Week 140  This week we get the decals, screws and pillars

The bits we received

And what we did with them

This is the final week, and there is a fair bit to do.  Now I have a slight confession to make.  I've actually been making two tanks.  One as per the colour scheme in the magazine (being built for a friend) and one according to my research, and at times, my whims.  That is the one that you've been watching me build.  I had hoped to complete that one with a camouflage scheme, but unfortunately time is against me. (Don't you just hate real life !) Therefore, this issue is being completed on the 'magazine finish' model.  That explains the odd photo where the colours have apparently changed !

My tank had several slight changes in shade where I'd used different bottle of paint throughout the project.  So I gave the whole take a light coat of dark yellow to match everything up.  The tank had the various vents masked form the inside and was then fitted together.  Then it was fine to let loose with the airbrush without fear of inadvertently painting the interior.

I will mention in the dialogue when you should apply the camo scheme.

The first job this week is to finish the wheels.  I've described this in week 65.  However, you should apply any camo scheme to the wheel before fixing them in place.  Have a look at week 65 to see what I did.

Next come the pillars.  I painted these white and simply placed them in position.  I didn't glue them as I think it makes fitting the top easier.

Here are the middle left pillars.

And the front left pillar.

I had to shave quite a lot off the the foot of the aft pillars to get them to go down the gap beside the fans.  Sorry, I forgot to take a photo of that.  The aft pillars would be better painted red oxide.  As you can see, this is the colour scheme as per the magazine.

This is an overall shot of the model before the top gets screwed on permanently.  

The top was screwed on next.  It went on quite easily, but there is a lip a the rear you need to be careful of.  The technique is to move the top forward about 2mm.  Then make sure the rear is down properly.  Finally, move the top backwards to its proper location.  This is the bracket that has the lip, and this helps locate the rear deck securely.  This is the stage to apply the camouflage scheme to the main body of the tank. 

Now the hull is fully painted, we can start adding the details.  I've added the jack, tow link and starter handle to the rear of the tank, along with the shackles.  These are unmodified ones as the modified and black ones are reserved for my other model.  The top is off in this photo, but it doesn't make any difference to the assembly.

All the front details are added as well.  This is all straight forward.

Now we can turn our attention back to the tow cables supplied in issue 32 & 33.  The fitted cable is shown below.

Next come the decals.  You need to use a decal softener to get the decals to confirm to the heavy texture of the zimmerit coating.  I used Micro Sol and Micro Set, but these are quite expensive (I already had them), but Revell Decalsoft also works quite well. 

Apply the decal as normal.  I.e.  Cut out the decal you want to use.  You only want to apply them one at a time.  

Soak it in water until it will slide on the paper, then slide it into position.  You can use paintbrush to help move it into position.  Load the brush with clean water it the decal is reluctant to move.  Then use a cotton bud to gently press the decal down and remove any excess water.

Paint the decal liberally with decal softener, and then don't touch it.  The decal will soften and may crinkle.  Don't worry, it will dry out smooth.  If you touch it, you will end up wrecking the soft decal.

Here are the right side decals.

The decals on the front.

And the decals on the rear.

Spare track links come next.  These need super gluing in place as they don't stay put on their own.  Some of them were a bit tight and I had to reduce the height of a couple with a file to get them to fit under the bracket.

The tracks were added next, although they can be added any time after the camouflage is completed and the deck screwed to the hull.  It's a simple job.  Just place the track in position, making sure that the teeth sit either side of the inner wheels.  Then I joined them with a track pin.  You can then touch in the pin head with black paint.

I have also added the track cable.  This was painted steel, and as with the tow cables, would be improved with a black wash.

 The fire extinguisher comes next. 

Then the commander's machine gun.  I glued this in position as it didn't want to stay by itself.

The aerial provides the finishing touch, and the model is finally finished !  Click on the photo below to open a hi res image in a new window.

 

Things not yet done

Issue 25 : Complete issue : Done
Issue 32 : Complete the tow cable : Done
Issue 33 : Complete issue : Done
Issue 41 : Fit fire extinguisher : Done
Issues 54 to 65 : Fit the hub caps : Done
Issue 135 : Finish off the tracks : Done

 

Take me back to week 139

There is no more !