October 14, 2015 at 11:13 am #17129
If you enjoy working with tiny plastic parts to create detailed assemblies, then this Stage will not disappoint you when you add the seat, controls and associated details to the gunner’s platform. You then handle some rather less small components to put together the dorsal (top) gunner’s well (with its light) before adding the assembled gunner’s platform.
As usual when working with small plastic parts, cut them off the sprue carefully and as some of them are so small, it’s probably best to cut off and work with one at a time to avoid losing any. And if a really small item has unwanted plastic on it (after you’ve cut it from the sprue), you might have to take a decision about whether it’s worth attempting to trim it off and risk of damaging the part.
Sprue holding gunner’s seat, controls and details supplied with Issue 40
Dorsal turret ring supplied with Issue 41
Dorsal turret well left supplied with Issue 41
Dorsal turret well right supplied with Issue 41
Turret well light LED supplied with Issue 41
Instrument sticker (left lower) supplied with Issue 41
Instrument sticker (left upper) supplied with Issue 41
Instrument sticker (right lower) supplied with Issue 41
Instrument sticker (right upper) supplied with Issue 41
One short silver coloured self-tapping screw
Tools and other items needed
If you do everything that is described in the Stage 41 Assembly section of the magazine you will need the following:
Side cutters or similar
Needle files or fine sanding pads or sticks
Cyanoacrylate instant glue, also known as superglue
Screwdriver supplied with Issue 2
Assembling the control platform
Once you’ve cut and trimmed the platform and cushion, assemble the two parts as shown so the hole on the cushion is towards the inside of the platform.
When you test fit the seat back, note that angle it makes with the platform will be more or less correct when the rear of the upper surface of the seat cushion is parallel with the bottom edge of the seat back as shown below. You will have to hold the two parts steady for longer than usual while the bond forms to ensure they are glued together at the correct angle.
Do not mistake the bumps halfway down the sides of the seat’s rear support (being pointed to by the tip of craft knife in the photo below) for moulding flash, they fit into small depressions in the seat back so do not trim them off.
Use a tiny drop of glue on each of the four gluing spots (the two tabs at the bottom and the bumps halfway down) when you attach the support to the seat back.
The firing grips are particularly delicate and you will need to make a decision about whether to trim any flash off them. You will almost certainly need tweezers to manoeuvre the end of the shaft of the firing grips into the hole at the front of the seat. You might want to dip the end of the shaft into a spot of glue on an old piece of card, or similar, before you insert it into the hole. The pin at handle level should be facing forward and the shaft of the grips needs to be at a right angle to the platform. While the bond is forming you should be able to make small adjustments to the angle: look at the shaft from all sides to get it positioned correctly.
The pin on the front of the grips fits into and can be glued into the trumpet-shaped hole on the control mount. Dip the bottom of the control mount in glue (or apply glue to the hole with a cocktail stick) and put a spot into the trumpet shape that faces the grips, then insert the end of the control shaft into its hole on the platform and put the pin on the grips into the trumpet shape of the mount. Hold the mount steady and at a right angle to the platform while the bonds form.
The targeting computer also needs care to get it at a right angle to the platform. Apply glue before putting it into its hole and holding it steady while the glue sets.
The pivot is really small and when cutting it from the sprue, make sure you do not accidentally cut off its tiny pin that fits into the hole on the platform. If the pin is too large or will not go in because of moulding flash, very carefully file it, keeping the pin the same length but making it thinner.
The pedals can be tricky to trim. You will need good light and a steady hand if you need to remove any excess plastic from them and don’t cut off the parts of the pedal that give it an angle in relation to the platform. A dab of glue should be all you need in the holes in the platform to hold the pedals (which have tabs on their undersides that are put into the holes) in place.
The rotating base has oblong tab that fits into a matching hole in the underside of the platform. Insert the base at right angle to the platform and hold it until the glue forms its bond.
Assembling the turret well
The first bit of this is fairly easy, but bear in mind that the stickers are not identical. Those with the same shape are mirror images of each other. It’s best to get the wide ends level with the ends of the well and then stick them down.
After you’ve stuck down the stickers and before you add the light, have a test run to see how the tabs locate in their sockets when you bring the halves of the turret well together.
It’s a really good idea to hold the light in place with modelling putty, also known as ‘adhesive putty’ or ‘mounting putty’ (it is the stuff you use to stick posters to the wall).
With the light in place a small drop of glue in each of the five sockets will be enough. Hold the halves firmly together with your fingers until the bond forms.
When the walls are stuck, have test run before adding the ring, so you are absolutely sure that you can locate the tab into the socket. A dab of glue on each of the faces of the flange will do.
The rotating base has an oval lug containing a screw hole that fits into the oval hole in the platform. It can be tricky to get the self-tapping screw into this screw hole. Take it gently and carefully support the platform from the inside as shown below taking great care of the small parts on the assembly. You should aim to get the platform and the seat it carries central to the gun well and you should be able to adjust its position and hold it steady while you fully tighten the screw from below.
Tidy up and store
Put any unused parts away safely for use later. Put the assembled gun well somewhere where it will not get damaged.
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