Comet A34- Ludwig kit

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 43rdRecceReg » Mon May 27, 2019 12:44 pm

Before, and whilst, fitting the other side to the hull floor you need to bond the first of the rear plates in place. In this instance, it's the one I fitted the towbar to. It has mortise and tenon joints, and would be very awkward to fit later, if the sides were fitted without it... :think:
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Then, I fitted the second (uppermost) rear panel. This is a straight fit, without mortise and tenons, but needs to be held steady while curing with cramps. I also added angled styrene bracing to limit future movement.
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After that, I bonded the lower section of the front three plates in place. I wondered what the holes (one indicated by a red arrow) were for in it, as there's no mention of them in the instructional pdf., nor a picture :problem:
Eventually, I chose to fit the plate this way round because the holes are likely to be needed to adjust the Henntec unit. :)
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When fitting the front panel (2nd in the tree plate setup), I clamped and wedged some bits of styrene (of the correct gap dimensions) between the two plates to keep them from flexing out of line, as the panel was pressed home.
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The inevitable gaps have since been filled in internally, and externally, with Milliput (extra fine). On the external joints, I also simulated stretches of spot welding- though these are not likely to be visible when the tanks upright. Still, it seemed worthwhile. :)
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The back section (especially the towbar) will need a wash and brush up, and general tidying, before it encounters primer.
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Last edited by 43rdRecceReg on Mon May 27, 2019 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Mon May 27, 2019 1:09 pm

Back to the suspension. This is where there's not a lot to go on online. Anyway, this is how I tackled it. The wee brass spring retaining bolts (2.5mm hex heads, 12mm shaft length) were screwed in gently to the undersized holes I'd drilled through the plate sandwich. Using a 2.5mm bolt driver, I carefully used the bolts to cut their own thread. Then unscrewed them slightly to receive the loop/hook of the spring.
Then the arms were slipped into place, and the brass pivots I'd made pushed into place. A final light tap was needed to drift them through the inner panel, and the reinforcing strip that's bonded to it. It's an intentionally tight fit, and that was the result I was aiming for. It fits like a cotter pin. The outer stub of the pivot pin will be secured in place by some Plasto. The idea is that if the springs are not up to the job (and they are an unknown quantity), it won't be too much of a pain removing the suspension arms. :| The springs allow the arms to swing almost horizontal, but any more than that might tip their elasticity range beyond recovery.
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The arm now moves freely, as its captive bushing swivels around the brass rod/axle. I'm being very careful in my choice of terminology, lest any unintentional double entendre opportunities emerge. :lolno:
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The gaps around the brass rod end will be filled with Plasto or Milliput, after the arms are centred perfectly.

I can't do all the arms right now (one is incomplete), and so my next task is to fit the Henntec tensioner unit. One reason not to fit the Glacis plate at this stage (as I discovered with the Cromwell build >:< )
is that it makes fitting the Henntec bits exceedingly difficult. But... it does put a lot of cash in the swearbox... :haha:
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Mon May 27, 2019 3:38 pm

I had wondered whether it was feasible to put some telescopic dampers/shock absorbers into the plate sandwich, instead of a simple pin and tension spring arrangement.
The Christie suspension in the Comet and Cromwell actually has a telescopic damper configuration between the two plates. In fact, I think the Taigen T34 (also a form of Christie suspension) has that sort of suspension setup. I thought, perhaps, of using the dampers/coiled springs seen on the Pz 111 as an option- or even a set of dampers from the T34.
Panzer 111 suspension struts.jpeg
Taigen Pz 111 suspension dampers
Panzer 111 suspension struts.jpeg (58.6 KiB) Viewed 708 times

Still, the spring and pin setup has the virtue of being very simple, but right now, I don't know how robust it is likely to be with the springs I bought. In fact, although the Cromwell has the springs supplied by CL, it has had little more than a bench run so far, and so I'm not aware of how well the suspension will hold up with those springs.
The T34 suspension can be adapted to mate with the Comet (Ludwig) upper hull. A notable example of that is to be found here (a build by Michael C., using a T34 lower hull and suspension):
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=19362&p=175144&hilit=comet+michael+c#p175144
Michael's Comet.jpg
Comet by Michael C.
Michael's Comet.jpg (78.85 KiB) Viewed 708 times

I believe the finishing touches to this build were applied, with great finesse, by Dean (dgsselkirk). :thumbup:
The original build thread can be found here:
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=17863&p=156432&hilit=comet+michael+c#p156432
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Mon May 27, 2019 3:48 pm

The Comet hulk in the background shows diagonal brackets where the suspension units used to sit. (Click to enlarge- not all pics come from Imgur)
Comet bare.jpeg
Comet back to basics
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Mon May 27, 2019 4:00 pm

Stop press! Just had a massive stroke of luck (as opposed to massive stroke :lolno: )- a package has just arrived from Germany bearing some long-awaited goodies, as well as some parts that were overlooked (but badly needed).
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...and some specials:
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I really like the of the driving headlamps and protective bars (they're from the Crusader listings; but were essentially the same as the ones used on the Comet and Cromwell)
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The headlamp glasses have some extra fine detail, and really recall those old Lucas lamps seen on the 1960s Mini Coopers I used to drive (as well as the more venerable cars with starting handles, runner boards and orange arms for winkers, my Dad used to drive us around in... :D ).
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Postby Ad Lav » Mon May 27, 2019 4:11 pm

The sprockets are really smart, had them on the centurion! Make sure you line both sides up perfectly :)
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Postby tomhugill » Mon May 27, 2019 4:12 pm

Hey Roy,

Amazing work so far! Regarding the suspension, mines stock and has survived some
Heavy usage without issue.
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Mon May 27, 2019 7:43 pm

tomhugill wrote:Hey Roy,

Amazing work so far! Regarding the suspension, mines stock and has survived some
Heavy usage without issue.


Thanks, Tom, and that's also reassuring. However, I'm not convinced that the springs I bought are as robust as the ones Christian supplied for my Cromwell. While the length is comparable, and the stretch sufficient,
the wire thickness of the ones I bought is probably .3 to .4 mm. But Christian's ones were likely to be .5mm gauge. We'll see. :|
I was surprised to find how hard it is to find the ones he sells. :problem:
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Mon May 27, 2019 7:48 pm

Ad Lav wrote:The sprockets are really smart, had them on the centurion! Make sure you line both sides up perfectly :)


Thanks, Adam. Yes, I know about the alignment issue (he writes... ruefully). I had to undo one entire side (40 odd bolts or so) of a Cromwell sprocket to realign the two sides. >:< I assumed the sprocket gear wheels would align on any of the tapped holes- but apparently not. :eh:
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Postby Model Builder 4 » Mon May 27, 2019 8:26 pm

Very nice Roy, it looks like it's coming along a treat, parts of the build can be very fiddly but the finished result is worth it in the end :thumbup:

Cheers, Lee.
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Wed May 29, 2019 8:52 pm

Thanks, Lee. :D Yes, projects such as these are often vastly more complex ( and packed with unforeseen challenges), than one might suppose. Still, whilst getting a result might well be the ultimate aim, most the pleasure (and most of the pain) comes from solving problems; learning on the job- so to speak-and from improvising. :D
Newly resupplied with necessary goodies, I returned to the Upper Hull to add a few bits.
By the way, click to enlarge these pics.
I've been using Imgur lately for most of my postings, and this app presents and resizes the images here nicely in Cinemascope. BUT... I discovered recently that if a pic is removed from Imgur, it will also disappear here. 8O If a pic is not clicked within 6 months on the Imgur site, it could be removed automatically. :problem: While members might well look at the pics here, I'm fairly sure the general public won't be clicking away
on pics of model tanks, and tank parts on Imgur. So...these could fall foul of the no-click rule. :|
For those who can recall the devastation to the pics in archived threads by Photobucket's shenanigans, I don't want all the pics vanishing into the ether if Imgur begins deleting them.
So...many of the pics from now on will be uploaded directly from my Mac.
No...it's not acupuncture for armour. But these small drill bits can be used as a jig when fitted into the pre-formed bolt holes.
Comet build-Upper Hull-pic 35-Turret ring plate.jpeg
Acupuncture for model armour-or the Comet turret ring plate fitment.
Last edited by 43rdRecceReg on Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Wed May 29, 2019 9:04 pm

I also put some furnishings on the Glacis plate. It's easier to do when the plate is still attached to the plate sprue. What's more, I'm not going to fit it to the Lower Hull, until the Henntec unit has been fitted. Working on Henntec is a nightmare with the glacis plate in place. Fitting the headlights and headlight protectors is also a lot easier off-tank. :think:
Comet build-Lower Hull-pic 27-Glacis plate.jpeg
Comet build glacis plate


Now for the Driver's portal, and the brackets that support the periscopes...
This one is in Imgur-scope:
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and this, another acupuncture shot:
Image

As you can see, even if you click on the pic I uploaded directly, it doesn't fill the screen in the same way that these two Imgur images do.
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Wed May 29, 2019 9:39 pm

Fitting the Henntec unit seems to be the next logical step. The sooner the idlers and drive sprockets can be fitted, the better it is to see whether all the suspension components are going to align in the way they should. (The horns of the tracks should be able to travel in a straight line between the return rollers, idlers, and double roadwheels.)
Comet build-Suspension-Henntec A.jpeg
Comet build- fitting Henntec track tensioner unit.

The holes in the lower front armour plate, were likely intended as access points for the grub screw in the steel locking ring. However, I found that there was not quite enough room in the sandwich of plates to accommodate the locking ring. For that reason, I left it located on the inside of the tank. I did, however, orient the grub screw so that it can be slackened or tightened after the glacis plate is bonded in place.
This is fairly necessary. :think:
I also had to trim the edge of the unit, so that it sits neatly along the line of the lower front armour plate
Image

As this is going to be a fairly stressed part of the model when the tracks are fitted, I decided to bond in some supports (little bulkheads) between the plates in the sidewall, just in front of the retaining screw.
This also allowed me to tighten the nut and screw without deforming the plates. :thumbup:
Comet build-Suspension-Henntec C.jpeg
Support added to side plates holding Henntec unit

All of this didn't require that much effort. However, it now occurs to me that it would have been better to look at the return roller fittings, perhaps, before binding the sides together.
No mention of this is made in the instructions..so I didn't give it enough thought. The prototype Comet had no return rollers, just like the Cromwell it was developed from. The production version did, however, and so does the model.
According to CL, Pz 111 return rollers are the ones to fit, so I'm looking into getting some. I have a full set of Tamiya Pz IV rollers, but finding retaining bolts long enough to go through the Roller holders and side walls (they normally go through one only) and the 5mm gap between the plates- is something I'd not anticipated. It looks like I'll need lengths of threaded rod and matching nuts. :problem: :|
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Fri May 31, 2019 9:11 pm

A few updates. Here I've added the tow shackle brackets to the front armour plate. The Glacis plate is in place for appearance's sake, but won't be bonded on until the headlights and light protectors are fitted.
Click to ENLARGE...
Comet build-Lower Hull-pic 28-shackle brackets.jpeg
Front tow shackle support brackets

I also assembled the upper hull storage boxes. I intend to fit a back panel to the units so that when bonded to the lower hull, (concealed) screws can lock pass through into the upper hull, helping to lock the two together. More on that, later.
Image
Assembly is fairly straightforward, so long as set squares are used:
Comet build-Lower Hull-pic 30-box assembled.jpeg
Storage box assembly

If you look at CL's build instructions, the storage boxes shown are those for the Cromwell. These have raised ribs for strengthening the plate, on the lid and front; just like the real thing. However, storage boxes on
the Comet don't have these ribs, so it's not necessary to fill the preformed slots on the panels with 1mm styrene. I will just turn the lid over, to the smooth side, when fitting it. :|
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Fri May 31, 2019 9:38 pm

Time to fit the newly arrived mudguard support brackets.
Comet build-Lower Hull-pic 31-Mudguard supports.jpeg
Mudguard or Fender support brackets

and fitted:
Comet build-lower Hull-pic 32-supports fitted.jpeg
Mudguard brackets in place


The thing about semi-scratch construction is, just when things are moving along, there's always a conundrum, or obstacle, just around the corner. :problem:
This one concerns the return rollers.
This is all you get on return rollers, as per CL's pdf:
Comet build-CL-Rollers A.jpeg
Comet build- CL-Return rollers pic A
Comet build-CL-Rollers A.jpeg (93.46 KiB) Viewed 631 times

Comet build-CL-Rollers-C.jpeg
Comet return rollers-CL-pic C.

And that's it: three pics, and no comment.
I'm guessing that the Pz 111 return roller mountings have been glued in place, because unless there's some locking arrangement (nuts and washers) immediately behind the outer hull wall, there's no other way of attaching the mounting. :eh: Why? Well, the standard axle supplied with the mounting isn't long enough to go through the roller (even starting from the midpoint of the roller, some 18mm from the outer plate), the mounting, two walls and a gap. Have a look at this:
These are aligned as they would appear with the hull wall on the left. The polished steel axle is the standard one for Taigen and HL. It's long enough to go from the midpoint of the Roller (it's head is sandwiched
between the two halves of the roller), through the mounting, and one layer of styrene.
The black axle is from the Tiger 1 roadwheel suspension, and is long enough to pass through the roller; the mounting and the Comet's doubled- up sides. This is the one I'll be adapting for use.

The roller see here is a Schumo Pz IV type, and I may use it for the build. I'm waiting for a delivery of the Taigen Pz III type in the meantime. Should you chose to build the Comet with Pz III gear, do remember that you will need to order two sets of mountings, as the Pz 111 set only has 6 mounts, and this tank needs 8. :|
Attachments
Comet build-CL-Rollers B.jpeg
Comet return rollers-CL-pic B
Comet build-Suspension-Rollers E.jpeg
Return roller axles
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Fri May 31, 2019 10:01 pm

Pz IV and Pz 111 mounting and rollers will probably cut the mustard here. The centre line running through the wheels, rollers, idlers, and drive sprockets is roughly at a distance of 18mm from the hull side, in both instances. Also
Whether Schumo, HL, or Taigen, the rollers and mounts combined seem to stick out by around 24mm. Anyway, we'll see when the bits arrive.
Image
Comet build-Suspension-Rollers B.jpeg
Panzer 111 suspension alignment


Do, I have a way of sorting this. But here's the conundrum, this sheet of parts arrived with the kit:
Image
I've spent a good few hours wondering what the bits are for. :eh: Clearly, there are three (3mm thick) rings for each of the roller mounting base; but they make no appearance at all (guest or otherwise), in the Pdf build.
If they're meant to go between the two side panels- well, it's too late. Anyway, the base itself only duplicates the one that's already CNC cut into the hull wall:
Comet build-Suspension-Rollers C.jpeg
Comet roller mounting position.

With the extra long Tiger 1 axle, I won't need to wonder what these bits are for. I'll just ignore them, as - apart from enlarging the hole in the mounting slightly to accommodate the greater diameter of the Tiger shaft, the arrangement I have in mind should work..
Speculating about it a bit more, I'm guessing that the three rings could be bonded together, to make an alternative budget roller support mounting. Something like this:
Comet build-Suspension-Rollers F.jpeg
Alternate roller mounting?

In any event, as I've already said I'm going to bypass this conundrum :thumbup:
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:06 pm

Back to the storage boxes. I got on with (carefully) cutting out some backing pieces for the units. Drilling through these, into the upper hull sides, will provide a discrete means of fixing upper and lower hulls together.
A couple of self- tappers will then provide a firm attachment, and fairly quick separation, when needed. There are no off-the-shelf quick release mechanisms for the Comet. :|
Comet build-Lower Hull-pic 33-storage.jpeg
Comet build-backing pieces for storage units

The two tools involved: the Tamiya cutting tool, and the Safety cutting ruler I find invaluable- even though they were inexpensive. The ruler has kept the gore out of scratch building, and allows one to slice away with confidence :D
Comet build-Lower Hull-pic 34.jpeg
Comet build-Storage box backs


Then, I got some 10mm broad staples, and began fitting them to the engine deck. I took the locations, and dimensions, of the deck's handles from the blueprints I downloaded. Again, blueprints can be a priceless aid in the build process. So much of the build involves calculations (scale comparisons etc.,), bits of geometry, micrometer use, and so on- all to answer questions that arise, and to which there are no easy answers. :think: :)
Anyway, I also had time to assemble the read mudguards. Given that only four parts are involved (two plates and two ribs), I thought I'd skip the pics. Essentially, the rearmost part of the mudguard has two ribs that fit into two precut slots. The smaller rib goes at the top, larger one in the bottom slot, while the triangular section, with bolt holes, is bonded on the outside edge. It was fairly straightforward.
Overall, I'd say the Comet kit is an improvement on the Cromwell (although I think they're both great). Having precut holes for the Henntec unit, helpful location slots here and there, and an abundance of jig-like location holes all serve to make the build a tad less frustrating.

This is what the rear end looks like after the most recent additions.:
Image
A few handles are still needed, and some working hinges. The ones from the Shapeway's Cromwell accessories should help create an authentic look. Despite an abundance of Comet walkaround pics- including the ones I took at Munster and Bovington, snaps showing close-ups of engine deck details are hard to find. :eh: Still, the Blueprints have helped :thumbup:
Time for a slurp..
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Postby Ad Lav » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:38 am

Good progress :)
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Postby HERMAN BIX » Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:25 am

A monumental work in styrene Mr 43rd!.............a challenge for you would be to make a set of instructions that Mr Ludwig can have to hand for English speaking customers perhaps.
Lucky for you the written word has no accent issues to overcome ;) :D

With the suspension components being so embedded in the model, is there a risk of park-it-on-the-shelf component failure once its run for a while just as replacing bits is way too hard ?
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Postby tomhugill » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:27 am

HERMAN BIX wrote:A monumental work in styrene Mr 43rd!.............a challenge for you would be to make a set of instructions that Mr Ludwig can have to hand for English speaking customers perhaps.
Lucky for you the written word has no accent issues to overcome ;) :D

With the suspension components being so embedded in the model, is there a risk of park-it-on-the-shelf component failure once its run for a while just as replacing bits is way too hard ?


If it’s anything like the Cromwell, replacing suspension components is an inconvenience rather than an impossibility, I snapped a bit on mine and had to take the arm, spring etc out.
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