Leman Russ, Pt II

Hell—I wrote this up last week and never actually posted it.  Yay for you. Double post this week.

Sooooo, last time I got the layered sides cut out and glued together. This time I’m going to try to get the hull and both tread elements (for lack of a better term) done.  Yes, I’m sure there is a better term for what I’m calling tread elements. If you happen to know it, feel free to share your knowledge in the comments. 

The hull is pretty straightforward. Two sides and a long strip that connects them and becomes... well, the part we’ll see.  These are all big and simple, so I cut them all out with scissors.  Only took about ten minutes to have them all done and marked.

Helpful Hint—Because I’m planning on building this as a Destroyer, I didn’t make any of the cuts or adjustments in the hull that would normally allow for the forward lascannon sponson.  I may end up regretting this—we’ll see.  If you were making an actual Leman Russ (or variant) you’ll want to be sure to make those extra cuts.

I lined up two of the front-strip edges against one side of the hull.  Once I had them as close as possible, I clamped them with a pair of clothespins.  After about ten minutes I moved the first clamp along to the next edge, and then swapped out the next pin to the edge after that.  It took a bit longer to work this way, but it let me get much cleaner lines on the whole thing.  Once I had the whole strip attached, I let it sit for a few more minutes with a small weight on it to keep it pressed flat.  I used my smartphone, for this, actually.  It’s a good size and weight.
While it sat, I cut up some of the scrap cardstock into strips about 10" or 12" long and made some of those consummate Vs to put inside the hull.  It's worth noting that the hull has two heights, front and back, so I cut two different width strips for the Vs.  Note also that these went vertically—I want to have some support in case something ends up pressing down on the hull. Especially since that’ll be what I do next.

There’s a raised section on top of the Leman Russ where the turret usually mounts.  The shape is a bit odd, but it goes together very well.  The worst part is that—even with tiny tabs—you’ll essentially need to hold the whole thing from all directions until it dries.  So make sure you’ve got a good movie on. 

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I did not have a good movie on for this part...

Helpful Hint—If I was going to do a Leman Russ (or variant), this would be a good time to think about making some sort of socket for the turret.  Or you could just glue the socket in place, depending on how nitpicky your own gaming group is. Or do something clever with magnets.

Next up was the engine compartment in the back.  This is a little tricky because it runs up the back section of the hull and the back part of that raised section. This means there’s a slight angle along the back edge of the compartment.  It’s easy to miss, so watch for it.

With that addressed, this is an easy piece to build. I added a few extra tabs and glued the body together.  Then I added the detail frame on top.  Once that was dry, I glued the whole thing in place.

Once all this was done, I glued the last wall in place and sealed up the hull.  It took a tiny bit of wiggling and pressure to make everything line up just right, and then a few more minutes of waiting.  Once the glue had a good hold, I set it down on its side with a book to hold it in place.

Next up was the treads.

To make this easier to follow along, I’m going to try to refer to things the following way from here on.  When I talk about “the treads,” I’m going to mean the horizontal section, the part that (hypothetically) runs around the wheels and moves the tank.  The tread walls will be the pieces I built last week and the matching inside piece—the vertical sections.  The tread element will be the whole thing together.  So there’s one tread element on each side of the hull.  Make sense?  Hopefully that’ll cut confusion a bit.  Again, if you happen to know the actual terminology, feel free to share the correct names in the comments.
On this template, the tread is two sections.  Rather than join them, I decided to attach them to the tread walls individually.  I figured this would give me more space to work the clips and get nice, solid joins.  And it worked.   Once I had one attached, I added the second (the back section), and joined it to both the tread wall and the front section.

Helpful Hint—I glued them to the inside wall first.  If anything went wrong, it’s easier to replace all of those parts than the layered, detail-heavy wall I put together last time.

I did this for both of the tread elements. While they were drying, I cut some consummate Vs to go inside the elements.  I tend to pick up my tanks by the sides, so I wanted those sides to be solid.

Once I had the Vs in place and everything was dry, I glued the layered tread walls in place.  I lined them up, wrapped them in an old veggie bag (wax paper works, too) and set them under a few hardcover books.  Again—I made sure everything was lined up first.  It’d suck to have it dry crooked after all this work.  I left these to dry for about three hours and they turned out... well, fantastic.  Solid and strong.
Alas, all of that drying time on some of these pieces needed means I didn’t get quite as far as I’d hoped to this weekend. The big elements are done, but there’s still some detail work. So I think I’m going to stretch the “Leman Russ” portion of this out for one more week before I switch over to full Destroyer mode.  So to speak.

Or, it was going to be one more week before I forgot to post this last week.  Now it’ll just be up on Friday morning.

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