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Armor/AFV: Allied - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Allied forces during World War II.
Hosted by Darren Baker
MiniArt Grant w/interior build log interest?
PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 - 02:39 PM UTC
I was out of town for most of the weekend, but I did manage to get a bit of work done on the Grant. Cleaning up, painting and installing more parts for the sponson 75mm gun is what I focused on...











Fit was good but the shield definitely needed to be massaged to get it in place.
raivo74
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 02:37 AM UTC
Looks good. I can't remember, are the transparent periscopes and visions blocks included in the kit?
PRH001
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 03:10 AM UTC
Yep. Transparent vision blocks and periscopes are included in this release.
PRH001
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Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2019 - 04:42 PM UTC
I finished assembling the 75mm gun this weekend. Itís very easy to position subassemblies slightly off making items interfere with each other. To be honest with you, Miniart would do very well to either key the parts to ensure correct positioning, or put alignment views in the instructions to verify the angles needed for proper fit. With that said, itís together and it looks the part...





I painted and installed the ammo storage for the right side. Fit was fine.



The sponson sidewall and gun cradle assembly is next. Fit is good but since I wanted to be able to work the joints on both inside and out, I chose not to start by attaching the sidewall to the sponson first. Instead I taped the sidewall to the lower hull and positioned the gun fairing in place and cemented that joint and let it set long enough to maintain alignment. The part was then removed, filled as needed and painted.





Again, I wanted to be able to fill joints inside and out, so I skipped ahead and cemented the other side of the upper hull and front together, and filled and painted the inside.





Here is a test fit of the gun cradle in the lower hull. Itís just set in and was removed for install later after this picture was taken.



Colors used in these steps were:
Tamiya White Primer overall,
Vallejo Black Grey for chipping and Thompson MG magazines
Vallejo Flat red for the fire extinguisher with Vallejo semi gloss topcoat
Vallejo Buff basecoat with Vallejo Brown Wash over it for the sticks
Vallejo Red Leather for the pouch with Vallejo Brown Wash and Vallejo Matt topcoat
Vallejo Black Grey with a wash of Tamiya Smoke for the camera, lens was painted silver and was covered by the same wash
TopSmith
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Posted: Monday, November 18, 2019 - 12:46 AM UTC
Any fit issues with the upper hull plates?
PRH001
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Posted: Monday, November 18, 2019 - 01:29 AM UTC
The side plates fit together pretty well once ALL of the mold seams and sprue attachment points are taken are taken care of. In my test fitting of the top pieces of the upper hull I found the the large piece (A15) that includes the top of the main gun mount has cast texture that extends beyond where it should and prevents the smaller forward piece (A6) edge from aligning with the edge of A15 and seating correctly. The area needs to filed down until the edges align correctly.

PRH001
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Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 04:26 PM UTC
Made some progress on the Grant. Here is the installation of the right side of the upper hull. The way I assembled it meant it took some tweaking to get it in place. The parts are not at fault, my choice to fill assemblies caused the issues.



Next I painted and installed the fittings in the left and front sides upper hull. Since the kit doesnít come with decals for the gauges, I used an old generic set from Reheat to get gauges that are similar to the ones used in the prototype. All of the fittings fit perfectly.



Next I installed the left upper and front portions of the hull. Fit is good if you are careful and remove all mold lines. Again, my choice to do the filling the interior seams meant I needed to use CA to tack the assembly in place prior to cementing with Tamiya Extra Thin. I temp installed the upper hull top plate to ensure good alignment before welding the left/front assembly in place.









The joints have not been worked yet, so what you see is the basic fit.



For those asking about the fit of the upper hull, here is a picture of the upper hull top plate set in place without cement. Once the left forward part A6 is trimmed, the fit is good.



Hope this info is useful.




ivanhoe6
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Posted: Sunday, November 24, 2019 - 05:54 AM UTC
Still along for the ride on this one Paul. My instruction sheet is getting all marked up with notes of the tips & insights AND paint recommendations that you've shared with us, so far.
Thanks again for all your efforts and the generous sharing of info !
PRH001
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Posted: Sunday, November 24, 2019 - 04:47 PM UTC
Iím really glad youíve found this build log useful. Itís definitely a slow process and itís funny how long these interior kits take. Iím currently on step 67 out of 130, and I havenít even run into much photo etch yet... If things go according to plan, I hope to provide some pictures of the PE work in progress.

PRH001
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Posted: Sunday, November 24, 2019 - 05:20 PM UTC
Took some time to do some of the filling and fairing of the upper hull pieces. I had to make some adjustments due to my decision to assemble the parts off of the kit.





Here are the angle panels on the rear of the upper hull. Still need some touching up, but the paint already on the parts needs time to cure.



While waiting for those to dry, I started fitting parts to the rear section of the upper hull. Be very careful when removing mold lines not to change the angles of the parts.





Once the rear angle parts are touched up, I currently intend to temp install the upper hull top to allow me to position all side for the best fit I can. There is enough flex in the parts that I prefer to have the top act as a brace to set side spacing. It may be a useless precaution, but Iíll feel better committing the angle parts to cement that way.

Colors used
Tamiya White Primer for the hull panels with Vallejo Flat Earth wash
Vallejo Black Grey for the tripod and Thompson with dry brush of silver
Vallejo Flat Brown for the Thompson stock
Vallejo Red Leather for the tripod straps
AK Interactive Brass for the ammo cases
Vallejo Stencil for the white



PRH001
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Posted: Sunday, December 01, 2019 - 05:24 PM UTC
Finished up the interior of the Grant. Got the rear angled panels installed after temp installing the hull roof. It worked out well overall, but there was some warpage in one of the hull side so there is still a bit seam work to take care of.





I skipped from step 67 to step 73 to get the interior finished up. The steps between cover the engine decking, which I wanted to hold off on to allow easier handling. Step 73 is where the turret basket guard ring is installed. The ring is a two piece assembly that when joined it fits in place well.





Step 73 also calls for the install of the transmission housing flanges. Those needed some filler to get smooth joints.



Step 74 is the installation of the front portion of the roof and the external braces. The braces were installed, the joints filled and the vision block assembly was put in place. I then went ahead and installed the hull roof itself. As you can see, you can get a pretty good fit with some time and fitting. The roof joint has not been filled at all in this picture, the white you see is paint that has wicked slightly into the joint.







Colors used:
Turret basket guard ring body - Tamiya Primer White with Vallejo Flat Earth wash
Canteens- Vallejo Brown Violet with Vallejo Bronze green caps



ivanhoe6
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Posted: Monday, December 02, 2019 - 01:33 AM UTC
WOW ! A gas can in the fighting compartment, next to the cannon rounds. Scary !!
Looking great so far Paul now that you're starting to close up the lower hull.
Once again, thanks for sharing your labor of love, the pointers you've learned thru experiences.
PRH001
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Posted: Monday, December 02, 2019 - 12:08 PM UTC
Seems like Iíve been staring into that crew compartment for quite a while. Iím glad to put the lid on it and move on to some other areas. Feedback is always appreciated on any project but especially the slow ones.

The kit isnít perfect, but it gives you basis for something special if you decide to put the time in. The one thing I wish had been included are the internal markings and instruments. Other than that, itís been a very enjoyable build.

Cheers,
Paul H
MSGsummit
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Posted: Monday, December 02, 2019 - 04:36 PM UTC
Dude! Awesome blog man! Seriously...I am inspired!
PRH001
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Posted: Tuesday, December 03, 2019 - 01:15 AM UTC
Thanks! I really do appreciate the kind words. I just hope you still think that way when we reach the end of this project!
PRH001
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Posted: Tuesday, December 03, 2019 - 12:39 PM UTC
Well I realized that I used the generic statement about fitting the upper hull and left it kind of open. This is a blog and I owe it to those who take the time to read it to give them real info.

When I test fit the main gun assembly into the lower hull with side installed, I found that the upper traverse wheel interfered with the hull casing rear part B46. In my case I could position the gun pointing straight ahead, but I couldnít move it to the outboard side at all. Here is a pic showing the part to which Iím referring:



The assemblies fit together as shown here:



To remedy this situation, I shaved about .030 inches or .75mm from the rear facing edge to provide clearance for azimuth movement and filed the edge straight.

The other area that required some adjustment was the end of the brace on the underside of the upper hull roof. This brace interferes with one of the rivets on the side wall causing it to stand slightly proud of flush. I wanted to save the hull rivet, so I trimmed the brace at an angle to get clearance for roof install. The arrow in the picture below points to the brace Iím speaking of.



I should have put this together before, but I figured better late, than never.

Cheers,
Paul H
PRH001
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Posted: Sunday, December 08, 2019 - 02:10 PM UTC
Now for some of the more time consuming parts of the build... As you can see here Iíve been doing seam work on the Grant. And due to the nature of those seams they take a while.





Additionally, someone previously asked about the fit of the rear deck panels, so I put them in place on the model for a good visual. They are not cemented in place, so this is a worse case scenario. As you can see, they fit pretty well.





I wanted to check how the seam work was going, so I sprayed them with Tamiya White primer to see where more effort was needed.



I set the hull of the kit to the side so the primer could cure for sanding and over on to the photo etch for the rear panels. Iím trying a new application method mentioned by Kimmo (Thudius) quite a while back. Basically, Iím using gel CA adhesive to attach pieces of .005 in thick styrene to the PE parts and then using liquid cement to attach that part to the model.

Here Iíve Punched .6mm discs and attached them to the grab handles that will go on the engine decking.





Here are the parts once theyíve been installed with liquid cement.





Iím not sure how I like the new process yet, but I want to see if it is more rugged than my previous method. It adds time to the build, but not terribly much.

One note about the PE that is installed on the this part, only the ďSĒ brackets have locations on the part. The tie downs have to placed based on arrows in the instructions, which is imprecise to say the least. I put down simple grids of Tamiya tape and used them to make the part locations mirror as much as possible.

Hope this info helps.
PRH001
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Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2019 - 02:46 PM UTC
Well, this is the time consuming part for me. Bending and installing PE details and fitting panels seems to take forever...





As you can see, there was a slight issue with the rearmost engine deck panel fit once the forward panel was cemented in place. Once the forward most edge was cemented squarely, it cause some offset with the rear panel.







The forward sand shield brackets are fairly thick, so annealing is mandatory to get them in place. Additionally, I shaved the locating seam off to get the best fit. The instructions donít show the bends required so I referred to photos to make the bends.





The taillight brackets were installed, and Iíll install the actual lights at a later time since they are very easy to knock off.



Iíve had to order an appropriate tow cable since there isnít one in my kit, so Iíll be skipping forward a bit to begin on the bogey assemblies in the interim.



ivanhoe6
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Posted: Monday, December 16, 2019 - 12:10 AM UTC
Looking good Paul !
Would you use Kimmo's technique for mounting itty bitty pieces of PE again?
I'm off to the folks in a couple of hours for the Holidays. So taking the opportunity to wish you & yours a Merry Christmas !
PRH001
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Posted: Monday, December 16, 2019 - 01:33 AM UTC
Hmmm, thatís not decided yet. Iím trying to give it a good evaluation before jumping to a conclusion. There are places like the sand skirt brackets on this model where it is not practical because the part canít fit with the 5 thou installed at both surfaces. Iím not sure itís any easier or stronger than my previous method of using gap-filling super glue. The primary benefit is being able to adhere the part and set it aside to cure and then quickly install it once itís ready. Like I said, the jury is still out on this technique.

Merry Christmas and enjoy the time with your family!
PRH001
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Posted: Thursday, December 26, 2019 - 04:46 PM UTC
Well I didnít touch the Grant through the Christmas holiday. Instead, I spent time with the family. Today I finally sat down and started working on the running gear.

To perform cleanup on the wheel assemblies, I cut a brass mandrel on my lathe that is a press fit into the wheels. This is chucked into the lathe and the wheels are sanded with a sanding block to remove then remnants of the sprue gates. This picture shows the wheel before sanding.



The wheels are mounted between the bogey arms and when I started test fitting, I found that the pin they mount on is too thick for the hole in the wheel. Due to the softness of the plastic, I chose not to try and twist the wheel back off. Instead, I cut a brass punch to tap it back out without damaging either the wheel or the mounting pin. The oversized pin has the white arrow pointing to it and the picture also shows the punch I used to remove it.



To correct the issue I used a #44 drill bit to ream the wheel center hole. Here is the wheel mounted in the arm assembly.



Here is a photo of the parts brake down of the bogey after sorting the first wheel/arm assembly. The return roller is not shown in this picture as it was chucked up in the lathe for sprue gate removal.



Here are some shots of the entire bogey. Between test fitting, mold seam cleanup and assembly, this took most of my evening.







Hope this helps someone during their build.




ivanhoe6
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Posted: Friday, December 27, 2019 - 08:35 AM UTC
Thanks for the heads up about the fat axel on the bogie assembly !
And that's a sweet trick being able to chuck a wheel in a lathe and sand down the seams & attachment points. That is one of my least favorite chores, cleaning up wheels!
My one wish on this type of bogie systems would be that the axel would be a separate part so you could paint the rubber part of the wheel, slide it into position and pin it into place with the axel.
To my knowledge, no manufacturer has ever done that and it would be such a simple thing to do !
Happy 2020 Paul & thanks for sharing your efforts!
PRH001
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Posted: Friday, December 27, 2019 - 04:23 PM UTC
I agree with you on the individual axles. Seems like a simple concept, but I bet the companies are trying to minimize alignment problems. Cleanly molding small cylindrical parts seems to be their nemesis.

As far as the wheel cleanup goes, Iím pretty sure with some patience you could make a mandrel and do the wheel cleanup with a motor tool if you are careful and keep to the lowest speeds. Even a standard cordless drill could be used to do the same thing.

Iím definitely glad someone is finding this build log useful.

TopSmith
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Posted: Saturday, December 28, 2019 - 04:50 AM UTC
This log has influenced me to get the Grant. I enjoy desert tanks and this is one of the British tanks that I don't have. Very good build so far.
PRH001
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Posted: Saturday, December 28, 2019 - 02:16 PM UTC
So you settled on the Miniart Grant? I know you were asking about fit versus the Takom with regard to the Lee.