by: HG Barnes [ ]
I've come to think about Plus Model as a place where you can find some really cool and different items. Not just full kits but hundreds of things such as figures, decal sheets, add on accessories and diorama pieces. Then there is the Crane Ruger H-3D which is similar to many other kits they offer in that it's a kit and a diorama element. A brilliant idea that won't cost your child's college tuition and won't take as much time as it would to finish a basic typing class. I should have taken that class, for maybe this article would have been completed long before now.
Before continuing you might want to have quick look at the "cracking the box" article I did two years ago after Plus Model sent this wonderful gem of a kit to Jim. Here's the link;
The usual Parts Preparation needs to be done prior to getting started, yet I did not feel or see any release agent. Regardless, they were all washed in warm soapy water. As they dried the Photo-etch was scuffed up and the copper wire sanded and then all parts were primed with AK Micro filler. I knew this project was going to be sitting a bit so I used 50% Tamiya gloss white with 50% Mr. Color leveling thinners. This way they had plenty of time to dry. More on the color selection later.
Removing the plugs was a very delicate operation and as careful as I was the main platform cracked a little. The "U" brackets are also something to go at slowly. While I wonder if some of these parts could be molded differently it's really a matter of patience and a good selection of different razor saws, blades and side cutters.
Luckily for me Plus Model use a full width support piece for the back wheels. This reinforced the area that I screwed up.
The next lesson learned was to clean out the holes. The joining tolerances on this kit are super tight and when you add four layers of paint (primer and paint on the pin and in the hole) they simply ain't fitting. I'll fix this left support later yet included it to show my error and make the point. As for the hex bolts, you'll need to clean them down to bare resin.
Plus Model did a really good job with letting you decide how much height the arm will have. These hex bolts fit snugly enough that you can move the piston shaft up a little and snip it until you are happy with the final location of the main arm. Complements on some very cool looking bolts as well.
Both sets of Wheels look nice with the PE guards but you'll need to wiggle that axle pin in very slowly to get one side set then flip over to the other side of that wheel and complete it. All four wheels will turn if you've only cemented the tips of the pins to the guards. A nice feature for later weathering.
The brass chain and hook look very good yet you'll have to snip the ring, slip on the hook then restore the ring's circle. However, at the arm part there is a missing No. 22 bolt. It looked as though none were even molded on the sprue plug. I simply cut some of the copper wire.
The push arm is either misrepresented in the instructions or Plus Model had the idea of making it movable and abandoned that. Regardless, drill a tiny hole at the end of the "T" and put some micro pins in. Now you have a working assembly that won't just snap off at the wrong word.
The elevator handle and assembly look tough to do but were easy when I figured that cementing one end then the other would be ideal.
I discarded the copper wire because it was too hard and inflexible. The instructions ask to use lead and with some 0.3 mm lengths I went by the positions the drawing call for. These were painted red and black. Always try to drill holes where you can to help place these wires.
Decals and Weathering
I'll be using a very large sheet of Plus Model decals on the 1/72 Lockheed Neptune build in the future so this was my introduction into their product. They come off the paper nicely when dipped in warm water and bed down well with micro set and sol. Thin yet tough enough to handle the tip of my No. 11 blade. I definitely should have chosen an off white color for it's hard to see the Ruger Logo, but the rest look really sharp.
Down the road this kit will be weathered, but the intent was to show you a clean build as a blank canvas. One of many awesome things about this model is that you can grease it up, grime it up, chip it up, rust it up and dust it up. That will be another level of fun.
For now a simple base and a twin cyclone engine help to show this off. Yes, the small length of chain came with this kit.
Even with the errors by me and Plus Model this was a fun and interesting little project which I'd highly recommend for any modeler with some experience using resin and photo-etch.
Very Special Thanks go out to our friends at Plus Model for sending this kit for the review and to YOU for taking the time to stop by.
When inquiring or purchasing this or any Plus Model product please mention you saw an article on KitMaker Network AeroScale.