Good evening everyone,
Here we go!
Construction report No. 1: Gallian APC - Two become one or ... what the heck am I doing?
Actually, this report happened a few days ago - I already have done quite some progress, but as translating that would take way too much time, I still will translate sole parts of the whole process and continue to keep a steady flow of information.
Despite the fact I wanted to start the Gallian Hetzer first, I somehow found it more appealing to begin with the Gallian APC, which in the forums I am presenting my work progress has already become known as "251/full tracked Half-track".
But as the original length of the tank running gears I possess and the length of the 251 Half-track do not allow both to be merged, I had to rethink the whole design of what I was planning.
Welkin, Alicia - no matter my reasons, I am sure that I am wrong in changing the vehicle's design on my own. Please forgive me.
But let's start from the beginning.
On the German tabletop event "Tactica" I was able to get some old and cheap tanks, which included a pioneer tank II with a running gear long enough to fit to the chassis of a SDKFZ 250/1 Half-track.
Being a good soldier, I throw away the original construction manual and started to build the whole vehicle as some kind of a scratch build, only using the design pictures from the Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive.
After trying different ways of matching 250/1 hull to the P II running gear, I realized that this whole thing wouldn't be an easy job to be done. Did I mention that this will be the first conversion I ever made? (okay, yeah, ignoring those Elysian drop trooper poses I did a while ago, right).
So as it is always suggested: Give it the best of both worlds, meaning the vehicle will be done using the upper hull and the lower body of the SDKFZ and match it to the running gear and several body parts of the P II Pionierkampfwagen.
Wait - what? Right! The whole body of the P II has to be severed from its outer parts. So please - all WWII fanatics - look away! The next picture will be cruel and brutal!
After having separated the track cover panels (I don't even know how those things are called in German), I started to go on with the P II running gear.
Constructing the pivot arms was quite easy. Just cut them out, polish them a little and attach them to the running gear.
The wheels instead turned out to be a far difficult job. First question: Which to choose? I had those P II wheels, being much closer to the original vehicle or the SDKFZ wheels, being closer the VC vehicle? Finally I decided to use wheels from both vehicles. The main drive spocket and track idler belong to the P II, while all the running wheels were taken from the 250/1.
There was a lot of work to do - drill holes, cut sprues away and polish the whole thing, to make those wheels fit to the pivot arms.
Then I had to put all this stuff together.
To do so, I had to hack the track cover panels into pieces to file them again, before attaching them to the lower body of the 250.
Then I glued the upper body parts of the vehicle together. It's fitting was like ...
And my mood went straight down to ....
Why, that is something I will go on later with. For now, let me tell you that it took about half an hour before everything was into place and I was able to do some test fitting with the upper and lower half.
Well - I somehow assumed that something like this was about to happen. It did not fit. The gaps being between those body parts were way too big to just plug some green stuff into it.
Unfortunately I was to discover that both parts were already glued together and I wasn’t able to separate them again.
So I started to saw, cut away several parts and chop elements from the vehicles upper body to make them fit.
I was near to finished when the newborn vehicle started to understand and finally came apart, as does the bikini of a busty lady after being pulled down for too long – like hers:
In the end I was able to finish the work just to glue all the parts to together again and realize that the gaps I tried to close had opened even wider. I sliced way too much off the vehicle.
What the heck am I doing and why come I somehow feel ridiculous right now?
Yay … okay, back to work. First I had to get back to the Artwork book to reassure I am still on track to build a Gallian APC. As you can see, the Gallian APC originally has some storage boxes on its left side. And I want those to be on at least one side of my model, too.
So let’s have a look into the spare parts box … where we find … oh, hm – storage boxes! Well, well, this looks great!
Then I finally managed to put upper and lower half together. Me happy Squidward!
But then again needed to file, file and file until the whole thing looked “great”. Then it was time to do the vehicles crew a favor and fill the remaining gaps. Green stuff proved to be the perfect choice for this.
In the end the vehicle looked like this:
Next update is already on its way!