Monday 7 July 2014

The Tank Factory Goes BIG!

So I decided to go from the sublime to the ridiculous, or perhaps in reverse, from the ridiculous (Italian L3/33 Tankette) to the impressive - German King Tiger, or Pzkfpw VI, Ausf B, (with 'Henschel' turret).

This is a Revell kit I have had in my stash for a while, 'OntheWay' website rates it as "One of the very best kits on the market today. Absolutely outstanding kit." 

I have been sort of skirting around it for a while. Firstly; because I don't want to be one of those bizarre 'fanboi' nuts who can tell you what some SS Panzer Ace had for breakfast the day he was killed, or have score tables memorised, and secondly, because I wanted to make a good job of the kit, so the smaller and easier vehicles were a good intro. Anyway, I finally 'screwed my courage to the sticking post'. 

 Handsome looking beast eh? I am going to try a variation on this paint, but very much lighter 'yellow' - the crews themselves applied camo over the factory base colour. It looks like the base colour got bleached quite rapidly, and you should always use a slightly lighter colour for smaller scale models.
Arrrghhh..  the enemy... 6 sprues of handsomely moulded tan plastic, one tiny tiny piece of mould flash to be cleaned off, otherwise perfect. Note the 101 track pieces bottom centre...

And here's all these wheels..   lots of cleaning of sprue attachment points. It's easy to get overenthusiastic and accidentally give them a flat rim. If you do, mark it in pencil and allocate to an axle where the top of the wheel is largely masked by the skirts.

As a reward for cleaning and assembling all the drive-train components (you can see the first set already attached to the lower hull side pieces on the left of the Pic), I allowed myself the luxury of starting on the Turret. Much more fun.

As you can see, the major assemblies are done. I had already dry-fitted (no-glue) the major hull parts together and was happy there would be no problems in getting them assembled correctly. Not attaching the lower hull and drive train to main hull made it much easier to assemble the tracks.

Complete other than tracks. The hanging tracks on the side of the turret were tricky to find good attachment points for. I am surprised that Revell didn't provide 'hangers' for the turret sides to attach them to. They would have been tiny, but not much smaller than some other components.

The Tracks are on! A very fiddly job, with the carpet monster swallowing one whole link. (I only found it today) - As you may notice, I have removed a couple of sections of the schurzen or side-skirts to simulate a bit of wear, so I fabricated a fake track link from one of the removed schurzen and hopefully the substitution wont be too noticeable. I also considered taking one of the turret link-sets and cannibalising that, but as they are cast as doubles it would be very fiddly, and I would have to fabricate hangers for the blank spot.

MEMO - Revell - please please please include a couple of spare track links in future link and length track sprues. It is horrible to think you might have a model ruined simply because you lost or damaged one single tiny component.

Glamour shot. This morning I decided the one noticeable thing missing was the electric cable between the front headlight and the junction box on the deck. I added it with 8A Fusewire, after drilling appropriate holes. 

I am rather pleased with the Biggest Cat - it's in the paintshop at the moment, getting the traditional car primer grey undercoat...   pics to follow when I feel brave enough to get the airbrush and paint brushes out.

On the whole, a great kit. As I noted above, a couple of omissions, the light cable, plus the hangers for the turret links. 

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