1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build

Postby lmcq11 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:16 am

Hi,

Here is my latest build. After completion of the complex scratch built Hummel SPH, i wanted something easy. So, this will be a simple table top RC conversion of the 1/16 static Takom Wiesel 1A1 Armored Weapons Carrrier (AWC) with TOW missile launcher.

The Wiesel was designed to provide mobility to airborne units once on the ground. It can be transported by heavy helicopter, but not air dropped. It was made in various configurations.

Seen below in TOW launcher configuration during the Bundeswehr deployment to northern Afghanistan. Makes you wonder what the Germans were planning to shoot at with the exposed TOW anti-tank missile launcher over there...

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Seen below in 20mm automatic gun configuration in northern Afghanistan. I am pretty sure the Talibans were not really impressed by the power projection of the recent Bundeswehr, giving some ammo to Donald Trump to complain, the Bundeswehr being a shadow of its former self. Good thing the Germans were in the quieter northern area. Such vehicles would not provide much protection against ambushes and IEDs. At least the Canadians brought their German made Leopards C2 and 2A6M to the Kandahar region...

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build
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This is a build of a Wiesel 1. Not to confuse with the Wiesel 2 which is an extended model with additional roadwheels.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build
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The kit used is the Takom static kit, available for about $50. Not sure what is Takom's attraction in developing tankette models. Some other subjects that were produced in greater numbers, or serve in more armies and in battle would certainly be more attractive to many buyers around the world. A 1/16 M-113 and derivatives would be a good idea to develop. But the Wiesel is available now and cheap so let's see what its made of. It won't take much room on the shelf...

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Motorization will be provided by an inexpensive DIY Tamiya twin gearbox with 130 motors, good enough for the size of this vehicle and a nice little kit to assemble. The MTC-2 control board and ACU units from 35RCTANK will be used with the Tamiya gearbox.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


In order to work correctly, the motors need to be equipped with ceramic capacitors. Not knowing the right configuration to use, I purchased this set on Amazon for a few dollars. Without capacitors installed, the motors do not operate with speed control and would likely be damaged.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


After evaluation of a few categories, i determined that the optimal setup is to equip each motor with three 0.1uF(104) capacitors.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


One capacitor is installed between the + and - connectors, and then between each connector and the metal casing of the motors.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


With this setup, the motors are extremely responsive to the speed control stick of the control unit, and the annoying noise is totally gone. Test everything...

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


The Takom kit provides a good tub to install the gearbox. Looks like the Tamiya gearbox was designed for this chassis, perfect match. Not even a need to adjust the length of the shafts.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Continuing on following post
Last edited by lmcq11 on Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:04 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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Postby lmcq11 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:29 am

The level of details provided on the Takom kit is exceptional

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Check out the markings on these roadwheels, extremely small and refined. Needs maximum zoom to read it.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


The kit provide plastic torsion bars for the suspension, a great bonus. As the model is very light, this will do.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


The plastic axles for the roadwheel are simply replaced by M2 hex bolts with a brass rim inserted into the inner roadwheel after drilling the required central hole.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


The M2 bolts and nuts are adjusted so that the roadwheels turns freely on their new axle. The same is done for all roadwheels.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build
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After the first prototype is proven successful, a small assembly chain creates the running train in no time.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


The gearbox is installed on a plasticard plate glued to the bottom of the hull between the two torsion bars, and the gearbox is held in place with two M3 hex bolts.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


The sprocket shaft is coming out of the sprocket gear housing at the right length.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Continuing on following post
Last edited by lmcq11 on Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby lmcq11 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:38 am

After drilling a smaller hole than the shaft on the sprocket, the sprocket is simply pressed against the shaft for a tight fit, and then glued. This is no King Tiger and resistance is very light. I saw no point in developing something more complicated.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


The outer sprocket wheel is placed on top of the inner wheel. Here we go, Wiesel RC motorization for a few dollars...

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Idler is installed.

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Bottom up view.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


I was happy to see the tracks, similar in concept to the ones on the Stuart. The separate track links allow for RC use as is, 50 links on each tracks.

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The jig for the assembly is discarded. As it is critical that each link is properly assembled, articulated and free of glue on the connectors, i recommend that each link be assembled individually. Only apply glue to the two central location pins of the shoes, and then press with plyers. When building the tracks, consistently go back to the previous 8 links to make sure that they are still loose and articulate freely. I had a couple of occasion where glue trickle to the connectors and locked them. Takom only provides about 8 spare links in total so there is not much room for building mistakes.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


It takes about 3 hours to assemble the tracks.

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The teeth for the tracks and sprocket is a separate part.

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But the jig process to install them can be used here and saves a lot of time.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Continuing on following post
Last edited by lmcq11 on Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby lmcq11 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:59 am

No need for track adjusters, the tracks are tight and at perfect length.

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The model is ready for motorization testing, the electronics are simply thrown on board for the testing.

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And here are two short videos of the initial testing of the motorization at low speed. Seems i have only two small problems to correct with one of the roadwheel which gets stuck sometimes and the return rollers need to be more sensitive, these tracks are so light...

phpBB [video]


phpBB [video]


Regards, Louis

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Postby Jimster » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:37 am

That thing is running great! I thought it was going to back right off the table there for a second.
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Postby Xiaoshan_Sailor » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:38 am

A very clean and efficient build thread as ever! :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Postby Kaczor » Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:17 am

Great build :)
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Postby Herr Dr. Professor » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:19 pm

It does look like a relatively easy build, or, at least as Senior Wenceslaus used to say on the moldy oldie Ed Sullivan Show: "for you easy; for me deeficult." :) It sure does run well and will make a great little short-weave carpet warrior or table-top demonstration. I am impressed by your knowing 1) to install capacitors and 2) how to correctly install the capacitors. Well done and fun!
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Postby Will01Capri » Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:52 am

AWESOME
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Postby lmcq11 » Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:37 pm

Herr Dr. Professor wrote:It does look like a relatively easy build, or, at least as Senior Wenceslaus used to say on the moldy oldie Ed Sullivan Show: "for you easy; for me deeficult." :) It sure does run well and will make a great little short-weave carpet warrior or table-top demonstration. I am impressed by your knowing 1) to install capacitors and 2) how to correctly install the capacitors. Well done and fun!

Hi, thank you everyone for your encouragements ! Yeah, it is an easy build. Other than the mods planned, the rest is as simple as following the instructions.

For its size, there is a lot of parts in this kit. What takes the most time is to cut the parts from the sprues and clean them. I recommend taking the opportunity to buy a new fine Xuron clipper for this build, it will be needed. As you can see below, even small parts have between 2 and 5 attachments to the sprues. It is sometimes difficult to determine what is part and what is sprue.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


The level of details is amazing, such as this working hinge used on the back upper hull section.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


This will provide easy access to the electronics, battery and main switch.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


One of the highlight of this kit is the TOW anti-tank missile launcher (short barrel version) and sight with thermal imager. Some will purchase this kit only for this element. Hopefully, Takom will be smart enough to offer it separately on a tripod.

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Its construction takes time and is tricky due to the number of parts involved. The sight and its mount alone has 39 parts !!! I think the designer went overboard and could have simplified the construction of the sight without reduction in the level of details. Building this sight will test your patience, the fit is good but not perfect, dry fit everything.

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The two halves of the launcher and other parts could have a better fit and needed a lot of sanding to get rid of the seams. It created a lot of fine dust, the model will need a good wash.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


On top of the day sight is the AN/TAS-4A thermal imaging night sight. It is called a long-wavelength infrared sensing system. The night sight detects thermal energy and converts it into electrical signals that are converted into a visible light image, therefore allowing the TOW Weapon System to be used day or night in all weather and all terrain conditions.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


The AN/TAS-4A night sight is a new element in 1/16 scale modelling world and is quite welcomed. Verlinden did not include it in its resin kit. In comparison to the resin Verlinden TOW launcher that i mounted on one of my M-113A1 and which had its long barrel version reduced to represent the short barrel version, same as on the Wiesel, the Takom launcher is about 2mm shorter.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Dry fitting the main parts, the fit is pretty good and the model will look good.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build
Last edited by lmcq11 on Thu Apr 22, 2021 2:58 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby lmcq11 » Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:42 pm

The inside of the gunner's hatch is the only place where i needed to take care of ejection pin marks with putty. All the periscopes are well detailed and molded in transparent plastic.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


The various sections are displayed in preparation for the installation of headlight LEDs, TOW launcher rotation and flash electronics.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Regards

Louis

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Postby lmcq11 » Sat Apr 24, 2021 2:46 am

Continuing with the build

Roadwheel 1 and the idler are equipped with a shock absorber. The kit part comes as a plastic stick and the shock absorber is long and thin, difficult to replace it with anything functional. It is glued to the side of the hull but the attachment point to roadwheel 1 is very weak. As a shock absorber is not really needed at the front because the Tamiya gearbox is very light, i installed the shock absorber so that it is shown from the side but i cut it short so that it does not impact the torsion bar suspension.

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The idler shock absorber attachment is stronger so it is properly linked to the suspension arm.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


But it has a different configuration to attach it to the hull, it goes inside. I cut it short in order for it to move freely inside and not impact the torsion bar suspension. A small spring could fit there if the idler torsion bar needed assistance but i found its not needed.

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The kit headlights are very nice and are screaming to be equipped with LEDs. I found a way to drill a hole through the mount so that the wires can be totally hidden inside it.

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I have been accused in the past of installing LEDs that are too powerful. In order to do something about it, i purchased a LED resistor kit on Amazon, it provides 600 resistors in all the various strength for a few dollars, a real bargain.

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I tested a bunch of them to select the kind of light i was looking for. I was surprised how much the LED can go from xenon bright to low dimmed candle light by just changing the resistor added to the positive wire. With so many varieties and not really knowing anything about resistors and the complicated formula to select the optimal one, i tested many strength and picked the 1K, it seemed to do the job...

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After inserting the wires, the back of the LED is simply glued to the back of the interior, facing forward.

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Test and retest everything during the wiring in order to avoid issues.

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Continuing on following post.
Last edited by lmcq11 on Sat Apr 24, 2021 3:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby lmcq11 » Sat Apr 24, 2021 3:04 am

The kit does not provide ways for the TOW missile launcher to be movable. As this is a RC conversion and the launcher is the only thing exciting about this vehicle, i decided to at least give it horizontal movement, flash and sound. First, an aluminum tube of the size that fits the hole in the hull is used and a support is create to glue inside the launcher mount. A servo will connect to the tube inside the hull to provide rotation.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


The Wiesel carries six TOW missiles. The kit provides two, one for the launcher and one that is attached externally on the back plate. I assume the other four must fit inside the hull somewhere at the back. Too bad the kit does not provide interior details, it would have been interesting.

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To my surprise, the kit missile cannot be loaded on the launcher by just sliding it in like the real thing, the tip is too wide, go figure what is wrong... Some design issue here for sure. So in order to load the missile, i had to cut the hidden portion of the tip.

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This is a missile so the flash is not at the front, it is at the rear, aka Back blast. I decided to install a 5mm LED as a replacement to the small tip inside the protective cover. An aluminum tube provides the right dimension as a replacement, the LED fits inside it.

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Here we have a loaded TOW missile... the wire goes out where it will enter the base of the launcher all the way inside the hull, fully hidden.

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Wiring is put in.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


The TOW missile and wires are squeezed together inside the launcher.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


The launcher is installed on the hull base.

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The aluminum tube is locked inside by adding a couple of overlaid tubes, allowing the mount to be firmly held in place, vertical while still rotating freely.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


A small servo is installed with a custom built attachment in order to control TOW missile launcher movement. The servo is connected directly to the receiver on a free channel and assigned the VRB knob on the remote control.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Continuing on following post
Last edited by lmcq11 on Sat Apr 24, 2021 3:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby lmcq11 » Sat Apr 24, 2021 3:14 am

View of the electronics before temporality closing the hull for the testing. Tamiya gearbox, speaker, ACU, MTC2, Zippy Compact 2 cell 7.4V 850 battery, servo for missile launcher rotation and receiver.

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The lens for the headlights will be installed after painting.

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Overview of the model as it stands today. Construction is not yet finished but it is going fast.

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View of the model when firing the TOW missile, with tracks running back a bit.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Short video of the electronics and weapons testing.

phpBB [video]


Regards, Louis

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Postby EAO » Sat Apr 24, 2021 5:23 pm

Louis,

You make it look so easy! :crazy: Another amazing build, and one of the cutest one's too! :haha:

Cheers,
Eric.
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Postby lmcq11 » Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:22 pm

Thank Eric,

This one is really simple, and cheap too. With the understanding that the control board/speaker is the same that i reused on pre-wired models (plug and play), the complete budget for this RC model is the most affordable at less than $100.

Takom kit - $50 + $15 shipping
Tamiya 70097 Twin Motor Gearbox - $8 + $8 shipping
Servo - $3, purchased in bulk on Amazon
Various hobby supply - $15

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Postby lmcq11 » Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:55 am

Getting close to the end of the build.

Showing the Photo-etched fret, mainly for the grills. I found them to be a bit thin and the instructions to install them are lacking in detail. I do not have any references on the Wiesel so i hope they are placed correctly.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


The kit is coming with a superb 25 pieces German Bundeswehr full crew figure to assemble. It's a kit on its own. I think some guys will buy the Wiesel kit just for the figure. I paid the whole kit $54 including shipping. I have paid more in the past for a single resin tank crew figure... So here you get the figure and the tank is a bonus...

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Some last minute change. I decided to replace the torsion bar of the Idlers as i notice some tension and suspension weakness during the running test. A plasticard tube or rod have more flexibility than the kit plastic. The tube extends to the interior center of the model.

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A new connection to the idler arm is done, with a bit more swing and its more solid.

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The construction phase is finished. Here is a quick walk around the vehicle before painting.

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Those little hooks all around the vehicle do not look like much but they are the devil incarnated. I had a lot of trouble putting them on. They have very small parts and the fit to the vehicle is not good. I found them to be the only bad thing about this build.

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Partially assembled crew figure. The hands and head will be permanently installed only after painting the uniform. The head was put on with a drop of superglue in order to check out the overall face and the fit.

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Very nice figure.

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Headlight lens and some other clear parts will be installed after painting.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


continuing on following post.
Last edited by lmcq11 on Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:13 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby lmcq11 » Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:05 am

The MG3 and mount are very nice.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


View of the anti-skid plates, well made.

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A TOW missile is mounted at the back. I understand there are interior space for up to 5 more.

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The hinges for the crew hatches are very small. Ideally, they would be made functional but they will be very fragile.

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View of the Wiesel TOW carrier next to an M-113A2 TOW carrier for size comparison.

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View of the Wiesel next to a Leopard 2A6 for size comparison.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Next time you see it, it will be painted.

Regards, Louis

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Postby lmcq11 » Tue May 04, 2021 1:47 am

Hi, continuing the build with the painting phase.

All Wiesels are pretty much painted in the same 3 color camo style in use in the Bundeswehr. The Takom painting sheet is very hard to read, all explanations are typed in characters that are way too small. It seems to propose all kind of exotic MIG color variations of the basic Bundeswehr 3 color camo. I use the paint colors i had on inventory, mainly Nato green, Nato black and Nato brown... Can't go wrong with that. The TOW launcher was later found to be painted Olive drab in real life and was repainted.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Then to represent the vehicle in a more interesting overseas deployment, i gave it the sandstorm treatment. It involves brushing sand pigments freely all over the vehicle, followed by a coat of pigment fixer. The process was repeated 3 times.

Here is a walk around of the painted vehicle.

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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Capture5a.JPG
1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


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1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Capture8.JPG
1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build
Last edited by lmcq11 on Tue May 04, 2021 2:48 am, edited 6 times in total.

lmcq11
Warrant Officer 1st Class
 
Posts: 1526
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:42 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Postby lmcq11 » Tue May 04, 2021 1:49 am

Capture9.JPG
1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Capture10.JPG
1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Capture11.JPG
1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Capture12.JPG
1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Capture13.JPG
1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Capture2.JPG
1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Capture15.JPG
1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Capture16.JPG
1/16 RC Wiesel 1A1 TOW - Armored Weapon Carrier - Build


Next step is to paint the figure, and bring the vehicle outside for a photoshoot and a video of the model in action.

Regards, Louis

lmcq11
Warrant Officer 1st Class
 
Posts: 1526
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:42 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

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