RPM Staghound III conversion

Article by Bill Powers - Jwp968(at)aol(dot)com

In my opinion the Staghound looks much better with a large turret, so I made the Mk.III version by scratch building a Crusader turret using plans from Bradford's plan book for British armored vehicles. The turret was built using the "Harry Woodman" method of a balsa wood core plated with plastic sheet. I used two layers of balsa with a piece of white plastic in the middle.

The plastic is cut to the plan view shape of the turret and glued to the bottom piece of balsa which is then trimmed to the match the shape of the plastic "template". The top piece is glued on and is trimmed to shape. Next a circle the size of the turret race is glued to the bottom of the balsa. The front of the turret block of balsa is "squared" as per the plans and a piece of white plastic cut to the turret face shape is glued in place. Now lines are drawn on the block to match the elevation plans so the block can be shaped. I use a long Xacto blade to rough cut followed by sanding with 220 grit sandpaper glued to a sanding block. After the balsa is trimmed and sanded to shape, the turret is plated with 10 thousandths plastic. All the plastic was glued to the balsa with Testors liquid cement applied to the plastic only! Applying this cement directly on the balsa will result in a disaster after a few days/weeks! Tamiya and MEK type cements dry too quick and are not recommended for this technique. Crazy glue can be used but it will stick immediately due to the moisture in the balsa.

Details are added from plastic sheet and brass rod for lift handles. Rivets were punched from 5 thousandths plastic with a home made hypodermic needle "punch"…lots of rivets! The gun is plastic tubing with a brass rod inserted for strength, then turned in a drill and sanded to a taper. The side boxes are made from 20 thousandths sheet plastic.

All this could be avoided by using the Hasegawa Crusader turret…I guess.

The markings were made from colored decal sheet. The idea for the markings came from a web page that showed the decals in the Bronco kit for a Mk.III of the RAC Gunnery Schools. The paint is Tamiya's Deck Linoleum Brown with some Buff added. Then a Burnt Umber wash followed by pin washes of Burnt Umber and Black. Shading was done with the base color further lightened with Buff. The model was sprayed with Dullcote and further weathered and shaded with a dusting of Dullcote plus a drop of Model Master Radar Tan.

The RPM kit goes together very nicely. There were no problems in fit or assembly. Unless the sides are thinned, the engines will not fit! But you can always close the engine doors…which would be a shame because the kit engines are beautiful!

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Article Last Updated: 05 November 2009

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