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Armor/AFV: Modern - USA
Modern Armor, AFVs, and Support vehicles.
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Panda Hobby HMEE-1 Build/Review
Epi
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Texas, United States
Joined: December 22, 2001
KitMaker: 3,586 posts
Armorama: 2,556 posts
Posted: Thursday, March 05, 2020 - 06:14 PM UTC
Got the opportunity to do another Panda Hobby review/build for Armorama. This time it's the HMEE-1 (High Mobility Engineer Excavator), kit #PH35041, in 1/35 scale.

There has been a couple of reviews already on the web. There has also been a very good build of the kit where the builder carefully cuts away the engine cover to be to show off the engine. I will be doing that in this build also.

After going thru the instructions a couple of times, I came to the conclusion that I will be doing this build in 4 major sub-assemblies, the engine/hull, cab, out riggers and back hoe, and the bucket with arms. I will be adding a majority of the missing hydraulic hoses and adding more and/or missing detail from the cab since you have two big windows you can see through.

Upon opening the box, I could see right away that there is a lot of punch marks and yes, a lot of them can be seen. The first glance through the instruction booklet, I noticed a couple of major missing items other than the hydraulic hoses. In the cab, there is no roof or wall detail, no AC unit and instrument cluster located on the right wall and no back hoe controls. This will be covered when I do the cab sub-assembly.
The cab sub-assembly looks like it is going to take more work than the others. So for know, I am going to start on the out riggers and back hoe.

Step 10 and 12 cover the out riggers and back hoe. The out riggers went together with out no issues, just filling punch marks and sanding seems.





As you can see from the pictures, I deviated from the instructions a bit to aid in the build. I added five pieces from the back hoe step to the out rigger step. Parts A27, A32, and A37 are supposed to be sandwiched between parts B28 and B31 and then attached to the out riggers. Because of the ugly seem and possibly gluing the pins of the back hoe to parts B28 and B31, I chose to leave them off the back hoe and drill out the pins. I will add pins with Evergreen rod stock.



There is one instruction correction for step 12. Part A32 is not labeled in the instructions, but it is shown in it's correct position. Start with putting B31 and B28 together along with hydraulic tube D52. Glue B50 and B51 together and before moving on, fill and sand the large seem. After gluing B55 and B56, again, fill and sand the big seem. To have parts B60, A23, and A22 kept moving, just snap in place and do not glue. The instructions have you not place glue on three locations of these parts, but to make workable, glue is NOT to be used at all on these parts.











Remember, careful gluing and the out riggers and back hoe will move.

Next update will be adding the hydraulic hoses to the out riggers and back hoe. After that I will be moving on the the bucket sub-assembly.
barny
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: August 03, 2005
KitMaker: 273 posts
Armorama: 272 posts
Posted: Thursday, March 05, 2020 - 08:58 PM UTC
Excellent start following this sir
trahe
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Virginia, United States
Joined: April 03, 2006
KitMaker: 1,158 posts
Armorama: 950 posts
Posted: Friday, March 06, 2020 - 12:03 AM UTC
Definitely following!
Tank1812
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: April 29, 2014
KitMaker: 1,086 posts
Armorama: 873 posts
Posted: Friday, March 06, 2020 - 12:08 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Definitely following!



x2.


Pete, what size evergreen rods are you using?
jvazquez
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: September 26, 2006
KitMaker: 855 posts
Armorama: 809 posts
Posted: Friday, March 06, 2020 - 02:28 AM UTC
Looking good and nice review

Couple things I was a little disappointed on this kit was the cab that didn't have much detail and the doors were molded on, so even if you did want to spruce up the interior you would hardly see much of it
HermannB
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Bayern, Germany
Joined: October 14, 2008
KitMaker: 4,093 posts
Armorama: 4,061 posts
Posted: Friday, March 06, 2020 - 04:22 AM UTC
Was thinking about building one from 2CR. Until I found out the 2SR has the unarmored cab. With details lacking in the cab, maybe building the unarmored cab from scratch isn`t that scaring.
KoSprueOne
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Myanmar
Joined: March 05, 2004
KitMaker: 4,000 posts
Armorama: 1,492 posts
Posted: Friday, March 06, 2020 - 03:46 PM UTC
Following this build.




Epi
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Texas, United States
Joined: December 22, 2001
KitMaker: 3,586 posts
Armorama: 2,556 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 07:32 AM UTC
Ryan K, I used a 2mm piece of Evergreen rod.
Epi
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Texas, United States
Joined: December 22, 2001
KitMaker: 3,586 posts
Armorama: 2,556 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 08:13 AM UTC
Ok, I finished with the back hoe and out riggers.

I wanted to add some better detail to all the hydraulic hoses by using this product from Blast Models, but with a deadline to finish the article, I couldn't wait for them to come from overseas.



And here is the finished product:









Some missing added detail, missing small bolts/rivets:



And two "holes" of different sizes and two more bolt heads:



And as you can see, everything still moves:





Like I said, the hydraulic connectors from Blast Models would make this stand out even more, so maybe another build will be in the future.

Next update will be the bucket. I've already started it and it is not fun. I really had to deviate from the instruction for construction.
HeavyArty
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Florida, United States
Joined: May 16, 2002
KitMaker: 17,685 posts
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 09:25 AM UTC
Looking good Pete. Great job on all the hydraulic lines.
HermannB
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Bayern, Germany
Joined: October 14, 2008
KitMaker: 4,093 posts
Armorama: 4,061 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 04:51 PM UTC
Good job there. But I wonder if the M109 A7 has the same "quality". Looking forward to see a review of the gun somedays.
HeavyArty
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Florida, United States
Joined: May 16, 2002
KitMaker: 17,685 posts
Armorama: 13,735 posts
Posted: Sunday, March 08, 2020 - 01:40 AM UTC

Quoted Text

...I wonder if the M109 A7 has the same "quality". Looking forward to see a review of the gun somedays.



It is about the same quality.

Ask an you shall receive: Panda M109A7 Paladin Review
HermannB
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Bayern, Germany
Joined: October 14, 2008
KitMaker: 4,093 posts
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Posted: Sunday, March 08, 2020 - 01:47 AM UTC
Thanks Gino!
Epi
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Texas, United States
Joined: December 22, 2001
KitMaker: 3,586 posts
Armorama: 2,556 posts
Posted: Sunday, March 08, 2020 - 10:57 PM UTC
I want to apologize guys, I am building faster than I am posting. This kit, if you take your time and break the build down to sub-assemblies, it is an ease to build and add details.

I was supposed to update you all with the bucket build and hydraulic hoses added. I did get the bucket finished, but did not get the hydraulic hoses added yet. I kind of jumped to the engine and chassis. I wanted to show you all that the engine can be shown with a little work and if your up to it, scratch build the radiator and AC coils under the front hood.





The family and I are heading to Colorado for Spring Break tomorrow, so it will be about a week before I post an update.
I take that back, I will post the bucket build update, but it will be a week before I can add all the hydraulic hoses.
Epi
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Texas, United States
Joined: December 22, 2001
KitMaker: 3,586 posts
Armorama: 2,556 posts
Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2020 - 06:17 PM UTC
Finally back with another update.

Now the build of the front bucket. The front bucket is covered in steps 9, 10, 11, and 13.

After cleaning up all the parts in step 9, I found that the bucket build was a bit complex and needed about 8 hands! A lot of the parts do not require glue in order for the bucket to be movable. It is possible, but you need to jump around between the four steps and adjust the build order.

With that said, I skipped to step 10 to make the bucket arms. The way the arms go together, there was no need for putty, just the little seem lines and sprue cut off points need clean up. There is no need to add parts D48 and D51 at this time. They will be added during the main hull build with hydraulic hoses added. Parts D55 and D61 are added, but be careful that you don't break them.

Ok, now we go back to step 9. First thing is filling all the punch out marks!!!!!!!! Lots of seem lines to clean on all the round pieces. On parts D31 and D32, there are pins on both parts and should be only on one. So one or the other pin needs to be cut off.





Here is were the build order is changed up a bit. Your going to use the bucket arms to "stack" all the braces to along with the round parts.





You have to add parts A36 and D29 in step 11 first before stacking the other braces. You will end back at step 11 adding parts D29 and to finish off, part A35.









If done right and carefully, everything will move and you can remove part A45 for adding the metal hydraulic lines. Also, don't forget to attach parts B2 and B3 to the arms.

A couple of notes before starting step 13 and the bucket itself. If you are going to add hydraulic lines, drill holes in parts D47 for the lines. Check your parts D8 and D9. Both my D8's where short shot. More punch marks need to be filled here too. Again, with careful gluing, everything can be movable.









Now the fun part, adding the hydraulic lines. On the inside of the arms are molded on metal hydraulic lines, that is all. Metal lines need to be added to part A45. Metal lines also need to be added behind the main bucket itself. There is also a missing junction box that is supposed be on the left of part B40. I did this with just a piece of rectangle plastic stock. The metal lines behind the bucket was made from plastic rod. The flexible hoses was made from flexible coated wire. The hoses and lines make a lot of difference in the build.









Oh, I forgot! There is a 3rd line attached to the inside of the left arm. it is for electrical connection of other attachments other than the bucket.











As you can see from some of the pictures, I have already gotten ahead with the main hull build. Plus being locked down in the house should help out in the modeling area. So stay tuned for the next update....
terminators
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France
Joined: February 20, 2012
KitMaker: 1,926 posts
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Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2020 - 10:25 PM UTC
Nice improvements !

The wiring step is essential on this model but still complicated to do.
bison126
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Correze, France
Joined: June 10, 2004
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Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 05:40 AM UTC
Very nice job on all the hydraulic lines Pete. They make the difference.

Olivier
HeavyArty
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Florida, United States
Joined: May 16, 2002
KitMaker: 17,685 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 09:34 AM UTC
It looks awesome Pete. Great job.
18Bravo
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Colorado, United States
Joined: January 20, 2005
KitMaker: 7,208 posts
Armorama: 6,090 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 03:42 AM UTC
Always a pleasure to see your work, Pete.
Brian3394
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United Kingdom
Joined: April 01, 2020
KitMaker: 7 posts
Armorama: 5 posts
Posted: Tuesday, April 07, 2020 - 07:42 PM UTC
Hi,

This looks fantastic.

If you dont mind me asking, what are you using for the hydraulic lines?

The silver lines look like lead wire? What are the black?

Thanks
Epi
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Texas, United States
Joined: December 22, 2001
KitMaker: 3,586 posts
Armorama: 2,556 posts
Posted: Wednesday, April 08, 2020 - 07:15 PM UTC
Brian,
I have some led wire and some brass wire in there. The black wire is left over scrap from Woodland Scenics Grain of Wheat Bulbs.

Wire wrap wire could also be used.

The only reason I went with the black wire is because I ran out of led wire in that size.
Epi
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Texas, United States
Joined: December 22, 2001
KitMaker: 3,586 posts
Armorama: 2,556 posts
Posted: Friday, April 10, 2020 - 06:33 PM UTC
You would think with having the "STAY AT HOME" order in affect that you would get a lot of modeling done, BUT NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Between my bored youngest son, "honey do list," and other family thing, the only modeling time is very late at night.

Well, he is a small update......

Third sub-assembly, the chassis, which will include engine, lower hull, and suspinsion.

I went ahead and attached most of the stuff to the lower hull, fuel cell, air tanks, hydraulic tank, fuel filter and steps. Engine is also installed. At this point, I only installed the rear drive train and drive shaft because leaving off the front drive train and shaft will help painting the engine easier.

Like I said and showed before, with patience, a razor saw, and a sharp X-Acto blade, the engine cover could be cut apart. Also, the front radiator cover could be made movable.

With all the parts attached to the engine, it still is missing a lot of the hoses and cables, so i started there with led wire.



I have a bunch of scrap Hummer kits in a box and though the the radiator from the Tamiya kit would be perfect for the HMEE radiator, and it is. It takes two of them though. Here is the start of the radiator:





I also started to detail out the exterior air lines for the HMEE air tools.



And I also added the engine fire wall. It's not 100% accurate, but close to it.





Ok, now for instruction booklet fixes or changes....

There was no issue in engine build in Step 1 for the exception of missing cables and hoses.

In Step 2, I know I said I left of the front axle, but I did install the front shock absobers.

Again, in Step 3, I left of the front drive train and drive shaft. Everything else in this step was installed.

In Step 4, I cut the engine cover away along the scribed line. I will show you what I did to the radiator cover(front engine cover) in the next update to make it removable. I will also so you the framing I did underneath the main engine cover. Again, I left off the parts of the front drive train and fender supports till later. Oh, I also left off the engine cover fasteners(part D37x4) because I have to show them open and hanging.

In Step 5, there is a problem with parts D73 and D75 where the tires attach to. In the picture for the rear drive train, D75 is correct and "D73" needs to be attached to the other side. On the front Drive train( I will remind again when I attach the front drive train) D73 is correct and D75 should be on the other side. If you look carefully at these parts, it looks like Panda started to add steering linkage to the kit, but didn't go forth with it. On the brake calipers, D72 is correct for the rear, but not shown is part D71 on the other side of the rear drive train. The front drive train brake caliper picture is correct, but the other side side(not shown) should be part D72. There is an error in the construction of the air tanks. Ther are only 2xD3, so you have to use one D2. So, you make one with parts D3 and D4, one with D3 and D4, and one with D2 and either D4 or D5.

Well that's it for now. Next update will be the completed radiator and finished plumbing. Then I will move on to the cabin.
Epi
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Texas, United States
Joined: December 22, 2001
KitMaker: 3,586 posts
Armorama: 2,556 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 08:16 PM UTC
TEST

18Bravo
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Colorado, United States
Joined: January 20, 2005
KitMaker: 7,208 posts
Armorama: 6,090 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 10:49 PM UTC
Have always loved your builds since WAY back in the day, Pete.