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Airfix 1/76 AEC Matador and 5.5 inch Medium Gun

Posted by huib on 24 Feb 2019, 16:43

AEC Matador medium artillery tractor

The Matador was developed in 1937 by the Associated Equipoment Company, famous by their red London double-deck busses. The Matador was commissioned by the British army as a tractor for their range of medium guns, like the 4.5 inch medium gun, the 5.5 inch medium gun, the 6 inch howitzer and the 3.7 inch AA gun.

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Earlymodel Matadors towing 6 inch howitzers during exerceises in Scotland in 1941.

The Matador was a heavy 4 wheel drive truck, equipped with a heavy winch. In the truckbed there was space for the full gun crew as well as a limited store of ammunition. The Matador appeared to be a succesful design, and was produced with only minor modification all through the war. It was used on all fronts, and still in the 1980's special versions of the Matadore were in the reserve of the British forces. In total almost 9.000 were built.

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Matador towing a 5.5 inch Medium Gun.

The succes of the Matador led to varierty of special versions, including tankers, tow trucks, mobile cranes and even armoured vehicles. After the war military surplus Matadors were popular in the civilian world, especially as recovery vehicles and timber trucks. You can still meet them in the UK:

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But I will restrict myself to a more out of the box approach: a late war artillery tractor like on the picture below:

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A late version Matador artillery tractor of 2nd Army in Holland 1944, sporting an olive drab and black "Mickey Mouse" camo pattern.

I like this vehicle, especially because of its very British uglyness, the big wheels and the functional straight lines of its wooden cab.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 24 Feb 2019, 16:51

The Airfix 1/76 Matador + 5,5 inch Gun kit

Well people, again this is a sentimental build for me. I built this kit when I was about 10 years old in the end of the 1970's. I always love to deal with these oldies.

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This boxing is from 1992, but the kit was first issued by Airfix in 1966. So a real oldie. Nevertheless the Matador counts as one of Airfix's excellent kits. The included gun is not so good however, being a scaled down copy of the Dinky Toys die cast 5.5 inch gun.

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The back of the box with nice images of the Matador and gun in the livery of 2nd Army that took part in the liberation of Western Europe from the Normandy invasion on.

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And the content of the box. OMG! Old Airfix! What a mess! Lovely!

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And more of it.

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And a not so good decal sheet. Most decals are in white and almost invisable, both on the picture and in reality.

Let's start!
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 24 Feb 2019, 17:03

Chassis

I start this built, totally contrary to the instructions, with the chassis (that's how proper cars are built, isn't it?)

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First the fuel tank and the ugly towing hooks were cut from the chassis. Then it was further built up.

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Lot's of detail was added, mainly the wheels and roller system guiding the whinch cable. The chassis was a bit beefed up in places, and details like headlights and new towing hooks were added.

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From behind with a view on the winch cable wheels and rollers on the last crossmember.

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A picture from the underside, showing the excellent Airfix drivetrain, with propellor shafts, transfer box, power take-off and winch drum. Very well done and nothing to add. I only had to fill some extractor pin marks on the front axle.

Now on with the cab.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by MABO on 24 Feb 2019, 17:29

Once more I am really speachless, when I see you building all these details!
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MABO  Europe
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 24 Feb 2019, 17:56

huib wrote:AEC Matador medium artillery tractor

The Matador was developed in 1937 by the Associated Equipoment Company, famous by their red London double-deck busses. The Matador was commissioned by the British army as a tractor for their range of medium guns.

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A late version Matador artillery tractor of 2nd Army in Holland 1944, sporting an olive drab and black "Mickey Mouse" camo pattern.


Okay...I love this thread but if I was the next driver of the Matador pictured, I would be very concerned about the location where the window shattered. VERY concerned.
Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by FredG on 24 Feb 2019, 19:47

Bluefalchion wrote:Okay...I love this thread but if I was the next driver of the Matador pictured, I would be very concerned about the location where the window shattered. VERY concerned.


But that saves fitting wiper blades :eh:
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Posted by ironzentaur on 24 Feb 2019, 20:45

Obviously german Drivers are sitting on the left side. Good for a british Driver when a german was not used to right steering... Unlucky to the next Driver. For sure...
ironzentaur  Germany
 
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Posted by Wiking on 24 Feb 2019, 21:00

huib wrote:
I built this kit when I was about 10 years old ...

Me too.
I own this kit since a few years in my stash - again.
I agree that the truck is one of the better Airfix kit.

huib wrote:
The included gun is not so good however, being a scaled down copy of the Dinky Toys die cast 5.5 inch gun.

A copy !
That is new to me and explain me why the gun is so "low" in comparison to the truck in the same box !

Looking forward to your build.
I am with MABO`s commend.
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Wiking  Germany
 
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Posted by huib on 25 Feb 2019, 11:48

Thank you guys!

Bluefalchion wrote:I would be very concerned about the location where the window shattered.

Don't worry Bluefalchion. The truck is British, so right hand drive! :mrgreen:

If I look at the picture and add some imagination I see a bullet entry hole in the left side window, and a bigger bullet exit hole in the left front window. So the cab was shot at from the left behind. Guessing the trajectory of the bullet, the co-driver was also safe, only saw a bullet passing half a feet in front of his eyes. :shock: (Assuming no Magic Bullet Theory is involved here.)
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 25 Feb 2019, 12:13

Cab interior

Yesterday I worked hard to clean up the cab parts and add some interior detail.

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The cabin main parts: floor, roof and four sides.

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Some annoying extractor pin marks.

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Removed!

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The cab front with some nice fat window frames.

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Removed and thinned down.

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Cabin floor with fat mud guards. The real ones were from thin sheet metal.

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Thinned down. I doubted if I should replace them by metal or plastic sheet. But as the are one piece with the cabin floor and have a tight connection to the doors this appeared to me the simplest solution.

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Cabin floor further elaborated and detailed with five levers and two pedals (No room was left for the accelerator :oops: )

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The fully detailed backside of the cabin, showing its construction: a wooden frame, covered with plywood and thin sheet metal. Very simple, but fit for wartime production.

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Some details on the doors and the bulkhead.

Now it's time to paint the interior of the cab, before gluing the parts together. In the meantime I can continue with the truckbed and the wheels.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 26 Feb 2019, 19:26

Truckbed

Again a bit of progress:

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These are the main parts for the truck bed.

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Again several ugly extractor pin marks.

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Filled and/or sanded.

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The parts of the hood. With the real vehicle the roof was made from metal sheet, the sides from canvas. I won't use the parts for the sides of the hood.

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On this picture it can be seen clearly: a sheet metal roof and canvas sides.

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The truckbed glued together. The frontside is replaced by a sheet with a window cut out. The inside of the truckbed was treated with a scriber to suggest the planking and outline the side doors.

And now for some detailing!
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 04 Mar 2019, 11:32

Cab interior painted

Before constructing the cab, it was painted from the inside.

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Some paint.

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After a wash and a bit of drybrushing the colours and details look nice.

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Now that the cabin walls are still apart I made some templates for the windows.

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Then the cab sides glued together. Cosy looking interior!

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Cab front glued in place. A last peak inside!

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Some seams were camouflaged with filler.

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The cabin roof was not deep enough, so styrene sheet was glued against it and sanded in shape.

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Now to continue with detailing the cab exterior. The roof is not yet glued by the way, to enable placing the windows and the driver later.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 05 Mar 2019, 19:09

Detailing the cab exterior

The exterior of the cab is spiced up with a bit of extra detail.

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Half of the roof covered with very thin (0,1mm) styrene. Almost like paper. I covered the man hole with paper tissue, pretending to be a canvas cover. Two rear view mirrors, some rivets on the cab front, wiring on the night driving lights, handrails next the doors, some detail on the fenders, and, quite conspicious, a table like structure for a dot of gas detection paint.

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On the back the most conspicious additions are the steps added to the fenders. They are very fragile, so I hope they survive the drybrushing stage!

Now to continue with the truckbed.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 05 Mar 2019, 21:00

This step-by-step progress report is truly a feast for the eyes and the mind. Go on, go on!
Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by Dad's Army on 05 Mar 2019, 21:42

WOW Huib, this is again a masterpiece.
Man how much work can you put into a model, fantastic.
Keep up the good work (and bring it to FIGZ)

I am amazed about all the details you are adding to the model, why use a kit building it all better...
so just a big WOW...
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Dad's Army  Netherlands

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Posted by Bluefalchion on 06 Mar 2019, 01:44

Maybe Huib could present at FIGZ his modeling and scratch building technique?
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Posted by Kostis Ornerakis on 06 Mar 2019, 11:08

Dear Huib, wonderful work as always!! :yeah: :-D
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Kostis Ornerakis  Greece
 
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Posted by Beano Boy on 06 Mar 2019, 23:16

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Cool Project. Yes Indeed.
Reminded me of the cheap one above. BB
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 07 Mar 2019, 17:02

Beano Boy wrote:Image

Cool Project. Yes Indeed.
Reminded me of the cheap one above. BB


All except for...this one is actually a tank! :D
Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by huib on 08 Mar 2019, 14:02

Thank you very much, guys!

Detailing the outside of the truckbed

Again a bit of progress on the truckbed:

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Cut some very tiny plastic triangles to suggest the hooks on the sides of the truckbed used to tie down the bonnet. Also handrails are made next to the side entrance doors.

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A lot of detail was added to the tailboard. Semicircular steps were filed out, holders for the towing cables added, and some more things.

Now to continue with the underside of the truckbed.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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