My last posting on the Diamond was towards the end of October just before the move. At that point, the chassis was about 95% done, the engine and cargo body were both finished and ready for painting. Over the last few days, I continued with the chassis by adding the etched fuel tank, locker and step cradle. This is made up from twelve pieces of brass which need bending into shape. The first one I started a couple of weeks back and proved to be difficult to do, so I purchased a bending tool (which I wish I had brought one ages ago) and then I said through the rest of the cradle quickly. Mounting it to the chassis was not exactly easy as there is no proper locating point for it. Truthfully, it would be easier to use the plastic one which comes with the kit then the etched one from the detailing set. There are also some etched braces for the front of the cradle to the chassis, I used the plastic kit braces just to get the front section in position.
Next I started on the fuel tank and locker which sit on the cradle outside the chassis rails. A few naughty words came out of my mouth whilst building these as there is no location pins to align the half sections up. The best way to assemble these is to glue the end panel on to one half and then locate the other half and glue that into position. The filler cap for the fuel tank needs some sanding and filing around the back and sides to get it to fit correctly in the recess on the tank. To finish these off I just need to clean up the joints and mold lines.
Now that the chassis is basically done, I have now progressed onto the cab section. The first bit they tell you to start on is the handbrake and lever assembly, which is bloody fiddly. The first obstacle you need to overcome is removing the parts from the sprue. Because the levers are very thin and delicate, you have to use a thin razor saw/etched saw to carefully cut through the plastic and then patiently clean up the excess plastic from the parts. I almost came close to cutting up the levers and replacing them with some wire. But I battled through and avoided the need to use wire. Once these parts are cleaned up(and hopefully still in one piece), you assemble them onto the cab floor followed by the seat bases and the rear wall of the cab. The seat bases and backs are meant to be added next, but I will add them after the cab interior has been painted and before the roof is added.
To finish this post, I will just show a little mistake the manufacturer had done when they made the tooling up. On the bulkhead part, the steering column goes through the floor and mounts to the inside of the chassis rail. But, and this is a big but, someone forgot to put the hole into the floor when they made the tooling. From what I can see from the instructions, the column goes through the floor between the clutch and brake pedals. There is no marks or even a pin hole to indicate where to column exits the cab interior. I know of a Diamond T wrecker about twenty miles from here and if they allow me, I will have a look to confirm the location of the hole.
So, that is all for tonight on this project and I will post another update on this build in a few days time once there is some more progress on the cab. Whilst we are talking about projects, to fill my down time at work, I have been working on the Airfix Club's 1/48th scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3/E-7 kit in RAF and Japanese markings which came with my membership a couple of years back. I will take some photos to post on here in the next couple of days.