Session XIII

The main turret

After the tracks were done I finally got to work on the main turret. The construction order in the instructions was again somewhat curious, first I was to build the shell of the turret, then to proceed to assembling the gun itself.

There were a good amount of details in the gun itself, especially if one was to build the model with (at least) the main turret's hatches open. Or, if one felt brave enough, to paint the insides and keep the turret off the tank itself. I really didn't think I'd go for that, so most likely this was just going to be just my own sick ponderings (if someone reading this got inspired, goody).

The tank's main gun (a 76.2mm M27/32 (3" according to the converter)) looked fun and was a multiphase build. Technically that (and many other things in T-35) it was a bad idea, I've understood, but then again, many tank weapons were suboptimal during the early war years. I guess they got something broken with that gun in real life, but according to wikipedia the gun was replaced with a slightly better gun.


Now I couldn't remember if any of the tanks I'd built so far had a turret's details modeled this far. A typical turret had a couple of foldable bench-plates at best and that's been it. Here we had a proper-looking support structure and all :o These aforementioned beams were a pain in the donkey, as getting the top ring, the baseplate and these things aligned and cured properly wasn't that quick and easy. Some light and gentle swearing was required. In the end it all was just pretty good and I was quite content with it.

Turret assemblage

Gluing the heavyish gun-containing turret part onto the previous subassembly was hair-greying. Because of the mass differences I didn't even consider building it updright and then doing it upside down was still a bit complicated, as the baseplate was still heavy enough to bring some exta torsion to the show. Still, even this ended up being just fine.

The last "Emma" LMG was installed into this turret, of course. I wanted to glue it at a bit of an angle, to prevent all the spikes of this hedgehog from pointing into the same direction. Some gentle variety, you know?

All in all this was damn time consuming, as my three quarters were done and I felt like I had gotten nothing done. When packing stuff up I tried out the turret and then saw that hey, there was visible progress again.


Session XII

The pleasant rattle of the caterpillar tracks

When I returned back to my table I could take a step back and return to the track building parts I had skipped earlier. I wasn't really excited about this as they consisted of a bunch of long and short strips, and those have always been somewhat inconvenient to assemble. The instructions always have come with a "use so-and-so many bits and it'll be good" count and that has never been exact but they've always been "not close enough". So, having no better idea, I followed to guidelines and prepared a suggested amount of pieces per track.

The first track (for the left side) got assembled rather painlessly, even if I had to remove one individual link from the front end, because why in the Empire would the instructions and the reality agree on anything? Not that it was perfect even with that one extra link removed, there still was a bit of slack, but that was most likely because of the shaped top piece being slightly imperfectly set.

Next track went much quicker, which has always been the case: the first one taught me how the next one was to be done. This time I got the track aligned properly and as I had dropped off that one link before assembling, it was just the right size. Hooray!

Joining the main hull parts

I allowed the monstrosity to rest on its tracks for a bit, meanwhile I cleaned up the driver's vertical armour plate for installation. No matter how much I dry-fitted the armoured deck plate on the bottom hull, it didn't end up well-aligned at all, especially the rear of the tank. There'd be fixing later on, in the photo you could see the liquid glue bottle as a quick "hold it down, will ya?" solution. Again I left the side cutters and my hobby knife in the photo for scale.