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Armor/AFV: Modern Armor
Modern armor in general.
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T-15 Armata Build Blog
srmalloy
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Posted: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 06:08 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

I have to say I am not a fan of the clear periscopes or vision blocks provided in this kit and other kits. To me, they are gimmicky. The detail is extremely hard to make out with the transparency and a hassle to mask during painting. Realistically the clear glass look is not even appropriate for modern AFVs.



One of the things I've done with vision blocks in transparent plastic is to start by dipping them in Future to enhance their transparency. then paint the non-optical surfaces silver, followed by black (or whatever color the frames were actually painted). The final touch is transparent green or purple over the optical surfaces. It still doesn't do a good job of replicating modern protective coatings on optics, and I agree that having the pieces in transparent plastic is sort of pointless given the coatings, but it does a decent job for WWII armor vision blocks.
LeoCmdr
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Posted: Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 05:51 PM GMT+7
The main components of the turret are simply upper and lower halves. They glue together and you are done. There were some thin gaps along the seam on the turret sides. They easily filled with some putty and only needed a quick sanding.

The remote turret is tiny compared to the hull.







Removed by original poster on 07/09/17 - 21:50:00 (GMT).
Removed by original poster on 07/09/17 - 21:51:23 (GMT).
Removed by original poster on 07/09/17 - 21:56:49 (GMT).
LeoCmdr
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Posted: Sunday, July 09, 2017 - 05:11 PM GMT+7
OK, folks...Photobucket has obviously wreaked havoc on many a modellers wanting to post images. Until I figure out a way to third party host so the images show this will have to do.

The missile pods should have been a fun and easy part of the build but they were not. Each missile pod consists of 17 parts...quite impressive for little sub-assemblies.

The tough part was actually getting all the little detailed parts to fit properly...not an easy chore.

The turret has moulded on cables for the launches but they only depict a short portion of the actual cabling. They are not 3D and while the thought was there the detail is not. I opted to scrape and sand off the moulded on cables.

I assembled the missle pods as per the instructions, or ar least how I interpreted them...thank goodness the sloppiness of the parts is mostly hidden by the PE pod covers. I did not use the kit PE parts and instead used the Voyager Model T-15 Armata detail sets parts. The Voyager PE was thinner and easier to bend. However, in both the kit PE and the Voyager PE neither parts provide bend lines so you are left to guess or seek out reference material as to where to make the bands...I chose reference material.

I used 0.6 mm solder for the cabling. It is very easy to bend and form. There are three sets of cables on each launcher pod that intertwine through the actual mount. The 3D effect of the solder cables for sure adds details and almost makes up for the poor fitting parts.

The pods attach to the turret with a single slot on the turret side. Take time to align the pods up and down and side to side or you'll get a wonky position.

Hopefully this link to images on Flickr will work and at least provide you some visual for the build of the missile pods.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/152533442@N04/shares/2Gsr67
hugohuertas
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Posted: Monday, July 10, 2017 - 09:29 AM GMT+7
Great job Jason!
LeoCmdr
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Posted: Friday, July 14, 2017 - 12:55 PM GMT+7
Testing out Imgur to see how it works for 3rd party image hosting...













Voila!










LeoCmdr
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Posted: Sunday, July 16, 2017 - 09:54 AM GMT+7
The next steps included adding the antennas and the main armament.

The antennas are very nicely moulded and include a variety of steps in diameter both up and down. The challenge is the cleanup with attachment points on the very thin antennas. Nonetheless they look great once cleaned up and attached. I used the Voyager PE parts for the rear antennas as it is more pliable than the kit PE parts.

The 30 mm cannon and coaxial machine gun are moulded adequately. The detail is average but the muzzle of the 30 mm cannon is moulded open.

In an effort to add more detail I used the brass and PE parts included in the Voyager set. They adapt to the kit mantlet and gun mount. Rolling the MG barrel cover and the folding the cannon jacket took patience and pre-planning but in the end they look very nice attached to the mantlet.

The mantlet is static and the guns cannot be elevated or depressed. What you see is what you get.

Three sensors were also added to the turret sides and front. I don't know the exact details of these sensors but I suspect they are part of the active detection system. On an interesting note the sensors are not mounted on the T-15 that paraded in Moscow but the mounting bolts were visible. The sensors are however mounted on the Kurganets-25 turret to give an idea of what they actually do look like.

I also took a quick step back and reassessed the missile covers. I removed them and re-bent them to give the proper curved look to the bottom sections.

Next up will be the turret hatch handles and then on to the large optical sensors.













LeoCmdr
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Posted: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 10:44 AM GMT+7
The finishing touches were added to the turret with the two large multi-optic sights and the four hatch handles.

The two main sights are simply three parts each consisting of a center, left, and right. A bit of sanding was required to removed ill placed sprue attachment points. I did not glue the sights to the turret as the multiple gold coloured reflective optics seen on the sights is going to be a challenge and I want them separate for painting/masking.

The kit provides plastic moulded hatch handles. A bit chucky in my opinion so they were replaced with wire.

With the turret complete I will be heading down to the tracks...the indy link tracks. Oh my aching fingers!











LeoCmdr
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Posted: Friday, August 04, 2017 - 09:24 AM GMT+7
The tracks included in the kit were actually a pleasant surprise compared to the plastic used in the rest of the kit. Each track link consists of a track link, a very nicely moulded hollow centre guide, and two track pads.

The tracks are not workable as the end connectors are moulded on.

My reference images showed the T-15s in the May Day parade fitted with rubber track pads and T-15s shown in static displays without rubber track pads. Panda provides the modeler this options but makes not mention of it. The track links are moulded with the correct detail if you choose to not attach the rubber track pads and go for more of a combat look.

There are plastic jigs included to assemble the tracks but I found them useless and simply reverted to assembling small section of the track to keep the parts as straight as possible. The instruction show each complete track link being assembled and then attached together. I opted to added the centre guides last instead of a track link at a time.

I'll be removing the tracks to paint and weather and tried to strategically place the attachment points to limit issues during re-assembly.

That does it for the build of the Panda T-15 Armata minus a few centre guides to add to some track links. Painting will be next.











LeoCmdr
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Posted: Friday, August 04, 2017 - 09:41 AM GMT+7
I wanted to throw it out to fellow modellers about the painting. The T-15s that have been seen in public are simply painted in overall green...known as Protective NC 1200. It is a dark green, not very exciting, but the standard colour of modern Russian armour.

The decals included in the kits are limited to the parade markings which includes the black and orange St. George banner stripes with a red and white star in the middle. Since the T-15 has only been seen in the configuration I can understand why they only provided this as a decal option. But, perhaps Panda should look to Takom who provides "what if" paint schemes in some of their kits.

What I can't understand is how they screwed up on the accuracy. The decals have put the star too high on the stripes. Not a huge deal but it should not have happened in the decal design. As easy solution would have been to have provided the stars on its own so they could be placed correctly.

So, do you think I should finish the model as per the instructions...green with the St. George banner decals in parade ready appearance...or should I consider a more colourful combat related appearance?

Maki
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Friday, August 04, 2017 - 09:51 AM GMT+7
I would vote for a combat related appearance. Parade schemes just don't do it for me...

Looking forward to seeing some paint on this beauty.

Cheers,
Mario
LeoCmdr
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Posted: Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 02:14 PM GMT+7
After a fantastic summer the primer is finally on!

I used Vallejo Grey Surface Primer. I read a lot on whether to thin or not to thin the primer...that was the question!

I opted not to thin it and the results are very good. I found the primer to cover well over bare plastic and PE. It is not a one shot coverall primer but the coverage was pretty good. I noted the airbrush needle cap (the end cone) did build up paint and needed to be cleaned every so often to keep things running smooth.

The primer is not an instant dry which is actually a good thing. This allows good flow and makes for a smooth finish.

I have decided to go with just the single Russian green finish as I eventually want to place the T-15 in a smallish Victory Parade diorama and need it looking pristine.

Even with just the primer on the T-15 Armata you start to get a very good sense of the unique shapes and massive size of this AFV. It almost has a 3D computer design aspect to it.

The next step will be some pre-shading. I am not a huge fan of this technique but I think the solid green base coat will lend itself to some additional depth with the pre-shading. We'll see how it turns out.







Logan
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Posted: Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 04:53 PM GMT+7
HI

Sadly the WIP pics are not showing (thanks PB) but seeing it built up makes it look like it would be a fun build and paint project.

Thanks for the build.

Tom
LeoCmdr
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Posted: Saturday, October 28, 2017 - 06:20 AM GMT+7
Believe it or not I continue to have small progress on this build blog. Work, life, and day to day business sometimes have to take priority.

With the single colour paint scheme I am attempting to apply I wanted to try some pre-shading. I have never been a fan of it and I think the results can vary depending on the base coat applied over it.

I used Vallejo Black primer and tried to follow the panel line on this grand sized T-15.

The result was this...a sort of Zebra looking winter camouflaged AFV!












More to follow with the base coat...
LeoCmdr
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Posted: Saturday, October 28, 2017 - 06:30 AM GMT+7
Over the past few minutes since my last post I was able to get the complete base coat on the T-15 Armata...just kidding of course and the base coat was completed several weeks ago and I just needed the time to upload everything.

The dark green for modern Russian armour is unique. It is darker than NATO green without a doubt. There are several out of bottle options but none of which I had access to.

I decided to go with a mix of Vallejo Surface Primer Russian Green 4BO- 73.609, a touch of Vallejo Surface Primer NATO Green- 73.612, and a smidge of Vallejo Surface Primer Grey- 73.612. Only a touch of thinner was required to get it spraying as smooth as melted butter.

As far as the pre-shading...it was all but eliminated with the dark green base coat...mental note for next time to not bother.









On to the detail painting...which is already under way...