While the Squadron putty was drying I cut the nose of an ESCI FFAR pod:
and inserted the base into the inlet of the APU to give it some detail.
Here’s how the outcome looks before paint:
The amount of putty required and the sanding is obvious on the series of pictures above, but let me tell you – this is a great stress-relief technique.
I also created a new gun mount to replace the missing part, using brass barrels of a design closest to the original GSh-30. These are fixed into a block of laminated styrene. The white brackets are scrap styrene sheet.
I built this kit for a group build in April this year. My goal was to finish the build in the shortest time possible – it was intended as a kickstart after for quite some time I did not finish a kit.
The basic airframe used has been an ancient ESCI release which I bought dirt-cheap from a guy that regularly renews his collection. He had used certain parts from the kit, the gunpack included, so I was up for some scratchbuilding fun.
I started with the cargo hold doors, which were rather thick. I had to thin them around the edges in order for them to fit.
You do remember from the Mk. IV article I’ve started with the turret – and I did it with this kit, too. It’s very quick build, all you need to do is blank off the turret luggage bin, as the side facing the turret is open. I also filled what looks like angular ejector marks next to the locating holes for the fire extinguishers on it.
As the hull is directly taken from the Mk. IV kit the instructions will – again – make you glue the wrong halves for the driving sprockets and the idler wheels. To sum it up:
Oh yes, you knew that was coming as it’s a patter of the way I’ve been publishing recently. I feel it’s only logical that the articles are presented in this sequence despite my modelling not following it exactly as there are always multiple projects on the bench.
This one is bit odd, as I started separating pieces from the sprues the moment I set the camera aside. I knew it should take me a minimal time to build the little tank and deliver a hopefully useful review to Armorama, who kindly supplied the kit.
A word of warning here – this kit is not something you would use for a quick build. I found that the hard way as you would find out below.
Due to the zimmerit being molded in the kit parts the hull is comprised of new parts. Whether the “smooth” Panthers fit OK I am unaware as of now, but this one certainly had issues with a bunch of shims required all around the front and back to make gaps go away. You can also see the large gap around the ball MG mount – still not filled here…
Alright – so why do I keep labeling articles using the full kit name and number? Because most companies “milk” their designs and have multiple releases using the same basic kit (or some of it). OKB Grigorov has already released the A1 and A2 versions of the M109, kits No 72004 and 72005, respectively.
Back to our initial SPH variant.
What’s the first thing we usually do? Dry fit major components so we’re able to judge size and get motivated by the upcoming result! I sanded the turret base and the hull recess that is intended to accept it a bit. The model is pretty small, yet rather heavy for its size.
Another Armorama review build. This was one of those rare occasions when I decided to strictly follow the instructions.
I started by test-fitting the turret top and bottom. The locating pins in the turret base detail are too thick, so a step step was formed – they were quickly removed.
Since two options were presented for the main turret armament (parts C3 and B7) I went with the longer one 🙂 The aft end of the detail required some sanding to fit in the turret mask. Next, the Besa machine gun was glued in the mask. After the assembly was glued to the turret base (C5), I added the top detail (C9) to close the turret.
Since I got the kit to build as a reviewer for Armorama I started almost immediately after taking the pics. Here’s how the build went through.
I started by adding the lower engine compartment/radiator face and the firewall to the vehicle body.
Other than filling the seam line in the front wheel arches these fit fine.
Next step was the suspension. After carefully studying reference images I glued parts B9 and B10 first, and then proceeded to add the suspension arms.
Please note that all 4 parts are labeled B7, but the parts intended for the rear axle have an extra pair of locating pins. With these fixed I glued the 8 springs (parts B8) to parts B10 and B11. So far fit has been very good. I cut off the representation of the rubber mudguards and replaced them with thick aluminum foil.
In the first part of the build I basically completed the lower half of the vehicle and the cargo bed. Back to the crew compartment.
The AT-T’s front lights reside at the very front of the bonnet/hood on metal supports. In the kit these are PE parts, which supposedly butt-join the resin engine compartment, and on top of which the lights are glued. Images of broken-off detail in my mind lead me to soldering a piece of wire (in red) through each support like this (looking from the front):