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Armor/AFV: British Armor
Discuss all types of British Armor of all eras.
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My first build in 40 years...so here goes!...
G-man69
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Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 04:31 AM UTC
Hi all,

For many years i have followed this site, and its sisters, oft' marvelling at the skill and bravery of those modellers willing to share their passion and projects with the wider world.

I have not built a kit since my late teens but, having recently retired, i thought it would be good to have a go whilst sharing my build experience(s).

The first thing i have to do is apologise, primarily for the following:

1) My inexperience of modelling.
2) My inexperience of writing a build log.
3) My slowness, and...
4) My spelling and grammar (is there a spellcheck in here, or is it best to write in word and the import it here?).

So please be tolerant if i get things wrong, such as importing images, etc.

Feedback, both positive and negative, or corrective, is appreciated if anyone feels the urge.

A good friend of mine bought me, for Christmas, the Amusing Hobby FV214 Conqueror MK II British Heavy Tank, kit number 35A027, and this is the kit i intend to build (see image of boxart below).



I will use this first post as an experiment as i'm not sure how to import images, .

Hopefully this will work, otherwise it's back to the drawing board, .

G
G-man69
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Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 04:47 AM UTC
Help please, can anyone tell me how to make the imported images larger?

G
HeavyArty
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Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 04:49 AM UTC
If you look at the image code, you will see a part that says thumbs/

https://gallery3.kitmaker.net/data/500/thumbs/Boxart_01.JPG

Remove the thumbs/ and it will come up full size.

Like so: https://gallery3.kitmaker.net/data/500/Boxart_01.JPG

G-man69
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Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 04:56 AM UTC
Thank you HeavyArty for the quick response, much appreciated...i did say this would be a slow process, but a learning curve none-the-less, .

Thanks again.

G
G-man69
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Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 05:32 AM UTC
The parts come in a sturdy top opening (lidded) box, with the sprues, and other elements, either individually packaged or packaged together in groups where duplicate sprues are used, e.g. Sprue(s) B x 4, and Sprue(s) C x 2.

Also included are metal springs, track links (grouped in pairs), decals, a small photo etched fret, length of wire and instruction and painting guides.

See contents below.



















Thanks for reading,

G
GulfWarrior
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Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 06:14 AM UTC
Welcome to the group, Gareth! There are some pretty good folks hanging around here! Feel free to ask any questions. There's always someone around willing to help!

TankManNick
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Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 10:55 AM UTC
Welcome Gareth. East Anglia is very old stomping ground for me (UEA 1972-5!)

But I digress. Congratulations on obtaining a great model kit! Well I'm biased. I like the Conqueror. In fact I'm building the Mk I right now!

It's not a bad kit, but it does come with some caveats. I would recommend you avoid the springs in the suspension and use the solid plastic pieces. Also the front axles (for the idlers) are very weak and the tracks, though they click together easily, don't always stay together. How do I know you ask? Well I previously completed the Amusing Hobby FV215(b) using the springs and clicked-together tracks and I now have a finished model with broken front axles, loose idlers and track that is falling apart

Don't know how I'm going to fix that mess but you bet on the Mk I build I am using the plastic one-piece units with molded spring and I will be securely cementing the tracks together once it's all assembled. It will make painting trickier but at least it will be strong and not fall apart on me.

Cheers!
G-man69
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Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 09:08 PM UTC
Thank you to Richard and Nick for their warm welcome.

Nick, thanks for the heads-up regarding the spring suspension and tracks issue, alas, it comes a tad late as i was intending to display the tank with dynamic running gear.

Good luck with your own build, i agree with you that their is something awe inspiring about the early cold war tanks such as the Conqueror.

Regards

G
G-man69
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Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 10:16 PM UTC
My first step was to remove the hull top and bottom sections from the box.

The detail on the upper surface of the hull top appears, to my inexperienced eye, to be good, it is generally crisp and with some quite fine detail (see image below). I have to say right now that i'm not a 'nut and bolt' counter, so am unable to comment on overall accuracy.



One of the first things you notice is the amount of clean-up required on both the hull top and bottom/tub mouldings. There are a number of 'ejector pin tabs/protuberances' (not sure of the correct word) as well as ejector pin witness marks (see before and after images below).

Hull Top Before:


Hull Top After:


Hull Bottom/Tub Before:


Hull Bottom/Tub After:


I have not filled the ejector pin witness marks as i think they're likely to be hidden when the model is complete. To be fair i think the 'ejector pin tabs/protuberances' located in the hull bottom/tub could have been left as i don't think they would cause an issue. However, those on the hull top might impact on the assembly of the kit.

That said, there is still a lot of unwanted material to be removed (see image below).



It would be good to hear whether anyone else has experienced this with this kit, or with others from Amusing Hobby...Nick, any comments?

As mentioned at the beginning of this post it has been forty years since last i built a kit. I have found some old photographs of the last kit i ever built to completion, i would have been 18/19 years old. It was the old Tamiya Chieftain MK5 kit and, below, are some photographs of said model ( i apologise for the poor quality but they're photos of photos), at the time i was very much influenced by Verlinden.









More to follow on the Conqueror build.

Regards

G
G-man69
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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 03:04 AM UTC
The lower hull/tub also had a number of sinkholes on the underside, one roughly in each corner. These ranged from hardly noticeable through to very noticeable (see images below).

Noticeable:


Less Noticeable:


Not certain as to whether these might be visible when positioned on a diorama i decided to fill them (see image below), though, in reality, i suspect they would be hidden in most cases.

Filled and Sanded:


I am surprised at the amount of sinkholes in general on the hull and running gear, the number of ejector marks, and also the amount of seams that need cleaning up due, presumably, to a slight misalignment of the moulds?

As mentioned, it's a long time since last i built a kit but, in the readers opinion, is this normal in general with kits, in general with Amusing Hobby, or have i just been unlucky with this particular boxing?

I accept i might be overly pedantic, and i admit that many of the issues i'm highlighting might not be visible once the kit is built, painted and weathered...your views would be appreciated. Below are some images of the sort of thing i'm finding on elements of the running gear.







I am starting to take more notice of such phenomenon when dry fitting assemblies to try and best determine whether i need to worry about them or not. Where i think they might be visible i will take steps to clean them up as best as i am able (see image below).



The infill material above will be sanded flat when dry.

More of the build to follow.

Regards

G
JPTRR
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RAILROAD MODELING
#051
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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 03:24 AM UTC
Hi Gareth,

Welcome to the site and thanks for sharing your build. I look forward to it.
G-man69
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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 04:04 AM UTC
Hi Frederick,

Thanks for the warm welcome, i hope you enjoy the build log, warts 'n' all!

Thanks again,

G
TankManNick
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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 05:43 AM UTC
I'm finding pretty much the same thing in regards to seams and sinkholes. This kit is certainly not state of the injection molding art! In many recent kits - Takom Chieftains are coming to mind but also Bronco, Trumpeter - sinkholes are almost unknown and seams are almost invisible or placed where you won't see them. As a modeller glad to finally have a Conqueror I just deal with it but it does require extra work for sure. I'm building my Mk I without side skirts so suspension cleanup in my case is crucial.

If your dynamic suspension pose is mounted on a base like the Chieftain hopefully you will not have the problems I encountered.
G-man69
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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 09:07 PM UTC
Thanks for the feedback Nick, it is a shame that there is so much clean-up required, especially as i haven't noticed this in other Amusing Hobby reviews, i.e. their Paper Panzer kits.

You will have your work cut out on the running gear if you're going to leave the bazooka plates off, though it will save on having to apply all those tiny handles, .

It would be good to see some build/completed images of your Conqueror MKI as a comparison.

Have just finished constructing the idler, i see what you mean by flimsy connections between the wheels and the swinging arms, i think i will totally glue it up as opposed to having the wheels turnable.

Regards

G
G-man69
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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 10:09 PM UTC
Another modelling day here...i.e. it's wet and windy...again, .

I found the tiny locator pins and their corresponding holes on the wheels difficult to align with my old stubby fingers..too much brandy methinks!..so came up with a solution using the shaft of a paint brush to ensure correct positioning (see images below).

Tiny Location Pins:




Wheel Alignment:
Maybe it is my inexperience, but i have found you really need to examine and understand the de...ooops!..instructions manual very closely as some of the parts have no clearly defined location point (see images below).

Location Drwg:




Located Using MKI Eyeball:


Also, be very careful positioning the suspension, there is a close-up diagram, but i overlooked this and fitted the first two suspension units incorrectly...luckily i was able to correct my mistake without too much of a palava as the glue hadn't set.

The rocker/spring arms sit on top of the flanges located at the base of the bazooka plate arms, thus limiting the downwards swing (see diagram below).

Location Drwg:


Actual Location:


Blimey, i need to do some 'dusting', . it's amazing what shows up under the camera that isn't obvious to the MKI Eyeball, .

Regards

G
Namabiiru
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Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 - 01:07 AM UTC
Maybe instead of "Amusing Hobby" they should call themselves "Frustrating Hobby"

G-man69
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Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 - 04:25 AM UTC
Thanks Mark, that made me chuckle, , though, to be fair, it's actually shaping up nicely, just needs a bit of TLC.

Regards

G
TankManNick
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Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 - 04:56 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Maybe instead of "Amusing Hobby" they should call themselves "Frustrating Hobby"




Amusing quote, though to be fair to the company they are up for making improvements. The first reviews of the Mk I said that the tracks were fiddly two-part affairs, whereas now they are one part click-together. (Just not very strong 'clicking', true, but certainly easier to put together and they do look good.)

Also it looks to me as if they have beefed up the real springs. The wire springs in my FV215b kit looked very skinny and therefore not in scale. Looks like the wire is much beefier now.
G-man69
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Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2019 - 04:55 AM UTC
I have now, more-or-less, completed the lower hull and running gear (see image below).

Hull Side:


Hull Side:


Hull Rear 3/4:


Hull Rear:


Hull Front:


I haven't yet affixed the idlers as i'm not yet certain as to the best position for them tension-wise.

There are still the lower bazooka plates to be fitted, however, I’m not yet sure when to add these…and the myriad of tiny grab handles that attach to said plates. I can see both the plates and the grab handles being fragile when handling, also I think some of those tiny handles are likely to become fodder for the carpet monster, .

Having followed many of the build logs in here, plus the those in various publications, it seems that the trend is to construct the majority of the kit before priming and painting. However, if I work that way both the upper and lower bazooka plates will shield much of the hull side and running gear from being painted. Therefore, should I prime, paint and weather the vehicle sans bazooka plates, then do the same to the plates before adding them to the lower hull…any recommendations/suggestions as to the best practice would be greatly appreciated?

I have been thinking, based on a comment made by TankManNick, that hiding all that nicely detailed running gear is a shame and that it would be nice to see a small portion of it. I found the following photograph of a Conqueror in a book and am thinking that I might leave one panel of the lower bazooka plate off…I would install all of the upper plate.

Missing Lower Bazooka Plate:


In a book on the Centurion Tank I saw a photograph of a Centurion with one of its side hull plates removed, the caption below it commented on the fact that the removed plate was often used to good effect by the crew in the field as an improvised table…again, is anyone aware whether this was done with the Conqueror’s bazooka plates?, and could the lower plates be removed without first having to remove the upper plates?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, and regards,

G

Dioramartin
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Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2019 - 01:46 AM UTC
If that 40 y.o. Chieftan’s anything to go by this is going to be even more impressive. Does the former still exist? Great work on both tanks
KruppCake
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Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2019 - 03:07 PM UTC

Quoted Text

If that 40 y.o. Chieftan’s anything to go by this is going to be even more impressive. Does the former still exist? Great work on both tanks



I agree! I scanned through those pics and the model is very nice. Far nicer than the ones I made at 18/19!
G-man69
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Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2019 - 10:58 PM UTC
Hi Tim and Krupp, thank you for the kind words, they’re much appreciated.

As to this Conqueror build, I’m not so sure how good it’ll be, I’m so out of practice, . Everything seems so much smaller than i recall, especially figures, can't believe i used to paint 'eyes', it makes me burst in to a hot sweat just at the thought of figure painting, .

I have included below some additional photographs of models built around the same period. i.e. late teens, again, I apologise for their quality as they’re photos of photos.

You can see that back then I wasn’t so worried about accuracy, e.g. sand channels on the side of a tracked vehicle, what a numpty i was, .

The ruined building was scratch built from plaster, the uniformity of the brickwork leaves something to be desired.

































Tim, unfortunately, as with probably 90% of models I built as a callow youth, methinks it ended up on the end of either a PPARP round (Plastic Piercing Air Rifle Pellet) or brewed-up using a SEB round (Small Explosive Banger – a tiny firework), .

Now, back to the model in hand, this arrived today, hopefully find some inspiration therein, .



Thanks again, and regards,

G
GatorPanzer
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Posted: Monday, January 21, 2019 - 11:01 AM UTC
Very impressive! I just started modelling again after 40 years, but the last time I built anything the completed kit featured testors glue thumbprints, etc...from your photos you were an excellent modeller back then!

In your view, what do you think the biggest changes have been since you last were involved in the hobby?
G-man69
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Posted: Monday, January 21, 2019 - 10:30 PM UTC
Hi Gator, welcome back to the hobby.

I can still recall the first ever kit I built and painted, I must have been 8/9 years of age, it was the Airfix ‘Red Arrows’ Folland Gnat in 1/72nd scale. In real life it was a diminutive aircraft, in 1/72nd scale it was tiny.

I can still recall the desperation, once built (I imagine there were gluey fingerprints on that one), of wanting to paint it in the striking red and silver livery, the problem was that I was so keen to brush paint them that I didn’t wait for one colour to dry before applying the other. I always recall silver and red Humbrol paints being very slow to dry with the subsequent result that the red bled in to the silver…it must have looked a right mess, but I was still proud of it, .

As to the biggest changes (comments aimed at 1/35th scale armour), my personal opinion would be Choice, Communication and Complexity:

Choice – back in the 60/70s when I was building it was primarily Tamiya and Italeri (Italaerei as I recall back then?), some occasional Esci and Heller, but in the UK that was about it. Nowadays, we’re spoilt for choice, Tamiya, Italeri, Takom, Bronco, Riich, Meng, to name but a few. Also, the range of paints, once it was, in the UK, Humbrol enamels and towards the end of the 70s some early Tamiya acrylics…nowadays, wow, what choice, either individual colours or specific themed ranges.

Communication – was limited to a Catalogue once a year, and one or two modelling magazines, and it was basically one-way traffic. Nowadays, we have the manufacturers’ sites that give us monthly updates and sites like this that give us almost daily updates and, with sites like this, the flow of information is two-way, you can ask questions and get answers…amazing really.

Complexity – my all-time favourite military vehicle is the Universal Carrier (a.k.a. Bren Gun Carrier), the venerable Tamiya kit was, for a long time, to the best of my knowledge the only injection moulded option and it comprised approximately 150 parts. Compare that with the one of the latest Riich kits which comprises approximately 650 parts…very complex, and that is without any aftermarket sets.

Gator, what are you currently building, or intending to build? And what was your last build?

Thanks, and regards,

G

G-man69
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Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 05:51 AM UTC
Hi all,

Not so much progress today, but what little there was is shown below,

Today I have started on the upper hull and, more-or-less, from the outset I have gone off-piste. There are so many small fragile pieces, e.g. lights and guards, that I have decided to add the major components first, along with any smaller items that I feel are unlikely to get broken off during further handling/construction…not sure if this is the best approach, but hopefully I won’t live to regret it, .

The front top plate incorporating the driver’s hatch had some very faint ejector pin marks, these may have been hidden by paint at a later stage but I decided to sand them off (see image below).



In Step 8, the instructions have you insert the glacis plate (including fragile headlights etc.) and then add the top plate incorporating the driver’s hatch in Step 10. However, when dry-fitting these elements I was left feeling a tad concerned about how well the glacis plate would marry-up with the sloped bottom hull plate.

Finally, I decided to add the top plate incorporating the driver’s hatch first as its location was well defined. I then glued only the top edge of the glacis plate to it, thus leaving the area of glacis plate between the mudguards dry fitted. This permits the glacis plate to move and will allow me to adjust the glacis when fitting the upper and lower hulls together. I have dry-fitted the top and bottom hulls to each other and this appears to allow me to mate the two front elements together neatly.

I accept that the above might be overkill and that my inexperience is showing, but completely gluing the glacis at this point feels as if there is a risk of misalignment at a later stage, .

There is a small gap in between what I presume is an armoured cable that changes direction at the top edge of the glacis and adjacent to the drivers hatch (see image below), this will be filled and sanded.



Not sure if this is an error on my part...probably is, . Damn! i have also noticed on that image that there is an ejector pin mark to the bottom left of the driver's hatch...i did say they were faint, .

I have also begun to construct and fit the various hull stowage boxes (see images below). I found these a tad fiddly, especially the smaller ones, as they are quite flimsy and are each made up from 5 parts (4 sides and 1 lid/top).





Here I find I might have made an error in fixing the larger stowage boxes to the hull already. Having looked at a number of photographs of the real tank the lids of these boxes do not appear to have a joint around the perimeter, i.e. the lid over-sails the sides as opposed to sit within them as occurs with the model parts, so I will need to fill and sand…could get messy, .

Shame the parts weren’t designed so that the sides sat beneath the lid as opposed to the lid sitting between the side…hey, ho!





You can see in the image above the gaps between the lower part of the glacis plate and the mudguards where i haven't yet applied glue.

Please feel free to comment on the above notes, particularly if you disagree with my approach in any way, this is all a learning curve for me.

Thanks, and regards,

G