Work in Progress

Plastic Soldier 1/72 A9 Cruiser Tank conversion to A10

Posted by huib on 12 Feb 2019, 15:36

Recently I built two A9 Cruiser Tank Mk.I's from Plastic Soldiers 1/72 series. They feature three quick build vehicles in one box, intendend for wargaming. You can see the result of these builds here.

Now I intend to convert the third model in the box into a slightly different type: the A10 Cruiser Tank Mk.II, also known as heavy cruiser.

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The box.

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Two sprues to make one tank, with different parts to make several versions. In the box are six sprues to build three tanks.

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The A9 Cruiser Mk.I was a lightly armoured fast tank, equipped with two 1930's style machine gun turrets on the fron hull.

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The A10 Cruiser Tank Mk.II was a direct derivate of the A9, intended to create a cheap heavily armoured Infantry Tank. Therefore the armour was upgraded and the machinegun turrets were replaced with a more conventional boxlike structure for the driver and the machinegunner. Although unsuitable as an Infantry Tank, it made a useful heavy Cruiser Tank which was deployed in France in 1940, in the early desert campaign and in Greece in the spring of 1941.

I intend to make an example from the campaign in Greece, inspired by the following pictures:

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So, let's start!
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 12 Feb 2019, 15:39

Hacking and Sawing

The build is started by removing some superflouous plastic:

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The lower and upper hull from the box.

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After removing some parts of the upper hull, necessary to build the A10 hull front.

And now to build things up again!
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 14 Feb 2019, 18:30

Reconstructing the front hull

After cutting away the front of the A9 hull. I now have to replace it with an A10 hull front. But first:

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Due to the injection moulding, the tracks guiding teeth are massive blocks. To improve that I cut away some parts of the track, shaped the guiding teeth with a very small file, and replaced the track parts.

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Next is a new glacis plate.

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Then the hull top and bottom and the tracks were glued together. A new hull front plate was added in connection to the glacis plate.

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The boxlike superstructure, scratched from 1mm styrene sheet.

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The superstructure roofed.

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Then the quite complex shaped addtions to the superstructure were added. All irregular shapes

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From the other side.

The basic shape of the superstructure is ready now. On to some detailing including 100+ rivets! :shock:
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Dad's Army on 14 Feb 2019, 19:10

Fantastic conversion already, keep up the good work Huib!
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Dad's Army  Netherlands

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Posted by Wiking on 14 Feb 2019, 23:33

The pic with the greek text at the house
as a dio is in my head since years.

Nice that you do that tank in Greece.

Look like a good start the cut and glued scratch parts.
I really hope you surwive the rivets challenge. :-D
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Wiking  Germany
 
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Posted by Jaques on 15 Feb 2019, 00:55

Excellent conversion work. I'm very curious to know what technique you're going to use to make the rivets. :thumbup:
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Posted by huib on 03 Nov 2019, 14:54

Thank you guys! This build stalled for for about 9 months, due to several group builds on different fora that I committed myself to. But now I picked it up again with renewed enthousiasm. And I managed to overcome the rivet issue.

So have look (if you like):
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 03 Nov 2019, 14:57

Detailing the new front

The new built front of my A10 was of course lacking the surface detail present on the rest of the kit. This mainly means rivets, but also hatches, persiscopes, etc. But especially the rivets were labour intensive. I made them from stretched sprue.

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Especialy the front plate is rivetters paradise!

Now I am working on the tools and other details on the rest of the hull.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 03 Nov 2019, 16:05

Wonderful as always.

Best wishes,

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Beano Boy on 03 Nov 2019, 22:55

This is a real cool project, i wish all goes well in your conversion. BB
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Posted by huib on 04 Nov 2019, 15:42

Thank you, guys!

Detailing the hull

Last weekend I made a lot of progess during a local modelling event.

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Detail was added to the complete hull. Most conspicoius is the big long range fuel tank on the left fender. Furthermore headlights, a Besa gun, tools, fire extinguishers and a rearview mirror.

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On the back the rack for petrol cans is most conspicious, together with the protective maze for the exhaust. Also handrails, hatches, tools, etc.

Now to continue with the turret.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Peter on 04 Nov 2019, 22:26

Nice to see another project of you Huib! Looking forward to the next episode! ;-) :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by Hellboy on 05 Nov 2019, 21:40

Just wow .... :shock: An exciting project! A great remodeling and an interesting tank! :yeah: I am very curious to see what happens next ... :-D Have lots of fun with it!!!!!
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Hellboy  Germany
 
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Posted by huib on 05 Nov 2019, 21:49

Thank you, Peter and Hellboy!

Detailing the turret

I continued with the turret:

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The biggest conversion on the turret was the gun mantle. This is a totally different model than on the A9: a cast iron block of organic shape. I tried to replicate it using milliput, that I first shaped by hand and than with a lot of filing and sanding. I used the 2 pounder barrel from the kit, and built a frame around the mantle from plastic card and iron wire. The two rings on the turret side are spare rubber bands from the road wheels. You can often see them on contemporary pictures.

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The inside of the hatches got some attention, as well as the search light and the folding mechanism of the antenna. On the turret side a welded on ammunition box for extra stowage, a detail that was also inspired by photographic references.

Ready for a bit of paint, I think.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 08 Nov 2019, 15:39

Second thougths

While searching for references for my A10 conversion I was much attrected by the beautiful camouflage pattern on this drawing:

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A10 Cruiser Mk.IIA in Greece, 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, April 1941.

The A10 on this drawing has no dustboard over the left track. I couldn't find however an original picture on which this drawing was based. The picture that comes closest is this one:

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A10 Cruiser Mk.II in Greece.

This one also doesn't have dust board over the left track.... oh wait, have a good look....there are the remains of a torn off dust board on the left fender. So it had a dustboard once.

Other pictures of A10's in Greece all show dustboards on the left (and not the right!) track. You can see for your self:

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This one.....

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...and this one.

Till now I built my model without the dust board, but I start realising now that the drawing might be wrong. All A10's that were transported to Greece in April 1941 came directly from North Africa, were the dustboards were normal and necessary to keep dust out of the air intakes of the engine and cooling system.

So in this late stage of the build I changed my mind and decided to add a dustboard. I cut it from the alternative upper hull from the sprue and glued it to the fender of the model.

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Some filler was needed for a smooth finish.

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I am happy I succeeded without damaging some fragile details.

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Now its really time for some paint!

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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Graeme on 09 Nov 2019, 12:43

Another amazing conversion, the rebuild of the front section is excellent..

I know it will look great after painting but it's good to stop and look for a while at the finished model before paint, with the mismatched colours showing all the work you've put in. fabulous job!

P.S. I tried counting the rivets but there were too many for me to keep track of.
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Posted by C M Dodson on 10 Nov 2019, 09:46

Really excellent modelling and super research.

Best wishes,

Chris
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Posted by huib on 13 Nov 2019, 21:32

Paintjob

On to some painting!

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I was much attracted by this camouflage scheme of a Cruiser Mk.IIa of 3rd Royal Tank Regiment during the Greek campaign in april 1941, that I found in the Tank Encyclopedia. But I do not know were this scheme is based on.

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Bronco suggests the same scheme for a 1/35 scale kit of this tank. But I couldn't find any fotographic evidence of this scheme. Still I choose to make is as it is very coloful and exotic.

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I suspect this scheme is a variety of Caunter Scheme, with addition of a red brownish color, probably Purple Brown No.49. So I used the colours I used for Caunter Scheme earlier:

- Humbrol 121 for Portland Stone
- Humbrol 240 (RLM 02) for Silver Grey
- Revell 42 for Slate
- Revell 84 for Purple Brown.

So, let's paint!

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I first covered the whole tank in Portland Stone. As I used this as a primer too, it took me four successive layers to reach sufficient opacity.

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Then the first color of the scheme: Silver Grey.

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The second colour: Slate. You have to study the images very good, as it is a very complex scheme to paint.

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And the third colour: Purple Brown. The scheme now is very hard with a lot of contrast, but I hope after weathering, having used some filters and drybrushing, it will tone down a lot.

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After that I painted all detail.

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Now for a gloss cote and decals.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by MABO on 17 Nov 2019, 07:14

Another real huib-project. And again I am flashed by all the details... My fingers are to big for this!
Keep up the good work!
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MABO  Europe
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Posted by huib on 25 Nov 2019, 14:22

Weathering

Weathering is always a nice stage in AFV modelling.

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Is this a filter or a slosh wash? Anyway, I soaked my Cruiser Tank in a thick layer of very light sand coloured diluted oil paint. The effect is a strong toning down of the camouflage colours and a dirty dusty desert look.

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After a gloss coat to protect the filter, the next step was a point wash of dark brown oils to emphasize the detail on the model.

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Then drybrushes in light sand colours and white to create highlights.

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And weathering was finalised by some chipping using a soft graphite pencil.

Now on to the last details.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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