Gaps, and final assembly.

The relatively complex nature of hull construction, as noted in a previous post, results in gaps between some assembled parts, unless extreme care is taken to clean and prepare all edges so they are free of casting stubs and the edges are smooth and at the proper angles. This is a case where Roy Sutherland’s “when good enough isn’t good enough” comes into play with stock parts. Obviously, I didn’t sufficently do these preparations, hence: gaps.

Dealing with the gaps.

I’d say the turret construction was the most difficult in getting the parts clean and aligned with minimal gaps. Once I had it together as well as it was going to be, I lit up a tea candle and commenced to stretch sprue from the kit. Making a long section of slightly varying diameter is a help. Simply, I laid an appropriately sized piece of sprue in a gap, hit it with a small amount of Tamiya Extra Thin, pressed it into place with my tweezers trimmed it with my scalpel, and no more gap. Some of the sprue sections will stand a bit proud of the gap. Trim and sand these down when dry. I’ve done most of those, but still I plan to go back over those areas and make sure they blend in.

I found that some of the gaps were very small but still there. For those, I deepened the gap a bit, sometimes extending it along where the two edged meet, in order to get a solid sprue fill.

The other problematic areas are the tool straps. I believe they are supposed to be leather. Meng supplies PE parts for them, but I’m not good with small photo etched parts. They are usually zinged into space or broken. These, broken… So, I sliced appropriate widths from an old wine bottle foil and used them. Once painted they will look the part.

Next up: planning the camouflage colors and patterns, and most importantly, how to apply it. I’m leaning toward keeping the track drive and suspension assemblies off the model while painting them.