Work in Progress

Airfix 1/76 AEC Matador and 5.5 inch Medium Gun

Posted by huib on 09 Mar 2019, 12:32

Detailing the underside of the truckbed

Under the truckbed a lot of stuff is hanging.

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In the first place the fenders. This are the fenders straight out of the box. With their thickness of more than 1mm, they have a scale equivalent thickness of almost 10 cm, enough for the frontal armour of a Tiger tank! In reality they are made only of thin flat metal sheet.

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So I grinded, filed and sanded the fenders a lot thinner. Paperthin at the edges and thick in the middle, so some strength is preserved. Left the original, right after thinning.

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The fenders glued in position. Supports and mud flaps added.

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The toolboxes hanging under the truckbed were enlarged a bit using plastic card. Tools and steps for the crew added.

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And a scratchbuilt jerrycan rack.

Now to continue with the interior of the truckbed.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Beano Boy on 09 Mar 2019, 16:19

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A tank very true but look closer it is disguised to look like a lorry from high above ground. Axis air power saved their bombs for the tanks leaving the lorry drivers and their mates brewing tea.
Upon useless operations mounted by the enemy elsewhere they bombed dummy tanks .
So the clever ploy worked, and both the Germans & Italians were thrashed good and proper……
… The cost was heavy on all sides in N Africa. Although it was a good season for billions of flys. BB
Beano Boy  England
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 09 Mar 2019, 19:08

Very clever disguise indeed. The Axis should have left the tanks and bombed the trucks. Turns out tanks with no fuel and no ammunition are not as fearsome.
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Posted by huib on 10 Mar 2019, 14:36

Detailing the inside of the truckbed

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The roof of the truckbed is in reality supported by steel strips with a bent in them. I realised that ordinary staples are approaching the size of these strips in 1/76 quite well, that they can easily be bent and are more than strong enough to support the roof. So staples it is! :yeah:

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All the supports for the roof bent in shape, glued in position and cut to length.

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Then to continue with the truckbed interior. Two benches for the gun crew with their foldable seats on the left side.

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A gun rack with three SMLE rifles. The rifles are not so good, but hey, 1/76.

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The rifles in position.

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A dryfit for the picture, including an aftermarket sparewheel from Weefriends.

And now for the roof.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 10 Mar 2019, 16:27

We've crossed over into the sublime. This lorry is truly a labor of love. I am going to remember that trick with the staples...
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Posted by Wiking on 10 Mar 2019, 16:41

Great, so much details, and ideas how to do it and so few aftermarket parts.
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Posted by huib on 11 Mar 2019, 21:13

Thank you, guys!

And a roof!

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The roof of the Matador truckbed is made from thin metal sheet, with foldable canvas upper sidewalls.

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The canvas sidewall were made from paper tissue, soaked in diluted white glue and carefully rolled up, Bands were made from small strips of masking tape.

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All rolls (10 pieces of different size) glued to the roof.

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A dryfit of the roof on the truckbed.

Now the tractor is more or less built. So now it's time to start work on the gun.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Peter on 11 Mar 2019, 22:01

All ways a pleasure to see your step by step builds Huib! Fantastic work so far again! :thumbup:

Colors will be be red and green I suppose? :mrgreen:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by huib on 12 Mar 2019, 19:05

Thanks, Peter!

Wheels and dryfit

I almost forgot: the wheels of the Aitfix kit are too small and too thin. Therfore I bought a set of aftermarket wheels from Wee Friends:

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Including a sparewheel and two wheels for the gun.

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Comparison. The difference with the Airfix wheel is quite big.

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A dryfit of all the parts.

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And another pic

Now I will really continue with the gun!
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Graeme on 13 Mar 2019, 08:01

WWII vehicles are not a particular interest of mine but I find it fascinating to watch the way you super- detail these.

And I'm very glad I follow the WIPs because your excellent paintjobs always make the added details look like they've always been there. :yeah:

Keep up the good work, and I'll keep watching. :-D
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Graeme  Australia
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 13 Mar 2019, 08:08

The imagination and modelling skills on display here are, in my opinion excellent.

The transformation of these old staples is quite extraordinary.

Best wishes,
Lcjris
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Posted by Peter on 13 Mar 2019, 11:04

Nice change of wheels! Looks much better! :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by Bluefalchion on 13 Mar 2019, 11:15

What? No tiny, canvas-like sidewalll sections that can actually be rolled up and down, and that attach to the little clips in some clever fashion?

I am joking, of course. There is always a fine line between adding extra detail on the one hand, and sheer madness. You seem to live in that space with your virtuoso scratchbuilding.
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Posted by huib on 15 Mar 2019, 21:47

Thank you very much guys, for your very kind comments!

5.5 inch Medium Gun

A short introduction:
The 5.5 inch (140mm) Medium Gun was developed in 1939 as a successor to the 6 inch howitzer as the standard medium gun for the British army. It became operational in 1941 and had its baptism of fire in the North African Theatre. 200 of them were used during the battle of El Alamein in 1942. It served on all fronts during the war and remained in British service until 1980. The 5.5 inch Medium Gun fired a 45 kg shell over a maximum range of of 15 km. The AEC Matador was its standard tractor during WW2.

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5.5 inch Medium Gun in the Italian theatre.

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AEC Matador trekker towing a 5.5 inch gun, Normandy 1944.

And now for some building!
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 15 Mar 2019, 22:02

Gun barrel

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To start with a pic of the different kit parts forming the gun. Many people think this is a very bad model of Airfix, but I do not fully agree. OK, those towing eyes are awfully big, the wheels are too small and the barrel is too long. But nothing that can't be corrected with a bit of attention. And of course a lot of detail can be added.

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The issues with these kit seem to have an intersting origin. It appears to be a scaled down copy of the Dinky Toys die cast model of this gun. Look for example at te huge towing eyes and the solid elevation wheel: Very much the same as the Airfix kit!

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I started with the barrel and recoil mechanism. I shortened the barrel with 1cm, in accordance with a scale drawing I found. I also cut of the recoil slides, to be filed out. And some holes were filled.

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The muzzle drilled out, and some detail added to the front of the recoil brake cylinder housing.

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The recoil slide hollowed out and some detail added.

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The barrel is finished, now to continue with the cradle.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Beano Boy on 16 Mar 2019, 00:40

I have very fond memories of playing upon those guns in the late 1950`s. Hundreds came rolling into the city by train to the large scrapyard at City Station Norwich,and were being cut up to feed the foundry`s furnace. Other armoured stuff too arrived and were treated in the same way,but at least for a few weeks the boys from the Mile Cross Estate Norwich, had some real great fun with all of them before their white hot end came.____It was a tremendous happy time for the young eight year old Beano Boy.

Congratulations for all your hobby style conversion work still ongoing here.
It sure fired is a pleasure to view. BB
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Posted by huib on 16 Mar 2019, 12:47

Great story, BB! I envy you! ;-)
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by MABO on 17 Mar 2019, 07:40

It is once more a pleasure to watch the next steps of the process.
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MABO  Europe
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Posted by huib on 19 Mar 2019, 22:07

Gun carriage

After the barrel work continued on the more labour intensive gun carriage

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As a starter I cut of the huge towing eyes and filed the legs in shape.

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A pattern of rivets was made by glueing thin (0,1mm) plastic card to legs in which rivets were pressed beforehand with a pin vise.

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Then the main parts of the carriage were glued together. Now the big detailing can start!

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Guided by pictures of the original I added lots of detail, including tools, a box, handrails and handles, towing eye, etc.

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A pic from the other sides.

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A dryfit combining the different parts of the gun.

Ready for the first layers of paint now!
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Kostis Ornerakis on 20 Mar 2019, 03:42

Fantastic work!! :yeah: :-D
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Kostis Ornerakis  Greece
 
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