Morning All! Right glacis plates... These blighters and the fit onto the hull with the DML Tiger1's has caused some headaches for a while with modellers. A lot of people use a 'sprue spreader' to push the hull apart in order to take the glacis part. When dry fitting the glacis and the bow-glacis-apron you can have a situation a bit like a frontal strike at point-blank from a IS2, as the glacis and apron 'eject' from the 'sprung' hull skywards!
I have a different slant on this issue (I thought you might... I hear you say!
) but more on that after this...
The glacis on #6383 has as we all know optional plug parts that sit in tooled recesses moulded into the rear of the part. These are removed at the lowest point in order to represent a bare armour patch on the face, when the plug is inserted. Then you can represent a late Tiger 1 from the HQ/1st Platoon/2ndPlatoon of the 1st Kompanie of the s.SS.Pz.-Abt.101 in Normandy '44'. The third platton had mids! Though when the 1st Kompanie transfered to the KT later in the campaign some of their late Tiger 1's were distributed to the equally decimated 3rd Kompanie. There is also a theory that a 2nd Kompanie Tiger had at least a 1st Kompanie hull... but thats another story and issue altogether! I told you these LAH Tigers were a tricky bunch
The sections to be removed are drilled from the rear with a micro drill to aid the 'cutting' of the part.
After the aperture has been opened up and you have trimmed the edges to a fairly smooth straight degree it's time to fill that opening. Now we can insert the plug and fill any gaps with Mr Surfacer whilst also bringing up the depth to a shallower level in stages, you could use some thinnish stock styrene sheet to speed this process up if you so desire.
And with that done we skip past a whole heap of the 'instructions procedural stages' and glue the glacis onto the hull!
Dragon themselves upon their website FAQ highlight the 'intentional warp' built into the hull of their Tiger 1's, and explain away the whys and wherefores, with this in mind and not having anymore than one pair of hands, I use the glacis itself as the spreader. This part is intended for the job, and when fitted and dry, all the corresponding parts, hull roof and bow-glacis-apron fit like a dream. Though on the zimmerit parts of #6383 the lower edge of the moulded zimmerit pattern slightly fouls the moulded zimmerit pattern of the BG apron part and you will get a much better fit by carefully removing some of the moulded surface texture before fitting. I have also softened the texture with wet and dry sand paper initially, upon the near horizontal apron part, as upon images of this area it is very hard to see the zimmerit (if applied) as being the main mounting point for the crew (hob nail boots and a ceramic ridged surface!!!), and a natural trap for detrius and mud etc always looks less textured. So with the glacis in place, the warp of the hull gone we can now safely dry fit the bow-glacis-apron and the hull roof if you are scepticle! (trust me I'm as paranoid as anybody, the fit of DML's parts are excellent with very rarely any filling needed, the one thing you notice doing mutiple Tigers is that the hulls all have a slight variation of 'warp',)
There we go 'spreaderless'!
That should help if you are doing an interior!!! Back to #6383 then. You can now fit with ease the bow-glacis-apron of your choice. You will notice that I am only using one of the zimmerit parts for the apron, I am going to paste the mugard-less one as I am not too keen on the PE solution for the join to the bow plate.
And here are the other hulls wating for their 'paste job'!
Here I have tried to capture the subtle texture of the near horizontal surface appearance of the bow-glacis-apron from a near 1/1 viewing angle, you can see that it does look less heavily textured from this angle, than the rest of the zimmerit pattern.
There you go then we are nearly at the point where the hull are 'shunted' for finishing at a later date!
Only joking, I have been told to complete thes kitties and that I will.
Back later, thanks again for looking in and all the comments and support! You can post on the thread if you wish, I don't bite!