Tiger 1 and Whippet Update: “There’s an old saying in Tennessee…

Well, well, well! Here we are after a brief absence. I will admit I meant to fire out a build update last weekend, but I am glad I waited: there is progress afoot! I find that I am starting to find a rhythm for documenting these builds now, as I don’t want to overwhelm everyone with so many minor steps that it gets boring. So, we will shooting for broader strokes now.

Admittedly, I haven’t had my nose fully on the grindstone lately. The commute to work and poor sleep patterns have sapped a lot of my energy. In attempt to get some more rest in, I’ve cut back a bit on my weekend and weekday modelling time. I hope to reverse this temporary lull in production soon though. The models must flow.

Tiger I

Let me started off with quoting a classic knee slapper from  George W. Bush.

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”― George W. Bush

I know in my previous post, I was pretty pumped to have finished my first real Dragon Model. I even willingly undertook a new Dragon Model build. Sure things were going well with this Tiger I, but I knew in my heart that Dragon would betray me again. Fool me once, shame on me. Well I have let myself be fooled again! We have hit our first real brick wall of shitty fitting parts and what I believe to be bad kit engineering. And like a swift kick to the junk, it stings!

I am not sure why Dragon decided to make the top of the lower hull its own separate plate that has to sandwich cleanly in the tub of the lower hull. Normally, I do not think this would be too much of an issue: be careful, glue, clamp. However, I have noticed that some of the larger pieces of this kit (like the front plate holding the driver’s vision slit and the bow Maschinengewehr) were warped. Upon assembling these crucial parts (basically the entire top of the lower hull) I have run into bad fitting parts. This means ugly gaps to fill and more time wasted doing clean up. Really would have liked to have seen the top of the hull molded as one piece with the side armor of the tank. In fact, it really pisses me off. Once again, Dragon strikes again. Dragon serious need to cut down their kit part count down by 1/4, improve their kit engineering (take a god damn clue to from Tamiya), and improve there instructions. Seriously! There is some bullshit afoot in the instructions. There have been several instances where I have ignored the instructions fully and installed pieces in a much for logical and workable pattern. If I had followed what Dragon told me too, I would have messed up the kit already! Geez oh man! Get your act together. We pay you enough god damn money for your kits!

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The author’s anger is mounting into a supernova of 1 billion stars exploding in unison.

Despite this issue (thanks Dragon, you suck), the tank is looking pretty good. All the holes have been drilled to fit pioneer tools and accessories. There looks to be quite a bit of tiny photo-etch in the next set of steps, so I am very apprehensive to continue. I don’t know if its just a lack of experience or the very delicate nature of photo-etch, but I just seem to have bad luck when working with it. I guarantee some amusing (for you) blunders (pain and self-loathing incoming for me) will occur.

Now onto the progress:

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Front of the tank is looking quite good. The horse shoe really is the focal point and really bad ass. The bow mounted machine gun is fully depicted inside the tank (8 separate parts, if I recall?), never to be seen again.

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All of the holes are drilled out for accessory mounting. There is quite a bit, so the top of the lower hull should be quite interesting.

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Note the nasty gap on the right side. Thankfully, it is not too bad. A shame that such a nice model has an awful defect. I also love how the entire engine fan system I slaved away on is complete covered up and has another layer of grille work to be added to obscure it further. Ugh.

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Tracks are trimmed and looking quite awesome. Can’t wait to get these painted up and finalized. Tracks build up well because they were not made by Dragon Models.

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It has been a tragic turn of events. But, we will get it cleaned up.

That being said, it seems history has proven one fact: it wouldn’t be a Brett model build without some kind of screw up. I am quite confident there will be more of those to come.

Whippet

This is one I am actually rather excited to share as some very promising progress has been made and I am feeling much better about the build. May I present the current state of the Takom 1/35 Mk. A Whippet.

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Base colors are laid down, but I was really unhappy with the stripes on the sponsons. Too many bolts and rivets were letting paint bleed through. Looks like dogshit in this photo.

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Overall, I was happy with the color scheme chosen. There is really no definitive ruling on what the exact Whippet base color was, so I used a little artistic license. Kiss my ass, rivet counters.

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The upper stripes came out clean and clear. Going to really look nice when the decals are added.

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I fixed up the sponson stripes by painting them by hand. Looks so much better. I also hit the lower parts of the tank with a dust coat to wash out the stark contrast.

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Tracks were also coated lightly with a dust coat to mute them a bit. These will be heavily weathered as the build progresses. Love those clean stripes. These will be muted down a little bit later.

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Again, the stripes were hand painted to clarify and clean up the demarcation. I also started painting small details like the base coat of rust on the exhaust.

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Next I will be painting the machine guns, track spuds, and asbestos wrapped exhausts before applying decals.

That just goes to show you (or me, rather) that just because you bugger things up initially, doesn’t mean you can’t fix them. Every model is a learning experience and a path to improved excellence. I am really digging this model now, even though I was really disheartened by it initially. We will make it skookum, yet.

All in all, not too shabby. I am dreading the photo-etch on the Tiger I and am thrilled to continue the painting on the Whippet. As I have mentioned before, I love to paint but not to build. Suppose I better make friends with the building part (can’t seem to avoid it).

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My reaction after reviewing the large amount of minute photo-etch bending to come.

Thanks for reading! More to come.

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