Week 3  This week we get the front part of the turret and the breech.

The bits we received

And what we did with them

Due to the nature of the construction of the turret I'm going to paint the parts as we go.  The arms with the screw holes and part of the inside of the armour are going to be visible from the inside, so these are going to be painted ivory. The outsides and edges are painted dark yellow.  I've masked the edges where the interior details will be glued, and the pins are masked with a blob of Blutac.

Here are the parts painted and still masked.

The peep hole slits are lined with a touch of black paint, and the small holes in the lifting lug points are also touched in with black.  The recessed ring in the lifting lug will be painted with a dark brown when the tank is weathered.

The interior parts are sprayed ivory with the inside of the peep holes painted black.  

Finally the inners and outers are glued together.  I used Araldite Precision, gluing the edges as well as the pins.  I found that some of the pins were too long and the inner didn't land properly.  However, snipping the end off the pin with a pair on side cutters soon did the trick.

The inside of the breech is a bit bare.  I'm going to try and get hold of some 8mm id plastic tube and construct something that looks like the inside of a breech.

It's probably going to be best to leave painting the gun until issue 4 when we get the recoil brakes to add.

As the breech with some internals added is going to take a little while, here is a gun made up as per the kit instructions.  I got a spare issue, just in case the breech mod goes pear shaped.

The breech is painted green as per the instructions, although I believe it should all be ivory except the metal part.  The gun was air brushed with ivory, then the green and steel were brush painted.  That is painted in Natural Steel paint.  Is it a little less bright than silver.  I've just noticed the green has strayed onto the ivory, which will be touched up next time I have the ivory paint out.

The shell basket is painted in Olive Grey.  As you can see, I airbrushed it.

The breech and basket clipped together.

Now I've dirtied up the breech a bit more, and fixed it to the barrel.

Constructing the internal detail for the breech.

This is a link to David Bryden's page giving details of the real breech http://tiger1.info/EN/Hachette-gun-breech.html

As I mentioned above, the breech interior is a bit bare, so I've constructing an interior.  This is not going to be a perfect replica, but will look better than an empty hole.  I have obtained some 3/8" styrene tube, which is just the right size, and readily available from model shops.

Plasticard is used for the flat parts, and it's all glued together with Polyweld (or something similar) that glues ABS.  Note that you can't use standard polystyrene cement as it doesn't stick to ABS.

The aperture in the rear end of the breech was enlarged so that the tube could slide through.

Then I cut out a bulkhead that sat where the rear of the barrel would come to.  I added three 3mm spacers.  The front one simply reinforces the bulkhead so it doesn't fall off.  The two to the rear will space the side bulkhead.

This forms the side of the breech.

Another bulkhead to the rear.  The two bulkheads form the front and rear edges of the breech slide.

I've added a bit more styrene sheet to make the breech look a bit more convincing.  There is also a half height bulkhead on the side hidden from view.  I used Revell Contacta liquid cement for the styrene to styrene bonds, and a Polyweld type liquid cement to glue these bits to the ABS of the kit. 

Here is the styrene tube that will be inserted into the breech.  The cutout at the rear is a bit rough, with an allowance for final sanding to size.

This is what it look like after the two sides are joined together and the styrene tube inserted.  I've done a bit of filling, but there is more to do.

The initial filling was done with 20 minute epoxy mixed with microballoons.  It worked fin for the larger gaps, but wasn't so good for the areas that needed a thin skim.  You can see in the back of the breech where it peeled off when it got too thin.   I've sorted this by giving it a paint with medium superglue.  Once it goes off it can be sanded quite easily.

After lots of  filling and sanding, and a coat of primer and ivory paint, the breech looks like this.

All neatly masked, ready to paint the metal areas.  The Tamiya masking tape is very good stuff.  

Finally, here is the end result after the metal parts have been painted gun metal.  It doesn't look quite as dark in real life, although it probably is a bit too dark.  A dry brushing of steel should help.

Note the nice crisp lines from the Tamiya masking tape. 

Things not done yet

Issue 2 : Paint the loader's hatch

Hot tip of the week

There are plenty of photos on the web that you can use for reference.

Take me back to week 2

Take me to week 4