Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Small things - Making a T-34 tow cable

Just how to make my own T-34 tow cables to go with my quick-build T-34/85s - as they don't come with them - has been on my mind for a while now. In fact it's actually held up production.

Now, I could just buy some - Eureka XXL do some nice ones which are available from Cove Models at £2.50 a set - but I am reluctant to spend the extra money on a quick-build. It seems somehow wrong!

I found a couple of online tutorials on how to make the cable itself and it's easy enough - you just weave together a few thin wires using a small hand drill:

> Cut three or four lengths of thin wire and tie them together at either end...
> Put one end into the chuck of the hand drill and secure the other to a vice or hook...
> Pull the wires quite taut and the turn the drill SLOWLY and the wires will begin to weave together..
> When you feel you have a nice looking scale cable glue off the end with superglue (so it doesn't unravel when you take it out the drill bit).

So far so good - but the problem for me was the actual towing loops that go on either end of the cable. These loops are quite distinctive and a simple loop of wire just wouldn't do it for me. In fact the Soviets had a particular design of loop which was quite different from the American one and I wanted to make something that at least looked a little like the real thing.

My simple bodge-it method to do this was to make a loop of some thicker wire and then wrap some thin masking tape around this to make a collar for the loop. I then applied some super glue to it to hold the collar together and make it more solid. Once dry I cut the masking tape collar into the distinctive Soviet 'V' shape with a scalpel and fitted the cable into the bottom (super gluing that in place).

OK - not display quality but it cost me next to nothing and once painted should make a passable impression of the real tow cable.

No comments:

Post a Comment