Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Zabrano YaG-6 - Construction problems

The YaG 10 with AA gun. This shot - take in 1931 - give you a sense of just
how big the YaG trucks were.
As hinted at in my earlier post I was already anticipating some construction problems (not a good start). The main issue was the warped resin cab, the walls were bowed and the whole thing wasn't square. On top of that the Zebrano kit does not come with a driver figure (don't get me started), so first things first, let's make a driver!

My brother sent me a load of HO (railway scale) seated civilian figures - I guess they are supposed to be passengers waiting at a station - and I have found these make useful driver bodies because of their slim size (they fit into compact vehicle cabs nicely). Onto one of these 20mm bodies I stuck a 1/72 HAT Austrian WW1 soldier's head.

Even though the body is quite 'svelt' I still had to amputate the feet to get it to sit at a pleasing height in the cab. I really like the Austrian's face, with his big bushy moustache! I had to cut down the crown of his field cap to make it more Finnish looking though.

Now, having procured a driver I could now work out the placement of the steering wheel and gear levers (as the space is now very tight). I am placing the steering wheel just in front of the driver's lap, his hands aren't out-stretched to grab the wheel but I guess this will pass for a relaxed position (I'm not sure anyone will be able to see this fudge).

The Zebrano gear levers were a bit too short and feeble, so I made replacements.
This shot gives you a good idea just how warped the cab is!
Onto the tricky bit - straightening the cab walls.

The rear wall of the cab - with the integral bench seat - is a brittle component. I actually snapped off the top half (with the rear window) while trying to get this part to fit into the front cab component. When I did get it to fit in I discovered - another - two problems, the first being that the whole thing was askew and there were gaps and the second that the seat was - in my opinion - too high.

So, I sanded down the bench a bit until the driver sat at a comfortable height and then I began to make a rudimentary frame to help square up the bowed cab side-walls. (Though I do note - looking at reference photos - the driver does actually seem to sit very high in the cab.)

I believe (but please don't take me at my word though) you can re-form warped resin parts by submerging them in hot water and then gently pulling them back into shape. I think that as the resin cools again it hardens and retains it's new form.

Never having done this before though I decided to just let my frame take the strain! I was worried that the very brittle resin might snap if I tried mucking about with it.

Now, finally, it was time to dry fit al the parts into place...

Now I have the fenders fitted you begin to get an idea of the sheer size of this
beasty! I've put the YaG cab next to my Ford V3000 for scale.
Having done that I noticed that the front window frames were very wonky! So I decided to do a bit more sanding and bodging to get them square...

Added some styrene rods to straighten up the window frames. I can now
re-attach the fenders (which aren't matching either, what else can go wrong)!
Right! That's that. The cab is now complete - as per the instructions (but minus the clear windows) - and I am ready to mask off the windows and paint the interior and figure prior to permanently gluing the cab parts together.

Phew, what a kerfuffle.

Next: Painting the interior of the cab.

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