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Takom T-54B build log
JimboHUN
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Budapest, Hungary
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Posted: Wednesday, August 03, 2016 - 02:01 AM UTC
Hi Folks,

Some update on the turret.

It goes together pretty easily, the only complaint so far is the size of the location holes - they are just too big.









Cheers,

Adam
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
#406
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Posted: Wednesday, August 03, 2016 - 02:31 AM UTC
I am really impressed with how clean your work is. Well done.
JimboHUN
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Posted: Wednesday, August 03, 2016 - 05:58 PM UTC
Thanks Darren...that's my aim however building cleanly slows me really down if I can't get to the bench as often as I'd wish.

Cheers,

Adam
JimboHUN
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Posted: Saturday, August 06, 2016 - 07:13 PM UTC
Hello Lads,

The next step (in my alternative order of building this kit) is the barrel.

The design of Takom is rather strange here. We have a „gun cradle” that is movable up and down:



We also have a soft vinyl dust cover which is not flexible enough to make the barrel movable, but does not hold it in place properly either.



If we add the dust cover we can see that the hole on it and the one on the cradle are located a bit apart, so in theory the barrel is fixed by these two holes, but the fit is not good enough. Also mine was leaning to the left as well (but maybe that was my mistake).



So for a proper positioning I glued the turret to a plastic sheet and with some dryfitting and eyeballing cut a smaller sheet to hold the barrel in place. Then I glued the barrel in place with Revell plastic cement I left it drying overnight.



The barrel itself is easy to construct, if you glue the two halves carefully, you can do it with minimal sanding/filling. I could not fit the ring on the end into place with the small locating „lips” so I sanded it down and just glued it my eyeballing. Unfortunately the rifling is totally missing and this is a quite obvious omission to me.





Also ideally a welding line should be added to the fume extractor.

That’s all for now, soon I will be off for holidays but will try to send a last update before that.

Cheers,

Adam
JimboHUN
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Budapest, Hungary
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Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - 09:31 PM UTC
Hi Folks,

I was off for holidays, hence the lack of updates.

I took a few quick photos though with my tablet (so apologies for the quality)before leaving but had no time to post. So here they are at the latest stage, with boxes and some other stuff removed that will be glued only later and/or after painting.

Now it starts to look like a T-54 finally...





More updates will follow this weekend.

Cheers,

Adam
JimboHUN
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Budapest, Hungary
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Posted: Saturday, August 20, 2016 - 11:20 PM UTC
Hi Guys,

Finally some updates on the turret… I am not really following the instructions but move from the biggest parts to the fragile ones.

After finishing the barrel, I added the strips fixing the dust cover…these are made of plastic and are too thick. The vinyl dust cover has minor fit issues that are currently being corrected by putty and green stuff.

The grab handles are OK but their location holes are just too big so some careful filling is needed.

I have added some wiring to the searchlights and glued the IR „dish” in place (instructions would leave it movable).

At this point some minor filling and clean-up work is needed plus the addition of some tiny last parts. And of course the AA gun.






Cheers,

Adam
JimboHUN
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Budapest, Hungary
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Posted: Saturday, August 20, 2016 - 11:58 PM UTC
Sorry, server for the photos is currently down...
Braille
#135
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Posted: Sunday, August 21, 2016 - 05:59 PM UTC
@ JimboHUN- Adam,

Keep up the excellent build, I'm enjoying this one. Very well documented and informative. Looking forward to the next update.

Recently bought this kit on ebay from China and found it already came with the updated lower hull.

~Eddy
JimboHUN
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Posted: Monday, August 22, 2016 - 12:26 AM UTC

Quoted Text

@ JimboHUN- Adam,

Keep up the excellent build, I'm enjoying this one. Very well documented and informative. Looking forward to the next update.

Recently bought this kit on ebay from China and found it already came with the updated lower hull.

~Eddy



Thanks Eddy!

It is a nice kit indeed that would appeal to most modelers.

Unfortunately I do not have as much time as I wish for modelling and the clock is ticking but I think I will be just in time for the article. A few bits are left at this pont, the AA gun seems a bit tedious.

And I have still all the roadwheels and the tracks...

Cheers,

Adam
JimboHUN
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Posted: Monday, August 29, 2016 - 01:06 AM UTC
Hi Folks,

I have time now for very small update, unfortunately due to some colleagues being off sick/on holidays I am working instead of 5 people...

I have added the 2-piece moving arm for the IR light, which is indeed movable but I glued it in place just in case...

Te coaxiam MG needs drilling/replacement.

Also added the brackets used for stowing the AA gun, these are too chunky for my taste so probably I will replace them by PE leftovers from a T-55 set after finishing the in-box article for the site.





At this stage the ony thing left is the AA gun.

Also I have started to clean up the roadwheels and the track links as I left the most boring part to the end

Regards,

Adam
Thirian24
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Posted: Monday, August 29, 2016 - 01:59 AM UTC
Looking real nice!
JimboHUN
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Budapest, Hungary
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Posted: Thursday, September 01, 2016 - 12:50 AM UTC
Hi Guys,

So the second most boring job is done (the first one being the track links)

I have sanded off the surface where the pattern wears away. As said before there is no point in the separate "rubber ring" since it includes the steel rim on the outer face so painting is not easier and it leaves you with a joint to be filled and sanded on the inner face.

The fit is not the best so the reverse side of each roadwheel has a slight gap running between the rubber part and the wheel.

Just to note, the Chinese market kits (Type-59, etc) have one-piece road wheels.

I have primed with black the reverse side of each to make sure no grey spots will be visible when doing the final painting. This is my first try with Vallejo paints and I am not disappointed so far (in general I am still struggling with this type of paint ).



Next is the AA machine gun and the tracks which are still being cleaned up. I am a bit excited since I have never built non-workable plastic tracks with sag before - normally I used either rubber band or workable tracks.

Cheers,

Adam
JimboHUN
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Posted: Sunday, September 04, 2016 - 12:47 AM UTC
I have just realized I made a mistake in the beginning.

I should have glued the tracks before the fenders as now it will be harder to slide into place around the spocket.

Will see...

I have tested on a few pieces, the Tamiya extra thin cement works quickly and the plastic is soft so you need to be quick.

Still half of them is to be cleaned up, so no photos this time.

Cheers,

Adam
CMOT
Staff MemberEditor-in-Chief
ARMORAMA
#406
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Posted: Sunday, September 04, 2016 - 05:06 AM UTC
JimboHUN
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Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 05:52 PM UTC
Good afternoon Lads,

Unfortunately I still do not have much time lately due to yet another fiscal year end closing in, but when I have even 30 minutes to spare I clean up a handful of track links. That is the boring part, but to keep you interedted I finally put together the AA machin gun which is a mixed bag. I think it has slightly finer details than Tamiya with a very similar parts breakdown (that is why you should not really use the Tamiya AA MG for the T-55A - however with Soviet armor anything can happen ).

The main part itself is a bit bent and the multiple sprue gates on the end of the barrel make it worse. The end of the flash hider is not drilled.

A lot of tedious clean up is needed, especially for the gun as there is a very visible seam line running through the middle - the careful removal is a challange especially for the finned parts.

The rest is easier, but some dry fitting is required as the insructions are not 100% exact as to what goes where. I have changed the sequence a little bit as I want to keep the gun removable for later painting.

The rear sight is made of PE and will be added later, just like the ammo box - there is still some sanding to do on that.






It is good to see that Takom took the time and included a proper AA gun did not use the parts from their AM/AMV kit as these are not correct for this build. You also get a Chinese version as a bonus Uthe same gun but the barrel is has no fins on it.

Regards,

Adam
flugwuzzi
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Lower Austria, Austria
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Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 02:39 AM UTC
Great work Adam, looks phantastic!
JimboHUN
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Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - 12:00 AM UTC
Thank you - now I just need to deal with the boring stuff: track links. I hope to have them all cleaned by this weekend and attempt the assembly.

Cheers, Adam
ivanhoe6
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Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - 04:22 PM UTC
Many thanks Adam ! A BIG thanks for alerting me about the fenders ! I would have glued them on first too. I've been following closely and have learned a lot.
A quick question : On the "L" sprue there are a bunch of numbers, I'm guessing casting numbers. Are there casting numbers on the real thing ? If so, where do they go and how many numbers are used ?
Thanks again for your detailed build log and any help with the numbers.

Tom
JimboHUN
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Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - 04:43 PM UTC
Hi,

I am not sure where the numbers would go...have not really seen it on real vehicles.

As for the fenders, while it makes adding the tracks a bit tricky, I still think it is better to glue them in place before adding the parts on them (as opposed to the instructions sheet).

Or I have a better idea:

1) construct the track without fenders on
2) once fully dried remove the track with the wheels
3) add fenders
4) put back on wheels and tracks after painting

Cheers,

Adam
JimboHUN
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Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 10:45 PM UTC
Hi Guys,

I had some time to work on the tracks.

Each link requires more or less clean-up, but nothing major. However 13 pieces were broken/deformed out of 193, and 184 are needed per side. That leaves me with -4 track links, however Takom was quick to provide a handful of replacements which should be on its way by now. Alternatively you can use Masterclub resin ones to replace the missing bits as they fit perfectly to the Takom offering (I do not have any extra currently).

As said earlier, I normally use either rubber band or workable track links so this is my very first attempt to glue track links.

I am doing three sections per side, using Tamiya Extra Thin Cement to have some time to align them into position.

First section is from under the first roadwheel to the top of the sprocket, the second is from here to to idler, the third will be a short one to finish the front part. As far as I know the plastic cement might cause some shrinkage so I will allow a few days for drying before adding the last section.

Assembly is easy however the glue dries very quickly (not sure if it is normal or it is just Takom's plastic) so I had issues with the long runs, I did not achieve the look I was looking for, the track is just not as flexible as I was hoping it would be.

See it for yourselves:





Actually after taking the photos I made some small corrections as I have realised that it is relatively easy to remove a link if only a tiny amount of glue was used. But it is too dark now to take pictures.

Cheers,

Adam
JimboHUN
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Posted: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 - 01:23 AM UTC
Hi Folks,

Apologies for the lack of updates, there has been some unexpected turns at work so I am pretty busy until this Friday.

However I finally managed to finish the tracks.

Quality is pretty good to me, especially if we consider that these are out of the box tracks. The issues I had are due to my mistake as a tried to add the tracks after the fenders. So I had to work with multiple segments instead of just gluing one and wrapping it around all the wheels - but that was impossible with the fenders on.

The result is not that bad, but the left side has noticeably more sag on the front. I will see if I can correct that later but honestly there is a time limit on the build blog and I aim to finish the article the first days of October.

Oh and the first roadwheels have bigger hubs on each side, on the left I placed it incorrectly but as it is not glued yet I will move to the front later.









Cheers,

Adam
JimboHUN
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Budapest, Hungary
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Posted: Monday, October 03, 2016 - 12:47 AM UTC
Hi All,

This kit is finally done, the last bits were a pain but I am already over the deadline.

The brackets for the commander's PE searchlight took a dozen tries to finally look acceptable - still I will rework it later but first I need to write the review on the kit.

Another pain point were the tow cables as the ones provided by Takom are way too stiff, it is very hard to align them. So these are also to be swapped after publishing the article.

And as many other reviews already suggested on Takom's T-54/55 kits, the cage for the headlights is horrible - it is too thick, and does not fit together at all, plus mine was also broken. So this also will need to be remade from wire.

Photos:





I will carry on with the blog once the article is up and live.

Cheers,

Adam
flugwuzzi
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Lower Austria, Austria
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Posted: Tuesday, October 04, 2016 - 06:34 PM UTC
Great work Adam!
It`s a pity the headlight cage is such a bugger!

Keep up the good work.
Cheers
Walter
timroberts8
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England - West Midlands, United Kingdom
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Posted: Wednesday, October 05, 2016 - 12:41 PM UTC
Tom, the L sprue is shared with the Chinese only release Type 59 & Type 69-1 kits, as well as the general release Type 69-II kit.
The Chinese built versions of the T-54 (which is what these are) did have prominent casting numbers on the turret, but the T-54/T-55 did not. So you don't use them on this T-54 version.
JSSVIII
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Posted: Wednesday, October 05, 2016 - 03:14 PM UTC
Nice build Adam, can't wait to see it with paint on!