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1/35 M115 8 inch Howitzer, WIP, 03/04/12, Complete

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  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: New Jersey
1/35 M115 8 inch Howitzer, WIP, 03/04/12, Complete
Posted by redleg12 on Sunday, January 01, 2012 8:33 AM

Fire Mission

1/35 AFV Club M115 8 inch Howitzer

Introduction

Originally designated M1 8 inch howitzer, it was developed during the 1930s. It saw service during WWII & Korea. It was towed by either the M4 18 ton tractor or the 7 ½ ton truck. It was also possible to be towed with the M35 prime mover. During the late 50s and 60s the weapon served in NATO as a nuclear artillery weapon. The M115 upper carriage and gun was used on an M4 chassis to produce the M43 8 inch HMC. Later the same upper carriage and gun were mounted to form the M110 8 inch self propelled howitzer.

The same lower carriage and upper carriage were used to create the M59 155mm gun, originally designated M1. Also, the same upper carriage mounted on the M110 with the 175mm gun made the M107 self propelled gun.

The M115 remained in service with the US military through the early 1980s and has seen and is still in service with many other countries worldwide.

Below, is an 8 inch howitzer in service during the Korean war and the basis of this build

The build

I will be using the AFV kit with Eduard photo etch.

I started by skipping the first few steps, which are the upper carriage and barrel and moved to step 4 which begins the lower carriage. The first two are steps are 4 & 5 which deal with the assembly of the trails. Since I will be using the Eduard PE set, the clips to hold the spades in transport mode were not used in favor of the PE versions. Here is the bare styrene assembly

After assembly of the PE parts, here are the trails

Step 6 is the assembly of the forward section of the lower carriage. Part of this step requires connecting the trails, which are locked in place by part A31. In order to facilitate painting of the trails, I will leave the trails separate and at least prime the trails OD before finalizing this assembly. Part A5 will have some ejector pin marks, which will require filling. Here is the forward end prior to paint.

Step 7 is the frame assembly for the wheel carriage. Care needs to be taken with some of the suspension arms and their removal from the sprue. Also parts B40 and B42 need to be checked for ejector pin marks.. Here we are after step 7

Step 8 assembles the brake system to the wheel carriage. I will be adding the brake lines later but pay attention to the brake assembly part B4 and its direction. There is a nub on one side for the connection of the air line. This should be pointing inward or each side is a mirror image. The instructions show this incorrectly.

Step 9 is the assembly of the wheel drums and stabilizer arms. Here is the completed step 9 assembly

While waiting for glue to dry on the above assemblies, I skipped to Step 14, which is the assembly of the transport trailer. The main part B18 requires a bunch of care to remove the mold seams and filling a sinkhole at the pintle connection. I replace the handles, parts B20 and B17 with SS 20 gauge wire. Also if you look at photos of the trailer (I used my personal and also Prime Portal) there is a long handle on each side of the yoke to allow the crew to lift and move the trailer. I added this with the same 20 gauge wire. The yokes were drilled to accept the wire handles. Rims and tires were left off to facilitate painting.

This photo is prior to filling the sinkhole and adding yoke handles, more of the straight styrene assembly

Well that’s it for now. I am off and building for 2012. Next will be to move the lower carriage parts in for priming and go back to assemble the upper carriage.

As always all comments are welcome

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: Ontario, Canada
Posted by gunner_chris on Sunday, January 01, 2012 8:58 AM

I have this exact kit, I'm very much looking forward to watching your progress!

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Texas
Posted by wbill76 on Monday, January 02, 2012 11:41 AM

Off with a "bang" for the new year, keep us posted Mike! Yes

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Monday, January 02, 2012 6:55 PM

Chris - Glad to have you on board, thanks

Bill - You know me.....by my nature I go with a BOOM!! Thanks for the peek

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Carmel, IN
Posted by deafpanzer on Monday, January 02, 2012 7:48 PM

Another green cannon?  Of course please count me in!  I know little about this and I am always up to learn new stuff.  Looking forward to follow this...

Happy New Year Mike!

 

 

Andy

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Tuesday, January 03, 2012 5:21 AM

Andy - Always a pleasure to have you along for the ride

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Tuesday, January 03, 2012 10:07 PM

Mike, looking very nice so far.  I will be following this one as usual.  I'm sure it will come out great as usual as well.

Not sure what tires you plan on using on it, but did you see the new  tires for it from Hussar over at PMMS?  They look very nice.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Wednesday, January 04, 2012 6:48 AM

Gino - As usual always good to have you stop by. As for the tires....this one I was looking more at a Korean theme and so I was going to stick to the military style tire.

Now the Hussar tires look great. When I get around to the M59, I will do that one with the Mack NO and civilian style tires used in WWII. I already have the Master Productions set with the tires and the WWII style dolly.

Thanks for the peek and the info

Rounds Complete!!

 

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Sunday, January 15, 2012 8:42 PM

Going back to the beginning, step 1 has the assembly of the barrel and sled. It also calls for the assembly of the breech, which I have kept separated to facilitate painting. The seam for the two rear halves of the barrel take a bit of work and filling with Mr. Surfacer 500. After careful filling and sanding, here is the barrel with sled.

Step 2 assembles the upper carriage. There is some large ejector pin marks on the inside and a major seam where the two halves come together. Again, another bunch of work with Mr. Surfacer to clean up the assembly and here is the assembly. I left off the panoramic telescope for painting and the delicate hand wheels until I begin final assembly.

Also is the assembly of the recoil sled. Again, the assembly is two major halves which has a major seam along with injector pin marks on the inside rear which may show and on one side of the elevating gear. Once the seam and pin marks were sealed with Mr.Surfacer, here is the assembly.

After all the sealing and pin mark filling I am finally off to the paint booth to prime all the major assemblies with Vallejo OD primer. Hopefully with all the filling work done the build will move along now but those who may build this or the M59, be ready for pin marks, sink marks and bunches of seams, all which require work.

As always all comments are welcome

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    June, 2005
  • From: Massachusetts
Posted by minimortar on Sunday, January 15, 2012 9:39 PM

Very cool Mike and lookin' forward to seeing this one done up nicely as well. I did the Verlinden resin version of this years ago, I'm sure that the styrene option will be by-far superior.

I can offer to photo the one in the next town over (neglected and deep in the bush) but I see that you've got some good shots in your walkarounds on your site already. If you do need some photos, let me know as I occasionally drive by it while working on Sundays.

Have fun!

Thanks,
Kevin Keefe

Mortars in Miniature
A Scale Model (Plus!) Collection of the Infantryman's Artillery

  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • From: S.W. Missouri
Posted by Pvt Mutt on Sunday, January 15, 2012 10:15 PM

Hey Mike did the barrel require spacers or was it correct?

Tony lee

Shoot Low Boys They're Ridin Ponys

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Monday, January 16, 2012 5:53 AM

Kevin - Thanks for the peek. Resin has it's own set of complications. As for pictures, thanks, I have plenty plus there is plenty out there. Again thanks

Tony - The AFV kit is measured from an 8 inch howitzer so no spacers needed. If you are building the AFV M59 or M40, both are 155mm gun, then you need to add the spacers. Thanks for the visit.

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Texas
Posted by wbill76 on Monday, January 16, 2012 3:33 PM

Looking good so far Mike, glad to see you getting in some bench time and keeping this one moving along. Beer

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Monday, January 16, 2012 6:40 PM

Bill - Thanks for the peek.

Soooo many people complain about the hobby costs.....the most valuable thing is time....getting time to be at the bench.....priceless!!!!

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: Ontario, Canada
Posted by gunner_chris on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 4:13 PM

Is that an a/m barrel or the one from the kit?

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 4:30 PM

gunner_chris

Is that an a/m barrel or the one from the kit?

That is the metal kit barrel.  It is pretty nice.


It's looking good Mike.  Keep up the great work.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 10:16 PM

Gunner - My brother Gino already gave you the answer. The metal portion is the front half. The back half with the sled is styrene. The styrene halves fit well but still require some work on the seam For the M110,M107, M115, M59 M40 & M43 all use a similar arrangement.

Thank you for stopping in for the peek.

Gino - Thanks for stopping by the firing point. Also thanks for posting the answer for Gunner.

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Sunday, January 29, 2012 6:50 PM

After priming with Vallejo OD primer (which I highly recommend …... great primer) , sometimes going back to touch up a seam but ultimately primed and the a finish coat of Poly Scale OD.

I decided to go with the rubber tires supplied with the kit. After a soak cleaning in Dishwasher cleaner to remove wax and oil on the surface. Then rand each tire across a scotch guard pad to rough up the tread and give the tire some side ware. I then cleaned up the tire using clean Mineral Spirits. Allowing a day for the tires to totally dry, I mounted the tires on the rims, made up the dual tire assemblies and glued the duals to the axles on the bogie.

With the tires on the rims, I was also able to assemble the M5 Carriage Limber. This will be part of my upcoming M4 HST build, but is part of the M59 kit.

I mated the lower carriage with the upper carriage. The traversing gear and gear assembly were painted with Alclad Steel along with elevating gear assembly. The spaced there the bogie rides was also painted with Alclad Steel. The brake line inside each trail was painted with a 50/50 mix of NATO & Flat Black for the black rubber airline.  More of the airline system will be added later but here is the lower assembly now.

Lastly the barrel sled and recoil cradle. After trimming the sled so it would fit and slide into place, the sled was placed. The forward edge of the sled was painted with Alclad Steel where the movement from recoil would keep the parts clean. The breechblock was painted with Alclad Steel. The block was mounted to the breech and assembled to the tube rear, after sliding the tube in place. The elevating gear on the bottom of the recoil cradle was painted with Alclad Steel. Also the inside of the tube was painted with Alclad Steel.

Next up is to begin overall assembly and add some scratch details.

As always all comments are welcome

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • From: S.W. Missouri
Posted by Pvt Mutt on Sunday, January 29, 2012 7:46 PM

OH MIKE that is some fine work my friend.StarStarStarYes

Tony lee

Shoot Low Boys They're Ridin Ponys

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: San Francisco Bay Area
Posted by bufflehead on Sunday, January 29, 2012 7:49 PM

After completing my first artillery kit a couple of months ago, I now have a deeper appreciation and keener interest in artillery pieces.  Your's is shaping up very nicely and seems to be a very nice kit.  I'm keeping an eye on your build sir!

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Monday, January 30, 2012 5:46 AM

Tony - Thanks for the peek, always a pleasure.

Bufflehead - I am glad to hear you understand the ways of the Redleg!! Wink. Thanks for the comments and  welcome you keeping along with this build. As always, any questions, feel free.

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Texas
Posted by wbill76 on Monday, January 30, 2012 1:33 PM

Love it Mike, the Alclad stuff really adds to the detail. Nice trick on the wear-inducing procedure on the tires as well.

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Carmel, IN
Posted by deafpanzer on Monday, January 30, 2012 2:37 PM

Always looking good Mike! Yes  Thanks for the tip about Vallejo primer.  I am a big fan of Mr Surfacer primer but it is truly pain in @ss to clean the AB at the end.  I will order Vallejo primer next time I order something from Squadron.  

Andy

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Monday, January 30, 2012 6:53 PM

Bill - Thanks for stopping in. I usually start with a new pad. Once it is a bit worn it moves on to one of the sinks in the house. Having the pad gives good control but not as harsh as sandpaper. great to take off the seam, give some edge wear and generally rough up the tire.

DP - Always great to have you stop by. The Vallejo primer is not as "aggressive" as Mr. Surfacer and is not as  "hard" as the lacquer base but.....the ease of use, goes right into the AB, sprays on very well, covers well to give a uniform base, and the size and cost will let one jar last a long while and this only pennies per model to prime. If you have to go back it also sands well. It appears to be somewhat self leveling like Future, so a quick spary on the sanded area and when dry is hard to find. Works well on resin, styrene and metal. Lastly, you can clean up with Windex.

Thanks again guys

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Sunday, February 12, 2012 6:48 PM

With the major assemblies painted it was time to bring the upper and lower carriage together. The barrel and sled was added after working the sled to get it to fit. This assembly is very tight on all the AFV models with this carriage all require some blade and sanding work to fit the parts without breaking the upper carriage I then assembled the breechblock, which I painted with Alclad Steel. With the upper carriage assembled, I added the equilibrators, which were painted on their working section with Alclad Polished Aluminum. Before mounting the upper carriage to the lower, the gear surfaces for elevation and traverse were painted with Alclad Steel After the mating of the two carriages, the front and rear spades were added.

As you can see with the spades mounted the assembly is not stable to work on. With that it was off to the woodwork shop to create a base. After staining and sealing the wood a sheet of Styrofoam is mounted to to create a base to dig a hole in.  The photo below shows the Styrofoam with the holes cut to fit the front and rear spades.

After a coat of Cell-u-clay and a coat of Poly Scale Earth I mounted the howitzer. The holes are filled with Cell-u-clay to form a pile, as the holes would be refilled when the howitzer is actually emplaced. Below you can see the howitzer at this point with the test fit of the bogie section.

After pin washing with MIG Dark Wash and an overall first filter coat with MIG Grey for Green I  began working on some details. I finished and mounted the panoramic telescope. Overall painted with Tamiya OD Green, the level bubble, mirror and eye cup painted with Alclad Polished Aluminum, the traverse dial and hand wheels painted with Tamiya Flat Black.

Next it was time for the brakes. I used 26 gauge SS wire to make the strain relief springs and soft 20 gage black wire for the lines to make the connection from the trails to the lower carriage section. Prior to mounting, the molded in brake lines on the trail were painted with a flat black marker and the connector near the back of the trail was painted with Alclad Steel.

This also gives you a good view of the breech. Not seen in this photo is the .020 hole drilled into the firing lock to add a lanyard later.

The front brake lines were assembled the same way as above. The back line comes off a pneumatic Tee which I used the Aber Pneumatic Parts PE set to make the Tee which is mounted on the dimple just behind the bogie guide. The front lines required a .020 hole be drilled in either side of the pneumatic control box which is on the front of the lower carriage.

With the boige in place and the brake lines connected, the bogie adjustment screws were added. These were painted OD, dry brushed to raised screw surfaces with Alclad Steel and inside the threads pin washed with MIG Dark Wash. Ware was also put on the head with Alclad Steel.  Lastly the travel lock was added and the moving pins were dry brushed with Alclad Steel.

This photo you can see the travel lock in the center of the bogie and one of the rear air lines connected to the brake assembly. You can also see the pneumatic Tee to the right of the travel lock, in the back center of the bogie.

 

That’s it for now. Time for lots more little details and weathering to come

As always all comments are welcome

Rounds Complete!!

 

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: Ontario, Canada
Posted by gunner_chris on Sunday, February 12, 2012 7:31 PM

Holy crap - there's not one thing about that post that I don't sit here in awe about!

I never had heard about the Alclad stuff before here but it certainly is worth the look at - its all looking great!

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Texas
Posted by wbill76 on Sunday, February 12, 2012 8:07 PM

Sweet work on all the little details Mike, wouldn't expect anything less from one of your builds. Look forward to the next round of updates! Yes

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Carmel, IN
Posted by deafpanzer on Sunday, February 12, 2012 8:28 PM

Looking great! Yes  Now it is starting to look like a big gun.  I just noticed that it has same lower body as of Long Tom but it has a different barrel, is it?  Always wanted to build that...

Andy

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Sunday, February 12, 2012 8:46 PM

Chris - Thanks for the comments. Here is where you can get information on Alclad

http://alclad2.com/finishes/regular/

Now....I will warn you...it is a Lacquer paint. It is thinned to use in the AB from the bottle. You have to have ventilation or a spray booth and you have to base coat with an acrylic black and lastly it is expensive...about $8 per jar.   Now all that said, IMO, it is the best metallic finish out there.

Bill - Thanks for the peek. Its time for my favorite part of the build....those obscure artillery details!!

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • From: S.W. Missouri
Posted by Pvt Mutt on Sunday, February 12, 2012 8:47 PM

The Big Bang Theory is true,it's true,it's true.

Mike you my man of magnum firepower.

Mighty Fine,Mighty Fine

Tony lee

Shoot Low Boys They're Ridin Ponys

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