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Nick32

Tamiya Dragon Wagon build

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"During World War II, U.S. Forces needed a specialised vehicle to haul armoured vehicles over long distances. Additionally, when an armoured vehicle broke down, a rapid means of moving the vehicle back to the combat trains for repair was necessary. In answer to this need, the Army fielded the M-26 Tank Transporter and its specially designed trailer, the M-15.

Combined, these two pieces of hardware were affectionately known as the "Dragon Wagon".

 

I've been far too inactive for the last year or so with modelling, life just getting in the way but lately things have calmed down and i've been getting the itch again. I recently built Tamiya's 1/35 Willys Jeep and it was a proper mojo restorer. So i've decided to pull the big Tamiya Dragon Wagon from the stash cupboard and crack on - No point it being there if i'm not going to build it!

I will say now i'm not the greatest builder in the world so don't expect a master piece up to the standard of others on this site but i'm a trier! I'm also not very fast so updates will be infrequent but i'll beaver away at it. 

 

The aim with this will be to build it into a diorama, i'm not 100% sure which direction that will take but it may involve it hauling a Tiger.. I know in theory that's about 15 tons over the safe working load but i have come across some evidence (mostly anectodal) that on occasion big tanks were transported. Then there is this pic with a Jadtiger  - 

 

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Anyway, when i get to that point i'll more of an idea which way i want to go. 

So the kit (huge box, bottle of Tamiya extra thin for scale purposes..)

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The kit itself was released back in 1998 as part of Tamiya's 30 year anniversary. It contains over 600 parts, many of which are photo etch, rubber tyres, metal axles, chain, etc etc. So typical 'big bucks' Tamiya kit. I have also got some Eduard etch sets, the interior, exterior and trailer. Yes, it comes with the trailer, and when completed will be 510mm long... I'm going to need a bigger shelf!

 

Regarding the photo etch, i'm not going to use all of it. Some bits will be just to small for me to deal with, some wont be seen so i won't waste time and some (as i've found out) are just plain wrong or don't add any useful detail at all. 

 

I actually started this a couple of weeks back, but i do struggle to find time to build so this project will be slow burner. I'm concentrating on getting it as right as i can, without rushing. 

 

So construction starts with the cab chassis. This comes in one big piece and the first stage is to  fit the engine cover in the centre of the crew compartment.

You can just make out the photo etch clutch, brake and throttle pedals. So far easy peasy. 

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Next up was flip it over and construct and fit the front winch assembly, masking tape applied temporally to hold the winch line in place. 

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Then it's work on the rear wheels drive assembly. The wheels were driven by a prop shaft that in turn drove chains to provide power to the wheels. I wonder how often those chains needed adjusting/replacing?

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Then its fitted to the chassis along with the front axle.

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It's already getting pretty big  - 

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Next up was fitting the wheels (rubber tyres, i think when the seam is removed and they are weathered up a bit they will look ok). And started adding details to the crew compartment, namely the tie down straps. 

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That's about if for now, next jobs will be completing the cab area, then moving on to the cab shell and rear wall. 

Thanks for looking

Edited by Nick32

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Thanks guys.

Long long way to go but i'm hopeful that the finished dio will be worthy of the huge amount of space it wll take up!  :lol:

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This I will have to watch. After buying the Squadron Walk Around book, I immediately determined that I'll eventually now have to have this kit. As regards the Jagdtiger being hauled, there was more than one style of trailer apparently, the later ones being similar, but substantially more "beefy". Make of that what you will, but only real die-hard tread heads will likely ever know the difference. 

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Thanks guys. Kevin, you're right about the upgraded trailers.. i'm not certain yet if i will have it hauling a Tiger, i've got a Sherman i could incorporate into it if needed. Or i might use a 1/35 LCM, maybe on the way to the Rhine.  Either way i've plenty of time to figure it out. The possibilities are pretty huge! 

 

As for getting one, do it. It's a fantastic kit and even though it's nearly 20 years old the way it goes together you would think it's a modern one. My only criticism mould lines pretty much everywhere! But it's not much trouble to get rid of them. 

 

Nick

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Thanks guys. Kevin, you're right about the upgraded trailers.. i'm not certain yet if i will have it hauling a Tiger, i've got a Sherman i could incorporate into it if needed. Or i might use a 1/35 LCM, maybe on the way to the Rhine.  Either way i've plenty of time to figure it out. The possibilities are pretty huge! 

 

As for getting one, do it. It's a fantastic kit and even though it's nearly 20 years old the way it goes together you would think it's a modern one. My only criticism mould lines pretty much everywhere! But it's not much trouble to get rid of them. 

 

Nick

 

Oh I intend to, believe me. I just have too many other items on my "to get" list at the moment, things that are really a bit higher priority right now. For a fairly decent price, I can also recommend this Ampersand publication, as it's really quite handy. 

 

a9z42k.jpg

 

Ampersand has also released volume two, but it seems to deal primarily with post-war vehicles, so it's doubtful that I'll grab it. 

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Thanks Kevin, i'll see if i can track a copy down.

 

Nick

 

Ampersand really does some nice stuff, so you won't be disappointed, I assure you, and of course, the Squadron book is really excellent.

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Not had much time lately what with work and the band i'm in doing more and more gigs, but i have been plugging away. 

The cab interior is now done. I can imagine these things got fairly dirty and grimy given the conditions they were used in and that the crew pretty much lived in them, so i've tried to make it look dirty without going over the top. Mostly by using dark washes and pastels which seems to work better for me than airbrushing different shades. 

 I can only apologise for the poor quality photo's, my DLSR has been loaned out and the camera on my phone is terrible...

 

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Then it was on to fitting the cab. 

 

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So far smooth sailing, at times it is fiddly but being Tamiya everything goes together well. I've lost count of the number of times with Tamiya kits that you look at the handful of parts in your hand and wonder how the hell they will go together.... Then you look at the instructions and boom, it falls together. They really are an excellent company, and why i spend the extra cash. 

 

So next up is adding the armoured shutters, lights, tools, etc etc to the cab, then i can start work on the rear winch, 5th wheel and exhaust (and all the other bits) behind the cab. 

 

This is the most indepth kit i have built so far, i thought the Tamiya zero and P51's were time consuming - They are nothing compared to this!  :lol:

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First off this is a very interesting vehicle and you're doing some good work here Nick. Secondly............in looking at that drive train, particularly back there at the differential, I would've hated to be a mechanic on one of these things. I can only imagine that the rate of differential/ drive chain failures and problems were an overwhelming nightmare in the field. Wow! What a setup!!! I'll be watchin' in on this one.

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