I follow on my own way in this -to me- rare case of 1/48th scale things don't fly.
Today is a very boring chapter, even true armor modellers. First half is about apparently intrincate parts funnier to assembly than to see in a full SBS summary. Second half is about some apparently simple parts demand much more work than expected.
Tamiya kits are simply perfect to learn how to make models. If you want someone to try the hobby just gift him a Tamiya kit, read never too many parts and perfect fitting always.
The plastic tracks included in all Tamiya 1/48th scale kits are the best way to reproduce realistically track sagging meanwhile you do not aim to move suspension arms logically. This sort of rigid tracks demands good quality production to success as they cannot be sort or long to fit right.
Track link and length parts require very little cleaning up. Only concern are the ejector marks I filled with CA glue and sanded later.
That left side image shows everything fits perfectly resulting in a very realistic track sagging.
Its necessary to follow instructions with attentions. As I advanced in my former post, tracks are not symmetric and each side follows its own assembly sequence. First I placed the upper track run over the return rollers
next wrapping the sprocket. I glued the links together but not to the part. The sprocket is kept free until final adjustment.
I repeat same procedure with the idler at front.
Next the six curved links part.
The bottom run is made by two plain simple parts.
The addition of the very last part proves the great precision of the Tamiya engineering.
Finally the road wheels are glued to the tracks with a drop of MEK.
Side fuel drums have been always hard to deal in plastic and the JS brigs four. Moreover, I had to change theirs mounts to the specific vehicle I am making. For that I removed the visible area in order to make the corrections.
Those parts also have some ejector marks to deal with.
One has to be careful when deleting the joints. I also removed handles and thinned the edges of the drums.
New mounting arms are made of fine styrene sheet. We can make the eight parts using the same measures if we work thoughtfully.
0.15mm evergreen strip was used for the drum strips. In order to prevent melting due to reaction with liquid glue I only glued the ends. I curved the strips with the aid of a roller before placing the parts.
Some small details are added with more styrene bits.
My major concern was how to make the handles. I was not much worried about how to get the exact shape but how to make all of them identical.
I prepared my own folding tool by adding some PE leftovers to one plain pliers and then it was pretty easy to get the right shape on thin aluminium stip. Metal strips are really convenient because its hard enough to the keep the shape but weak material to cut.
When done you can clean-up the tool and remove the PE leftovers with acetone.
The angled parts can be folded precisely by marking the styrene slightly pressing with a blade
The four side fuel drums complete. I used future to glue the strips and the handles. From here to the end I will know if I made the right decision instead of using Gator Glue for placing those delicate parts.
Okay, on next chapter the interesting part starts.