As this has become more complicated I've begun to worry about how I'd ever get the whole drivetrain and fuel tank deal in place. Thankfully I've discovered that you can get the tanks and the engine in and then slide the transmission mission in at another time as long as the other two aren't glued in place. Lots easier as log as you have the transmission axles sitting in the steering drums before the transmission goes in. This will allow me to do lots of things beforehand.
Progress photos of the beginnings of the radios and their batteries. The radios are part of the upper hull stage, but part of the battery kit goes on the radios so no time like the present to start.
Only a little time at the bench tonight so I've assembled the seat. Once fully dry I'll paint this ready for installation when the transmission is ready for fitting. Time for the wiring. This means gluing the wiring into various components and attaching them to each other and gluing them in place. This will happen during the gluing in of the main components. A long and frustrating session perhaps, but it will suddenly bring the hull interior together for detailing and weathering.
Just need to add the third pedal and I'm ready to paint all the linkages and the seat. I'll prep the radio operator's seat too, plus the two cooling pipes. I think there was a third one for the J so I may have to add that too. Then it's time for the wiring.
One of those days where lots has happened. All the linkages are complete and painted. These include the third pedal and the linkages from the rear. The seats have been painted and the first of the two conduits has been attached to the transmission. The transmission has had a fitting for the third cooling pipe (found in the StuG ivs and later Js), added. This goes directly below the pipe that heads out the left side of the hull where as the two standard ones fit into the base of the air extraction unit at the rear of the transmission. The photos will make this a bit clearer. Lol. I now just need to add the bolt heads around the walls where the armoured final drive covers have been bolted on from the exterior. These bolt heads are seen around the steering drums.
And now the three pipes. These shots show the pipes with bands drying so they can finished tomorrow. These hold the difference sections of pipe together.
Next various shots of the long third pipe being test fitted with various items including the seat (with covers beautifully the ugly melted bits), the second steering lever and the ammunition box behind the seat. Thanks to David Parker, for suggesting that I check the ammunition box. It would have been crappy if it hadn't have. The slightly narrower Heng Long hull makes it very snug, but all is well. One of these shots shows the linkage covering that hides the cables from the engine bay. It runs from the firewall to just beside the driver.
So, the cooling pipes for the front end are painted and the main ones for the engine are constructed. I'm only doing the main ones as you can barely see even these. Very fiddly, but fun you can see various shut off taps and one of the non return valves. If I'd opened the middle engine hatch you could have seen more. Many are hidden under the radiator and by the final J many weren't needed any more.
And here are two shots withe radiator in place. I've adjusted the radiator cap position slightly so it now lines up properly. Having the hatches opening and removable means that it can easily position the radiator when it comes time to close everything in place. A huge relief. It also means that I can get the radiator hoses in the right spot to attach them when the engine is fitted.
Only one more thing to make and I can start assembling everything.
So I'm ready to put everything together, but I just need to check which details I have to paint before I do so. That way I avoid frustration later. Various bits on the firewall I can certainly paint and on the engine bay side of it too. I also need to paint the fuel lines in the engine bay and the fuel distribution unit too. The other thing that must be done is the dash. I can wire it up later, but I can't sort the dials. Getting interesting finally after so much work.
Assembly has begun with the main components being set in place. I don't dare glue anything down yet incase I have to change things, but I should be okay. I'm glad I opened the central engine hatch you could barely see anything otherwise.
Thanks guys I'm getting lots of inspiration to keep pushing the boundaries and it's lots of fun. I just have the electricals on the radio operator's side to install and some load swearing to do while wiring everything up and the the pipes in the engine. Then I can finally start on the upper hull details. These include the forward MG, driver's vision port, the ammunition bins in the central section, the interior details of the engine deck hatches and then I can weather the lot. Then I can return to the turret. Thank you for looking in on the progress.
That moment when the plastic coat hanger you bent it shape months ago finally becomes the air intake pipe (not yet glued in, but finally fitting properly), and lots of wires sticking out of things before being installed.
Everything that's going in is now in place so I'm starting on the upper hull. Lots of painting and weathering to do, but I'm happy that it all fits. Even the extra fuel tank is in place. I'm now working on the engine roof details.
All those little details are just incredible. Fantastic work.
It was a little disappointing to see that you have not tidied up that bench yet. Unfortunately I have felt compelled to take this to the next level and write your name down in my book. I shall continue monitoring this situation.
I can't do clean. Not a hope. Anyway, the detail for the upper engine bay is complete. All drying now. Added we're the hook and loops for the "fan" hatch and the air vent in the side of the fan mount. Next up the ammunition and storage bins in the central section. These will be nothing more than movie set fronts due to the construction of the Heng Long upper hull. The main building event is the detail that sits behind the upper glacis plate, the driver's visor, compass and the radios and MG with mount. Set fronts tomorrow.