Ludwig/Taigen SU-152 (early production)

This section is for builds that are not strictly Tamiya or Heng Long. For instance, replacing the electronics from a WSN or Matorro, or even a scratch-build.

Postby Raminator » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:00 am

A nice big package arrived today, coinciding nicely with the tail-end of my T-34/76 project.

    IMAG0558.jpg
One of Juckenburg's very last SU-152 resin conversion kits, coupled with a Taigen metal lower hull, metal wheels, metal tracks and steel gearboxes. I'm not 100% sure on the electronics yet, but at this stage I'm leaning towards an IBU2 Pro.

I'll be building an early production SU-152 attached to one of the Independent Self-Propelled Artillery regiments that fought at Kursk, supporting the armour and killing the German beasts (Panthers and Tigers and Elefants, oh my). More to come!
Last edited by Raminator on Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:38 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby HERMAN BIX » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:10 am

Legend !!
Can't wait to see this.
My favorite Soviet AFV
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Postby tomhugill » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:30 am

I used an ibu pro in mine
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Postby Raminator » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:58 am

As enjoyable as it is to create something, sometimes it's more fun to destroy. Some men want to watch the world burn, etc.

I've had a pleasant weekend butchering the Heng Long KV-1 upper to prepare it for the SU's big armoured casement. Saws, scribers, knives, files, even a hammer and chisel at one point. In the end, it feels like I've removed nearly half of the donor hull.

    IMAG0574.jpg
Lots of extraneous bits got the chop too, you can see them piled up on the right-hand side. I hadn't realised how many differences there were between the KV-1 and KV-1S (and by extension, SU-152) hulls.

    IMAG0575.jpg
Starting to look the business. It dwarfs the T-34 already, and I haven't even put wheels or a gun on it yet!
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Postby jtracks » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:30 pm

Following along.
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Postby Raminator » Sat Nov 12, 2016 11:26 am

Committing violence against this thing has been a nice way to unwind after work these last two weeks. More destruction:

    IMAG0582.jpg
Cut out the transmission deck to fit the lower slope of the KV-1S cover, and spent the better part of 45 minutes hacksawing off the top of the rear armour plate to suit. This will let me have an open grille for the engine, which should help with the speaker volume. I've also removed all of the moulded bolt heads, since I'll be replacing them all with brass ones to ensure they match between the KV and SU portions.

    IMAG0583.jpg
New front glacis and structural reinforcement for the fenders, since they're all that's holding the upper hull together until I epoxy the casemate into place. Following the theme of the last couple posts, I also filed off the rivet detail on the front armour, since they're only relevant for the KV-1 ehkranami that Heng Long and Taigen sell. The SU-152 should have a plain one.

    IMAG0585.jpg
As good as the casement's casting is, there are a bunch of warped bits (unavoidable given the size, I imagine) and some of the details are wrong or inaccurate. I've cut, shaved and sanded nearly everything off so I can straighten it out and I'll be replacing them with styrene or brass versions instead. The channel in between the armour plates is for a milliput weld seam that will help hide the discrepancies there.

The resin kit has been a bit of a novelty for me, and I'm quite enjoying it. It behaves very different to plastic or metal, and besides the dust it produces it's very nice to work with.
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Postby Raminator » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:27 am

Making some more progress. The entire rear panel of the casement had the consistency of Swiss cheese; it must have been facing upwards after the resin was poured but a frankly heroic amount of Tamiya putty and Mr. Surfacer have smoothed it out. The moulded loader's hatches at the back contained more bubbles than resin, so I figured I'd cut them out and fabricate some proper scaled functional ones.

    IMAG0603.jpg
I also epoxied the transmission cover in and blended it in to the plastic hull by using milliput to simulate scale-width oxyacetylene-cut armour panels. My first time using milliput, and it's very different to work with. I like the results.

    IMAG0605.jpg
More millput armour edges, including cutouts for the periscopes. They're not as obvious as I'd hoped, but with a little creative weathering I'm sure they'll stand out more. I'm not entirely satisfied with the weld seams either, they may require revisiting.
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Postby HERMAN BIX » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:34 am

Coming along great. Where did you get your miliput from mate ?
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Postby Estnische » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:48 am

Are you having trouble getting it? My local hobby store has it.
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Postby B_Man » Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:16 am

Last time I went to buy miliput the guy at Toyworld told me the Australian distributor had either gone out of business or wasn't importing it anymore (can't remember which) and it was no longer available. I went down the road to another hobby shop and had no such issues, they had plenty of stock.

I hope it's just a nasty rumor as it's great stuff.
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Postby HERMAN BIX » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:46 am

Toy World ??
Youre taking the piss !!! :O
We are not set up with proper hobby shops here in Qld, and the out of state ones seem to not post the miliput product.
I have a Toy world close, and I will be there very directly asking if they have it :eh:
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Postby Estnische » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:43 pm

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Postby B_Man » Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:34 am

In my experience Toyworld stores can be a bit hit and miss. The local shop has a really good range of modelling and RC stuff but others I've been too might have a couple of 1:72 Revell kits stashed in a corner if you're lucky. They are definitely worth checking out though as you might strike gold. Hobby shops are few and far between in this neck of the woods these days too and I think there is only one left in Canberra now.
If you're brave enough to take on the unwashed nerd hordes, I've also found shops that sell warhammer and other tabletop games played with miniatures often have a decent range of model stuff. One near my work handily stocks Vallejo paints and some other bits and pieces.
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Postby Raminator » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:30 am

I got mine from my local hobby shop, $15 for the superfine white stuff. Frontline Hobbies tout themselves as "Australia's largest hobby store", which they very well may be after Hobbies in the Hills burned down a couple years ago.

On-topic; I received my IBU2 Pro, TPA and a brace of Visaton FRS7s from the handsome and efficient Mr. Tankbear this week. Things are gonna get loud. 8)
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Postby HERMAN BIX » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:40 am

Gettin your 'J-lo' on are ya mate !! Lets get loud ;)

How much room is there in this thing ?
2 speakers will use a lot of space surely.
Great if you can though, :thumbup:
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Postby Raminator » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:45 am

After all the trouble it took to squeeze everything into the T-34 lower, I reckon I could park a jumbo bloody jet in the KV hull. Worst comes to worst, I've also got the internal volume of the casement to work with and that's the size of a (scale) house.
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Postby Raminator » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:57 am

I haven't been updating much while I'm still working through the less glamorous, structural stuff.

    IMAG0612.jpg
A new lower glacis for the Taigen hull, since I removed the appliqué armour plates. There were also some fairly large gaps between the sides of the hull and the bottom, so I laminated a few sheets of thin styrene sheet to cover the whole area up and maintain the correct shape.

    IMAG0613.jpg
Filed off the diamond-shaped tow shackle fittings on the rear plate, since they should be circular on a KV-1S or SU-152. I also took the time to fill in the hole for the power switch, the Soviets stopped installing them there in 1942 after German combat pioniers kept turning the tanks off during combat. You know how unsporting the Wehrmacht could get.

    IMAG0614.jpg
After a lot of mucking about (including cutting an entire 5 millimetres off from the front!), I've got the casement epoxied onto the upper hull. Unfortunately, the more I look into it, the more inaccuracies and discrepancies I find between the kit and the real deal. From what I can see, it looks like Herr Juckenburg has based his model off photos of both SU-152s and ISU-152s without realising they're different things. There are details that are in the wrong spot or from the wrong vehicle, and I'm trying to meet everything in the middle without having to start from scratch or driving myself nuts counting rivets.

    IMAG0615.jpg
Styrene strips for the fender attachments to cover up the inevitable gaps between the superstructure and fenders themselves. I also airbrushed the fenders with a quick coat of Mr. Surfacer 1000 to smooth out the damage and repairs I inflicted earlier.

    IMAG0617.jpg
One of the biggest inaccuracies is the size of the mantlet. It's nearly 10 millimetres too small in each dimension, so I've spliced in some extensions to try and maintain the correct look. Also built up the mantlet's mounting out of styrene sheet and added the return to the front glacis.

    IMAG0619.jpg
And as always, everything's held in place with my favourite M3 bolts. I glued some threaded standoffs into the mantlet body to hold it all in place, this will help when it comes to working out the traverse mechanism.

    IMAG0620.jpg
Holding the gun in place, it's starting to look the goods. Next task is working out the traverse/elevation/recoil mechanisms, then it'll be on to the detailing (the fun stuff, everyone's favourite!).
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Postby RobW » Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:18 pm

Where did you get the barrel?

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Postby Raminator » Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:20 am

I got mine from Frank's Modellbau Schmiede, but MK Modellbau do one too.

Slow going the last few weeks, been too sick to get much done. I figured that if you're not meant to be driving or signing documents after general anaesthetic, you probably shouldn't be using blades either. Managed to make progress on the traverse/elevation and recoil servo mechanisms setup bit by bit, though.

    IMAG0623.jpg

    IMAG0624.jpg
Had a bit of a brainwave for attaching the resin mantlet to the aluminium barrel sleeve. I was never going to get a straight enough fit by gluing it place, and there's not enough material to bolt it. The hole in the mantlet is about half a millimetre smaller than the outside diameter or the barrel sleeve though, so I pressed it in with a vice. It's basically immovable now.

    IMAG0626.jpg
Got the full -12/+12° traverse and -5/+18° elevation now, as well as what appears to be the right amount of throw in the recoil.

    phpBB [video]
The servos don't seem to move especially smoothly, though. I'm not sure if this is because the gun is unbalanced (that metal barrel weighs a tonne), so I'll try adding some counterweight by the recoil/elevation servos. Could it be that the servos aren't strong enough to move the amount of weight there?

Next on the to-do list is widening the mantlet to suit match the previous widening efforts.
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Postby AlwynTurner » Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:20 pm

Terrific work on the servos, I'm following along with great interest.
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