Redecorating the Dragon Elephant with the Jaguar interior
Seduced by the picture on the box - again! How many times has this happened? Fortunately when I had forced my way into the packaging I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the parts therein. I had stumbled across the Jaguar interior set by chance shortly after the release of the Dragon Elephant and it seemed like too good an oportunity to miss, so I ignored the fact that it was designed for the old Italeri kit and took the plunge. 1 The Lower Hull with the fighting compartment fitted. The main floor
I do have a weakness for interiors, although I usually manage to
casting was not a good fit and had to be filled where it sloped up to
talk myself out of them because often so little remains visible
meet the rear hull. Notice the other traces of filler to fill the odd gaps
unless you do a cut away. Jaguar supply a fairly complete
and sink marks in the hull moulding.
interior with only the engine bay left untouched, and fortunately
2 The basic components of the Driver’s compartment. The walls were
it all seems to fit the Dragon kit, with one or two small
blanked off with plastic card after strengthening ribs were removed
exceptions that were easily overcome. What follows is a visual
from the hull moulding. Throughout the assembly I left the engine
guide to fitting the interior and finishing the full kit, pointing out
bulkhead loose to help with painting. At this stage the basic frames
the pitfalls along the way.
for the adjustable seats have been fitted to the bulkhead
3 A view of the fighting compartment floor from the rear with the
4 The Drivers compartment with the seats installed along with
traverse mechanism for the gun visible. The square blocks down
gas mask cases which are not included in the kit. These are
each side are the locators for the ammunition stowage, the nose
Tamiya items with masking tape straps
cone of the shell sits in the holes at the centre of each block.
5 The gun seen during assembly . I chose to replace the jaguar
6 I wanted maximum vision into the interior so I carefilly removed
breech guard with the Dragon version which I felt was more
the periscope vision slot covers and opened up the hull roof. New
accurate. In the forground is the commander’s adjustable seat. I
sliding panels were constructed and fitted and a new hinged
added a new support and detailed the step with tread plate
panel cut from plastic. Notice that the incorrect hinges for this panel have also been remove in preparation for fitting new ones.
Relocated stowage box
Relocated Intercom box
Area filled to create flush finish Gun cleaning rods Stowage box from Tamiya Wespe
New stowage box Remote command system
New Intercom box
7 Inside the fighting compartment I discovered that the Jaguar
8 The side walls of the fighting compartment showing one or two
roof panel would not fit the Dragon hatch openings and it added
modifications. I had to move several parts including the stowage
too much thickness, so I cut out the parts I needed from it and
box on the top panel. The lower panel needed additional stowage
fitted them to the roof. The rear panel had similar problems
boxes, an intercom box for the commander and above it the
caused by the depth of the armour around the big rear hatch. I
remote command system used to rely directions to the driver in
made a new plate and filled the gap between it and the lip of the
emergencies (I have no idea how it worked) Reference for all these
details came from www.kithobbyist.com/AFVInteriors/ which has a superb collection of photos of the interior of the Aberdeen
9 Jaguar give the position for the radios as the left hand hull wall
Elephant, as well as many other vehicles - highly recommended.
whereas photos of the actual vehicle show that this area was the location for the transformers, the mounting brackets stiil being in position. I scratchbuilt these two transformers and positioned the radios side by side under the glacis, above the radio operators knees.
10 Test fitting the interior panels into the fighting compartment. I decided to paint the panels before fitting because of the difficulties of access.
11 The main gun with detailing added to New guard added
Additional ‘cheat’ bracket
the handwheels and another breech guard made from brass rod. Hidden from view is the operating lever for the breech which was a spare Tamiya item from a PzIV. Checking alignments between the gun and the sighting apature in the ‘turret’ roof showed me that there was no way the gun sight would be correctly aligned to project through the roof. Desperation forced me to cheat by making a fictitious bracket to move the gun sight backwards so that it would at last fit.
Interior DESIGN 12 & 13 Painting the side wall panels. The interior has a colour split along the hull where the fighting compartment bolts onto the hull. Everything below this is finished in a greenish grey colour whislt everthing above is finished in the interior ivory colour.
The stencilling on the stowage boxes was hand painted sing a dark grey instead of black which would be too harsh.
14 Here is the front panel from the fighting 14
compartment, a standard Jaguar kit part with only the gas mask cases added. Unusually the mounting plate for these parts appears in the pictures of the Aberdeen vehicle to have been finished in red oxide, rather than Ivory. Once all the interior panels were painted they were glued into the superstructure and then I added weld seams along all of the joints using Duro and these were painted to match in with the rest of the interior.
15 The completed fighting compartment floor showing a good degree of wear and tear. I was careful to leave the area beneath the gun breech less worn because it would be less accessible.
16 Looking directly into the front compartment with everything dryfiitted in place. The Jaguar kit does not include any steering controls for the driver, so I had to manufacture some from brass rod with plastic handgrips which were shaped using a drill as an improvised lathe
17 Another part not included is an instrument panel. The Aberdeen vehicle has lost its instrument panel, so I was forced to make an assumption about its location. Positioning it on the sponson seemed like a good choice as I knew from wartime pictures that it did not sit on top of the trunking between the driver and radio
18 A detail showing the completed
transformers, which are sadly hidden once
New Instrument panel
the seat is fitted. Notice also the extra detail added to the ‘trunking’ in the foregound and the small labels for each control New steering controls
19 & 20 Two more views of the completed front compartment. Notice the diagonal colour split on the hull side, this split is quite loosely painted on the actual vehicle.
21 The 88 seen during painting. I left the
breech block separate to enable me to paint and polish the breech. Notice the damaged paint around the guard and other areas of heavy wear.
22 The fighting compartment with all the panels in position ready to have the weld beads added to all the joints.
Weld beads to be added
23, 24 & 25 All round views of the 88 during painting. The upper part of the periscope is still unpainted. The black bellows arrangement controlling the gun’s elevation that I assumed would be rubber turns out to be made of a paper substance and is in fact a pale cardboard colour, so I repainted it after these picture were taken.
26 With all the interior painted and glued into position
27 Close examination of the zimmerit on the recovered Tiger in our last
and after much trial fitting the superstructure was firmly
issue shows that it does not have a regular pattern, and therefore using
glued onto the hull. Because the ammunition racks
a saw blade gives far too regular an appearance. I prefer to use a
crossed the joint line it was impossible to fix the shells
screwdriver blade, working from right to left in vertical rows over the
into the racks until the two halves were joined, This
putty which you can see has been smoothed out using a little water
meant having to fit the shells into the racks through the
before I began. If the screwdriver blade is kept wet it will remove any
rear hatch! Zimmeritting the hull is a lengthy process.
excess putty which can be cleaned away at the end of each row. I
Here the layer of miliput has been applied to the panel,
leave the putty to partly dry before removing any excess from the