Sunday, 27 July 2014

ModellTrans Modellbau Ford V3000 conversion kit - Part 2

Picking up where we left off, I've started to rebuild my cab so that the resin
cab sits securely onto the Italeri chassis. As it is there are no guide or pilot
holes or tabs to help this, so I've made some supports myself.
OK chaps, this project is turning out to be a tricky one in so many ways. First of all I have to backtrack a bit and admit I made a boo-boo - the 'problem' I highlighted with the ModellTrans cab not fitting on the Italeri chassis turned out to be 50% my fault. I just hadn't done my research well enough.

I had said that the mudguards (fenders to our American buddies) sat way too high above the front wheels and so I had to lower the cab to get them to fit right. Well, yes I was kinda right IF the ModellTrans V3000 kit had been an early type V3000 with the large rounded mud-guards...Only, it's not!

Another little job was the addition of a suitable driver figure. The space in
the cab is very cramped and the steering-wheel (from the Italeri kit) makes
the task all that more difficult. But I cobbled together a figure that fits.
The ModellTrans conversion kit cab is based on the slightly later V3000 with the simplified fenders. These were less rounded - to save metal and speed production I guess - and did indeed sit way higher above the wheels that did the earlier versions fenders. Drat.

A German Ford-Werkes V3000S model.
The reason for this is - I suspect - that the larger rounded wheel-arches are a characteristic of the original Ford design, and of early German Ford-Werkes production models. But this design was simplified by the Germans about 1940, incorporating the simplified mud-guards.

As you can see from the above photo the wheel-arches are, indeed, quite high above the wheels (as with the ModellTrans model). It is not a mistake, even if it does look a little strange.

Unfortunately this causes me a little problem. Finland did not use the German production model of the V3000, much less this simplified model, but rather they used the American production model with the rounded fenders. Double drat!

Left: A very nice example of an American production Ford V3000. You can tell it's a US model because of the split windscreen. The Germans used a single piece windscreen.*

So, my friends, it would be wrong to use the ModellTrans conversion if you want to make a model of a V3000 in Finnish use! (Incidentally the Germans used both early and late models with both types of mud-guards. But the V3000s in Allied use - American, British, Australian, etc - did not have the simplified mud-guards. So it's a good way to tell them apart.)

So, I will have to modify my V3000's mud-guard's shape using Milliput to make it more rounded.

This won't be a hard job but will have to wait until I've finished painting the inside of the cab (before gluing it permanently in place) and base coating the completed chassis. I decided that it was more practical to base coat the chassis before fitting the cargo flatbed onto the intricate supports provided.

Here's a shot that shows the flatbed supports that come with the Italeri Opel
Blitz kit. Painting the chassis before attaching the flatbed means you can
paint the spare wheel properly, an impossible job with the flatbed in place.
I really wish some additional historical information had come with the ModellTrans kit (there aren't even any instructions included). I suppose if I had done my research thoroughly before starting I might have avoided my mistake regarding the wheel-arches. But there you go.

Generally, everything is starting to come together and I'm even glad I did do the additional surgery on the cab seats as the cab now sits more securely on the chassis because of this.

Next: Base coats and the flatbed.

* An interesting and amusing fact. The photo of the American production Model is courtesy of '9th Reenactment Society' web site. Just to prove that the issue regarding the confusion between V3000 production types isn't just a problem for modellers they have used this American V3000 and repainted it in German colours. They mention in their text on their site that the variants are 'identical', but of course they weren't. They neglected the fact that only the American production models had the split screen! Of course, they could argue that their example was one of the many V3000s captured from the Dutch in May 1940, as the Dutch models were based on the American design. Confusing? 

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