A little Christmas Eve update as the turkey smokes...work continues on the turret. Meng has numerous sub-assemblies that you assemble before attaching to the turret. The smoke grenade launchers are 13 pieces each, with the lid of each launcher molded separately which is nice for detail, but the huge sprue attachment point on the mating surface makes it hard to clean up.
Once assembled they do look good. I tried to put all of the sprue attachment points on the bottom where they can't be see so easily as I did have a hard time cleaning them up.
The "Shtora" IR jammers are next, first the mounting/elevation brackets which are 3 delicate pieces each:
and mounted on the front of the turret.
Then assembly of the IR emitters themselves. Meng provides red LED's for this, a quick test to make sure they work (battery not included!):
I also painted the clear plastic lenses with Tamiya clear red. The cooling fin detail on the emitter housings is great, but delicate and easily damaged. The battery/emitter assembly fits into the bottom of the turret:
and then you have the thread the wires through two notches in the turret top and slide the bottom on and glue
Make sure you don't glue the wires because you want them to be able to be adjusted to position the emitters correctly and not have a bunch of excess wire hanging out. A third hand would have come in handy for this part but it is doable. Looks a bit Star Wars / Battlestar Galactica-ish when done:
While the glue was setting on that,I assembled the various and sundry remaining ERA blocks, sensors and storage bins that litter
the turret. Once attached, it is very busy indeed!
Looking at it, this will be a bear to paint!
Commanders and gunners hatches next! In the meantime Merry Christmas everyone!