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WIP: Rheinmetall 12,8cm K44 L/55
Tailor
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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Joined: May 26, 2008
KitMaker: 1,168 posts
Armorama: 256 posts
Posted: Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 10:30 AM UTC
Rheinmetall 12,8cm K44 L/55
1/35; Great Wall Hobbies
and according add on set by Great Wall Hobbies
Build up review/Work in Progress


Gentlemen-

About 6 weeks ago I got a hold of the latest release by the model makers from Shanghai.
The kit was duly reviewed here:
12,8cm Rheinmetall K44 L/55
Promising to be a nice kit right out of the box I still waited for the add-on set providing photo etched shields and a lathe turned barrel. The set finally arrived last week. Having a free week, I started the build on Monday and have invested 22 hours by now (including taking photos).

Sticking to the instruction I started with the mounting, which was straight forward. Minimal clean up was required. I want to draw your attention to two points, however:
The button holding the turntable from the inside of the mounting doesn’t even require glue to stay in place, however the stub on the bottom of the turntable needs shortening to prevent the tuntable from being instable. Furthermore there are two ejector marks on the bottom plate of the mounting that will be visible, while the gun is shown in the deployed setup, if not cleaned up. So please mind the two injector marks on the two short arms of the mounting cross bottom plate, i.e. the ones that can be folded.



On to the ext step I started the detachable travelling bogie. Again there were no pitfalls to be found. There are a few miniscule sink marks on the swing arms, but I found them to be small enough to ignore them. Remarkable is the use of two large metal springs inside of the suspension and the nickel plated lead wire to represent the break lines. Only on second inspection I found that the lead wire is indeed a tube! Still I wasn’t able to widen it enough to attach it to the fitting stubs, so superglue did the job when attaching them. To fit the steel wheels properly into place the axle pins need to be shortened a bit to prevent them from wobbling about.





Keeping true to the assembly instruction I continued to prepare sub assemblies for the main carriage.






The fit of the parts is exemplary, so the building went on in a race continuing to build block, lock and cradle, while the glue on former subassemblies dried.
On the block are three sink marks that are very shallow, however I still decided to fill them with putty impeding a speedy build of this subassembly. Inside the cradle are two recuperators, which you can hardly see. There was a line to be filled between the two cradle parts right beneath the gun lock. Looking a bit awkward at fist it turned out to be fixed easily with a cut-to-size sanding pad.







While the putty on the block was drying, I started various subassemblies for the mounting, such as the gunner’s seat, sight, training equipment, and the balance of the wheels required for the build.







The equilibrator cylinders were a bit of a pain to make, when trying to make them movable to be able to elevate the gun. It worked out OK in the end, but it took some blood, sweat and tears. Patience is of the essence as are good tools. The much easier way is -of cause- to give up on gun elevation and just use the equilibrator cylinders in the lowered position.



Even though I had the add-on set in hand I did assemble the gun shields and the barrel as provided in the kit.
The shields went together like a dream and they are really very thin. When building the PE shields I recommend NOT to stick to the instruction. I found it almost impossible to assemble the double shield without damaging them, in the way it is show there. The easier way was to fold the inner shield first and then attach the spacing stubs only to the sides and to the outer row on the glacier plate. Then I attached the outer shield with the inner row of stubs glued in place. Now I folded the front plate back and the subs went into place without any trouble. Then I ran some super glue along the open seam and held them in place for a few seconds: Done!







Of cause I’ll be using the PE shields, but I honestly think that I would have been quite happy with what the kit supplied in plastic.

Now the real deal is the gun barrel in the add-on kit. The plastic parts in the kit are nice and will serve those very well, who don’t want to spend the extra buck. However the assembly and clean up to hide the seams seemed to take forever. The assembly of the lathe turned barrel on the other hand took but all of 30 seconds, with no seams to clean up of cause. I am certain that after priming and painting the differences will be even more obvious.






Until here the kit was all it promised to be. I am having a lot of fun with the build. It has a bit of a challenge or two installed for you, but nothing that an average modeller couldn’t overcome. A bit of care should be taken when reading the instructions: sometimes the hold a riddle, but they are mostly easy to solve when looking at the parts properly.
This isn’t a shake’n’bake kit: The parts count is surprisingly high and to get a best result you need to clean up the parts, use glue sparingly, dry fit continuously and read the instruction carefully, as in EVERY other kit. However, there is NOTHING bad or misshapen about it (so far). I have seen far worse in most recent releases from other Chinese makers.

I am now heading towards putting the sub-assemblies into bigger units, while I am already striving towards the finish of the build.

Not bad! Not bad at al!

I hope you like the review and WIP. I welcome comments and questions!

Cheers,
Guido
Tailor
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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Joined: May 26, 2008
KitMaker: 1,168 posts
Armorama: 256 posts
Posted: Friday, August 20, 2010 - 09:09 AM UTC
- WIP continued -

Due to much action in the garden, I had little at the workbench only.

It was enough to test fit the carriage assembly in both deployed and travelling position.





However most of my time I spent on putting together the smaller sub-assemblies of the gun.

The fit was flawless, but there are no means to fix the equilibrator cylinders into place. To keep them movable, I manufactured two small discs from styrene sheet with holes fitting the positioning pins using my Waldron P&D. The instruction doesn’t give any clues, but I guess the buttoning them up with a heated screwdriver would do the job, as would gluing the cylinders into place for a fixed assembly.





Last not least, the gun shields went into place. Fitting them was quite easy.







Right after taking the photos the sub-assemblies received their first coat of primer, which is drying as I write this.

I will probably not be able to continue the build this week due to other obligations, but I am convinced, that I should be able to finish the build by mid of next week.
By now I have invested 25 hours in to this build including photo shooting.

Have a nice weekend!
Cheers,
Guido
MrMox
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Aarhus, Denmark
Joined: July 18, 2003
KitMaker: 3,377 posts
Armorama: 1,088 posts
Posted: Friday, August 20, 2010 - 11:31 AM UTC
It would seam that the good Guido have drifted to the darkest side of modelling, very dangerous my friend. Aside from that, nice build and description, looking forward seeing your paintjob on it.

Take care and a good weekend to you too!
Tailor
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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Joined: May 26, 2008
KitMaker: 1,168 posts
Armorama: 256 posts
Posted: Friday, August 20, 2010 - 08:27 PM UTC
Hi, Jan!
Dangerous indeed: Cut meself with that old Olaf knife just yesterday....
Oh well, you know that everybody needs a change of pace. After having finished 4 ships within 11 months with a fifth 50% done, I seriously needed one. And my No.1 distraction is Artillery: Flak, Pak, SP or field pieces all are welcome. I even have a few Fine Mold limited run naval artillery sets in 1/35. The problem is only that there too few hours in my day.
Having this great kit, I certainly felt compelled to put a few words in writing out there about it.
Cheers,
Guido



vonHengest
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Texas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2010
KitMaker: 5,854 posts
Armorama: 4,817 posts
Posted: Friday, August 20, 2010 - 08:37 PM UTC
This kit is tempting me to buy it every time I see it on the shelf at my LHS. I'm looking forward to seeing how your build turns out.
GALILEO1
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Maryland, United States
Joined: April 18, 2006
KitMaker: 1,794 posts
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Posted: Friday, August 20, 2010 - 11:36 PM UTC
WOW, this thing looks awesome!! Great job on this one, Guido! Very clean build. I'll start mine in a few weeks, as soon as I get some other arty kits out of the way.

Looking forward to more pictures...

Rob
Plasticbattle
#003
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Donegal, Ireland
Joined: May 14, 2002
KitMaker: 9,762 posts
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Posted: Saturday, August 21, 2010 - 01:58 AM UTC
Hi Guido. The kit and build look great. So clean .... no glue, putty or marks of any kind ... good signs for this kit, and a testament to your build skills. Looking forward to more.
Gorizont
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Sachsen, Germany
Joined: November 28, 2007
KitMaker: 1,462 posts
Armorama: 1,289 posts
Posted: Saturday, August 21, 2010 - 03:59 AM UTC
Nice build and kit!

I´ve never seen images of this gun (and others) before the kits came out.
Also "big T" (Trumpeter) has announced one.
I had some artillery plans, but perhaps I can build some (or one) of them.

greetings...
Soeren
woltersk
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Utah, United States
Joined: May 27, 2003
KitMaker: 1,026 posts
Armorama: 654 posts
Posted: Saturday, August 21, 2010 - 04:57 AM UTC
Guido,
Beautiful work on the kit and equally well done job on those photos! They are crisp, clear, and the lighting is well balanced. Great Wall Hobbies could use them in their advertising. What kind of camera do you have and what kind of light box setup are you using?

About the kit: is the metal gun barrel a little smaller in diameter then the kit provided one, or is it just a perspetive thing in the photo?

Looking forward to more.

Keith
Tailor
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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Joined: May 26, 2008
KitMaker: 1,168 posts
Armorama: 256 posts
Posted: Sunday, August 22, 2010 - 04:49 AM UTC
Gentlemen-

Thank you very much for your kind comments. It really means a lot.
I am having a little time before hitting nightshift to reply to your comments and show the progress in painting.

Indeed there is little information about this gun to be found, so it doesn’t really speak for the name that the gun had made for itself. Anyway, Trumpi coming up with it’s version I am rather unenthusiastic: Comparing their Falk 43 with the GWH kit, Trumpi is clearly falling behind. Of cause there is a price difference, but IMHO every penny translates into quality. I fear that the giant Trumpi release will hurt the dwarf GWH and may impede future releases. But then again: competition is good for the business, as the consumer is (supposed to be) the winner in the end. However, knowing the owner of Lion Roar/GWH I am admittedly a bit partial. Still, I am having a very big number of Trumpi kits in my stash, too.
What little you can see of glue, filler, and marks is testament to a great kit rather than my skill. With some patience and a steady hand, I wager, everybody can do it as cleanly.

Concerning photography, I am using a Canon Power Shot Pro1 for a bout 6-7years now. I am very content with this camera; it does have a lot of useful features. At one point I decided to not buy another expensive resin kit for my stash, but used a special sale at a professional photographer’s supplier and bought a set of three lamps and a good tripod. The lamps are using energy-saving 26W/5000K daylight bulbs. The lamps came complete with telescope stands and diffuser covers. I crafted a 60cm wide, 40cm high, and 60cm deep box with a curved back from plywood. The size of the box was taken as artist’s stores provide fitting cheap coloured cardboards. Either side wall is covered with self-adhesive mirror-foil for improved light dispersion. The whole arrangement is set up in the basement of our house, as is my workshop.



Barrel diameter: Indeed the lathe turned barrel is slightly thinner in some portions, which is further enhanced by perspective. I haven't measured the difference, but it is a visible, even though slight differnce.

WIP continued:

As said earlier, I had already started priming the subassemblies. The mating surfaces of turntable and mounting are masked off with liquid mask from Humbrol. I love to prime my kits black, as I want to avoid monochromatic appearance of the paint from the airbrush. The coloured paint has hard time to cover up the underlying black, providing me with and uneven look. Of cause that’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but it is certainly making my day.



To further exploit this non-covering effect, I do not brush on only one shade of yellow.
The base colour is Revell No. 88 (ocker). Maybe it is not the greatest match with the omnipresent Panzer-yellow, but I am in strict opposition of the colour mafia, anyway.
Back on the subject I start to paint all undersides and recesses with toned down 88. Then I spray all middle surfaces with pure 88 and finally cover all upper and top surfaces with lightened 88.

Shades:


Step 1:


Step 2: (Using a white backdrop to force camera is shorter lens aperture, thus better showing the cloudy appearance after this paint run)


Step 3:


Step 4 remains undocumented as applying flat clear coat doesn’t make for a good photo.

Now I will take a bit of rest before heading off to work.

Next time I shall finish final assembly and apply a bit of weathering!

See you then and Stay tuned to the Kitmaker Network!

Cheers,
Guido

PS.: 27 hours and counting...
chefchris
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: February 06, 2006
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Posted: Sunday, August 22, 2010 - 06:07 AM UTC
Guido - Stunning work and excellent photography.......

Chris
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
KitMaker: 7,275 posts
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Posted: Sunday, August 22, 2010 - 10:30 AM UTC
You may not have reached this stage yet, but I think you may have a bit of looseness in fitting the barrel to the breech, seeing as you are using the metal barrel. In your comparison photo above, the metal barrel seems to be overall slightly smaller in diameter than the plastic part. On my example the base of the plastic gun barrel has a slightly smaller diameter than the corresponding hole in the breech block - maybe just .5 mm. I thought there must be another stepdown ring between the two, but no. You may end up with nearly a full millimetre discrepency between the two parts!
hedorah59
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California, United States
Joined: May 04, 2009
KitMaker: 123 posts
Armorama: 121 posts
Posted: Monday, August 23, 2010 - 09:36 AM UTC
Great write-up so far - I have one of these kits in the stash, so I will be watching your every step here!
Tailor
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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Joined: May 26, 2008
KitMaker: 1,168 posts
Armorama: 256 posts
Posted: Sunday, August 29, 2010 - 08:11 AM UTC

Gentlemen,

Thanks again for your warm words of encouragement.


Now, I have had a bit of bad luck with the last layer of yellow and clear coat. I guess one of them was too rich and created a rough surface texture on he shields that I would have loved to create on a cast tank turret. Here however, it was quite out of place, so I removed the shields, stripped them, and re-applied the colour coats. In between the various stages of repainting, I weathered the other sub-assemblies. I used, washes with oil paint, pigments from Artitec, black pastels, and Tamiya’s Weathering Master’s Oil-Black. As there had not been any notable deployment the gun will be shown in testing range situation. Such situation allows reasonable weathering and signs of use.




Some time I invested in painting wheels and details. I think the rain streaks on the shield are a tad bit too obvious. I will have to do something about that.



Biggles-
I see your point, but as it happens the lathe turned barrel does fit the gun block like a glove.
Actually I do recommend to everyone using the alumin(i)um barrel to mask off the block opening to avoid colour build up before inserting the barrel and – especially, if you plan to prime the barrel- mask off the portion that will be inserted into the block. Both of which I did not do in my build: The fit in my case was so tight, I had problems getting the barrel aligned properly after giving up hope to ever get in out again.
I haven’t taken pics, yet, but they are soon to follow.

Cheers,
Guido
GALILEO1
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Maryland, United States
Joined: April 18, 2006
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Posted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - 01:16 AM UTC
Excellent progress on this one, Guido!! Really like how it is turning up. Keep up the good work!

Rob
Tailor
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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Joined: May 26, 2008
KitMaker: 1,168 posts
Armorama: 256 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 05:44 AM UTC
Gentlemen,

I am finished... kind of...

I seem to have lost the lead wire for making the break lines for the fixed wheels.
As well I have decided to show the gun without the engineering tools attached to the shields, as these, I think, would have been added to a gun in deployment but not in testing range situation. ( I could be wrong, of cause!)
Anyway, here is what you get for your money when building this kit:

















I say that I am very satisfied with the kit, even though it indeed has a weak spot. Apparently, it's been moulded after the one gun still in existence somewhere in the US and as such correct. However, the picture on the box top shows one of the K44s in the factory with a pair of fenders for the front wheel assembly and a back rest for the gunner’s chair, both of which have been omitted in the kit. I reckon that GHW would not want to risk a bashing for “guessing” these parts into existence.

Seeing that this kit builds into a very impressive model, with great detail and an unexpected ease of construction, I would raise my initial review score to 99% given that lack the fenders and the gunner’s seat back rest is the only weakness I could detect in this kit.

I hope you liked the WIP and support the manufacturer by buying this great product.

Cheers,
Guido


GALILEO1
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Maryland, United States
Joined: April 18, 2006
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Posted: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 06:23 AM UTC
Stunning job on this one, Guido!! I can't wait to get mine started.

Thanks much for giving us a clear idea as to what should be expected with this kit.

Rob
bill_c
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 09, 2008
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Posted: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 11:25 AM UTC
Very nice job!
JimMrr
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: January 03, 2007
KitMaker: 1,505 posts
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Posted: Friday, September 10, 2010 - 12:25 PM UTC
Beutiful work , Mr Hopp. Im happy to see this build log, as I am building this kit also. Thanks for the great run-through..
Tailor
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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Joined: May 26, 2008
KitMaker: 1,168 posts
Armorama: 256 posts
Posted: Friday, September 10, 2010 - 07:34 PM UTC
Thank you for your kind words, gentlemen!

I certainly hope y'all will enjoy the build as much as I did!

Cheers,
Gudio