Tuesday, 21 March 2017

MW 1/72 GAZ AA Truck - Part 3

Constructing the Tilt Canvas
As mentioned, the MW kit does not come with a tilt canvas cover. For the most part, it seems to have been deemed either unnecessary or a bit of an inconvenience, but there are some instances where they were used. (I cannot find any reference which mentions whether the GAZ AA came supplied with a tilt cover from the factory, or whether it was a field modification or later upgrade.)

The only example of a Russian truck in Finnish service wth a tilt canvas fitted
(rearmost truck) that I could find. This may be a Zis 5 rather than a Gaz, I can't
quite tell. But it's all the reference I need to say that my Gaz *could* have had
one! Source: SA KUVA
Anyway, I want my GAZ to be fitted with a canvas 'tilt', which means making one. I decided to try making a basic frame using balsa wood - as it's very easy to work with - and then to cover it with another material to make the canvas itself...

The five 'fins' are to represent the supporting frame rods and the four intervening balsa blocks are just fillers to support the overlaid 'canvas' - these are recessed so I can give the covers a loose and undulating look.

Making the Canvas Material
There are a couple of different ways I could create the canvas itself. I could wrap some tape or other paper-like material over the frame I made or I could build up a canvas using Milliput putty...

AND STOP! --->

...Not everything I do works out, and this is an example of something I did that didn't work!

Basically, I made a bit of a faux pas in my measurement with my balsa frame and so I had to start all over and this time I made a plasticard frame (as I also wasn't happy with the thickness of the balsa I used in my first attempt) and mounted it on the outside edges of the cargo flatbed (instead of inside the cargo frame)...

My Mk. II frame (front) compared to my failed Mk. I version (rear).
I was happy with using the terracotta Milliput as the filler because I was getting some nice texture with it, but the balsa frames were far too thick. So, back to square one - I've rebuilt the frame using a thinner plasticard and I will use the brown Milliput again to fill the spaces in between...

Right...With the underlying 'frame' of the canvas done, it's time to think about the canvas cover material. My plan is to use PVA soaked tissue paper to cover the frame so it has more of a 'fabric' texture to the cover and also so I can add some believable folds and wrinkles in the trampoline.

I've never done this before, but it's a pretty common technique among military modellers so there lots of tutorials out there. However, I get the feeling it's one of those things you have to learn by doing!

...Fingers crossed!

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