Thursday, January 10, 2013

Renault UE: Construction

The holidays are over, so I guess it's time to play catch-up with posting the progress on some of my projects.

First up is the Renault UE that I built while at the beach in September. It's a 2007 Tamiya kit produced in 1/35th scale. Injection-molded in dark green styrene, it provides the option for building one of three variants: Series 2, 3, or 4. All are marked as "Unit Unknown, France, 1940." Parts are included for the UE itself as well as the towed, tracked trailer. Tracks are link and length and it truly is a "diorama in a box" as it includes four figures (two interior crew and two standing) as well as a sprue containing barrels, boxes, tarps, and other equipment with which to fill the rear cargo bin and trailer.

The first three steps cover construction of the hull and are straightforward. As one would expect from Tamiya, fit is excellent, even for a five-year-old kit. Following are two pictures of the hull at this point:

Steps 4-7 cover construction of the wheels, suspension, drive sprockets and the attachment of the tracks. This was my first real experience with link and length tracks of this size (small!) and things went without a hitch. Tamiya  has captured the track sag on both the UE and the trailer very well. Here's a picture of the unassembled wheels and suspension:

 Steps 8-11 cover the addition of various hull parts and the hatches. It's important to pay attention to the instructions at this point as it is here that the choice of attachments will determine which of the three versions you end up with. I left the hatches unglued at this point so that I could paint and insert the crew figures at a later time. The only thing extra I needed to do here was drill out the exhaust pipe.

Step 12-13 detail the construction and attachment of the cargo deck. Two pictures showing the completed UE:

Last up was the construction of the trailer, covered in Steps 15-17. Link and length tracks are again used and again went together with a minimum of fuss:

And here's a photo of the complete build at this point:

All that's left is to choose the cargo, paint and weather the UE and trailer, build and paint the figures, and decide on a setting and base for the display.

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