Sunday, January 27, 2013

ACE kit 72284, Autopretto S.37

ACE kit 72284, Autopretto S.37

Hello braillers.

This kit has been out for a little while. I decided to get one as it is so unusual looking, with its short but rather tall & bulky body, and comparatively large wheels. I assess this model, with a few other Italian vehicles could make a an interesting and unusual diorama.

Plenty of period photos of these in Italian and German use, particularly in northern Italy and many parts of the Balkans during the war. 

I have no detailed or comprehensive reference material on these (or any Italian vehicles), other than what can be found on the web, so this will be an 'Out Of the Box' (OOB) build.

In the box. 5 small sprues of parts, Instruction sheet, and a small bag with 5 black 'rubber' tyres, and a small set of decals.

Assembly. Whenever one approaches an ACE kit it is with some expectation that it will not be a 'fast build'. The sprues are fairly typical of ACE with some parts not having crisp cast lines, requiring an exacto blade or fine sand paper to remove cast lines and uneven edges.

As is usually the case with ACE (wheeled) kits, first up is the under chassis and suspension assembly. No issues in this part of the assembly, though careful study of the instruction diagrams is needed to attach the wheel hub assemblies in the right spot.

Next assembly is the floor inside the vehicle, side benches, and drivers compartment details, no issues in this part of the assembly.

The body sides, rear wall, and front are next. Given these are multi angled, I anticipated fit problems and much sanding and filling, but these fit quite well. How well the joins will look under a unifying coat of undercoat remains to be seen, it may yet be the case that sanding and filler (and replacement rivets) may be needed. The body was then attached to the chassis.

The next assembly was the bonnet area, or the walls of the engine compartment. The sides of the bonnet are perhaps the least well cast part of the kit, and to sand them or fill them will remove the rivets. I did my best with the joins but this will very likely need sanding, filler, more sanding and rivets. I will know when the undercoat is on and the macro lens of the camera maginifies and gives me a clearer picture of how much work this will need.

The bonnet assembly was a fair enough fit against the body/firewall. However the underneath of the chassis did not fit very well up against the underneath of the bonnet/hood area. I had to slightly bend the chassis at this point upwards to get a  join. This was the most problematic part of the assembly.

The front mudguards fit quite well, provide pressure is applied to them with the fingers while for a minute or so after cementing them, to push them in flush.

I also found the wheels when placed on the hubs don't sit exactly where they should inside the wheel wells and mudguards, so some repositioning is required.

The rubber tyres supplied have quite a nice tread, and I think have the letters 'Pirelli' on them.

To assemble the model as described above was not a long or difficult process. To refine it a bit by sanding some of the joins and using a little filler, and subsequently using replacement rivets in decal form (Archer decals for example) will probably be needed, and well worth the effort to really lift the model, I'll assess this after all over undercoat is applied.

Update Sunday 03 February 2013.  The vehicle was given a pre shading with Tamiya Flat Black. This was left to dry for a few hours. Then Humbrol Enamel Matt 94 was used to lightly and carefully fill in each panel. A few hours later Humbrol Enemal Matt 148 was lightly sprayed mainly in the centre of each panel.

Update Saturday 2nd March 2013. Random blotches were brush painted with Lifecolor acrylics, RAL 6003 green and RAL 8012 Red Brown. Then a wash with Citadel acrylic Agrax Earthshade, then a spray of heavy dust, heavier in the lower areas, of Modelmaster Italian Sand.

TO BE CONTINUED...............

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