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Jessie The Jeep

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Everything posted by Jessie The Jeep

  1. We're just going to save the Tiger for another diorama. With the Sherman, Jeep, trailer and gun, plus figures and accessories, I think it would look over-crowded with an additional tank. Perhaps we'll go desert for the Tiger, although she has got a 1/72 Hurricane, 1/35 Jeep and a 1/72 Lancaster also in her "To Do" pile!!
  2. Cutting and trimming the very fragile chassis and transmission parts took her a little while and lots of concentration; as did working out which way to assemble them. The springs, axles, prop shafts and transmission support are all one moulding. The spring ends didn't all want to sit on their spring hangers, so I bent some thin sheet lead to add a little wieght to hold them in place so she could apply the glue with a fine brush and then leave the whole thing to dry.  Later in the afternoon, after she'd gone out and the chassis had a while to dry, I took the weights off and compared the 1/72 chassis with the 1/35 version I'm working on.
  3. We had around an hour spare today so had a quick modelling session knowing we'd be having to leave bits to dry anyway. The field gun and trailer were painted first. She didn't want to tackle the wheel hubs in case she got the green on the tyres, so I did those. I showed her how to build up several layers of dilute paint, allowing capillary action to draw the paint around the hub. A quick force dry in front of the heater, then another coat until a reasonable density was reached.
  4. Once that had dried, the glue would be hard enough to stop the mesh from shrinking back to its pre-stretched size. This allowed me to peel all the tape except the corner pieces. I then glued more patterns around the edge of the mesh. After a further period of drying, the camo net was peeled away from the wood. I'm very pleased with the way this is looking. The netting is balanced on two metal rods over the end of the diorama for this photograph. It will probably be fitted in this location, or this approximate location, supported on some poles and with cotton guy ropes to tension it. The kit radio operator will probably be under here, along with a few other odds and ends. I'm feeling quite pleased with this little experiment, something to keep in mind for future projects.
  5. I raided the scrap fabric box and found some black tights ( hosiery for American readers ) which had a fairly fine weave. I piece was cut out, approximately the size of a 20 feet square camo net. This was stretched out a little to open the weave and then taped down to the board. This time, it was much closer to the board and it was much easier to get a smaller, more in scale spiral to stick to the mesh. I started with the brown again, painting on the spirals and square cornered snakes, leaving spaces for the green. It does take quite a long time, but appeared to be making a fairly good representation. After the brown was complete, I worked from the dry side, filling in the spaces in green. The brown didn't change colour much when drying, but the green was very light with the white glue mixed in, but darked quite a lot once cured.
  6. A few days ago, I started an experiment with a camo net. I had one of my daughter's dance class hair nets, damaged a few months ago, to use as the practice net. A piece of 1/8 plywood was covered in parcel tape to stop any sticking. The net was then stretched over the wood.Some of the Airfix starter kit acrylics were mixed with some PVA glue to thicken it and allow it to glue to the netting. Starting with the brown, and using a small brush, I painted square spirals onto the netting and tape covered board. I quickly ran into a problem. The hair net is woven out of micro fibres which actually resemble long link chains. Because of the thickness of the chains and the way they are woven together, the netting wouldn't lay flat on the wood. This made it difficult to form the spiral on the surface of the tape. The mesh was hovering slightly above the surface and so I was having to poke the brush down through the mesh and then let it partially cure before pressing the net down into the tacky surface to bond the mesh to the glue spiral. I did some green later and then let it all dry properly, before peeling the net off the board. It was lifted up to see the effect. Due to the problems applying the glue, I didn't closely pack the spirals, but the overall concept seemed to work fairly well. What I did need was a finer mesh. This would hopefully allow the mesh to lay flat on the board and the smaller weave would support the spirals better.
  7. The whole family was ill for a few weeks, so little happened for a while until recently when we got back to work. As mentioned previously, we've ditched the Tiger from the diorama in favour of a Willys MB. We got the kit at Christmas, in the Aldi sale. There's a lot of tiny parts in the Willys kit. Since she hasn't really done any small fiddly models, mostly aircraft with large parts and just a few small accessories, I suggested we start with the field gun and trailer first. If those got messed up, it wouldn't be a great loss to the overall diorama.
  8. In early April, we did some weathering of the road and pavement as the broken scattered fragments of stone still looked too clean. To dirty them down and mottle the appearance, we used some of the Airfix starter set black and brown acrylics, painted onto a piece of scrap styrene as a pallet, then applied to the diorama with a sponge and stiff brush, dabbing on the paint in random patterns and different densities. It worked well to tone down the road, but is only the first step. We also want to reproduce muddy marks and clods of mud from vehicles and tank tracks along the roads. That will probably involve a plaster/paint/PVA glue mix, possibly rolled on from a small wheel on a stick, but that's all for another day. After the dabbing and stippling, the base was put to one side and left to dry.
  9. I can't believe it is 5 years ago today, since "Hope" returned to the road after my two year rebuild from a wreck. The GPW was actually completed some time before, but as my vehicle insurance was renewing on April 16th, it made sense to start the policy when my other vehicles cover began. As first found During rebuild The first drive. Complete and out after a first drive since it died on a Texas farm.
  10. 14 years ago today, I signed the paperwork and filled the tank, having just bought a Hotchkiss M201. The Jeep was originally bought by WHB Jeeps in St. John's Town of Dalry, straight from the French Army auctions in Toulouse, in the year 2000. It was viewable at the Army Camp at Muret, prior to the sale. I found the Jeep in February 2005, during a three day break in Scotland, paid a deposit and arranged to come back after some work was done and it was registered. The Jeep was finally ready to collect on April 16th 2005. Here's some pictures of the then un-named "Jessie" , heading home for the first time.
  11. So I had her lifting, carrying, unfastening and refastening bits and pieces. Cleaning and gap checking the plugs, holding funnels, looking for cracks and leaks underneath, but the biggest help by far was greasing the multitude of grease points. I have a flexi-hose on my grease gun as a number of grease points are very difficult or impossible to reach with a fixed shaft grease gun. Now holding the flexi-end firmly onto a grease nipple while also holding the main body of the gun ( sometimes off the ground to reach the nipple ) and pumping the handle on your own is really a job for an octopus. However, with my little helper on hand, I was able to fasten and hold the tip firmly in place while she did the pumping of the grease. It's never been so easy!! Checking the oil level. After everything was put back together again, she did another engine start, then fastened in for a 5 mile test drive around Washington. We parked up on the drive again to let the oil settle before checking the level once more. While we waited, we refastened the sides and roof on ready for our first event next weekend at Heugh Battery in Hartlepool. I was meant to be at the Yorkshire MVT Crank Up on Sunday 14th, but I'm still recovering from a serious chest infection and I'm not up to the five to six hours behind the wheel for the round trip to York and back. Plug cleaning.
  12. April 12th - Springtime Service After a February which started with snow, it turned into a record breaking mild month. Perhaps I should have done the servicing then, as March was terrible, as was the first half of April. Finally, mid-month was looking good and with it being the school Easter holidays, plus wifey needing to work, daddy day care was going to be a working one for little legs. At nine years old, she's sensible and big enough to be useful. So right from the start, I let her do the fuel priming and engine start before pulling out of the garage and onto the drive to warm the oil before the change. While the engine was running, were checked all the lights. I'd done all the wheel bearings over the winter and checked the brake shoes. Idle and charge voltages were checked using the volt meter fitted last year. After a year of monitoring on long and short trips, the regulator seems set about right, so no more cooking the batteries. Putting the sump plug back in after draining the oil.
  13. We're well known at the school as a family of whack-a-doodles, so breaking rocks shouldn't come as any surprise!!
  14. More recent progress. We smashed up some real stones to add more realistic type debris around the model, as the detail on the vac-formed base was too smooth. Still lots more painting and weathering to go, then build the Jeep, field gun and trailer.
  15. A little over a year in the making, my 1/72 scale Max Holste MH.1521 Broussard. Serial #001 out of an initial batch of 13. In February 2018, I spent a day photographing and measuring the real aircraft in order to make some scale drawings. These drawings were used to produce master patterns, which were in turn used to make silicone moulds. The moulds then allowed multiple copies of the airframe to be made, some to be assembled for customers, others to sell as a limited run of kits. I just finished the first model yesterday, and the first few resin kits went out via Royal Mail today. Photoshopped "In Flight" image It's been quite a lot of work to make the master patterns, moulds, graphics for the decals and instructions, but it's turned out a lovel little model. Master patterns being made. Patterns ready for moulding. Casting parts. Lots of parts!!! The decals made. Assembling the prototype. Painting. First instructions printed.
  16. Wires were run in parallel from the existing hydraulic switch to the new mechanical switch. When it came to putting it all back together, of course several of the fender bolt holes wouldn't line up when it came to re-fitting it, so that took some fighting! Then with everything back together, the headlights wouldn't work!! Argggggg!!! After a bit of prodding and poking around, I found a loose screw on the headlight dip switch, down near the clutch pedal. After tightening that up, everything worked again as it should. By this time I was so exhausted from bending, crawling, lying and poking my hands through holes that were never meant to be big enough, that I just dumped all the tools on the workshop floor and went indoors to clean up and relax. Today I've got to put the workshop straight again.
  17. Once that was done, off to the front end of the Jeep to add the mechanical brake light switch to replace the poorly designed hydraulic unit. I did the same mod to the other Jeep some time ago. This job needed the front left fender off, which also required the horn removed and wiring harness disconnected for good access. It's never easy! The hydraulic design required reasonable brake pressure before the brake lights came on, even when new. This meant I was slowing down before any warning lights illuminated at the back. The new mechanical switch is on the firewall with a bracket on the brake pedal to depress it. As soon as the brake pedal is touched, the switch is released and the lights come on, well before any braking occurs. So now other drivers get an extra bright brake warning before the Jeep starts to slow.
  18. February 23rd - Brake Light System Upgrade - Part 2 A few days ago, the new LED's were fitted into the marker lights. On the 23rd, both rear light assemblies were fitted back on the Jeep. Due to the new brake light wire exiting the back of the lamp housing, the unit needed a thin spacer over the mounting bolts so the wire wouldn't get crushed. The brake and tail light contacts on the wiring harness were hard wired and then the original metal plugs were taped onto the copper tubes. The following GIF shows the marker lights, then tail lights followed by the new brake lights illuminating.
  19. Having the brake and tail lights at separate locations within the housing is what Hotchkiss did on their M201 rear lights, redesigning the housing to accommodate two separate bulbs. In the following picture, the positive wire from the additional brake LED can be seen passing through the lamp housing and into the original wiring harness bayonet fitting. To protect the soldered joints and the diodes, a short length of copper tube was slipped into the bayonet and the whole assembly potted in epoxy resin. The picture below shows the brake and tail light wires exiting from the copper tube and these will be soldered to the wiring harness. To improve reliability, the lamp case and housing had an earth wire soldered between them. The sealed marker light will also be opened up and an LED fitted and this will also have an earth wire soldered on. These can keep the original bayonet fitting from the wiring harness. The last picture shows the tail/brake and the new brake LED's illuminated.
  20. I wanted to make sure my braking was more obvious to following drivers, so I decided to modify the sealed unit and lamp housing to accommodate a second LED, wired just into the brake circuit. This posed challenges to get the additional wiring from the second LED to the wiring harness. From the start, I knew it was going to be hard wired as one plug on my wiring harness was already damaged from a short several years ago. The short damaged the spring contacts at the end of the harness, so one side was already hard wired. The additional LED had fly-leads soldered on and it was then glued into the wartime metal lamp using silicone. The back of the lamp was drilled to allow the earth and positive wire to exit the rear. The earth wire was cut short and soldered to a cleaned area on the back of the lamp, near to the central bulb. To prevent cross feeding of the tail and new brake LED's, I needed to add a diode to the original brake terminal. The positive wire from the new brake LED was passed through a hole in the lamp holder and in where the wiring harness bayonet fitting is. From there it was soldered to the wiring harness side of the diode. Fly-leads were then soldered to the original tail contact and to the harness side of the diode. When the tail light is powered, the tail LED turns on. When the brake system is powered, the original brake LED illuminates as well as the new brake LED. The change in location of the brightness within the wartime housing makes braking more obvious, rather than the original slight increase in brightness in the same location.
  21. February 9th - Brake Light System Upgrade - Part 1 Feb 9th was the beginning of a brake light system upgrade which will include a new mechanical brake switch. The hydraulic pressure switch requires moderate pressure before the brake lights illuminate, so the stopping warning comes after braking has already started. I'd already added a mechanical switch to my M201 Jeep as the 24 volts on that kept eating pressure switch contacts and it was a pain having to bleed the brakes with every switch change. The original bulbs were wartime sealed units and they were never particularly bright. Last year I opened up the sealed units and replaced them with LED Brake/Tail light bulbs, and sealed up the metal case again. While the LED replacement unit was a dual pole, to give separate brake and tail lighting, the brake LED's weren't significantly brighter than the tail light, making it hard to tell if I was braking when the lights were on. This can be seen from the first two images below. The difference actually looks greater in the photo than it did in real life.
  22. The snow has gone here now too. I always try to get out straight away before it gets dirty, slushy and freshly gritted.
  23. The 2019 Season Begins Out in the Snow - February 2nd The first trip out for the 2019 season was to play in the snow! This was the first time for both Jeeps in the snow together and it was a lovely sunny day for it. We stayed local and found a couple of places with decent backgrounds not far from home. Both Jeeps had a good hose down upon their return, concluding their first trip out of the 2019 season.
  24. The 2019 Season Begins Out in the Snow - February 2nd With a couple of days of snow fall and a nice sunny day, I couldn't resist and had go go out Jeeping. Both Jeeps have been out in the snow before, but never together; until today. Since my daughter had a morning dance class and an afternoon dance rehearsal, we only had a couple of hours free over lunch. We stayed local and found a couple of places with decent backgrounds not far from home. Both Jeeps had a good hose down upon their return, concluding their first trip out of the 2019 season.
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