Crusader Mk 3

Crusader 1
Originally uploaded by Wahj.

This Hasegawa Crusader Mk 3 kit was a breeze to build - but I had to make it complicated for myself.

All the reference materials I looked at show Mark 3s with full side skirts, but the Hasegawa kit has the partial skirts (front and back) that were characteristic of the Mark 1s and 2s. Naturally, I decided that this wouldn't do, and proceeded to scratch-build the side skirts.

My impatience naturally got the better of me: I had the hull assembled before I decided that I wanted to build the armoured skirts, and that meant I had to find a way to get the outline of the upper hull onto plasticard. Normally that would mean measuring the outline of the tank, and painstaking drawing the outline and cutting it out.

First attempt
Originally uploaded by Wahj.

But I'm lazy. Did I mention I was lazy? I decided there had to be an easier, faster way. The first attempt was using a soft graphite pencil to mark the sides of the tank, and then pressing the outline into the plasticard. That didn't work very well, but I decided the idea was on the right track. I tried again with black paint, and after a few tries, got a reasonable outline.

Second attempt
Originally uploaded by Wahj.

After some cutting and adjustments, I had two perfectly serviceable side skirts. Everything seemed fine at this point ...

Side skirts - or so we think ...
Originally uploaded by Wahj.

... but I had to change my mind. I decided that I didn't like the thinness of the plasticard I used - so back to the drawing board, teeth gritted in frustration and self-loathing. And this time, I measured it out - I guess there's no short cuts after all.

The thicker plasticard allowed me to cut the vertical grooves in the side skirts. I still haven't figured out how to make the horizontal ridges are are apparent in the photographs of actual Mark 3s, but I'll get round to it sometime.


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