On The Bench

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AS-90 Braveheart - SPG
Trumpeter
Scale: 1/35



Started: 11 November 2005
Finished: 26 November 2005
Gallery: Link to finished model
Looking for some light relief from aircraft models, I settled on the relatively cheap 1/35 Trumpeter AS-90. I have always had a liking for the self propelled guns and wanting to tackle something "mostly out-of-the-box", figured this was a good choice. Never wanting to make my life easy, I set myself an aggresive target of completing this kit from purchase to completion of two weeks (to enable me to enter into our annual IPMS competition). What follows is a very short photo diary of some of the details I added along the way.
Figure 1 One of the first areas that needed attention was the kit 'turn indicator' covers. This pic shows the before and after versions.
Figure 2 A shot of the righthand indicators. Copper sheet was used to build a more scale sized cover.
Figure 4 New smoke dispensers where built from rod and copper sheet. Once the new tubes had been finished, additional angled spacers where needed to ensure the correct angle to the turret was obtained.
Figure 5 A simple enhancement was to replace the molded safety light with clear plastic rod. In fact this section of clear rod came from a aircraft kit canopy sprue. The was in turn painted with Tamiya clear orange and masked for final painting.
Figure 6 Lots of small details can be added to the Trumpeter turret to give a 'busy' (and more accurate) look. It all helps to acheive the impression of realism..
Figure 7 The Trumpeter kit comes with no figure. This chap is the spare figure from the Tamiya Challenger I kit. Notice the additional detailing on the scope site and the hatch handle.
Figure 8 The fit of the four sides of this gun base was not so good. To ensure a good job on cleaning the side and front seams, I decided to remove the raised detail from the kit. This was then replaced using 10thou card and bolt heads with the Punch and Die set. The grey paint is Alclad primer used to check the filling and sanding results.
Figure 9 The turret detail from the left side.Many of the Trumpeter parts are accurate in shape but incorrectly aligned to the hull. The pick heads are a good example of this.
Figure 10 Some small additional detail added to the shovels in the form of brass handle clamps.
Figure 11 The equipment basket on the turret would benefit from the use of brass mesh, but for the sake of speed and cost I decided to go with the kit mesh. The fit of the basket sides is not the best.
Figure 12 Shown to good advantage here, the smoke dispensers are correctly positioned at an outward angle thanks to the plasticard wedge.
Figure 13 Most of the parts in the kit needed attention to remove ejection pin marks etc. Here you can see the ammo boxes on either side of the main gun needed card and filler to look decent..
Figure 14 Here Milliput has been used to simulate a welded seam. This is quick and looks quite effective when painted and weathered.
Figure 15 Using tissue paper to make tarpaulin covers is cheap, quick and looks pretty good in my opinion. The tissue is soaked in PVA glue and water which makes it flexible enough to conform to the shape you want and as it dries the PVA glue hardens and forces the tissue to hold its shape.
Figure 16 Here we can seen the tow cable (brass picture wire) and more tarpulins have been added to the hull.
Figure 17 The left side normally carries a rolled up tent. Again tissue paper has been used. A light coat of Tamyia Khaki has been applied to test the result..
Figure 18 Many of the fine details in the kit benefit with replacement with brass or copper wire. A more in-scale result is produced..
Figure 19 The commanders sight has been corrected and detailed with plasticard. The center section will be fitted with the lense (from clear plasticard) when final painting is complete.
Figure 20 Some of the tools attached to the hull of the AS90 are wrapped in cloth. Here I have experiemented with using common household aluminium foil to simulate cloth. I was very happy with the result.
Figure 21 The barrel clamp needed some minor detailing. Whilst not of significance to me as I will not be stowing the barrel, I did notice that the arm seems overly long and would need to be shortened if you intend to display the model in a travel configuration.
Figure 22 When in the field, AS90's will stow their rear view mirrors to ensure they do not get damaged. The kit parts to not allow for this, so I took the opportunity to detail/adjust them.
Figure 23 Another view of the finer brass details.
Figure 24 I decided not to fit all 3 of the ammunition boxes on the upper hull. Doing so meant I had to add the unused straps from lead foil.
Figure 25 The model was painted in a single sitting (not something I am used to on aircraft models). The model as was painted with Tamiya NATO Green and NATO Black with the detail being picked out using Valejo Acrylics.
Figure 26 The decals where applied using Future. This meant a coat of gloss was not needed over the entire model (as is my cutom for aircraft).
Figure 27 With the decals on and detail painting complete, final assembly (of road wheeels and tracks) is not far away.
Figure 28 A final view showing the 'clean' colours of the Tamiya NATO paints. Even with light weathering, these colours blended into each other quite easily (as is eveident on photos of the real thing).
Figure 29 The finished result. For a full gallery of photos of the finished model, click here

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