UPDATE 2008 08 23: Ingvar has been kind to send us photos of the finished model and somewhat larger copies of the images found in the article. You will find the new pictures in the gallery at the bottom of this page.
All builders of Swedish armour were jumping with joy when an injection moulded version of the Swedish main battle tank strv. 122 came out. However, most builders, me included became a bit disappointed when the box was opened as the there are quite a few errors. I would also like to have it a bit more sharply in detail as well. Having already built the Tamiya-HKCW strv 122 I had a few things I would like to improve. Clear vision blocks and better defined anti-slip structure were a few improvements on my list.
So let’s get started with the turret. On the right you can see the unmodified turret. I have here sanded down the raised portions that are supposed to be anti-slip coated portions.
The next thing I did was to remove the featureless rendition of the commander vision blocks. I made holes for the vision blocks and added the framework from plasticard and added some small bolt heads as well.
And this is how it looks without the modifications above
And this is a front view of the modification.
And the same view before modification.
The top portion of the commander station also needs some modification in order to ensure a snug fit to the turret top.
The modified part seen from below.
And the same part before modification.
The vision blocks was made of 2mm thick acrylic (plexi glass) thinned down to 1.5 mm thickness. As far as I understand, it is possible to view through these vision blocks from the inside before sticking your head over the edge. This is possible by making a counter block like seen in the picture. Please note that I did not care to make the angle part on the inside of the vehicle. I have also tinted the inside part blue-green to give an impression of thick glass.
You may note that the upper part of the vision block on the ruler is possible to see trough on the upper picture but not the lower one. You will see more about this once the vision blocks are installed.
I have now removed all the parts I found to be wrong or lacking the detail I wished for. It is time for some masking of all the areas that are not to be covered with anti-slip structure.
Please note pie shaped areas on the front surface. These are raised on the Hobby Boss as well as on the HKCW kit. In real life they are surfaces without anti-slip texture, so they really should be recessed.
And here I have spray coated the turret with repo spray glue, which is high viscous and permanently sticky. I then sprinkled 70 micrometre particles on top of this and carefully brushed of any loose particles. The idea is that there shall only be one layer of particles, hence the choice of high viscous glue. A thinner glue would be absorbed through capillary effect by the particles and the result would be a very thick layer.
The next step is to install the vision blocks, but before doing that I need to put some paint on since it will be possible to paint the inside once the vision blocks are in place. I also attached the modified top part. You can also start to see the effect of the anti-slip texture and what it does to colours as it reflect light in totally different manner.
And, another view of the same thing. Here you can also see some home made hinges, as well as the locking levers on the hatches of the turret.
I also assembled and put some detail to the large rear hatches.
Also the Galix smoke launchers need some attention.
The top will receive anti-slip texture as well. I will also add the wires that keep the cap of the launcher tubes in place.
So, now a few more details are in place, like the vision blocks, main gun a lot of bolt heads and so on. Yes, I mostly always paint throughout the building process to be able to get paint in places you can’t reach´.
In this picture you can see the effect of the vision blocks described earlier. You can see from the inside out but not from the outside in.
The hull received a similar treatment. First you need to remove all raised anti-slip panels. Some of these are close to one inch thick translated to real life scale. The hull on the left is before modification. The Hobby Boss instruction is a bit wrong as it instructs the builder to install the APU normally found on Danish 122. The kit parts (H2 and H3) are in the kit but needs some attention. A fair amount of putty will have to be used and one hinge on the hatch of part H2 is missing while the other one is in the wrong place. Also the kit screens intended for the cooling vents are wrong. I found a tight mesh suitable for the purpose. I also removed a portion on the intakes (the smaller round objects I front of the cooling vents). The recessed screws all over the hull received some attention with some home made tools. I removed the hydraulic hose on the rear deck as well.
After having removed most things I didn’t like it was again time for some masking.
I decided to make vehicle number 122008, which can be found on Prime Portal. I noted that it has differently arranged rear lights, -so why not try to make this?
I have here started the detailing of the hull. There are a lot of brackets, handles, screens and stuff. I dry fitted a piece of tubing left over from a Tamiya 1:12 Motorcycle kit, which perfectly fits the dimension of the hydraulic hose. I had to make a couple of shovels as the kit parts left a little to be desired.
And a close up. You can here also see the net on the intakes as well as the holder for the shovels.
And here a few more parts are in place such as towing wire holders and holders for some other tools. Note also the hinges on the hatch above hatch number 2.
One problem with the Hobby Boss kit is that you constantly find things that need serious attention. Kit part D15 is dead wrong and needs to be replaced. You can also see the corrected welds in these pictures.
Another view of the driver’s hatch correction. You will also need to remove the anti-slip panels on the front of the hull as the add on armour (kit part K1) will sit to high otherwise.
Kit part K1 and K10 after some scribing, surface texturing, new bolt heads and so on. I also found that the locating pins on the rear side of part K1 is best removed since they make this part sit to far back.
The kit part K 12 and 13 also needed some attention, here seen with masking before the surface texturing.
And the same part still on the sprue.
I wanted the turn signal to be clear so I casted it of the Tamiya kit where the same part was a left over from the modification process of my previous strv. 122 build.
Below you will find all the images in the article above and the images of the finished model. Just click on any thumbnail to see the picture in a larger format.
Great build article. I have the Hobby Boss kit but intend to use the Tamiya A6 hull for a short cut. Good references are hard to find and I was elated to run on to this article from a link on Armorama. Thanks for help by putting this on the net. Look forward to seeing more.
Great article, really! I would have wanted the fotos -especially of the rear deck- a bit larger.
How did you make the vision blocks?
Which material is used for casting the turn signal. I never managed to find clear material for casting clear parts.
I really hope we’ll see some more about this Stridsvagn 122 with some larger fotos.
Many thanks for sharing.
This is really a great Strv. 122! I very much like the vision blocks and the anti-skid surfaces. What meterial / Brand do you use to make the surface? I found your note that you used repo spray glue and 70 micrometre particles. I really have no idea what that is. Do you know if I can buy here in Germany? Furthermore, same like Haralds request? Where did you get the clear resin from? We presently only have an ivory colored material, but nothing clear. Can you advise? Finally, I hope that you continue with your article and we’ll see the finished Strv. 122 soon! Cheers and many thanks for sharing! Stephan
Hi there, I will try to answer some of your questions. The brand of epoxy I am using is Platic Padding two component epoxi glue. It comes in separate tin tubes and I found mine in a gas station. I have also seen it in my local mall as well as in the hardware store. It is rather clear if mixed 1:1. It will yellow a bit over time, but this does not matter on a turn signal which should have an orange tint.
The spray glue I used is from Ghiant Aerosols NV Belgium and it says HOBBY and COLLE repositionable on the can. I found it in an artist shop and it is originally used for repro work and gluing photos on backing cardboard.
The particles will be tricky to find. I have some contacts with a laminate floor maker who puts aluminum oxide particles in the top lacquer to obtain abrasion resistance. The have kindly provided me with these 70 micrometer particles. 70 micrometer is a size equal to 0.07 millimeter. (you know the prefixes you learned in school; deci, centi, milli, micro, nano, pico, femto, atto.) I have had some ideas trying to boil or burn the particles from wet sanding paper which also have a uniform particle size. 240 grit paper should be rather close to 70 micrometer particles and 360 grit paper should be close to 40 micrometer. The latter is the one I would prefer over the sixe range I have used. But, you need to work with what you have.
I have tried to find other sources for these partices but have not yet been able to find one delivering descent amounts. Sand paper makers could be one source and I have found a company who delivers abrasive particles in specified size ranges. The only problem is that they only deliver in 25 kilogram (about 50 pounds) sacks or 1 metric ton bulk. So far i have used about three grams
The deck pictures were as big as the first picture when I sent them to Eric, I’ll see what I can do.
More pictures will come in a week or so.
Nice job, and inspiring!
What colors do you use for the swedish camouflage, im having difficulties with deciding what to go with, since both HCKW and HobbyBoss’s suggestions, according to some sources, are of the charts. I dont want to ruin my model by using the wrong colours.
Thanks, and good luck!
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I am going to build a Stridsvagn 122 MBT, and the kit does not include figures and I wanted to know where I could get some. I need 2 figures, the Commander and Loader. I have looked till my eyes went square for anything, all I found was something on the site “missing lynx”:
“The crew is converted from Verlinden figures with heads from Hornet and helmets from DML.”
I think the nearest thing I will be able to get are U.S. figures, Because they wear the same helmet. I had searched on Verlinden for anything and there are so many models in the catolouge, I can’t be bothered.
I think The heads are from the U.S. tankers from Hornet models.
And the Dragon models limited catolouge is unlimited!
could I get some help
Anders Isaksson used some old verlinden bradley crews, hornet heads and helmets from the old Dragon US Tank crew set. But the figures are so heavily modified so that I guess he could have started off with any figure with a useable pose..
The helmets used by the swedish tank crews are indeed the same as used by the US (and modern israelis, although I don´t think there are any figures yet available of modern israeli tank crews, surprisingly enough. I have been looking for such figures myself). So if you can find any modern american tank crewman you have atleast the helmet and head part solved. For the rest you got to be prepared for some scratch building.
On this page you can find pictures of the sewdish combat uniform jacket, and one picture on the special armour version of the jacket. The armour version is shorter, but otherwise quite similar: http://www.soldf.com/faltjacka90.html. Take note of the large boom microphone used on the helmet.
The crew is also issued a flak jacket, kroppskydd 94K ( http://www.soldf.com/kroppsskydd94.html ). I don´t think the crew wears any load carrying vests or similar, haven’t seen it anyway. The personal weapon is the standard assault rifle AK5 which is stored underneath armoured panels on the turret roof adjacent to the hatches.
The easiest way to make a pair of suitable figures to fill the manholes in the turret is to get two quite plain figures, without any load carrying gear, and heads with the correct helmets, and then paint the uniforms in the swedish BDU pattern.
I have been looking at you model and I love it and It has inspired me to do something symilar. I would like to know something. The protecive cover that goes over the lense Peri, I have had this kit befor and I could not find it. can you cive me a part number?
Any chance of telling us what paints you used?
I am currently building a UDES 19 and am having problems with the right shade of pale green.
Ingvar recently answered your question here: http://www.plasticwarfare.se/?p=242
A short swedish-english primer will be needed however
Mörkgrön = Dark green
Ljusgrön = Light green
Svart = Black
I can read a little swedish but will get out my dictionary.