6ton Bilstein Crane
by Terry Ashley
After removing the casting blocks from the resin parts and writing the part numbers on them with a soft pencil for ease of identification you can commence the construction.
I prefer to remove the casting blocks from all but the very smallest parts before commencing assembly as it makes construction flow easier.
Ensure you read the instructions carefully to familiarise yourself with each construction sequence and dry test fit everything before gluing. Follow the construction sequence where indicated to make assembly as easy as possible.
Parts numbers from the TMD Crane set are shown in normal text inside brackets while the Tamiya FAMO kit parts are shown in italics inside brackets.
This sub-assembly was fairly straightforward, but make sure you assemble the frame rails (parts 4/5) and tool compartments (parts 6/7) in the order shown in the instructions. Also make sure the frame rails sit snugly in the moulded locating cut outs on the bottom of the bed (part 1) for proper alignment.
The other point to watch is to centre the crane base (part 8) in the circular opening in the bed.
the resin fenders (parts 2/3) to the bed I attached the Tamiya fender
extensions (parts F2/F3). These were further detailed by adding ABER
etched hinges and light details with Royal Models (RM) fender supports
and wiring from thin copper wire as well as the five small bolt heads along
the bottom edge of the fenders. When attaching the fenders to the bed ensure
they are aligned correctly, use the Tamiya cab floor (parts D32 and
F19) to aid in the alignment. There are also four locating pins on the bottom
of the bed to fit into the holes in the fenders so after test fitting there
shouldn't be any problems fitting these.
Apart from the crane itself the largest items on the top bed are the two cross over boxes (parts 11/12). The boxes have nice details moulded on, including the large bolts holding them in pace. For the front cross over box there are two "U" brackets (parts 16) to be added as well as the etched supports for the outrigger bases. These etched parts bend easily into shape but your should take care as they will easily bend further if handled and if bent once too often will simply snap off.
We will get to the outrigger legs at a later time, for now the attachment points for were left off.
The rear cross over box has the crane boom support added. The holes in the base of the support and locating brackets on the cross over box need to be drilled out completely and secured with a length of .03 dia. rod or wire. I also added two small brackets on the top of the support to take the boom securing pin as these weren't on the resin part. Again the outrigger legs and attachments are left of till later.
The cross over boxes have to be aligned exactly with the outer edges of the fenders when attached, the best way to do this is to hold the cross over boxes between your thumb and fore finger and as you position them on the bed you can feel the fenders on each side to get them centred correctly. The position on the bed top is indicated clearly and they also fit snugly against the centre raised tread plate section. I did have to trim the bottom of the inside bolts slightly on the rear cross over box to get a really snug fit, again test fit the parts before applying the super glue.
The other items on the bed top are the wheel chocks and large rear storage box. Both are straightforward to assemble, remember to open up the ends of the wheel chocks by removing the resin 'flash' filling to openings and trim the top section (part 18) after attaching. The storage box can be assembled either open or closed as desired with the addition of etched hinges. There are also two small etched fittings to secure the wheel chocks when stored on the rear hull.
Adding the Tamiya parts:
Once the rear part of the top bed has been assembled you can add the Tamiya parts to the front of the resin bed and fenders.
Some minor surgery is required on Tamiya part F19 (which is not used in this kit) by removing the lower fuel tank; this is then positioned between the supports (parts D17, D18) under the front seat. (Step 17 and 18 in the Tamiya instructions). The TMD instructions fully explain this operation which shouldn't pose any problems.
The Tamiya floor assembly (from Step 16 in the Tamiya instructions) can now be added, there are two locating holes in the TMD fenders to take the pins on part D32 for precise location, and the rear bulkhead (part F24) can also be glued in place. Remember to test fit all parts before gluing, but these parts also fitted without problems.
Before fitting the new resin side cab panels I replaced the moulded on tie downs for the canvas doors with thin wire inserted into pre-drilled holes and added the Tamiya grab handles (parts B5).
After test fitting the sides these were super glued in place as was the centre cowling section (part F6). Finally the two lights (parts B2) were added to the side panels along with the two fire extinguishers which in turn were detailed using ABER etched pieces.
The fit of the new resin parts is spot on with the fit being as good as the original Tamiya parts.
The final step is to add the two large bed supports (parts 9, 10) to the lower Tamiya chassis. These must be fitted with the correct orientation front end rear; this is clearly shown in the TMD instructions. What is not so clear is exactly where the supports should go, the instructions say they should go over axles 1 and 5, but the diagrams are a little confusing. The supports should in fact be super glued directly above the first and fifth torsion bar channels in the chassis, when test fitting the completed bed section to the Tamiya chassis this will become clear.
This completes the bed construction; we can now turn our attention to the crane assembly.
This will be covered in part 2 of this construction article to follow soon.
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Page Created 27 May 2002