Model Armour

T-34/76 Mod.1942 Formochka - Page 3
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Next up were the turret parts. This is what I found with Dragons gun bits...




....and this...




I knew this area was going to need some help if it was going to be visible. I had the new AFV CLUB T-34/76 model 1942 with interior, but since I had been focusing on the Formochka I hadn't looked it over that thoroughly. Then I did. I found some great interior pieces, but I was still not ready to trash a $50 kit to get some detail parts for a $45 kit. I collected the bits I wanted to use, assembled them, filled knockouts and holes, removed the seams, and made a mould...




.....and put the gun together








And some other bits too...




This is what it would look like through the hatches...




I needed to add some small gear boxes, wiring, vision blocks, seats and ammo boxes on the floor etc. But it would look pretty good through the hatches.

Now that took me an entire modelling day, but all my future T-34/76's can now have a basic interior in about an hour! I need only pour the resin, clean up the parts and glue everything together. My copies have no seams and no knock-outs etc. Had I just put the AFV Club parts together and used them, that alone would have taken 2 or 3 hours. To me this shows the benefit of resin casting.

Mark Rethoret sent me some rather nice interior pics at this point from the Littlefield collections T-34/76 which is not a Formochka, but a great reference for paint colour, gun details, and general layout. Thanks for letting me use these Mark!










Next...I added the tow shackles and latches to the rear of the hull and the radio pot on the right side of the hull, no problems. Then I started on the drivers hatch. The kit includes clear parts for the vision blocks. I wanted to show the armoured covers for the vision blocks opened. I added the right side armoured cover and then noticed that the left side cover was identical to the right. It should be a mirror image of the other one. So I had to cut the hinges off of the left cover and reposition them. Below is a picture of what I meant. Unfortunately...difficult to see...the hinge tabs are tiny!

This picture shows the corrected positions of the tabs...




Note: This cover will fit without moving the hinge tabs, but it just doesn't look right. After that I went after another problem with the hull. The kit comes with rounded front fenders appropriate for this tank. But if you want to model them missing, which was common, you have to rebuild a small portion of the front hull. This is the area I needed to work on...




I used .040" plasticard, cut the basic shape, glued it in place and filed it to shape.


Right side...




Left side...




Then I started on the brass. I was using an Aber Photo-etch set- T-34 Fenders. I also bent up all the tie-downs for the fenders and super-glued them on. This is time consuming stuff for me!






Here are a couple of close-ups...






That was relatively frustrating, since I didn't have a lot of photo-etch experience at that time. It came out well but it was actually kind of tiring! Since I planned on leaving the turret hatches opened I needed to add some detailing to the turret interior. So I scratch-built some of the basic shapes, just enough to catch some paint. I'll grant you this isn't pretty, but the drivers hatch will be closed, through the turret hatches this should look good enough...




Next, I put the proper wheels on the hull and immediately noticed that the Factory 112 wheels sit farther out from the hull than all the other wheel types do. All that is required is to shorten the axles, but you need to know how short. I put one of the steel wheels on and used it as an alignment guide. When a T-34 damaged a wheel it was not uncommon for it to be replaced with whatever was readily available. I have been playing with this idea, and seeing the all steel wheels on there I had decided that it is staying. It added some character don't you think?






Which lead naturally enough into job #2. Damaging the fenders. As I said I have very little experience with photoetch. To damage the brass I did what I would do with Styrene. Flipped the upper hull over and thinned the fenders with a sanding wheel with a Dremel motor-tool. Being very careful not to generate too much heat, I thinned the fenders. The heat did warp them a small amount, then I mangled them with a pair of tweezers. There are many, many pictures to use as reference.




The picture below shows damage right above the all steel wheel, as if whatever event damaged the original wheel damaged the fender too.








The front hull, inboard of the tracks, has a couple of prominent welds where the front hull joins the hull sides. The model shows this, but I wanedt to re-do those welds and make them more irregular. So I cut out the kit welds.

The right side...




The left side...





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