Monday, August 23

Build review Pt I: 1/35th scale Italian Armoured Car 1ZM from Copper State Models

Having already reviewed Copper State Models 35th scale Italian armoured car 1ZM from WWI. Today Andy Moore begins his build of the car inside and out.  He has paused to show us his construction steps before painting in his review...

Build review Pt I: Italian Armoured Car 1ZM
Manufacturer – Copper State Models
Kit Number – 35005
1/35th scale
- Transparent parts for headlights
- Engine and interior included
- Cartograf printed decals
- Instructions in colour
Price: £36 / US$51/ €42 from Hobbylink Japan
Product Link on the Copper State Models website

Today: Build review Pt I: 1/35th scale Italian Armoured Car 1ZM from Copper State Models
Copper State Model's new Lancia 1ZM armoured car looked like a very promising kit from the in-box review. Time now to delve into the parts and see just how it builds up. The work gets underway with the chassis which consists of two main frame rails which are joined by various cross members. The engine and gearbox also go in at this point, although in my case I only fitted the engine mounts and the sump as I'll be keeping the engine covers closed. You need to take some care to ensure everything is correctly aligned here, but the positive connection points do make that job much easier.
The finished chassis then had the front and rear axles added, along with the steering linkage and exhaust. At this point in a build of this type, I'd often think about getting some paint on, in case these areas are hard to access later. In this case, most of the chassis will remain accessible once the build is finished, and any areas that aren't, are covered with armour panels, so you're safe to set this sub-assembly aside for now and continue with the build.
Work next switches to the upper body, starting off with the floor panel. It's a fairly simple interior here, as it was on the rear vehicle, and most of the detail is already moulded in place. All that need adding are the pedals, steering column, and the firewall with its integrated instrument cluster. The driver's seat will also need adding, but I kept it separate for painting at this stage.
The upper body is next, and here you'll need to make a decision regarding which marking option you'll be going with. The right-hand body side panel has a couple of spare wheel mounting posts moulded in place, and these will need careful removal if you choose one of the vehicles that had the spare mounted in a different position. This is quite a tricky job to do without damaging any of the surrounding rivet detail. I feel CSM would have been better to mould these mounts as separate pieces, and add a couple of flashed-over location holes on the hull side that could be opened up if needed.
The interior of the side panels will also need some attention before assembly, as there are quite a few ejector pin marks that will need removing. These are of the raised variety, so I used a micro chisel to carefully pare them back, then sanded any remaining traces away. You'll also see one of the holes left through the hull side after removing the wheel mounts. These will need plugging with stretched sprue or styrene rod, before filling and sanding to get a neat finish.
At this point, the instructions have you add the upper body to the floor plate, panel by panel. This approach would require you to paint the interior of each body panel separately before installing them though, which could potentially cause problems with glue marks marring the painted interior. Instead, I decided to assemble most of the upper body separately, leaving just the left-hand side unattached to allow me better access to the interior for painting. Constructing the upper body in this way meant I could deal with any seam filling and sanding more easily, although I must say the body panels fitted nearly flawlessly, and virtually no remedial work was needed. The patch of grey paint you can see on the right-hand side was sprayed to check the clean-up work after removing the wheel mounts.
With the bodywork built up, I could get started on the painting. Like many armoured vehicles, these Lancias had a white interior, but they also had the floor and lower part of the sides painted in black which creates a very distinctive interior. Here, I used a satin off-white for the base coat, before masking off the upper sides and spraying the floor and lower sides in NATO black. Some restrained weathering was added in the form of an enamel wash to bring out the moulded detail. 
The same wash was also used to add some subtle streaking to the side panels. A little dusting to the floor with some misted Tamiya Buff and some dry pigments finished off the interior.
There isn't much in the way of detail painting to do in the interior, as these armoured cars were fairly basic inside. The brass bezelled instruments do make a nice focal point though, and top marks to CSM for actually including some dial decals – too often other manufacturers don't include details like this.
With the interior painting complete, I attached the left-hand side panel to finish the upper body construction. Again, the fit was very good, with only one small gap where the side met the roof immediately ahead of the turret ring. This was easy enough to fill though. I'd intentionally chosen to keep the left-hand side separate for painting for this reason, as the interior on this side would be least visible through the door opening. Before cementing the side in place, I'd also masked off the vision slits to protect the interior during the main painting stages. This tape will be easy to remove through the turret opening once the build is finished.
The upper body is now ready to mount to the chassis. Before doing so though, don't forget to add the brake and gear levers to the chassis rails. These then pass through a cut-out in the upper body floor plate. The body is then a simple drop fit onto the chassis rails, aligning via two raised blocks on the rear end of the rails.
With the main body in place, the remaining bodywork for the bonnet can be fitted. This comes as multiple panels, but again the fit is good. Here you can choose to leave one or both of the bonnet side panels off if you've fitted the engine. Since I didn't bother with the motor, I'll be cementing them in place.
My decision to not fit the engine did cause me one slight problem at this point, however. There's a small armoured panel that mounts to the front of the chassis, below the engine. I hadn't realised earlier in the build, but this panel actually attaches to the bottom of the radiator, which I'd also not fitted. Fortunately, I was able to squeeze the radiator into place between the chassis rails, and then attach the armoured panel. If you do choose to not fit the engine on your build, make sure you do fit the radiator as it will make your life much easier when you come to fit this panel.
We'll wrap up part 1 of the build at this point. In part II, we'll finish off the construction with the turret, before getting on to painting and weathering. 

That third part of the story is at this link here on TMN.
Andy Moore

This new kit of the Italian Armoured Car 1ZM is available directly from  Copper State Models as well as their distributors worldwide. Thanks to them for sending this kit to Andy to review & build.