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Voyage to the Centre of the Lee - F..F..F..F..F..FINISHED!!!


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Thanks. Yes, it's coming along. However, we are almost half of the way through the time and I'm not sure that I'm a third of the way through the Lee. 

Bertie, Dont Panic, we are under 2 weeks into a 12week build.

Paul

 

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4 minutes ago, diases said:

Thanks. Yes, it's coming along. However, we are almost half of the way through the time and I'm not sure that I'm a third of the way through the Lee. 

Bertie, Dont Panic, we are under 2 weeks into a 12week build.

Paul

 

 

Haha. We finish 19 June not May. Phew! 

 

19 May is a significant date for me and my mind settled on that as our end date. That's about 6-7 weeks away and I thought that meant we were halfway through the 12 weeks. 

 

So I've done all this in 12 days? That's pinging amazing!

 

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Another hour painting the edges of the cutaways (and hatches removed for access) and gluing the hull sides on. They weren't a perfect fit but pretty close and any slight flaws may well be down to the big holes that someone has cut out of them.

 

I went slowly, stitching each section together with TET and clamping or holding it until it was safe to move on. There's going to be some filler needed around the final drives but nothing of consequence. I won't bore you with a photo as it looks so similar to the dry-fitted ones above but I can't take my eyes off the little sweetheart. It looks decidedly tank-like now!

 

33h 30m

 

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We have had 15% of our time. 
 

I’ve spent approximately 30 hours so far. 
 

At this daily rate I have 170 hours of building time available. 
 

The tracks and bogies are all but finished. 
 

The kit is presenting no significant problems so far. 
 

It’s 3838 miles to Chicago from here. 

I have a compressor full of gas and half a packet of Hobnobs. 

 

It’s not even dark and I’m wearing slippers. 
 

 

 

HIT IT! 😎

 

 

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31 minutes ago, arfa1983 said:

Bertie, my good sir, you are living the dream.

 

There is one other possibility, Arfa dear; I might be dreaming the life. I continually expect to wake up to something horrid.

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y4m7UWMZ2ze0Ix2bbrEkj_ELRWwnPkXvF5Vdqd4_

 

I glued the sides on last night and today fixed the horizontal pieces that you see here forming the bottom of the sponsons, the parts that overhang the tracks. They need paint of course and note that I accidentally sprayed the port side piece green while it was on the sprue. I may have to do some masking before I hit it with the white paint. Suddenly there seems to be very little room in there and the guns and turret basket aren't fitted yet. There's never any spare space in a tank, is there?

 

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While I'm here, I wanted to show you a properly focussed picture of the cutaway bogie. I'm rather chuffed with it.

 

As the hull sides are major structure I wanted to give them plenty of time to set before I go any further so I shifted my focus to the engine.

 

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There's already a problem in the engine bay. There's an unexpectedly tall vertical fuel tank that fits in the corner and will conflict with my cutaway horizontal fuel tank in the sponson, both sides! There are a number of possible solutions, I just have to decide which one I like best.

 

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Here's the cylinder bank with the pushrods and rocker covers installed. The push rods are one piece, thankfully, but one piece with 23 sprue attachments to detach and clean up. The rocker covers are all separate; nine with the oil pipe attached and nine without. When it's painted, this will look amazing. This is the rear of the engine and will be almost completely hidden by the intake and exhaust manifolds, the magnetos, auxiliaries, and the main engine mounting beam.

 

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This is the front of the engine dry fitted into the cooling fan shroud. It's an aero engine of course, the Wright Whirlwind, designed in 1928 and still in production in the 1950s. Where the propeller should be, they fitted a clutch and a cooling fan.

 

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That's the fan and clutch, totally hiding the cylinder bank. Nor much point wiring up the spark plugs then. Or is there? I'm cleaning up the remaining pieces so that I come to understand it in three dimensions before I start trepanning the engine. It would be such a shame to waste it all. 

 

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This is most of the rest of the engine but there will be other pieces scattered around the rest of the sprues too.

 

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Somewhere in there. 😄

 

Seriously, the blue boxes are emptying fast. It's very encouraging, as are all of you with your likes and comments. Thanks for the boost. 

 

35h0m

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20 minutes ago, Bertie Psmith said:

I'm rather chuffed with it.

I should think so too, that's a cracking piece of work

 

/p

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  • Bertie Psmith changed the title to Journey to the Centre of the Lee - The Engine
50 minutes ago, edjbartos said:

keep going...

You are on the ball Ed. This is the first day off I’ve taken from the Lee so far. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. 
 

 

Still 35 hours total 

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Definitely taking shape now, getting that splash of paint on really brings it to life. I tend to find if I've got some aspect painted and looking something like finished it's a good motivator to press on.

 

Thanks for the slight panic earlier regarding end dates for the GB and the amount of time left, I've only just got the bench back back together and still to open a bag!

 

Best wishes

Darryl 

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Hi Bertie. Wow!! You are making fantastic progress with this. Your detailing and paintwork are really bringing it to life! :thumbsup:

Kind regards,

Stix

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Who would have thought that the building of the engine would make me look back on the track and bogie assembly with such nostalgia. Those were the good old days, for sure.

 

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Another hour and a half on the engine parts today. This thing is, I believe, a distributor. I would love to drill out the ends of the nine outputs and wire up the engine but it's well beyond my competence. In the faint chance that this is even slightly visible at the end, I'll just have to say that the museum has sent the engine looms away for refurbishment.

 

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That's two magnetos, a conduit for the ignition leads and the engine auxiliary casing. It took an hour to release then from the sprues, clean them up and make them fit each other. This is a fantastically complicated model, and the fantasy was in the mind of the CAD designer who thought that his moulding team was capable of working to his ambitious expectations. It will and does go together, but not easily and unfortunately neither precisely not securely. I'm beginning to find the offset mouldings, ill-fitting location holes, gross release angles and so forth, more than a little tiresome. That's probably why I couldn't be bothered to work on this one yesterday.

 

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That's those four pieces assembled in the centre with the exhaust manifolds around them. The manifolds are a real challenge to a kit manufacturer, being such a strange, swoopy, organic sort of shape and I will admit that MiniArt did well to do them in just two pieces instead of nine or more. They took a half-hour to clean up though and I have little confidence that they will fit in all of the intended eleven places. 

 

Oh well, it makes the decision about cutting away parts of the engine an easy one. Not in a million years! I reckon that I'll be happy just to get the engine together and looking complicated. I may even make the engine deck cutouts a little smaller that originally planned.  

 

Total time now 36.5 hours.

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I've done another session on the engine components this afternoon. Since I've been timing myself, I have learned that a 'session' almost always equals an hour and a half. A double period of Technology? Those teachers might actually know a thing or two, for 90 minutes is as long as I can concentrate before I start to make those little warning 'micro-mistakes'.

 

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I only have only taken one photo and that's similar to yesterday's but with some more components and sub-assemblies in the box of engine bits. Note the few none-grey parts. That's where the interest lies. I'll tell you what that's about when there's some paint on them...

 

There is an outside chance that I'll be doing some painting tomorrow. 😀

 

38 hours in.

 

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Complicated = Miniart, that pretty much sums it up, but they do make amazing model engines and I have no doubt that this will be one too.  Even though It's in bits you can see the amazing detail there...

 

Ed

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15 minutes ago, edjbartos said:

Complicated = Miniart, that pretty much sums it up, but they do make amazing model engines and I have no doubt that this will be one too.  Even though It's in bits you can see the amazing detail there...

 

Ed

If you really want a MiniArt kit, I would get one now. 
They are out of the Ukraine. 

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23 minutes ago, edjbartos said:

Complicated = Miniart, that pretty much sums it up, but they do make amazing model engines and I have no doubt that this will be one too.  Even though It's in bits you can see the amazing detail there...

 

Ed

 

It will certainly repay careful painting and maybe a little weathering. After all, this isn't a brand new vehicle but a retired and refurbished one for display.

 

My painting plan is to spray the sub-assys and components in their base colours and then brush paint any other colours needed. Masking is out of the question! After the various base colours are on, I'll shade the shadows with a simple oil wash and brush on some highlights. Then you will see all of that lovely detailing.

 

After that a little chipping and the inevitable oil leaks will go on. I'll assemble as I go making sure to preserve access to any as yet unpainted areas.

 

The colours are called out as black and aluminium only. I'll make the blacks various hues of dark grey and vary the sheen too. This will make everything look even more complicated and using grey rather than black will mean they the black shadow wash will actually contrast with the base colours. The 'aluminium' will be different shades of every metallic colour I own with blue and brown oil shading for the weld marks.

 

If it looks possible, I may add a few wires to the starter, the generator and anything else that I can reasonably reach without damaging the engine itself. 

 

I accept that a lot of my painting will be lost to view at the end but as I don't know what will be visible and what won't, I have no choice but to paint everything. At least you will see it once before it disappears. 😢

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Longbow said:

If you really want a MiniArt kit, I would get one now. 
They are out of the Ukraine. 

 

At the moment, I'm not sure that I want another one 😩, but this does sound like good advice. I have stocked up on MiniArt figures for this reason.

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1 hour ago, Longbow said:

If you really want a MiniArt kit, I would get one now. 
They are out of the Ukraine. 

 

Yes I know, I bought another three M3’s, unfortunately Miniart are from kyiv....😥

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Blimey Bertie, you do get through an impressive amount of work. That engine looks like a model in it's self!  My experience of Miniart kits is that there is a lot of cleaning up of parts, which for me is one of the least enjoyable parts of model making, however the detail that they put into their kits is outstanding. 

Keep up the good work, this is going to be a cracker.

 

Wayne

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10 hours ago, diablo rsv said:

Blimey Bertie, you do get through an impressive amount of work.

 

Being retired is the secret. 

 

10 hours ago, diablo rsv said:

 

That engine looks like a model in it's self!  My experience of Miniart kits is that there is a lot of cleaning up of parts, which for me is one of the least enjoyable parts of model making, however the detail that they put into their kits is outstanding. 

Keep up the good work, this is going to be a cracker.

 

Wayne

 

MiniArt kits remind me very much of Airfix in some ways. I see the same ambition in the designs, and the same slightly disappointing production values; soft plastic, a great deal of clean up required and some serious flaws such as offset moulds (MiniArt mostly) and short shots (Airfix). Both manufacturers produce kits with great potential but require patience and some skills to fulfil it. This M3 is going to be quite good, I think, but the clean ups have drained away the mojo that I would have preferred to expend on adding some extra detailing

 

Unrelated to the quality issue, I'm noticing an interesting side effect to building full interior kits. I've done two now, this one and a Takom Mk. V, and now when I look at my tank kits with no insides I feel almost cheated - more than half of the build is missing! I can no longer see the point of building an 'exterior' tank without doing something to complicate it; a conversion or diorama or anything really.

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I did some tidying up today, cutting away the empty pieces of sprues and so forth. I haven't counted exactly but I think I've already made use of more than half of the bits. By that measure things are going very well indeed with only seventeen days used and seventy-five days left to run. I'm now full of confidence that I'll get this done well before the end of the GB. Accordingly, today I started work on another project, just to keep myself under pressure. 🤪

 

It's rather different to any modelling I've done before. It's civilian for a start, not a weapon in sight. It's a floaty boaty thing. And the kit is made out of wood, linen, string and brass! It's still the same old Bertie balderdash though so check it out if you too fancy a sea change in your modelling.

 

 

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  • Bertie Psmith changed the title to Voyage to the Centre of the Lee - F..F..F..F..F..FINISHED!!!

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