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In with a Dragon le.SPW from the 21st Panzer Division; replacing the 20mm Flak 38 with the Tristar late variant of the same gun, with the trailer also in tow.

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An Aber turned metal barrel is so far the only aftermarket option to be used. I may source a figure or two to add along the way, but both kits come with P/E frets to supplement the plastic parts so everything seems well enough detailed for my liking.

I managed to find a photo of the kit subject, captured by the British 6th Division in August 1944, so at least there's a good guide as to equipment and condition for the time frame.

6th_Airborne_Division_with_captured_German_half_track.thumb.jpg.19fcc55f469a64636ce64322969121ec.jpg

Work to start shortly.

S

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Sweet!

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Now this is very interesting subject :)

Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-711-0406-07A-_Rus

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Nice, I like these 'open topped lots of detail' type of vehicles. It seems like this GB converts most of us to armor for the time being ;).

Cheers Rob

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Cool project!

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Great choice, I love the pic of the Brits crewing it.

 

Cheers

Kev

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23 hours ago, DocRob said:

Nice, I like these 'open topped lots of detail' type of vehicles.

Likewise Doc,

I have about half a dozen German Half-tracks in the stash, such versatile vehicles that were put to all number of tactical uses with a variety of arms and equipment.

The Dragon kit builds up around a tub structure; with a somewhat simplified motor and poseable hood parts, firewall and gearbox details, rear gun deck and of course the 20mm Flak 38 A/A gun. There are lots of small parts present on the sprues along with the larger assemblies, and every part seems to have one or two more sprue gates to trim than necessary. This is probably a function of the detail Dragon has managed to design into their parts, but it's a little tedious if you're used to the Aircraft side of the Hobby like I am.

Not all of the sprue gates need to be trimmed fastidiously...

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For instance, the gearbox will intrude through this hole in the firewall; so the small stubs at the 12 and 6 o'clock positions need to be removed, but not filed or sanded smooth as the bevel won't be seen after assembly.

Likewise, some other parts of the kit can't be seen, so there are opportunities for short-cuts here as well. There is a lattice reinforcement part that sits underneath the rear gun deck; some of these tabs can stay in-situ or can be removed roughly as they're hidden once inside the tub.

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This is certainly one kit that benefits from a careful studying of the instructions and the parts layout before your part removal and cleanup routine, as it will probably alleviate some tedium and save you time if that's a factor (as it is for me.)

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Interesting subject, this is going to be an epic GB........remember with Dragon, Tristar, Takom read the instructions, dry fit, read again, dry fit again and then think about grabbing the extra thin..........

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Thanks Phil,

This is becoming apparent even at this early point. At stage 9 in the instructions, you are advised to attach the supporting lattice to the underside of the gun deck.

IMG_20190602_165612.thumb.jpg.da3fc2ab534134915891064e42ffd554.jpg

But then, at stage 12, there is an option to fit some small P/E parts underneath the deck... Which can't be done once the lattice is applied!

IMG_20190602_165753.thumb.jpg.2b4acf898c61d56c5023a1b176b00acd.jpg

Lots of little traps here and there... All part of the fun!

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My intention from the outset had been to add the Tristar AA kit to the base Dragon vehicle. Not only for the crisper details, but also as it offers the Sd.Ah.51 trailer in the kit as well (some Dragon Sonder 10 kits include one, but sadly not this release). So combining the two kits seemed to be the best of both worlds. But during the clean-up process, it occurred to me...

"What if the dimensions of the Tristar Flak 38 are different from the Dragon?"

That can't happen, surely... Or can it?

Dragon gun platform with gun mount overlayed...

IMG_20190609_131146.thumb.jpg.e8437496babc20eda647a4308b303015.jpg

...and Dragon gun platform with the sand-coloured Tristar gun mount overlayed. It's wider by 3mm overall, and 2mm at the centre of the supports.

IMG_20190609_130645.thumb.jpg.f85448c1d89652b0162d6a7661667997.jpg

I'm not really fussed over which one is dimensionally the more accurate, moreover that the cradle sits on the supports and looks the part. And using the Dragon mount is much easier than repositioning both forward mounts of the gun deck. But then...

Tristar and Dragon compass platforms...

IMG_20190609_130930.thumb.jpg.74bd2bb97bb8b6d34476bb937039759f.jpg

And you guessed it!

IMG_20190609_130802.thumb.jpg.e38c678668edb4b49803843d4bc5a9ab.jpg

The Tristar is bigger; and to fit will require removing all the detail from the face of the Dragon mount, as well as the locating circular groove from underneath the Tristar compass.

Off to find out if the Dragon Gun fits the Tristar compass now.

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If only it could have had the same dimensions. Still, it's going to look pretty neat once you sort it out. 

Carl

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It’ll look great when you fuse everything together, bizarre that the dimensions don’t match.......

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According to the PMMS site, the Tristar is the more accurate base Phil. I've put that whole section aside for the moment until I decided what's the best option going forward.

Back to the Half-track proper...

The basic tub is utilised in all the Dragon D7 kits, with a separately-moulded rear end to be added depending on whether an early or late type is being built. Attached to this is the tow hitch apparatus, which has a rod section on the bottom that is too long to allow a flush fit.

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No mention is made of this in the instructions. Rather than trim the rod to fit, which would need to be done in a curve to accommodate the lower end of the tail piece, I decided to drill a hole and have the rod inserted within this part.

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This allowed a flush fit, and a firm hold while the glue set.

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Despite these small setbacks with the instructions, and the fit and finesse issues; I'm actually enjoying this build and the challenges it presents.

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Chassis parts are gradually being added now, to complete the basic tub assembly.

IMG_20190615_144306.thumb.jpg.651b9d51fd4f6078f747451dffc1fe80.jpg

 

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On 6/15/2019 at 6:26 AM, Wumm said:

Despite these small setbacks with the instructions, and the fit and finesse issues; I'm actually enjoying this build and the challenges it presents.

I agree with you there, Dragon / Tristar etc can be PITA but tremendously satisfying. When some kits just fall together, does it have the same buzz???? ....the question for the day. The build is looking fantastic........

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Thank you Phil...

Still on preliminary cleanup and basic assemblies as time permits. The buzz is certainly alive with it though. It is as you say - with my normal staple of Bf-109 and Fw-190 kits, I know the airframes so well that they tend to go together in logical steps, and the assembly stages become almost second-nature. This kit is something completely different.

There are no less than 11 parts to the Front suspension assembly (but strangely no steering rack!), And again there's a part not mentioned. The triangular suspension wishbone is meant to fit into a recess in part 72, which should attach to the bottom centre of the tub. It's shown in-situ on the instructions, but isn't highlighted on the sheet. The detail on this tiny part is even moulded on the reverse side to the sprue numbers - blink, and you'll miss it.

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I have decided to remove the Tristar kit from this build altogether. The gun assemblies are a little too disimilar to be able to swap like-for-like on the gun chassis'. I attempted to source some matching tread plate to fashion my own gun deck, but wasn't able to find anything suitable. Griffin do a p/e deck sized for this kit, but the holes are already cut out of the plate to fit the Dragon parts so it's not suitable for the Tristar gun. But as it turns out, the Dragon Sd.Kfz.251/17 kit in my stash includes a sprue (marked not for use) for the gun limber for the Flak 38, which is happily identical to that used by the Sd.Ah.51 trailer!

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So I'll make a trailer box from Evergreen sheet to fit it for this build, and use the Tristar gun and trailer some other time.

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I can practically get a Hasegawa 109 or 190 together with my eyes closed! (some of my completions look like I did) :lol: Good to see some progress!

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Maybe that's why I haven't finished one in a good while Mike...

On 7/6/2019 at 11:29 PM, Mikester said:

I can practically get a Hasegawa 109 or 190 together with my eyes closed!

I've been keeping mine open!

The frame has been attached to the gun deck, having tacked it on at four points initially and then using capillary action with Tamiya extra thin along the framework spars. Be sure to place the frame side down while it sets; this ensures the whole assembly stays flat, as you don't want any warpage to the deck itself. The optional p/e parts for the underside mentioned in post 10 above cannot be seen.

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The deck itself has two hinged panels to be added, these have plain and textured sides so be sure to glue them right side up. The triangular notch should be positioned so that they can be lifted to access the stowage area below, and not interfered with by the placement of the gun carriage.

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The hinged side panels of the deck are next up. I recommend leaving the internal sprue gates of these parts still attached while trimming the external areas first, as this adds structural integrity to these easily damaged areas... You will want nice straight edges here to frame the mesh screens that will fit within them.

IMG_20190713_160132.thumb.jpg.d0aa9184c9434895a1eeb5b5d018d55c.jpg

S

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Good to see another of these on the go, Wumm. I’ll strive to pay close attention as I have a similar kit, the Sd.kfz.251/7 plus a 10.5cm wheeled field piece to be towed behind and of course, with the gift of Dragon’s ultra vague instructions, I’ll have no bloody clue what goes where. It might end up looking more like a Zundapp KS 750 than a half track.

following with interest!

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Am I the only one who doesn't really have an issue with Dragon's instructions? Almost my entire stash of armor is Dragon. Just read them through a couple of times and make notes.

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Also, might I suggest this site for all your Flak 38 comparison needs in the future?

https://www.perthmilitarymodelling.com/reviews/vehicles/flak38/flak38.htm

 

This might have helped you, Wumm, in figuring out if you could mix and match the different manufacturers. They do a lot of kit comparisons. I suggest everyone check here if you want to find the best kit, prepare for potential surprises, or see if part swaps are feasible.

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Thank you for the suggestion...

I am already on Terry's site quite a bit for this build. His assertion that there are alignment issues with the tracks and wheels on the Dragon Sonder 10 kit is the main reason I haven't attached the main suspension components yet, waiting until track assembly and a dry run for myself before committing to glue.

The Flak 38 comparison still doesn't say which kit is the more accurate despite the measurement discrepancies. 3mm at 1/35th scale equates to four inches in reality. When Modellers are losing their Nut over a supposed 2mm discrepancy on for instance the Hasegawa 1/32 Bf109 fuselage (which is a complete fallacy BTW, but that's for another time), you would hope that a Reviewer would tell you which one is the more dimensionally accurate kit in a four product review.

I've had the Tristar Gun kit for nearly a decade now, and was going to use it mainly because the details look crisper to my eyes, the styrene shields are noticeably thinner than the Dragon ones, and I hate bending photo-etch! I niavely expected to be able to finagle it onto the Dragon chassis, but the effort required doesn't justify the difference between the two. It can go onto a Ford Maultier or into a Dragon Sonder 251 body that I have instead, where a custom mount is required.

17 hours ago, Clunkmeister said:

Good to see another of these on the go, Wumm. I’ll strive to pay close attention as I have a similar kit, the Sd.kfz.251/7 plus a 10.5cm wheeled field piece to be towed behind and of course, with the gift of Dragon’s ultra vague instructions, I’ll have no bloody clue what goes where. It might end up looking more like a Zundapp KS 750 than a half track.

We can build one together Ern!

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Sounds like a plan but nothing for me till mid Aug. then the truck, then maybe so....

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19 minutes ago, Wumm said:

The Flak 38 comparison still doesn't say which kit is the more accurate despite the measurement discrepancies. 3mm at 1/35th scale equates to four inches in reality. 

It actually does; the Tristar followed extremely closely by the Dragon. The Tamiya and Italeri fall far behind with Tamiya losing due to age and the Italeri due to accuracy and molding issues.

I assume Trumpeter's either wasn't considered or wasn't available yet. It has PE gunshields like Dragon, but no plastic option.

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