I will display to you guys this project that made me very happy because I think I got as a result a beautiful model with a awful kit (eeeww)...
You guys know this beautiful russian heavy howitzer: The B-4 203mm ... Really, an amazing piece of artillery:
|Russian Heavy Howitzer B-4 M1931 203mm preserved|
|Russian Heavy Howitzer B-4 M1931 203mm - winter action|
|Russian Heavy Howitzer B-4 M1931 203mm|
The kit of this beautiful weapon was released by Trumpeter, with great reviews and ratings...
|B-4 203mm - Trumpeter kit|
But the Devil is what I had in my storehouse this same gun reproduced by Alan. And as I like challenges and I hate waste, I decided to build this howitzer with the kit that I had: The age-old Alan!!
|B-4 203mm - Alan kit|
So, let's go!!!
Developed in the early 30's, the B-4 Heavy Howitzer was widely used throughout the Great Patriotic War. It saw service during the Moscow counterattack, the Stalingrad offensive, the Crimean liberation and in almost every severe street fighting.
With a combat weight of 17,700 kilogram the B-4 Howitzer could launch a 100 kg HE projectile over a distance of 11 miles. A crane attached to the side alleviated the loading process. During longer movements, usually accomplished by tractors, the barrel was dismounted and transported on a special wagon.
The 203 mm howitzer M1931 (B-4) was 203 mm (8 inch) Soviet heavy howitzer. These guns were used with success against heavy German fortifications and in urban combat for crushing protected buildings and bunkers. This weapon was used right up until the end of the war in the battle of Berlin were the red army would bring up these guns at point blank range to smash German fortifications with their heavy 203mm shells.
|Weight||Combat: 17,700 kg|
Travel: 19,000 kg
|Barrel length||Bore: 4.894 m (16 ft 1 in) L/24.1|
Overall: 5.087 m (16 ft 8 in) L/25
|Shell||HE: 100 kg (220 lbs)|
|Caliber||203 mm (8 in)|
|Elevation||0° to 60°|
|Rate of fire||1 round per minute|
|Muzzle velocity||607 m/s (1,990 ft/s)|
|Maximum range||18 km (11 mi)|
|Designer||Nikolai Nikititsch Magdesiew|
Opening the box (fragile, thin cardboard ...), find all pieces in one plastic bag and instruction sheet. No decals.
|The kit in the box...|
No historical references or specifications of the model. Only schematic drawings. In my opinion, a truly absurd...The historical research is always important!!!
Opening the plastic bags, the parts presents poor injection with tons of pin marks, flash, plastic contractions and other craps...See the images:
|The track links...|
|...with contractions and pin marks. Awful!!!|
|The defects are impressive !!!|
Really, makes the strongest cry!!
|The job that awaits me ....|
But enough of lamenting and will put their hands (and patience ...) to work:
|The cradle of the howitzer...|
When I looked at the pieces and noticed the quality of injection ...
|Using metal scratch:(the original part is awful...)|
An example of the workload that the kit gives to the modeler: In this step, we must glue the two support pieces on the cradle of the gun.
But the rivets prevent the perfect adaptation of the parts. Four rivets (each side) must be cut ...Surgery time!!!
But you have not seen anything! It´s to weep!
|The defects and flaws are unbelievable!!!!|
|Sorry for the putty´s rusticity ... It has been almost a catharsis!|
|After sanding the putty...|
Some details and corrections are easier to run:
|Open holes in the internal sides of the gun´s cradle.|
But, not all bad news: the gun barrel is ok !!!
|Great Scott; the gun barrel is acceptable !!!|
After sweat, tears and blood, the kit is getting almost decent.
As I was crazy, I turn the gun´s breech moves, drilling the hinge and inserting through a metal pin. I use a 0,5mm drill and a metal wire:
|The gun breech with movment...|
|The howitzer is almost ready...|
|and another headache!!|
|Using my Panzerserra´s model sander made with a toothbrush|
In summary, build this kit was a religious experience!
|More tortures... Detailing the steel wire of the "organic" winch of the gun. |
I used black sewing thread ...
You guys can believe in such a picture??
|Impressive....Most impressive !!!|
And the "Ugly Betty" was thriving ...
Making the suspensions; These devices must be remnants of Build Tractors Programs in the Thirties, in the Soviet Union!
|За родину !!!!|
This ugly girl needs some cosmetics: building springs for the blade...I used phone wire to do this...As template, a 0,5 mm drill bit :
Notice the comparison between the Alan parts and metal springs I did with wire....
|Notice the Alan parts|
|In position !!!!|
|The bogies and tracks were ready.|
|Hand-brakes in position.|
And the beast was almost ready to shoot:
After the primer, paint and Future:
|Ready for wethering...|
|Russian Heavy Howitzer B-4 M1931 203mm|
|Russian Heavy Howitzer B-4 M1931 203mm - left side|
|Russian Heavy Howitzer B-4 M1931 203mm - right side|
Normally Kojak is who is next to the machines, for comparison of size. But he was so traumatized by the quality (poor) of the Alan kit that he was unable to report for duty. So, I took this photo of the howitzer next to T-34 57mm Destroyer.
I hope I have not scared you guys with my story ... See you, soon, Tankers!!!