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1/35 Takom M9 ACE - Build
TRM5150
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Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2016 - 01:17 AM UTC
It's time to get this one started!

Recently I had the opportunity to review Takom's 1/35 scale M9 ACE for the Kitmaker Network...

Here is my Video Unboxing - http://armorama.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=features&file=view&artid=6967

Here is my written review - http://armorama.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showcontent&id=11918

Of to the races then! Here is the box art:



Considering the M9 is not a huge vehicle, there are a fair amount of parts supplied within the kit; 518 to be specific. As you might figure, the instruction get the hull work underway first:




The suspension can be positioned in basically three different configurations. Level, angled back for carrying payloads and nose down for bulldozing.



I cleaned up the suspension parts, snipped all of the supplied individual track links as well as parts covering the first thee pages of the fourteen page instruction booklet. One of the first parts to get installed is the back wall to the extractor section. This is a large plate riddled with hydraulics for controlling this little dozer.



There are a few ejector pin marks along the top to the fenders that needed a little work. It looks like only the forward four EPM's will show as the driver's compartment and engine casemates cover the aft marks.



The inner apron, which pushes the M9's payload out, is a movable part on this kit. The construction is straight forward; however, there is two EPM's that are on the backside, lower section of this apron that you might want to sand out quickly. If the apron is all of the way back in the compartment, these EPM's are not seen, but if fully extended, a keen eye will notice them.



I prepped all of the wheels and sprockets...





Next up will be continuing the construction of the extractor and soon after the driver's compartment. I have the tracks to keep me occupied for those slow times in construction!

Things look to be going together really well...I hope to have another update real soon! Thanks for swinging by to keep me company on the build!!
Thirian24
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Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2016 - 01:57 AM UTC
Awesome. We get to see another wonderful build, Todd. I'll be following along for updates.

Cheers,
Dustin
HeavyArty
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Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2016 - 03:13 AM UTC
Looks like it is coming along nicely. I am really liking this kit and will have to get one for myself.
TRM5150
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Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2016 - 04:14 AM UTC
Thanks Dustin!! LOL...I certainly hope so! Glad to have you along for the ride!!

Thanks Gino! So far so good! Parts clean well and go together nicely! I finished a run of tracks not to long ago tonight...snap fit not unlike the Bronco versions. Out of 58 links, 2 loosened up a little, but still hold together. I will positon them along the flat run and hit them with some thin juice...should work like a charm!!
KoSprueOne
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Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2016 - 10:18 AM UTC
Thanks for the Blog on this kit




pgb3476
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Posted: Monday, January 18, 2016 - 12:09 AM UTC
Going with a level stance?
TRM5150
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Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 08:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks for the Blog on this kit







You're welcome....thanks for following along!


Greg, the answer is yes!

Well that was not so bad! I managed to get this one assembled! I would say that the fit was pretty decent for about 90% of the kit. Only areas I found I needed to add a little more pressure to get the joints to close were the two 45 degree corners to the rear of the casemate and along the top edge where the side aprons meet the top of the tractor. Nothing bad at all, just a little hold while the glue set.





There are a few spots one might consider adding some extra details to. First being the hydraulic cylinder for the blade. This is a movable part to allow the builder to position the blade up or down. The attachment point at the piston and blade could use an attachment pin...basically a sliver of .5mm to 1mm rod would do the trick. Also, the cylinder itself. This is just a tube and it is mostly hidden behind the brass shield; however, the forward hydraulic line with a hose running back behind the shield would be seen. A small nipple made from styrene rod and a hose from stretched sprue or wire would add the detail quite nicely.



Takom did a nice job in not molding the lift handles to the engine deck separately. This adds some definition as they can be placed in any position. If interested, something around a .2 or .3mm nut could be put on either side of each mounting point to add some color. Also, the small tie-down handles are molded into the surface. These are similar to ones seen on many tanks from WWII German Armor to present day MBT's. They could be improved by sanding off the molded version and replicate new ones from a piece of thinly stranded copper wire or even from one of the many photo etch sets on the market today.





There is nothing in the way of gear supplied with the kit. The only peripheral items other than a shovel and pick axe are the two jerry cans and the one fire extinguisher. The kit does supply a ear door for the dozer, I was thinking of leaving this part off. I noticed from many reference pictures the door is removed.




The hatch to this M9 is designed to work so the builder could have it open or closed...which adds to the confusion of why a hole into the driver's compartment was not provided. In the picture, you can see I used the cupola and a fine tip Sharpie to draw the circle to cut an opening. With the hatch open, you may want to add the inner latches.



As suspected in my review of the kit, there are four ejector pin marks located on the top of the side fenders in the Ejector Box.




The blade is full movable once the kit is completed...if so desired.



There are two hitch pins provided to lock the blade in the push configuration...





The bottom of the blade can swing up into a hooked position. The two hooks can be made to move if you wanted, simply by making a small pin from brass rod or wire and drill accordingly. The original part actually has two holes...one for the hinge point and one for the locking point.



The entire blade assembly, with or without the bottom in the up position, can be lifted to expose the inner box.




Finally, the tracks. The tracks have some nice detailing to them. While these are movable and snap together similar to other movable trancks on the market today, I will suggest that anyone building this kit almost treat these like the Magic Tracks from DML. The small pin is only plastic and the nature of the beast is soft and these plastic pins will wear down or snap off in the installation. Make the tracks, add some thin adhesive to the joints, like with the Magic Tracks, allow to dry for a bit and then position around the wheels and sprockets and allow them to dry. The track pads are not installed yet as they are rubber on the real dozer and will be painted separately.



Next stop would be the priming booth! This probably won't happen until the weekend...but will happen soon!

Thanks for stopping in!!
Thirian24
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Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 09:15 AM UTC
Nice work Todd! That flew together. Mine probably would too... If I just spent some time at the bench. Lol

Cheers,
Dustin
Maki
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Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 01:32 PM UTC
Great blog, Todd. Very nice and clean work so far, I like how you explain each step of the way. The photography is top-notch.

There is something very interesting about this kit. I will be following your blog and perhaps you would even persuade me to get the kit.

Mario
Karl187
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Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 04:48 PM UTC
Really nice work- clean build, clear photos and great explanations. It looks like a gem of a kit.
pgb3476
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Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 07:06 PM UTC
This kit looks real nice.
SEDimmick
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Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 07:08 PM UTC
Looks good, but disappointed with the knockout pins on the sides of the dozer blade and they look like they could be a PIA to clean up.
TRM5150
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Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 07:21 PM UTC
Thanks fellas...I appreciate the kind words and you hanging about while I run through this one!!

Scott, I thought the same thing...Takom actually got this right. While there are some blades that do not have them, there were many blades created with these knockouts.




TRM5150
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Posted: Monday, January 25, 2016 - 06:27 AM UTC
Time to get some color flowing! I am thinking a quick NATO camo sceme. This is where I started to chuckle...I "had" all of the Vallejo AFV sets including their NATO set which I had planned to use...but must have left that one at a friends house! So it meant digging into the paints and using my brain somewhat to come up with the colors! I started things off with Vallejo's Primer 612. This is actually a duel purpose color I think...prime and base color!



Time to add a little shading for depth...at least how I see it!





Pretty much, that is where things stand for the night! I will revisit the booth tomorrow I think. Forward progress is all that counts! Thanks for tuning in!!
Thirian24
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Posted: Monday, January 25, 2016 - 10:42 AM UTC
Looks good with the shading! Something I need to try. I'm excited to see how you do the NATO camo. This is something I've been studying for my Abrams.

Cheers,
Dustin
TRM5150
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Posted: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - 07:58 AM UTC
Thanks Dustin! Enjoy that Abrams when it comes about! No painting tonight...life jumped right in the way! Better luck tomorrow I suppose...LOL!!
Thirian24
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Posted: Friday, January 29, 2016 - 05:37 PM UTC
I understand that, Todd. Since I've recently started back at my old job, there has been zero time for modeling.
TRM5150
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Posted: Saturday, January 30, 2016 - 09:54 PM UTC
Well I was able to sneak into the cave for a little painting last night! First round of the camo involved base layering of Vallejo's NATO Brown (71.249)followed with some Burnt Umber (71.040) mixed with a little Antique White (71.132)dusted over.



After adding some more masking, a base of NATO Black (71.251)followed by a dusting of Panzer Dark Grey (71.056...



Time to remove the mask and see if things came out okay!





I figure this will get me started in the right direction! I need to start painting the tracks and pop the wheels on soon! Forward progress is a good thing! Thanks for stopping by!!
Thirian24
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Posted: Saturday, January 30, 2016 - 10:55 PM UTC
Wow. Great job sir. You made that NATO scheme look easy. I hope when I do mine, it comes easy to me. Lol
hellvetier
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Posted: Sunday, January 31, 2016 - 04:00 AM UTC
Nice camo! Looking forward to the weathering stages!
Thirian24
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Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 07:08 AM UTC
Todd,

Any update on this beast?

Cheers,
Dustin
TRM5150
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Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 07:27 AM UTC
Thanks Wesmer...missed you there...sorry 'bout that!

Thanks for the wake up call there Dustin! I should have something soon! actually test fit the ACE in a small base this afternoon! I how to get things together in the next couple days and move onto some weathering!
AFVFan
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Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 03:55 AM UTC
Woke me up, too! I'd almost forgotten about this one.
white4doc
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Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 04:54 AM UTC
Coming along nicely, Todd. What are you thinking for a diorama?
armouredcharmer
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Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2016 - 12:42 PM UTC
Cheers for posting - following AND saved to favourites on my computer !.