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Tasca M4A1 Grizzly Guardian
Kharkov
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: April 09, 2011
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Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 01:05 AM UTC


Mr Postman

I've not done a lot of model making these past few days, I've mostly been buying things and then waiting for the postman to arrive, which is a hobby in itself to be honest, a little bit of credit card model making, and bearing in mind that my last tools post, back on page whatever, went down like a lead balloon, I should really keep this brief and to the point, at some stage, anyway, the shopping trip started with a hunt for Mr Surfacer, and quickly spiralled out of control...



Tamiya Tweezers, these are almost too good to use, you kinda just want to leave them looking pretty on the workbench, I get through a lot of tweezers for some strange reason, mainly because I abuse them quite badly I think, using them to open tin lids never works out well, lol, these Tamiya ones are expensive, but very good, so are worth it.



Picture above, a varied assortment of useful stuff, all of it Tamiya again, another pin vice so I don't have to keep swapping between my pilot drill bit and my main drill bit, how lazy is that? Some PE pliers, which will probably not get used for their intended purpose, some little curved scissors and some shanked drill bits, I break a lot of drill bits, but then they are teeny tiny and easy to break.



And at long last I have managed to find a reliable and trustworthy model shop in the UK that stocks the Mr Surfacer range of products (not easy these days) I refuse point blank to use flea bay to buy anything model related, so some major butchery with this stuff will be taking place fairly soon hopefully.


Mr Meccano

My lower hull was starting to make some horrible squeaky/clicky noises while doing some more test fitting to the upper hull to make it fit better, probably just a CA joint somewhere just getting a bit frail, so it all got strengthened to the point that it now looks like a meccano set, or the forth bridge, I'm not sure which, and to be fair to my poor little hull, it was never meant to be left laying around on a shelf for two years, it should of been glued to the upper hull a long time ago.



I simply added some quarter round strip in the bottom corner joints, and then strengthened the sponsons yet again, these are the main problem area really, at the front they just kinda hang out in space, with not a lot of support until the two hulls are glued together.

Pictures below, more butchery taking place on nice green Tasca plastic, this is cast-in applique armour being done with plastic card, CA and baking powder again (it simply forces an instant dry time) and it all needs a lot more blending in, and is not finished.



I've decided to do cast-in applique armour on the lower hull because it matches better with the cast-in applique on the turret, I didn't like the look of the welded on plates all that much, so I changed my mind, the lumps of plastic glued to the side in these pictures look huge, but that's just the white plastic glaring in contrast to the green plastic.

Anyway,

More butchery to follow soon(ish)



Matt
M4A3E8Easy8
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Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 10:44 AM UTC
The lower hull looks good to me. The cast armor gives the tank an interesting fat look. All in all tell snuggles he is doing good work.

I have to ask what you plan to use the scissors for? I own a few of those and can not find them much less remember having used them. I completly agree about the pin vise, lazy is sometimes the best way.

Back on topic, looking foward to more buchery, its looking good.
panamadan
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Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 10:38 PM UTC
I just realized that the pics that I took of the Grizzly in MN is online-
https://www.flickr.com/photos/13963542@N08/albums/72157693167326634
Dan
Kharkov
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Posted: Monday, March 19, 2018 - 02:30 AM UTC
Easy

Quoted Text

The cast armor gives the tank an interesting fat look.



It sure does, the cast-in applique on the hull sides adds even more curves, It adds curves to one part of the hull that was slightly lacking in curves, so you just end up with strange shapes all over the place with this late M4A1 cast hull.


Quoted Text

I have to ask what you plan to use the scissors for?



Just general cutting stuff, Tamiya list them as PE cutters for cutting small PE parts from the fret, I tend to keep a old No3 Swann fitted with a curved blade for that, but I hardly use it, so can never find it, and so I have a bad habbit of using my best knife, which instantly trashes the blade, so now I have these scissors, which I will hardly ever use, and therefore never be able to find, lol.




Dan

Quoted Text

I just realized that the pics that I took of the Grizzly in MN is online



Thx for link Dan, now we know where Grizzly No 125 is located exactly, I think Montreal Locomotive only made 188, but not sure on that, the one in your link has had some fairly extensive restoration work, the paintwork is as smooth as a baby's bottom, and god knows what is going on with those air filters on the back plate, they have strange air scoops on the side.



Matt
M4A3E8Easy8
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Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 11:36 PM UTC
LOL, I do the same thing.. put in a brand new blade.. two steps later cut PE. Insert new blade...
Kharkov
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Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 08:54 AM UTC


Fade to Grey

In a fit of complete madness I decided to paint my entire upper hull with Mr Surfacer, you just knew that was gonna happen didn't you? First Mr Surfacer 500 was used to blend in the lumps of plastic and CA, this involved several coats stippled on in the general area, and a lot of sanding and messing around, to the point that it was driving me insane to be honest, then the entire hull was given a coat of Mr Surfacer 1000, stippled on with a small brush, and then it was all left to dry, and then it was all sanded down a tad with some very fine wet n dry sandpaper.



As the pictures above show (uppermost with little white lines) I'm still not finished, the rearmost applique armour lump needs to be extended forward slightly, I cut it back too much when I was blending in, the giveaway is the gap between the two lumps, its too big, so still not finished, I need to cut and carve a small piece of plastic to glue in there, and then blend it in, again...



Pictures above, the one on the left shows the 'Grizzly Groove' which can be seen better now that everything is a much lighter colour, the bolt head, the Grizzly Groove and the rear door overlap strip all line up fairly well to be honest, I'm shocked, and the picture on the right simply shows my FDA which had to be repainted (Mr Surfacer 1000) and rescued from a fate worse than death - aged yellow plastic, it was made a long time ago, so was starting to go a horrible yellow colour, as Evergreen plastic does over time.


Bench Camouflage



And I made a little stand for my Grizzly, out of plastic card and 'I' beams, I needed to check something relating to my bogies, i.e. whether they are all sitting at the correct level, so I killed two birds with one stone, and has anyone noticed that my Grizzly is starting to match both my bench and Snuggles in terms of colour scheme? You just know what colour those Tasca bogies are gonna end up...

Where's the turret?, I'm still working on it, It's mid butchery, it's all taking way longer than expected...

Anyway,

Kharkov - "After the money's gone? Snuggles?"
Snuggles - "Pathological hatred of green plastic Dad!"
Kharkov - "There's no going back now little Snuggles."
Snuggles - "So where does that highway go? Dad?"
Kharkov - "Letting the days go by, Snuggles."
Snuggles - "Let the water hold me down..."
Kharkov - "Same as it ever was!"




Snuggles - "Same, as it, ever was."




Matt
M4A3E8Easy8
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Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 07:00 PM UTC
If you ask me the change to gray is a plus. Closer to olive drab and the end. I am going to have to build a hull like that, I love the look for some reason. Tell snuggles to keep it up.. and nice song
Kharkov
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Posted: Friday, March 23, 2018 - 08:05 AM UTC
The plan was to go grey right from the start, I love the contrast between the white evergreen plastic and the grey colour, I kinda gave the game away with the FDA (CA, baking powder, dark grey auto primer) back at the start, but I had to change the method though due to time, or lack of it


Quoted Text

closer to the end



I drew up a list of things that still need to be done, it was a long list, scary long, so I don't look at that list anymore, lol



Matt
M4A3E8Easy8
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Posted: Sunday, March 25, 2018 - 10:59 PM UTC
Lists... got to love em. I make em up, ignore them, untill I think I am done the find out I missed a few things. Then you have to decide how much you want to undo to do what you wanted to do.
I just found out my slow boat docks in two days.. Then another 10 working days for customs to clear my stuff, another 3 to 5 days to deliver... so should be just before xmas that I get my stuff.
rfbaer
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Posted: Monday, March 26, 2018 - 05:27 AM UTC
It looks tankish!
On a side note, I've confirmed something, and it's your fault, Matt. I spent a good half hour today, adding retaining brackets and bolts to some IDF Blazer armor on a Magach today, in places that will be hidden with the turret mounted.
I wallow in it.
Kharkov
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Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 12:45 AM UTC
Easy

Quoted Text

Then another 10 working days for customs to clear my stuff.



Let's just hope none of those 'customs officials' have a keen interest in military modelling, otherwise some of your stuff could,..errr, maybe, become,..lost luggage, lol


Russ

Quoted Text

I've confirmed something, and it's your fault, Matt."



Feel free to blame me for everything, I don't mind, but did you have fun adding all that detail in an area that can't be seen? It kinda makes your head go round and round in circles with that old 'does not compute' error message - But it can't be seen!? But I know it's there, so I'm gonna add it!! But it can't be seen!? But I know it's there God damn it!! But it can't be seen, by anyone?! I'm adding it, and that's the end of the matter! But, why? Why would you add something, that can't be...

Very much like arguing with a good woman...

No offence intended to any women who might be reading the build log (better safe than sorry)



Matt

Edit @Russ, I dropped on over for a look at the build, that's a very nice build you got going on, It's all looking very good, I love the chair on top!
M4A3E8Easy8
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Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 10:48 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Easy

Quoted Text

Then another 10 working days for customs to clear my stuff.



Let's just hope none of those 'customs officials' have a keen interest in military modelling, otherwise some of your stuff could,..errr, maybe, become,..lost luggage, lol




If my stuff comes up missing I am shipping 5 kilos of cat nip to snuggles...
Kharkov
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Posted: Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 03:52 AM UTC


Revenge of the Bogie Man

Well, people with a keen eye for spotting my laziness will have probably noticed that only one of my Tasca bogies was ever modified with the little side plates that blend in the larger bogie ribs, so in all the pictures that I keep posting my bogies don't kinda look right, so I decided to sort that out and do some more work on them.

Pictures below, first the remaining five bogies were attacked with a Minicraft tool fitted with a teeny tiny square head cutting bur to cut out the holes that are characteristic of these types of bogies, then some very thin plastic strips (0.4mm x 6mm) were cut to a vague size and glued in place (the edges need to be angled correctly first) Then everything simply gets carved to shape with a knife, Miliput needs to be added to the front corner/angle to further blend things in, but that can wait.



Pictures below, my 'mid' return skids have been glued in place at long last, I got fed up with these rattling around in an old Tasca lower hull on my shelf, these are probably not that correct for a late cast-in applique armour Grizzly, but I prefer them to the more usual late 'up and over' return skids, they just look a bit different, so I'm using them.




Who Invented the Wheel?

And now due to my ever worrying mind, we have to go downwards, instead of upwards, and fit all the wheels, suspension arms and drive sprockets, there's a few things that are still bothering me with regards to the bogies, and the only way to find out is to fit everything and have a look, normally sorting out this lot (picture below) would be fairly easy, but like an idiot I've made it hard for myself by converting my Tasca bogies so that everything can be fitted later...



All the wing shaped struts need to have the tops clipped out so that they click into the bogie units, and all the suspension struts need to be converted so that they fit onto my little brass spindles, plus the Tasca wheel spindles need sorting, they have a step on them which means the wheels are a little wibbly wobbly, which I don't like.

Anyway,

Where's the turret? The turret can bloody wait, I've got other things to worry about right now...


Snuggles - "Dad! There's a man outside!"
Kharkov - "In a long coat, grey hair,..smoking a cigarette?"
Snuggles - "That's uncanny Dad! How did you know?"
Kharkov - "Let's just call it,..a sixth sense, Snuggles."
Snuggles - "You know, I hate to ask Dad, but..."
Kharkov - "Are friends electric? Snuggles?"
Snuggles - "Have you heard this..."
Kharkov - "Many times."



Snuggles - "Dad!, mine broke down."


Helpful Tip (lol, not) When doing boring model making jobs, try this - go find a song that you like, it needs to be fairly long, non of that 3min nonsense, then stick it on repeat, and listen to it over and over and over, it tricks the brain into regarding repetition as acceptable, works for me, might not work for you...




Matt
rfbaer
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Posted: Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 06:45 AM UTC
This was a welcome break after working through most of my end-of-month mileage entries.
Thanks Matt.
Kharkov
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Posted: Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 08:48 AM UTC
Russ, Good timing on my part then, nothing worse than god damn paperwork.


Easy

Quoted Text

If my stuff comes up missing I am shipping 5 kilos of cat nip to snuggles...



Snuggles was spotted out by the fence the other day, with next doors cat...



Snuggles got the bum end of the deal...lol




Matt
M4A3E8Easy8
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Posted: Friday, March 30, 2018 - 10:36 PM UTC
Tell Snuggles that is what a life of drug use gets you.. Still no word on my shipment, I am starting to worry about pirates.
Kharkov
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Posted: Sunday, April 01, 2018 - 04:32 AM UTC

See how sensible the above picture is, it's almost kinda posh looking, there's no growling snarling bear, no drama, no fuss, the picture was going to be my build log starting picture, that is until I junked it, because I thought it was a little,..on the boring side of life, lacking in impact, that kinda thing, see, I can be sensible,..sometimes.


The Sensible Way

Well, everything up to this point in the build log could be considered doing things the hard way, the stupid way, the overly complicated way or the fun way, it's up to you, so take your pick, but there's also another way to get to this exact same point in the build, and I suppose it could be called the sensible way or maybe the easy way, it's a lot less complicated and it involves far less time, but it does have a few downsides, it involves running a lottery with the resin guys, because you never quite know the quality of the resin until it arrives on the doorstep, and it involves a credit card, as always.


For Those Who Refuse to Count... ('friendly' or otherwise)

For people who really don't care about any of the detail on the underside of a Sherman M4A1 welded hull, and let's face it, most of us don't, including me most of the time, well it's kinda easy, you just take the standard Tasca riveted hull and convert it into a welded hull by simply shaving off a few rivet heads on just the sides of the hull, there's not even that many of them (about 84 I think) It's that easy, as the picture below shows, simply remove the lines of rivets as shown by the arrows, then forget about the hull bottom, because you can't see it anyway, and you have a welded hull.




And,

For Those Who Like to Count... ('friendly' or otherwise)

For people who are a little more concerned with all the detail, even all the stuff that can't be seen, i.e. all the detail on the underside of the hull, well, things are a little harder, first you need to remove all the rivets, a lot more than 84 (I'm not gonna mark them all out, you know the deal) plus, you need to rework the two cross beams/strengthening beams marked with the two arrows in the picture below, these need to be more triangular in shape with spot welds down both sides, the Tasca beams have flats because they are designed to be riveted on with huge rivets (obv) then a few other changes are needed, there's more info on all of that stuff way back on page one, which is where this post should be, but never mind.




A Resin Hull

With the upper hull, there are a few options, you can use the Tasca upper hull without any applique armour, either cast-in or welded on, the Bovington Grizzly for instance has no additional armour on the upper hull, you could make your own welded on applique armour plates and stick them on the Tasca hull, or you can just buy a resin upper hull with cast-in applique armour as shown in the picture below, this one is made by Panzer Art and looks very nice to be honest, I think Formations might also have one as well, but not sure on that, but there are resin options if you want to go that route.




Resicast Bogies

Not so many options with regards to the Sexton 'big rib' bogies unfortunately, Resicast make three sets of bogies which are designed for the Dragon Sexton kits, but can be used for a Grizzly build, they are designed to fit the Dragon hull but they could be modified slightly to fit the Tasca hull, I bought a set just to have a look at them, to see what they are like (picture below) they seem fairly good, they need a bit of a clean up and filling where the pour plug is, nothing major, on my set the return rollers are a little bit iffy, but not a problem, you could simply snip them out and replace them with the kit return rollers, brass, plastic rod/tube, whatever.



The bogies in the Dragon Sexton kit don't seem to be that good, well, not as good as these Resicast ones anyway, let's put it that way, though I've only managed to find one picture of them online, so kinda hard to tell, but I don't think it's worth it to buy a Dragon Sexton kit simply to steal the CDP tracks and Sprocket plus the 'updated' big rib bogies, not when you can simply buy the Friulmodel track set which comes with sprockets, and then get some resin bogies, all the Sexton parts wouldn't be much use to me as spares, but they might be for you.


Anyway,

You could probably knock all that lot up in a couple of weekends, kinda depends on how you work, available time, all that stuff, but it would be a lot faster than all my messing around with silly little bits of white plastic, but would it be more fun? I suppose that kinda depends on how you obtain fun, if you just want to get on with the job, get to the paint stage as fast as possible, then this is probably the better way.

But what about muh FDA? Just use the Tasca item, it's perfectly fine, I was just being a drama queen...


Kharkov - "Snuggles, how many rivets need to be removed?"
Snuggles - "F**k that Dad! I'm not counting all those rivets."
Kharkov - "I thought you were always 'happy to help' Snuggles?"
Snuggles - "I'm happy Dad, just,..not that happy."
Kharkov - "Have you seen the rain? Snuggles?"
Snuggles - "I'm making a boat Dad! As we speak."
Kharkov - "Yeah, in 1/35th scale,..idiot!"
Snuggles - "Do we live on a hill?"
Kharkov - "You ever go outside?"



Snuggles - "I know a cat called Noah,..is that any help?"




Matt
Kharkov
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Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - 01:28 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I am starting to worry about pirates.



I draw the line at posting pictures of cats in pirate hats, lol.



Matt
M4A3E8Easy8
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Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 - 01:47 PM UTC
How about a cat with an eye patch??? No.... come on.

Shipper says my stuff has cleared customs and should be delivered in the next few days... now let's hope it's all there and not destoyed..

The rain. Let up or is snugget swimming??
Kharkov
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Posted: Thursday, April 05, 2018 - 04:32 AM UTC
Wheels and Sprockets

Tasca/Asuka provide two sets of wheels in both their mid production and late production M4A1 Sherman kits, which is good, it gives you a choice, and it gives you a spare set of Sherman wheels all at the same time, they give you the early welded spoke wheels and the later pressed/stamped spoke wheels, both types can be seen on the M4A1 Grizzly, but I think it's fair to say that the early welded spoke wheels are more common.



Pictures above, these are the wheels provided by Tasca, which are very good it has to be said, the welded spoke wheels have some very subtle welding down in all the corners, and they have the two grease nipples as well, the pressed spoke wheels just need the little rivets adding on the inner face of the rim, and Tasca provide these in the kit, or you can use your own.



Picture above, quite a few examples also show a mix of both types of wheel as well, so that's another option, I'm not keen on the mixed wheel look though to be honest, I would much rather just use one set and then keep the other set for spares.


Drive Sprocket



There seems to be two types of drive sprocket for the Grizzly, one without an extra set of mounting holes (left picture) and one with the extra set of mounting holes, not sure on this though, the one on the left could be a post war period sprocket that's been made by an engineering firm? And they just didn't bother with the extra set of holes, not sure, I'll have a look at some Sexton pictures, that will probably explain things.



Pictures above, the white metal sprockets provided by Friul have the extra set of holes and are very nice, they need quite a bit of clean up (white metal parts always do) and the outer set of bolt heads, marked by the red arrow, are a little bit vague and will hopefully be replaced by MasterClub resin bolt heads.

The sprocket on the left has been cleaned up (obv) and polished slightly with very fine wire wool and Autosol metal polish, this takes away the horrible white metal look, and gives it a much nicer steel kinda look, these sprockets also need to be spaced correctly for the track, more on that later.

Next post will hopefully have some actual model making in it, I'm just splitting things down a bit.




Matt
Kharkov
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Posted: Thursday, April 05, 2018 - 05:17 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The rain. Let up or is snugget swimming??



We were swimming for a bit, ok now though, lol typical Englishman, all we do is drink tea and moan about the weather...

M4A3E8Easy8
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Posted: Friday, April 06, 2018 - 07:32 AM UTC
Glad to hear you did not need snuggles boat. And for the record you brits have the best tea.
Shipment is scheduled for Monday morning, so we get to see if it all made it or not.

Looking good, I am going to steal the method of dealing with white metal. Thanks.
Looks like the hull is pretty much wrapped up, road wheels almost.. now tracks and that turret you are putting off... or are you waiting on snuggles to finish that one?
Kharkov
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Posted: Saturday, April 07, 2018 - 08:07 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Now tracks and that turret you are putting off... or are you waiting on snuggles to finish that one?



Wheels and tracks is gonna take a bit of time, there's a fair bit to do, including scratching some idler wheel mounts, I decided to go back and start from the ground up just in case of any bogie placement problems or track alignment problems, and I'm running ahead of the build log, so I already know the answers to that lot

The turret is waiting for me to decide what will be scratch built, there's one particular thing I want to make, it's an easy enough shape to make, but requires some very delicate placement of some very small screw heads, so still working things out, and getting things I need, so the turret will be done later, hopefully with some scratch stuff, kinda all depends on time.



Matt
Kharkov
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Posted: Sunday, April 08, 2018 - 01:37 AM UTC


Picture above, Robin Hood is another fairly famous M4A1 Grizzly which is located at the Nationaal Bevrijdingsmuseum 1944-1945, in the Netherlands, and is part of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry (Nottinghamshire Yeomanry) Memorial, this Grizzly has had a fairly adventurous history as she served with the Portuguese Army for a period of time before ending up back in the UK to be restored, I'm not sure who did the restoration (Bovington Tank Museum maybe?) and then finally shipped over to the Netherlands, the name Robin Hood comes from the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Regimental HQ tanks.


Clementine

The first of many boring jobs was to clean up all the wheels and suspension arms (picture below) On the real thing all of the suspension parts are cast items, so you don't really want any harsh sharp edges I don't think, it all comes down to personal preference on how you prep plastic parts, me personally I can't stand harsh edges or seam lines on anything really, even if it is accurate, but anyway, the tyres have simply been scraped with a knife blade, another boring repetitive job.



Next job (picture above left) was to clean up, modify and fit all of the little rocker arms, these would normally be fitted when you glue the two halves of the Tasca bogie units together, because they locate on a bar which is up inside the bogie unit, but I didn't want these flapping around while I was doing modifications to the bogie ribs, so decided to convert them to clip on, this simply involved cutting out the top portion, but leaving enough plastic so that they in effect clip into place, as shown in the pictures.

Last job (picture above right) was to make a whole bunch of new spindle tubes to fit my brass spindles, these are made from plastic tube, spun in a Minicraft tool to achieve square ends, and drilled to be a tight fit on the spindles, you can drill out the standard Tasca spindle tubes, but you will be left with wafer thin plastic, and if you drill even slightly out of square and true you will be in big trouble. again all of this lot would normally be fitted when the bogies are glued together.





Pictures above, I have wheels on my wagon at long last, my spindle tubes are a little bigger than the Tasca ones, but it doesn't matter as you can hardly see them, and this way it all works out with the bogie assembly being a lot stronger, which is important as the model is getting handled a lot and will be getting metal tracks, at some point, It also took me forever to choose which wheels to use, I really couldn't decide, but welded spoke wheels is probably the better choice.


Anyway,

Kharkov - "Clementine? Snuggles?"
Snuggles - "I wish I was a little more,..delicate, Dad."
Kharkov - "So what have you broken now? Snuggles?"
Snuggles - "Broken,..that's,..such a harsh word."
Kharkov - "No, Snuggles, It's the correct word."
Snuggles - "It wasn't my fault Dad!"
Kharkov - "It never is."



Snuggles - "Fifty I'm gonna change my minds."





Matt
Kharkov
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: April 09, 2011
KitMaker: 879 posts
Armorama: 873 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 08, 2018 - 01:40 AM UTC


Kharkov - "The Cage? Snuggles?"
Snuggles - "Hidden tracks Dad, tucked away at the end."
Kharkov - "A lesser travelled path? Snuggles?"
Snuggles - "Not so much a path, just a better way."
Kharkov - "You can't change the past Snuggles."
Snuggles - "Then why do you try?"





Matt