Sunday 10 February 2013

Abrams, further construction.

Step 4 : Turret

The two turret halves do not fit particularly nice, so lots of tape is needed.
Tape can only get you so far. Sometimes the parts are slightly warped or simply don't fit very well. The only way to get them to stick right is to put on glue, take it in your hands, apply pressure where the parts don't meet perfectly and hold them like that.
If there's not too much misalignment, a few minutes should be enough to keep the parts sticking together how you want them. If not, you'll need extra tools - like a clamp, for instance - and let it sit overnight for the glue to completely cure.

Step 5

The smoke grenade launchers (I chose the Marine version of the 2 construction options) consist of 18 pieces each. They're really tiny, but construction is straightforward.
I'm not sure if it's really necessary to model each launch tube in 2 parts or if it just an easy way to up the part count.

The second part is some kind of lookout window (I'm not familiar with all the technical terms concerning tanks), with a clear window. Part J71 is shown in the assembly, but not labelled in the instructions, so you just need to go look for the part that looks like it.
I've postponed adding part B25 (the bottom) because I want to paint it first, and only then add the clear part, for which B25 would be in the way.

Step 6 : Stowage and hatches

The side rails consist of 9 parts for each side (not counting the back, which has a lot more rails and pieces), but assembles easily.

The hatch assembled in the previous step (D2 + D12) is shown open, but I suggest you close it. The interior of the tank is empty, so why open a hatch if you have nothing to show off? The commander is included in the kit, but the manual does not mention him. Since I intend to place my Abrams on the M1000 HETS, it's better not to add any personnel.

If you close the hatch, the support arms appear too long. I cut them in half near the joint, removed about 1-2 mm and reattached them. Traces of my modification are visible, but once painted, it'll be ok.

Step 7 : Weapons

Construction of two machineguns and the main gun. It's not 100% clear to me yet how to position the main gun. There are no locator pins and there's quite a lot of wiggle room to position it up or down. Since I want to position it in transport, I'll position the barrel is low as possible.

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