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Questions before I begin my first armor project

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  • Member since
    January, 2012
Questions before I begin my first armor project
Posted by theEBR on Saturday, March 11, 2017 3:30 PM

Hello all,

I am going to start building Tamiya's 1/35 Tiger 1 late production in the very near future, but I have some questions about armor modeling before I begin. Most of my other builds are OOB, but for this project I was looking into getting some PE parts and doing some weathering. Why do some people use metal barrels for their tanks? Do they have a different look once they are finished and painted? I feel like there is not a difference between the original plastic barrels and the aftermarket metal ones. The same goes for metal tracks, like Friul models, why do people use those? I have noticed on some other builds a technique in which the side skirts on the tank are bent and shaped to show damage. How do modellers accomplish this? Finally, are there just some general words of advice before I begin my first tank model? These are all the questions I have right now, but I'm sure I will have more once I begin the model.

Thank you.

"If you ain't first, you're last." Reese Bobby, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Charlotte, North Carolina
Posted by the doog on Saturday, March 11, 2017 5:08 PM

People use metal barrels for the convenience of not having to sand down the seams from joining the two halves, which sometimes leaves a flat spot if you're not careful. Personally, I can count the times on one hand when I've used a metal barrel. Some of them are not 100% accurate or correct length; others are but they are also heavier than a plastic kit piece.

Metal tracks are sometimes more than the cost of the kit itself and I never use them. Some guys like them because they give a more accurate sag, but I am of the firm opinion that you can get a realistic sag to any individual link track set if you just watch what you're doing and learn the tricks of the hobby. One thing is for sure---ANYTHING beats those stupid DS one-piece tracks.

Bending the fenders is accomplished with any heat source--a candle, a soldering iron-- but what you may be seeing is guys who replace their fenders with PE and then just bend those easily with pliers. Doing it with heat is tricky; your best bet is to thin them with a knife blade before trying this, and then be VERY careful lest you burn through the plastic.

The best thing you can do is search here for other Tiger builds and read through some of the blogs to get hints on how other modelers did it. There is a tremendous amount of info on this site to be had.

My FOTKI model gallery with most of my best models can be found HERE

My real name is "Karl" Smile

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, March 11, 2017 7:26 PM

Generally speaking, I won't replace anything unless it really needs it. If the kit gun tube is good, I'll use it. Some are really not well detailed or are molded imperfectly. Same deal with tracks. Some older vinyl tracks do not have any detail to the inner surface because they were designed to be motorized. Some of those kits are still decent, but the tracks need replacing. Several older M60, M1, M48 tanks molded the tracks with the end connectors in the wrong spot, so I look to replace them for accuracy sake.

I'm not a big Dragon builder, but one of the few DS tracked kits I own are the M1A2SEP and the MBT70. Both look like they will do an adequate job.

In my tanking days on an M60A3TTS, I didn't dent up the fenders much, but I did end up losing my rear fender a few times (twice to be exact, the right rear one). Germans didn't like us knocking down their trees so we had to be cautious.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, March 11, 2017 10:19 PM

I have used a couple of metal barrels, esp. if there isn't a muzzle brake on the end. I built a SU 152 and have a M40 GMC I plan to build. Those are big guns and the rifling in the metal barrel on the M40 looks cool.

if I recall, and Karl or Rob will know, the muzzle break on the Tamiya Pz 6 is grossly over scale.

I do think individual link tracks make all the difference in the world. Whether plastic or metal, kind of depends on what's available. I used the Dragon Magic tracks on my 152, following Karl's toot. Because that gun has return rollers, it was easy to shape them up/ down to look great.

For my T55/ Tiran 5, where the track runs back over the road wheels and then has a long free run, Friuls just couldnt be beat for the realistic hang.

As far as exterior sheet metal, I suggest and this applies to all scale models; work from photos. What's in my mind as "right" isn't often.

For stuff like exterior armor plates, more often it goes missing.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Norwich, Norfolk, Nelson's County. Exiled in Suffolk.
Posted by Bish on Sunday, March 12, 2017 1:17 AM

Like many things its down to individual preferance. I will use a metal barrel to replace a 2 piece plastic barrel for the reason karl mentions. Same for the tracks, i'll use AM ones, usually metal but not always, when the kit has the single piece rubber band tracks. Metal trcaks are expensive but they have the look and feel of real tracks.

People approach armour models in different ways. Some put on the tools and tracsk before painting, other, like myslef, paint with this things off the vehicle. Have a look at some prgoress builds and decide which you wnat to try.

Also, weathering, this is an area that can cause some debate and even on occasion get people hot under the collar. There is basically 2 schools, artistic and realistic. Which one you wish to be in will determine how you weather the model.

 ''I am a Norfolk man, and I glory in being so''

 On the bench: Dragon 1/72nd He 162, Revell 1/32nd He162, HPH 1/18th BMW 003 for He162.

  • Member since
    January, 2012
Posted by theEBR on Sunday, March 12, 2017 12:50 PM

Thank you all for the responses. They have been very helpful in planning out this build!

"If you ain't first, you're last." Reese Bobby, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

  • Member since
    January, 2012
Posted by theEBR on Thursday, March 16, 2017 6:30 PM

So a couple more questions,

For zimmerit, I plan on using Milliput and either a roller tool from DML or just a part I could find around the house for the pattern. Are there any better putties or tools to use? Also, when painting camoflauge for the Tiger I, are things like shovels and tow cables and extra track links attached to the turret painted over with the camoflauge pattern or are they just their natural color? It seems from reference photos that the regular tri-color camoflauge is not painted over tools, while the winter white wash is generally painted over tools. Is this true?

 

Thank you.

"If you ain't first, you're last." Reese Bobby, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Norwich, Norfolk, Nelson's County. Exiled in Suffolk.
Posted by Bish on Friday, March 17, 2017 12:57 AM

I've only used Milliput for Zimm so couldn't suggest any other.

As for the tool, it would probably depend on the crew. While the yellw was applied in the factopry and would be done without the tools fitted, the other colurs were applied in the field by the crew. This image shows a Tiger II being painted with the tools still attached. And if you look at the barrel cleaning rods, the items inbetween the tow cable, yoiu can see light and dark patches which match the surrounding camo.

But any paint on the tools would wear away as the tools are used. Other crews might well decide to remove the tools.

 

 ''I am a Norfolk man, and I glory in being so''

 On the bench: Dragon 1/72nd He 162, Revell 1/32nd He162, HPH 1/18th BMW 003 for He162.

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