Author Topic: El Gatito Blindado  (Read 1483 times)

Offline Frank3k

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El Gatito Blindado
« on: August 13, 2018, 05:02:09 AM »
At the end of WWII, the Germans were working on an armored personnel carrier, the Kštzchen (Google search), based on the Hetzer chassis.

This whiff is based on the design, exported and developed by either Spain or Argentina, shortly after WWII, hence "El Gatito Blindado" - the armored kitten.
The base model is the Academy 1/35 Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer "Late Production Version". The interior uses many parts from awesome Tristar Panzer 38(t) Full Interior set. Since this is an open top vehicle, I had to create the complete superstructure.
Using the line drawings I found online, I used Rhino3D to make a quick outline as a "sanity check", then printed it out of thick paper. I noticed that the walls would be a bit short, so I increased them slightly. I also made the engine and radiator covers. On the original Katzen, the radiator seems to face forward. Since I had the engine and radiator from the Tristar kit, I decided to keep the 38(t) orientation with the radiator to the rear. I then printed everything in ABS... many, many times (I'll show the pile of rejects after I finish the model).

Here's everything tacked on. It turned out to be easier to print four separate walls rather than a single unit (I tried...):



There are few - if any - printing artifacts, in part because I chose a printing orientation that would minimize it, but largely because I painted acetone on the surfaces with a brush, slowly moving the melting plastic around. Once dry, I sanded the parts until they were smooth. I used some of the brim used to hold the print onto the print surface to thicken the back wall. It has a nice, regular pattern that looks like it could be anti-spalling material.

Here's the engine and radiator cover assembly, with the Tristar transmission:



I used Meng bolds, Archer resin cover decals, Eduard PE hinges and parts from the Tristar and Academy kits. The engine and radiator just barely fit in this space, with some room at the top for oil or fuel tanks.
I switched the transmission from right hand drive to left. The control lever is a complex series of PE strips and bits - I ended up using some solder paste to solder them together. The floor is the underside of the brim generated by my 3D printer software to hold parts down. The underside has a pattern that looks like a tread pattern.

This is the engine in place:


This is where I am at the moment. The engine compartment and three of the sides are glued in place, and the drive shaft is connected to the transmission. The driver's seat is just sitting on its support:



The left side wall is a little bowed in; I may be able to fix that. The access port on the floor behind the driver is to cover a spot where I spilled a drop of glue.

Now, there are some issues with this design that make me wonder if it would have been a viable APC. The engine protrudes slightly into the doorway (my fault, but I think it's minor) but where do the troop sit? It's a very tight, knee scraping fit, even on the original:



There's also little room left over for things like fuel tanks (the Tristar kit comes with both) which seem to be behind the troop bench. I have to find room for other equipment, like batteries. I may cram as much as I can by the right side of the compartment and maybe add some bench seats as well.

Thanks for looking!



Offline elmayerle

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2018, 08:29:10 AM »
That's going to be a stuffed kitty with all that in there.  Looks great so far, Frank.

Offline LemonJello

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2018, 09:06:12 AM »
Very cool! I will be interested to see it progress.

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2018, 07:26:13 AM »
Those are some great details and the access hatch is what Bob Ross liked to call a "happy accident".

I can only imagine what it'd be like to ride inside that monster. You'd probably have to leave your web gear at the door.

Fantastic Frank and I'm looking forward to your next update!

Brian da Basher

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2018, 07:42:08 AM »
 Well, the Germans seemed to have tried to stuff increasingly preposterous loads into the 38t chassis, so don't
 beat yourself up over it. ;) I had the privilege of sitting inside an ex-Swedish Hetzer ( owned by  a local re-
 enactment group ) and there's barely room for a crew of four inside that - I don't think an open top and
 an absent gun would add room for much more than two more occupants.

 It's looking great so far - who cares if it's practical! (HUUUge Thumbs Up!)

Offline Frank3k

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2018, 12:55:37 PM »
Thanks guys. I had the day off and printed a form- fitting fuel tank that fits on the left side shelf. It has a fuel line to one of the Tristan tanks, and from there it goes across to the engine. Iíll post pictures tomorrow but I think the tank now has a reasonable fuel capacity, maybe 25% more than the original.
In a way, itís probably worse than the M113ís internal fuel cell locations. At least the M113 has a reasonably wide rear hatch if things get warm. Iíll switch to Diesel for the same reasons the M113 prototype did.

Craig - even though the Hetzer is slightly longer than the 38(t) itís hard to imagine four modern sized crew being comfortable in the vehicle. Iíd like to see the Swedish pbv 301- they fit 10 people in it!

Offline buzzbomb

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2018, 05:33:36 PM »
Frank, brilliant.

a bit of a thread hijack, as I have had a crack at the Katzchen myself a few years back.




Your engine is much more convincing than my card version. Really interested to see how this turns out as I would like to have another go now my skills are a bit further along

Great work so far, especially using 3D tech

Offline Madhatter

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2018, 09:29:07 PM »
that's some really top work there Frank! Nicely painted and well detailed. Very cool
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Offline tankmodeler

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2018, 11:41:32 PM »
Very cool.

I was going to suggest, given that this is a WHIF, that you might adopt the solution the Yanks used on the M113 for it's fuel tanks, put them outside the hull and or use the Russian BMP solution, make the rear doors out of them. Or both.

There really is no bloody room inside with the tanks in there is there? Even the picture of the real thing makes it look like you'd absolutely have to be no older than 15 to fit with even just your rifle and webbing.

Paul

Offline Frank3k

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2018, 03:18:38 AM »
I wonder if I should change the name to "Kansar Kattunge" - the Swedish version of armored kitten.

Brian - Thanks for posting your WIP! I may have to borrow some of your ideas.
Paul & Brian - I see no way of getting in and out of this thing (other than over the side) without bumping into or catching on some protuberance or piece of equipment. Paul, the BMP is pretty cramped as well; having an external fuel tank may help with the range.

Here's the fuel tank, radio and battery. The large primer red tank is the one I printed. The fuel caps are from a Wave or Kotobukiya Gundam parts set. They're handy:


Here it is roughly in position:


The "fuel lines" are 30 gauge wire wrap wire. They may be small in diameter, but they look roughly equivalent to the Hetzer/38(t) fuel lines in size. There's a "fuel line" that goes from the large red tank to the rear of the smaller fuel tank. I'm assuming that there's a three way pump in there that combines the two fuel sources and sends it across to the engine.

I'll probably add a bridge over the fuel line - we don't need a Gomer to accidentally trip over or crush it.

The connectors are resin, from Squadron. I painted them red before I discovered the ANSI piping color codes. I may switch them from red to yellow.


« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 03:22:10 AM by Frank3k »

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2018, 03:26:36 AM »
As a former auto-parts delivery driver, I can confirm the fuel line is in scale.

Your details are a delight, Frank. You seem to top yourself with each successive build.

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2018, 07:04:36 AM »
As to egress, it is really no different to the 251 series, the doors were small albeit a bit larger and more accessible, but over the side appears to be a practical way.
Comparing the two is quite surprising, the Katzchen is a bit lower and wider.

Take this for what it really is, a stepping stone to the IFV we see today. The theory was sound, the practicalities and operational realities, I think would be as we are discovering, not the best.

I still think you work is great on this, the fuel tank is fine and fits what the photos show. I am not sure if there is any interior difference between the Auto-Union and the BMW versions but I reckon the interior shot is from the BMW version as that does not appear to be a 38T transmission.

Offline tankmodeler

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2018, 11:15:06 PM »
Paul & Brian - I see no way of getting in and out of this thing (other than over the side) without bumping into or catching on some protuberance or piece of equipment. Paul, the BMP is pretty cramped as well; having an external fuel tank may help with the range.
Absolutely. If the troops are going in and out over the side, mind, it might have been possible to make the back surfaces a hollow external fuel tank, essentially lengthening the vehicle and freeing up internal volume. Still, this does capture the issues with the original proposal well. Given how much larger well-fed Europeans are (even if not overweight) compared to the moderately malnourished people of the late 30s and 40s, trying to put even half a section of infantry in this by 1960 would have be, shall we say, problematic...

And, while it's not the project you're building, without the gun, ammo and heavier front armour, there would be reasonable scope to take the Hetzer chassis and cut it between the bogie mounts and add 3 or 4 feet, providing sufficient room for humans as opposed to the children that seem to be the designed occupants.  :smiley:


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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2018, 05:37:40 AM »
Very cool build  :smiley:  On the Pbv 301, it would have been cramped for the 7 dismounts, but it helped that the SFA 4-banger was forward-mounted.

http://i661.photobucket.com/albums/uu336/8Hussar/NEUTRAL%20NATIONS/Sweden%20-%20PBV%20301%20-%2038t%20Chassis/APC3015.jpg
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2018, 11:56:02 PM »
Thanks for the picture of the Pbv 301. Putting the engine forward makes the most sense. Is the right hand drive a leftover from its 38(t) heritage?

Paul - the Hetzer is longer than the 38(t) making it longer still would help, so would moving the engine out of the way.

Offline tankmodeler

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2018, 01:43:59 AM »
Thanks for the picture of the Pbv 301. Putting the engine forward makes the most sense. Is the right hand drive a leftover from its 38(t) heritage?

Paul - the Hetzer is longer than the 38(t) making it longer still would help, so would moving the engine out of the way.
Yeah, moving the engine to the front would be the key to making this concept useful in real life. Get rid of the assistant driver position and add a simple idler gearbox to translate the engine power laterally across from the engine to the transmission. A truly integrated power pack would be better still, of course, but that would be unlikely given the circumstance imagined, at least for the prototype vehicle. If production was undertaken, I'm sure someone would have combined a still further re-arranged engine coupled to a rearranged transmission to make a more compact power pack to the right of the driver.

Paul

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2018, 04:07:26 AM »
Loving this build
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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2018, 07:22:22 AM »
Is the right hand drive a leftover from its 38(t) heritage? ...

Yes, in its licensed-built Stridsvagn m/41 form. The  Pbv 301s were, of course, all rebuilt m/41 hulls.
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2018, 08:45:16 AM »
I've made some progress. Fuel tanks, radio and batteries in place:




There's a map/magazine rack to the right of the TC's chair. The sanding dust is gone. I'll add a shelf or something similar above the radio and battery for protection from the elements. I added red and black cabled from the battery to the radio, but they're hard to see.

It's not a big vehicle:


Here it is in primer. The green is close to the base color I want to use.


I added an access door:


I think I'm going to go with a camo pattern something similar to this:




I'll use Vallejo Middlestone for the brownish color.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 08:47:31 AM by Frank3k »

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2018, 08:49:22 AM »
That's a nice update and your details are always a marvel, Frank!

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Offline Frank3k

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2018, 08:52:09 AM »
Here it is with camo and the first stages of weathering:





I don't know why the exhaust looks so vividly red. I'll dial it back a bit:





Next is evening out the weathering, decals and a flat top coat. I also need to add gear.

Thanks for looking!


Offline Old Wombat

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2018, 05:11:20 PM »
I don't know why the exhaust looks so vividly red. I'll dial it back a bit:

Looks rusty orange on my screen.

(Edit) PS: The fuel tank looks a dark-ish rusty burnt-orange on my screen.


Build is looking great! 8)
« Last Edit: August 29, 2018, 09:22:07 PM by Old Wombat »
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2018, 05:22:41 AM »
Wow that's really looking sharp, Frank!

I really like your work around the exhaust pipes on the outside.

As to the inside bit, it resembles many I saw in the shop when I delivered auto parts. Exhausts are a veritable rainbow from clean metal all the way to black so you can't really go wrong.

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2018, 06:27:04 AM »
Looking great Frank  :smiley:  That driver is going to need a strap on his cap though or its just gonna keep blowing off  ;)
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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2018, 04:18:33 PM »
Just great. Really nice work

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2018, 12:24:22 AM »
Excellent build Frank!  I think you managed to capture the concept and just looking at that interior makes me shudder at the thought of what someone would experience riding inside of that vehicle in such a confined space with the fuel tank located right where you are the most vulnerable. 
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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2018, 03:19:38 AM »
Great work! :smiley:

I have a kit of this as well.  Hope to do it up with a recoiless rifle.
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2018, 10:44:43 AM »
Thanks for the comments, guys! This is the build that just will not end! I thought I was mostly done last time I posted progress, but I keep coming up with things to add, just to make it a mildly believable armored vehicle.

This is what I have so far:

fuzzy view of the rear, with the tow cable attachments. I used the tow cable spool from an M113 kit, removed most of the existing molded on cabled and just glued the kit cables over them. I may go back and cover up the paint scratch marks, or change them a bit; maybe add some hint of freshly exposed steel. I should add a hook or loop at the top to keep the cables from just falling off:



Closeup of the bench seat for the extremely uncomfortable troop. They'll need knee pads. I added a rear door lock/lever system.  I also added the slightly less uncomfortable seat for the guy sitting over the transmission shaft, with his back to the radio and batteries. At least he can stretch out his legs.
Both the bench and the seat are intended to fold up. The wooden bench is from an Italeri M998 HMMWV. The seat looks like a Tamiya turret seat from a German tank. I added some plastic to extend the backrest:



The Diesel decal is home made.
I had an idea for instrument placards: scale and print some generic placards found online onto decal paper, printing the black parts. Next, I would get some scotch tape or packing tape and paint the surface with a Molotow chrome pen. Wait for it to dry and apply the decals.
It almost worked; the downfall was the lack of details that my printer could produce; the placards just didn't look right. I think I'll buy some Archer transfers placards instead, for my next project.

The .50 cal is from the nice Academy set. I think a .30 cal would have been more appropriate (and easier to obtain than a .50 cal) but I was missing the mount:



Most tanks don't have a lot of room inside, but this tank is so small that I had trouble fining spaces to put tools and other equipment. The toolbox and jack are on top of the engine compartment. The spare track and most of the other tools are mounted on the side of the tank:



The driver's view port has an (almost) working prism and a PE arm to open and close.

Here's a view from above, resting on my new desktop computer (Intel NUC8i7HNK):

I needed a faster processor and graphics for some 3D projects. This computer is much faster than the 5 year old computer it replaced, which was fast, even by today's standards. I just needed faster.



Still to do:
 
Cable support at rear.
bullets in .50 cal.
Maybe a bag or something to catch the spent shells, or the TC is going to get a shower of hot brass.
rolled up tarp.
some jerry cans (I can only fit two inside).
Some gear.
Ammo cans.
cover over battery and radio. ("So sorry Capitan! the mild drizzle we just experienced shorted out the battery!")

Hopefully I can finish it by next weekend.

Thanks for looking!



« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 10:48:01 AM by Frank3k »

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2018, 11:00:29 AM »
I would have put the spare tracks on the bow plate in front of the driver (a little added protection), the tool box above the rear right track guard & the jack on the bow plate between the jack-pad & the hatch.

Yes, the track & the jack would befoul that lovely smooth-sloped bow armour but you see quite a lot of that in real life.


However, all that said, I still think she's looking very, very nice!
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Frank3k

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2018, 12:29:44 AM »
Guy,
 I tried putting the spare track in front of the driver - it was a tight fit. I have another clamp bar and track length that I can try.

The toolbox is too big to fit on either front fender, as is.  I ended up with much less front fender space, in part because I enlarged the already tiny fighting compartment. Putting it on the rear fender would leave part jutting out - great for catching on things. It may fit under the bench seat or in the space to the rear of the fuel tank.  I'll try some of these changes to see if it helps.

What would really help would be making this thing 10-15% larger. Or drafting an army of underfed, undersized soldiers.

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2018, 05:12:19 AM »
I really like the look of those details, Frank and I think you're on the right track!

Those little diesel decals are a nice touch.

Brian da Basher

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #31 on: September 05, 2018, 09:18:56 AM »
Nah, Frank, you just need to recruit Cornish miners!


Note: Here is South Australia there were a lot of Cornishmen who came out to work in various mines. At 6' 2+" whenever I got into their old cottages I have to be careful not to knock myself out on the top of the doorways or, in some cases, the ceilings!
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2018, 07:16:57 AM »
I think I'm done with this one. The radio antenna is missing and I'm not happy with the rolled up tarp at the rear, but I think it's good enough. I moved the toolbox and jack to the front left fender - there just wasn't room anywhere else. I placed the second spare track on the lower forward hull:



Here's Jorge Richter (totally not a German) passing judgement on the Kštzchen Gatito Blindado, The attachment loops are 3D printed and came out OK, despite their small size:



I like the spent shell bag for the .50 cal; it's from a Tamiya set that I bulked up with some 2 part epoxy. The bag looks like it's frowning.

Here's Jorge inspecting the interior. The front spare track is drooping a bit - I fixed it:



Here's a top view. The Gatito could fit maybe 4 very uncomfortable troopers (three on the bench, one on the jump seat) and two crew members. The rolled up tarp looks bad in these pictures but looks better in person:






I still have one more picture to take - the tank on the pile of rejected 3D printed parts and support material. It should be impressive.
Thanks for looking and for all the comments!

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2018, 07:32:08 AM »
Wow is that fantastic Frank!

I think it looks every bit the business and your placement of the tools & spare tracks seems legit.

I like that you added the figure with the operations manual. He's probably trying to figure out how to fit the rest of the squad in there.

Great stuff and your final shot sounds like the perfect capper to this exquisite piece of armor modeling!

Brian da Basher

Offline Frank3k

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2018, 07:39:28 AM »
Thanks Brian! I think he's going to reject this vehicle...

Here's a picture on the pile of 3D printed rejects etc. (on top of the 3D printer...):


Just the parts:


Some of the parts (and supports) will be reused since they have regular shapes. What can't be used will be dissolved in acetone and plastic cement to use as plastic putty.

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2018, 08:32:31 AM »
That shot is wonderfully apocalyptic!

It'd be my choice for the diorama base but I enjoy giving folks something to chat about.

One of your best, Frank!

Brian da Basher

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2018, 09:01:05 AM »
If Jorge doesn't give you at least a 92% grading he needs to be sacked!

Great job on this, Frank! :smiley: 8)
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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2018, 09:45:19 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2018, 03:02:34 AM »
... and thanks to Franks scratchbuild.

Taaa Daaaaa !!!!!!


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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #39 on: September 26, 2018, 05:08:33 AM »
...Please don't be a photoshop ::)

Seems ligit ... there's sprue shots on Thunder Model's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ThunderModel/?ref=py_c
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #40 on: September 26, 2018, 11:12:33 AM »
... and thanks to Franks scratchbuild.

And my buying a resin one...
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #41 on: September 26, 2018, 11:48:50 AM »
They're even using the same idler wheels!

I made the sides on mine taller than the published drawings. That alt-reich soldier is very short...

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #42 on: September 26, 2018, 12:55:35 PM »
That alt-reich soldier is very short...

Probably a teenager at that stage of the war.
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Offline Old Wombat

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Re: El Gatito Blindado
« Reply #43 on: September 26, 2018, 03:24:14 PM »
That alt-reich soldier is very short...

Probably a teenager at that stage of the war.

Yeah, like thirteen! :(
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