Friday, 28 November 2014
Universal Carrier Mk II - Part 2
First off I need to admit to a mistake regarding the Australian and English versions of the Universal Carrier. The Australian model differed a little more than I first thought. This has been brought to light by further research. Basically, the bow plates on the Australian version are much simplified compared to the English version. I am therefore modelling the English version,(but with Aussie wheels) and I am also modelling the Australian version. Anyway, on to the next part of the build - "Making Tracks"
Once the wheels, drive sprockets, suspension arms and return roller have been affixed to the hull sides, a strip of .10 thou plastic sheet is attached to the roller midway at the top and allowed to dry. The mini clamps are used to set the track sag, which was a very prominent feature on the real vehicles. Once the strip has dried, it is further glued to the top of the drive sprocket and return roller. The strip is then worked around the wheels, gluing and clamping as you go. The join is at the bottom of one of the road wheels.
Once the .10 thou strip has had time to dry off completely, the track's treads are applied. In this instance .20 x .60 thou strip was cut to the required length on the NWSL Chopper. These strips were then applied, 5 at a time to each track section. I would apply 5 to one side and then 5 to the other. This helps me to keep the spacing correct. After the treads have been applied to the .10 thou, it stiffens up quite well. The treads are simplifications of the real ones but still give the right impression.
After the treads have been applied to the tracks, the "running boards" can be attached. Just prior to this the mudguard sides (back and front) are attached. The running boards were cut from .30 thou sheet. It may be noticed from the above photos that the suspension springs are missing from the suspension units. They will be added later in the build as they are a little fiddly and could be knocked off during the construction phase.
Once the running boards have dried, the little rear mudguards and the curved front ones can be added. The rear ones are fairly straight forward, but the front ones require a little more effort. Firstly, .30 strip is formed around a suitable former (pen, modelling knife handle, etc) until the required curve is obtained. This then curved just that little bit further to reduce the "spring" of plastic. After cutting to the required length, it is attached with plastic cement along most of its length, leaving the curved part unglued. This is left to dry thoroughly. (at least three to four hours,preferably overnight). The curved section is then attached to the mudguard side with superglue,holding it in place until set. Any excess is then trimmed off and the whole running board/mudguard assembly given a light sand.