M109 Rochev Alef 1982 AFV Club

Thread copied from old forums

This is going to be a build log of the Rochev by AFV CLub plus some RIICH tracks and Legends stowage set. I will try to depict a vehicle during the 1982 operations in Lebanon.

Some photos of the period:

I started by following the first 4 steps of the instructions and then procceeded to step 8 and added the engine deck parts and the rear upper hull (part F1) in order to get a rigid assembly and ease parts alignment. I will not add the big engine deck grille yet, in order to assemble the suspensions and thus have easier access to the hull interior.

The wheels of the kit proved to be a huge PITA. Each wheel is in two parts with three sprue gates on every part. Also the inner side of the outer wheel has 4 pinmarks that have to be removed. All wheels need sanding.

The idles/tensioners also consist of two halves and require some sanding.
The sprockets are easily assembled without any problems.

The suspension is positionable, but not workable, since the first and last wheel do not have a wroking suspension arm. There are torsion bars supplied and are easily aligned and secured to place. Since I am putting the model on a display base I glued everything securely in place.

The tensioner arms might prove difficult to align correctly, so I glued in place the tensioner wheels and the last road wheel on each side.

The Riich tracks proved to be way more time consuming and required lots of work in order to put them together. It took me almost 10 hours for both sides. It might have taken even longer had I not thought the Italeri jig I had. It helped a lot.

After the tracks were done I returned to the instructions.

On step 2 of the instructions you are advised to drill some holes to the side of the hull, parts E4 and E5. The size of the holes should be about 1.5 mm. You are also advised to drill some holes in order to use part D10s = bolts. It would be a lot easier not to drill holes and glue the bolt part of D10 straight onto the hull sides. You can do the same for part D15.

On step 9 of the instructions you add the hinges on the engine deck. If you are planning to use the Legend stowage set find the rolles canvas piece Legend supplies and do some dry fits before gluing the hinges in place, since you need to leave some of them out. I personally think that this stowage part is not neccessary nor nice, since there is really no point in adding that on the engine deck.

On Step 11 I decided not to add the photoetch grille (G4) to the exhaust, since it is he wrong type and most potos do not show a grille on the exhaust at the time period I am interested in.

On step 12 do not use parts G2 and G3. They are later additions.

On steps 19 and 20 do not use part G18.

The hull is almost done, only some stowage left to be added and a couple more details like straps and tie downs. Remember to check your references for specific details on the time frame of your model.

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Thread copied from old forums

The gun is a pleasure to build, superb fit and super glue use was kept to a minimum. The alignment of the parts is superbly engineered and pretty straight forward.

I have provided close up photos of the positioning of parts B12 and D1 (the mount for the muzzle velocity radar), since I had trouble figuring out where they sould be placed.

Some thoughts on the Legend stowage set:

The set is pretty thorough and there are plenty of nice items included.
The fit is perfect but you have to leave out all the bits and pieces that go on the model where the stowage is supposed to sit.
The stowage would optimally suit a mid 90’s vehicle and not a 1982 vehicle like the one I am building.
It would be nice if the set included the matresses included in the Doher conversion set for the left side of the hull.

There is a single drawback to this set:
The large rolled canvas pieces for the turret rear include a raised rear light on the left side, which is characteristic of the Doher and not the Rochev, plus require you add the raised light on the right side of the turret in order to fit properly.

Assembly is almost done.

I had serious issues with the rear turret baskets and ended up scratchbuilding them.Perhaps I should have installed the plastc parts first and thern fit the resin stowage, although due to shrinkage of the resin I may have ended up with quite a gap between the resin parts.

The forward turret baskets have no positioning marks or holes and one has to almost guess were to place them. The resin here helped quite abit, since it is designed to fit at a specific position. Of course this is the posistion the guy who made the prototype had put the baskets on his model… Oh my… !

The 0.50 cal mg mount is provided by AFV Club but not mentioned in the instructions, it is on sprue A. So is the 0.30 cal mg and its parts on sprue U. The 0.50 cal mg is from the m109a2 kit, since I have the Doher conversion for it and it was not needed. The strap that secures the mount to the gun is improvised, since there is no clear photo of this part.

The instructions quide you to place the wire rope on the turret roof but this is not the case with the Rochev. You have to make a bigger wire rope and place it at the left side of the hull. Leftover parts P18 can be used as suspension points.

Straps and ropes are left to be done for the stowage, as well as six matresses that go to the left of the vehicle.

I also need to add the wire to the velocity radar.

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Thread copied from old forums

I added the stowage on the left side of the vehicle, the cable for the velocity radar and some bits here and there.

And this brings us up to date with the model primed and about to be painted

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Looking good! I like all the extra details you added to the model.

Keep us posted,
Mario

Looking great!

very well done
I apreciate a lot the tarlupin over the gun!

Great job. I wouldn’t like to paint all this crew stuff already in place. Good luck for the next steps.

Olivier