IPMS Seattle Chapter NewsletterPage  MiniArt 1/35th Scale Valentine Mk.VI Canadian- Built Early Production by Andrew Birkbeck As I mentioned in my earlier "in-box" review of this kit, published in the Novem- ber 2011 issue of Seattle Chapter News, the detail on the parts is most impressive. I also pointed out that based on initial test fitting trials, parts fit would have "tight tolerances". The full build proved my initial statements to be true. Since my kit would be built with all the hatches glued shut, I dispensed with the incorporation of any of the internal detail that MiniArt provides in the kit. Thus I skipped Sections 1 through 4 on the instruction sheet. Sections 5 through 17 cover the construction of the tank model's running gear: drive sprockets, road wheels, shocks, and tracks etc. In Section 8, I removed one of the hull mounting "slats" for the attachment of the idler mounts (parts C6/C7) for a better fit. The return rollers, part B26, in Section 9 had an annoying mod seam around the outer lip, which I felt needed removing. And part Jb4 in Section 10 had a mold flaw on the hub tip which needed sanding out. The tracks are assembled following the instructions in Section 16 and 17. Being individual links, they need removing from the sprues, the attachment points carefully cleaned up, and then carefully glued together using a simple jig to keep the runs straight. All very tedious, but the end result is very pleasing compared to what would have been achieved via the "rubber band" method of model track production. That said, I know many modelers who prefer the rubber band method. The problem I experience with rubber band tracks is two-fold: firstly, without a positionable idler arm for the idler wheel, if the tracks aren't perfectly sized, they often turn out too slack or too tight. The former look goofy, the latter usually has the idler wheel popping off under the stress caused by tight tracks. This can be overcome when too sloppy IF the tracks are glue- able with ordinary modeling cement or even super glue. However, when using vinyl for the tracks, this doesn't work well. Vinyl is often too rigid as well, adding to any fit issues. The second issue is that often they lack the detail achievable with link by link tracks. Section 18: the two headlamp parts, not named in the instructions, are in fact parts Je3 and Je4. PE parts? Yes, the kit comes with a nicely detailed fret of these, and I started by annealing them on one of my stove top elements. I simply turn up the heat to medium, and place the PE fret on the element. As it heats up it turns various shades other than brass, and when it stops with the color shifts, I remove it and let it cool down safely. Annealing makes the PE brass parts much easier to bend. The PE parts were utilized in three areas: internal radio fittings (not used, see earlier com- ments about internal detail), mudguard brackets, and the engine exhaust guards. The exhausts themselves are built up in Section 23, and took a bit of work to get to IPMS Seattle Chapter NewsletterPage  fit together nicely so that they mount to the hull and mud guards properly, 13 parts in total. The PE guards are then carefully bent to shape, and installed over the exhausts. Construction of the upper hull, Sections 20 through 34, went along without incident, following the instructions, but always test- fitting the parts carefully before applying glue. Again, I mention the tight tolerances when it comes to the fit of the parts. Sections 35 through 39 were mostly ignored, as they cover the installation of the main gun breech internal detail, and the construction of the turret radio. Not seen Gloss was then applied, followed by theUpcoming Shows decal application. The decals cover two different vehicles, one listed as "Training4/7/2012 Unit, Borden Camp, Ontario 1942" whileIPMS/Seattle Presents Spring Show/ the other is listed as "5th Guard TankContest 2012 (Region 7 Regional) Brigade, 20th Army, North Caucasus,Renton Community Center Summer 1942". I chose the latter. I experi-1715 Maple Valley Highway, Renton enced no issues applying the decals usingJon Fincher 206.588.5663 Mr Mark Softer and Mr Mark Setter by Gunze Sangyo. Following another applica-5/6/2012 tion of Tamiya Clear Gloss to seal theModel Car Sunday 23 - IPMS/Puget Sound decals, I then applied some pin washesAuto Modelers Association utilizing a couple of shades of oil paint toPuyallup Elks help pick out the kit's details, and to314 27th St NE, Puyallup provide the model with a suitably "used"Chellie M. Lynn 206-938-2389 look. on my model, so not bothered with, though detail on both areas is quite nicely rendered. Finally, Sections 40 through 47 cover the construction of the turret. No problems were encountered here. My assumption regarding the painting of these lend lease vehicles is that it took place in Canada, where they were as- sembled. So I followed the kit's instruc- tions and simply painted them Tamiya XF-Bonsor Recreation Complex 67 Green, thinned with my favorite thinner6550 Bonsor Avenue, for Tamiya paint, Mr Color Self LevelingBurnaby, BC, Canada Thinner. Panel fade was achieved byPeter Hickey 604-988-3253 taking the base color, and lightening it with Tamiya XF-55 Buff. A coat of Tamiya Clear Overall, this kit assembled very well, and10/6/2012 has outstanding detail incorporated into18th Annual ''Show Off The Good Stuff'' the various parts. The instructions wereModel Show & Contest - Palouse Area easy to follow, being clearly laid out andModelers without any noticeable mistakes. I wouldMoscow Moose Lodge highly recommend this kit to anyone210 N Main St., Moscow, ID interested in British lend-lease tanks, orScott Rowland 208-843-5137 Russian armor from WW2. Once again, many thanks to MRC for the opportunity10/6/2012 to review and build this excellent model.IPMS Vancouver 42nd Fall Show