Sov's Tiger Build

This section is to 'show and tell' about any customizing or re-vamping you have done (or are doing) to a Heng Long tank.

Postby SovereignZuul » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:02 pm

Hi all! going to document my build here. This is my first time working in this scale. Thankfully these and other forums have many great tips and guides to help!


Purchased:
Heng Long Tiger I with metal tracks
Asiatam Lower Hull
Asiatam Upper Hull with metal turret and IR system
Early Taigen wheels and tires
Asiatam new improved 3-1 ratio short shaft metal gearboxes
Taigen photo-etch grills
Taigen spare track links and holders
Taigen metal tow cables
Asiatam two driver's periscopes
7 part metal tool set
Taigen Late pattern sprocket and idler wheels
Taigen smoke launchers
Asiatam cupola and mg42
Taigen turret fittings (Gunner periscope)
Asiatam spare torsion bars and swing arms
Asiatam softer suspension bars
Taigen armored transmission and engine covers
Working Rear Column light
5 Gallon Jerry cans
Detail Part the scale metal bucket
Plasticard
Brass sheeting
Brass wires
Balsa wood

Eventually I'll be doing a full electronics suite to upgrade from the RX-18 Heng Long stuff too.



Tiger first out of the box.
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Removing wheels.
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Chassis open.
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The parts that have arrived. Waiting on shipping for the rest.
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Working on the Asiatam Hull, has the newer track tensioner. Bonus! My messy desk!
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Found two of the suspension arms were actually broken when the hull arrived! I ordered spares. I dismantled the entire hull to remove the plastic film covering the metal hull and found the damage. I took every single suspension arm and filed away the casting marks and greased where I have circled in red. Smoothing away the cast lines in this area should reduce wear as well as adding the grease. I figure the grease here may also reduce water getting in the hull when driving this through the axle holes. I plan to silicone the entire lower hull as well to watertight the best I can manage.
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I've also disassembled the rear plate, cleaning up the parts there and will be modifying it to it's correct height instead of being overlapped by the upper hull.

Greased the new 3:1 gears and installed them in the mostly assembled lower hull as well.

More updates to come of course!
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Postby tisaksen » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:25 am

Hi, That's a lot of parts you got there. Looking forward to following your build progress :-)
I actually didn't remove the plastic film on my hull, I really should.. Can't see why it's there in the first place.

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Postby Triton » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:17 pm

Hi Sov
Did you remember the tip to run the gearboxes in? It can make a difference to the running! Toothpaste on the gears and a cordless drll attached to the output shaft does the trick, remember to wash it off and re oil though! And! Floss regularly! Lol! Joking!

Look forward to your progress.

Stu aka Triton

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Postby SovereignZuul » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:55 am

Sorry, been a long time since I even just started talking about this project!

I've received all my parts and have been working now.

Got an Iwata Eclipse and pasche compressor for xmas too so I can paint this and other model kits too.

I've done a lot on the rear panel now. It's about 70% done and close to reassembly.

Was experimenting with different putty. Tried Mr. White, which I hated, the Tamiya putty which is alright but not thrilled, and the green stuff from games workshop suppliers which is the best so far.

Removed all parts from the rear panel of the tank.
Filled holes, sand tools flat.
Removed mud flap hinges and reworking them now.
Exhaust tubes are completely re-done. I've take the open ones and filled them keeping them hollow. I'm making the flutter caps (whatever they are called) right now. Smoker tubes will run through the exhaust just like the real Tiger now once its fully assembled. I'm hoping the gas pressure from the smoker will make the caps flutter like you see on trucks that have those otherwise I'll glue them in an open position.
Jack mounts are being fabricated now. One side done, one to go. The jack was refinished with the hollow bottom filled.
The feifel air-cleaners were glued, sanded all uneven edges perfectly smooth and filled the screw holes with filler. The metal hoses that come off it I added some tiny nuts and bolts to simulate the real ones. They are fully functional nuts and bolts too! Bolt head size was 1mm if I recall.
Once it's together I'm going to heat and bend the sheet metal of the air-cleaners and exhaust shields a bit to simulate some very minor field wear.

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Postby PainlessWolf » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:36 pm

Good Morning.
It was interesting to see that your Heng Long came with the correct length barrel (no recoil) rather than the earlier one they used to put on the Tiger 1. I wonder how long since they corrected that because I believe someone else here on the forum bought one and his came with the old barrel.
regards,
Painless

P.S. Strikingly beautiful build you have going on there. ;o)
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Postby tanks_for_the_memory » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:52 pm

Good to see HL improving their Tiger. Hard to believe I started mine with an inverted mantlet! Makes you wonder what they will change next, although until they reduce the size of the bb gun I can't see the turret ring problem disappearing any time soon...
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Postby SovereignZuul » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:31 am

Yes, doing my research initially I did see a lot of improvements over what people have posted on this Tiger. The HL stuff is better than before and the Asiatam stuff still much better even!

Thanks for the comments. I want the tank to look pretty good but not going too over board with tiny details. This is my first time doing scratch built parts really so it's a fun learning experience. I'm sure my next tank will be much better detailed.

Speaking of the turret ring problem....

I've started to cut out the ring on the turret bottom, but the dremel battery was dying so only got half way.

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Stripped the upper hull of tools, fixtures that needed work, etc.

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I truly hated the look of the pre-molded engine cover latches so I had to make the center one look a little bit better. Scratch built from plasticard. Again, not perfect but a step up.

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I also really hated the rear mudflap hinges that stuck way up off the armor plate so I cut them, sunk them flush with the body so they look less obnoxious. Starting to put the rear plate back together.

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More filler....

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Postby majordisastor » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:38 pm

Nice work Sov, there are so many extra little bits of detail on a Tiger 1 to work up if you want to.

Well done for revamping your fiefel air cleaners , they look 100% better already.

When you start to create some battle damage on the exhaust covers thin the plastic down a bit from the inside, it will make for a sharper fold once you apply some heat to it.

Those shields took a right old battering in the field - some ended up being completely mangled !!

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I lightly bashed mine and painted one a different camo colour to look like it had been robbed from another ....

Good luck for the rest of your build !!!

Andy :D
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Postby SovereignZuul » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:42 pm

Glad I saw that before I put the shields back on, I didn't think about that at all but it sounds great. Thanks for the tip!

P.S. Nice Tiger!
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Postby majordisastor » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:03 pm

Thanks !!

Its from my Tiger Ebbey build in the Tamiya section.

Andy :D
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Postby SovereignZuul » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:17 pm

Some more detail scratch built parts...

Jack mount. The "stock" jack on the HL was simply glued to the hull with no brackets so it needed some.

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Exhaust reworking nearly complete. I didn't like the stock exhaust either and felt it needed a total rebuild. Joblessness is costing me some detail, thankfully I already bought all my parts before the loss of work. I would order some nice threaded rods and nuts for a correct look if I could but the brass rod I already had served the purpose decently.

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Fully functional, just like I wanted! It flutters nicely when I blow through the tube with only a tiny bit of pressure. I hope the smoker can give it the same effect!

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Postby dgsselkirk » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:27 pm

Exhausts are very, very cool! I honestly don't think it will have enough pressure but I am crossing my fingers for you!
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Postby majordisastor » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:23 pm

Excellent attention to detail going on here, hope the covers work as you want them too !!

Andy :D
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Postby Red Devils » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:39 am

Great scratch building there Sov, I did the same to my exhaust covers but I don't have a smoker in mine. Well done dude...

Derek
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Postby SovereignZuul » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:52 am

Turret relocation is complete on both the turret base and hull. Lots of work on the upper hull, still needs more work.

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Here is my assembled rear plate.... I hated it. Super glue bonds too fast and parts were crooked and out of place... Lesson learned. I finally got angry enough and ripped it all apart again.

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After pulling it apart I figured I would do it proper this time and raise the plate so it extended over the deck of the tank so it would be proper.

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Fixed the exhausts further to be accurate to the real thing. Some 1" pipe at Home Depot was an exact match for my exhaust diameter. $1.67 for five feet and I only needed one inch, lol.

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Here is a test fit showing the improved rear plate. Removed some material off the back of the deck so it would fit like the real one. I cut some gaps between the four per side mud guards on the right and left sides of the tank too because there was no gap before. Doing little mods here and there to the upper hull as it needs a lot of work to be more accurate.

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At first I thought I was getting too crazy with the little details... Now I crave them more and more.
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Postby SovereignZuul » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:14 pm

Few small parts today.

Made better mounts/brackets for the tow cables and gun cleaning rods.
Step 1:
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Step 2:
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Adding chain to the caps on the air filter....
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...and some missing bracket parts I noticed when studying a reference model.
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Finally I scratch built my own jack block. Pretty happy with how it turned out! There it is with the old one I cut out of my Tiger's deck, noticeable difference! I don't know if I should paint the balsa or stain it?
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Postby Red Devils » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:47 pm

Lookin sharp Paul, love the details.

For my jack block, I gave it a dark stain but before I did, I added some wear and tear on the block, ie. the base of the jack pressed slightly in, some dings here and there. Then add a dark (blackish) wash to the depressions. One well used jack block.

Later buddy...

Derek
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Postby tigerace007 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:38 pm

Hi Paul,

Following your build with interest. I am not new to modelling, but i am new to scratch building and using plasticard, can you give me any tips as to how you cut these items out so accurately and neatly?

Cheers,

Stu

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Postby Wildboar44 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:20 pm

got to say , along with Red and Tanks-for-memory Tiger builds , you have a great eye for details , great detailing
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Postby SovereignZuul » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:58 am

Thanks for comments guys. :D

I got some dark stain today Derek, I'll try it out, thanks!


tigerace007 wrote:Hi Paul,

Following your build with interest. I am not new to modelling, but i am new to scratch building and using plasticard, can you give me any tips as to how you cut these items out so accurately and neatly?

Cheers,

Stu


Any tips I can give I will gladly do so! I am totally new to scratch building myself and this is my first model with scratch built parts. I have only been model making for maybe two years as an adult, but assembled many many kits as a child. I haven't even used an airbrush for the first time yet!

I bought this item off Amazon, a digital vernier caliper for making tiny measurements to know I am doing things the best I can.
http://www.amazon.com/Neiko-01407A-Extr ... er+caliper
When I went to my local stores they wanted 20=30$ for a non digital version! So I bought that fairly cheap. This kind of tool I find invaluable for making minute measurements.

Walking through making that jack block step by step.

First step: Research.
Looked up as many references to a Tiger Tank Jack Block as I could find! There are different versions so I got my choice and figured which one would be easiest to make and still look good. Notice that on other jack blocks there are many more nails than I used but I saw a jack block with only five so I went with that to ease creating one.

Second steps: Acquire materials.
Purchased many various thicknesses of plasticard and I took the thinnest one I had which was .010 inch thick.
Bought some tiny needles called sequin pins from a local arts and crafts store.
Bought some balsa wood larger than needed from a local hobby shop.
Used Zap-a-gap medium ca+. (don't know much about glue types yet but this one works great so far)

Third: Assembly
I took my old jack block, the plastic one, and I gave it a rough estimate on how big I would have to make the new one.
Using this estimate, I cut the balsa wood slightly over size but close to the dimensions of the plastic jack block.
Using a rough grit sandpaper I sanded the balsa block, careful to keep it square while sanding and reduced it's size to exactly the dimensions I wanted, checking that it was square, or close enough to square using my micrometer/caliper. The block was almost twice as think when I bought it.
Satisfied with the size of the block I started gauging the size of the metal straps that wrap it.
I measured and marked the plasticard with pencil on how wide I wanted the straps.
I then took a hard edge and my hobby knife and lined up my straight cut and gently sliced into the plasticard until I had a thin strip the size I wanted.
Once satisfied with that I wrapped the plastic strip I had cut around the block, bending it at the corners so it fit tight. Check this picture I had of the bends. http://i.imgur.com/OajMwHi.jpg
Using a pin drill I put a tiny hole through the plastic and wood where I wanted the first nail to go.
The nails were too long, so using a cutter I shortened them so they wouldn't stick through the block.
I test fit the nail and it was good so it was easy enough to put a tiny bit of glue on the end of the nail at this point and insert it back into the block permanently.
Once I had one nail in I secured the other side of the block the same way with another nail.
Knowing that the plastic strip was now secure on the block I wrapped it all the way around to the back. There was some excess length of strip that overlapped so I trimmed it to just meet the other edge of the strip as it wrapped around. I figure no one will ever see the bottom of the block so I can hide the glue and link down underneath it. I glued the strips to the bottom. Pic here: http://i.imgur.com/3kBmHJr.jpg
The last three nails the same way, drill tiny holes for them and a tiny speck of glue and they are in permanently.
I took a tweezer and gave each nail a slight crush that sunk them into the balsa and gave them a slight look of being hammered in like the metal might buckle in real life a bit if you do that. Maybe an over-exaggeration but I thought it looked cool.

At this point I was thinking, wow that looks good! The block was done, but missing a detail... How am I ever going to get that teeny tiny handle on the block now!

I had some small plastic tube, even smaller plastic rod that fit into the tube and a bit more of the thin plastic card for the handle.

I cut a tube in half with my hobby knife and glued it directly to a piece of plasticard without measuring or cutting the card yet. I found it easier to handle the larger piece and then cut it afterwards.
Once that half of tube dried to the board I started cutting the board with the hobby knife. The plasticard is so thin I don't even need to slide the knife much, straight down pressure works better for a crisp cut. Once the board that the handle is glued to was cut the way I thought it looked decent I took the very thin plastic rod and bend it into a curve. I took the very ends (maybe 1 mm?) and bend the plastic rod sharp at 90 degrees just on each end. The ends once bent slipped right inside the handle tube. Plastic parts this small are so soft it's easy to bend and cut them.

Other tips, well don't be afraid to try and scrap your work and try again! I'm so new to this I have a bunch of scrapped parts that I didn't end up using. I'm getting better, I can tell, I made that jack block in one go last night where as before things like the exhaust flappers took me three tries to get close enough to right to use on the model. Jack mounts, well I did that like 7 times using different materials until I was satisfied with the ones I got right.

So grab some material and a tool and have a plan, then go for it! If you've got experience model making it's not as tough as it seems. Without reference materials to what I am making I would be lost too, so have a plan.


Sorry for the text wall and any errors, typed it out fast right before clan meeting in world of tanks!
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