Monday, October 31, 2011

How to Follow Individual Builds

With the number of assorted projects which will eventually show up here, if you wish to see the posts relating to just one specific build simply look in the right-hand column under Labels and click on the project in which you are interested. Only those posts will then be loaded. To return to all posts click on the graphic heading at the top of the page.

M8 Greyhound - Oopsies Part 1

The great thing about group builds is that they afford the opportunity for everyone to share their build experiences, to see first hand how others have handled issues arising with their builds, and to ask and have answered questions that might not have occurred absent seeing others' models. I gained all this and more at our recent AMPS-CV meeting.

I already mentioned the curve forced into the steering linkage. Along those same lines, it was pointed out to me that on almost all of our models the transfer case is "floating" when it should be attached to the frame. This is a result of the one-piece drive train and at this point, there are no real fixes for either problem.

The other problem I noticed is illustrated in the photo above. On the left of the rear plate there are two holes that need to be opened if one is attaching the medical kit in a later step. I decided not to attach the med kit but forgot to remove the reinforcing circles around the now non-existent holes. Thankfully, I will be able to carefully reach these with a #10 blade and sandpaper, as well as the faint injector pin marks which I also failed to notice.

Once these are completed and I do some further seam clean-up I'll be ready to move on to the interior. Although I'm sure there will be more "oopsies" posts, I hope I can keep them to a minimum.

Krupp Protze - Initial Steps

As with most kits, the initial step is to construct the wheel assemblies and the frame/suspension. The wheels come molded in two pieces each. The frame is in one piece to which are added the front axle, front bumper, exhaust pipe, and two rear towing hooks. At this point I also built the two rear axles and suspension system.

The rear compartment is constructed from the floor section, bracing, seats, wheel wells, splash guards, front and back sections, reinforcing panels, canvas top supports, and assorted tools.

Construction so far is straight-forward. Care is needed in working with the smaller 1/72 scale parts to forestall tweezer launches and broken pieces.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

M8 Greyhound - Lower Hull & Suspension

At this point, the drive shaft assembly was attached to the lower hull. The kit tires were left attached and the entire unit was set on the tires to ensure that everything touched the ground. The front shock absorbers, lower rear torsion bars, front springs, and transfer case brush guard were then attached. The only fit problem encountered so far was the left front spring interfering with the steering linkage (see arrow in photo below). I'm not sure where the misalignment originated, but as a result, the steering linkage has a slight bow . . . not suited for competition, but, oh well.

To finish the undercarriage, the four rear shock absorbers, muffler and exhaust pipe assembly, and rear suspension support were added. A drill bit and pin vise were used to open the end of the exhaust pipe.

The front plate had six ejector pin marks. These were sanded out even though I later realized that the aftermarket interior plate would cover them. The two tow clevis attachments were added to the front plate and then the assembly was joined to the front of the hull. There were no issues with the fit.

The rear hull plate has two holes which must be opened if you wish to attach a first aid case in a later step. I left them closed. The two tow clevis attachments and tow pintle plate were added to the rear hull plate and the assembly was then attached to the rear of the hull, again with no fit issues.

After a final clean-up and check of the work to-date, it'll be time to tackle the interior--lots of added detail for that area! Here's a photo of the left side showing the work up to this point:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Italian L3/33 (CV-33) Tankette - The Real Deal

The L3 series of armored vehicles primarily served the Italian army during the years leading up to World War II. Classified as "tankettes," they were smaller in size than even "light" tanks, lacked a traversing turret, were armed with only machine guns, and were very light in weight. They were just large enough to hold the engine, transmission, ammunition supply, and a crew of two--driver and commander/gunner. These disadvantages were offset by their speed. They could often reconnoiter forward areas and could support the infantry when mobile machine guns were called for.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

M8 Greyhound - Drive Train

Step 2 consists of building the drive shaft assembly. The drive shaft unit is molded in one piece to which were added the transfer case cover; front, middle, and rear axle covers; the steering mechanism; and the left and right steering ball covers.

At this point I constructed the kit tires/wheels. I am not planning on using them on this kit but they are important in the next step to ensure that the wheels all touch the ground properly when this assembly is attached to the tub. The kit tires are built using interior poly caps which, while they leave a lot to be desired when building tank models, are rather convenient here allowing the tires to be snugly slipped onto the axles.

I also decided not to leave off the fenders so additional detail in the wheel wells was not added.

M8 Greyhound - Initial Hull Construction

In this step the hull floor has been added to the hull tub and the rear suspension plates and main drive shaft have been attached. Several ejection marks on the tub (both exterior and interior) have been sanded flat . . . probably more than necessary but being unfamiliar with this kit better to be safe than sorry!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

M8 Greyhound - AMPS CV Group Build

For its group build project, AMPS Central Virginia chose Tamiya’s 1/35th scale U.S. M8 Greyhound Light Armored Car. We commenced the build with an introductory session in August and are scheduled to wrap it up in March 2012. Members can build the model straight out-of-the-box or can add any of the numerous available aftermarket accessories.
I have the base kit, the Aber PE set, Royal Model PE/Resin set and 37mm turned metal gun barrel, and the Hussar wheel set with chains. I’m ready to begin construction but am unsure at this point exactly which vehicle to model or even which nationality. Luckily I have some time before having to make that decision. I’m thinking about leaving off the fenders but that will entail adding some scratch-built details to the lower hull and suspension. All I know for sure at this point is that I will NOT add an engine compartment and engine. Those hatches can stay closed up!

Friday, October 7, 2011

M8 Greyhound - The Real Deal

The 6x4 wheeled M8 light armored car was the only armored car used by the U.S. Army in combat during World War II. While its initial development was slated for the Tank Destroyer force, it wound up being used by cavalry reconnaissance squadrons. Development of the M8 began in 1941, the prototype was produced by the Ford Motor Company in June 1942, and over 8,500 were manufactured between March 1943 and April 1945. While the M8 was mainly used in Europe, it also saw service in the Pacific. The M8 was supplied to both Britain and France and it was the British who nicknamed the M8 the “greyhound.” Many countries around the globe continued to use the M8 well after the end of World War II.
The M8 had a Hercules JXD rear-mounted, water-cooled engine capable of producing 110 HP and the transmission had a 4-speed forward/1-speed reverse gearbox. Its six-wheel configuration made it a stable vehicle. The steel-plated body armor ranged in thickness from 19mm-32mm and the open-topped turret had 19mm armor. Armament consisted of a turreted 37mm M6 main gun, a coaxial .30-cal machine gun, and a pintle-mounted .30-cal machine gun.