SNAFU

June 10, 2008

Today is the day after a long weekend, and I’ve just spent a fair portion of this evening painting. Tonight’s effort feels more worthwhile than all the efforts over the previous three days, even though that time is far greater than the two-point-something hours of tonight.

Trout season officially ended at 12.01AM this morning, and 1/3 of yesterday was spent making the most of the last open day. I did see a trout, but it also saw me and took off like a whippet with a bum full of dynamite.

The rest of yesterday would’ve yielded over four hours spent on my modelling pursuits. Probably three and a half of those hours were effectively fruitless because I had to twice re-do backbreaking, painstaking, fiddly, time-consuming glueing. It all came about in this way…while waiting for the driver’s cabins’ interiors to dry after their second paint application, I decided to assemble the suspension brackets and bogies of the Opel Maultiers’ rear caterpillar treads/tracks. I was really enjoying working on this Roden kit, as you’ll be aware from earlier posts when I assembled their Opel Blitz kit (in 1/72 scale, of course). However, putting the bogies onto the suspension brackets looked lop-sided – I realised that I would have to make opposing sets, so that everything would be equal when assembled. The problem with this decision was that I was going to have to re-do half of what I had assembled, which was all assembled in the one direction. This I did, while inwardly cursing, getting glue all over my fingers and inhaling the glue fumes.

Whilst preparing dinner, I realised that what I had done was all for nought…the reason everything was lop-sided was that the moulding of the bogies was not perfect – I was meant to punch a hole manually through the other side of the bogie, so that both pins of the suspension track could go into it! There was extra flash on each bogie, but it looked completely natural, as if you weren’t meant to drive the suspension bracket pins through both sides but only one, leaving the other to lop-sidedly press against this sealed, flat other side!

After dinner was outward mumbling, inward swearing, loud music, messy fingers from glue and paint and slight headspin from the glue. The outcome was the suspension brackets as intended by Roden and real life.

Ah, what a grand stuff-up. Since I had already been doing some piercing of the bogies to clear up some other flash, I should have realised more quickly that the actual axle holes on the bogies also needed to be pierced so that everything would fit and be equal, just like on the instructions…

Still, victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat. I thought I’d ruined the three kits on what should’ve been relatively straightforward work. The lesson? Always make “test” assemblies and don’t be afraid to modify with scalpels/compasses/drills/knives when when the test assembly seems wrong but all is well on the instructions…

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