The Lower Hull
you love tank interiors, the Lee gives you two side doors, the front
driver's visor, the hatch the roof over the canon, and the commander's
cupola. You could even open the small visors around the hull and
on the turret if you desired. Not only do you get more angles for
viewing the interior, you also get more light sources to see more
course, visibility is relative. It's still an enclosed vehicle and
not an open top. For most people, the Verlinden interior will (or
Academy interior) will suffice. But I tried to add as much as I
could, and did not glue my turret in place so I could get a better
look at it when it was all completed.
you want to go all out, there are rivets and bracing on the inside
walls of the tank as well as outside, and you can let the exterior
be your guide. But as far as other details go, the few interior
images available often add to confusion rather than clearing it
up since you rarely know exactly which variant you're eyeballing.
Verlinden's pieces are well cast and quite adequate for what they
are called on to do. But be prepared to do some calculated guesswork
on positioning things (e.g., the turret floor is mis-positioned
and the construction of the basket is confusing).
first thing I noticed as I explored and dry fit the VP pieces was
that the back wall, which extends out over the hull, was just a
bit short of touching the bottom of the hull. As I was thinking
about how to shim it, I was also considering that I might need to
get a new hull if my build of the TMD suspension went sour (as it
did) and I had to revert to the Tamiya suspension (which I did)
and/or replace the altered Lee hull (which, of course, I did). This
is where thinking ahead and planning for contingencies paid off!
a thin sheet of plastic as a base for doing most of the interior
as a subassembly that could be slipped in and out of the hull. The
transmission case and shaft, seats, ammo locker, etc. were glued
to this platform, as was the rear wall (after carefully determining
how far back in the hull it could sit and still accommodate the
upper hull when it attached to the lower hull). The VP instructions
point out vague areas for positioning the interior pieces so be
prepared for a lot of dry fitting here, too. I added a support pole
behind the driver's seat (which needs some scratchbuilt legs instead
of sitting on the tranny as Verlinden directs).
my interior on a separate base, I was able to paint the hull separately.
When time came for final assembly, I just dropped the interior compartment
into the hull.
and Research Notes
The Suspension and Tracks
The Lower Hull Exterior
The Lower Hull Interior
The Upper Hull Exterior
The Upper Hull Interior
Painting and Decals
Diorama (coming soon)