If you've been following along at home, by now you'll have a scale Laplander body that's almost complete in its exterior detail. Looking through any of its window though shows empty space and/or the chassis failing to fill the gap. This is a bit of a challenge for realism - and any moving vehicle without a driver looks odd. In this instalment we'll look at adding an interior and a driver figure. Even if you're not constructing exactly this type of truck, hopefully the techniques will have applications in your own builds.
Note on the plans: I've always stressed the need to make your own measurements and adjust the parts as required, but as this build progresses the need to check and/or fettle becomes more important: errors (not necessarily yours) compound over time.
There are a lot of choices of who/what you put behind the steering wheel - as this is a Tamiya based site it was always going to be a styrene moulded Tamiya figure for me, but even then there are a lot of options.
I find it important to make this choice early, as a realistic driver to seat fit can only be made with reference to the selected figure - and the position/angle of the dash, steering column, steering wheel, seats and even the floor are all dependent (at least in part) on the driver.
Although the "torso" figures found in a lot of Tamiya cars (Willy's Wheeler, Rough Rider, Sand Scorcher, Bigwig/Fox, Frog/Grasshopper, Ranger/Blackfoot, Brat, Holiday Buggy, and more) can work in some settings, I ruled them out immediately as they're not suitable for a full interior.
The Fast Attack Vehicle driver is not quite a full body, and would be a bit problematic as the torso/legs are moulded into the interior and removing them wouldn't leave much. The recent 1/14 R/C Truck Driver figure doesn't have such issues, but is far too small for our needs.
The XR311/Cheetah figure has a reclined driving position that doesn't lend itself to most scale builds, although it's quite amenable to persuasion to a more upright stance (with careful heating). The military aspects of the clothing can be cut/sanded away to a more generic boiler suit look, as can the wide hips - however the 1:12 scale rules it out for this build.
The Sand Rover driver is a credible choice, even if it is missing a bit too much off the back to be used without modification, and lacks anything below knee height. On balance, I just didn't think that the cowboy hat really suited the Laplander.
The current RC 4x4 Vehicle Driver (previously found in the vintage 3-speed Blazer) was the one I'd always thought I was going to use here - it's the sensible, scale choice & doesn't need much modification - but now I come to it, it looks a bit small in what's really a 1:9 scale truck - and having nothing below the knee would involve more work in sculpting or grafting from another figure.
Obviously the only contender left is the fully body version of Wild Willy. The sprue is pretty much unchanged since it made its first appearance on the original short wheelbase version of the Wild Willy M38 back in 1982 - and the extra bits included may come in useful too. The over scale features work well here, given the "true" 1:9 dimensions of this build.
You will need:
- Tools, glues (including traditional plastic kit "Poly" glue), sundries as before;
- 2mm square strip (Evergreen #164);
- 3.2mm round rod (Evergreen #214);
- 12.7mm round tube (Evergreen #236);
- 3.2mm round tube (Evergreen #224);
- 1.5mm styrene sheet (around two A3+ sheets or four A4+ sheets);
- 1mm styrene sheet (1/2 an A4+ sheet);
- 0.75mm & 0.5mm styrene sheet (1/2 an A4 sheet each?);
- 0.88mm round styrene rod (optional - Evergreen # 220);
- 7.1mm round tube (optional - Evergreen #229);
- Aluminium mesh sheet;
- Tamiya Wild Willy driver figure (part # 0335177);
- thin wire (e.g. 7/.02mm or 10/0.1mm) in at least two colours, solder & a soldering iron, heatshrink tube;
- 5mm white, orange and red LEDs and resistors (see the appropriate section, below, for suggested specs).
Determining Floor Level & Divider Position
If you need to do this on any other sort of RC scratch build, basically it's a lot of measurement, checking & rechecking - then a bit of guesswork, seeing what looks right, approximating, taping in bits of card to check clearances ... but sooner or later you have to commit & hope it works out.
I'm writing this section having got the basic floors in - and did quite well in hindsight. The rear floor has no more than a sheet of paper's thickness clearance between the underside of the floor & the highest protuberances on the chassis. In keeping the front floor the same height though, it's apparent that I could have extended the divider some 5mm further down & dropped the front floor by the same amount without compromising the clearance underneath. However, that part of the front floor is very high in the 1:1 Laplander, with the seats cushions being fitted directly to it without a seat frame - so I'm quite happy.
Building the Divider
This is made from outer layers cut from 1.5mm styrene sheet, aluminium mesh, and a middle layer the same thickness as the mesh (1mm here). It's sized to fit on the jamb (joining strip) on the forwards edges of the side doors, but check your dimensions.
Because mine didn't match up quite as well as I would have liked (and to add extra rigidity) I edged the panel with 2mm square strip. Leave 6.5mm to 7mm clear at the bottom - see the next section.
Note: the meshwork area may look large, but it's in keeping with the partitions I've seen in photos of 1:1 vehicle. Having said that, it might look more in keeping with the rest of this build if the bottom edge had been raised up 15mm or so.
Floor Level Stop(s)
I used 2mm square strip to fix the floors at a set height, on the front and back face of the divider this needs to be glued on leaving enough space to fit both the floor (which will be 1.5mm thick) and, potentially, another 2mm square strip - hence the 6.5-7mm gap mentioned earlier.
Note on length: I glued full strips on, knowing I'd probably have to take a section out of the middle later on to accommodate the engine cover...
The long bits along the sides in the rear section should be at the same height as the divider upper stop, around 163mm long, and - assuming your Laplander has come out the same as mine so far - the bottom edge should be 11mm above the lower edge of the rear wheelarch, 61mm above the bottom of the sill and the same distance above the bottom edge of the rear bumper. Add short, suitably angled bits on the side doors to suit, and a section (around 92mm long) inside the single rear door at the same level. You'll see that a hypothetical line between the stop strip on the sides & door runs straight through the holes made for the rear lights - don't glue anything else on & we'll deal with that soon.
The first reference point is the top right corner of the first bit of 2mm square - for the right hand side, this is 42mm from the inside of the grille panel, and 36mm up from the very bottom of the side panel. Cut a "stop strip" to suit the gap, cutting the rear end to a 45 degree angle.
The second point is 55mm from the grille, and the same height as the stop strip on the divider. Cut 2mm square to suitable sizes to clear the door jamb, not forgetting one at a 45 degree angle to bridge the flat bits. Repeat for the left hand side.
Rear Floor Template/Base
I suggest you make your own card template for the rear floor - the template in the plans suits my Laplander, but as mentioned in a previous instalment it actually tapers slightly from front to back, and the rear door is not quite central. Neither flaw is big enough to be visually irksome, however it does throw the measurements off.
Cut the final version from 1.5mm styrene sheet & test fit, make a note which side is the underside & keep it to one side for now. You'll note that the floor level cuts through the rear light holes - but it couldn't have gone any lower without modifying the chassis, and lifting it any higher would have compromised that scale aspect even further - so we'll just have to deal with it.
Again I'd suggest card templates to begin with. Once you've got the size and fit worked out, start with the horizontal sections in 1.5mm styrene and sand the necessary angles in the relevant edges. You can then work out the size, shape and angles needed on the intermediate piece.
I suggest you don't glue the sections together in situ, but do the floor as separate unit on the bench so it doesn't get prematurely bonded in.
Butt joints like this aren't very strong so I added a couple of bracing rails made from 3mm sheet - the odd shape on the underside is needed to clear the chassis wheelarches.
As happened in the rear, the front floor also compromises access to the 5mm holes for LEDs in the back of the headlights - this calls for a bit of a detour into LED wiring...
Initial LED Wiring
This would have been better as a separate piece (discussion on suitable soldering irons, basic technique and so on), but I don't want to go off on a long tangent so this will have to be brief:
LEDs - What to look for:
|Colour:||Orange - and as these will be exposed they should have orange encapsulation rather than clear.|
|Brightness:||I'm not planning to have these lit, but even if they were they don't need to be bright, 500 mCd or so.|
|Forward Voltage and current:||These values need to be specified by your supplier as you'll need them later for working out what value resistors to use.|
|Colour:||Red, with red encapsulation.|
|Brightness:||Low brightness lighting on the rear is more convincing than bright, so look for 400 or 500 mCd or lower - I found some rated at a mere 100 mCd.|
|Forward Voltage and current:||These need to be specified by your supplier, as you'll need them later.|
|Colour:||"Warm White" (the slightly yellow tint suits old vehicles better than the blue "cool white" type).|
|Brightness:||"Ultra bright" (currently this means a claimed figure of 6000mCd or more - 10,000 to 14,000 mCd is not unusual).|
|Forward Voltage and current:||Again, you just need to know the figures.|
Note: although prewired LEDS are attractive, they're almost always be wired for a 12v source - unless you're running 3S Lipo or 8 cell NiMH, where are you going to get that from?
Let's look at possible ways of powering the LEDs:
|9v||Use a 9v PP3 battery (using either a battery clip, or battery box) & switch|
|4.8v - 6v*|| |
Spare receiver channel, i.e. BEC level with most ESCs, or
*full battery voltage with some Tamiya ESCs
|7.2v/7.4v nominal **|| |
Directly from main battery, or via receiver controlled switch powered by said battery. 6 cell NiMH/NiCd and 2S Lipo have a nominal voltage of 7.2v or 7.4v
** but it can be much higher fresh off the charger (e.g. 6 cell NiMH at 10v is not unusual).
Note that you don't need to do all the wiring now, but you do need to decide how the LEDs are going to be fed. I'm going to be using an electronic, transmitter operated switch which delivers main battery voltage - but let's look at a simpler installation as an example for the maths...
Resistors should be of 0.25W or 0.5W rating, metal film or carbon doesn't really matter - but the resistance does. To work it out, let's consider a simple setup of a LED powered by a 9v battery. Hypothetical specs for the LED say the forward voltage is 3V, and the current draw is 25mA.
You should remember Ohm's Law (V=IR) from school, in this case we need to solve it for resistance, i.e. R=V/I or in longer form, R = (power supply, minus voltage required) / (current in milliamps) * 1000.
So, for our example, R = (9-3) / 25 * 1000 ... or 6 / 25 * 1000 = 240 ohms.
In the real world it's more likely you'll have a range for each figure - which will give a range of answers. For example, my red LEDs apparently have a forward current of 20 to 30mA, a forward voltage of 1.8 to 2.2V, and I'll be running them at a nominal 7.2 or 7.4v, which in could be up to 10v in extremis.
Solving this pessimistically indicates a 410 ohm resistor would be required, and at the optimistic end, 170 Ohms (being closest to 173.3 recurring). Taking average values suggests a sensible range is 200 to 220 Ohms, but to allow a bit of headroom for batteries at the beginning of a run, I'm going to go for 270 Ohm resistors.
Similar juggling for my white & orange LEDs suggests 270ohms again is suitable for the former, 220ohms for the latter.
In passing I'll just mention that it's perfectly possible to wire LEDs in series (pairs and so on) so save a bit of wire and resistors, but in practice I've found it less hassle in the long run to wire them up individually.
As with most things you don't have to spend a fortune but good quality tools and materials really help, as does practice. if you don't have a soldering iron at all, I'd suggest a mains powered one from a well known brand with a power rating of 25 to 40 watts would be a good start.
Identify the negative side of the LED - it usually has a shorter leg and/or a flat on the side of the LED - and solder a wire to that (black or something that you'll remember signifies earth). The other side needs a resistor soldering to it, then another wire (e.g. red) to that, and those joins covering with heatshrink. Hopefully you can shorten the LED legs and the resistor wire to make things a bit more compact.
I turned down the LED holders a little (1.5mm off the nuts, 4mm off the back end of the holder) to reduce the room they'll take up. If you want to do the same it's perfectly possible to do the same without a lathe by careful razor sawing and/or sanding.
Test fit the LEDs & offer the floors up to the body to work out where you need to file/Dremel the floor away to clear the LEDs. Having got a bit ahead before doing this I can say that there's also a issue about the fitting order too - for the rear floor it looks as though the LEDs can be fitted first, but on the front they'll probably have to be fitted after the floor.
Either way, the cutouts look pretty ugly - in the rear they can largely be covered up by one of the (minimal) seats, but in the front some sort of (admittedly not very scale looking) "bulge" in the top surface will be required.
I made these from scraps of 1.5mm and 1mm sheet - a 6mm wide strip of the former yielded the sides, an 8mm strip with bevelled top & bottom for the ends, and short strips of 16mm wide 1mm sheet for the tops.
Rear Floor Details
The back of a Laplander doesn't have a lot in the way of creature comforts, but there's still some detail that can be replicated, even if the floor is higher than the 1:1 vehicle. I will say though that my photo sources aren't that great and needed a lot of interpretation.
Seats: I made the bases from 3mm sheet cut in to 50mm squares, with 3.2mm square strip added to the sides & rounded/sanded in. A separate "cushion" also made from 3mm goes on top, after rounding the edges/corners and a bit of sculpting (done with a sanding drum in a Dremel) to simulate a bit of wear/compression anywhere between light use and extreme buttock dimpling. The "cushions" are loose at the moment & will be glued in after painting as it'll be easier to make the seats two tone that way. Drill marks on the underside of the cushion & the top side of the seat indicate orientation & matching pairs.
Spacers hold the seats 8mm off the floor to clear the LEDs under the rearmost pair and provide consistency for the other four - I haven't made any attempt to duplicate the folding mechanism found on the actual vehicle. When gluing the bases in, at least 2mm needs to be left clear around the edges of the floor to avoid fouling the floor "stop" line.
Seat Backs: these are little more than varnished planks of wood in the real thing - so a 15mm wide strip of 2mm sheet, 170mm long each side will suffice. Round the corners a little & set aside to be glued in under the window seal supports after separate painting.
Engine Cover: this protrudes quite a long way into the loadspace (and cab) on the 1:1 Laplander, and often (at least on civilianised versions) has a quilted cover over it, presumably to reduce noise. Remembering that our rear floor is higher than it should be to accommodate the CC-01 chassis, we only need to replicate the top part of it - and all of that can be made to look "quilted" by scribing suitable lines into the panels before assembly, and rounding the edges a little. The parts in the plan are just the best guess I was able to make as to shape.
Some of the panel edges will need sanding to fit together; also note the diamond pattern. Starting on the top, the lines are 5mm apart with each line deviating 10mm to one side on the opposite edge. I think it's worth trying to match the pattern on to the sides & back too, but where the back meets the side would be a seam so wouldn't match on the 1:1 vehicle.
Brace the joints on the inside with bits of scrap & sand the base flat. Fill the joints on the outside & sand back, rounding the edges a little. Restore any parts of the quilting pattern that got lost under the filler or disappeared with the sanding.
After taping the hump to the floor (not gluing, yet) I had to remove part of the floor stop line I'd installed earlier.
Note: I had to make this part twice - the first attempt came out rather oversize, and as the front part width is constrained (later) by the gap between the seats, I couldn't have made the two halves match & that wouldn't have looked right.
Floor Ribs: these are alternating wooden & raised pressed metal in the real thing, best replicated with 5mm wide strips of 1.5mm sheet and 3mm wide strips of 1mm sheet. Glue the narrow "metal" strips in now, but keep the "wood" strips loose as it'll be a lot easier to paint that way.
Other Details? It's probably worth adding (yet another) lock detail to the inside of the rear door & even some sort of door pull modelled along the lines of that inside the side doors - putting these on an abbreviated door card of some sort & only gluing that in after painting would probably be a good idea.
It would be fairly normal to find a jerry can fixed to the back of the bulkhead, along with a fire extinguisher. The NOS bottle left over from the wild Willy driver figure can be repurposed as an extinguisher by bending the output hose & adding a nozzle. It'll need the bottom cutting off to match the faux floor height, I suggest cutting/sanding the remaining screw boss flush with the back too.
The jerry can is another matter - if you've got a spare one (possibly from a Wild Willy or Holiday Buggy) then that makes it easy - but I don't so I'll have to make one. It will need the bottom cutting off too - if that seems like a shame to you then I'd suggest making two. Like the unexpected need to add a section on LEDs, it means another aside...
The fuel can on the back of the Wild Willy should be familiar to all Tamiya fans, so I've modelled this one very closely on that. The "X" shape pressed into the metal on the 1:1 object is easy enough to do with multiple layer, and the rest is a box with some filing/sanding needed for shape, and a bit of heat to help with shaping the handle. Omitting the concave line near the top would have made things a bit more simple, but it's there on the US WWII steel can it's based on so it ought to stay - and if we're going to do that, then making the bottom square edged with a lip also makes sense.
I'd suggest 0.75mm sheet for the facing panels for ease of cutting out, the dotted lines in the X's should be filed at an angle & the rest of the X sanded to give a rounded edge. Cut the top off each along the dotted line with a narrow bladed saw (a razor saw or fine hacksaw) or with a craft knife & sand back to leave a small gap (0.5mm or so) between the two parts.
Glue each pair of the X panel parts to a plain backing piece. Cut a 13mm wide strip from 2mm sheet & cut to lengths to fit around the perimeter.
Fill as necessary, then sand back to round the edges - apart from the bottom, which should be flat. Clear the gaps between the top sections & extend around the sides too.
If you're making more than one can, the rolled seam at the base is a length of 0.88mm round rod, and the cap is 8mm and 5.5mm discs cut from 1mm sheet. The handle is a 9mm wide strip of 2mm sheet heated & bent to the angle shown on the template in the plans, then cut to the correct length/height and the ends sanded to the correct angle.
Cut the bottom off to suit the high faux floor.
Strapping (4mm wide strip + a buckle made from a paper clip) is optional, the holder section isn't necessary. Like the fire extinguisher, it's probably best to leave the gluing until after painting.
Back on track again, I did want to include a nice detail I've seen on a couple of versions: a heater for the rear section. This was little more than a box (for a heater matrix) and a fan housing, and coolant hoses disappearing into the engine cover. I haven't included any parts for this in the plans, if you've got this far it shouldn't be too hard to replicate (or better) my effort: it's basically a box 18mm x 29mm x 12.5mm, and the fan shroud is two layers of 0.5mm sheet formed around an AA battery. The "motor" within that is a short, capped off length of 7.1mm tube. Hoses are 3.2mm round rod, heated and bent to shape.
The Wild Willy driver figure has an open back which could mean a lot of filling & rework to get him to fit to a scale looking seat. However, there's a seat we already know he fits in - the Wild Willy - so that's an obvious thing to work from. We'll need another seat the same for the passenger side. Although a bucket seat isn't original equipment for the Laplander, leaving out the curved area in the lumbar region & a few detail parts will make it passable.
I made a seat out of 160gsm card to the shape it would be if it wasn't cut away to fit the rest of the Wild Willy bodywork & that told me a few things:
- there's not a lot of benefit to it tapering from front to back (45mm reducing to 43mm) (so the seats can be square);
- Willy's helmet is a bit too close to the roof & his feet are a bit too far away from the floor (so 6mm needs to come off the bottom of the seat);
- the curve on the front edge of the squab is largely ornamental (so can be reduced in radius, and the seat shortened a bit at the front);
- the height of the seat back can also be reduced (to look a bit more like period seats).
Sides are 2mm sheet, the rest is a 41mm wide strip of 1.5mm sheet, other dimensions are:
- front & back of seat base (back is inset by 1.5mm) - 8mm
- top of seat back - 6mm
- seat rear - 53mm
- seat base top - 57mm
- seat back lower spacer - 14mm
- seat back upper spacer - 3mm
- seat back - 47mm
After filling & sanding I added a some details: piping is 0.88mm rod, cushion detail is a 39.5mm x 38mm bit of 1.5mm sheet with a section cut out of the middle 10mm from the front & sides, all the corners rounded, the edges sanded & the middle bit replaced; back detail is the same width x 45.5mm, with 10mm sides cut off, sanded & glued back on. There are also strips of scrap sheet on the underside to give the driver fastening screw added depth to bite in to.
The dimensions of the card mock-up didn't translate that well into styrene - in fact I made the sides about 3mm too short. I've corrected that in the plans, but I had to add a bit of 3mm sheet to each base, fill & sand.
Note: images 29 to 31 show my prototype seats, which should be taller/further off the deck; image 32 shows my correction - the plans & dimensions given in the text should be correct.
For the driver side all I did was continue the shoulder belts across the top of the seat & down the back - bits of scrap styrene sandwiched together & shaped into wedges to get the levels correct, and 4mm wide strips of 0.5mm sheet for the belts. Ensure that you don't glue your Willy in, by the way.
For the passenger side the belts are a bit more complicated - and I wouldn't say I did a particularly great job here. Use the Wild Willy figure as a guide for belt widths & shoulder pads, buckle shapes & positions.
I used 6mm, 5mm and 3.5mm wide strips of 0.5mm sheet arranged as if they'd just flopped there, repurposed scraps for the buckle components, short lengths of round rod, and a paper clip (reshaped in the same way as the buckles for the ammo box back in part 4, and glued on with Araldite).
Glue the seats to the front floor, mine are 25mm from the outside edge, 19mm forward of the back. The gap (44mm) is important too.
At the time of building I'd only managed to find a very limited amount of photo sources for the C202 Laplander cab interior & dashboard so I advise caution in what photo sources you pay attention to - most interior photos on the internet are of the much larger 2nd generation military models. The "wrong" models are easily identified by the vertical divider strip between the two panes of glass that make up the windscreen, their large and intrusive centre console with the gearstick coming straight up out of it, and a steering column that's little more than a tube with one bracket.
The model being built here though typically has a plastic box around the steering column, a much reduced centre console with the gear levers coming out of the angled bit of the floor, and a one piece windscreen (though there is a pole in the inside - possibly a rear view mirror support, or something to do with a window opener/latch?).
The dash is fundamentally a simple box turned at a slight angle & notched to fit the step from the windscreen surround, and a recessed top to which assorted detail pieces need to be stuck.
I had to make the dash shallower than I would have liked to clear Willy's hands and feet, but I did manage to keep it a standalone piece that can be glued or taped in after painting.
I cut out the dash ends (shown in the plans) from 2mm sheet then added strips of various widths (but all from 2mm sheet and 175mm long) to form the basic box. The recess feature on the top was added with 2mm square strip styrene around the top edge (and filler).
Features on the top are:
- Instruments - 12.7mm tube
- Warning lights - 3.2mm tube
- Heater box top - 1.5mm sheet
- Passenger brace - 3.2mm round rod
I started with a simple 3.2mm round rod - and although ridiculously crude it was kind of enough - but in the end I boxed it in to abut the dash when everything is finally fitted. This means an awful lot of fiddly measuring and trial & error with templates - I've included the "sides" in the plans as a starting point. Add 6mm wide strips of 1.5mm thick sheet to the front, back & top, + fill any gaps.
Such a column will fit between the driver's feet, but there's no real reason why it can't be made a bit more scale looking near the top - I did that with additional layers of 3mm sheet to the top of the column + filler & sanding the edges on the back face a little.
Don't glue the column on, or the steering wheel to the column.
Cab Door Cards
These are very simple pieces of 1mm sheet with yet another door handle shape on them (see the previous part), a door pull sculpted from 3mm scrap, and fake screw fasteners made from slivers of round rod. The reason for making them separately rather than gluing the detail parts on now is one of colour - these ought to be painted to look like black vinyl & installed only after the body has also been painted.
Note: If you're wondering why I did the side door cards differently (see the previous instalment) there were good reasons for that - firstly to close the door lock hole while we were working on details, and secondly that the main part is supposed to be body colour, only the small rectangular area is black vinyl. In hindsight it probably would have been better to not glue the door pulls in, and to make the door lock a standalone section so it they could be painted off the body & glued in afterwards - you live & learn...
I couldn't initially find a reference source for the C202 pedals so these were pure guesswork. As it turned out, I was wrong, but because of the way I've constructed the cab they needed to be fixed to the floor anyway. Pieces of scribed 0.75mm sheet sit of 1.5mm pedals, supported by wedges of a Polo mint like disc (25mm OD, 12mm ID) Dremelled from 3mm sheet. Some caution is needed in the size & position of theses pedals - too tall and/or high and they may well foul the dashboard
The floor detailing is lots of small discs punched from 0.5mm sheet using a belt punch, fixed with Poly glue to 0.75mm mats cut according to card templates I made to suit the shapes needed to avoid the LED clearance humps, pedals & steering column. The first pass of dots is glued to a simple 10mm square grid pattern, the second pass adds a dot in between every four from the first pass.
Alternatives to all this fiddling are of course just leaving the "mat" area blank, or scribing a pattern on.
Engine Cover (Front) / Centre Console
The "hump" part should match the rear engine cover I think, just a bit longer. Construction method is the same as covered in the relevant section, earlier.
The top of the hump looks to be a plastic section with a distinct moulded lip. The base is a simple 25mm x 50mm rectangle cut from 1mm sheet, the horizontal part of the former is 1.5mm sheet cut to 18mm x 44mm & the corners rounded. The vertical part is a 5mm wide strip of 0.5mm sheet.
I used Milliput White epoxy putty to build up the tapered sides, smoothing it out wet before it set.
Don't glue the completed assembly to the front floor - there's a bit of a wrinkle here... because of the way the body has come together - especially the fixed interior divider and the large overhang (underhang?) on the front of the vehicle, the front interior has to go in a specific way (insert with the seats up against the divider then slide forward/down), I had planned to fit the front hump to the divider.
That won't work though, as the driver's right arm will stop the rest going in. Instead I had to cut out the area between the seats, add a false bottom to the hump, and an oversize panel to blank off the hole once the hump goes in, last. Obviously you shouldn't glue it in yet or you'll have the same problem again.
You're sure to have noted by now that the bodywork is getting a bit lardy - and that's without paint, windows or a roof rack (or its load).
There are two schools of thought here, the first is to leave the kit CC-01 springs on & call it a "droop" setup - the theory being that it can be advantageous for traction: as a wheel moves over a low spot, that corner droops into the depression & maintains grip - but at the expense of ground clearance.
From the outset*, the bodywork as made to the plans and/or dimensions in this series of articles was sized to give enough space under the arches to accommodate kit CC-01 wheels & tyres at full compression, so this is an option. Just don't store the truck with the wheels loaded, as the weight will probably make the springs take on a permanent "set" quite quickly.
*Note: It's not that I anticipated a "droop" setup at the start, though - I simply hadn't decided on the height the body should be fixed at.
The other option is stiffer springs - the Tamiya CC-01 Barrel spring set (part # 54666) would seem the obvious choice, but fitting the "hard" pair (marked blue) from a set on the front and "medium" pair (marked yellow) on the rear made the setup feel too soft on the front & too hard on the rear ... I'll have to work on that a bit more I think.
Just before Christmas (2015) I found a source of 2mm hex strip, so have "upgraded" the fake wheelnuts accordingly.
And Finally ...
... a peek through the front and rear windows: I think that's coming together quite nicely :)
In the next instalment we'll cover making a structures out of small brass forms, the worked example will be a scale roof rack to top off the Laplander.
Written by TB member Jonny Retro