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Armor/AFV: Modern Armor
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Trumpeter VRC-105 Centauro
Kelley
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Georgia, United States
Joined: November 21, 2002
KitMaker: 1,961 posts
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Posted: Friday, January 02, 2009 - 12:43 PM UTC
Hi guys, sorry it has taken me so long to get around to this, but after submitting the review the holidays arrived, and well...it just took me a while to get my photo set-up put back up . I am building the kit OOTB for the most part, with just a couple of small modifications to more accurately depict the Spanish Centauro, or just to personalize it a little. Hopefully this will give anyone interested an idea of how the kit goes together. This blog thing is new for me as well, I'm not used to taking pics along the way. If I don't touch on something you would like to know more about please ask and I'll try my best to answer any questions.

I actually began work on the lower hull while writing the review, and as I mentioned in the review I glued the lower and upper hull together very early on (the instructions wouldn't have you do it 'til step 16). Basically I glued the hull parts in step 1. This makes adding the suspension, fitting the rear hull plate, and adding all the small details on the upper hull much easier. Be sure if you go this route to open up all the holes from the inside you are supposed to before gluing the parts together. Everything went together very well, the only problem area is the rear hull plate. The fit is a little awkward, and I had to file away a little of the inside hull walls to get a better fit. It's still not perfect as I had to use just a little filler on the right rear, but unless you are looking for it the filler is pretty hard to detect with the naked eye.
I decided to add a little "life" to the kit by having my Centauro making a turn. At low speeds the driver can also engage the rear axle if needed to make a sharper turn, but I chose to just go with the front two. This is really quite easy to do, all that is needed is to drill out the half circle holes that the wheel supports (parts A27 & A45) fit in, just enough to turn them the required distance. All the connecting rods stay the same length so you will also need to reposition parts A12 & A13. (thanks to Brian Murdoch for the help in this area) Whether you choose to build the kit without repositioning the wheels or not I would suggest you add the wishbone struts (parts A41 & A42) at the same time as the wheel supports. It makes getting them in the correct position much easier. Also as mentioned in the review when building the wheel supports build three of each as the instructions tell you and one of each with the brake calipers (A43) reversed (turned 180 degrees), this way all the brake calipers will face the same way. I didn't measure the wheels when positioning them, I just eyeballed the supports so they may be off just a little, but they look good to me. I said this in the review but it bears repeating, many of the parts for the suspension are very similiar but they only go in one place or on one side, be sure you follow the instructions closely here. Anyway on to the first set of pics.

A couple of overall shots of the lower hull:


Some close-ups of the mods I made to the front suspension:


rear close-up:

With the tires on:


More to follow shortly.
Mike

outback
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: September 09, 2004
KitMaker: 247 posts
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Posted: Friday, January 02, 2009 - 05:59 PM UTC
Thanks for the photos and text Mike. I picked up my Centauro this morning and your tips have inspired me to have the wheels turning also.

Looking forward to more posts.

Cheers
Shane
c5flies
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California, United States
Joined: October 21, 2007
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Posted: Friday, January 02, 2009 - 07:43 PM UTC
Very nice start, Mike, looks like you're moving right along. Looking forward to seeing more progress.
sauceman
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: September 28, 2006
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Posted: Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 03:34 AM UTC
Coming along nicely Mike.

I'm a real fan of the turned wheels, good job. I never knew that the Centauro has a individual differential per wheel, interesting. Sure makes for alot of driveshafts LOL.


cheers from the sandbox
GreyHunter
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Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Joined: March 10, 2002
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Posted: Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 06:59 AM UTC
Hi Mike,

Looks like a very nice kit.
I like the steering wheels as well but you go to know that the steering is on the first, second and fourth axle so I think you got to turn the 4th as well.

Gr,
Marcel
Kelley
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Posted: Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 08:34 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Mike,

Looks like a very nice kit.
I like the steering wheels as well but you go to know that the steering is on the first, second and fourth axle so I think you got to turn the 4th as well.

Gr,
Marcel


Marcel, my understanding is that it is up to the driver whether or not the fourth axle is used to assist in the turn. If I'm wrong here someone please correct me.

Mike
GreyHunter
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Noord-Holland, Netherlands
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Posted: Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 09:04 AM UTC
Mike,

Sorry for the confusion but I did some deeper digging and found that the last axle only steers at speeds under 20km/h

Gr,
Marcel
Kelley
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Georgia, United States
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Posted: Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 09:22 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Mike,

Sorry for the confusion but I did some deeper digging and found that the last axle only steers at speeds under 20km/h

Gr,
Marcel


Hi Marcel, I was doing a little digging myself . In the Auriga Centauro book it says:

"The steering is usually done with the two front axels but at slow speed the pilot can make the last axel work as counter steering."

The italics are mine and were not in the original text, I used them to highlight the word "can". This indicates to me that it is the drivers choice whether or not to engage the last axel.

Cheers,
Mike
Kelley
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Posted: Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 09:55 AM UTC
Ok, next installment. First I wanted to post one more pic of the front suspension to highlight one other small "mod" to pose the wheel supports. All the wheel supports (part #'s A45 & A27) have a rod that fits into the differential. To facilitate turning the supports you will need to make a very small cut at the base of the rods so you can bend them just a little. I used my trusty X-acto knife with a sharp #11 blade to make a very shallow cut. Hopefully the pic will illustrate where I mean:


Next up, the rear plate, construction here is pretty straight forward except for a couple of areas. If you didn't read the review there are some parts numbers here that are reversed on the instruction sheet. Parts G6 & G7 and the accompanying parts are marked the wrong way, G8 goes with G6, and G18 should go with G7. The other small issue is part C18, a very small "L" shaped handle (circled in the pic below). The instructions are very vague on it's placement, but as the pic shows, the short end is glued into the locating hole with the long part pointing straight down. (again thanks to Brian for this info it's always nice when someone has paved the way for you )


Oh I forgot to mention, the door isn't glued in place, hence the tiny bit of lean that you see.

Next update coming real soon,
Mike
Kelley
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Posted: Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 10:47 AM UTC
I did say coming real soon
Ok, at the point I had glued the rear hull plate to the main hull I had to clamp it and put it aside to dry fully (overnight in this case). I don't always follow the construction sequence to the letter as you have already seen, so, having already cut some of the turret parts from the sprues while working on the review I went ahead and jumped to the turret construction. As you can tell from the pics below it's mostly done, there are a few detail parts I need to add which I plan on doing when I'm done with the hull (or if I need a break from the hull ) Once again it was pretty much straight forward, with so far just a couple of small areas causing problems. The most prominent of these is part # C51, the rear of the bustle rack. It was a couple of millimeters too wide, so I had to trim it just a tiny bit. Again I eyeballed it and as you can see from the pic I took a little too much off in a couple of spots . Thankfully it's not that visible to the naked eye. The other area concerns parts A28, the supports for the spaced armor. There is nothing wrong with them but again the instructions are a little vague about how they should be positioned. Each one has two tiny triangular supports on the sides, after checking some reference pics the support vanes should be in a vertical position (yes, nit-picky I know, but I can't help it ). Everything else goes together very well. Oh and to be sure, I did a little test fitting with the clear periscope parts, I will be able to glue them in place with tweezers after the bulk of the painting is done. I think the turret of the Centauro is very cool looking, and Trumpeter has done an excellent job here of replicating it, spaced armor, texture, and all. One last thing before the pics, the informed out there will notice that the rear antenna and the firing system sensor are reversed. This was my own fault, Trumpeter has it right in the instructions, I just got in a hurry and messed up , and haven't fixed it yet. Ok here are the turret pics.





A couple of close-ups to better show the texture:


A few overall pics:






The last one for now, just to give you an idea of the Centauros size, I took a pic of it next to the 1/35 Tamiya Challenger 2 I have in progress.


Any and all comments welcome,
Mike
seb43
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Paris, France
Joined: August 30, 2005
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Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 03:50 AM UTC
Looking Really Good Mike
Congrats now the paint stage
cheers
Seb
wbill76
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Texas, United States
Joined: May 02, 2006
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Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 04:05 AM UTC
This one came together quickly and is looking good Mike, I'm looking forward to seeing it painted.
DeskJockey
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Virginia, United States
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Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 04:30 AM UTC
Wow! The Centauro is quite large! Yours is coming along quite nicely. Can't wait to see it painted!
Kelley
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Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 05:11 AM UTC
Thanks guys, I appreciate the replies, though it may look "finished" in some of the pics, there is actually quite a lot of detail work to be done before reaching the paint stage (take a close look at the hull, there are quite a few locating holes left unfilled). I also need to finish the main gun, so far all I've done is glue the two pieces together. There is still a good bit of work to do getting rid of the seam, and assembling the rest of muzzle. That is what I'm about to start on today (while also keeping an eye on the play-off games )

Mike
Hisham
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Al Qahirah, Egypt / لعربية
Joined: July 23, 2004
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Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 05:42 AM UTC
Nice work so far. It really is a nice looking vehicle... and kit.

What color will you be painting it? I just got mine today and I have no idea what green to use.

Cheers
Hisham
Kelley
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Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 06:29 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Nice work so far. It really is a nice looking vehicle... and kit.

What color will you be painting it? I just got mine today and I have no idea what green to use.

Cheers
Hisham


Thanks Hisham, when I get to it the plan right now is to use Tamiya XF-67 NATO green mixed 50/50 with Gunze H-71 middlestone per this discussion over on ML:
http://www.network54.com/Forum/47209/thread/1226833439/Regimiento+de+Caballer%EDa+Ligero+%28RCL%29+Lusitania+8

Best,
Mike
35th-scale
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Kildare, Ireland
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Posted: Monday, January 05, 2009 - 01:41 AM UTC
That does look nice...definitly have to put it on my shopping list.....

Cheers,
Sean
seb43
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Paris, France
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Posted: Monday, January 05, 2009 - 06:27 AM UTC
Mike
What about the barrel ???
I can see some seam line ??
Maybe Trumpeter can release an aluminiun one of an AM one ??
Or Am I hallucinating ???
Kelley
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Posted: Monday, January 05, 2009 - 08:48 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Mike
What about the barrel ???
I can see some seam line ??
Maybe Trumpeter can release an aluminiun one of an AM one ??
Or Am I hallucinating ???


Hi Seb,
No you're not hullucinating there is a seam line there. Check my post five up from this one .
I wouldn't mind seeing an AM barrel but I think it would have to be resin, or maybe a combination of resin and aluminum to capture all the details accurately. Trumpeter actually did a very nice job on the barrel, it just needs some careful attention to get rid of the seam, but at the same time not mess up any of the details.

Mike
Bio_Terrex
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Singapore / 新加坡
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Posted: Monday, January 05, 2009 - 03:21 PM UTC
Mike,

I refer to the instruction on the Step 1. lower hull assembly (part A4 & A5 for both) compare with you work, there is some different with the instruction as there is not many pics. on that! Could you highlight on that? Thanks
Kelley
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Georgia, United States
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Posted: Monday, January 05, 2009 - 03:42 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Mike,

I refer to the instruction on the Step 1. lower hull assembly (part A4 & A5 for both) compare with you work, there is some different with the instruction as there is not many pics. on that! Could you highlight on that? Thanks


Good eyes Sebastian, if I understand your question correctly you are referring to the fact that I installed the front drive shaft on both sides reversed from what the instructions show. (I just didn't think to mention this above) Once again this is something that happened because I was in a hurry and didn't look close enough at the instructions . By the time I realized it, I had moved on to the next step and it would have been a royal pain to fix. I'm basicly lazy, so I decided to leave it as is for this model, I'll know better for the next one. (and now anyone reading this will too I hope )

Best,
Mike
Bio_Terrex
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Singapore / 新加坡
Joined: November 03, 2008
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Posted: Monday, January 05, 2009 - 05:14 PM UTC
Hi Mike, thanks for the reply! I am lucky to fix on one side only, that is how i discover that. Anyway nobody know when the model is on display. Can't wait to see your finish work.
Gt351
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Tasmania, Australia
Joined: July 26, 2003
KitMaker: 142 posts
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Posted: Monday, January 05, 2009 - 10:09 PM UTC
Hi Mike very nice work you have there, I'm picking mine up from LHS thursday and your thread will be great help when i get around to the build, thanks, cheers Bob.
Gt351
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Tasmania, Australia
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Posted: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 09:57 PM UTC
Hi Mike, just wondering how the build is coming along and how are you tackling the mantlet cover problem, cheers Bob.
Kelley
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Georgia, United States
Joined: November 21, 2002
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Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 01:18 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Mike, just wondering how the build is coming along and how are you tackling the mantlet cover problem, cheers Bob.


Hi Bob, thanks for the compliment above. The last week has been a little hectic for me (to say the least ) but I have gotten some more work done. I hope to get an update on the Centauro posted by the weekend. I started on the mantlet cover yesterday, what I'm doing is removing a small strip of plastic down the center and on the sides, then gluing back together,and then resculpting with some apoxie sculpt. We'll see how it turns out . Hopefully I'll be able to get some pics posted soon.

Best,
Mike