JS-2 by Dragon in 1/35

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JS-2 by Dragon in 1/35

Postby Geek44 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:11 am

A few weeks back I started this old kit from Dragon that I've had in my stash for about seven years. I seem to remember picking it up on eBay for some ridiculous pittance. It's a pretty basic kit and it's one of Dragon's oldies...let's see what we can do with it.

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Seen with the JS-2 kit is a set of the appropriate Friulmodel tracks, a fantastic "detail up" set by Voyager Model (I love their stuff) and a beautiful pair of figures by Alpine. At this point I'm thinking that they might be a thread by themselves...I haven't painted a figure for centuries. :lol:

As usual on armour kits, work usually starts on the chassis and this is no exception. My research tells me that this kit is thought to be fairly inaccurate in terms of shape with the turret being not flat enough and the road wheels being too small. I don't know for sure but other modellers (McCoy for one) has said that the Tamiya JS-2 is the superior kit.

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As I said earlier, the kit is pretty basic so I'm not going to post blow-by-blow pics. Incorporating the parts from the Voyager set is of interest though.
The grilles over the engine are moulded on to the main upper-deck part. They had to be shaved off with a small chisel. Once the area was flat, I drilled many small holes along the edge of the grilles in order to make a rectangular cut out ove which the beautiful PE grille assemblies would go.

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Flat area with detail shaved off.

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Chain drilled holes joined up to remove rectangular part. The hole was then carefully filed into shape.

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Openings with metal grille part.
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Re: JS-2 by Dragon in 1/35

Postby Geek44 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:13 am

After this I didn't want to leave the opening yawning open so that the interior of the model would be visible through the grille, so I blanked off the holes with small sheets of plastic card. I painted the inside of the resulting box black.

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Above is the underside of the part showing plastic card.

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Grille assemblies in place.
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Re: JS-2 by Dragon in 1/35

Postby Geek44 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:21 am

Should have posted these pics earlier in the thread...

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The Voyager Model set is excellent and I've used their products before. I've found that the sets they make that are intended for Dragon kits fit the Dragon kits really well. Their PE is well engineered but they can contain those tiny parts which are nigh on impossible to work with. This set contains PE, resinn copper, string, plastic rod and copper cable for making various bits and pieces...

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Beautfiul tool box that comprises box, lid, hinges for lid and clasps with retaining chains. I think the chains are over-scale but I used 'em anyway.

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Here you can see a bit more of the PE. The cover over the gun mantlet is brass sheet but also comprises three hinges made up of three parts each. I used some .05mm copper tube as the hinge pivots and the hinges actually work! They're 2 x 2.5mm. Other parts are the brackets for holding the external auxilliary fuel tanks. This leads me on to the one criticism I have of the Voyager set.
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Re: JS-2 by Dragon in 1/35

Postby Geek44 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:28 am

The auxilliary fuel tanks themselves are supplied in the kit as clunky plastic parts as are their support brackets. The Voyager set replaces all of them and I chose to use the Voyager parts because they are simply better. The tanks themselves comprise brass sheets that need to be rolled into cylinders and then ends with handles are glued into place. Luckily the ends are exactly the same diameter as a AA battery so I used one to roll the brass sheets. Sadly, no matter how much heating I applied I simply couldn't get the rather thick brass sheets to conform. What I did was to substitute the brass with the light metal to be found sealing a tin of coffee (actually it was Milo...dunno if others have that in their countries...it's a chocolate for mixing with milk). This stuff being thinner was far easier to shape around the battery.

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Voyager to the rescue with beautiful PE weld seams to glue over the join. The great thing was that dents and damage were a breeze to apply. I used a file and an old airbrush needle.

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Had a go at some battle damage but I'm not satisfied with the result...it looks a bit naive so I plan to only use two of the four tanks. These fuel tanks often didn't survive many engagements.
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Re: JS-2 by Dragon in 1/35

Postby Geek44 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:32 am

On the front we have some resin mounting points for spare track links...

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Then I started painting it. Basically I've used Tamiya acrylic NATO Green straight from the jar, then I've added some shades of the same colour modified with yellow. It looks pretty bright now but later weathering will subdue the colour quite a lot.

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Re: JS-2 by Dragon in 1/35

Postby Duncan » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:43 pm

That looks like a labour of love with all the after market stuff. I love the texture on the turret.

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Re: JS-2 by Dragon in 1/35

Postby Geek44 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:15 am

Someone quite rightly pointed out that the cast texture was probably way over-scale but I love it too. Next time I'll probably work on the weld seams as well.
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Re: JS-2 by Dragon in 1/35

Postby McCoy » Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:43 pm

It's not over-scale, I've seen examples with worse texture than this on real turrets but it's a bit over-scaled compared to the most common textures on the Soviet cast turrets.
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Re: JS-2 by Dragon in 1/35

Postby Geek44 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:05 am

Thought I'd try something new with this and bought a set of Archer Dry Transfers. If you haven't heard of them they're exactly like that rub-down lettering that comes on plastic sheets and you use a burnisher (most folks use a pencil) to rub over the sheet that releases the letter onto a surface.
The beauty of them is that they don't have any carrier film which means that there's no risk of silvering...I'm so tired of decals it's not funny. I find they silver, the decal set or solvent leaves a mark on your paint job...I thought I'd have a go at these...

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The downside of them can be seen in the above shot. There's a small raised dome on the side of the turret which is actually the plug for the pistol port on that side. On the other side it's drilled out because I intend to pose that one open. Getting the transfer to conform over that dome wasn't happening at all so I had to touch it up with a little Humbrol enamel white paint...not such a big deal really.
Before using these I searched YouTube for a tutorial video and wasn't disappointed. I learned that using a little piece of sponge to push the design down into the cast texture was a good idea so I did that. Then sealed it all with a coat of Dullcote.
Another reason for choosing these was that I wasn't that excited by the decal options provided in the kit. Both are Battle of Berlin vehicles, one Russian and one Polish. Soviet vehicles in that battle wore large white markings on their turrets as identification markings for Allied aircraft. You can see that in the photo of the box-art at the top of this thread.
There's almost a generic-ness of mass produced, rough-hewn Soviet armour that suggests a kind of anonymity that I'm interested to capture with this. I wanted to keep any markings to a minimum. The above is the result.
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Re: JS-2 by Dragon in 1/35

Postby Duncan » Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:36 am

Red bottle softens the decals and will conform them to anything. It'll also destroy them if you use too much or fidget with them too much.
Blue bottle gently softens and sets the decals.

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