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SuperstructureThe next major area of modification dealt with joining the DML hull with the Alan superstructure. The DML glacis plate was modified using a keyhole saw to separate the plate to mate to the Alan superstructure. The rough edges were sanded down and the small triangular pieces on the sides removed with sprue cutters before it was installed. All the DML location holes on the fenders for the pioneer tools were filled and sanded at this stage since the Bison stowage arrangement was totally different from that of the Pz I. The Alan superstructure consists of the front and two side panels and the front part needed the most modification. Two ejector marks were filled and sanded and the over-scale reinforcing strips were removed with a #11 blade and sanded smooth and replaced with the Eduard PE strips. The Bison had two vision ports, a double port for the driver and an added single port to the left. I cut out the appropriate sized hole and fitted one of the visors from the DML kit to add this detail. The Eduard PE port parts were used in place of the chunky Alan parts. Starting with the right side, the side panel was added along with the Eduard reinforcing strip and the angled bracket at the top. The bolt strip around the hinged rear flap was also added and the Eduard set used to create the angled locking bar that secured it in place. This was repeated with the left side and the structure test-fit with the glacis plate and fenders to insure proper alignment. As a final step, the join seam on the exterior for the side plates was carefully filled and sanded, taking care not to damage the fine bolt detail in the process.
The gunNext up was the main attraction, the sIG 33 15 cm gun. This is where the Alan kit contributed the most and is also the area that required the most work. The Alan barrel was a two-piece arrangement integrated into the recoil sled, so both halves needed to be cut down to take the Model Point aluminum barrel. The Alan barrel was also slightly over-sized, so some putty work was needed to correct the fit of the replacement barrel to the sled. The breech block was assembled and attached as well with putty also required to fill gaps on the Alan parts. The gun mount and recoil tray fit poorly due to over-sized or misaligned mating pins, these were removed and sanded down to get the two halves together. The soft bolt detail was also removed and the Eduard replacement items used to recreate it. The Eduard set includes a very nice one-piece insert for the interior of the recoil sled, covering up the large join seam and providing additional detail all in one modification. The base of the gun carriage was also a two piece arrangement and also had problems with its mounting pins. These were removed and the parts sanded to get the best possible fit, testing constantly with the gun mount to insure the right gap was present for the mount spacing. A large gap at the front of the base required a small strip of styrene glued on the inside as a foundation and generous amounts of putty to fill. The remaining details were added once that had been settled, using the Eduard parts to replace the solid eyes on the lower edge and adding hinge detail to the tool box in the gun trail and replacing the simplified Alan gun sight with the TMD item. The gun’s splinter shield was constructed entirely from the Eduard set, a great improvement vs. the over-scale Alan item. Rather than solder the parts, I decided to try out a product called “Gator Glue”, an acrylic-based glue with more work time than CA, and it did the job beautifully. Once assembled, I used CA gel to attach it first to the lower mount points, then carefully angled it and attached it to the upper points to complete it. The remaining parts for the gun carriage to support the large carriage wheels were installed and the carriage wheels themselves detailed using parts from the Eduard set. The wheels, because of how they mate up with the carriage and the superstructure, were left off for the time being. Once the carriage itself was completed, test-fits with the superstructure were needed to determine the exact placement of the wheel boxes and the bracing arms for the trail mount bar across the rear hull. The Alan superstructure front was too wide to take the spacing on the brake drums, so the superstructure had to be carefully sanded and tapered to allow it to fit properly.
Copyright ©2021 by Bill Plunk. Images and/or videos also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of Armorama, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2008-05-04 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 23069