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Plugging away, little by little...

The deck tailgate has been cleaned up, and the mesh insert added. There are vertical braces to be attached on the outside of the frame; these are provided as p/e strips but I have gone with hand-cut Evergreen styrene strips instead for a firmer hold on the mesh screen. I'm not too concerned with this change, as ammunition containers are still to be added on the outsides, which will face downwards anyway as I intend to have all the screens folded down for this build.

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Next up, an initial mist coat of Tamiya Oxide Red fine surface primer straight from the can.

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I was worried about too much paint clogging the mesh screen, but needn't have as it turns out. A heavier second coat followed shortly afterwards, along with the completed gun deck.

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While these parts cure, attention turns to the gun platform. Once again, sprue gates are gong to be a slight hurdle here. There are 4 that are placed on the sides of the platform, right over a mould seam that is a feature of the real item, and needs to somehow be retained. 

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This might take some consideration.

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The solution...

I chose to remove all of the details along the sections of the gun carriage where the sprue gates were located. Then, finely stretched sprue was added along the centreline of the sides; attached at first in a small section, allowed to set, and then the remaining portion pressed down with the flat side of a scalpel blade while adding glue by capillary action.

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It's a little thicker than the replaced weld beads, but I found that the sprue at that diameter was simply dissolving.

The gun carriage proper was then completed, adding the feet and the four tiny spindles to the sides (all the while remembering that the Tristar gun has these already attached, and constantly having to remind myself again as to why I chose this option).

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Everything undercoated now, and on the rear deck with turntable added it's starting to feel more like I'm making progress.

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The 20mm Flak 38 gun in this incarnation sits on a cradle, sandwiched between outer supports that allow a full traversing range of motion around 360°, and an elevation from -12° though +90°. Dragon's engineering allows the compass to rotate, but the gun elevation of the model is fixed, and must be assembled from parts that allow angles of 0, 20, 40 or 60 degrees. I am going with a horizontal barrel.

Speaking of which, the kit provides a shorter KWK barrel, which was utilised in mounts with limited turret access such as on the Sd.Kfz.250/9 and the Sd.Kfz.234 for instance. I will be replacing it with the Aber metal barrel mentioned earlier.

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Shown here is the middle cradle assembly (without gun at this stage), without primer and mounted inside the left and right supports with some accessories added.IMG_20190807_131646.thumb.jpg.28782bf1353fd8c15b2f57f900d9be96.jpg

The gun itself will be one of the last items added; once everything else is assembled, primed and painted.

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The gun is coming together nicely. The Aber barrel will be a nice add on, given the visibility. If you burnish the barrel you don't loose detail to lots of primer and colour layers and get a nice matte black-brown finish.

Cheers Rob 

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Never got my head around +90 degree elevation on a gun. What goes up..... etc!?

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Thanks Doc..

14 hours ago, DocRob said:

The gun is coming together nicely. The Aber barrel will be a nice add on, given the visibility. If you burnish the barrel you don't loose detail to lots of primer and colour layers and get a nice matte black-brown finish.

Because the Aber barrel includes part of the gun body as well, there's going to be a join somewhere between metal and styrene that will need to be feathered together, so I'm not sure the burnishing method works best in this case. But It's a technique I definitely want to try at some stage.

3 hours ago, GusMac said:

Never got my head around +90 degree elevation on a gun. What goes up..... etc!?

Effective vertical range is stated to be 3500 metres, so it's probably more an AA weapon meant to track low and faster moving targets. So I guess that full range of motion allows the Gunner to lead a target that's flying overhead, or be able to engage while the vehicle is on uneven ground.

S

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It's going together nicely, Mate!  Your fixes to the gun carriage look clean!

 

Gaz

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Thanks Gaz,

It's fiddly work and there's a lot of clean-up involved, but I'm really enjoying this kit.

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Fit twice, glue once...

There is a small shield that fits to the front of the gun cradle; and moves in the vertical plane with the gun between the main shield, which stays fixed to the side support structures. Dragon would have you assemble this shield and it's supports separately from the cradle parts.

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Only, there is a rectangular notch on the carriage that the support parts are moulded to fit around... Which means once the supports are glued to the shield, there's not enough give for them to fit over the notches.

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You will need to either trim the bottom horizontal notch from the inside of the shield supports; or do as I chose, and simply add the supports to the gun cradle, with the shield to follow later.

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Along with the little frustrations, there are some nice touches to even the ledger.

On the back of the KWK gun sprue there's an extra fillet attached with a blank side, and a hollowed notch on the reverse that co-incidentally exactly fits to the shape of the 20mm gun barrel. It's as if Dragon are expecting that some Modellers will be replacing the barrel with a turned metal alternative, and are making the alignment process just a little bit easier for those making that choice.

Question for Experienced Armour Modellers... Is this a 'thing'?

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While that sets up, I had a glue-free trial assembly with the painted gun carriage parts (in Tamiya spray TS-46 Light Sand).

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Weathering to follow...

S

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Hola Wumm, it seems we are the last men standing in that GB, since everybody is occupied with the Nats or otherwise :D.
I would call it a thing, it's to precise to be circumstantial and I like the way the engineers were thinking. The gun carriage is looking great and the brass barrel will stand out.

Cheers Rob

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On 8/11/2019 at 9:31 AM, DocRob said:

Hola Wumm, it seems we are the last men standing in that GB, since everybody is occupied with the Nats or otherwise :D.
I would call it a thing, it's to precise to be circumstantial and I like the way the engineers were thinking. The gun carriage is looking great and the brass barrel will stand out.

Cheers Rob

Thanks Man,

I think everyone's back now, so the other builds seem to be powering on. 

Back to barrels briefly... I picked up the Dragon Ausf.A '250 Cäsar Half-track recently, and the kit includes the same KWK sprue with identical notch on the back. However, it also comes with a full length Flak barrel as well, that wasn't fitted to the '250/9 variant. Bizarre...

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Looking for opinions now on weathering techniques. What do we think... Looking alright, or a bit heavy-handed?

IMG_20190818_150258.thumb.jpg.668b2327dc37396bcb9ceb78cba6e441.jpg

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5 hours ago, Wumm said:

Looking for opinions now on weathering techniques. What do we think... Looking alright, or a bit heavy-handed?

Intensity is looking good, personally I like it a little more brownish on sand Colour. It enriches the base Colour and is typical for rust and earth, very common ways of wear and soiling. After applying dirt, I would leave some iron pigment or pencil marks on the raised parts of the base plate structure for fresh abrasion and last but not least some little shiny oily dots from lubricants as a last step. That's how I tackle Dunkelgelb weathering.

Cheers Rob

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Rob, I'm trying for a sooty effect around the gun and compass, with browns to follow later around the deck and vehicle.

I'm taking inspiration from this Museum piece...

IMG_20190818_220353.jpg.a0c85c6611a5b6bbb45b01b74192d7da.jpg

But trying to keep the soot and grime a little more subtle than this.

I experimented with various techniques to get the balance right. The Tamiya spray lacquer is very hard and can be repeatedly worked over without removing the finish. I am using watercolour pencils for the weathering; alternating between working the pencil directly on the Sand base finish, and applying the colour with a brush diluted with water. After the colour dries, I'm using a gummi Eraser over the top to create highlights, with a light scrub over the top with silver and yellow pencil.

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This is after a slight re-working to tone down the weathering. The good thing about the watercolours, is that you can scrub with an old toothbrush soaked in detergent, and start over if you're not happy.

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The dashboard is next up.

It builds up in four main parts, with the firewall sandwiched between and the channel for the hood assembly towards the front. The sides parts are beveled on the inside faces to provide a substantial mating surface, and rake forwards as the nose tapers towards the front. Also added are the tiny pedals in the footwell, and a grab-bar forward of the passenger position that was a nightmare to trim and finish without bending.

The engine is also tacked on in situ, with the bell housing protruding through the cavity in the firewall for effect. Unsure if the entire engine will be added and detailed, or merely just enough to give the impression from the cabin side. Parts primed to check for fit and fidelity, the modular nature of this kit's construction lends itself well to painting and detailing in sections.

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Despite the clever use of slide moulds and multiple sprue gates used by Dragon, the occasional sink mark comes into play. There are a dozen on the upside of the chassis tub; but only two of these will be particularly visible on the cabin floor, the others hiding either under the gun platform or within the engine bay.

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Rather than fill and sand these, I decided to cut a piece of rectangular sheet styrene to fit into the footwell, thin enough to slot in under the supports for the driveshaft. This had the added benefit of covering the channels at the outside of the floor, which did not match photos of this area of the Sonder 10 / 250 chassis that I was able to find.

Shown finished in primer now, with driveshaft parts and firewall added.

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Despite being situated in plain view with this being a 'Soft-skin' vehicle, most of the cabin floor will be be obscured by other parts. Abutting the added footwell is a formed plate; which holds the fuel tank at left, the battery box at right under the Passenger seat, with the rear section of the gearbox inbetween.

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An upright cabinet is shown for assembly in the instructions, but is not seen positioned in the next stage. It seems to be for Rifle storage in the Troop Carrier variant that shares parts with this sprue, but would not fit under the gun deck as it's too high. Another instruction sheet anomaly, is a duplication of part B40 which sits atop the rear gearbox...

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Those attempting this kit should use B41 on the Driver's side; being careful of the orientation of these tiny parts and the way they fit together, as there are no connecting lugs on the internal faces.

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Coming along nicely, Steve!

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Appreciate it Mike, 

Adding to the build as time allows. Currently taking inspiration from Ryan's cockpit shots elsewhere on the Forum, and how to apply his touch to my dashboard.

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Just found some guys to man your 10/5. They are from Nato in Miniatures, # SOGA-14

Bildergebnis für nato in miniatures flak 30

Cheers Rob

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