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Armor/AFV: British Armor
Discuss all types of British Armor of all eras.
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Last of the Cruisers, First of the MBTs...
nsjohn
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: July 26, 2018
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Posted: Friday, November 22, 2019 - 01:00 PM UTC
Sorry to be so long replying. The tow hook is a prime example of the over complication of this kit. I didn't have a problem with the deflector as the one on the Mk V is narrower and doesn't extend over the tow hooks. Similarly on the rear deck vents I only had the later option.
The Mk V has the rear fuel tank which was necessary to extend the range of the tank, but which I don't think features on your model which I found to be a pain for the tiny fittings that had to be added, but my main gripe was with the numerous hand rails on the rear deck panels 10 of which are at the turret end and are therefore hidden by the turret, and the MG mount on the cupola which I am sure I never got right. By contrast, the tracks supplied are vinyl bands, as are the wheel tyres which are difficult to permanently fix, even with cyanoacrylate.
All this sounds as if I didn't enjoy the build, which is not correct, but I did find it somewhat challenging.
The Haynes manual is excellent, as indeed are most of their manuals. They pop up fairly regularly in The Works stores for £7, although not the Centurion one as yet.
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Friday, November 22, 2019 - 10:48 PM UTC
Hi Norman,

No apology needed, I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience(s), .

I haven't even got as far as grab/hand rails...something I've yet to look forward to, . I have to admit they're one of my least favourite parts of building a kit, they're usually difficult to remove from the sprue and clean-up without either breaking them or losing them to the 'carpet monster', . And if I survive those pitfalls, they're often difficult to glue in position, and even then, they have been known to ping-off when painting/weathering, .

That's an interesting heads-up on gluing the rubber (vinyl) wheel trims and the track, I'll keep an eye out for that, thanks.

I would agree with your challenging comment, .

Cheers, ,

G
nsjohn
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: July 26, 2018
KitMaker: 270 posts
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Posted: Friday, November 22, 2019 - 11:08 PM UTC
All of the above applies to the handrails. They are very fragile, and have to be applied very close to each other, making it easy to knock off one you have previously applied when doing the next.
18Bravo
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Colorado, United States
Joined: January 20, 2005
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Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 01:33 AM UTC

Quoted Text


I haven't even got as far as grab/hand rails...something I've yet to look forward to, ...



There's an easier solution. Get some brass wire of the appropriate thickness. You can use piano wire but it's a tad harder to bend. Form your handles over a pair of needle nosed pliers. It may take more than one try to get the length right. Don't worry about the depth - it doesn't matter as you'd be inserting them into holes you've drilled, generally #78 - #80.
Put a mark on you pliers where you got the handles the correct size. A sharpie or piece of tape work well. Now you know where to make your bends every time.
It sounds like a lot of work, but it's not. You can crank these out AND install them much faster than using the kit parts. After all, there's no cleanup involved.
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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KitMaker: 890 posts
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Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 02:25 AM UTC
Hi Robert,

Thanks for the tip, I have seen other people do what you're describing but had shied away from it, .

I have just looked on a well known online 'shop' and there appears to be quite a range of thicknesses of piano wire ranging from 0.4mm through to 1.5mm...I don't suppose that there is a catch-all thickness that people use, ?

Does anyone manufacture a wire grab/hand rail forming jig?

Cheers again for the suggestion, ,

G
18Bravo
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Colorado, United States
Joined: January 20, 2005
KitMaker: 7,178 posts
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Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 02:56 AM UTC
No need for a shop. Go to your nearest Hobby Lobby or Michael's. Take a handle with you if you like so you can compare it to what they have in stock.
And don't forget to use your online 40% off coupon.
RobinNilsson
Staff MemberTOS Moderator
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Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: November 29, 2006
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Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 03:30 AM UTC
There is/was someone who made photo-etched jigs for bending handles. The design is simple, a stright edge with holes drilled att varying distances from the edge.
The flat-nose pliers work fine too.

Wires: Your household is full of them, electric appliances contain copper wires of various thicknesses.
The 1:1 sizes are between half an inch and one inch thick (unless it is wooden handles ...).
Wires from 0.3 mm to 0.7 or 0.8 mm are useful for this.
Wires used for permanent installations in building will provide the larger diameters and cables to electric appliances in your home contain the smaller diameters. don't forget windings in electric motors, a worn out cordless drill contains a lot of wire.
Check with your local electrician if you can get/buy some short (up to maybe 6 inches long) scrap pieces.
A handle/grabrail rarely needs wire longer than an inch.

/ Robin
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 03:36 AM UTC
Hi Robert,

Unfortunately, here in the UK I don't believe we have a Hobby Lobby or Michael's, but I am going to give your suggestion a go...if I make a mess of it I'll simply revert back to the kit parts, .

I'll post a few photos if it's successful.

Cheers, ,

G
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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KitMaker: 890 posts
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Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 03:41 AM UTC
Hi Robin,

I did find a jig by a company called RP Toolz, it's about £30, so will try the flat nose plier method first...it's cheaper, .

Thanks for the information on thicknesses and sources of suitable materials, I've got loads of old computer related cables, will demolish a few and see what I can find, .

Cheers, ,

G
Tank1812
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: April 29, 2014
KitMaker: 1,009 posts
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Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 04:20 AM UTC
Trumpeter/Master Tools makes a jig.

https://store.spruebrothers.com/product_p/trp09921.htm

It’s not bad, I think the wire I have used is too tough but it’s been a while since the last time I tried.
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: October 17, 2017
KitMaker: 890 posts
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Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 04:23 AM UTC
Hi all,

I decided I'd start on the turret whilst I let the glue on some of the lower hull parts dry, beginning with Step 22 (see image below).



It's probably my skills...or lack thereof, ...but I found this to be a real mare. To be fair, the fit of the parts is reasonable, but trying to get all the parts together, gggrrrrr, . I say all, there's only 5 parts once the 'mantlet' is built, but you need at least two pairs of hands...least I did, .

In the end I deviated slightly and fixed part I29 from Step 23 to one of the turret side walls (see image below with 'red' arrow indicating the part referred to above).



I then fixed the turret base to the same side wall and let the glue set. Once this had set, I glued the remaining turret side wall to base and the projecting element of part I29, firstly making sure that the 'mantlet' and the escape hatch were properly located (see images below).







As you can see, there is some nice texture and casting details, however, I think the casting 'code' will be hidden once the stowage boxes are fitted, which will be a shame, .

As I said at the beginning, the above issue might be down to my own inexperience, but be warned, it might need some thinking about if you're building this kit.

Cheers, ,

G
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: October 17, 2017
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Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 04:29 AM UTC
Hi Ryan,

That looks a neat bit of kit, I'll see if I can track one down in the UK...I might invest if I can find one and it's not silly money.

Thanks again, cheers, ,

G
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: October 17, 2017
KitMaker: 890 posts
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Posted: Monday, November 25, 2019 - 04:50 AM UTC
Hi all,

Having finally managed to get the turret walls and base together with just one pair of hands...and loads of clamps, ...I tried fitting the turret roof.

However, there was a very noticeable seam where the roof and the walls met (see images below), I'm not sure if this is the kit parts not fitting exactly, or whether it was a misalignment caused by me when trying to get the walls and base together...perfectly happy to believe it was my fault, .

There is also a large depression in the turret roof that needs filling in if one is building the early version (see images below ringed in 'red').









In the end I decided to use the moulded-on cables as my datum, lining up the roof and wall cables which, as you can see above, still left a slight step, most noticeably on the rear of the turret.

So out with my trusty file, filler and lashings of liquid cement, in an attempt to hide the joint as best I could (see images below).











I am considering filing off the cables and replacing them with thin wire...if I pick up the courage, .

As you can see, I have applied a thin acrylic coat of paint to highlight any flaws. I will give this all a light sanding to better blend the seam.

To be fair to AFV Club a lot of the joint between roof and walls will be hidden once the turret stowage boxes have been added. I have temporarily fixed the right-hand side box using blu-tack to demonstrate this (see image below).



Please feel free to comment as you see fit, .

Cheers, ,

G
18Bravo
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Colorado, United States
Joined: January 20, 2005
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Posted: Monday, November 25, 2019 - 05:04 AM UTC
Nice job hiding the seam, although on the 1:1 version, that seam actually exists in exactly the same spot. It's very prominent on some turrets, others not so much.
You can replace the conduit to make it look better. That is the situation in which I would use softer copper wire - easier to form. I would not use it to form the grab handles though, as it is so soft it's usually a bear to get it through pre-drilled holes, unless you make them too large, which you then have to fix.
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Monday, November 25, 2019 - 05:23 AM UTC
Hi Robert,

I wouldn't have done so much faffing about if it was just a visible joint, but it unfortunately, no matter how I tried, I couldn't get the roof to fit to the walls without a step.

I appreciate that I've probably gone overboard, especially as I knew that the stowage boxes would hide much of the offending step from prying eyes, however, it would have annoyed me knowing it was there, .

Thanks for your comment about there being a seam-line, it's interesting, I hadn't realised that was the case. I'll have a look and, if needs be, I'll scribe a line.

Thanks for the heads-up on the wire, I've sorted out some old cabling and will see what suitable materials I can salvage.

Cheers, ,

G
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Monday, November 25, 2019 - 06:12 AM UTC
If the holes for the copper wire are slightly oversize they can be filled from the reverse side with CA-glue.
The glue will form a slight radius from the copper wire down to the surface around the hole.
/ Robin
jon_a_its
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: April 29, 2004
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Posted: Monday, November 25, 2019 - 08:04 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Robert,
Unfortunately, here in the UK I don't believe we have a Hobby Lobby or Michael's, but I am going to give your suggestion a go...if I make a mess of it I'll simply revert back to the kit parts, .
I'll post a few photos if it's successful.
Cheers, ,
G



If you have one nearby, Hobbycraft have a beadmaking section with lots of wire in different thicknesses. (I've used beads to make ball-joints for machine guns on a 1/48th B17)

But, electric wire, USB charging cables, & network cables especially are good for different wires, so not much need to spend here.

Trumpeter do a Handle Tool (Grab Handle Maker No. 09921)


Scalemates Review

G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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KitMaker: 890 posts
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Posted: Monday, November 25, 2019 - 09:48 PM UTC
Hi Jon,

Thanks for the heads-up on Hobbycraft, having 'Googled' it there is one not too far away, so next time I venture that way I will give it a look-see, .

I am also in the process of stripping down some old cables as you, and a few others have kindly suggested, so I'll see what can be found.

I've ordered the Trumpeter jig, it seems to get mixed reviews, but will give it a go. I've also ordered a ruler that says it's also a handrail jig (see image below), not sure how it works, but I needed a new scale rule anyway, so won't be a total waste if it doesn't work, .



I'll let people know whether it's any good once it arrives.

Thanks again, and cheers, ,

G
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: October 17, 2017
KitMaker: 890 posts
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Posted: Monday, November 25, 2019 - 09:54 PM UTC
Hi Robin,

Thanks again for your handy-hints, you were very helpful last year when I built the Amusing Hobby Conqueror Mk. II, and are proving equally so this time around...thank you, .

Don't know if you recall but I did suggest a 'central library' of handy-hints, a single point of reference where the good folk of this site could dip in and out of and, if they so wished, could add their own tips...is it something that might be workable?

Cheers, .

G
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: October 17, 2017
KitMaker: 890 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - 03:02 AM UTC
Hi all,

I have started to install the hull decking which, generally, is straightforward...least it has been so far, .

There is quite a bit of cleaning-up of plastic 'stubs' to be done (see before and after images below).











To be fair, I don't know for sure if any of these 'stubs' would have been a problem if they weren't removed...but better safe than sorry, .

The fit of the deck to the hull is good, however, I did, personally, find the diagram showing the location of the turret ring portion of the deck a tad confusing. It was only after trying to dry-fit it that I realised that the rearmost portion of the turret ring deck actually slips beneath the leading edge of the louvred deck (see the 'red' hatching on the image below).



A word of warning, the turret ring section is quite fragile, in trying to ensure I'd slid the 'red' hatched portion as far back as it would go I managed to crack the actual turret ring, it's a very fragile hard plastic...I did say in a previous post that I was somewhat ham-fisted, . To be fair, it was easy to repair and, more importantly, the damage is hidden once the turret is installed, .

Below are a couple of images of the deck thus far.



You might just about be able to make out the cracked plastic in the image below...it sits at just gone 12 o'clock on the turret ring.



Cheers, ,

G
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: October 17, 2017
KitMaker: 890 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - 03:41 AM UTC
Hi all,

I tried dry-fitting the soft vinyl mantlet dust cover (see image below) yesterday and, personally, didn't like it for a number of reasons, .



1) It is very soft, and very thin in some places.
2) Due to the above it is very flexible, and I am worried it might not hold paint too well, also that it might degrade overtime. I have read a number of posts in here where people have said they have had such issues with vinyl tyres.
3) To get cover to conform to the perimeter shape of the mantlet, and for the moulded-on retaining strips to fit over the corresponding mantlet location required some careful positioning. I didn't think that it would be easy to get everything to stay in place until the glue had set, and there's not enough of an overlap to clamp the cover in place whilst the glue cured.

I could be completely wrong, but in the end, I decided that I'm going to build a dust cover using epoxy-putty. This will take a couple of days as I build-up creases etc, but I have started.

Yesterday, I simply rough-filled the perimeter of the mantlet (see images below). I appreciate that this fixes the gun barrel in a given elevation, but I would have glued the mantlet in place even had I used the vinyl dust cover anyway as the metal barrel is very heavy and would have probably caused dome slight flexing of the vinyl part if the barrel was left to elevate. The gun barrel lug fits very snugly in to the allocated slot, but the weight positions the gun naturally in a depressed elevation, so again, another reason to make the whole installation a static one, as opposed to working.







And today I started to add some creases and build up the overall shape (see images below).







This is going to take a good few days more of building, forming and sanding to get a shape I'm okay with, . But I think it's the right approach for me, especially given perceived issues mentioned above, .

Cheers, ,

G
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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KitMaker: 890 posts
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Posted: Saturday, November 30, 2019 - 01:19 AM UTC
Hi all,

Not managed to get a great deal done this week, but I did get some little time in on forming the mantlet dust cover (see images below). It's a work in progress, so looks a little rough at the moment.













I've given it a rough coat of acrylic paint to hopefully help highlight blemishes as i start to blend and clean-up the cover.

I will also need to add the retaining elements around the perimeter.

Cheers, ,

G
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 10, 2011
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Posted: Saturday, November 30, 2019 - 03:28 AM UTC
Just found your very interesting thread here. I have always liked the Centurian so this topic has a special fondness with me.
Nice tips and well ordered log as well.
J
canismalus
#465
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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Joined: September 12, 2014
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Posted: Saturday, November 30, 2019 - 07:42 AM UTC
Hi G,

Sorry I haven‘t commented in a while - I was rushing to get done with my build for the anti-aircraft campaign which ends today (I made it.)

Anyway, your build of this not altogether unproblematic kit is coming along nicely. Great job on fixing that seam on the turret. I checked the trusty Haynes manual (I agree, an excellent reference) and, while a few turrets had a visible seam, they certainly didn‘t have a step there and quite a few don’t have a seam at all and resemble your repair job. Of course, I will defer to any expert who might disagree. Your mantlet cover is proceeding well, too.

For bending handles, I have the RP Toolz item that you found. As you noted, it was on the expensive side (I got it as a present), but I find it very useful and easy to use.

Looking forward to further progress.

Have fun,

Jerry
trickymissfit
Joined: October 03, 2007
KitMaker: 1,355 posts
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Posted: Saturday, November 30, 2019 - 08:32 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Robin,

I did find a jig by a company called RP Toolz, it's about £30, so will try the flat nose plier method first...it's cheaper, .

Thanks for the information on thicknesses and sources of suitable materials, I've got loads of old computer related cables, will demolish a few and see what I can find, .

Cheers, ,

G



That tool from RB will do just about any size grab handle used in armor. Made of steel, and will last a couple lifetimes! As for wire, go-to your nearest fly fishing store. Look for lead free wire in whatever diameter fits your needs. The wire is very pliable. I'd form it over a piece of bass wood that is close to the inside width. If you do go to he fly shop, look around at the fly tying stuff. You'll see lots of useful bits and pieces! Another good place is a model rail road shop. They seem to have a limitless inventory!
Gary