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Old 11-06-2008, 09:35 AM
Moon Puppy's Avatar
Moon Puppy Moon Puppy is offline
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Posts: 305
First VBench M2A1 with Lions Roar upgrade

Man I'm looking forward to this. A little background. I started this build about 9/29 with a build thread at a couple of different sites. Almost immediately someone pointed me to PA and Rick Lawlers build of this kit. I really enjoyed reading his VBench and he has been a GREAT help getting this thing put together. I'm in awe of the build you guys have done here and the painting, wow! I only hope I can reach a fraction of the artistic talent you all have on display here.

IO notice you guys post the sprues and instructions for your builds but since Rick did the same on his thread i'll avoid the redundancy.

If you would like to see some of the other stuff I've done in the recent past let me know, most of my builds in the last year and a half are at Swanny's Forum, I've been doing Aircraft primarily since I got back in the hobby after a 14 year hiatus. This is my first Armor I've done with the exception of a 1:24 Jeep I did for my Dad

If it's OK with yous guys I'm going to post my progress thus far.

And so it begins...

Started cleaning up the resin parts, starting with the frame and engine, debating on getting the K59 suspension kit mainly for the idler spring. Seems Lions Roar didn't want to deal with the undercarriage to much. The only thing I know right now is I got some brass to fold and need to stock up on OD.

Well here's my progress.


Kudos to Rick Lawler over at Planet Armor for this technique:

Here's the first part, the second is the opposite hinge with a single tongue. What happens is you start the bend at the base of the hinge and interleave the two parts,

What I did was use superglue and secured both parts on glass plate, after I did a couple of them I started working 3 or 4 at a time as you see here.

Next take the .03mm wire and lay it over the interleaved tongues and secure both ends with tape. You can't see in this image but I started folding the outside tongues to secure the wire. I then started working from the outside to the inside till all tongues were folded over the wire.

Then I came back and gave it a bit more push on the tongues to secure them and clean up loose ends.

Popped off the hinges from the glass and slide the hinge to the end of the wire and clip the wire leaving the hinge pin in place. The only thing I'm worried about is the ease the pin comes out, need to figure out how to secure the pin, I'd like to score the wire in some way instead of a drop of glue. will test tomorrow.

And the product for today's work? A Bag o' Hinges.

Thanks for looking

Here's today's work

As you can see the paint is literally drying. Doncha love the Idler Spring, all the way from Hong Kong! looks good but should have scratched it. You can see the kit engine in the back ground, not bad by itself but this one from LR is MUCH better. The triangular object is the radiator housing, mostly PE - the radiator itself. I opted to us CA on the PE, especially on the cosmetic stuff like the lip around the fan shroud, which you can't see well in this photo.

Working on the road wheels and the rear suspension next.

Thanks so much for your help Rick and please feel free to comment, galk or laugh at what I'm doing.[D)]

Here's progress so far.

A smudged acrylic black wash over enamel base, oddly the OD base started coming up with the Windex I use for acrylic thinner, even after an acrylic gloss coat. going to do a dusty wash next then a flat clearcoat and some dry brushing then move forward.

Here's the engine, I do plan on having the hood either working, or posed open. I thought long and hard about trying to pose the wheels turned but cutting the tie rod would have been to hairy for me.

Spark Plug wires are .015 solder with a glob of CA on the end to attempt to look like the rubber boot over the spark plug. I could not find a picture of the engine so I'm not 100% sure on the firing order but I"m sure someone will correct me somewhere.

I was worried about the wash because it looked so thick but viewing here it does not look so bad. I have the water hoses to do and the radiator is just sitting there right now, think a wee bit a rust is in order.

low light shot

I"d like to run gas lines but not sure about the routing from the fuel pump to the carb.

Here the exhaust is in place, used MM Metalizer Burnt Iron for the manifold and exhaust pipe. Note, install the exhaust support BEFORE you finish the tracks, it weren't easy putting it in place.

The Idler Spring may look funny because I had to extend the spring some to make it look like the spring was in contact with the rod. I really hate these tracks. they were a bear to install and work with. SURELY someone has some Aftermarket tracks for this thing.

Well there it is so far. That's the majority of the plastic for this bad boy, starting next week with the rear compartment.

At this point I started with the PE parts but using CA, Rick and others talked me in to using solder so i'll jump to that post next.
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:37 AM
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Moon Puppy Moon Puppy is offline
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Look at me, I"m a solderin'!

So I pulled everything apart and started over. Cleaned up the CA as much as I could, may not have been as good as it should have been, that will explain why this stuff looks so ugly. This step I was attempting the tinning technique but found that my soldering iron was not up to the job of transferring heat well. So I upgraded to a 40 watt iron, WOW, what a difference!

Here you can see how the new iron was able to "run a bead" down the seam line. I will not make the seating deck movable but the floor plate does,

just out of curiosity, what was the purpose of the floor plate being on hinge because it opens right on top of the rear crossmemeber. I don't see how it could be any use.

On the subject of hinges I still plan on having the engine hinges work, I'm glad I Was able to get these to work but it is very tedious working

This view you can see the progression of practice and patience. Using less solder to get'er done and much less to clean up. I am not tinning now, what I"m doing is using the flux to secure the part, place some bits of solder in the flux and then run the iron down the seem, the solder melts and runs into the seam just like TEnax7 almost. Looks so kewl when it's working well.

And how it will look, and thanks for looking!

A little background here, "Old Dog" over at Swanny's offered up some solder paste for me to try on this build.

I got Old Dog's solder paste in the mail yesterday and I've done some testing. While waiting on OD little package in the mail I got impatient and went to Lowes and found some solder paste(water cleanup) there. Did some work with the el'chepo and compare it to what OD sent.

First a eye ball test:

The sample on the left is the cheap stuff from Lowes, the sample on the right, From OD. I could see a great deal of difference between the samples, OD's Paste has more fine solder embedded in the flux. When using this product in holding a part in place it's much more tacky than the cheap stuff I found.

Second the heat test:

Apply heat and....

Third the result test:

I think this speaks for itself. the cheap stuff I found heats up and solidifies with a bunch of contaminates, the residue is just ugly while on the other side, the product Old Dog sent heats up and solidifies clean and pretty, even the residue is clean for the most part. Guess what product i'm using for now! Must be some of that NASA stuff our tax dollars paid for.

OK this is where i'm at now, this is the gas tank soldered in with elcheapo solderpaste

And this is with the good stuff.

That's about all I've done this week, all the storage boxes are secured. Now I got some details to add like the tie downs and the rear rack. Then we move forward to the cab.

Thanks for looking...

OK so here's a question for you armor guys. What color primer was used on U.S. Armor vehicles?


Got up this AM and went to town to vote, actually just dropped off the absentee ballots for me and My Bride, then got back to the ranch style house to get to work.

Did a lot of work in the rear compartment. I bypassed some detail stuff during the major construction because of my concern than the heat from other soldering other parts would cause them to need to be reworked. Mistake...It was a bear to get the supports for the footrails in place but they are done. The seat frames were pretty straight forward, should have installed both of these assemblies before getting to the point that I did.

Now with that done for the most part, except for some external details I started with the "origami" exercise. This assembly is actually only 3 parts. It is the floorboard of the cab.

Rick, I don't know how you STARTED on this assembly, if I started here I"d been turning all this brass into a lamp or something out of frustration. I figred Lions Roar thought that if someone can get past the first two parts being joined the rest is a piece of cake. This new "Mr Super Solder" (not real product, Kester is the brand of solder) is really helping also.

Had a really hard time getting these folds clipped and secured for soldering so I took one for the build

Actually it doesn't hurt that bad, I'll tough it out.

And here are some early dry fits, there will be a lot of those as this goes forward.

Well that's it for this week most likely, got to wait for the burns to heal and the eyes to readjust.

Last edited by Moon Puppy; 11-06-2008 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:40 AM
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Moon Puppy Moon Puppy is offline
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So thanks for letting me share here, I hope I can at least match a fraction of the skill and talent i've seen on this site.
One outstanding question I have is, what color was U.S. Armor primed in?

Thanks for looking!
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:51 AM
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RickLawler RickLawler is offline
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Welcome to the Planet!

Good job on getting everyone caught up on your progress to date. As you can see, MP has been scooting right along with this - and I've only counted one burnt finger so far!


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Old 11-06-2008, 10:57 AM
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Moon Puppy Moon Puppy is offline
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Hehe.. that's the only one you've seen. I'm hiding the accidental burns, you know like the one where I grabbed the soldering iron from the wrong end...don't ask. That pinky burn was the cost of holding that fold in place where I couldn't get a clamp on.

Last night I got the firewall installed, awfully plain. I know you did yours with the hood down but have you seen any photos of the engine compartment? I would like to run some electrical lines and what not to make it look less spartan.
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:50 AM
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Phillip1944 Phillip1944 is offline
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Looks very nice
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:12 PM
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Peter Peter is offline
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Man, you´re grazy!
But I like it

Great work, keep us posted!

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Old 11-06-2008, 06:13 PM
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David Diaz David Diaz is offline
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Man that is soldering like a madman! hahaha Great progress.



"To know, that is Wisdom.
To use it, is the Art."

- Clive Barker

(Click to visit my v-Bench)
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:40 PM
Flak Flak is offline
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Wow...great work...keep it up
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:56 PM
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serpico serpico is offline
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Originally Posted by Moon Puppy View Post
So thanks for letting me share here, I hope I can at least match a fraction of the skill and talent i've seen on this site.
One outstanding question I have is, what color was U.S. Armor primed in?

Thanks for looking!

US armor was primed in Oxide Red I believe, hope this helps!

Nice looking model, last time I soldered that much, it was circuit boards, haha.

Nice to see another US halftrack...

Regards, Paul
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