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  1. A few years ago (7 i think) i saw a double kit in a local hobby and toy shop in town. It consisted of two models a Churchill MK VII and Scammell Tank Transporter both 1:76 (very small) i liked the look of it and came back with my pocket money the following weekend but the couple kits that were there had gone. so i bought a lone kit of the tank transporter on its own. and a couple weeks later the model of the Churchill showed up there so i bought that too. i had a good crack at the transporter and i think a few minuets on the tank. and then i stopped. Skip froward several years and i had done some more of the truck but not the tank. come to the present day having just finished the T-34 and looking for another model to do i come across the two models and decide to do them. now i am hear. pics soon and link to the T-34 that i have just finished.
  2. Here we have a build log of Mirror Models fairly new Diamond T Wrecker. There has been a lot said about this kit on various websites, complaining about issues such as difficult part identification and large sprue connectors, well, lets see just how much of a real problem these issues are?? I'll start by saying every part is identified by its part number and letter, yes, the numerals are small, but hey, we're into detailed scale modelling here? We must also consider the parts are put together by their relative assembly, for example the whole of sprue K is dedicated to the compressor. All the chassis x members are together in the correct order, same goes for the front winch. I mentioned this in my review, and now I've started the kit I can say the large gates are no problem whatsoever. The plastic is a joy to work with, it's not too hard or too soft and is very "durable". Even the thinnest of parts is easily cleaned up as it will flex rather than crack or snap. Tamiya Extra thin is the glue of choice for the kit, some glues don't work well at all. Remember, those large gates mean no ejector pin marks!!! (Except for the underside of the wrecker bed) You may have seen my review and thought to yourself, "That's a nice kit", but you may have also considered that these kits from the smaller companies are not up to scratch, with many fit issues and difficulties in building. Well, lets see about that?? I'll start with step one in the instructions.... wheel assembly. I hit a small problem straight away!! When assembling the wheel halves I noticed a gap in the wheel rim joint. I could have easily clamped the joint shut, but didn't want to risk the joint cracking later on. I cut some 19mm squares of 15 thou card and glued them to the outer wheel halves, then cut the bore out once dry. After gluing together a simple sanding will clean everything up, remembering that only the four outer rear rims will be visible anyway. You can see the plastic card inserts on the two top right wheels. Mirror models actually market a nice set of resin wheels if you want to avoid this little bit of extra work. On the subject of extras, there are also a PE set and soft top available, which I've ordered. I'll review them when they arrive. I wanted to show the lovely detail on the wheel hubs, and also how good the rear wheels look sat on them. to me these wheels just look "right". What do you think? I have started on the engine block and axles, here's where I am right now... The front axle is built up just like the real thing, with the hubs mounted on swivels, (Obviously there's no kingpins, but the ball is there). Only trouble is, the tie rod is designed to be glued into position, which would fix the hubs in one position, so I decided to drill the tie rod and hubs with a 0.5mm drill and pin the joint with brass rod. Now we have position-able wheels. I don't want to play with the truck, but I want the choice of angle to display the model. The detail on the brake backplates is astounding. The rear axles an their differentials are also multi piece assemblies, The detail is stunning in every area of the suspension. One part of this kit I really wanted to build was the Kellogg Compressor, which will be mounted behind the cab. It is a lovely little model in itself, built up from no less than 21 parts!! To show you just how small this compressor is, here it is on a bottle top... I have ordered the squadron walk around book so I can add some hoses and stuff to the model. the detail is so amazing in my opinion it would be a shame not to add at least a couple of flexi brake hoses. Thanks for looking.
  3. 1/35 Diamond T 969A Wrecker Mirror Models Catalogue Number 35801 Available direct from LZ models at €55.00 For many years the modelling fraternity has been waiting for an injection moulded Diamond T in 1/35 scale, low and behold, we get two at the same time!! The Merit Models 980/981 M19 Tank Transporter has recently been released, but if, like me you are a real fan of everything Diamond T, you will want to buy both kits!! Sure, the 980/1 is a big old hulk of a truck, but this 969A Wrecker is so sweet, you just have to have one!! Mirror models is a fairly new company, who make a small range of kits, all being unusual subjects not commonly covered by the big injection moulded manufacturers. They make a great little line up of CMP chassis' based vehicles with resin and PE in most kits. So, on to the subject for this review, the 969A Wrecker. This is one of those models that you just "need" when you see it built up, it certainly captured my imagination when I saw the beautiful example built at Milton Keynes today!! I will say this has to be the most crammed box of plastic out there!! Once you take the 12 Sprues out of the box you will not get them back in easily!! On top of the 12 Sprues of grey plastic and one of clear, you get a small decal sheet, two frets of Photo Etch, some rope and a chain. Did I mention the box is crammed full!! On the side of the box there is a brief description of the contents which don't go half way to explaining just how good this kit is. Now, if you've heard of this kit, you will have no doubt read about all the so called "issues" with it. Basically people are slating the kit for having very heavy gates on every part, which will make some difficult to remove from the sprue. I intend to use a razor saw, which will make light work of the job, especially as the gates are so shallow. Yes, they are wide, but on the whole they are very shallow. Stop and think for a moment though, the wide gates are there for a reason... there are no ejector pin marks on any of the parts!! Alleluia!!! If you want a quick build kit, pass this one by, with over 570 parts and all the clean up you'd expect from a limited run kit this won't be a weekends work to complete, but just think, after all the work is done, how satisfying it will feel knowing that you actually "built the model rather than just "put it together" So, lets look at all these Sprues in more detail... There are probably going to be more variants of this truck released from Mirror Models, as the Sprues don't follow the alphabet entirely?? We have one off A, B x 4,C,D K,S, U,X and Y x 2. Sprue A contains 68 parts, mostly major chassis parts and axles. The chequer plate on the steps is some of the best I've ever seen in injection moulded plastic. Note the holes all over the sprue. This would normally indicate moulding issues, but all the actual parts look fine on my sample. Lovely detail on the transfer case halves.. Sprue B has some small suspension components and the wheel halves, made up of 19 parts. There are two of these Sprues in the kit. Crisp detail on the wheel hubs. Mirror Models have made a set of resin wheels for this kit, should you wish to upgrade. I personally think the injection moulded wheels are lovely once built and painted. here things get a little confusing?? This Sprue is also B, containing no less than 91 parts. Note the springs are moulded in two halves each. it means you'll have a seam to deal with, but there are no sink marks whatsoever. There are also two of these Sprues in the box. Some very crisp detailing on this mounting part. Moving on, we now look at Sprue C. made up of 67 parts, mainly covering engine components. the basic engine looks good built up, but would really stand out in the crowd if you some hosing and wiring were added. The built example I saw at MK had the bonnet open and the engine looked great OOB. The steering wheel is exquisite!! More crisp moulding on the fan belt and pulleys.. And the engine block halves.. Here we have a concoction of Sprues.. The engine cover and fender parts are on Sprue D, made up of 25 parts. The Kellogg Compressor uses the 23 parts of Sprue K and the two wedge parts are X parts for the main bed. Note we get another steering wheel here?? Note the beautifully moulded engine cover louvers. no need for a risky opening up session here.. As previously mentioned, some of the nicest chequer plate moulding I have ever seen. In scale and just right on depth. Note the seam to the side of the plate, again, well rendered. Sprue S next... Just 21 parts make up this sprue, which is all the parts needed for a soft top cab, maybe we will be getting a hard top version in the near future? I have noticed that the doors are incorrectly referred to in the instructions as "D" parts. Errors like this are common in short run kits. A crisply moulded dash panel. Gauge faces are included on the decal sheet, all you need to do is apply a blob of gloss black into each gauge and then apply the white decals. The cab floor, note again the gorgeous chequer plate, you'd never guess I like this chequer plate would you?? Sprue X is made up of 56 parts, all used in the wrecker bed and accessories. Again the surface detail here is very nice indeed. You may have read about the issues with the "Massive" sink marks in the flat bed.. I thought I'd take a shot just to show you all how "Bad" things really are, not bad at all really!! Now, don't get me wrong, but I think this is perfectly acceptable, and very easy to fix with a little Mr Surfacer. We must remember this is a limited run kit. The next four pics show the detail front and back of the forward and rear mudguards. Two points to not here.. the pressing detail is mirrored front and rear of each panel and no ejector pin marks!!! Alleluia!!! Rear............. Forward............ The last of the grey Sprues, Y, is up now. There are two of these Sprues in the kit, each made up of 53 parts. These parts are for the booms and other "Wrecker" bits and bobs. The booms are positively exquisite. I was convinced they were made up of PE when I saw the built and painted ones, but no, all made up of Injection moulded plastic!! The Wrecker hooks are nicely rendered as can be seen here.. The clear sprue, U is up next. The windscreen and light lenses are all that is here, but they are very clear indeed. We also get a bag of PE, Decals, Rope and chain. the PE is coated in plastic film, which is a nice touch in my opinion and prevents the parts pinging off into the carpet monsters mouth. The rope is nice and apparently "fluff free". The main PE sheet has various straps and buckles, the cooling fan and pioneer tool trays. The smaller sheet consists of two sprockets for the wrecker winch. The decal sheet measures 105 x 46 mm, printed with in black and white. The black square top right is for the winch control on the wrecker, a nice little touch... So, there we have it, a new plastic kit of a tough and well respected WW2 US soft skin truck. Mirror models have linked up with LZ models, where you can buy the kit itself and some upgrades. I have ordered the canvas roof and PE set, purely because they are so reasonably priced at only €3 and €14 respectively. I will review them as soon as they arrive. now we will have a browse through the instructions. Short run kits are sometimes supplied with a CD or DVD for the instructions, I'm pleased Mirror Models have gone to the trouble of printing out the instructions on A4 paper. There are 10 sheets in all, printed on both sides. There are line drawings, photographs and 3d CAD images throughout. I will show them here and make notes where appropriate... Sheet One, ensure to get the correct stagger in your tread pattern... Page 4, pay attention to squareness and flatness here.. Note that C59 and C60 may need slight modification here. Refer to Mirror Models website So, in summary, this is a very well detailed kit which will give many hours of enjoyment to the experienced modeller. If you're looking for a shake and bake kit that you can build in a weekend with a sharp knife and a file walk on by... Likewise, if you're a beginner, you might want to give this one a miss, you could always buy it for later on when you have mastered the art of modelling a little better?? I will thoroughly enjoy building this. I think I'll start right away? The first step of building this will be a good rinse in some dish soap in the sink. It appears to be quite oily so will pose problems when it comes to painting it. Thanks to my pocket for buying this kit and thanks to Mirror Models for producing it. To see the kit build go here
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