Builds M3 Lee Canal Defence light 1/35th scale by Takom.

box art wide.jpg

As promised, I'm doing a detailed build here to help anyone thinking of having a go at building their first expensive kit, and don't want to muck it up, So this is going to take a while as I'm photographing my hands (no manicure digs please) doing the work so I can explain in detail each step. Also Helm may take sections of this and add them to the hints and tips thread, but that's for later on, lets take a look at the kit.
box lid off.jpg
 
most kits these days do a parts list on the first page of the instructions, check them through to see if all is present and correct, if there is a problem, Takom has a facebook page, but I suspect they are confident that their kits are quality checked before issue, I recently had some mal formed parts from a Miniart kit, they print their e mail on the side of the box, three weeks later they sent me new parts to replace those damaged ones. Check this early on to avoid disappointment during the build.
parts list.jpg
 

Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
A somewhat obscure item, but fascinating for all that. I shall shamelessly steal anything I can get
 
making your first complex kit can at first seem quite daunting, but taking things step by step, slow your self down and concentrate, feed the cat, take the bins out, do the washing up, get it all done before you start so you can set your attention on the first step of the build, getting the first part fitted well can relieve a lot of anxiety, and set the frame for the whole build.
step one.jpg
 
cutting off part one, leaves a burr on the part where it separated from the sprue frame. Use proper cutters with a flat side of the blade facing the kit part.
This picture shows the cutters removing the number plate bracket for a 1940 Ford, but it's a good illustration of how to use them.
cutting off the number plate bracket.jpg

the burr left on the part is carefully sliced off with a sharp modelling blade. don't go too close to the part, you may go too deep and spoil the nice straight edge, finish de burring with sand paper.
part one cleanup.jpg

inspect the part for faults, checking that there are no knockout/ejector marks, sink marks or deformed molded areas, this part has ejector pin marks on it's inside edge, where they don't show, any that are on the exterior surface, that will show up after the build is finished, need to be dealt with before you go on.
 

Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
cutting off part one, leaves a burr on the part where it separated from the sprue frame. Use proper cutters with a flat side of the blade facing the kit part.
This picture shows the cutters removing the number plate bracket for a 1940 Ford, but it's a good illustration of how to use them.
View attachment 572715
the burr left on the part is carefully sliced off with a sharp modelling blade. don't go too close to the part, you may go too deep and spoil the nice straight edge, finish de burring with sand paper.
View attachment 572717
inspect the part for faults, checking that there are no knockout/ejector marks, sink marks or deformed molded areas, this part has ejector pin marks on it's inside edge, where they don't show, any that are on the exterior surface, that will show up after the build is finished, need to be dealt with before you go on.
The ejector marks being those round things right?
 
Yes, here is a ejector pin mark on another model I made earlier, the mark typically produces a circular depression in the surface of the component, easily filled using model filler like Mr surface, milliput, or any other recommended model filler, sand smooth after it dries and the marks will go away.
drivers hatch ko marks.jpg
 
not a great picture of the filled ejector marks, you can just make it out on the inside of the drivers hatch on the extreme left of the picture. once the filler has dried, sand it level and apply more if needed.
turret bare.jpg

once the part is painted there is no sign of the pin mark, manufacturers try to place the pin marks on sides of a part you won't see. but a hatch can be seen on both sides.
hull and turret primer b.jpg
 
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MoleBath

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Sprockett brings a certain expertise to the subject. Many of us must have memories of bodged Airfix kits in our youth.
 
back on the M3 Lee, trial fitting is very important, long before you apply any glue, offer up the part and check it's the right way around, if it doesn't fit, make sure it's not you, that you have the orientation correct, consult the instruction sheet as you do this.
part one offering up.jpg

if it doesn't fit flush, check again for burrs, deal with them as above and go for another trial fit.
part one cleaning up b.jpg
 
This Takom kit first part clicked into place, very nice, doesn't always happen, sometimes you need to hold the part in place using masking tape.
A good inspection all around to see there are no gaps and you have a good fit, remember this is part number one, it's fit will frame the whole build in your mind, so make it a good one.
trial fit.jpg

using liquid glue, low viscosity, it runs into joints using capillary action, neat stuff. but as it's liquid it can seriously spoil your day if you use too much, too much will flood the area and flow out and melt detail elsewhere, so be warned, less is more.
nozzle type glue.jpg

first always have a length of thin wire to unblock the nozzle, it's infuriating and unsettling to have a blocked nozzle as it upsets the natural rhythm and pace of the build. When you unblock, be prepared for liquid glue to flow out, have a block of wood with some masking tape on it ready to catch it.
glue nozzle wire.jpg
 
from inside, apply the liquid direct from the nozzle along the joint lines.
liquid glue application.jpg

apply pressure to the part to close up any joint lines gaps until the glue welds the part in place where you want it to be.
join line exterior after glue b.jpg

inspect the join for fit.
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
1620838290083.png


I've done myself damage before now cutting like that -remember that's a surgical blade. cut away from your fingers, not towards them.
 
inspection while the join is still soft is a time sensitive task, check it all around before it dries hard, once it does corrections become harder.
join line exterior after glue.jpg

if it's a good join, congratulate yourself on a job well done, you're onto a good start, take a break and put the kettle on, feed the Hedgehogs and put the news on.
 
moving on to other components in part one, the final drives on this kit have to be built closely together time wise, before the glue sets, I'll show you why.
final drive covers.jpg

the instructions show the curved parts fitted first, the covers need to be fitted straight away so that a good flush fit can still be formed moving parts slightly before they dry.
final drive covers gap.jpg

as there is room for the curved parts to fit to far over, a gap can be formed between the two.
final drive covers fitted.jpg

acting before the glue dried allows you to slide them into their final locations for a flush fit.
 
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the rear plate has these molded spurs that I'm seeing a lot lately on modern kits,
molding tabs clipping off.jpg

they don't get in the way of the fit, but they annoy me, so off they come
finished off with a blade, and as mentioned, avoid cutting your own fingers as blood is a nuisance, as it spoils the model build progress.
molding tabs cut off remains b.jpg
 
View attachment 572743

I've done myself damage before now cutting like that -remember that's a surgical blade. cut away from your fingers, not towards them.
To be pedantic, it's a craft blade, not a scalpel. From the looks, the blade is bevelled on one side. This means that you can't cut away from you if you're working on the top of the item. To cut away from yourself, you'd need to be working on the bottom of the item - but then the blade and your fingers would be obscuring the workpiece.

Your comments about safety are well-founded though, especially as this thread is directed toward newcomers. One option would be to use a Dremel fitted with a burr to grind off the excess (safety glasses please) or mitigate the risk of injury by folding a bit of masking tape over the part of the blade that isn't being used. There's still a risk of cutting yourself but it'll be a nick rather than a slash.
 
using the capillary action of liquid glue isn't always possible, especially on small parts, sometimes you can drop the glue in and squeeze the two parts together.
bogie parts held together.jpg
 
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