Centurion Part 4: Slow and Fiddly Progress.

This kit is the 1/35 AFV Club Royal Australian Armoured Corps Centurion Mk 5/1 as used in Vietnam. I have added the individual link track set, and the PE turret basket netting, both also by AFV for this kit. I have since weakened and acquired the excellent Eduard PE set too.

This is my first AFV Club kit. The level of detail is excellent – way better than Tamiya’s good quality. However, they have achieved this by upping the parts count significantly, because more and smaller parts allows more detail in the moulds. This, combined with the PE, takes this kit way out of the so-called ‘shake ‘n’ bake’ we expect from Tamiya.

So it feels to me like progress has been slow, because there are so many parts.

17. PE

All the PE. There’s loads of it!

18. Back to it

Where I left it a couple of weeks ago, after the resin camo nets arrived, allowing to finish off the Chieftain.

19. More stuff

Progress! That aluminium barrel is a thing of beauty. Also, PE beginning to sprout from various bits of the kit.

20. Front End PE

More PE, plus seam clean up to be done before going any further.

21. Tracks

Indi-link tracks. They look great, but are hard work for my arthritic hands.

Part 1 That Bl***y Working Suspension!
Part 2 Long Weekend Progress
Part 3 You Have Got to be Jesting Me!

Chieftain Part 8: Finished!

It’s done! It had to be put aside for 4 weeks while I awaited the CastOff resin rolled camo nets for it, but they do make a difference – especially that barrel. The base kit is the old Tamiya 1/35 Mk V kit, which isn’t right at all. So I added the CastOff Mk VIII resin upgrade, which adds the Clansman radio box (R/H side of turret), and filled stowage baskets. The same set replaces the engine decking, commander’s cupola, driver’s hatch, exhausts etc.

I don’t like my tanks to be sparkly clean, so I have muddied this up a little. I don’t have a great camera, so the subtleties are lost, but I think you get the idea.

I had to take some liberties with decals, as I couldn’t find any for a confirmed Mk VIII.

Anyway… here is the resin I added – pics from CastOff.

I can resist anything except temptation. Apparently.

Camo nets, plus netted barrel.

Lovely resin.

Lovely resin.

I used this picture, among others, for an idea of how mucky the tank got.

A Mk VIII with the driver not looking where he's going!

A Mk VIII with the driver not looking where he’s going!

Here is the finished kit. Far from perfect, but it is better than my last armour kit, which is the whole point.

19. Done - Top 20. Done - Rear 21. Done - Left 22. Done - Left Front 23. Done - Front 24. Done - Front Right 25. Done - RightI’ve thoroughly enjoyed this kit, now it’s back to the AFV Club Centurion.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Chieftain Part 7: All The Shiny

One of my current WIP (work in progress) is the Tamiya 1/35 Mk V Chieftain with CastOff Mk VIII resin upgrade + the rolled camo net set which, after 28 days of non-arrival and ignoring y e-mails and other comms, I ordered from elsewhere. They arrived a couple of days ago, so I have set the AFV Club Centurion aside for now, to get this one finished.

Click for larger version.

Camo nets in position but, obviously, unpainted.

Camo nets in position but, obviously, unpainted.

Nets painted, gloss coat and first wash applied.

Nets painted, gloss coat and first wash applied.

The second photo looks very shiny. This is because the gloss coat is on, onto which I start to build up washes, mud and weathering.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Centurion Part 3: You Have Got to be Jesting Me!

This kit is the 1/35 AFV Club Royal Australian Armoured Corps Centurion Mk 5/1 as used in Vietnam. I have added the individual link track set, and the PE turret basket netting, both also by AFV for this kit.

I have got a lot done this weekend but, before I go into that, a little rant is called for.

When I first opened the box, I was very happy to see that the rubber part of the wheels were provided separately to the wheels themselves. This, I thought, would save me a great deal of trouble masking. I thought I could paint the wheels and rubber, then bring them together.


The high (or deep, depending which way you look at it) rims are part of the black rubber! That means the painting problem is now, in my view, even worse than had the metallic and rubber part of the wheels been moulded in single parts. I am flaming annoyed with AFV Club. This is stupid design.

Can you see how stupid the design is?

Can you see how how bad it is?

Despite rather too many VeryBadWords, I still got a lot done – see below. The PE turret basket netting is started. The return rollers and drive sprockets are on the hull, and a start has been made on the tracks – wonderful – they just clip together.

Saturday progress.

Saturday progress.

Turret storage bins are on, as are various details to the rear of the hull. The ruddy wheels are assembled to the first stage i.e. the rubber parts have been CA’d on. Loads more track length assembled. More done on the basket PE, but won’t be finished until the CA accelerator gets here next week.

Much progress, and all those bl***y badly designed wheels.

Sunday and done until next weekend.

Part 1
Part 2

Centurion Part 2: Long Weekend Progress

This kit is the 1/35 AFV Club Royal Australian Armoured Corps Centurion Mk 5/1

AFV Club have managed to get a surprising amount of fine detail into this kit, simply by increasing the parts count, which (presumably) gives them more flexibility with the moulds and what they can achieve with them.

I got a surprising amount done in the first two days, given the high parts count and fiddly nature of the suspension – see Part 1. The basic turret shell is together and those VeryBadWords suspension units are on. Everything fits well so far, it’s just a bit fiddly.

2 days into the build.

2 days into the build.

Quite a lot of detail has been added to the rear of the hull. Barely visible in this pic, because I forgot to deal with the light. The big storage bin has been added to the right side of the turret. Still no problems.

Invisible progress.

Invisible progress.

Here you can see the fiddly bits. The suspension system that has many movable parts. It’s not designed to be motorised, but you can pose the tank on diorama with rocks and have the wheels realistically deflected.

All the springs and fiddly struts!

All the springs and fiddly struts!

On the left here is the big storage bin that hangs off the rear end of the Centurion. This is a four sided box that was a little fiddly to get together while the glue dried. On the right are odds and ends salvaged from the spares box that will go in the basket storage. Water bottles, Coke bottles, canteens, jerry cans etc.

Rear storage + spares box raided.

Rear storage + spares box raided.

That’s it for this weekend. How are your projects coming along?

Part 1

Centurion Part 1: That Bl***y Working Suspension!

“Wait!”, I hear you ask, “What happened to the Chieftain?”

I have had to set it aside, because the resin camo nets still, after 3 weeks, haven’t arrived from CastOff.  *sigh*

So, I’ve started the AFV Club 1/35 RAAC Centurion. Lovely kit – the first I’ve tackled by this company.

The mouldings are not as crisp as, say, Tamigawa but. because of the higher parts count, they are much more detailed. The instructions are sometimes a little vague. The working suspension is fiddly.

More piccies tomorrow.

Click for larger image.

6. Suspension Arghhh

Chieftain Part 4. All the Bl***y Wheels!

Busy weekend at the workbench. I remembered what I hate about armour – all the ruddy wheels! *sigh* Still, they’re on the hull now, after many BadWords. The first coat of green (Revell Aqua Color 46 – NATO Olive) as a base to work from, so the model is looking a bit ‘flat’ right now. Next weekend, I begin the weathering, ageing, roughening up etc. This is the process that will bring it to life.

A little 'flat'.

Click for hi-res goodness.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Chieftain Part 3: Resin all in Place.

I have run out of workbench time for this weekend, sadly. But I did get heaps done. Most of the non-resin parts are now on the kit. What’s left are things, like the commander’s MG, that are too fragile to be attached yet.

All the resin parts are on now: barrel, stowage baskets, gun travel lock, exhausts, rear storage, various hatches, commander’s cupola, Clansman radio box and two antenna bases, smoke dischargers, NBC box on rear of turret, engine grill.

This is the first time I have used resin and I am amazed by the difference it makes. That barrel, for example, is incredible! I shall be using resin again in the future.

All the resin!

All the resin! Click for larger image.

Part 1
Part 2

Chieftain Part 2: Resin Going On.

I’ve managed 4 hours at the bench today and got a lot done on the resin and storage bins. I’ve not worked with resin before, and so have no idea if it is normal to have to do so much fettling and sanding to make it fit.

It makes a huge difference to the kit and I am very happy I was able to find the CastOff Mk.VIII upgrade set to the Tamiya 1/35 Chieftain Mk.V kit.

Yes, I did remember to wear a mask when sanding the resin!

Yes, I did remember to wear a mask when sanding the resin!

Part 1.

Chieftain Part 1: Major Plastic Surgery.

This is a full build, warts and all, of the Tamiya 1/35 Mk.V Chieftain tank, also using the CastOff Mk.VIII resin upgrade set. I managed to get 5 hours at my workbench today. Yay! Here’s what I’ve got done:-

  • All 24 roadwheels sanded – that took the most time. They’re assembled now, but not painted. Yes, there were mumbled BadWords.
  • Hull bottom has holes in it, because this kit was available in a motorised version many moons ago. The plasticard covers the holes from the inside, so I can…
  • … use plastic filler made from spare sprue (soak in liquid cement overnight and you get a paste) fill the holes from the outside. When set, this filler can be treated just like the kit plastic for sanding purposes.
  • Major plastic surgery part 1: cutting out the rear engine decking, because there’s a much finer replacement in resin to go in there. I’m unused to cutting away large sections of plastic, so it was a bit nerve-wracking. You can see the missing plastic in the upper hull in the picture below.
  • Plastic surgery part 2: removing a lot of raised detail from the rear of the turret. The Mk.VIII NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) box was much larger, so the parts moulded in had to go. Precision work with a chisel, then sander. Resin replacement parts on standby.
  • Plastic surgery part 3: cutting away the storage boxes around the rear light cluster. The CastOff upgrade kit provides much finer resin replacements.
  • Oh! Washed all the parts – especially careful with the resin bits.

And that’s it until next weekend.

Plastic surgery results.

Plastic surgery results.