AFV Club Achilles Build Report 1: Not Like All the Other Tanks

I’ve built enough tanks to have a feel for the overall process. Much like aircraft, armor kits have a broadly similar buildup, that goes something like this:

  • Wheels/suspension
  • Lower hull
  • Upper hull
  • Turret
  • Detail pieces, accessories, etc.
  • Tracks

So I was a bit thrown when the Achilles kicked off inside the hull. At first, I was going to skip it. The open turret is intimidating enough. Adding full interior detail to boot? But then I figured I’d better build up the turret. You know, just in case.

And lo and behold:

Things will be obscured somewhat by the massive gun assembly, the armored mantlet, and such, but that big gaping hole isn’t going anywhere, so I guess I’m building out the interior.

The Verdict So Far

While I’ve barely started in on this kit, I have to say that so far, I’m unimpressed. The fit of the turret walls is vague at best, and ejector pin marks abound on visible surfaces (see the shaved circles on the top rear of the turret). I hope it gets better as it goes along.

Changes in Plans

A few changes as things really get underway.

First, I’ve decided to hold off on the winter whitewash. Instead I’m going to go with the olive drab and black camoflage seen on the box art.

Second, I’m planning to add some brass 17-pounder ammo. Since shell casings are brass anyway, it just kind of makes sense, rather than trying to make plastic look like brass.

Third, I’m just not impressed with the kit’s M2 machine gun, so it’ll be swapped in favor of a Tasca M2.

Finally, I’m planning a fairly different build order for this one. Since the fenders fit so close to the suspension bogies, I’m planning to leave the kit in half…upper and lower hulls…and only assemble them at the very end. That will make it easier to fit the tracks, and put my mind somewhat at ease about masking the interior during painting.

More to come…stay tuned!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Bummer that you’re not thrilled w/the kit’s extra work [ as if you aren’t busy enough ].The picture of the “Ma Duece”, is that the kit M-2 or the Tasca you’re gonna replace it with ? Cuz it looke fine to me !!!. Wher do you find you’re Tasca M-2’s ? I’m in need of A couple for two upcoming builds & From what I’ve read,they’re the bomb.So who has them for the best price ? I loved you’re progress on the Mosquito,also.Oh, Is the Achilles being set into a Dio ? Thanks, keith r. / rudedog

  2. Doogs says:

    Hey Keith – that pic is actually of a Tasca M2…haven’t really searched around price-wise, but my local hobby shop (King’s Hobby) has them in stock, and since they’ve already got the brass ammo on order for me, I figure I may as well support the local guys on this one. Remember – you get two M2s per “kit”…so they aren’t quite as expensive as they seem (think they’re about $15).

    So far, the Achilles is going to be a standalone…

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