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Every Vally Shall Be Exalted - The Valentine Tank Family Build Continues With The AEC Mk.1 Armoured Car - What the...!


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  • Bertie Psmith changed the title to Every Vally Shall Be Exalted - The Valentine Tank Family 1938 to 1960 - Prototype - Half-Tracked Vally
4 hours ago, Bertie Psmith said:

Phew! Big sigh of relief from me and crisis over. I'm still on track to finish before the weekend.

 

That is a very interesting and creative way to sort out your short track issue, nicely done.

 

cheers, Graham

 

 

 

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I really enjoy using the best quality tools that I can afford

 

Me too. I think this is ever more important as some of us negotiate our dotage.

 

Elegant solution with the half-track. Makes for another interesting feature of the model.

 

Thanks for detailing your road tyre painting technique. The notion of a paintbrush shampoo and conditioner is at first surprising, but on reflection not so much. Quality brushes are quite pricey and yes, let's go easy on the creatures who supply the bristles.

 

BTW... Never Never is a 19th century term for the vast, timeless, arid and sparsely populated Outback, but here describes a state of mind rather than a landscape. "This is the land of plenty of time; plenty of time and wait a while."

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1 hour ago, Maginot said:

"This is the land of plenty of time; plenty of time and wait a while."

 

That's beautiful. [edit: Oh, it's a lyric. What's that about dotage? 🤪]

 

1 hour ago, Maginot said:

I think this is ever more important as some of us negotiate our dotage.

 

True, true.

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18 hours ago, Bertie Psmith said:

Phew! Big sigh of relief from me and crisis over. I'm still on track to finish before the weekend.

Lateral thinking par excellence!

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I think it's finished. I'll study the photos I'm about to post and look at the model in the morning from all angles just to be sure. Then I'll take some final pictures, post them here and in RFI and then, and only then, will I spot the inevitable half dozen embarrassing mistakes and omissions. That's model making, my friends!

 

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The all grey tank still looked a bit two-dimensional, despite the drybrushed highlights. So it was time for some washes. Panel line washes really. And I also wanted to wash around my nuts. I'm aiming to suggest shadows, not dirt so I used an enamel which was just a shade or two darker than the background. Of course, on the shadowed underneath of the tank, where the background is darker, these little shadows had to be a bit darker too, but not black. Never black.

 

I use enamel because when it escapes the lines and gets onto the satin coated finish it's easy to completely remove with a spirit dampened brush. A gloss finish would have been better but I took a shortcut to the sheen I wanted ay the end, there was a little creeping of the wash over the surface but not too much. I'm trying for that level of subtlety where you don't notice the technique in use, but somehow the tank looks 'better', and you can't say why. The chances are that it won't even show up on the amateur quality photos I'll be posting and you will all think its an 'emperor's new clothes' kind of con trick. 

 

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I usually open Humbrol tinlets with a spoon, they are so delicious. Actually the spoon seems to reduce the bending of the lid flanges over time. Bent flanges are a bad thing for us and a good thing for Humbrol because they stop you getting a good airtight seal, the paint dries up and you have to buy more of the stuff.

 

I use long brushes known as riggers, for pin washing, panel line washing (same thing, I believe?). They hold more paint so you spend more time applying and less time dipping and wiping the brush to get the load right.

 

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I said earlier that I love using good quality brushes but there's also a place for cheap brushes from Amazon/China. So cheap that you don't have to clean them. My latest lot have plastic handles which makes them double as stirrers when the paint doesn't need the full electric coffee whisk treatment. I used to use matchsticks when I was younger and dumber and didn't care about the splinters in the paint, on the surface, and in the airbrush. I then switched to short lengths of sprue but it felt really nice using a comfortably long plastic stirrer so Ill be keeping some of these when the brush heads are thrown away. They wipe clean too.

 

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I think Blitz make the best kitchen roll for my hobby use. Great for polishing, mopping, adjusting the paint on a brush, cleaning. They hold together well and each sheet lasts for ages. 

 

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Disposable pipettes 1ml size are my way to move liquids around. I used to drip paint off coffee stirrers and sprue etc when I thought I'd live forever but now I haven't the time for slow, slow primitive methods.

 

If you buy ten of these from eBay they cost up to 30 pence each. I think I bought five thousand from an educational supplier/bloke in China and the price per item went down to around a penny or two. I doubt that I'll ever run out!

 

 

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For some areas where I wanted to feather the edges of my weathering, I dabbed on some undiluted oils and then blended them with some cheap make-up brushes from Amazon/China. No woman would allow them near her face but they are great for this job and surprisingly long lasting apart from the ferrules coming off the plastic handles. The bristles don't come out.

 

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A bit more subtle, but still oil paint around the radiator filler cap.

 

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This was the last thing to be glued on and I'll be breaking it off again before the end of the month, no doubt. ☹️

 

I was about to paint the glass silver, 'because I've always done it that way', when I looked at my mirror on the wall and asked "Who is the fairest modeller of all?" and asked, what colour do I see? Is it ever silver? Nope. In this instance, viewed from above as models mostly are, it would reflect the grey of the tank. So I've left it grey. It's taken me sixty model-making years to think of that.

 

Final reveal tomorrow! Photographed outside, weather permitting.

 

p.s. I stuck Alfie on but with BluTac. I think he might be making guest appearances later in the Vally series.

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A very nice subtle result with the weathering I'd say, especially around the exhaust. Those tracks make it look interesting and it's now very probably one of a kind!

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40 minutes ago, JeroenS said:

A very nice subtle result with the weathering I'd say, especially around the exhaust. Those tracks make it look interesting and it's now very probably one of a kind!

 

Thanks Jeroen, it would be nice if it was unique but I usually find that everything has been done before by someone, somewhere, somewhen. It's the curse of the internet that they will be watching this and noting all my errors. 🤣

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10 hours ago, Lazy Modeller said:

The exhaust is amazingly weathered! Love it! Also like very  much the the subtle dry brushing.

You can proceed. :clap:

Cheers

LM

 

Thanks Lazy.

 

I'll proceed with the pictures in a while but our weather is unsuitable for outdoor photography today. I'll do an indoor set by the window when it gets a little lighter.

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Must say Bertie this is really looking good and as LM has said the exhaust inparticular. 

 

Not just a great build but an education too!

 

Atb

Darryl 

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4 minutes ago, Jasper dog said:

Must say Bertie this is really looking good and as LM has said the exhaust inparticular. 

 

Not just a great build but an education too!

 

Atb

Darryl 

 

Thanks Darryl. I'm learning lots too. New history and new modelling tricks too. 

 

Making those rear fenders from plasticard, simple as it turned out to be, was a huge confidence builder for me. I'm now looking forward to making some of the weirder Vally variants such as the NZ fire-fighting water bowser and other civilian applications, the Indian driver training vehicle, the 6-pounder SPG, the Scorpion flail tank, the DD, the Archer DD, a tank under repair or knocked out, the bridge-layer, Egyptian, Jordanian, Lebanese, South African, Portuguese and Turkish post-war users... The list goes on. A Valentine enthusiast has almost as much scope as a Spitfire or Sherman devotee! 

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Here's the final photoshoot on the prototype which has now made it safely into the display cabinet, but only just!

 

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Long shots first. All of these pictures were taken indoors using the faint grey January light backed up by my supposed 'Daylight' tube, which is actually rather blue. The actual tank is more of a neutral grey than this but it's the best I can do. Photography isn't a hobby of mine, just a small part of the modelling hobby.

 

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We'll say the setting is the carpeted Vickers showroom, with its nice white walls. 

 

My final touch of dusty, muddy residue looks rather poor to me. On the other hand the fenders delight me every time I look at them. The red circular thing is the single tail light and the orange thing is the Gong Button, which infantry could press to attract the attention of the crew if the tank was buttoned down. A back door bell really.

 

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That's the flying front bogie which is incorrect. The roadwheels should be on the ground really, making steering that much worse. I don't imagine it would be possible to drive a tank with both sides half-tracked like this, it's just a demonstration set-up.

 

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I have grown fond of our Alfie. I forgot the sprinkles and raspberry sauce on his ice-cream cone though.

 

The frontal armour texturing worked quite well, I think. I painted the rubber front fenders in what I think might be their natural colour. Production models were sprayed in the tank's camouflage.

 

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As the camera rises up you start to see the distinctive louvres and the quite complex shape of the Valentine.

 

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The modification to the back of the turret came out well and was a lot easier than I thought it would be. In fact the whole project caused me a lot of completely unfounded anxieties.

 

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The whole of the exhaust pleases me. The removal of the fishtail, the PE heatshield and the weathering all worked out well. Incidentally, the perforated heatshield was replaced with a solid one because the silencer box would glow red and give away the tank's position at night. I guess this was an unforeseen consequence of putting the exhaust on the side of the vehicle, which they did to keep it away from the petrol fumes of the first engines used. Reportedly, the silencer worked well and the Vally was very quiet in use, unlike some modern British tanks...

 

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This is the 'Slow-motion' suspension unit. Simple and efficient, it gave little trouble. Personally, I can't see why two small wheels on one end of a lever and one big one at the other gives an advantage, but I wasn't that good at geometry at school. The bolted attachment to the hull used to work loose until the engineers started to weld the bolt heads in place.

 

The sprocket wheel had the brake drum mounted outboard (for improved cooling?). It was mounted on an epicyclic gear so that as the sprocket rotated one turn, the brake unit went round ten times. It looks very strange and can be seen on the Tank Museum videos on YouTube. Bovington has a working Vally.

 

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I slipped up with the turret texture. It's too smooth now where I removed the gunner's rear view port. But ignore that and look once more at the lovely Bronco PE and the end of the exhaust pipe. 

 

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The tracks were also Bronco, of course. I'm very pleased with them and would be happy to do another set, which I may have to if I build one of the Turkish Valentines.

 

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And there's little Alf. When I painted his legs I wanted to highlight them because the skin is taut and upwards facing, but I also thought they should be grubby. I compromised and just made his fingers a little mucky.

 

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The jacking pads. 5/10, Could do better. Next time I'll do better on the woodwork.

 

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When I modded the radiator louvres to only open on one side, I made the hinge and handle for the oil filler flap in a very crude way. I now know I could have made a much better hinge than that simple rectangle, had I only had the confidence to try it.

 

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The louvres at the top cover the engine, the next set protect the radiators and the little door next to the tail light gives access to the transmission.

 

The transfer on the 'civilian' fire extinguisher makes a difference, wouldn't you say? On the other hand note the handles which I forgot to clean up. There are so many things to remember!

 

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I've just noticed that the track is 'flying' above the return rollers. It's hard to see this until it's enlarged so I wont worry about it. You can see how each track shoe had two pins. These were welded into the shoes and the tiny figure-of-eight joining links had to not only hold the shoes together but also allow them to pivot. The bearings must have been tiny and it's no surprise that they weren't up to the job.

 

Note the darker colour of the hull under the fender. This isn't natural shadow, I've darkened the paint to exaggerate the effect. On a real tank its a deep deep recess and very dark but on a model, the fender is tiny and doesn't cast enough shadow.

 

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Here's the top and the bottom, the lightest and darkest shades of grey shown together. 

 

After taking this picture, I knocked the hull inverted and broke off the mirror as expected! UNexpectedly, it broke at the glue so I was able to stick it back on easily. I learned about using less glue when I did the tracks and it seems to be a good thing!

 

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Why did I photograph Alfie's boots? Oh yes, I wanted to show you the drilled out BESA co-axial MG.

 

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And the steely shine of the 2-pounder, striking fear into lorry drivers everywhere, but not really worrying enemy tank crews so much. It was a good gun in its time but the Vally needed a bigger main weapon almost before it was produced. Unfortunately, bigger guns were hard to come by in 1940/41, when the British Army was still desperately re-equipping after Dunkirk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

That's the end of the first part of this thread. There's a lot more yet to come but I'll be taking a break now to do a couple of aeroplanes (ew!) in group builds. I will return to the Valentine towards the end of February (?) probably with a Tamiya Archer. Stay tuned folks!

 

(In fact, if you don't want to miss the start of Part Two, just hit the follow button and you'll get a notification automatically.)

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

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1 hour ago, Bullbasket said:

As others have said, that exhaust does look good. Nice work.

 

John.

 

1 hour ago, edjbartos said:

Very nice weathering Bertie, the exhaust really does look good...

 

Ed

 

Thanks, John and Ed.

 

Everyone likes the exhaust. Me too!

 

Incidentally, I'd be delighted to hear anyone's creative criticism as well as your compliments. Help me make 'em better please.

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49 minutes ago, Bertie Psmith said:

Vally needed a bigger main weapon almost before it was produced.

The sad story of British turreted armour almost throughout WWII - except for the Fireflies of course. Tremendous build, Bertie. That subtle weathering looks really good. The abbreviated running gear is so unusual - real attention grabber, especially in light of the back story.

Edited by echen
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2 minutes ago, echen said:

The sad story of British turreted armour almost throughout WWII - except for the Fireflies of course.

 

True, and American tanks to a great extent as well.

 

I'd say it was caused partly by technology issues, partly by supply-in-quantity difficulties, and partly by doctrinal mistakes made in the twenties and thirties.

 

It's very easy to see where they all went wrong, given our splendid hindsight.

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  • Bertie Psmith changed the title to Every Vally Shall Be Exalted - The Valentine Tank Family - Half-Tracked Vally Prototype - FINISHED
9 minutes ago, Bertie Psmith said:

splendid hindsight.

A wonderful science! We could have told 'em couldn't we?

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21 hours ago, Bertie Psmith said:

there's also a place for cheap brushes from Amazon/China.

Not trying to violate the off-topic rule, but I also found that these cheap brushes (if made with a transparent handle) when they've reached the end of their useful life (which is, what, a month?), can be turned down and polished rather quickly to make replacement lightsabers for the kids' Star Wars action figures after they've lost the originals! :D 

 

Back on topic (and in atonement):  I was re-reading through the thread and I'm wondering how you got the exhaust pipe to look realistically and slightly weathered?  Did I miss it?  My biggest struggle as of late is getting exhaust stacks on my aircraft to look decent.  I've tried a variety of things, but all of them are fake-looking.

Edited by opus999
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I finally got to the end and I have to say that you've done a tremendous job making a very realistic looking model!  Terrific!  I love the Vickers showroom floor backdrop.  ;) 

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5 hours ago, Bertie Psmith said:

The transfer on the 'civilian' fire extinguisher makes a difference, wouldn't you say?

 

Indeed. The Devil is in the details and there details a plenty on AFV's. The challenge is finding that delicate balance between too much and too few and I think you have done a fine job finding that balance in your half tracked vally prototype.

 

cheers, Graham

 

 

 

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A stunning result well worth your time and trouble. I agree with you that it would not steer with both sides half tracked.

Are you planning on doing the DD version, if so there is a running example in private hands which I think is in the Kidderminster area and is the one I posted at the beginning of your thread.

 

   Stay safe          Roger
 

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  • Bertie Psmith changed the title to Every Vally Shall Be Exalted - The Valentine Tank Family Build Continues With The AEC Mk.1 Armoured Car - What the...!

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