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Armor/AFV: Braille Scale
1/72 and 1/76 Scale Armor and AFVs.
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MB MK I ""Female" (72002)
tread_geek
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Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 04:19 AM UTC
MB MK I ""Female" (72002)



In this thread I'll be seeing how this kit goes together. I did an In-Box review of it here and you can find it at Mark I "Female" British Tank.

I'll start off with steps 1 through 3 that are the building of the basic hull. Here is an images with the front upper and rear plates attached. The sprue gates were fairly substantial for these pieces and required some serious sanding. The styrene plastic used on this kit is quite hard compared to other kits. Overall fit was quite good and the bevelled edges that meet their respective mating pieces was very good.



Here are a few images of the roof plate just dry fit.







As you can see, something isn't quite right! As it turns out, you need to fit the drivers cab (D16) to get a proper fit of the roof to the lower hull. The instructions don't show this occurring until step 10 and by then it will be too late. Also to note is that D16 had a couple of nasty attachment points to the sprue that overlapped two surfaces. Some careful sanding was required. The red outlined area shows how things should fit.



A couple of more images with the cab in place.





As with any build, check the instructions carefully and it's best to create your own assembly order when necessary.

That's it for the moment!

Cheers,
Jan
weathering_one
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Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 10:57 AM UTC
I'll definitely be watching this one! it looks interesting so far and it has some beautiful detail moulded on. Your descriptions in this blog are also as detailed as I've come to expect from you. Thanks for taking the time to share this with this community. Is it available in Omtario yet?

Regards,
AJ
sabredog
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Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 03:25 PM UTC
Nearly constructed this little gem, though be careful with the front plate assembly as if incorrectly assembled will cause issues with the cabin structure later in the build.

Now just need to collect up all the various Vallejo paints. The colour call out plans are very vague and misleading.
tread_geek
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Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 06:10 AM UTC
@weathering_one - AJ,

Thanks for dropping in and I'm glad that it interests you. I haven't seen one of these in my general area but you might find some at one of the big hobby shops in Toronto.

@sabrebog - Michael,

Since the instructions are a bit vague I've resorted to dry fitting everything before applying glue. The BIGGEST mistake I've seen was them not having the cabin put on until step 10 as I noted above. It should have been part of step 3.

For those that are interested, there is a Blog going on at Landships WWI Forum about building one of these Master Box kits. As for colouring, one book suggests that these tanks were originally painted a medium slightly bluish grey. Another source suggests that the base colour of the early vehicles was a flat earth colour similar to Tamiya XF-52. Also, the Landships Forum reports that the camouflage was applied by the crews with no apparent standard. Indeed, one source suggests that a tank being painted had crew members apply paint on two different sides at the same time and each side came out differently.

I've added a few pieces but haven't taken pictures yet.

Cheers,
Jan
tread_geek
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Posted: Saturday, March 22, 2014 - 03:40 AM UTC
Now for part two!

It might not seem like a lot done but I ran into a few problems. It now appears that the hard styrene is also quite brittle. First, a spring (D8) snapped while removing it from the sprue. I had used my sprue cutter on a prior spring and it had been fine so I'm guessing that there was a fault in the second spring's plastic. While waiting for the two halves of the broken spring to dry I went to remove the top hatch and it snapped, as did one of the exhaust covers...so more repairs. Actually, the hatch was so bad that I had to scratch a new piece for most of it.

In the pictures below, the rear springs, hatch and both "suspension" runs are just dry fit. The fit of the side pieces is near perfect!







You can see in the openings where the sponson attach a marbling of the colour of the plastic. It is also evident in a few areas on the external sides and this strongly suggests the use of recycled material and thus potential problems with the plastic.

Cheers,
Jan
tread_geek
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Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 06:53 AM UTC
It's been a while and this build temporarily took a back seat to a couple of others on the bench. All the broken parts are repaired and started to work on the steering assist trailer. The two trailer wheels were quite a chore to remove and clean up. The four sprue attachment points are quite thick with almost no room to insert the sprue cutter. I used a razor saw in this case to try and get a good clean cut. The outside wheel halves (D3) have only three attachment points but the sprue gates for them overlap three surfaces.



Cleaning up the 6 sprue gates on these took a lot of care and time. Then there was dealing with trying to get both halves to sit together properly. Alignment features were very vague. Here's the parts for the trailer.



Cleaned up wheel and repaired springs.



The hull and the trailer parts roughly dry fit.







Cheers,
Jan
Biggles2
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Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 07:21 AM UTC
Should mention that those spring things for the steering trailer break very easily when removing from the sprue. And I notice the steering device on your build also doesn't touch the ground. On mine, I thought it was my building error - but seeing it is the same on yours makes me feel better . Is it supposed to do that?
tread_geek
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Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 08:05 AM UTC
Thanks for dropping in and having a look and I did mention above about the plastic being brittle (ie springs breaking). After I broke two I resorted to using a razor saw to remove the others. As for the trailer sitting high, in the original picture I had it on wrong side up so I put it together this afternoon the correct way.



The trailer will meet the ground if you have the side with the 'U' shaped piece under the piston and it's a light press fit. Please see Step 5 and 6 in the instructions as it's shown in the proper orientation. The bottom of the piston fits into the 'U' shaped area.



Hope this new info helps someone.

Cheers,
Jan
sabredog
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Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 10:25 AM UTC
Looking good Jan.

Roughly the same stage as you and my paint order for this build arrived earlier this week. So hopefully get some time in this weekend to continue.
Beastmaster
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Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 10:46 AM UTC
Coming along nicely but those rubber tracks suck.
Biggles2
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Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014 - 03:18 AM UTC
Hmmm...too late to alter my trailer devise as it's assembled, painted, and weathered. I was planning to place it on a small scenic base with uneven ground to hide my error. (Don't tell the IPMS judges!)
Biggles2
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Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014 - 03:26 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Coming along nicely but those rubber tracks suck.


I wan't too crazy about those rubber band tracks either, but they do have reasonable detail, and are much better than the old Airfix and Emhar ones. Maybe some day someone will make fiddley link by link tracks that will be equally disliked.
tread_geek
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Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014 - 05:04 AM UTC
Thanks you all for your interest and comments.

@sabredog - Michael,

I guess that since we are at about the same stage of the build, we should mention again about the rather dubious painting instructions. At this point I am assuming that about this point, some painting should begin as some areas won't be reachable after final assembly.

@Beastmaster - David,

As Biggles2 mentioned, the tracks do have nice detail. From what I've seen of them in other's Blogs, they should turn out okay.

@Biggles2 - Leo,


Quoted Text

Hmmm...too late to alter my trailer devise as it's assembled, painted, and weathered. I was planning to place it on a small scenic base with uneven ground to hide my error. (Don't tell the IPMS judges!)



How many judges are WWI tank experts? I've been both a judge and judged and on a three judge team they usually have one that is an armour builder and the other two build different things (aircraft, ships, automotive...). It should be fairly straightforward to make a base with terrain that rises in the right spot to show the trailer traversing a small mound. In fact, you can even go so far as to note that in the comments section as a deliberate "modification."

BTW, which show are you intending to enter?

Cheers,
Jan
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Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014 - 07:19 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Coming along nicely but those rubber tracks suck.


I wan't too crazy about those rubber band tracks either, but they do have reasonable detail, and are much better than the old Airfix and Emhar ones. Maybe some day someone will make fiddley link by link tracks that will be equally disliked.





I just hate rubber band tracks full stop. MB should have done link and length for this.
weathering_one
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Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014 - 12:13 PM UTC
Jan,

Fascinating build and also discussion on this kit. I reread the review and it's far more interesting to hear about things in an actual build thread. Some of your premonitions in the review appear correct but what you've discovered here are quite eye opening. Looks good and wait to see more.

Regards,
AJ
sabredog
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Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014 - 01:27 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks you all for your interest and comments.

@sabredog - Michael,

I guess that since we are at about the same stage of the build, we should mention again about the rather dubious painting instructions. At this point I am assuming that about this point, some painting should begin as some areas won't be reachable after final assembly.



Jan

I know. I am going to wing it and paint as per the colours on the box. I have no doubt that there were no regulations in regards to the type of pattern used. So on that assumption close will work for me.

I am not so keen with the metallic grey paint listed. The paint in the bottle is definitely metallic, so I might use a close pure grey match.

Hope to get to it this weekend, but am flat out writing my next Traveller RPG supplement. Sigh, no time for the wicked...
tread_geek
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Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014 - 02:52 AM UTC
weathering_one - AJ,

Thanks for the kudos and I'm happy that you find this thread interesting. I guess that all non-build reviews result in a certain amount of conjecture that is either proven or disproved during an actual build.

@sabredog - Michael,


Quoted Text

I know. I am going to wing it and paint as per the colours on the box. I have no doubt that there were no regulations in regards to the type of pattern used. So on that assumption close will work for me.



From my research, the first tanks were painted an overall "Battleship Grey" at the factory. This was in deference to the fact that they were originally crewed by sailors. Various references state that the camouflage was applied by brush by the crews at the front. There weren't even any official regulations for colours. One source makes mention about the crew being split into two groups and assigned to paint separate sides of the tank. There was no overall plan and this often resulted in some very unusual paint schemes with one side bearing no resemblance to the other.


Quoted Text

I am not so keen with the metallic grey paint listed. The paint in the bottle is definitely metallic, so I might use a close pure grey match.



I'm not familiar with Vallejo paints as they aren't readily available in my area. However, you might try adding a drop of Tamiya X-21 Flat Base to the paint and see what happens. I've used it in other brand acrylics and even in Future (floor polish) to eliminate any gloss.

Cheers,
Jan
Biggles2
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Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2014 - 03:19 AM UTC

Quoted Text



BTW, which show are you intending to enter?

Cheers,
Jan


I just go to the local Montreal/Ottawa IPMS shows now. Everywhere else is either too far, or too expensive, to go to.
firstcircle
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Posted: Tuesday, May 06, 2014 - 10:52 AM UTC
Jan, interesting to see this progressing, and apologies for not dropping by sooner. I was wondering why the hatch and the exhaust covers are in a different colour? I expect I'm missing something obvious there.

Inevitably I suppose it does resemble the Airfix kit greatly but without the errors. The steering assembly looks much better; one improvement not too difficult to do might be thinning down those flat plates with the holes that sandwich the X-shaped beam, as they were made out of thin plate. The wheels should definitely be in contact with the ground as that is what the springs are doing - forcing them down.

The thread over on Landships is pretty long and involved, although glad to see humourous as they nit pick away. Something I noticed is that this chap has it seems almost completely finished the build of two kits including painting and weathering but has yet to address the tracks at all. Maybe they are the elephant in the room (or something) that he doesn't want to address!

On the colours, I haven't seen any suggestions that any went in to combat painted grey; there's this story about Solomon J Solomon painting them in green, brown, yellow and pink, the result being like that famous photo of the MkI at Thetford with the chap wearing the leather helmet poking out the top among that weird irregular netting. I think this is the scheme that crews were told to copy, while at the training ground. That paint job was deemed unsuitable once they arrived in France and crews were then instructed to repaint over that with green, brown and ochre, with some photos clearly showing the colours divided by thin darker lines, while others appear not to have these lines.
tread_geek
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Posted: Wednesday, May 07, 2014 - 03:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Jan, interesting to see this progressing, and apologies for not dropping by sooner. I was wondering why the hatch and the exhaust covers are in a different colour? I expect I'm missing something obvious there.



Matthew, there are two rather simple and mundane reasons for the exhaust shrouds and hatch being coloured. The first is that two shrouds and the hatch broke while using a sprue cutter to remove them from the sprue. It required the pieces be repaired and was caused by the brittleness of the plastic (after this I have removed the rest of the parts with a hobby blade). Putting paint on them is a step I often take to see how the repair area turned out. The colour is Tamiya Dark Earth and was chosen to give me an idea of its potential use as a base colour for the build.


Quoted Text

Inevitably I suppose it does resemble the Airfix kit greatly but without the errors. The steering assembly looks much better; one improvement not too difficult to do might be thinning down those flat plates with the holes that sandwich the X-shaped beam, as they were made out of thin plate. The wheels should definitely be in contact with the ground as that is what the springs are doing - forcing them down.



The issue with those perforated plates is that the bottom one is moulded on the frame while the top one is a separate piece. For the sake of uniformity I didn't thin the top one and it would have been rather tedious to try to do the same with the moulded on one.


Quoted Text

The thread over on Landships is pretty long and involved, although glad to see humourous as they nit pick away. Something I noticed is that this chap has it seems almost completely finished the build of two kits including painting and weathering but has yet to address the tracks at all. Maybe they are the elephant in the room (or something) that he doesn't want to address!



Yes, the Landships thread is quite humorous, especially when you have people suggesting creating rifling in the holes of guns at this scale. As for the track, I guess that some issues with the grenade screening need to be resolved and weathering needs doing before the remaining pieces can be installed. As in Michael's (sabredog) case, determining how and when painting should be done is an issue.


Quoted Text

On the colours, I haven't seen any suggestions that any went in to combat painted grey; there's this story about Solomon J Solomon painting them in green, brown, yellow and pink, the result being like that famous photo of the MkI at Thetford with the chap wearing the leather helmet poking out the top among that weird irregular netting. I think this is the scheme that crews were told to copy, while at the training ground. That paint job was deemed unsuitable once they arrived in France and crews were then instructed to repaint over that with green, brown and ochre, with some photos clearly showing the colours divided by thin darker lines, while others appear not to have these lines.



Painting and colours are both a major issue but also one where almost anything goes. I have read in the various Landship forums that the tanks left the factory in a "naval grey" base coat. Further, camouflage was applied by the crews based on paints available and the company commanders discretion. It is noted that in a number of cases locally available civilian paints were used in the painting and the colours were quite varied. One poster mentions pink, baby blue and even aquamarine being used that would result in what we might term a psychedelic scheme. Seeing that these tanks were initially manned by naval personnel, the camouflage was more meant to break up the silhouette than blend with the terrain ("dazzle" camo?).

Cheers,
Jan