Stalin's turret


Now that my tank's hull was just about complete, I started working on the main gun, the D-25T tank cannon. The gun barrel's halves behaved extraordinarily nicely as the muzzle brake and the cradle's end held them nicely and tightly together. I didn't expect any problems with the elevation system, as the axle wasn't glued at all but it was just attached to the rubber bits. This subassembly was then glued to the inside of the gun mantlet and the barrel was glued on this. Business as usual, again.

This was a very traditional, Soviet-looking cannon, the familiar look almost made me anxious :p While these buggers were curing I started working on the turret itself.

The turret

First of all I glued two benches to the base of the turret. Somehow this looked so very depressing that I decided to build it buttoned up and that way also save the two Soviet tanker figures for some other project. Then I did some more dry-fitting and pondered on which was the best order of assembly in this case.

Based on that I glued the gun mantlet -setup onto the top part of the turret and after giving it a few moments to cure I glued the bottom on as well. Then all that was left was to glue on all the tiny details, like the commander's cupola and whatnot. The hatches, as I had already decided, I glued shut.

A rear-facing MG

There was a machine gun that was to be installed to the back of the turret. I really couldn't say if it could be possible to assemble it so that it could be moved, but I didn't manage. Just for a more interesting look I rotated it so that it wasn't pointing at a neutral position.

Just to see how it looked  like at this point I piled all the three main components together. It looked fine.

The panic handlebars

You may have noticed a few odd holes around the turret in the previous few photos. The turret was supposed to be surrounded with a bunch of handles for the groundpounders, but one main thing concerned me. The issue was of course that thoes things have always been fragile and it was more than likely that at least one of them would break while either detaching it from the sprue or while cleaning it up. Then I'd have to try to fix it somehow, leave it off or use something else to replace it. As it looked more than probable that I'd have to scratchbuild a handle, I'd do them all myself while I was at it. I'd use the traditional Finnish Army -provided metal wire for this, once again.

During this session I drilled a number of hole pairs around the turret. A few of them along the upper edge, but most of them around the lower edge. I measured the necessary lenght of this wire by eyeand bent it into an edged U shape. The tails being of different lenghts wasn't of any sort of concern as they'd disapper into the turret.

My first guess had been pretty accurate, the width was spot on and just by a tiny adjustment on the entry angle I got it installed beautifully. Finally I applied a drop of superglue on each hole and started working on the rest of the handles.

The turret, assembled

After less than ten minutes all the handles were done and glued on. Each was different and they looked like they'd seen use and life in general. At least that's what I had envisioned and they'd of course look even better after painting. I was most pleased at everything at this stage.

Next I'd finally start working on the tracks. For those I had a new (to me) method in mind that I'd like to try out. Of course it could all fail miserably - or not.

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