Saturday 30 April 2016

Trumpeter AS-90 One Down......

Here's the first AS-90 all finished. Final additions to the turret were some straps to the ammo racks and a couple of Bowman radio bases made from spares parts, plastic rod and tubing. the commander's vision block was detailed with plastic strip as well. I also revisited the rear mud guards and replaced the plastic with some lead foil and folded these up as per my refs.

Friday 29 April 2016

AS-90 More Turret Work

Here's the turret now almost finished, just a couple of things still to finish off. The side bins received some details from plastic card, lead wire and fine brass wire to enhance the catches. I then added small fillets of plastic card to each of the locating spots on the turret, this ensures that the bins stand off from the sides of the turret slightly as per my refs. 

The roof stowage bin is a bit of a saga as I had intended to use the Eduard set 35575. Imagine my surprise when I opened this and discovered it also included a full set of engine deck screens! If only I'd had a look at this earlier on, anyway it also includes the frame work for the roof bin. I've now come to the painful conclusion that I'm crap at bending large PE parts. I made a right hash of it so went back and used the kit's plastic frames and faced them with the etch. Not perfect but as the bin's going to be stuffed with stowage it won't really be obvious.

I had to move one of the roof ammo box racks though as this dictates where the bin is located on the roof. As it is in the kit the bin overhangs the rear when it should line up with the edge. A new rack was made up with plastic card. 

Tuesday 26 April 2016

AS-90 Front Turret Work

Very much in the zone at the moment with this so here's another post for today. Lots of work improving and scratching new parts has been done. The smoke dischargers really need a wedge of plastic added to the rear so that the correct angle can be achieved. Part D19/20 had a new plastic card face added and the correct shape guard made up from brass wire. The mounting in the kit is pants so a new one was knocked up.

I've left off the pick axe heads and left the ammo box racks empty because you rarely see the pick axes fitted and I've yet to see ammo boxes actually fitted in the front racks. The slave cable wrapped around the smoke discharger was made up from plastic stock and lead wire, I'm very pleased with how it came out. Finally some thin tape and bolts were added along the lower hull replacing the poor kit molding.

Not much more to add to this turret so I'm hoping to get it finished by the end of next weekend.

AS-90 Main Gun

A lot of time has been spent working on the main gun assembly over the last few days. Fit and detail here is not particularly good so time spent here will really enhance the look of the finished model. One point to note is that there is an error in stage 17 of the instructions. When building up the main gun receiver assembly you need to reverse the part numbers for the correct orientation as listed here,

D9 should be position D3
D3 should be position D9
D4 should be position D8 
D8 should be position D4 

Once built up there are a few gaps that need filling and sanding here. The fit of the main gun assembly into part D5 is vague to say the least so some time spent getting everything to fit squarely is required so that it all lines up correctly. I added some thin plastic card as well here to fill gaps between the gun and D5. Missing bolts and replacements for poor cast ones on D5 were added too.

If you are using an RB metal replacement barrel then you will find that the gun assembly is too loose to support the barrel in any elevated position. My solution is to add some bracing on the inside of the turret so some friction between parts D11, D12 and the main gun drum is created. This works pretty well and supports the weight of the barrel. Also it's worth checking the alignment of the barrel once the resin gater has been fitted to ensure it's straight.


Thursday 21 April 2016

AS-90 Turret Time

After a little bit more tweaking on the hulls I've now finished the grills on the commission build. I wasn't happy with the etched brass so instead used some very fine mesh then framed the grills with plastic strip. I'm much happier with the look of them now. A little Mr surfacer went onto the final drive housings to add a slight texture.

Moving onto the turrets now and I've started adding the details from the back. Again the commission build has been worked on first as this one needed to be changed to a later vehicle with Bowman radios fitted. Using my references I built up the Bowman box on the rear from plastic card and detailed it with some spare hinges from an old etch set. Door clamps were made up from plastic strip.

A few more details need to be added to this part but it's basically done. One thing to note on the turret rear is that parts E21, the rear lifting hooks should fit flush as per my pictures. You need to carve the recess on the turret slightly so that they fit correctly.

R.I.P Prince

Just heard that Prince has died at the age of 57, damn!! Another of my favourite musicians has passed away far too soon. I vividly remember buying his album 1999 on cassette no less and being blown away at the sheer brilliance of the music. In fact I've still got that tape! Christ that was back in 1982.

From then on I was a fan and remember seeing him live during the diamonds & pearls tour at Earls court. It was an amazing gig with the purple one really rocking the house. Best get the prince cd fired up I think. 

Sunday 17 April 2016

AS-90 Front Decks

Things are progressing well at the moment and I'm really enjoying adding all the missing details & improving other areas. One of the hulls is now complete apart from a couple more engine grills I need to add. The gun travel locks had a fair bit of detail added which really enhances them. The sidelight/indicator assemblies have had the molded lights removed, I'll replace with clear and coloured lenses later on. Parts C41 & 42 were thinned down using a file to get a thinner look as they are quite thick as is. 

I also used kitchen foil to cover parts C54 &55 as per my references. This worked well and gives a good impression of hessian. The driver's periscope, part C47 really needs some detail adding as it's totally devoid of any details straight out of the box. Thin plastic strip and some bolts were used to add the missing details.

Friday 15 April 2016

Tamiya Sherman M4A3E8 Complete

Here's the finished model on the base. A few grass turfs, static grass and carved weeds went onto the base and this was then sprayed with various earth and grass colours before finally going over the groundwork with some pigments.
The 4th armoured division badge really sets off the base as well.

It's been a very long time since I last built a Sherman so I have really enjoyed this project. From start to finish it's been trouble free and very relaxing. Tamiya have yet again produced a superb kit which has plenty of excellent detail but is very easy to build.