brackets would have to be removed and replaced by something longer. Digging in my box of etch left overs, I found some runners that were the correct width. The soldering onto the holders would be tricky, but a combination of tweezers and pegs kept things stable whilst the solder went on...



Following some ham-fisted soldering, we ended up with these...



The tidy up process then began, leaving lengths of runner in place to act as handles. The globs of solder were filed off, the runners were trimmed to the correct size for the new brackets, and holes were drilled to represent the bracket attachment points. The lower image shows the original brackets for the holders illustrating how much longer the replacements needed to be...



The resultant etch holders are certainly much finer than the kit equivalents. The holder 'box' shape is thinner and more rectangular though (I suspect that the kit box shape is probably better to be honest)...



Cool! Now that faff is over with let's slap the holders onto the bed,

Not so fast, we have a bit of a problem (totally of my own making). The bed sides protrude from the bed end by 0.5mm or so meaning that the holder brackets won't be able to lie flat, I reckon that when I pared/scraped off the end-plate mouldings from the bed sides for the etch replacements, I didn't remove enough to cater for the thickness of the moulded end-plate, Once the etch end-plates were added, the bed sides end up being too long, Nuts!...



Hmmm, what to do? I feel dirty doing this, but a bodge is needed in the shape of some 'spacers' that the holder brackets will be mounted on...



I'm sure that if we quickly attach the holders no-one will notice the bodge...



The brackets have been pinned in an attempt to make the holders more sturdy. Even so I'm sure some oaf will knock them off before the week is out :smile:...



And here is the reason for all the work. I'll need to source some suitable gauge wire to replace the kit frames which are a tad chunky...



Hopefully you'll see from this shot the reason why the holders had to be moved outboard...




Cheers, and thanks for looking,






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20 hours ago, vytautas said:

Incredible neat work!

What CA do you use?

Thanks for the kind comment Vytautas.


Truth be told I try to avoid CA wherever possible, using other 'adhesives' to attach the etch where feasible. All these products have been used to various extents in the build so far...



So from left to right:

1) Cheap CA. I only use this when I really have to due to the unforgiving nature of CA, e.g. you only get one chance, and problematic clean-up when you get it wrong (which I seem to do more often than not), I will use it when the etch is relatively large, a strong bond or weight bearing is required, or placement of the etch can be controlled with confidence. I've used CA very little in the build so far, from memory only when attaching the Jerrycan holders under the bed.

2) Formula 560. A carry over from when I used to build aircraft, but useful for etch in the armour world. Gives you lots of 'wiggle time', dries transparent, and easy clean up. Initially is dries 'rubbery' like PVA but hardens over time. I use this for large to medium items, the straps on the bed sides in this build for example.

3) Klear. Again a carry-over from aviation modelling days, no longer sold in this form (is it Pledge Floor polish now or something?) I use it as an adhesive for small, flat etch items, or wired hinges and the like. Apply with a small brush and let it wick under or around the etch via capillary action. Lots of 'wiggle time' to get things just right, and clean up is easy (with Windex or similar). Most of the etch in this build has been attached using Klear (either as the sole adhesive, or in addition to the Formula 560). A word of warning though, the bond is brittle and weak, the etch being easy to detach if knocked or manhandled. Reattachment is a breeze though.


I found that these seem to work for me, but I'm sure others have different, potentially superior solutions.





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On 8/4/2021 at 9:10 PM, Pig of the Week said:

You're close to creating the "real thing" here..great stuff

Cheers Mr P, though I'm not sure I can see the connection with the 70s soul legends to be honest... :penguin:




Still working on the bed I'm afraid, with more fiddly work to construct the latches for the bed sides...



It's one of those jobs where you need an extra pair of hands, but double sided tape held things steady while lead wire was threaded through holes. Klear flooded the pivot, with scrap plastic holding the 'handle' at the right level while it cures...



We eventually end up with this. I've attempted to include comparisons with the kit representation of the latch, but this is tricky as the curved attachment bracket were moulded on the bed sides (these being removed many moons ago), the 'handle' and 'loop' being a single part that is attached separately. Although the etch latch is much finer it suffers from being 2D and thin...



The Voyager instruction are vague as to latch placement so I thought I check references. Easier said than done, as the majority of examples have a different, simpler latch...



I did, however, eventually find a clear(ish) example of our latch. The etch curved bracket is definitely a bit weedy compared to this...



Adding the latches to the bed we end up with this. Firstly, as viewed from below...



...from the back,,,



...from the other side...



...and finally in context with the rest of the bed...



I'm not sure that the latches look that much like the real thing to be honest, but they do look quite cool so I'll not complain too much. :smile:


Moving on, we switch focus to the tailgate, which is just about the final job to do on the bed. The tailgate proved to be too narrow just like the bed end, a similar fix being applied by gluing thin strips on the ends to increase the width. While pondering alternative cargo ideas, one option needs the top 'planks' to be removed from the tailgate to cater for an outside load. I therefore have a couple of questions to run past you clever people if I may...

Am I right in assuming that the circled 'housings' have holes so that bolts/screws may be accessed to remove the top 'planks' (similar to the mock-up below)?

Is this likely something that would have been done in practice to cater for awkward loads?



Finally, is it my imagination or is there 'something' visible behind the holes circled below (bolt heads perhaps)?

I don't really understand how these 'housing' things work. References suggest they're the exception rather than the rule, so I'm unsure whether they are an intrinsic attachment points or just cover guards?




Cheers, thanks for looking, and apologies for the daft questions,



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The top rails certainly look like they're designed to be removable to make the bed suitable for different configurations. The fixtures are difficult to see as it cubes up when enlaged, but those "bolts" or "holes" even, look kind of square ??

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On 8/10/2021 at 9:08 AM, vaoinas said:

Man, this is beautiful job you are doing with this.

Very neat and clean PE work is impressive.

Cheers Kristjan - high praise given the exemplary work on your Panzer IV. 👍


On 8/9/2021 at 9:34 PM, Pig of the Week said:

The top rails certainly look like they're designed to be removable to make the bed suitable for different configurations. The fixtures are difficult to see as it cubes up when enlaged, but those "bolts" or "holes" even, look kind of square ??

The fixtures are indeed tricky to make out Mr P, but that's the best resolution image I've found unfortunately. I've assumed that the top rails are removable, and bitten the bullet. One benefit of not using CA to attach the etch is that you can rip if off again without too much fuss...:wink:



The remnants of the top rail 'legs' were removed from the tailgate, some rudimentary fasteners added where the legs were, and the etch reapplied. I also reinstated the bottoms of the top rail 'legs' and drilled holes to indicate fastenings of some kind. I'll paint up the top rail and lob it in the bed to supplement the cargo...



I'll gloss over the bling on the tailgate as it's similar to what's been covered previously. The Voyager instructions, however, indicate that the latches should be mounted on the bed sides and 'hook' onto the tailgate, but this is incorrect...



The latches should actually be mounted on the tailgate and 'hook' onto the sides...



Voyager do seem to make some silly mistakes in their instructions, but their etch is quite sweet, and I especially like the way they've represented the latches...




The bed was now approaching completion but, as per Columbo, there was a loose end to take care of - the canopy frame support things.

Zvezda provide the five frames grouped together for storage, the moulding being OKish, but a bit too regular and indistinct. It was, however, useful as a jig/template once it was narrowed by cutting a section out of the middle and glued to a base...



Using 0.8mm diameter brass wire I produced replacement frames. Truth be told, this was easier said than done, it being tricky to keep the frames identical and true in the vertical. Eventually we achieved five frames that were kind of similar. The close up compares a replacement frame with a kit version...



All five frames fit into the etch holders, but only just, it being very snug. I suspect that the frames will have to be painted in situ as I cannot see the paint surviving the insertion into the holders...



The five frames being in close proximity highlights the fact that they aren't identical, the tops looking 'messy'...



I'm not too bothered about the messy frames though as it looks quite realistic...:smile:



And with that the build of the bed is, well, put to bed. It's been a long haul, it being a kit in its own right. You never know, the next time you see this lot it may actually have some paint on...



What to do next I wonder? The cargo will be near the top of the list. I think I've decided what we'll be hauling, but I'll be a tease and only reveal when the postman delivers the goodies. For now I'll leave a little clue by saying it may be a bit of a pig. 🤔


Cheers, and thanks for looking,



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I have to say as someone who has to keep catching up with this thread, that your etched brass work is the best that I have ever seen on a model. Great work.



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Absolutely spot on 👍.....  what you've done there looks a perfect facsimile of the real truck, the tilt hoops are great and as you've shown from the period photo, would've been lobbed in the holders in a rough fashion anyhow, plus, again going on my experience with the Land Rovers they tend to get well abused and bent in use !

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On 8/18/2021 at 7:54 AM, Bullbasket said:

I have to say as someone who has to keep catching up with this thread, that your etched brass work is the best that I have ever seen on a model. Great work.

Crikey, that's some compliment John, and I appreciate it greatly, but I think we may have to agree to differ slightly. 👍


On 8/18/2021 at 8:10 AM, Pig of the Week said:

Absolutely spot on 👍.....  what you've done there looks a perfect facsimile of the real truck, the tilt hoops are great and as you've shown from the period photo, would've been lobbed in the holders in a rough fashion anyhow, plus, again going on my experience with the Land Rovers they tend to get well abused and bent in use !

Cheers Mr P. It's a lovely catch-all in AFV modelling when you can say 'well it would have been bent like that in real life, honest'. :wink:



It's going to be a bit of a hotch-potch update this week, starting with my thinking on the cargo. It wasn't an easy decision to make, there being several options:

1) Leave the bed empty. Never in the running really as it's, well, a bit dull to be honest.

2) Fill the bed with miscellaneous 'stuff', e.g. crates, oil drums, coal, food, ammo, scrap metal, etc.

3) Mount a flak piece of some kind.

4) Haul something 'interesting', in effect, a model within a model.


I was tempted by option #3, especially when I saw a mounted flakvierling...:tasty:



In the end I was sold on option #4, but what would the something 'interesting' be?

The load capacity of the L 4500 needs to be taken into consideration, and here the clue is in the name, the capacity being 4500kg. So 4.5 tonne ruled out any armoured vehicle, but a Kubelwagen, Schwimmwagen, Kettenkrad, etc. would be fine. In the end I opted for something completely different...:penguin:



I appreciate that this may not be of interest to anyone here, so I'll be building the "Maiale" in parallel over in the Maritime section...


And now back to the build. Although I said that in a previous post that I'd finished with the bed, I may have been a tad hasty. The Voyager set provides elements for tools to be mounted on the side of the bed...




Included are the obligatory and hateful tool clamps. I despise these little blighters, and freely admit to cheating during their construction. I wonder what the 3D printed equivalents are like? I'll have to give them a go one day...



Voyager provide a resin pick axe which is not that much finer than the DML equivalent, and has a weedy, misshapen shaft (story of my life :smile: ). I think the shaft will end up being replaced (or if I'm lazy I'll just use the DML one)...



Voyager indicate that the pick axe should be mounted on the passenger side just above the rear wheel, the spade being mounted on a similar location driver side...



These tool placements puzzled me, and off down a rabbit hole I went. The rear mud guard protrudes slightly from the bed, which in my mind would cause the tools to foul on the guard whenever the bed sides are lowered. Why would you mount the tools in that location when you could move them either forward or backwards along the bed to a point they wouldn't interfere with the mud guard...?



Wondering if there was a mistake in the Voyager instructions (it wouldn't be the first after all!) I thought I'd check references. Here's the kicker, I couldn't find a single period example where tools are mounted on the bed sides. I did find examples, however, where the tools are mounted on the front mud guard and bonnet area. Pick axe on the passenger side...



Spade on the driver side...



Hmmm. Think I'll reserve judgment until the front mud guards are on.


A bit of a meandering post I'm afraid, but cheers, and thanks for looking,



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The midget sub looks interesting, I had a toy one as a kid, it had two diver figures, and possibly an elastic band drive propeller.. i used to play with it in a tin bath at my gran's !

With the tools I'd go with period photos for mounting points, often kit manufacturers just make stuff up like that ! 

They were likely often just thrown in the back of the truck too :)

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Just had a squint at the sub thread, looks great, it'll make a cool little model in it's own right too.

It got me wondering if these L4500 trucks were ever issued or loaned to the Italians ?

.. if so it'd kind of make more sense to paint the truck up as in Italian service, the italians would be operating the sub and more likely to have a German truck, rather than the other way round maybe ?  Just a thought.

Very interesting development anyway ! 👍

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