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Armor/AFV: Braille Scale
1/72 and 1/76 Scale Armor and AFVs.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Dragon VK.45.02(P)H (#7493)
tread_geek
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: March 23, 2008
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Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 07:10 AM UTC
I have started this Blog here so that there will be some place for it to reside and perhaps be linked the the review of the following at a future time.



For those interested you can find the review HERE. As this is low on the priority list it may be slow in seeing updates.

Fitting the Tracks
==================

After a bit of experimenting it became apparent that the track was too tight. It caused the tracks to rub up against the fenders so I decided to stretch it a bit.

As I mention in the review announcemnt, the track needs to be wrapped around the front sprocket before putting the sprocket in place. It is a pleasant and secure press fit, almost ideal. You can judge by the picture as to how it looks.



While I didn't expect an issue with fitting the track around the rear sprocket I still only lightly tacked the two halves together. This proved fortuitous as I couldn't get the track around the joined halves. I pried the pieces apart with little effort or damage and tried to place the track around the inner half. It's hardly perfect but at least it went around.



The outer half of the sprocket has a locating pin and a pretty snug fit. After getting the track somewhat on I attempted to put on the second half.



Finally, here's the overall look of the right suspension. Obviously it'll need some work but this at least gives an idea of what's involved.



Cheers,
Jan
Braille
#135
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Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013 - 06:12 PM UTC
@tread_geek Jan,

From the photographs that youve posted it appears you do have enough track length for creating some convincing sag. Im curious to see if dimensionally the lower hull may just be a bit on the shallow side or if the drive and idler wheels would need to be repositioned to provide a little more clearance between the tracks and fenders? This is something that Ill need to look into when I put my copy of this kit together, so thanks for sharing your findings here as you assemble your copy.

Its going to be interesting to see how the molded on cables and tools look after painting?

~ Eddy
tread_geek
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Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 03:20 AM UTC

Quoted Text

From the photographs that youve posted it appears you do have enough track length for creating some convincing sag. Im curious to see if dimensionally the lower hull may just be a bit on the shallow side or if the drive and idler wheels would need to be repositioned to provide a little more clearance between the tracks and fenders?



Eddy, my main reason for posting the above is to hopefully show those interested in the kit what they'll have to work with. The kit tracks while measuring out to the length suggested in the instructions initially went on rather tight. They were scraping along the hull overhang. As can be done with DS 100 tracks, I stretched them a bit to have enough for sag. BTW, the two ends of the track joined without issue.

Since the lower hull and suspension are basically those of the Elefant, here's an image of the one at Aberdeen. You can compare the kit to the real thing. (All images are For Discussion Purposes Only)



You can note the positioning of each sprocket to the road wheels and it looks similar to the kit.

Here's one of the fender over the front sprocket area.



Here you can see that the fender is just sheet metal with a 90 degree lip bend at the edges while with the kit it's gust solid plastic. While obviously not the exact same vehicle, you can see the family resemblance.

Thanks for your interest and comments.

Cheers,
Jan
Removed by original poster on 07/17/13 - 01:16:43 (GMT).
weathering_one
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 01:18 PM UTC
Jan,

I never noticed this blog and while not particularly interested in this vehicle, but it has me interested in the Elephant kit. I've read about the issues about the suspension but would the older kit be the same? Can't wait to see how this might come together.

Regards,
AJ
tread_geek
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Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 07:55 AM UTC
Hi AJ ,

While I've seen a lot of posts about the older Ferdinand and Elefant kits they never seem to have build commentary or images. What I can warn you about is that early versions from Dragon have metal hulls and most have vinyl tracks (not DS) that are too long! Without any knowledge I can't even speculate if the suspension might have had the same issues as with this kit.

Cheers,
Jan
erhntly
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Izmir, Turkey / Trke
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Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 10:43 AM UTC
Hi Jan

a nice coincidence, I'm building the same kit. (for paper panzer campaign) time is running out for me..

the latest model, but a mediocre mold ..



Good luck my friend
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 02:29 AM UTC
Nice neat clean build, but those moulded on details make it look so last-century.
tread_geek
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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 03:51 AM UTC
@erhntly - Erhan,

It is nice to have you drop by and interesting to see your build of this tank. Did you have the same problem with putting on the suspension arms that I did? (holes too small for the mounting pegs)

Your build looks good but I hope the loaders hatch is not glued down as it is upside down! That hand wheel to lock the hatch should be on the inside.

This part should be visible.



This is the inside of the hatch.



Just take your time with the tracks as they have problems.

@Biggles2 - Leo,

Could it be that Dragon has gone nostalgic or "retro" with their moulding?

Cheers,
Jan
erhntly
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Izmir, Turkey / Trke
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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 09:30 AM UTC
Hi Jan,

yes you are right .. When painting I saw the error about loaders hatch I was scraped..



holes are small, yes. I was enlarged.



You said "ust take your time with the tracks as they have problems" hımmm... I think, it's not a new model, We are making an old Airfix kit (I'm afraid ) tomorrow I take care of tracks..
tread_geek
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Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013 - 05:35 AM UTC
@erhntly - Erhan,

I am very happy that you were able to get the loader's hatch flipped around. Hopefully other people will read about this and it will save them some trouble.

Since you also had the same problem with the suspension that I did, we might assume that the other version of this kit (VK.45.02(P)V) will have the same issues. I will see about contacting the reviewer of the other kit and ask if he might check the suspension arm fit on his.

Does your turret rotate? Instead of taking off the little tabs like the instructions show, I just filed them down so mine can rotate freely.

I see that you arranged the suspension arms in the correct order. The instructions were not very clear on how they should be mounted. As for the tracks, I am still working on that. I think that maybe we should have painted and assembled the lower hull first and put the tracks on before gluing the top on.


Quoted Text

... I think, it's not a new model, We are making an old Airfix kit (I'm afraid ) tomorrow I take care of tracks..



Erhan, Airfix has some fit issues but I do not think any were as bad as this. Now, the early Heller 1/72 kits (AMX-30, AMX-13, AMX-DCA), that is another story.

Cheers,
Jan
tread_geek
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Posted: Saturday, July 20, 2013 - 08:46 AM UTC
Not a lot of progress but at least the left side suspension is now more or less complete but I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how to attach the tracks (without success). None of the bogies are glued yet so as to allow some flexibility for mounting on a base. The front sprockets are also just press fit as having then that way may help with the track attachment. In the pictures you can also see the moulded on Airfix-like tools. The logic behind a separate shovel (not on yet) is still anybody's guess!

The hull.





The rear plate attached.



Cheers,
Jan
erhntly
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Posted: Sunday, July 21, 2013 - 04:47 AM UTC
Hi Jan,

You're right, Track and Sprocket A bad score for Dragon..



I cut gears and only way input for track..



Loose in my track like yours, I had to stretch..





And tools and towing cable (on the side). Very bad moulding and I can't paint...



spacewolfdad
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England - West Midlands, United Kingdom
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Posted: Sunday, July 21, 2013 - 10:25 PM UTC
Hi Folks,

This model is similar to a lot of recent Dragon releases - just a boxing of their ready built series, not really an Armor-pro kit at all.

I feel all your pain with the track problem, but I am wondering why on earth they didn't include what must be the finest link and length set of tracks produced with this model. The Armor-Pro Elephant comes with these tracks and they are stunning, here is a picture of them fitted to a model I am in the process of finishing...







All the best,

Paul
firstcircle
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Sunday, July 21, 2013 - 11:48 PM UTC
Paul, that looks very nice...

There was a glimpse of the moulded on tools at the rear in Jan's review, but Jan's and especially Erhan's photos here reveal the true horror... that sledghammer and the wire cutters have just got to come off. That's almost Timpo or Lone Star quality.
BornToDig
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Posted: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 04:05 AM UTC
I am disgusted with how poor the recent releases by Dragon are.

I know its so their sweat-shop workers can assemble and paint them quicker for the too-dumb-to-build crowd, but then they should be boxed as something like "quick-kits" or "e-z build" or some such.


I was a huge fan of their Armor Pro series back around 2006-2008 when I built a lot of their shermans, stugs, tigers, and half-tracks. Then I went away from braille scale for a few years and came back earlier this year when I purchased the Panther D and VK 405.

The VK kit went right into the garbage. The panther is kind of meh, but workable.


It would be nice to generate a list of the recent armor-pro kits to give potential buyers an idea of what they're getting and not getting.
tread_geek
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Posted: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 07:13 AM UTC
Well, looks like this kit has raised quite a stir...GOOD!!!

@erhntly - Erhan,

I feel your pain and also share your disgust about this kit. I have also been considering removing teeth from the sprocket to get the tracks to fit. I did not glue my front sprockets on and yesterday pried the rear ones off. The track fits if you wrap it around the sprockets and then place them on but it is hard to get it to sit properly in other areas.

You have done a very good job at making the track look good on your build but we should not have to go through all this trouble with a "modern" kit.

@spacewolfdad - Paul,


Quoted Text

This model is similar to a lot of recent Dragon releases - just a boxing of their ready built series, not really an Armor-pro kit at all.



Actually, the only saving grace of some of the recent kits is when they include the older sprues as is evidenced by the gorgeous Tiger II turret in this one.


Quoted Text

I feel all your pain with the track problem, but I am wondering why on earth they didn't include what must be the finest link and length set of tracks produced with this model. The Armor-Pro Elephant comes with these tracks and they are stunning, here is a picture of them fitted to a model I am in the process of finishing...



Thanks for the sympathy but it could have been MUCH worse. The Dragon Ferdinand and Elefant actually have come with three varieties of tracks, vinyl that isn't even glue-able with CA glue, the ones you mention and this kit's DS100. I believe that I've read somewhere that for a while Dragon provided both the vinyl and L&L in the box. The DS100 version looks very good and is glue-able with normal cement so I have been considering cutting it into pieces and gluing it back on a section at a time. BTW, your Elefant extremely nice. Also, feel free to link to this Blog on any other sites you might visit and share with the modelling "botherhood" how nasty this kit is!

@BornToDig - Ralph,

Glad to have you venturing back to the "one true scale!" I and others have stated numerous times on this site that numerous recent releases have seen the Armor Pro "brand" drop in quality from around the middle of 2012 until now. At first it was a dropping in parts count, in some cases an over simplification of the kit, no longer providing PE options and culminating with these very recent kits.

The recent Panther 'D' kit is at least build-able without jumping through hoops. The recent Panzer III's are also similar but even these three hardly rate as Armor Pro (over simplified). As for a list, just enter the name of the kit in the Armorama search box at the top of most pages and hopefully a review of it is on this site.

Cheers,
Jan