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Syrian Rebel T-55 Build-Log
Jamesite
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United Kingdom
Joined: December 05, 2006
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Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2014 - 02:39 PM UTC
Hello one and all!

I make it ~2years since I posted a thread on here and probably nearer 5 that I managed to finish a build for you guys. However, some more spare time, a promise to an old friend (who will be cropping up on here regularly I guarantee) and a new years resolution means that here I am.

So the topic I'll be persuing will be a T-55 as captured and used by the Syrian rebel troops during the ongoing (unfortunately) civil war there.
The AFV I'll be building won't be based on any particular refernece photos (or videos for that matter as some very interesting ones are available on youtube) and as such will allow for a certain amount of creative freedom. However, the general guise will be a Syrian army T-55 that perhaps has been out of action or in storage, was overun by rebel troops and has been salavged and put back into action with some basic work. ie. a very beat-up T-55!
The Syrian army was one of the earliest recipients of the T-54 and has ammassed a large repertoire of variants over the years and as such provides some real options for the build.
However, as stated, I have a horific reputation for not getting things finished and so the idea will be to keep this fairly simple for that purpose (some encouragement to keep at it from you guys would also come in very useful please!)

So, what am I using? Well when you absolutely, positively need to build a T-55 you can accept no subsitutes but Tamiya's excellent offering. I've heard nothing but good things about this kit and it's been sitting in my stash for a long time, so here we go:



As no build is ever as much fun as when you throw some aftermarket at it, I've leafed through the stash and dug out the following:



I've actually ammased a few T-55 bits over the years I've had this kit as basically I had no idea what to do with it. I finally settled on a destroyed lebanese Tiran but didn't want to destroy the lovely Tamiya kit and bought an old Trumpeter version on the cheap to use instead. However, I'll be dipping into a few parts from that (ditant)future build to help me here.

At the top is Mig's T-55 burn-out set. I got this on sale and it's a nice set. While most parts will not be used on this build I'll steal a few non-crucial bits to help my T-55 look more worn out.
At the bottom left is Verlinden's Tiran conversion for the Tamiya kit, 95% is not relevant but I may steal the interior parts for the commanders cupola and hatch as I intend to add some figs and leave the hatches open.
To its right are Abers turned brass 7.62mm barrels bought for another uncompleted project but one of the variants should work for the co-ax SGMT nicely.
Finally there is the CMK 100mm D-10TG Gun w/KTD-2 Rangefinder & Sleeve which I again got on sale ages ago and then realised was failry useless on its own as most T-55's went other exterior upgrades alongside this. However, I have found a pic of a KO T-55 in Syria that has this set-up and no sign of other additions, so I'm happy to forge ahead. Pretty much enforces the rule that with a T-55 almost any combination of fittings is possible.

I think that's enough to get started, as mentioned I appreciate any support from you guys in order to finally see a build through!

Cheers,

James
Jamesite
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Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2014 - 02:56 PM UTC
So some immediate progress to wet your appetites.

I usually find the running gear the most laborious part of any build and so try and get in their quickly and finish it. However, I shouldn't have been too concerned as the Tamiya wheels etc. have gone together very quickly and easily despite me trying to complicate things from the get-go.



On the left are the Tamiya wheels built OOTB (as are the drive sprockets and idlers underneath), to the right are some Tamiya wheels modified to remove the central hub-cap, then we have a couple of Mig's 'burn-out' wheels minus the rubber (as I said this thing is going to be beat-up!) and finally as a real curve-ball we have a DML late T-34/85 spider wheel masquerading as an early T-54 spider wheel. Probably an unlikely combo and I don't have a lot of evidence for this but I have seen a T-62 Tiran with one fitted so it's not unfeasible, especially as Syria received a lot of these early models.

All were given a fairly heavy time under the dremel with a round burr to distress the rubber (except the mig versions obviously). I've seen wheels look brand new and others where the rubber is absolutely devastated so I had plenty of room to play here. The key was to try and do them all slightly different to add to the idea of a 'mix and match' wheelset the Rebels have aquired to keep this old girl running.



To remove the moulded on hub for the Tamiya wheels I cut away the plastic with a dremel then sanded flat. This exposes the hole for the axle underneath. Holes were drilled with a pin vise to represent the missing bolts and I'll drill out the axles to represent the look of the real things. Not a 100% accurate portrayal but once covered in grease and dust should look the part without making life too complicated.



Probably impossible to see here but as T-34 wheels are thinner then their T-55 counterparts I've added a circular shim from the spares box between the two DML wheel halves to match the width. While the tyres are still a bit thinner I can't see any difference being noticeable by the time they're fitted and have tracks mounted. The tamiya axle and the wheel will require some work to mate them together however....

Till next time,

James
spitfire303
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Posted: Monday, January 13, 2014 - 08:49 AM UTC
I'm very happy to finally see you finally back here James. It reminds me of some good old time we were a happy bunch of people commenting on each others build logs. I'll be looking to see that one DONE

I mean... from http://thesaurus.com:
-----------------------------------------
Antonyms for done for

accomplished
successful

Usage Notes

In the adjectival sense “completed, finished, through,”
-----------------------------------------



Ok let's get serious. Very nice choice of kit (it's not a KT though!), with quite a few accessories which will make it very interesting to look at. I always admired your capacity of detailing and scratch building so I'm sure you'll be at your best. Maybe just don't spend too much time on interior, I saw quite a few builds started but after the energy you put in "inside" of the kit there was not enough left for the "outside". You know empty opened hatches are not so bad Just kidding here. I wait the painting phase. A worn out tank is always a challenge to every modeller. What is the paint scheme for that one? A single desert colour or some kind of camouflage? In fact I have in my stash the same kit and the "Enigma" Legend conversion set, individual tracks and a metal barrel so it may give actually me some ideas!

Hope to see more progress soon.

spit


SHarjacek
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Posted: Monday, January 13, 2014 - 09:20 AM UTC
Looks like a great project, I'm really interested in Middle Eastern armor so following this topic is a must. Good luck!


Kind regards, Sven.
Jamesite
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Posted: Monday, January 13, 2014 - 05:26 PM UTC
Hi Pawel mate,

Thanks for getting involved so quickly, appreciate the support! Yes would be good to get back to the 'good old days' wouldn't it!

Glad you've clarified what getting it done means! (Bet you can do that in at least 3 languages too!) I'll be staying away from an interior for that very reason, while I do enjoy them it's always a death sentence for my builds! The only parts you could consider an interior are a couple of peices immediately inside the cupola and I'll be filling the hatches with figures so it won't take up too much of my time.

Good question on paint scheme as I haven't mentioned that. My influence for how I'd like this to look is Micheal Rinaldi's T-62M1 that featured in MMI a while back and is also in his book 'Tank Art 3'.

M.R. T-62M1

He used the hairspray technique to great effect to make an abandonned Afghan vehicle and I love his work (This was used by MIG for their conversion box art)
While mine will never be that good I'll basically be using hairspray and multiple layers of paint to emulate a vehicle that's had lots of owners and lots of hard years.

Sven, A pleasure to have you on board mate, hopefully I can keep you entertained all the way to the end!

James
Jamesite
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Posted: Monday, January 13, 2014 - 06:47 PM UTC
Hi,

I discovered there was a group build of the T-55 on at the minute so I've enrolled there to try and have another reason to finish! Hopefully a few of those guys will be keen to see this progress too.

Talking of progress.....

First up lets keep it simple:



Tamiya's tracks glued and ready. I do have Trumpeters Indy links in the stash which look like a nice set, but as part of the plan to keep it simple I didn't want to go down that road. The Tamiya set are pretty well detailed for this medium and as there are no return rollers the upper run can be glued to the top of the roadwheels and acheive a fairly realistic look.

Onto the hull:



Lower tub together and the suspension arms in place. Tamiya certainly living up to their reputation, this all went together beautifully.



Another view. On both pictures you'll see an arm on both sides which I've drilled out. This is to match the wheels with the hub cap removed. The second from the front has also been cut down somewhat and this is to aid the fitting of the DML T-34/85 spider wheel which also needed a larger hole diameter drilling out to fit. Currently the fit of this is loose compared to the others with their poly caps keeping them snug, but once glued will be fine.



Rear hull plate. As I want the tank to look fairly simple I've removed the fittings (or the holes for them) for the external fuel barrels and the unditching log. After taking this I realised I also need to remove the 'C' shaped raised areas at the plate edges as these are the welds for the rear fender supports which I'll be removing.

Onto the upper hull:



By the way, I appologise for the photos the camera seems to be seeing the light differently in different shots hence the seeming change in colour of the plastic. I've corrected the photos using paint shop pro but it doesn't help (in fact seems to make worse). I've got two lamps set up but will see what else I can do.

Anyway, in this view you can see I've removed the hinged portion of the front fenders and thinned down the remaining portion, leaving the rearmost portion of the hinges intact and removing alternate 'blocks'.





These two shots show the rest of the fenders better, basically I've removed all of the Tamiya moulded on mounting blocks for the fuel cells and stowage boxes as I won't be using any of them. The only thing I'll probably use is a couple of the Mig 'burn-out' resin fuel cells to replicate dented versions (the front two are concave and so will pass for dented whereas the rear two are convex and so look burnt out) I want the fenders pretty bare and because of their thin sheet metal nature, fairly beat up looking.
I have mixed references showing these fittings missing but feel it will work for the feel of my build.

There's a great thread on the site with photos of the fenders without their fittings which I've found very useful here. Although there are fittings below the fittings if you get my drift which I'll have to detail up but doesn't seem like too big a job.

Thats all for now, appreciate your feedback and any comments/suggestions you may have.

Cheers,

James
spitfire303
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Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 09:11 AM UTC
A lot of sanding here James! A quite custom T-55 it will be. Keep up the good work!

spit
Jamesite
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Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 05:12 PM UTC

Quoted Text

A lot of sanding here James! A quite custom T-55 it will be. Keep up the good work!

spit



Cheers mate! yeah thats the look I'm going for, something a bit different.
It looks a bit messy with all the sanding marks at the minute but it's farily fine (P360) and so will tidy up nicely.

James
Jamesite
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Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 07:38 PM UTC
Ok, making some rapid progress on this one, mostly thanks to the ease of construction of the Tamiya kit.



In reference to the earlier photo I've filed and filled the welds/holes for the rearmost fender supports on the rear glacis plate.



Test fitting the two halves of the hub showed that there are some gaps left exposed in the lower hull which would normally be covered by the front portion of the fenders, therefore some scrap styrene sheet was glued to act as a shim and fill the gap, and I've added humbrol filler to ensure no gaps (yet to be sanded in this pic).





The upper hull has had some more work lavished upon it, firstly the turret race extensions and fender supports are added as is the front part of the engine deck, horn, exhaust, glacis fittings and drivers hatch and periscopes.
You'll see I've added the additional part for the anti-radiation lining over the drivers hatch. This was after some deliberation as to which variant of the 5 options Tamiya give you I was going to build. I've gone for 'C' which is a polish version with AA machine gun. No evidence for T-55A's with this anti-radiation coating in Syria that I can find online (with the exception of re-built or later models like the AM2) but I thought it would allow me to add some contrast to these parts when painting so went for it anyway.

It also won't have escaped you notice that I've given the fenders a beating and added the drainage holes that are usually hidden by the stowage boxes/fuel cells.



A better shot of the glacis plate shows a couple of details worth noting. I've removed a couple of the attachment point bolts and drilled out the holes that would therefore be left (also done on equivalent points on lower glacis). Also I've corrected one of Tamiya's few errors and added 'glass' into the periscope holes from scrap styrene sheet. Often an area the big T overlooks.


I also have a couple of questions for you guys regarding some features of this build and would appreciate some input:

- 1st the headlights and protective cage on the front glacis. I'm not a big fan of the tamiya guard as it seems a bit overscale, therefore I've come up with the following options:

1. Leave lights and guard off and fill mount holes in glacis. This would fit with the more minimal ethos of the build and I could still scratch the protected cable tube and some wires hanging loose as if removed, making the build a bit more beat up?

2. Mount one or two lights without the guard, again, make it look a bit more minimal but potentially less plausible?

3. Toughen up and scratch a new guard from wire, probably not too hard and could add some damage easily as it's wire, then potentially have one or both lights missing?

-2nd I'm thinking that removing all the stowage boxes on the left fender may be a bit too drastic and therefore I could include one (+ damage?). As I'm including the front fuel cell I'm thinking that the rearmost stowage box behind the exhaust outlet (stowage box 'c' in tamiya instructions) may work to 'balance out' the fenders? so:

1. Leave it off, the tank has been sitting in an Syrian army storeyard for a few years and has been plundered for it's external fittings for other vehicles

2. Put it on so that the left fender isn't too bare and try to dremel out the inside to thin the plastic and add some dents and/or bullet holes for damage.

Appreciate your input anyway guys!

James
Jamesite
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Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014 - 02:37 PM UTC
Hmm, maybe the site's not what it used to be, just posting a photo of the kit box used to generate 20 responses!

Still never mind, I'll persist but would love to get some input on the questions previously posed.

So first up we'll have a look at how all the elements so far look once together:











Starting to come together now and look like something!

I've started work on some of the more detailed parts of the build:



The front fuel cell with scratch built fittings. Not 100% accurate but close enough for the purposes of this build and will look the part once fitted.



Engine deck grilles completed. I used some Aber mesh I had in the spares box rather than the overscale Tamiya stuff, will also be able to attack the PE stuff with a knife to get that lovely beaten up look that is the ethos of the build!



Have also started to play with the CMK barrel set, the fit is a lot better than I was expecting having seen fit issues with their T-55 AM2 update in Osprey's modelling the T-55 book which is my companion during the build. It fits Tamiya's mantlet opening well and the resin parts have good detail. However, I'm thinking twice about using the kit barrel as the thermal sleeve fittings seem to be drastically overscale. In pictures I've seen the sleeve is very thin sheet metal and the clamps are put over the top, so are raised above the sleeve. CMK's barrel would have them sit in the very deep slots you see.

Anyone know much about these thermal sleeve's and how accurate the barrel is? Tempted to use Mig's burn out version and make my own sleeve and just use CMK's PE fittings.



The excellent casting on the mantlet is also very thin in places and difficult to assess externally, therefore I smothered the inside with putty that thickened up the thinner parts of the casting......



and squeezed out through the holes that were present, filling them and allowing me a much easier job of clean up on the outside. You should be able to make out the little blobs of putty near the central support 'rib'.

Hopefully some of the hundreds of viewers the thread seems to have can let me know what they think, I'd love to hear from you!

Cheers,

James

PzDave
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Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014 - 05:38 PM UTC
Go to "You Tube" and type in "knocked out Syrian tanks"//there is a wealth of videos to assist you with weathering and battle damage etc.
Good luck with your build.
Tanksami
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Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014 - 08:55 PM UTC
Hi James,

Looking really nice!!

In answer to your questions I personially would do the following

1) Just add the conduit & wiring for the main lights & have the all "lost,borrowed or stolen"!! Just leaving maybe the stumps of the bottom of the cage??

2)I also wouldn't try & "balance" each fender with a fuel cell at the front & a stowage box on the other side IMHO it would look contrived?? But what if you modified one into were one of the rear fuel cells used to be??

Or maybe as you aren't doing to an excat photo you could maybe leave the rear to fuel cells & replace the front one with a stowage box?? If you notice in the Osprey book the T54 at the back is done like that.

3)Also I am not sure if it is the close up of your photos, but maybe the drainage holes are slighty large & misplaced?? Or it could just be my not wearing my glasses , I have a build on page 5 under the heading of Tamiya T55 which shows some drainage holes, I also have some reference photos on this if you want to check, I can PM you??

I am also trying to build a civil war vet but from Libya, I to am in that fantastic campaign of Paul's that you're in.

I love the hubless road wheel & may borrow the idea for a future build if you don't mind??

Cheers Mike
dogstar
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Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014 - 09:57 PM UTC
I'm quite enjoying following along as I'm also building a T55, albeit just a boring old Russian one. I don't have much to add on the accuracy front but I'd like to build a scuffed up T55 soon and I suspect I'll be borrowing some of your ideas.
jhbarford
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Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014 - 11:32 PM UTC
Hi James,

your T55 looks fabulous, I can only aspire to such quality work but I am enjoying the T54/55/62 campaign, it's my first group build. Re. your concerns about the empty track-guard (sorry I can't bring myself to call them fenders, it just sounds too transatlantic!) have you considered adding some general 'clutter' or some non-standard storage containers to fill some of the void? Just a thought.

I look forward to watching your progress.

Cheers Jon
Jamesite
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Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 02:12 PM UTC
Thanks for the feedback guys!

David, yeah I've seen some impressive vids on youtube, there are some of Rebel T-55's in action, one coming under and returning fire (a very beat up AM2B variant) and one out in the countryside firing on a hill which includes footage from inside the turret while loading and firing, certainly a big influence on my decision to model this vehicle!

Mike, appreciate you thoughts on my questions. I started on the wiring conduits last night and they would look good on their own. I did start to fabricate a replacement cage from styrene rod to see how it would look too. May get some more time on that today so will be able to make a decision, I think an empty glacis is probably the way to go though.

Also a good point about the stowage box, I could add the turret zip locker as you say was mounted on the front fender on that T-54, however I can't muck about with the fuel cells as I've already detailed the front one you see in the post and need the rear burn out versions for my K-O future build.

Drainage holes - you may have me here, the reference I used seemed to show a variance in where these holes were placed (but it could be me getting confused). Tamiya also seem to have holes underneath the fenders that would lend themselves to drilling out to replicate these but some of them are directly under support ribs which doesn't seem to make much sense. In the end I 'best guessed' it and basically put them centrally between each supporting rib. Agree they are probably too big too but once I'd committed to a bit size I had little choice but to continue. I've thinned the fenders underneath the holes with a rotary tool now so too late to go back I'm afraid, will have to accept the inaccuracy here sorry!

As for using my idea on the hubless roadwheels, go to town mate! I won't be the first or the last to try and replicate this so I have no problems at all with you using the method.

That goes for anything else on my build guys, if you see something you want to emulate, then that fulfils one of the purposes of posting the thread. Am very happy if I can inspire any fellow modellers.

Likewise Barry, glad to be of service! Please you're enjoying following and I hope the paintwork doesn't let me down! 'Boring old Russian one' - I like it!

Jon, haha, trackguards/fenders - potato/potato (doesn't work without the accent does it!).
Pleasure to have you along and glad you like what you see. Yes, there will be some clutter on these trackguards (almost wrote fenders and stopped myself!) and I think that getting an appreciation of how the clutter fills the space will ultimately help with wether or not they need to be 'balanced', so thanks for bringing it up. Will try and work out what clutter I'll be using now to help make the decision. They key will be getting the balance right, given the Rebel's aren't that well equipped any clutter will still have to be minimal.

I bought two sets of Value Gear's resin stowage just before Xmas and can't for the life of me find where I've put it which is a real pain. Maybe will ransack the stash today and try and put a finger on it!

Thanks again gents!

James
jointhepit
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Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 08:02 PM UTC
"Hmm, maybe the site's not what it used to be, just posting a photo of the kit box used to generate 20 responses!"

over the years it's getting hard to keep up with all them posts,might be an answer...

anyways same reason I don't post that much no more,but this post gives me new resolve to change that soon

btw just spend some hours between work on a Trumpie T55,also a Syrian subject , but I'm going for the SAA dugg in look, hope to score some pointers here and there from your post!, thanks for the many sharp pics,a picture sometimes tells a Thousand words!


greetz
RLlockie
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Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 09:35 PM UTC
Looks promising so far.

One thing you might like to consider is correcting the reinforcing pressings on the front of the trackguards. Tamiya moulded these as raised but in reality they are depressions.
spitfire303
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Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014 - 02:31 AM UTC
sorry for being absent. But I was working hard to finish one of the two "boats" I have under-way

Looking very good James. I can't wait the paint, I'll be able to say more. The build is looking really good.


Quoted Text

-2nd I'm thinking that removing all the stowage boxes on the left fender may be a bit too drastic and therefore I could include one (+ damage?). As I'm including the front fuel cell I'm thinking that the rearmost stowage box behind the exhaust outlet (stowage box 'c' in tamiya instructions) may work to 'balance out' the fenders? so:

1. Leave it off, the tank has been sitting in an Syrian army storeyard for a few years and has been plundered for it's external fittings for other vehicles

2. Put it on so that the left fender isn't too bare and try to dremel out the inside to thin the plastic and add some dents and/or bullet holes for damage.



I would go here for the solution n°1 I've seen some models with quite "empty" fenders which had lovely weathering (pigments, oils stains etc). Will drop you few files via email tonight.


Quoted Text

I also have a couple of questions for you guys regarding some features of this build and would appreciate some input:

- 1st the headlights and protective cage on the front glacis. I'm not a big fan of the tamiya guard as it seems a bit overscale, therefore I've come up with the following options:

1. Leave lights and guard off and fill mount holes in glacis. This would fit with the more minimal ethos of the build and I could still scratch the protected cable tube and some wires hanging loose as if removed, making the build a bit more beat up?

2. Mount one or two lights without the guard, again, make it look a bit more minimal but potentially less plausible?

3. Toughen up and scratch a new guard from wire, probably not too hard and could add some damage easily as it's wire, then potentially have one or both lights missing?



also n°1, for a beat up vehicle it's perfect.

I'm really, really happy seeing your post going on. Keep up the great work my friend!

spit
Jamesite
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Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014 - 08:46 PM UTC
Hey gents,

Tha Pit, you're probably right a lot busier than it used to be on here I'm sure.
Hope I could influence you to post again, I'm actually really enjoying it after all this time so thanks to all!

Hull down is definately the way to go with those old Trumpeter kits. I built one a whie back and ended up just mounting the turret and a section of the hull to avoid having to correct all of the other issues. Did it as a Afghan version with a very interesting paint scheme:



Hope I can be of influence and glad the pics are working for you!

Robert, good point, I'll have a look at that as I remember seeing it done in the Osprey book. Any tips for an easy way? Don't want to mess up the work I've already done in the area. Thanks for the spot though.

Pawel, No worries my friend. Thanks for your input, definately less is more I see you think is the way to go. I played around with some stowage last night and think I may have gone for too much 'clutter'. May tone it down a bit but will check out those files you've sent for some influence first.

Cheers guys, will have some more pics up tomorrow!

James
RLlockie
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Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014 - 09:34 PM UTC
Haven't started either of mine yet but I'll probably replace that section with styrene or litho plate or pewter sheet, as the plastic will probably be too thick to modify in place (by removing the rib, cutting a slot, backing with scrap and radiusing the slot edges). Happy to hear of any better options though.
Jamesite
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Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014 - 11:32 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Haven't started either of mine yet but I'll probably replace that section with styrene or litho plate or pewter sheet, as the plastic will probably be too thick to modify in place (by removing the rib, cutting a slot, backing with scrap and radiusing the slot edges). Happy to hear of any better options though.




Hey Robert,
Yeah I was thinking that to modify it would have to do something similar. Hmmm, may be a lot of extra work at this stage in the build so may give it a miss and accept the innacuracy. Will see how I go.

Cheers,

James
chefchris
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Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014 - 12:26 PM UTC
Ditch the CMK piece. Its not even close to being right. The bore evacuator is all wrong and the length is short. Also the Mantlet is too small and the LRF is also on the small side.

You may want to consider detailing the idler mount too.

Interesting project!!

Chris
Jamesite
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Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014 - 12:39 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Ditch the CMK piece. Its not even close to being right. The bore evacuator is all wrong and the length is short. Also the Mantlet is too small and the LRF is also on the small side.

You may want to consider detailing the idler mount too.

Interesting project!!

Chris



Thanks Chris, the more I looked at that Barrel the more I was convinced it was wrong. Shame though, I've had that thing for years and it seems a waste to not use a turned alloy barrel! I think I'll go with the Mig burnout barrel (which is also not without it's own problems) but will still use the CMK mantlet and LRF, I can handle them being a bit small as they are still nicely detailed and are part of the look I want for the build. Actually took some comparison shots last night which I'll post now.

What needs to be done to the Idler mounts?

Glad you like the work so far,

James

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Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014 - 01:55 PM UTC
Ok, lets have a chat about barrels then.

I'm grateful to Chris for confirming my suspicions about the CMK barrel. As mentioned it's rendition of the thermal sleeve is WAY overscale.
Therefore I'll break out the 'burn-out' barrel from the Mig set. This is nice as it includes (or not as the case may be) details for a missing fume extracor which certainly adds to the look I'm going for. Here's a look at both barrels:



As this shot illustrates, neither have great detail on the barrel ends. However, this can be remedied with the Mig barrel as Tamiya have a seperate part (C-10) for their plastic barrel muzzle end which I should be able to mate onto the Mig barrel.

This has got me thinking about other potential barrel/mantlet options as the Mig set also incudes a mantlet without cover:



Can see Chris' point about the CMK mantlet being a bit short here.

So that lend's the following options for barrel and LRF setup:



Original CMK set (as mentioned not happy with the barrel)



CMK mantlet and LRF with Mig barrel (probably my favourite combination)



Mig barrel and mantlet with CMK rangefiinder (nice combo but building a mount for the rangefinder looks to be a pain and I can't find any reference material for how it's mounted under the cover. - note the CMK (Eduard) PE which I could still use to scratch a thermal sleeve).

So a few combinations possible there. How about I drop a real curve ball into the mix?





Verlinden's 'point-blank' turret. Not destined for this build really, will be used alongside the remainder of the Mig set on a KO Tiran.

A bit of fun:



Looks good but realistically there is too much damage for the T-55 I want to build:



So unless anyone can convince me otherwise (and quickly as I'll be moving onto the turret area shortly!) I'll use the CMK mantlet and LRF with the Mig barrel +/- the thermal sleeve fittings if I think the effort of building the scratch parts worthwhile (perhaps having a section of sleeve missing may make painting more fun actually???).

Perhaps should post some progress too?



Engine deck all in place and attacket with tweezers and scalpel. Hopefully sufficiently abused without going too crazy.



The obligatory T-55 fix, replacing the exhaust guard with some lead foil moulded over the kit part and a frame from brass wire. Haven't gone mad on damaging this yet as likely to get knocked around during the remaining build process.



Finally, went a bit crazy with the rotary tool to add some wear to the metal surfaces (dents in sheet steel, nicks and imperfections in armour plate and added texture to the cast turret). This looks awful now but I hope will come together once I've had chance to tidy up.

Will keep you in suspense to how it turns out in the meantime!!!!

Cheers,

James
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Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014 - 10:22 PM UTC
Amazing job mate! Even if I love all kind of battle damage the verlinden's turret seems to be too heavily damaged for an operational vehicle.


Quoted Text

Finally, went a bit crazy with the rotary tool

Yes you did

A new Jamesite I see here, the two years brake made you some good! Keep it going

spit