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  #1  
Old 05-16-2013, 07:32 PM
wbill76 wbill76 is offline
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Bronco Marder II D

Time to clear the bench and get the next victim ready. This build log will feature Bronco's kit #35097 Panzerjager II 7.62cm Pak 36 (Sd.Kfz.132) Marder II D paired up with a set of Model Kasten SK-56 workable tracks.

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Old 05-18-2013, 02:23 PM
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serpico serpico is offline
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Wow nice one Bill.....

Can't wait! those tracks should look neat!

Paul
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:03 PM
wbill76 wbill76 is offline
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Thanks Paul! Started work on this one today.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:04 PM
wbill76 wbill76 is offline
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Because Bronco's kit design uses a panel arrangement to construct the lower hull, work began there instead of the usual 'remove and clean-up the road wheels' that typically is the first step for an armor build. Rest assured that will be coming soon, but the first order of business was to construct the lower hull. This is done in the first three steps of the instructions and it pays to study them first and do some test fits as there's a lot that has to go into a relatively small space and play nice with each other in the process.

Step 1 is straightforward, it installs the driver's seat and the torsion bar interior details for the suspension. Ejector marks that would be visible later on where filled with putty and sanded down prior to installing the torsion bar part. This step also calls for attaching the front hull nose armor plate, C18, but I held off doing that until later to make sure it fit just right with the hull side plates.



Step 2 has you work on components for the transmission, drive shaft, and brake drums as sub-assemblies to be used in Step 3. I did things a little differently here than in the instructions to make it easier to handle the components and install them into the hull. I installed the drive sprocket shafts, parts J10, to the transmission box directly instead of the to the brake hubs to make it easier to position the transmission box at the right spot in the hull.



Rather than attach the brake hubs to the transmission box, I installed them directly to the hull sides after doing a test fit to make sure the driver's side hub wouldn't interfere with the driver's seat. Doing things this way gave me some flexibility with the drive shafts in terms of getting things to meet up and do any adjustments when installing the hull sides into position. The base of the loader's seat was also installed but I left the cushion off for now so it could be detailed and installed later on separately.



Step 3 brings all the hull components together. Bronco designed the side panels well in terms of how the meet up with the lower hull. There's a small tab at the front that helps keep things lined up and the suspension bar part is also designed to help provide alignment and rigidity at the base. The engine compartment firewall also helps but it fits loosely, so the key to getting it lined up are the slot tabs on its base along with the transmission components that attach to it. That's another reason why I opted for the alternate method of installing the components mentioned earlier after doing some test-fits. The front nose plate was added along with the rear plate. The rear plate's fit required a little finger pressure help to get it to line up properly but otherwise the hull assembled without any major issues.





Next up will begin work on the suspension components.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:29 PM
wbill76 wbill76 is offline
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Work continued from yesterday's efforts with Steps 4 and 5 which deal with the suspension elements.

Step 4 adds a lot of little parts along with the suspension arms for the road wheels. The instructions direct you to remove 3.1mm from the portions of the arms that mount into the hull, so some surgery is required on all 8 arms. This is due to the fact that the addition of the torsion bar parts on the hull interior (presumably not present in Bronco's earlier Pz II-D kit) blocks off those openings in the hull sides. Easily done with a ruler to mark the cut line, then snip off with sprue cutters and sand down the ends where necessary. The arm bump stops, parts B40, have mount pins on their backs but the pins are too long for them to fit flush, so some sanding is necessary there as well. The idler mount arms were dry-fit only as I need them to remain movable to allow for the workable track tensioning down the road.



Step 5 deals with the assembly of the road wheels, sprockets, and idlers. The road wheels are separate halves with separate rubber rims as well...and each part has 4 attachment points to be cleaned up. The wheel hubs also had some flash on their inner surfaces that had to be removed, so quite a bit of clean up effort involved with them as a result. The rubber rims fit tightly with a friction fit, so they can be removed easily later on for separate painting but care will be needed to avoid any paint on the insides of the rims and the hubs causing a disruption.

The sprockets assembled easily and I used a run of 10 links from the MK set to ensure the sprocket teeth lined up correctly and would play nice with the tracks later on. That same run was used to test the gap fit on the road wheels as well as the idlers. On the idlers, the front half has small tabs that are supposed to fit into the back halves but the tabs are too tall and have to be trimmed down to all the front half to fit flush at the right gap interval.

Bronco designed the idlers to have a small insert (B21) that's meant to help create a friction fit with the idler swing arm. It's the same part that goes inside each of the road wheels but the difference with the idler arm is that it isn't tapered like the road wheel arms...so it won't fit. It's a good thing I tested that before committing to glue on the idler hub caps, otherwise it would've been harder to fix. The solution is to taper the points of the idler mount arms to match the taper on the road wheel suspension arms with careful trimming/sanding. Don't add part B23 (the idler tension bolt) at this stage unless you're sure about the position you need for the idler...I'm not, so that will get added later.



A test fit with all the parts from Step 5 was carried out to make sure everything lined up properly. Installation will occur later on after painting.



Next up will be working on the rear hull details and then on to the fenders.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:28 AM
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Great start and excellent in-progress photos.

Looking forward to further updates.

Thank you.

AWD
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:12 AM
wbill76 wbill76 is offline
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Thanks Alex for the comments! So far I've been impressed with the kit's level of detail and fit and have been enjoying the build.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:19 PM
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Looks like it's moving right along!



~ Jeff
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:42 AM
wbill76 wbill76 is offline
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Originally Posted by Panther F View Post
Looks like it's moving right along!



~ Jeff
Thanks Jeff! Hope to make the most of the long weekend to keep this one heading down the assembly line.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:57 PM
wbill76 wbill76 is offline
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Taking full advantage of the Memorial Day extended holiday (and of course taking time to also remember and honor all of those who have died in service to their country!), work continued with the focus shifting to the upper hull and fenders.

Steps 6 and 7 deal with the rear hull details with Step 6 assembling the air exhaust deflectors, the muffler and heat shield, and the tow hitch. The heat shield was annealed over the gas burner flame on my kitchen stove, then curved to shape using the metal handle of my Xacto knife to get it close to the required curve and the muffler itself served as the former to get it curved the rest of the way. I drilled out the muffler exhaust pipe since the kit supplied part just had a molded depression for its mouth.



These parts were installed in Step 7 along with the rear hull overhang plate that includes the Notek rear light and standard brake lights. The engine exhaust extension pipe was installed as well to round things out.



Step 8 is a simple step, it installs the driver's instrument panel under the hull glacis plate as well as the driver's long grab handle, part E19. I added the grab handle later on after realizing as I wrote this that I had neglected to install it. The glacis plate was added to the front hull and fit beautifully, no clearance issues at all with the instrument panel and the transmission.



Steps 9 to 11 deal with the fenders and while the instructions have you put all the details on the fenders first and then install them, that's generally not a good idea so I switched things around a little bit. Both fenders were added after receiving their kit-supplied PE blanking plates for the tool mounts.



Next up will be adding all the various details (except the tools) to the fenders and starting work on the gun base mount.
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