Because it’s Christmas (or was) and because I don’t have enough half-built models sitting on my shelf and because I spend most of my time working on THE project (of which I cannot post a word here until it is finished and ready) and often need change of subject for a moment, I have decided four days ago to try another quick build. And really try to keep it quick build…
The decision came as many other projects – I saw pictures of someone else building this model (here) and thought – damn it looks good. I suspected the kit, which was released by Trumpeter not that long ago would not be too complicated, which proved to be true.
So far I have spent about 8 hours on the project and have most of the building finished. The parts count is not that high and if this kit is about something, it is wheels – I counted that I had to cut and clean 88 of them. This is due to rather complicated running gear and suspension, as can be seen from the pictures. Add to that single track links that have to be cut from the sprues and cleaned and you quickly realize that the rest of the kit is really just a few parts.
Not that that would be a bad thing, rather the other way around. The detail is very good all around and some pieces are really beautifully molded – you can find a lot of details on the single part that forms core of the lower hull. Crew cab and front engine hood are cast in 5 pieces (including doors) and I like the way they look.
Now, there are some misgivings I would have about the kit – some of the finer details are bit crude and it feels as if it was done by a different person than the large components. Sprue attachment points are bit heavy most of the time and Trumpeter should find a better place where to put them (e.g. the suspension springs which are in pairs have attachments points facing outwards, so care has to be taken to clean them).
So far, I have done only left track and will have to clean the visible side from cutting sprue attachments. Instructions advise 70 or 71 track links, but I used only 69 and still achieved bit of a sag between return rollers. Track links are bit tricky to assemble, they seem to be designed to snap together, but it doesn’t really works. Luckily I have a secret method that helps to assemble single link tracks with good results (look for it around here in the next days).
The kit is also designed to be built with the cargo bed covered with tarp, which Trumpeter provided as one big casting. It looks quite good, the canvass sag is realistic, but in close look you might find that the mounting straps are very simplified. I checked the available pictures in the book Tyagatshi (which is a must if you’re a fan of Russian artillery tractors) and in most cases this canvas wasn’t used. I also feel that the vehicles has more interesting look without it, so decided not to use it. Unfortunately the details on the cargo walls, which would be hidden by the canvas are also bit simplified – e.g. canvas frame mounting tubes. On the other hand rear gate locks and overall details of the cargo walls are quite well done.
If you are like me and prefer to paint your models broken into subcomponents to make it easier, I have a trick for you: front fenders are designed in a way that prevents you from attaching them to the lower hull and at the same time keeping the crew cab/engine hood part separate from the lower hull for painting. So you have to paint interior of the cab first, then attach it to the hull and then attach the fenders and subsequently paint exterior. Or you can do it as I did – I attached one fender to the lower hull as per instructions. On the other one I cut the locating pin on the fender side so that it only extends for 1mm and I glued the fender to the side of the engine cover. This means I have both fenders attached to the body and the join between the cab/engine hood and lower hull is mostly hidden and the two components can be glued after painting.
So, this is where I am now, hopefully this will still be a quick build…
Categories: My models