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RFM Challenger 2 1:35


TheEdge
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After getting my eye back into the game with my AS-90 and also a PzH2000 I thought it was time for me to break out a model that's been sat in the stash for a while but that I've not been brave enough to start until now. Stumbled upon RFM kits in a local shop who just seems to get stuff in at random and I've since picked up, but not started, a Challenger 2, Challenger 2 TES, Sherman Firefly and Leopard 2A6. So I suppose I'd better actually get one started. I decided on the Common or Garden Challenger 2. In my humble opinion the best looking modern MBT, and I will die on that hill. And an excuse to finally have a model with the Royal Tank Regiment Chinese Eye which just tickles me as a bit of nice British eccentricity. 

This also marks my first adventure away from the more usual kit manufacturers, apart from a Zvezda Tu-160 a few years ago, so I'm climbing out of the Revell, Tamiya and Trumpeter pond.

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So far I've only got a few steps done as work and other things have got in the way but I've managed to get the main parts of the lower hull together. Very impressed with the detail, slightly less impressed by the huge lumps of plastic from the pin ejectors that needed removing and filing down to get the parts to fit together. But, its all experience. Also, please excuse the background, my workspace is the coffee table...

 

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Complete with pin ejector detritus on the right...

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Ooooh, those tow hooks could do with the quick run over with a blade to tidy that flash...

 

Time to keep on going and try to forget about the RFM track links in my future...

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Thanks for the interactions so far. 

 

Well the last few days have been spent seemingly fitting the never ending amount of small details to the back and underside of the hull. 

 

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A collection of various sub-parts to be built before putting them on the hull.

 

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Underside of the hull with the suspension arms and the hydrogas suspension.

 

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The rear hull, tow hooks, tail lamps, hooks, seats for the water tanks, this took so much longer than I expected. It looks so underwhelming like that.

 

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Final bit for the evening, the two water tanks and their remarkably fiddly cradles.

 

Every instruction takes me closer to the one with the tracks...

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2 hours ago, Stef N. said:

Don't worry, the tracks look harder than they actually are. Just allow a bit of time and go easy on the glue.👍

 

I'm thinking it's probably a smart idea to give the entire track sprues a base coat of dark iron (or similar) before building. And then sit infront of the TV with Futurama playing and get into them.

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A little bit of work could be snuck in this morning so got the road wheels done and finished attaching the detail parts to the rear of the hull.

 

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I find road wheels annoying at the best of time at these were made all the more annoying by more of the large bits of excess plastic from the injection process. For what is a very detailed kit and that is going together very well it feels very sloppy to have these big thick bits of excess...

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The rear of the hull. I'm really impressed with the level of detail here. I'll need to get the filler out though...

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Next stage however is Step 6. The tracks. The track sprues have been primed and I'll hit them with an all over coat of Dark Iron tomorrow (that seems to be the go to colour I see used for tracks, other suggestions appreciated, Tamiya or Vallejo options only please) then I've got the rest of Saturday and Sunday to sit contemplating my life choices assembling tracks. And consider the 3 other RFM kits in the stash...

Edited by TheEdge
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On 12/08/2022 at 23:22, SimonL said:

Waiting to see the track process :popcorn: 

 

Well, its taken a season and a half of Futurama, with a break for lunch and sweating in these ludicrous temperatures...

 

I started yesterday with a liberal coat of Tamiya Dark Iron and a quick coat of gloss varnish, all applied quick and nasty with an airbrush to give a decent base colour and protect the paint for the liberal handling to come. I started yesterday evening by doing short lengths using one of the jigs and joining them together. It took me far too long to realise doing this was inefficient and meant counting and recounting track links to get to the magic 79. For the second set I decided to be smart and made a note that I was left with 5 of each part on the sprues used for the first set...

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So, we got to today...

 

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I glued all four jigs together, counted and trimmed 79 pads, backs and rods, parted them into pots and sat down in front of Futurama.

 

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A jig full of pads and rods, ready for a dab of Tamiya Extra Thin, two and half jigs made up the whole track.

 

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Its over! Two sets of tracks. Well actually minus one link, I'm going to ignore the instructions and glue the last links together once they are on the tank as I can't see how to actually get the track over the wheels if its already complete.

 

On 10/08/2022 at 06:42, Stef N. said:

Don't worry, the tracks look harder than they actually are. Just allow a bit of time and go easy on the glue.👍

 

Yeah, once I was in the groove its quite simple really, but time consuming. And the result is far better than rubber band tracks. Plus my quick and lazy pass with an airbrush has resulted in quite a lot of variation in colour. I'm going to call that "intentional pre-shading" 🤪

 

 

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Well its been a few days and progress has been slow thanks to work but got a few hours of detailing done and moved onto the top of the hull...

 

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Once again these large bits of pin injector debris continue to plague this model. Admittedly only a minor annoyance but a few of them are on surfaces that need gluing so they do need removing and filing flat. But given the price and the quality of the rest of the model this is really annoying, not looked in detail at the sprues of the other RFM models but I guess its a recurring problem. Anway...

 

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Many details glued to the back along with the nice etched covers for the engine bay. A lot of hinges and handles to go on. 

 

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And the front details. 

 

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And the turret begins. Very aware of the gap around the side of the turret, its not fully finished and glued yet, but I didn't take many pictures of the hull build stages so I felt like adding an extra one. 

I'm enjoying this build but after three AFVs in quick succession I feel like getting an aircraft started. Kinetic Pucara, Revell 767 or Tamiya P-38. Hard choice. 

Dave

 

Edited by TheEdge
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Nice progress with the Chally. :like:

I've found the ejector towers, as I call them, to be a common theme with RFM kits, I was interested to see how your prepainted tracks where going to work out. The tolerances are quite tight on some of these kits and a layer of paint on the mating surface can be enough to make things tight....(found that the hard way).

Good luck, I'll look forward to seeing how it progresses.

 

Cheers

Darryl 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Its been a while thanks to real life things being in the way but some Challenger progress...

 

First time its the first real bit of trouble I had from this kit. The main molding that made up the majority of the gun mantlet was curled pretty heavily out of shape. So I glued it with a considerable amount of glue down one side...

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Once that had been left to cure for an extended period to make sure the next step wouldn't pull it open again came another liberal application of glue and all the Tamiya tape I could fit...

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Luckily it worked, its still slightly out of shape and a bit tight in the turret but it fits. Talking about the turret...

 

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So that's most of the building done and time to get the airbrush out. Also time to move this to the painting area and the Italeri Rafale M that's waiting patiently to the side into the building area. 

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Great start to this project and some quick work too. Especially on the dining table!

I agree that Challenger 2 is a fantastic looking machine.

 

On RFM kits. I have been working on the re-released and upgraded Tiger 1 early. This was one of their first kits and is generally fine. I haven't noticed the ejector towers at all on this one, but the fit of the turret pieces and the upper hull to the lower hull was quite poor and needed a lot of sanding and persuasion. I am a new modeller so maybe just my inexperience though.

 

Looking forward to seeing progress on this one. What colour scheme are you going to go with?

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9 hours ago, Nig_Bipples said:

Great start to this project and some quick work too. Especially on the dining table!

I agree that Challenger 2 is a fantastic looking machine.

 

It has a presence and angry-ness to it that I don't think any other modern MBT has, possibly the nice sharp angles. 

 

9 hours ago, Nig_Bipples said:

On RFM kits. I have been working on the re-released and upgraded Tiger 1 early. This was one of their first kits and is generally fine. I haven't noticed the ejector towers at all on this one, but the fit of the turret pieces and the upper hull to the lower hull was quite poor and needed a lot of sanding and persuasion. I am a new modeller so maybe just my inexperience though.

 

I had to actually remove the little tabs that are meant to stop the turret popping off to actually rotate the turret. Although the turret fit is so tight it still won't come out without help. 

 

9 hours ago, Nig_Bipples said:

Looking forward to seeing progress on this one. What colour scheme are you going to go with?

 

I'm not sure really. I quite like the plain simple British Army green with a Chinese Eye. But then I have a desert Scimitar so maybe desert yellow. But it does have a scheme for Berlin Brigade camo. A brave choice but maybe I can find a mask.

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19 hours ago, Nig_Bipples said:

British Army Green please. Don't see too many of those around.

That's a good idea to take the tabs off the turret as well thanks.

 

 


It'll go nicely with the Chieftain, AS-90, Churchill, Archer, Cromwell and Sherman all in various shades of drab green.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Apologies for the radio silence, I've not had a massive amount of modelling time recently.

 

Although this has received a quick first coat of green and some pre-shading but not much worthy of showing. 

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4 minutes ago, TheEdge said:

Although this has received a quick first coat of green and some pre-shading but not much worthy of showing. 

Hey, we'll be the judge of that ;)

 

I'm about to post a pic of some decals that have had their carrier film removed.  :shrug:

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6 minutes ago, Mike said:

Hey, we'll be the judge of that ;)

 

I'm about to post a pic of some decals that have had their carrier film removed.  :shrug:

 

Judge away... 😁

 

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