Continuing progress on Meng’s FT-17. The suspension and running gear assemblies are done. Although not exactly a “fiddly” they are composed of many small parts, as are the originals, and engineered to function: rotating wheels and rollers, moveable bogies and a sprung suspension beam for the track action. Since I don’t plan to roll the model around the tracks don’t need to be freely movable so I glued the road wheels to their mounting plates to make assembly a bit easier. There are pins or stand-offs cast into the plates so that, in theory, they can be glued together at such a distance that the wheels are free to rotate. I don’t think there is enough contact area for a solid and long lasting join, which is another reason I permanently attached the wheels.
Additionally, each wheel and roller is cast with the connecting point directly on a rim. Normally, these would all – two to a wheel – need to be cleaned up, cut and filed smooth. This isn’t necessary because very little of the wheels will be seen once they are assembled. Closely follow directions and orientation of the parts and you’ll have little trouble. The one piece leaf spring assemblies that go inside the assembly holding the road wheels look identical but they aren’t. Make sure you have the correct one in the right location. Also, the orientation of parts B39 and B40 are critical, so pay attention to the instruction orientations, called out in an overhead view on each running gear assembly in steps 9 and 10.