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"Polish Vickers Tank Build Log - Updated 12/31/14" Topic


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1,043 hits since 31 Dec 2014
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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fingolfen31 Dec 2014 2:13 p.m. PST

Since there's no good example of the Polish version of the Vickers E tank available, I'm taking matters into my own hands… with my normal dose of insanity…

For the chassis, I've started with the Battlefront T-26 obr 1933 (SBX21) as it provides a reasonable platform for modification. It even includes the shield over some of the engine deck screens. The first step was to remove the side stowage boxes and add the air intake structure so characteristic of the Polish tanks.

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So far so good as it integrates with the tracks:

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The next step was to begin working on the superstructure of the tank itself, as the T-26 and the earlier Vickers have several differences. I removed most of the detail on the upper hull front and replaced the plates with thin plastic card. Then I added rivets individually. As you can see from the photo below, the rivets are exceedingly tiny!

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The completed front plates:

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Now I move on to the rivet detail for the air intakes. Then I need to scratchbuild the turret for the single-turret variety (the twin turret version can use the 7TP turrets!).

More at the blog: link

fingolfen02 Jan 2015 1:03 p.m. PST

Forgot I can't keep editing the original post title, so I'll just keep adding to the bottom of the thread.

More on the Polish Vickers!

The hull is pretty much done:

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I've now moved on to the hull top and the turret (for the single turreted version). I'm using some 3rd party details on the turret at this point, but they're a tad big, so I'm thinking about taking them off and going with my own scratch-built ones. Turret still needs a little riveting (on the other side) and detailing…

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However, the overall miniature is coming together pretty well at this point:

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More at the blog: link

Major Tom03 Jan 2015 12:48 a.m. PST

Very clever, looks great.

fingolfen03 Jan 2015 1:04 a.m. PST

Thanks much! I've got the parts in RTV at this point waiting for it to cure. I'm hoping that I'll be able to run a few test casts tomorrow…

fingolfen04 Jan 2015 5:15 p.m. PST

After a prolonged battle with my casting components, the first test casts of my master for the Polish Vickers are in, and overall I'm about 95% pleased with the good ones. I'm still not completely sold on both of the grates on the air intakes, but I don't have a "Plan B" at this point. I have a couple of ideas which I may go back and explore as time allows. Unfortunately my RTV hasn't been cooperating, and the lifetime of the molds has been short. I only got two near perfect casts of the hull before the first mold broke down, and the second mold had mixing issues from the outset. I've gone ahead and made up a few more hulls just in case I can't get everything to behave.

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However, the ones that do come out actually do look pretty good:

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I was going to use a 7TP commander, but they looked undersized and poorly defined… so I borrowed one from a Somua – uniform and helmet seemed to match the Polish Black Brigade tankers well enough…

… and did I mention I made a lot of rivets for this one?

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More at the blog: link

Major Tom06 Jan 2015 10:16 a.m. PST

Nice result, lot of work but certainly worth it.

fingolfen14 Jan 2015 10:43 p.m. PST

So you say you want to know how to cast – a high level overview is now at the blog… I cheat and use a vacuum system:

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That being said, I'm getting some really good casts at this point, though the resin takes a bit longer to reach full cure (which isn't necessarily a bad thing – it's just a "slow" thing)

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Did I mention getting two rare earth magnets to sit next to each other is a pain in the butt???

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However, after a bit of "fitting" the final result works for me!

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More at the blog: link

fingolfen19 Jan 2015 9:35 p.m. PST

And now some softskins…

I've updated the 508 staff car and I've been working on scratch-building the 518 truck / field car.

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I've added rifles to the staff car, and I've modified the blank wheels with one with the distinctive radial pattern seen on the real thing.

On the 518 truck, the bed is done and the hood / engine covers are done. The basic roof shape is cut out but not attached. The doors, grill, and final details are not yet done.

I've also been making up a bunch of wheels – radial pattern wheels for the 508 staff car, and some of the double hub wheels for the 518 truck.

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I'm hoping to get the 518 truck done and start the casting this weekend, and then I may tackle the 508 field car / truck variant…

More at the blog: link

Major Tom20 Jan 2015 5:15 a.m. PST

It's really useful to be able to follow the whole process through, thanks. Checked out your blog and bookmarked it, lots of good reviews and tips there.

VonBurge20 Jan 2015 6:18 a.m. PST

Well done! You will certainly have a uniqie force when you are done.

anleiher23 Jan 2015 2:05 p.m. PST

Very interesting work. Will you be offering them for sale when finished?

fingolfen27 Jan 2015 2:56 p.m. PST

So here's the update… and I've got good news and bad news.

First the bad news, the Quality Casting halftracks and True North trucks (which should share the same chassis) look like they're completely different scales… and I'm not talking 15mm vs. 1/100th.

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Soooooo….. Do I try to get some Quality Casting trucks and deal with a slight difference in scale for the trucks and halftracks (with everything else), or do I try to convert the 621 truck to a halftrack (which would mean making my own suspension and tracks)? I'm not sure I have time left for either option. A third option would be to drop the halftracks entirely which would sort of spoil some of the tactics I'd planned on using for the list.

On the good news front – I've solved my RTV and resin issues… and now have a lovely test cast of the 518 truck:

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The thing cast flawlessly… now I just need to make several more!

More at the blog: link

VonBurge27 Jan 2015 3:11 p.m. PST

I think the True North tuck looks more proper to 15mm. The Quality Castings halftrack is just too small to be usable for me. I'm sure you can handle the track and susoension conversion given the modeling skills you've displayed already.

What resin are you using? Alluminite?

fingolfen27 Jan 2015 8:23 p.m. PST

I'm sure that I can bust out a couple of sets of tracks, but I am starting to run short of time at this point. I may take an evening and see how far I can get.

For the resin I'm using the Alumilite slow 7. It gives me enough time to get the bubbles out and pull a vacuum on it before it hardens.

fingolfen01 Feb 2015 11:03 p.m. PST

Making some slow progress – unfortunately my 518 truck mold crapped out – but I do have five done… need a few more though:

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I'm going to make an attempt at the halftrack – still fighting with the suspension and tracks, though!

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More at the blog: link

fingolfen04 Feb 2015 8:37 a.m. PST

Don't you just hate it when you realize that your tow vehicles aren't quite right… turns out I needed yet another variant of the Polski-Fiat 518, the Pz Inz 302, for my 37mm guns (I'm still going to use the 518 as the command vehicle).

I ended up carving down one of my resin 518's to make this beast – it's just about ready to cast…

Way too much primer on the table – hoping to fix that situation this weekend!!

More at the blog: link

fingolfen09 Feb 2015 10:44 a.m. PST

So a few days ago I teased you with a picture of the WZ-34 halftrack cab ready to go into the RTV for casting. At that point I hadn't completely finished the tracks. I'd finished some of the track components, but I didn't have either assembly ready to cast. I decided to make one copy of the key running gear components and cast them so at least the individual components would match well. I then assembled a separate left and right track assembly from the cast parts. I attached the components to a thin styrene backing sheet and created some block tracks. I think they came out pretty well:

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The catch is, once you have one – you need to make more, so back to the resin I went. Some of them have some imperfections, but overall they came out well:

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I ended up doing a fair amount of casting this weekend – including new wheels for the front, the truck bed for the halftracks (which is modified from the 621 truck), a metric crapton of the Pz. Inz. 302 tow vehicles, and various other "gubbins."

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And though I typically don't add the running gear until after painting, I needed to set some axles and shims, so I put together one exemplar to make sure everything fit right… and it actually came out pretty well!

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More on the blog: link

fingolfen11 Feb 2015 9:43 p.m. PST

Just a quick update – I've got the mock-ups of the light trucks and tow vehicles done, and they look pretty much spot on so they're ready to prime and paint.

Here's the Pz. Inz. 302 – I managed to get the semi-open windshield to cast *most* of the time. I'm still finishing up the bumpers:

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The Polski-Fiat 518 is also ready to go, the spare tire may need to move up or down just a bit, but it isn't molded in like on the Pz. Inz. 302. I also need to finish the bumpers on these. I'm using HO scale dimensioned wood for the rails and copper wire for the supports:

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Next stop – prime and paint!

More at the blog: link

fingolfen16 Feb 2015 4:45 p.m. PST

Now on to the painting part of the process… I've spent the weekend working on the paint jobs for all of the various vehicles and guns… whether I get this all there by this coming Saturday or not is anyone's guess, but I still have Thursday and Friday off to try and finish it all up… wish me luck!

For the modulation colors, I'm using AK interactive Dunkelgelb, Rotbraun, and Soviet Green. Plan is to follow up with a filter. I started "light" on the yellow and red, in retrospect I maybe should have started a shade darker and built up to the same top coat, but I think after the filter and wash it should pull together with a little highlighting.

Guns and various gubbins:

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The field cars and tow vehicles (+ one tank and a couple of turrets):

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Trucks and halftracks:

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Vickers and TKS:

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More at the blog (including some "in progress" shots) – link

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