Here you have my perverse entry for he Tamiya GB, and I say perverse because I believe 1/48 is a perverse scale for AFVs and when Alvaro told me to make a quick build in a couple of weeks I thought so, but this model is also perverse because if reader wants to know the version I am making, then just google images for Tank Prague and the one that calls your attention immediately is the chosen one to me.
Nuts & bolts:
Oen of the things I more like of AFVs is it is very easy to find areas to improve during assembly, in my case to add nuts, bolts and weld seams is frankly enjoyable to me. I first started by adding bolts in the return roller housing. With a compass one can mark the right positions perfectly spaced and drill later. My favourite tiny bolts are from MasterClub, made in resin ready to use- are frankly excellent but expensive too.
I used Future because it is a perfect glue for this. It's clean, dries fast, it flows on every gap and it does not leave apparent residiuals.
I repeated the same operation in the housing of the suspension arms, but in this case there as there are two lines of bolts and I dont have 0.6mm resin bolts, I used Lion Roar PE bolts glued on top of the formers. Those PE bolts are also easy to use but is hard to place them correctly centered.
With the aid of the Punch & die set I made bolts for the stoppers of the suspension arms and glued them with capillarity cement.
But there are no 0.2mm rounded head rivets in resin nor PE, so for making rounded head rivets nothing better than The Nutter tool. Once done, rivets are glued with future.
Assembly of the lower hull is very easy just making sure all suspension arms sit well.
The changes on the lower front glacis are as follows:
1 I deleted the rounded edges of the plate by adding Super Glue and sanded the whole plate to delete the casting texture.
2 instead of two single spare links at the ends without teeth I added two halves (one upside down)
3 instead of the 4 spare links part I used 4 single links with teeth
At the rear plate I removed the spare links, added the weld seams (kneadatite epoxy putty) and added the stoppers for the hinges with some styrene bits.
The main point of the conversión is to rebuild the original full casted nose by the hybrid model that combines casted upper nose interlocked with steel plate lower glacis.
To rebuild the nose I added cyanocrilate to fill the rounded edges...
... and a good file and carefully sanding will make the correct shapes and dimensions of the part.
After dry-fitting the impression is good. Later on I will add the interlocking between plates, logically.
The JS its a long and narrow tank. On its running gear it uses one standard road wheel as idler which is quite unusual to me. Tamiya provides poly caps for the sprockets that are very helpful for adjusting the tracks.
Also the asymmetry of the torsión bars is well represented in the kit, hence road wheels are located in different positions on each side. That is also important when adding the tracks later.
Contrary to what instructions indicates, the sprocket can be removed after placing the (mud) cleaning bar.
Sprocket is well reproduced, but removing the mold seam along the part was quite tedious. I added some tiny bits on the hub bolts and second line of bolts over the original rounded bolts in the part. Well, that is not ideal but better than nothing. Unfortunately I had not got 0.5mm resin bolts to replace the ones on the outer ring unfortunately.
In general speaking, I believe this whole area of the Tamiya kit is well reproduced, with excellent fitting and without big cleaning problems apart the traditional seams along the road wheels. And if the true problem of 1/48 scale kits is the lack of really fine detail, nowadays there are multiple resources for adding as much as you want.
My personal impression is return rollers hub caps should have been a bit smaller perhaps...
And now I can move on the model. One of the greatest advantages of AFVs in general -to me- is that following the instructions one moves form the hardest to the most enjoyable part.
Thanks for looking