Tuesday, 6 January 2015
Universal Carrier - Part 4
Construction started on the internal structures and the first of these to be tackled was the bulkhead separating the driver from the engine compartment. Again .30 thou sheet was used with the radiator inlet opening cut and the air intakes? made up from suitably sized strip. The Australian model differed in this respect in having an intake mounted on top of the bulkhead rather than in it.
Next up was the radiators themselves. Three masters were made (less mesh) and simple one piece castings were made. Fine brass mesh was then measured and cut to size and glued in. The radiators were then attached to the bulkhead at the rear. In the photo below you can see the completed masters and the radiator covers which enclosed the radiator. The radiator covers were two part constructions which consisted of a rectangular box and a semi triangular sort of box which led from the air intakes to the radiator itself.
The photo below shows a completed radiator housing and the radiators with the brass mesh fitted.
The engine covers were then constructed, again from .30 thou strip for the sides, .40 thou for the floor and .10 thou for panelling. These were straightforward boxes (that sloped). The little grab handles I made up from C channel that had it's edges lightly rounded off and sliced to the correct size on the "Chopper"
The mesh at the rear of the engine cover was cut from Eduard's Rhomboid Mesh 8 x 8.
A surround was made up from .15 thou strip to form a frame, the mesh cut to size and applied and then .10 thou strip was added over the sides to neaten it all up. A tip when using this very fine mesh is to lay some good quality masking tape (the type that won't lift paint) over the mesh and then you mark out the required size and cut it out with a good pair of scissors. The tape/mesh is applied to the surface and using a fine pointed tool and tweezers, the tape can then be removed with fear of distorting/tearing the mesh.
The engine covers were left unattached to the hulls at this time as I felt it would be easier to undercoat everything with them off.
The valances/sandshields were made up from .20 thou sheet and detailed with the little step and the reinforcing strips and applied to the vehicles. Also the two strips of "T"section on the bow plates were added using very fine Plastruct "T" section. The spare wheel was also sited and temporarily applied. The above photo illustrates the Australian Carrier, with its curved air intake above the bulkhead. The Australian version also differed in the shape of the front valances. Also visible is the 3 inch Mortar I am making for a Mortar Carrier version. I am using the mortar that comes with the Airfix British Infantry Support Group set as reference.
When I first started this project I thought I would make the 2 Pdr and Mortar Carrier versions of the Carrier as used by the Australian Army. The 2 Pdrs were not utilised by the Australians during the war but were used for training and the majority of the Mortar Carriers were sent to China as aid for the Chinese Nationalist Army. However further research showed that these versions were made using an extended chassis but the same number of road wheels etc. So two more hulls/chassis were made up and construction started on these. They will be the subject of a later post. This however gave me two additional basic Carrier hulls.
And finally, just to show that it is not all Hi Tech on my workbench, here is an example of a jury rigged gluing method for gluing the inner valances to the curved top plate. Basically I'm using the weight of the model to ensure the mating surfaces are in contact with each other whilst the glue dries.
As Plato said "Necessity is the Mother of Invention"!!