Panda Hobby Panzer 38(T)

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Postby silversurfer1947 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:16 pm

I have had this sitting on a shelf for a number of years now.
IMG_20190908_124248.jpg

During that time I have added the 35rctank.com conversion kit and later the Spade ace metal tracks. In the last few days, I have received a Henntec track tensioner. (Excellent service from Guido).

I have decided it is about time that I actually did something with it. I was and still am most impressed by Carl's award winning work, from which I shall be shamelessly be pirating as much information and tips as possible. (He is aware of my intentions!)

I really did not fancy my chances of drilling all those plastic track links, hence the metal ones. That has not been totally straight forward as there is an inconsistency in the castings, some being very tight fits. I filed them down where possible. They are fairly soft metal so I am hoping that repeated flexing will ease them off a little. I don't think they will stand up to very heavy use, but I am not intending that. I started using by using the wire that was supplied, but changed over to using pins which I cut down after fitting. According to the kit instructions, there are 186 links for the 2 tracks, so I have followed suit. Some very sore and frequently punctured fingers later, the tracks are assembled.
IMG_20190908_124343.jpg
It now remains to colour them up initially with gun blacking. I have had a look through the forum for technique for producing a realistic overall finish/weathering without success. If someone can point me at painting and weathering metal tracks I shall be grateful.
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Postby c.rainford73 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:23 pm

I will be following this one very closely. I absolutely enjoyed building mine and will aid you any way I can. I found a very helpful instruction guide from 35rctank that explains all the needed cuts and incisions needed to complete the build. I think mine came with the conversion kit.

There is also a gent on YouTube that also did the conversion from Mr Bix's neck of the woods (Australia that is....) that has a very informative video. It's a few years old.
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Postby silversurfer1947 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:30 pm

I have the instruction leaflet with the conversion kit. Apart from the tracks, all I have done so far is have a quick scan through both this and the actual kit instructions. All the kit parts are still sealed in their plastic bags. When I have cleared the decks in my work room, I shall study both documents in depth as well as going through Carl's thread again, before anything gets opened. My wish is to produce something that is as close as I can get. It will be difficut as the bar has been set very high.
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Postby Model Builder 4 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:58 pm

Hi Richard,

Looking forward to seeing the build progress :D I have a static built version myself, I have been on the look out for a while for a set of the spade ace metal tracks as even on a static model the plastic tracks just seem to fall apart :thumbdown: hopefully you'll fare better with the metal set that you have :thumbup:

Cheers, Lee.
Last edited by Model Builder 4 on Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby c.rainford73 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:23 pm

I have the front metal sprockets on my resin hetzer build from Christian. They are really an improvement over the stock kit offerings. If I had the metal tracks I would have almost completed the tank by now. They are harder to come by than Hen's teeth I'm afraid as production has stopped as far as I know. With that being said, if I could source some plastic tracks I'd gladly drill them out. I'd hate to purchase an entire panzer 38t just for the tracks :wave:
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Postby Raminator » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:21 am

I'll be following this with interest Richard, I've got a real soft spot for the little Czech that could. Nice work with the track assembly, I admire your patience and fingertip fortitude!

I'd assumed the Spade Ace tracks were pewter or something similar, given the fidelity of the casting and the colour; I'm not sure how the lead would react to the chemicals in the burnishing fluid if that's the case. Maybe try one link outdoors with respiratory protection?
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Postby silversurfer1947 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:14 am

Raminator wrote:I'd assumed the Spade Ace tracks were pewter or something similar, given the fidelity of the casting and the colour; I'm not sure how the lead would react to the chemicals in the burnishing fluid if that's the case. Maybe try one link outdoors with respiratory protection?

Thanks for the heads up. I had not given that side of things much thought. I have at least one duff casting with which I shall experiment. Just had a look on Wikipedia. Apparently, lead is only usually used in low grade pewter and Asian Pewter contains a higher percentage of tin, usually 97.5% tin, 1% copper, and 1.5% antimony. This makes the alloy slightly softer. I was quite surprised at this. Like you, I thought there was generally some lead in the mix.
The links are definitely on the soft side. I can cut it with a scalpel and push a pin through it, as I discovered by accident. I shall experiment with the treatment. One link and leave it while I carry on with the rest of the tank to give it a long as possible. Obviously, I can not forecast what will happen in years to come, but hopefully, all being well they will see my time out!
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Postby silversurfer1947 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:16 pm

The instructions are proving interesting. I start with the kit instructions, but then have to read in the instructions from the conversion kit, but also have to splice in the instructions from the Henntec track tensioner! Fortunately, the track adjuster only affect area not touched by the conversion. The only thing that may have a bearing is whether I get the inner body insert from Christian Ludwig. The plastic body is nicely moulded, but is very thin and definitely needs strengthening. I am very conscious of the fire and uncertain when would be a suitable time to contact him. Does anyone know how things are with him now?
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Postby Max-U52 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:13 pm

Since these tanks are sold as toys, and lead is very harmful to Children, I'm not at all surprised to find that there's no lead there. If it did contain lead I'm sure at least a half a dozen different organizations would have gotten these things banned from United States sales already.
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Postby Tiger6 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:02 pm

Max-U52 wrote:Since these tanks are sold as toys, and lead is very harmful to Children, I'm not at all surprised to find that there's no lead there. If it did contain lead I'm sure at least a half a dozen different organizations would have gotten these things banned from United States sales already.


Technically the Spade Ace track set isn't aimed at children, so you could get away with the lead content in the US. You are right in that it is banned from kids toys - you might remember the scandle from the late 2000's when they discovered that the toy companies had substituted even more toxic Cadmium in their pot metal mixtures to get around the lead testing :wtf:
I'm sure its no coincidence that the quality of the pot metal tracks and gear sets improved considerably around the same time frame... :shh:

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Postby B_Man » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:14 am

I'm looking forward to following this build. I have always been interested in doing one myself but I left my run a bit late and both Clark and 35rctank.com have long sine stopped production of the conversion kits. It's a shame because the base kits are pretty cheap at the moment.
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Postby silversurfer1947 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:40 am

B_Man wrote:I'm looking forward to following this build. I have always been interested in doing one myself but I left my run a bit late and both Clark and 35rctank.com have long sine stopped production of the conversion kits. It's a shame because the base kits are pretty cheap at the moment.

Have you contacted them? Nearly everything on their Web site is listed as out of stock. I seem to recall it was the same when I was looking to purch. I emailed them and they notified me some months later.
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Postby c.rainford73 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:51 am

Correct they didn't have it in stock. If you read my build thread it took several weeks for them to make it and ship to me.
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Postby Xiaoshan_Sailor » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:06 am

Neither has stock nor plan to produce. I have the 38(t) kit & was in contact just last week with S.K. & he only plans to run the Pz II Luchs again. Re future kits, he plans to develop one for the pending Classy Hobby M5A1 once he gets his hands on a kit & very interested in doing another for the new Takom Pz I.

If you need Spade Ace track sets, I've only found them from several dealers on Taobao. Price is around $30 at current exchange.
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Postby silversurfer1947 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:46 am

That's a shame. I wonder if he received enough request to make it worthwhile, he would reconsider. I am pretty sure that is what happened with me.
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Postby silversurfer1947 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:51 am

I have made a start on the surgery. With some trepidation and a fine toothed razor saw, I have cut down the suspension units.
IMG_20190911_111003.jpg
IMG_20190911_111003.jpg (80.47 KiB) Viewed 489 times

I now have to play jigsaw puzzles with the spring and rubber strips, and hopefully end up with 4 matching units
IMG_20190911_111137.jpg
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Postby c.rainford73 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:12 pm

Xiaoshan_Sailor wrote:Neither has stock nor plan to produce. I have the 38(t) kit & was in contact just last week with S.K. & he only plans to run the Pz II Luchs again. Re future kits, he plans to develop one for the pending Classy Hobby M5A1 once he gets his hands on a kit & very interested in doing another for the new Takom Pz I.

If you need Spade Ace track sets, I've only found them from several dealers on Taobao. Price is around $30 at current exchange.


Do you have a link for tracks?
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Postby c.rainford73 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:40 pm

Richard remember you need to use a strong glue for this step since the kit pieces are thin and the leaf springs will be under tension and are encapsulated in that small section. :thumbup:
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Postby silversurfer1947 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:21 am

c.rainford73 wrote:Richard remember you need to use a strong glue for this step since the kit pieces are thin and the leaf springs will be under tension and are encapsulated in that small section. :thumbup:

Thanks for the heads up. Unfortunately, by the time I read this, the deed was already done! I used Revell Contacta. It appear to have effectively welded the 2 halves together. I ran it around the parts that would touch and clamped the assembly in a vice for some time to allow it to cure fully. I hope this will be enough.
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Postby silversurfer1947 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:48 pm

Looking at the instructions from the conversion kit, they are quite a number of instances of plastic running on plastic. They indicate that these places should oiled. Mineral oil on plastic does not seem a very good idea. I have thought of silicone oil. I have a selection of silicone oil for the shock aborbers on my model cars. Advice would be appreciated.
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