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M978A4 HEMTT Fueler (Former M983A4 build)

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  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
M978A4 HEMTT Fueler (Former M983A4 build)
Posted by HeavyArty on Friday, May 26, 2023 5:27 PM

This is now going to be an M978A4 HEMTT Fueler. It is also the latest version of HEMTT which has a new air-ride suspension, new longer cab from the M1074 PLS, and a new engine area arrangement.

A few reference pics.
image

 

There is no kit nor conversion set (so to speak) for an A4 HEMTT. To that end, most of it will be scratch/converted starting with the Trumpeter M983A2 frame (left over from my M985A2 build) and the rest will be from an Italeri M978A2 kit. I will also add the ProArt Pump Compartment set.

I started with a set that incorrectly has 4 of the rear suspension units, as opposed to two rear and one front, like above, that I got off Shapeways. Additionally, the mounts and air bags on them are too short to give it the proper stance and fit the axles.

https://www.shapeways.com/product/BEQS26APR/1-35-scale-hemtt-a4-suspension-kit-ad-130-full-set?optionId=303371673&li=ostatus

I started with the rear units which are individual cantilever mounts. To fix them, I cut off the bags and axle mount tabs. I then added pieces from the kit that go onto the sides of the axle mounts to extend the mounts for the new rear units. The bags are beads from my wife’s jewelry-making kit.

IMG_2416

On the front, the suspension is anchored in the center and has arms that the axles pivot on from this center point. To replicate them, I used the kit suspension unit cross bars and cut off the springs. I also cut about 1/8 inch from the top of the mount. I also added the end that attaches to the frame to this center section and added a couple pieces that went on the inside of the kit suspension units to finish both sides of the new center mount/pivot point. On either end of these new arms, I cut away the rear section of the Shapeways mounts, just behind where the axle would mount. I added these and the same air bag bead to each end.  I may rework the mount to look more like the TM drawing above, but I think it is a good start.
IMG_2417

Here is the full new air-ride suspension.

IMG_2411
IMG_2413

More to come on the truck later in the week.

Next up will be the new engine deck. There is one at Shapeways by the same guy who did the suspension units. It looks OK, but he wants over $100 bucks for it. I will be doing it myself using sheet and shaped styrene.

https://www.shapeways.com/product/MBGBHJNG8/1-35-scale-hemtt-a4-piggy-back?optionId=67304373&li=marketplace

 

 

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

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/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
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Friday, May 26, 2023 5:28 PM

I reworked the front axle mount. I think it looks a lot more like the TM pic now.

IMG_2418

image

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

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/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
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Saturday, May 27, 2023 2:27 AM

Hello Gino!

I'm a big fan of your conversion builds! Somehow I think the Army trucks don't get enough attention from the modelling scene. For a long time the only model of the HEMTT was the Italeri offering which is just bad... And then they upgraded the HEMTTs and Trumpeter brought out something more correct - of the old version! The current version is still not represented and you have to do a conversion.

Anyhow, I'll be watching, good luck with it and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Saturday, May 27, 2023 7:23 AM

Thanks Pawel.  Yup, I wish there was a model of the HEMTT A4, then I wouldn't have to build it.  It is fun though.  Maybe now that I have built it, Trumpeter will announce one. Big Smile

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

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/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
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, May 27, 2023 1:06 PM

HeavyArty
Maybe now that I have built it, Trumpeter will announce one. Big Smile

And a Ukrianian company will beat them to the shelves--with a better version Big Smile

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Saturday, May 27, 2023 10:03 PM

Glad you guys know the details- they all look like a big honkin' truck to me... Dunce

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Sunday, May 28, 2023 10:01 AM

CapnMac82
 
 And a Ukrianian company will beat them to the shelves--with a better version  

 

I doubt it.  Trumpeter's HEMTT A2 kits are great and noone has attemped anything better.

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

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/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
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 8:37 PM

I’ve gotten back to work on the truck. I have completed the suspension. On the front, I added air brakes, shocks and the steering gear boxes and arms. HEMTTs have two front steering gear boxes, one for each axle. The front one is inside the frame rails ahead of the front axle. The rear one is mounted on the outside of the rails between the two axles.

IMG_2468

On the rear I added shocks and the air brakes.
IMG_2469

Once the suspension was done, I moved to the cab. The A4 cab is longer and has a roof plate where a gun turret can be added. I replicated both of these by adding 1cm to the length and a cut down circle of plastic for the gun ring cover. I also cut down the front of the roof. The A4 doesn’t overhang at the front to make like a brow/sun shield.
IMG_2470

I also added details on the inner roof, and details to the dash to make it look more like an A4. I reworked the center tunnel cover as well.
IMG_2471
IMG_2472

I also detailed the hydraulic fluid reservoir with filters on the side and rear, and lip and frame details.
IMG_2473

Next I will move to the side-mounted radiators. I am starting with the louvers from the top intake of a Bradley. I had bought a couple Kinetic M3A3 hulls for the side skirts and other details. I cut the intakes out of them and squared them up. Next I will build up the boxes for them.
IMG_2474

More to come later as I continue the build.

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

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/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
    December 2021
Posted by RainDancer on Saturday, July 1, 2023 5:21 PM

 


 

Looking good. I was a fan of yours around 20 years ago on here when I was M60A3. I have matured some, lol. I still remember your sigline was something like "I am a land acquisition specialist for the world's only remaining superpower". I always liked that. 

 

 

Ex M60A3 Tanker, Retired Firefighter and Fun at Parties. 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Sunday, July 2, 2023 6:51 AM

Thanks.  Great tagline, but it was not mine.

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

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/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
    December 2021
Posted by RainDancer on Sunday, July 2, 2023 9:57 PM

You're welcome. 

 

 Really thought it was you. It's been awhile. 

Ex M60A3 Tanker, Retired Firefighter and Fun at Parties. 

  • Member since
    December 2021
Posted by RainDancer on Monday, July 3, 2023 10:31 PM

 

 

 I bet it was @Rob Gronovius

Ex M60A3 Tanker, Retired Firefighter and Fun at Parties. 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, July 6, 2023 10:21 PM

She's coming along beautifully! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Friday, July 7, 2023 8:03 AM

Thanks Gamera.

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

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/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
    June 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Friday, July 7, 2023 10:51 PM

Nice modification's and skills shown here keep it going!

"Everyones the normal until you get to know them" (Unknown)

LAST COMPLETED:

1/35 Churchill Mk IV AVRE with bridge - DONE

NEXT PROJECT:

1/35 CH-54A Tarhe Helicopter

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Saturday, July 8, 2023 8:43 PM

Thanks Drums01.  Work continues.

I have pretty much completed the A4 engine surround and details around it.

As I showed above, I used Bradley air intake louvers to make the side-mounted radiators. I finished them off with sheet styrene to make the boxes and added details from angle styrene and other detail pieces. I used a couple grab handles left over from something to complete them.

IMG_2475
IMG_2477

I made the top flat part over the engine out of sheet styrene and thin styrene rods as stiffeners. You can also see some of the details on the hydraulic tank as well. I added some hoses and a PE mesh circle detail on top of the extended tube. I also made a grab handle out of wire. You can also see on the right side in the first pic a new air intake tube that I made from the kit’s tube and a bent piece of 1/4 inch styrene tube. It is the same diameter as the kit part and matched perfectly.

IMG_2478
IMG_2476

On top, I made the holder for the spare tire. It is made out of square stock styrene and sheet styrene with some angle and bolt heads for details. I also added bolts to the spare’s rim. The actual piece hinges out and down to lower the spare tire.

IMG_2481
IMG_2482
IMG_2480

To the left of the spare tire holder you can see the air cleaner. I took the kit air cleaner drum and turned it sideways, then cut is down to fit on the side fender. I built the top box from sheet styrene and the support from square stock styrene. Again, I detailed it with some bolt heads and smaller parts. The front disk started as a 1/48 aircraft tire, highly modified.

IMG_2479

Here it is mocked up with the cab in place to see how it looks overall. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

IMG_2483

Next up is continuing with the cab details and then adding the rest of the tractor parts on back.

 
 

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

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/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
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, July 11, 2023 7:13 PM

Again, you're making great progress on her! Yes

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Tuesday, July 11, 2023 7:36 PM

Thanks Gamera.  Always great to have you check in.

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

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/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
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 8:49 PM

Another update. I have detailed the cab, inside and out. I used the Eduard interior PE on it. I used pieces as they fit in the redesigned cab. It is a pretty good set and adds quite a bit of detail.

IMG_2486
IMG_2487
IMG_2491

I also added support structures to the rear wall and roof.

IMG_2489
IMG_2490

On the front, I built the bumper(?) bar from square brass stock, bent to shape. I also added the cages around the lights from sheet and rod styrene.
IMG_2488

 

I used 3D printed gladhands on it too. They look great.

IMG_2494

Lastly, I cut down the length on the exhaust and added the upper PE cage around it from the Eduard set.

IMG_2492

I am waiting on 3D printed modern marker lights for it and a few other pieces to complete the cab steps. Other than that, construction is done. Now onto painting and detailing the cab interior.

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

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/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
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, July 13, 2023 8:23 PM

She's lookin' sharp Gino! 

 

I confess I enjoy following other people's streams because I'm getting so little stuff done myself.... Sad

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Friday, July 14, 2023 7:21 AM

Thanks for sticking in here Gamera.  Looks like you are the only one still hanging on.  Glad you are here and enjoying the build.

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

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/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
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Friday, July 14, 2023 9:17 PM

Yeah, wish it were busier. And sorry I don't know enough about the vehicle to make any intelligent comments, I just enjoy looking at all the detail you're adding. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, July 15, 2023 1:34 PM

HeavyArty
Looks like you are the only one still hanging on.

I suspect that the rest of us are just struck speechless.

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Saturday, July 15, 2023 2:38 PM

Hello Gino!

Nah, I'm watching this one too! Just didn't have a good idea what to write you... But I want you to know that I like your HEMMT a lot! Now good luck painting this baby, and have a nice day!

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Sunday, July 16, 2023 6:55 AM

Thanks Pawel and CapnMac.  It does seem like the whole site has slowed down a bit though.  

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

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/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
    June 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Sunday, July 16, 2023 5:43 PM

Sorry for not responding more, but I've been following all four builds. It's one thing to have a first hand resource reference, but it is another to have the vision and skill to compile it all into a beautiful finished product which it appears you have done.

Great build thread and skills here!

Ben and Jarrod

"Everyones the normal until you get to know them" (Unknown)

LAST COMPLETED:

1/35 Churchill Mk IV AVRE with bridge - DONE

NEXT PROJECT:

1/35 CH-54A Tarhe Helicopter

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Monday, July 17, 2023 7:06 AM

Thanks Drums.  It is coming along. 

A small update.  I decided that I don't like the solid work platform from the Dragon M983 that I was using.  I have ordered another Trumpeter PE sheet from their M983A2 kit that includes the very nice PE mesh work platform.  So a small delay.  Work continues on the interior details, but the rest of it will have to wait a bit.

Dragon (updated Italeri M977) M983A2 solid-molded rear wok platform from their PATRIOT missile carrier set.

 

Trumpeter M983A2 PE work platform - much better.

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

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/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
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Monday, July 17, 2023 10:58 AM

Lookin' good! A decisive improvement over the plastic part!

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Monday, July 17, 2023 11:10 AM

Yup, I think so too.  I figured if I was doing all that work on the A4 parts, I couldn't cut corners on the work platform.  The PE part looks a thousand times better.

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

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/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
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, July 17, 2023 6:49 PM

That is a 1000% improvement Gino!

 

BTW: Just curious but on airbrushing mesh parts like that I normally get some of the mesh openings clogged up with paint. I've tried using light coats but I still get the clogging of the meshwork. Do you have any technique on preventing this? 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

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