Fitment is always an issue when you are dealing with folded steel components and there is always the fear that some of the main components will not match up. We are fairly lucky in that the front mantlet of the upper hull mates really well with the front glacis on the lower hull. However, there is a large gap at the rear hull which has to be filled. We used a quarter inch thick strip of plastic sheet epoxied and clamped to the rear hull top lip. We will use Evercoat to fill in any remaining gaps.
Installation of the upper hull
With the completion of the lower hull and installation of the running gear and tracks, we can now focus on detailing and fitment. One of the biggest areas of concern is how the upper hull matches with the lower hull. In addition, we will be adding many of the surface details such as tools, Notek lights, tow ropes etc. as we move forward with our build.
Tools and Accessories
Detailing our Panzer with the addition of tools and accessories is one of the most tedious and time consuming aspects of the assembly process. However, this is when the tank really begins to take shape.
Pictured right we have added the spare road wheel storage bin, the long pry bar, the barrel cleaning rods, the engine louver covers, the rear notek light and the rear antenna base. We crafted brass loops to secure the rod that holds the spare wheels in place. (below)
One of the last details to the front lower hull is mounting the spare track link bracket. There were three different versions of this feature and we opted for the single bar that is twisted at both ends and mounted to the front towing shackle mounts. We used 1/4 inch brass and twisted the piece in a vice.
The notek is an aftermarket unit made from white metal and photo etched brass. We added a green and red lens which is visible when the visor is either in the up, or down position. Before premanently securing the muffler to the rear hull, we custom fabricated a coolant water drain cap (right) from brass.
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Okay, there is a lot that has happened in this picture. We have bolted down the upper hull and applied Evercoat to the area that was built up with styrene. Next, we added a brass 90 degree rail with 3/48 nuts and screws. The brass rail was glued to the lip of the upper hull after shaping the contour for the port located on the far right. We test fit the muffler to get our proportions right and voila!
Our next move is to add the muffler, the coolant drain cap, a turned aluminum pintle mount and we are just about finished. We opted to use styrene strips for the muffler strapping since its easy to work with and produced the desired results (see below).