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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
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Bronco 1/35 Turan II Review Blog
firstcircle
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Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2018 - 05:12 AM UTC

This is a review blog of Bronco's 1/35 scale Hungarian Medium Tank 41.M Turan II, kit no. CB-35123, which was supplied to Armorama as a review sample. This tank is notable for having quite complex suspension, and having built it up twice in small scale already (IBG's 1/72 Turan and Zrinyi kits) I thought I'd give Bronco's big version a go.

The instructions begin with two steps of installing the driver's seat and controls into the hull, and I suppose if you wanted to proceed with painting that all up before adding the wheels, and the sloping front plate that will partially cover it, then it might make sense. I was just itching to get on with the wheels though, so started at step 3:


So we're building four of each assembly above, and these are the parts for one of them:

Below, left and right, are the halves of the swinging arms that allow each pair of wheels to articulate. These are pairs of C7 and C8, or C9 and C10; after careful study I concluded there is no difference between C7 and C10 or C8 and C9, so no need to keep track of which is which.

The thing in the middle is a sleeve through which the halves would be bolted at the top outer edge, and notice there are no pips on the ends to fit into the holes which the instructions suggest are there:


In the photo below we see the swinging arms during assembly. On the left is one joining together perfectly, with a little slot ringed, into which the little peg in the centre of the sleeve, ringed, fits. When that's done, a bit of a gap opens up at the top as the sleeve is slightly wider than the space it fits into. I think the groove down the middle is OK as it represents two castings bolted together, but we don't really want a gap, so on the right it's been filled with a sliver of sprue.

Having made eight of those and put them aside to set, I took four wheels and made two pairs:

The pairs of wheels are mounted on the swinging arms by two connected axles. As is common with long components moulded this way, many of them were a bit bent (as below) and needed to be twisted straight; one was snapped and had to be glued.

Here's two wheel pairs mounted on the axles, the swinging arm ready to fit on to the pip in the centre of the outer axle brace, and the inner axle brace at the front.

Note the outer brace (it is lying outer face down) has a small square hanging off the bottom of the centre, while the inner brace doesn't. This is how you will tell which way round the assembly will mount on the rest of the bogie assembly, and in fact this is the key to the difference between 3/1 and 3/2 in the instruction steps - it's which way around the swinging arms are oriented in relation to this outer brace.






firstcircle
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Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2018 - 05:30 AM UTC
The result is this:

I found the text in the instructions about what is not be cemented quite confusing "C20 and C18,C15 no cement" - it seems to suggest that you might avoid cement on the wheels so that they turn, but other than possibly helping with painting, that's not that desirable. The diagram is clearer in that it's just the centre pivot of the axle braces that is not glued to the swinging arm, and the wheel pair should be able to rotate around it as in the photo.

Having dealt with four wheels, there's the other 28:

Clean up is not that difficult with two quite small sprue gates on each, and only a little flash on the internal joining face. For some reason, one wheel had a longer joining face that had to be reduced so that the resulting pair was the same width as all the others.

The photo below shows the end of step 3, and makes it clear that it is four mirror images, with the little block on the bottom of the outer axle brace being used to orient which way around the swinging arm mounts.

Szmann
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Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2018 - 06:08 AM UTC
Matthew, very well laid down article. In comparison with my pictures "on the fly", yours look so much more professional. I'm learning here.

Following this build.

Cheers!
Gabriel
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Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 03:21 PM UTC
Nice building~
firstcircle
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Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 10:18 AM UTC
Thanks Gabriel and JKC.
Having looked at that photo of all of the wheel units lined up, the next thing I did was fix some of those slightly out of position "sleeves" - in fact they are the bump stops for the leaf springs.

Next is assembling pairs of those units into four bogies:

The parts for one bogie:

These are the parts that mount the bogie to the hull, note the rod C31 which inserts through the hole in C23 and cements to an unmarked position (arrowed) on C22. The oval above it is the attachment point for the leaf springs.

Below is the bogie mount, C23 and C22, cemented to each other only, with the wheel sets mounted on them without cement; on the left the hole for the rod is arrowed, on the right it is in place, with cement carefully applied to avoid the rotating joint beneath it. The oval, ringed, as stated, is for the leaf spring.

One of the leaf springs added, below, cemented on that central point only, no cement on the ends and bump stop; this allows the wheels to swing down, but the springs are no longer in contact... is this desirable?

Here are both springs in place. If they aren't cemented to the bump stops, then getting them perfectly aligned on that one join takes some care:

So the one on the left has had the ends of the springs cemented to the bump stops, on the right they are unglued:

It seems to me that in a normal state the springs would always be in contact with the bump stop, so I don't think there is benefit to leaving them unglued. If you wanted to cement the suspension in an extremely articulated position then this kit allows you to do it, but obviously the leaf springs don't spring like the real thing, if wanted, perhaps they would need to be shaped using some source of gentle heat.

firstcircle
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Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 08:56 AM UTC
Return rollers. These consist of six parts, with ten to be made:

Here are five of the parts, leaving the nut, C28, on the sprue for now:

The good news is that the parts are easy to prepare, with the shaft sprue gate to be hidden inside the hull, so they build up quite quickly:

Because I go all production line and don't test things out properly first, I found after this was done that the tiny nut didn't quite fit on the shaft, the end of the shaft being slightly oval. It would be easier to slightly shape and thin it first.

I managed to do that with the knife tip and emery paper, and then drilled out the nut a little so that it fits and allows a tiny bit of the shaft to poke through.

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Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 09:17 AM UTC
It's great to see a review of a less common subject. It looks like Bronco has done a pretty good job, and also that you are more than a match for the kit's "design features".
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Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 11:04 AM UTC
Great start-keep on going!
Dan
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Posted: Monday, June 25, 2018 - 01:13 AM UTC
Great job Matthew, that suspension looks like a patience tester! I also like it is a slightly unusual subject as well.
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Posted: Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 05:32 AM UTC
Johhar, Dan , Colin, thanks for your encouragement, appreciated.
Although the road wheels and rollers are done, the Turan has that "bonus" wheel, the one, between the leading road wheel and the sprocket, that looks like a caster.

Bronco have provided the almost hidden details of the inner surfaces of the wheels separately, and the outward facing part of the bogie is a deep slide moulded component mounted on the sprue at an angle:


The above shows it after some clean up; one slight issue is that the flat outer surface is slightly depressed, or convex, while photos of the real thing show that it is a slightly more rounded cast shape, so the depression was filed away and the edges rounded off a little.
Below left is the separate wheels made up; centre, joined as a pair; right, mounted in the bogie:

Both sets below, note the bolted cover on the top surface:


Skipping the step with the spare track links for now, and still ignoring the interior details, the front plate is now to be added:


While test fitting it became clear that the hull sides bow in a little, so I added a 38mm sheet of thick styrene somewhere near where the rear bulkhead would be, having checked that it won't foul the turret etc. (hopefully) :

With the plate fixed in place, another 38mm sheet was temporarily wedged in to de-bow the front of the walls while the cement set overnight:


firstcircle
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Posted: Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 06:11 AM UTC
Skipping forward a step, the mounting plates for the idlers, which are at the front:

They are thin and have a couple of ejector marks that might show up later (even if under the track guard) which were filled:

Reverse view:

Then the mounting and drive cover for the sprocket at the rear:


Turning back to the idler, the plate into which the wheel will mount is added, location being well defined by the square and oval shapes. Note the idler adjuster bolt, circled, that has to sit far enough out to allow the oval locator to engage, but not so far that it interferes with the front wheel, the mount for which is just underneath it:

At the back, a pair of stiffeners are added:

Now we have a whole page for sprocket and idler construction:

The idlers and sprockets look very similar to each other, so it is worth keeping a note of what is what when it comes off the sprue, in particular the axle rods which are almost, but not quite, identical, and which rotate inside the wheels:

Idler on the left, sprocket on the right:
firstcircle
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Posted: Saturday, July 07, 2018 - 01:33 AM UTC
So now we can move to the fun bit, the tracks...
Before we can do this:

We have to sort this out:


Each link has one sprue gate on one side, two on the other:


Started by cutting all the single sprue gates. Notice the edge of the link is sloped. It's possible that spending longer doing the cut might have resulted in a smaller remnant of sprue to be cleaned up, but I didn't.


Then went through again cutting all four gates to separate the pairs:

Remember this is a sample being reviewed, so put any thoughts about buying metal tracks aside; cleaning up the 200+ links goes like this:
One side:

The other side:

Clean up the ridge with a file:

Some 600 grade emery paper:

Brush all the dust and trimmings away:

That was done over an afternoon and three evenings, with frequent breaks necessary to let the fingers recover (and some football viewing also had to be fitted in).

Now I'm considering how to hold all the wheels in place temporarily while the tracks are glued on, so the assembly can be removed as a unit for painting. The sprockets, idlers and return rollers should slot in place OK, but the bogies will need to be retained somehow, I'm thinking of small screws from the inside.

firstcircle
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Posted: Monday, July 09, 2018 - 08:35 AM UTC
To add the tracks the wheels all need to be held in place temporarily but securely.


While the toothed wheels and rollers have proper holes to fit into, the bogies and that front caster have less definite fitting points, so holes were drilled through them:

Then, holding the bogie in position the drill bit was pushed through the hole to mark the exact location for the hole to be drilled in the bogie. A 1mm plastic rod was then glued in place:

The bogies in place:


The track links click together, but if just placed flat on the mat and pressed into place, there's a tendency for the pin to be damaged. Instead I hooked one pin and then the other:



I made them in sets of ten so there's not too much dangling around, then added three sets together, then another three; 33 links is enough to cover the flat run, with one at each end starting to curve up. Extra Thin cement was run between each link.

A spot of cement on each wheel contact point, then the bogies are placed on the track, using the ruler to keep all the links and the wheels lined up.


Notice the wheel pairs are still free to move. If you are making them flat, it would be better just to fix the wheels in place first.

Cement can be applied to the contact points through the track holes, though preferably sparingly so there's no leakage (unlike on mine).

After fixing that bottom track run on both sides, I don't dare touch it for 24 hours.
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Posted: Monday, July 09, 2018 - 12:01 PM UTC
Nice work on the kit so far. I'm currently working up the Turan 3 for a build review and I will state that the new Meng precision spruecutters are a life saver. They leave almost nothing left of the sprue attachments to clean up. Well worth the expense for kits with plastic individual length tracks.
firstcircle
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Posted: Monday, July 16, 2018 - 08:11 AM UTC
Matt, funny you should mention that, as I just bought some Tamiya cutters which were a great improvement over the damaged Xuron cutters I had, so I started cutting these links thinking I would be able to eliminate the tags completely. After a few tries I found it quite hard to get the angle, and then there was the ridge that would need cleaning up anyway, so in the end I just went for cutting them quite close. A bit of a cop out probably.

Things have been quite slow (lots of distraction with the World Cup partly) but all the track is now together.

Starting with the easy end, 14 links were assembled and joined on, wrapping around the sprocket, leaving the last couple unglued:

With both sides done, that was another overnight set, then the rest of the links were assembled. The instructions specify 101 links per side. Having counted what I'd already used I assembled the correct number that were meant to be left, but there was no way it was going t o join up without pulling some of the links apart. I ended up using 103 links per side, which gave a realistic looking amount of sag which is evident in photos, although brand new tanks out of the factory do look tighter.

Here the track is being clamped on to the idler teeth while the glue takes:


Bent nose tweezers used to pull the links closer together, the cement is still wet:


With a bit of tweaking as the cemented links started to harden I managed to get a fairly even looking pattern of sag and the track reasonably straight:




It now remains to be seen if I can get the assemblies off in one piece, although I'm half thinking that my original plan of just cementing all this in place and painting it like this would have been reasonable as it doesn't look impossible to paint.

I meant to say, the instructions tell you to take a number of links and create a length of spare track and cement it to the armour plate before assembling the rest of the tracks. It would be very unfortunate if you did that and then it turned out that you needed extra links because, like me, 101 wasn't enough to go around the wheels, or because, also like me, a few of the links got slightly damaged pins during assembly, so didn't hold together properly and were substituted out of the spares.
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Posted: Monday, July 16, 2018 - 10:03 AM UTC
Great progress! (Truth be told I really was frustrated by the suspension with the Zrinyi, so despite of being another Hungarian subject I passed on this one )

ninjrk
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Posted: Monday, July 16, 2018 - 11:26 AM UTC
I will be totally stealing your method for mounting the suspension, that is a smart approach.
firstcircle
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Posted: Monday, July 23, 2018 - 09:42 AM UTC
Thanks Andras, it's not the easiest I guess, patience required to keep letting the cement set, and Matt: only time will tell if this is a sensible approach or not...

...and so to removing the track units - cutting the retaining rods:

Pushing the return rollers back through, the PVA giving way:

The last section to detach was that single front caster which was levered off:


I'd used quite a lot of cement to bond it all together, just one return roller came away and had to cemented back on, then a bit more cement was added in a few spots:







firstcircle
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Posted: Monday, July 23, 2018 - 10:09 AM UTC
The track units were put safely in a plastic food box, and attention returns to building the hull. You get a choice of track guards depending on whether you plan to ignore or use the etched mesh side skirts - we have to use the side skirts, obviously, so this is the next step:


The undersides have a few ejector circles, nothing too deep and will hopefully be out of view once complete, particularly with the skirts in place, but some sand paper is used to make them even less prominent:


They locate via two horizontal slots at the back (on the right of the picture) and two vertical slots at the front, very accurately, and some cement is run along the joint:


The front section attaches separately, and has to fit flat against the main track guard section at a hinge, and against the curved vertical plate above the idler. I started with the hinge:


Once that was bonded enough to hold, but still flexible, the rest of the join was made; on the first (left) side the fit was very good:



On the other side, there was a small gap at the rear of the join, and trying to force it together started to misalign the hinge joint, so instead it has to be filled; I used a sliver of styrene which will be sanded off when fully set:


Moving to the rear, two small curved sections of the end of the track guards need to be attached to the main section, and then a bracketed edge joined to the casing of the drive cover next to the drive sprocket:

A bit hard to see in the photo, but there was a small gap where the curved edge didn't quite fit, and again, the position is constrained by the flat joint with the main track guard. It also had the effect of making the curve a little more than perhaps it should be.


So another sliver of styrene was used between the components:


When fully set this will be tidied up and probably thinned down - in reality this end of the track guard was of a thin sheet metal, and it might be better rendered in etched metal than plastic. Actually, a slightly misaligned joint might be authentic as this component seems to have been fastened to the drive cover by a single bolt rather than welded. Oh well, I've glued it now...


firstcircle
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Posted: Monday, July 30, 2018 - 10:05 AM UTC
Next is all the plastic in step 13, leaving the metal bits until later:

Ka30 and 31 are the flaps that sit inside the engine vent grilles and on the real thing hinge up and down in four parts and at various angles, I think providing more or less cooling ventilation for the engine. Bronco has rendered these as one piece, to be stuck against the grille. Opening them right up means you'd get a view of the interior void (no engine), but I set them slightly ajar, adding a piece of rod to strengthen the angled join this would produce:



I think that on the real thing, those little dots in the centre of each flap was actually a wire loop, so a detail that could be added if wished (not me though).

Adding the four plates, moulded separately to ensure good definition and realistic riveted joints:


Trying to work towards painting the interior, I go back to the first step and build the driver's seat and install the controls, rudimentary details meant to provide something to be seen through an open hatch or visor:




Also the armour plate on the glacis:


Adding more big components to the top, ignoring anything that should go on after the top and bottom are joined; notice the suggestion that the big engine hatch B40 can be positioned open:


Start by adding the hinges, which have location holes:


Then the hatch, there's no detail on the underside:


Building up the louvre:



Split rear hatch, also suggested to be built open:


Again, hinges added, and no detail on the underside, but is quite thin:


With no lip on either door, they just meet in the centre with a gap, which may be authentic, but I added a strip to at least stop the pin wash from dripping through.


Again, with the intention of getting the hull to a point where it can be joined, moving forward to step 20. Oddly, considering the basic interior details for the driver, there is no suggestion to position the driver hatch (in the earlier step 15) or visor open, although unlike the engine covers, the driver hatch does have internal detail.

Having attached the thick armour plate at the front, the front part of the split hatch is rested in place so that the big hinge can be positioned correctly as there is no location marker:


Then the visor is added in the open position:






firstcircle
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Posted: Sunday, August 05, 2018 - 11:00 AM UTC
Still fitting details to the upper hull. Exhaust mufflers are big one piece cylinders, so typically have a quite big seam on each end that needs to be totally eliminated at the front end:


The rear is less critical as it is capped by the outlet / bracket (note also the smoke grenade rack is in place):


Clamps for the two jacks, pretty fiddly and seems a bit odd to have split them straight in half in this way, so careful cementing, fully setting, lots of sanding:


It's shown in place below in the red square, and under the left hand jack. The arrowed U shaped thing is meant to go under the jack handle, but is too big for the handle to clear it, so it was shortened. The circled metal piece is yet another holder for the jack, the upper circle indicating where it goes. I had to remove most of a couple of rivets to allow it to sit flush on the deck, then held it in place with blue tack while CA glue was used on the interior.


I really really hate photo etch by the way . Especially gluing a thin edge to plastic.

Keen as I am to glue the hull together, the top and bottom were masked for painting. Almost nothing will be visible through the driver hatch or the grilles at the back, but just to make sure if anything is, it won't be tan plastic.



First the track units get the Mr Surfacer 1200:



Now the driver area:



No paint instructions are given for the scant details of the driver's seat and controls so this is just a total guess: I left anything that had no detail black and the white is what might be illuminated by light coming through the driver hatch / visor... that's the idea anyway. Seat is meant to be a bit weathered looking, but actually just looks badly painted, hopefully will be virtually invisible.

firstcircle
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Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2018 - 02:43 AM UTC
With the interior painted sufficiently:


...the top and bottom are joined. Sides clamped and the back joins together perfectly:


The front is a bit tougher, needing some upward pressure on the sloping lower plate from a finger, making sure to avoid the driver's control levers:


Now adding more hull details (out of sequence according to the instructions):


A few things in this photo: that front join had a 0.3mm rod added and sanded to cover over a slight gap (arrowed). Ringed is the antenna mount; the metal bracket worked quite well, but there's also a tiny metal ring that's meant to be fitted over the cone shape. It didn't fit that well and didn't really alter the appearance much, so I dropped it back in the box. The metal holders for the jack blocks: these make up OK, and the instructions say to fit the blocks in place before attaching to the track guard, but it's possible by just sliding them in place to work out the position of just the metal parts, so the blocks can be painted separately then slid in later. (It would have made it even easier to locate and glue them securely if the track guard surface had a couple of pips moulded in place, and a couple of holes in the metal parts.)


Looking at a few tiny details:
The horn has a metal mount which for some reason is just a flat plate, when I'd expected a right angle bracket, so no positive means of attachment to the bodywork.


The extinguisher has a very long and very narrow metal bracket, in this big photo looking a bit messy. Not convinced that a plastic part wouldn't have been better as this doesn't look that much like the bracket on the real thing:


The head lights have quite delicate stalks and the option of clear lenses or the shaded version shown below. These have two tiny metal parts to be attached, which, surprisingly I managed without losing or breaking them:


With the hull details mostly done, or some parts sitting in tubs waiting for paint, we move to the turret.

Starting with the side hatches and hinges; they can be left open, but there's no internal detail.


Turning to the guns. The coaxial MG is no problem at all, fitting into the ball mount. The recuperator housing is a box to be built up from six separate sides.


Below we see the top, bottom and sides joined, which went OK. The front of the box was a cast piece, and some tiny metal loops are provided to be attached either side of the gun barrel. I think these probably optional as I found a photo that seemed to show and example without them. My only deviation from the out of the box build so far was to drill holes and use wire, as this seemed an easier way of making sure that the positioning was correct and that the loops wouldn't fall off at some point. Also, on the real thing, the loops are just made of wire, welded onto the casting, so wire seems better than flat photo etch.

Where I created a problem was the attachment of the rear part, the arrowed join:


I think I may have been distracted while building it, but also it is quite subtle and barely visible in this photo, but the recoil housing isn't quite aligned with the swivel mount at the rear, indicated by these two lines which are not quite parallel:


It became noticeable when the assembly was mounted in the turret, so that when viewed from the front, the gun didn't look straight. I tried but was unable to remove the rear part and as a result slightly damaged the join between the components. In the end I had to settle on reshaping the swivel mount a tiny bit so that it could be mounted with the recoil housing straight by slightly twisting in the turret. It is now hardly apparent. While all of that fiddling was going on, one of the metal screw heads on that front casting managed to vapourise somewhere.


So not great on my part, and a warning to pay attention to this area to anyone else building this. I did also manage to knock the bottle of liquid cement so that some of it splashed into the kit box without me realising, so that when I took the turret out of the box, one of the sprues was cemented to it. That required the replacement of some of the rivets - just visible at the top right of the above photo - taken from some of the unused parts in the box.

Apart from all that, going quite well still...

There will now be a short intermission.
Neonik
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Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2018 - 07:59 PM UTC
Greetings,Matthew! Thank you very much for very useful and interesting information!
firstcircle
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Posted: Monday, September 17, 2018 - 09:58 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Greetings,Matthew! Thank you very much for very useful and interesting information!


Thank you Artyom, appreciated.

Reminding myself of what's what after that interlude, I realise that most of the plastic is now done, but before turning to the etched metal side skirts, I add the plastic hangers to the track guard, choosing to go with the straight sided skirts, so making sure to select the correct parts:


The instructions don't quite show the exact position in terms of any overhang, but I think they should be more or less flush with the edge, and try to ensure that they are correctly positioned, bearing in mind that they will have to locate in the eyelets on the side skirts:


While that sets I make a start attaching the metal brackets to the turret. Having bemoaned the gluing of etched metal, I realised I needed to do something to make sure this went well, and badly positioned or falling off brackets will make the attaching of the armour a nightmare. I therefore dispensed with Pound shop superglue and bought some proper glue, Slo-Zap PT-20 slow setting CA:

Much better... allows slight repositioning to take place, while still providing some immediate grab, and is more forgiving when parts are not completely flush.



Note that the holes in the brackets fit over the rivets - most of the time they do anyway; a few of them were not aligned perfectly, so rivets were reduced in size in some instances. Some of the brackets have S shape rather than U shape bends applied, so it pays to check carefully which bend is needed for each part, and on each side every part is unique, so also check that you have the correct part going to the correct place... one at a time, concentrating... - and take great care not to accidentally knock any of them.


Now we add the loops to the turret armour that all the brackets will engage with:

Starting with the rear panel as it's the easiest, just four loops to add. There's a lot of these needed, so you get plenty of practice; two pairs of tweezers are needed to do the bends. As well as the glue, I also invested in a new gas lighter to anneal all of these so they didn't snap when bending.


Not really obvious from the instructions, but the turret side armour is almost in two pieces, so needs to be removed from the fret carefully:


Then the loops are added, eight on each:


So that's 20 - there's another 26 in total for the big hull side skirts, so we're getting there. There's a few spares provided for these tiny parts, which is good, as one already disappeared.



Nahuel19431
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Posted: Monday, September 17, 2018 - 01:10 PM UTC
Excellent work and very good detailed you show, congratulations.
I hope to see you soon finished. I have the Turan I as a challenge, I already have to do the Zirinyi, this model really has a very complex suspension, you handled it with great mastery.-
Greetings, Omar