The Tracks are finally up. Preparing the tracks is a time consuming task in that there are about four layers of finishes required and the paint for each layer must dry before the next is applied. The instructions for the track states that regular styrene cement can be used to connect them. Nonsense!!! Used super-glue and then had to be very careful not to over-stress the joints. When it comes to actually mounting the tracks on the tank the trick is to glue neither the drive sprocket nor the idler to the chassis. The track will go on easily with very little stress because the spockets and idlers have a lot more give. Once the track is in place it will in effect lock the sprocket and idlers down - no glue required. Tracks look really nice mounted on the wheels.
I'm not very concerned about reproducing track sag or hang here because the track returns will be covered by side skirts.
This will be my last post for about two weeks. I will be out of town for a bit. But here is a picture of the E-100 with the hull deck and turret in place
Styrene glues and body filler will not work with resin. Superglues and Milliput have to be used instead. The three pistol port plugs were mounted first. The Milliput was prepared by taken equal portions of the two sticks provided and kneading them together to activate the compound. the pistol port slots were then filled and left to set overnight. In the morning the Milliput compound was sanded flush with the surfaces of the tank. The range fingers (ears), hatches, and 75mm ranging canon were mounted. Finally the upper hull was attached to the base plate and Trumpeter adapter ring. There was no additional filling or sanding required. The mantle and the gun barrel will be mounted later on in the process. While the releasing of the parts from their trees was time consuming and tedious (a Dremel tool is a must) the overall construction of the turret was a breeze and I would recommend this kit to anyone. The only concern is that the gun barrel was warped.
The turrets parts were carefully removed from their casting. The pieces were cut using a Dremel tool, Exacto knives, Exacto saw, and sandpiper. I had to proceed carefully to avoid damaging the parts. The circular disk is the turret ring adapter provided for the Trumpeter kit. The turret base was particularly difficult because of the amount of casting that had to be cut away. It all worked out.
The tracks have received a second layer of colouring. This time using Vallejo Panzer Aces 304 track primer. Again the air-brush was used. There are more layers to come. It does not show well in the pictures but the tracks have been sprayed to allow the black in the crevises to remain.
As mentioned previously the turrets that comes with the Trumpeter kit is the proposed Henschel turret rather than the Krupp Turret used in game. The Krupp Turret is available from a company know as AlleyCat Models or Rhino Armour Models ( I suspect that AlleyCat bought out Rhino). To visit their website click on the button below. The kit is a cast resin model so many of the techniques used for plastic model don't apply. Conventional styrene glues and fillers won't work. Super glues and Milliput must be substituted. After washing all the parts in warm soapy water they are then cut away from their castings. This process involved the careful use of a Dremel tool followed by trimming with an Exacto blade and light sanding. Word of warning. You MUST wear a safety mask when doing this work with resin products. The turret kit consists of the following parts:
Painting tracks is a time consuming job but can be done concurrently with other task. Real tank tracks come from the factory in a preservative coating that seems to be universal black. With usage they turn brown and rust although the surfaces where the tread comes in contact with the ground tend to be burnished metal. And of course in the real world there is mud and crap. Even though the tracks come in black vinyl the first step is to paint them flat black in order to remove the "plastic" sheen. I used Vallejo black surface primer for this. The tracks were then set aside to dry while I worked on the turret. Over the next few blogs I will be posting pictures showing the evolution of the tracks
The E-100 has 32 road wheels, 16 wheels a side mounted in pairs. In addition to being sanded and primed they must be painted in panzer gray and then chipped weathered. They are a little darker than I would like but that will be corrected with a little more weathering. What I'm saying is that this is a time consuming task so I have had nothing meaningful to post until now, Next steps are the tracks
I was hoping to have more pictures showing the progress on the E-100. Unfortunately the panzer gray I was using was not stirred properly so it came out kinda green. Anyway I backed up and resprayed the areas with the primer grey and will have at it again tomorrow. Sorry folks.
I always start work on my tanks with the suspension. In the picture below you can see that the left and right suspension assemblies have been mounted on the chassis. Extra care is needed to ensure that the torsion bars are mounted in the right slots. Failure to do so will ruin the kit. It's hard to see from the photos but the chassis and the suspension assemblies have all been painted in a very light base gray surface primer ( Vallejo 73.601) .
The road wheels, idlers, and drive sprockets need to be prepared next. The 32 road wheels, once removed from their trees, all need to be edge sanded to remove their molding seams. This is best accomplished by turning each wheel on a Dremel tool and lightly sanding the edges. One must be careful not to overheat the plastic during this procedure and thereby damage a wheel. The idlers and the drive sprockets are then assembled and set aside. All of these items were then given the same light gray primer coat as the chassis and suspension assemblies.
The suspension assembly, road wheels, idlers, and drive sprockets will all be finished in a lighten panzer gray. While it is my intention to finish this vehicle in a desert camouflage a lightened panzer gray may seem to be an odd choice, Not really. If you look at all the WOT vehicles in game, you will notice that this area of the vehicle always stays the national colour of the faction no matter what camouflage is applied. In the case of Germany that colour is a lightened panzer gray. While I cannot say for sure, I'm pretty certain that this has something to do with how the vehicles are rendered in game for performance reasons. The WOT screen shot of the E-100 below clearly shows the panzer gray road wheels
There are three 1/35 scale models of the E-100 (at least that I know of). The first is made by Dragon (or DML) It is a very fine model but difficult to find. Unfortunately it features the turret from the Maus. The second E-100 kit is made by Amusing Hobbies. While it does feature the in-game Krupp turret, the kit is also very difficult to find. The third kit offered by Trumpeter features a turret proposed by Henschel. The Trumpeter box art clearly shows the lineage between the King Tiger turret and the one from the Henschel E-100. On the positive side this kit is very good and readily available. My preference would have been the DML but availability dictated the Trumpeter kit.
The turret problem was resolved in the after-market. A resin Krupp turret is available from a British company, AlleyCat Models (Rhino Armour Models) . This after market product is designed to be used on either the Dragon or Trumpeter kits. More about the turret later.
The Trumpeter Kit
The kit is manufactured in Trumpeter's standard light grey plastic. This is a very easy plastic to work with. The detailing is very good but not as good as you would find on a DML Kit. I have no complaints on that score.
The Henschel Turret
A pity about the Henschel Turret. Very nicely made with a full breach and lots of exterior detail pieces. Spare treads for turret protection have been included (wish they had done that for their E-75).
Odds and Ends
No 1/35 armour vehicle would be complete without photo-etched brass parts and generic decals. In this case all the deck grills have been done. The decals are nicely on register
The vinyl single piece tracks are a little bit old school however they are very nicely detailed on both sides. Because of the large skirts on the vehicle the lack of sag on the track wont be too noticeable.
The Krupp Turret
The turret sub kit is modelled in resin so normal glue and patching techniques don't apply. Super glue is the recommended adhesive and two part milliput filler will be needed for mending cracks and seams.
Rhino provided a 128 mm gun barrel with their kit but despite the fact that it has a piano wire core it was still warped. The 128 mm gun barrel from the Trumpeter kit (shown here) will be used. I'm still researching the possibility of getting a 150mm gun from an after-market supplier.
As you can see in the photos the turret has pistol ports on both sides and through the rear hatch. Those ports are not featured on the in-game vehicle and will have to be patched over.
There will definitely be some MacGyvering going on with the turret base but it does not appear too difficult.