Pictured above is the right front mudguard complete and ready for primer and paint. We opted not to add a side wall due to the amount of time and effort needed for a detail that would not be readily seen. We added spare track link brackets to the front glacis, finished up any remaining weld details and will apply touch up primer and paint in 24 hours after the welds have cured.
Work on the lower hull continues as we direct our attention to the front mud guards. The stock mud guards are one solid unit although a piano hinge was epoxied at the seam to give the illusion that it was functional. We decided to take on the task of cutting through the mud guard and then add scale hinges for greater accuracy etc. We are a bit nervous about using a die grinder on the mud guards but hope that the finished results will be worth the effort.
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We began by prying off the simulated piano hinge as well as a strip of steel that had been bonded to the mud guard. We were lucky that it had not been welded permanently. We used a four inch die grinder to cut through the 1/4 inch steel. Removal of the mudguard went well and after cleaning up the surfaces we will go on to the next step of creating hinges, side plates, grab handles and brackets for the extensions. Ugh.
We have successfully removed the two front mudguards and began cleaning up the edges with the die grinder. We took our trusty Dremel and etched a seam along what would have been the edge of the mudguard extension. We made brackets for the two mudguard extensions out of brass strip and 3/43 brass screws. Weld detail will be added next. Each mudguard will receive a brass or styrene plate along the inside of the mudguard since the stock units somehow did not come with one. At the same time, we will start making hinges out of brass strip and tubing. Whew.
Once again, there is a lot going on in these pictures above. We have fabricated scale hinges from brass strip and tubing. We secured the hinges to the hull using JB weld and will add epoxy sculpt for weld detail but more importantly to provide an even stronger bond. The middle picture shows the mudguard working perfectly. Pictured right is the finished mud guard. We added a grab rail, locking mechanism, and extension flange with rivets.
Pictured above are the mudguards with extension brackets installed. We have made two sets of brass hinges and will begin a trial fit of the mudguard next. We are using the book "Superking" by David Cooper as a major reference source. The book not only documents his build of the Trumpeter King Tiger but contains a large number of excellent photos of abandoned or partially restored King Tigers. Highly recommended.