Stalin’s Hammer, So.Cal. AMPS 12 Hour Build Chllenge

Yes, it’s that time of year again. No not some silly game of grown men chasing a ball up and down a wooden floor. But it’s time for the annual So Cal AMPS 12 Hour build challenge. Yes, build a model from start to finish in three monthly four hour sessions during online Zoom meetings. Last month we presented our three candidate kits for the participants to vote on. This kit is what my fellow members voted for me to build- a 1/35 Eastern Express kit of the Soviet B-4 203mm Howitzer. The tracked carriage really gives it a look all its’ own.

During today’s first four hour session, I was able to get most of the carriage base completed,

All of the breech and barrel assembly completed

And I was able to get a good portion of the gun cradle assembled

And of course, I had to test fit it all together

Next month we will have the next session and I should have most of the basic assembly completed…


Cool idea :disguised_face:

Yeah these 12 hour build challenges are fun. This is the third one that we’ve done.

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Not my first choice for a quick build kit. You’re doing well so far. Do your club members not like you? :joy:

What where your other two options?


You ain’t kidding about the choice. With all the parts clean up I did, between flash and sprue attachment points…. I can see why they voted for this one. :smirk: I hadn’t really examined the kit beforehand. That’s okay, I voted for their hard options too. We all play that way… :wink:

My other two choices were the re pop of the Monogram 1/32 Panzer IV, and the other was the Italeri 1/48 RAH-66 Comanche. First prize is a $50 gift certificate at Brookhurst Hobbies, so we do try to sandbag one another… :sweat_smile:


i have no chance of doing this, it takes me 12 hours to open the box lol


Many kudos to you Carlos for your amazing progress on this challenge. Friends don’t make friends build Eastern Express kits! I have this kit - it takes more than 4 hours just to fill all the ejector pin marks, and you lose half the rivets doing so. I hope time is on your side and you don’t run into any major problems. Good luck and I hope you win! Keep pushing on!


@Klaus-Adler, yes, I do hear you on taking plenty of time just to get a kit started. That’s my usual M.O.

@SSGToms, friends don’t let friends build Eastern Express… but competitors make them do it! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: keeping my gingers crossed that I can pull this one off :crossed_fingers:t3:


Today was session 2 of the 12 hour challenge. I deviated a bit from the instructions and concentrated on the tracked bogie units for the carriage. Between clean up of flash and ejector pin marks and the high parts count of the two units, that area took about 1 hour longer than I had thought, but I was still able to get them completed. I also build the spade assembly for the trail.

Then of course I had to test fit all of the assemblies completed so far…

Next month I should be able to get assembly completed, then painted, and call this beast done…. Then it will be the most impressive looking artillery piece on my towed artillery shelf.


Wow Carlos, you are a quick worker! I would have spent 4 hours just on the bogie/tracks assembly. Great work! I hope all the ejector pin marks aren’t damaging you emotionally. :face_with_spiral_eyes:

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@SSGToms, thanks! I’m doing what I can with this within the allotted timespan. Several times yesterday I was really wondering if I could pull this off within 12 hours, but once the session was done, I can finally see that it will likely happen. :face_with_spiral_eyes:
No emotional damage from all the clean up… merely myself questioning my thought process at throwing this one into the ring as a build candidate… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Well, it’s finished now. I just completed this a short time ago, right at the 12 hour mark. There is a bit more I would like to have done, but with all the clean up needing to be done on this beast during construction, this was as good as I could do within the time allotted. To put it nicely, this kit is not for the faint of heart, modeling skills required. I built it OOB, painted it with Tamiya lacquers, and weathered with Tamiya acrylics. It looks fair enough from 2-3 feet away, but up close the time constraints show…

Thanks for looking


Carlos you’ve done a magnificent job on this kit, especially considering the time constraints. I know this kit is one huge collection of ejector pin marks with a kit shoved in between them. I know several guys that have binned this kit. Serious Atta-boys to you for completing it to such a fine degree. This really looks excellent and you’ve achieved a fine result with a sub-par kit, in record time. Congratulations.

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Cool build… and all kudos indeed. How did the other competitors fare?

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@SSGToms, @golikell, Matthew & Erwin, thank you.

Erwin, I will let you know after this next Saturday’s zoom meeting how all of the others fared. There were some good ones, and some overambitious ones…


I think the appropriate name/label is: A glutton for punishment

That monster is lurking in my stash as well …

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Thats a top build for 12 hours … hats off to you. Looks great

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@Uncle-Heavy, Robin, I think that the correct word is masochist… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
Good luck on your and take your time. It can be done!

@Johnnych01, thanks John. I am quite happy to have finished this, let alone within the 12 hour timespan. Gotta love Soviet artillery… it just looks so purposeful! :smirk:


Love that model. Want one. Impressed you completed it in only 12 hours.

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Thank you Doug. I’d suggest that if you want a proper B-4, get the Trumpeter kit and save yourself a LOT of effort on parts clean up.