Comet No 50. Re-fit.

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Mark Weddell
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Comet No 50. Re-fit.

Post by Mark Weddell » Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:39 pm

Dear All,

I have eventually made my mind up to change the colour of my Comet, which is a Chris Fry build as a South African post war vehicle currently in a Sand finish, to S.C.C No 15 Olive Drab. On the way I am adding some extra detailing to compliment Chris’s excellent detailing work.

Next there are the two aerial bases as I wish to have aerials.

Engine deck: following a chat with Marc and Dennis it was pointed out to me that the sides of the engine deck should have an angle to the top edge, so after checking references I made up two side plates to give the correct profile using brass, the side armour thickness is an 1inch so I used flat plate of 1mm thick and ‘L’ angle of 3mm x 2mm soldered the angle to the top edge with the 2mm side and using the 3mm side as the return edge to give the armour thickness (4mm = 24mm close enough for me). Brass angle was soldered to either end so that Milliput Putty could be used to form the weld profile. This was to allow for the engine cover to be removed without damaging the welding. The two side plates were then fixed to the original engine deck sides using Gorilla Epoxy (I am have trouble finding Araldite) it’s good for big areas.
The rear tail light: I removed Chris’s light and reflector from the left side and made the correct period one and fitted it on the right hand side, I hope this is the correct one? The lights on the two Comets at Bovington are both screwed up and the Littlefield example looks to be a later addition so I went with the War & Peace pictures I took which do match one of the Bovington offerings.
Material of choice brass with a re-cut lens from the post war lights that I removed and armoured cable from Prime-Miniatures ( worth a look if you’ve not seen them) with copper electrical wire in side to stiffen.
Telephone box, I have replaced the round bar latch with a brass one again working from reference’s.
Moving to the back:
I have remade the smoke discharger latch bars, in brass, as the white metal ones’ were broken (me!) I opted to strengthen the corners of these by folding an angle and soldering the bar across the two ends, not prototypical I know. Also after checking with reference materials (the Comet book, both Bovington examples & the Comet I have photographed at the War & Peace show) all show these bars as deeper that the white metal supplied.
Driver and axial gunners ventilator cover was interfering with the bottom of the turret when it was traversed to face to the rear (storage & transport) I lowered the vent 1.5mm by removing it and filed the shoulder down.
While I had it out (the vent) I decided to rotate the Drivers left hand periscope to face to the left as this seems to be a favoured position in period photographs. I filed in a new flat to face forward and found a steel washer with the correct diameter and thickness and cut a chord to fill in the original flat and Araldite this in place.
Then an unforeseen problem, with the periscope rotated 60° the rear of the periscope cover and hinge interfere with the rear of the turret (again!) so I reduced its height by filling 1.5mm off the top then re-fitting the cover plate. As I am fitting lenses to the periscopes and I can raise the covers slightly this will mask the height difference.
Drivers view port, which was a cast and machined part, I have added an aluminium disc, 3mm thick, and slightly smaller in diameter to the outside diameter of the port with cut outs for the hinges then used filler to form the radius edge and blend the hinges in, with a bit of filling & sanding. I used Araldite Rapid to bond the ally together and my filler of choices, RONSEAL wood filler, which is a two part filler and hardener similar to plastic padding car filler but softer, sands and paints well.

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Mark Weddell
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Re: Comet No 50. Re-fit.

Post by Mark Weddell » Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:48 pm

And the other areas that have been done.

The other spot light view.
And the first think that went ‘west’ (and I was warned it was fragile) was the Birdcage Sight! Again using the ARMORPAX I can only say bits, as a template, and reference materials I have reproduced this in brass and hopefully this will withstand the hand of the operator. I fabricated it from flat brass plate, bent and solder together, the ‘S’ shaped section on the left was cut and fitted separately as per the original . It was an interesting and challenging build!
Turret: the search light bracket and light handles had become bent, so I used the ARMORPAX components as templates and remade it all except the lamp body.
On the, actual, search light bracket the web underneath stops short of the ball mount for the light, this is where I have bent mine so I extended the web under the bracket to meet the underside of the light ball mount represented by a copper ring and soldered these together making a stronger unit. A compromise for strength.
The light body I cleaned up and remade the handles using spectacle frames (these are rely strong, and the screws small, used them on the rear side light) and pins for the screw heads. Drilled out the white metal spigot and self-tapped a M3 brass stud into it which I had drilled a 2mm Diameter hole about 3mm deep to take the armoured cable. Spring, washer and nut as per 1/1 scale, but will be Araldite in place. I re-used the reflector insert, added a bead as bulb re-painted silver and added a new clear glassing. Armoured cable (Prime-Miniatures) with brass wire inside to stiffen it, from the light spigot to the bracket and brass tube for the trunking and electrical wire (2.5mm I thick) for the elbow, I could not recover the white metal one. I also added the welded fixing plate to the turret side (2x3mm Ally) with Milliput welding.

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Re: Comet No 50. Re-fit.

Post by Steve Stuart » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:04 pm

Hi Mark
Do you have any drawings/plans that you made for producing the Bird Cage? I likewise have remade the searchlight bracket in brass so as to produce a more robust fixture, it has worked out well so far! Keep up with your re-workings, they are giving inspiration.

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Re: Comet No 50. Re-fit.

Post by Derek Attree » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:31 am

Hi Mark
Nice upgrades you are doing there. I have made my searchlight bracket in brass too.
I am planning to do the bird cage again and if you have a drawing that would be useful
to have as Steve said.

Nice to see some action on the Comet thread again.

Watching with interest


we must stop making stupid predictions

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Mark Weddell
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Re: Comet No 50. Re-fit.

Post by Mark Weddell » Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:37 pm

Hi Steve & Derek,

The short answer is no, but if you can what a week or so I’ll measure up my effort and the remains of the ARMORPAX bits.

Thanks for the positive comments.


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Tim Page
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Re: Comet No 50. Re-fit.

Post by Tim Page » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:55 pm

Nice job Mark.
I can really appreciate the extra effort involved to get these upgrades looking so good.
Ive just been to check and i don't have any rear lights at all on 'Crusader'.
All of the lights look to be Armorpax parts which look fine but do not work.

I think i will definitely have to discuss a few bits when we next meet and compare our Comets.

2008 Armortek Panther ausf.G #0035
2009 Armortek BefehlsPanzer 111 ausf.J #0011
2010 Armortek A34 Comet #0031 (SOLD)

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Stephen White
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Re: Comet No 50. Re-fit.

Post by Stephen White » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:08 am

Mark, I've belatedly caught up with your post. You're turning what was already one of the finest detailed Armortek models by Chris into a real masterpiece. It's so good to see the Comet thread coming back to life with you and Tim. Looking forward to seeing your models in the flesh. As I start to see the finish of my Cent build sometime this year, I'm really looking forward to getting back to my dormant Comet. It's one of the best Armortek kits, great automotively and full of possibilities for detail and weathering. Pity there wasn't wider operational use.

Tim - you asked about antenna widths for the 19 set. I recalled seeing something on the HVMF Forum, here: ... na-lengths

Keep up the good work!


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