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The kit is very cleanly molded, with the one old bugaboo exception of the tires. The kit comes with 10 large and 14 small hollow vinyl tires, with at least the large ones blessed with a significant molding ridge all the way around the center of the tire. While some modelers have noted that freezing some vinyl items may make it easier to sand off the seam, these are so soft and floppy it may not be possible to try that. Color schemes for the model are alas pretty blah, as the only option offered is PLA olive drab with black chassis details. The front deck of the gooseneck trailer is wood and the directions call for it to be painted natural wood. Decals basically cover license plates and warning panels, and that is about it. Overall, this is a beautiful kit, but one that is so obscure that it may be passed by for other more popular subjects. (The only one right now more obscure is the DF-21 missile loader/launcher using the same HY 473 tractor, also from Trumpeter.) I purchased their 120mm Type 89 SP gun some time ago, and will probably build it as a load for this vehicle. It's a shame not to build the Type 82, if just for a change of pace! Cookie Sewell AMPS

2004 IPMS/USA National Convention

Found below is an email message that I received from Joe Vattilana, pertaining to next year's IPMS National Convention. The flyer that's mentioned has been posted at the bottom of the newsletter.

I am sending this note to all of the RCs and Chapter Contacts with e-mail addresses.  Attached is a b/w copy of the flyer for the National Convention in Phoenix.  We would appreciate any help you can give us to distribute this to IPMS/USA member.  If you would rather have this in color, let me know and I will send you a copy.

We are finishing up the planning for our tours so we can get the registration form finalized and up on the website.  Trophy sponsorship forms will also be finished soon.  We will also be adding the seminar list to the website.  Please help us get this information out to our members without computer access.

Remember, we will have a large display only area in the contest room.  There is space for chapter/SIG displays in the vendor area.  I hope that there will be lots of participation in this noncompetitive part of our convention.  There will be a Spouses Room and activities for the non-modelers in your family.

Several of you have offered to help us and we appreciate the offer.  Sponsoring a trophy package will help, as will volunteering some of your time staffing parts of the convention.  The best way you and your members

can help us is to come to Phoenix and participate.  We are putting together your National Convention and we think you will have a good time!

Dick Christ

Chairman

2004 IPMS/USA National Convention

August 4-7, 2004

Phoenix, AZ

Endangered Species

(A review of my Elephant, which took a good award at our June contest).

By Tommy Kortman

The Elephant was built for use in an upcoming diorama about the end of WWII in Berlin. According to research, after being transferred from the Sch.Pz.Abt. 653 to the 614 Pzr. Jager Btn., and surviving service in Italy, two Elephants appear to have survived to the Battle of Berlin. This then is the idea behind my Elephant.

The Elephant is the new release from Dragon, kit #6126 (well, it was new when I started this project.) I used detail parts from Eduard, Fruili Modelissimo, CMK Hot Barrels, Warriors, Elephant, and Cavalier.

The zimmerit was applied to look well worn. I cut and chipped up the Cavalier parts before they were applied. Where I either didn’t like the Cavalier piece or it didn’t fit quite right, I used Elmer’s wood filler to create the look that I wanted.

Eduard photo-etch parts were used extensively throughout the build-up. The fenders are from Warriors. Each section of fender is comprised of 2 pieces, horizontal and vertical. The fenders were damaged before assembly. First, the horizontal piece was “damaged” and then the small vertical edge was bent to match. This was glued to the first piece with superglue, using small bits of Evergreen as support.

The kit had 2 faults that had to be fixed. The first was the 2 conical bolts to the left of the rear hatch. They were flip-flopped. I cut them off and repositioned them correctly.

The other mistake was the hinge blocks for the gunners hatch. These were also carefully cut off and repositioned correctly. At this time I also added hinge pins to all the hatch pivots on the top of the fighting compartment. These were made from Evergreen rod.

Since the commander’s hatch was to be open, the ejector pin mark on the pad inside the hatch had to be filled. I used auto body filler because it won’t shrink like Squadron (green or white) will.

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