Ferret Mk. 2 armoured car

Jakko

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#1
Looking through my rack full of un- and half-built kits, for something that shouldn’t take too long to build, I came across a very old model of a Ferret Mk. 2 armoured car by Sovereign — not Sovereign 2000, but its predecessor:

IMG_4611.jpg

I don’t know exactly how old the kit is, as I bought it second-hand from another modeller (and I don’t remember who, when, or what I paid for it :smiling3:) but it must be at least 20 years, since I just read on Sovereign 2000’s web site that the “2000” in the name refers to the year the current owner took over the business. I didn’t buy it back then, though — more like in the last ten years or so. I also notice this Ferret is no longer in their current catalogue.

Anyway, when you open the box, what do you get?

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Some plastic bags with parts, a piece of paper towel, and some sheets of paper. Let’s get them all out for a closer look …

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It turns out the kit contains a ziplock bag with mostly metal and a few resin parts, a sealed plastic bag with five wheels (opened by the previous owner, who most likely also put the metal part in it), and a nearly full hull in resin (that was wrapped in the paper towel). Let’s lay it all out more neatly:

IMG_4617.jpg

For some reason there are two hull tops, one for a Ferret Mk. 1 (with the large hole in it) and the other for a Mk. 2 (with the round hole), but I have no idea why, because for a Mk. 1 with the open top you’d expect there to be interior parts as well. There also seem to be only five smoke grenade discharger barrels instead of six, so either I lost one, or the previous owner did, or someone made a packing mistake. No big deal, a bit of tube will solve that easily later on. The L3 machine gun (M1919 to you and me) isn’t very good, but I don’t intend to use it, so not a problem either.

A quick look at the instructions:

IMG_4619.jpg IMG_4621.jpg

One sheet with actual model instructions, the other with copies of the vehicle’s official stowage diagrams. This isn’t … well, it’s not inadequate, but not exactly adequate either, I have to say after comparing the parts to the instructions. This is a kit that requires you to find photos of the real vehicle. Luckily a little searching turned up a
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.

I cleaned up all the metal parts by brushing all the gunk (oxides, mould release agent, etc.) off them with a copper-wire brush; I get the impression the metal is a lead alloy, as it’s quite soft and my fingertips were dark grey before I’d even done half the parts. That also points to the kit’s age, as today’s white metal parts aren’t allowed to contain lead anymore.

It’s probably best to begin by adding the suspension. This consists of five parts per wheel: upper and lower suspension arms, the wheel hub, a drive shaft, and a spring/shock absorber. A quick dry-fit showed it goes together much better than I thought at first, but there’s a lack of locating holes for the springs in the hull. You can see where they should go, but the holes had mostly or wholly filled in so I had to drill them out with a 1.5 mm bit. I also needed to shorten the long ends of the springs so the springs themselves would fit against the upper stops as shown in the walkaround photos.

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That done, I mixed up some two-part epoxy glue and attached first the spring to the upper suspension arms, and then the arms to the hull:

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The rest of the parts will go on when this is well and truly cured, because when you’re dealing with epoxy glue, you should never try to do too much at once — it has a distressing tendency to act as a lubricant before it sets, so you might just see everything you carefully put in place, slide slowly down and fall off the model. My reason for using epoxy here, by the way, is because it’s much stronger than superglue and so will almost certainly support the weight of the model without wheels breaking off later on.

Also interestingly, the suspension arms and hubs have dimples moulded into their sides where they pivot, so it should be possible to drill them all out and insert pins to have an adjustable suspension. I thought about doing this and decided not to, because all it takes is drilling one of the couple dozen wrong for everything to get messed up.

Note I didn’t clean up the hull bottom: the remains of the casting plug were already like this when I unpacked the kit, and I don’t think it will be visible when the model is on its wheels, so I’m not going to bother sanding this thing down any further.
 

papa 695

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#2
Got your work cut out with this one Jakko, but I'm sure you will get it done.
 

Jakko

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#3
I actually wanted to choose a model I could just throw together and finish :smiling3: Looks like I may have picked the wrong kit — I’ve already spotted some details I’ll need to add even if I do nothing else (mainly the tie-downs on the turret, which are missing entirely).
 

Jim R

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#4
Hi Jakko
These resin and metal kits vary a lot. This one sounds ok. I shall enjoy watching you build this. No doubt you will make a fine job of it. Great start and using epoxy is a sound idea.
Jim
 

Jakko

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#5
It’s not my first multimedia kit by a long shot, though this probably wouldn’t be a bad choice for someone new to resin+metal kits. As for choosing epoxy, I’ve also built a good number of tin F/SF wargames figures, where the limitations of superglue (combined with not cleaning the metal before glueing) rapidly became apparent — in other peoples’ models, that is :smiling3:

As for the limits of epoxy I mentioned earlier: I went to add the rest of the suspension half an hour or so ago, and had to stop after adding two because the only way to keep one of the two on was by resting the model on its side until the glue sets.
 

SimonT

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#6
Good luck with it Jakko

I built one of the very old Sovereign Daimlers and StuiG33 - both were rather inaccurate and needed extensive rebuilding
 

Jakko

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#7
This one doesn’t seem inaccurate, but I’m not in the habit of measuring up kits unless something is obviously wrong with it (Dragon’s old Panther Ausf. F comes to mind). It’s probably not up to the standards of more recent models, for example the suspension arms are rather simplified when I compare them to those on the real vehicle, but I’m not sure I want to do much work on them. I might just add a few nodules and bolt heads to the visible side, but that’ll probably be it.
 

Jakko

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#8
All the suspension parts are now attached:

IMG_4637.jpg

Unfortunately, there is a small problem:

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Compare the front at the top with the rear below :sad: The right rear suspension is much too far up, but I’m not sure why and I also don’t think I can take it apart easily due to using the aforementioned epoxy glue. So perhaps this will be a Ferret with one wheel up in the air …

The steering linkage still needs to be added to the front wheels. Anyone else wanting to build this kit, note that there are two types of wheel hub provided: the ones with a little rectangular bit on the inner face are for the front, and that rectangular bit so go to the front of the vehicle as it’s where the steering connects.

I also attached the air intake covers on the engine deck and the forward antenna mount:

IMG_4651.jpg

The interior, I’ll probably just paint matt black, as I intend to stick figures into the hatch openings.

Another problem with using epoxy glue is that it slows you down quite a lot. If this were a plastic kit, I could just continue adding stuff to the hull front, for example, while the glue on the suspension sets, but if you have to wait an hour or however long it is before you can handle the model again, you can forget about that.
 
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papa 695

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#9
Nice work Jakko, as for the wheel problem just put the finished Ferret on a base and have the wheel running over a rock or log.
 

Jakko

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#10
I had thought of that too, but along the lines of “If I were to place it on a base it wouldn’t be a problem …” :smiling3:
 

rtfoe

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#11
Hi Jakko, Ferrets kits are rare here and many of the type were used during the Malayan Emergency and not long ago as ceremonial vehicals for the Armoured Corp. That looks like a neat kit and using epoxy is a sound idea too. There are some 2-4 minute curing epoxy glues and I would squeeze separate blobs and only pinch a little of each to quickly mix and apply immediately.

Nice work so far...the flying wheel would be something else. :smiling6:

Cheers,
Richard
 

Jakko

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#12
I tried getting the offending suspension arm off earlier today, but it won’t budge without using a lot more force than I want to apply to resin and soft metal model parts, so I guess I’m going to have to build it with one wheel off the ground. Maybe this Ferret was built by Citroën … yeah, that’s as good an explanation as any :smiling3:

As for the epoxy curing time, all I have is the 30-minute(-or-so) kind, in one of those double syringes that probably makes sense if you have to use a fair amount but which really is too big for modelling work. I don’t think any other kinds are easily available around here, but I think I’ll check the local hardware store one of these days, as the one I have is almost empty now anyway.

Luckily, progress is much faster because there’s no more need to wait for epoxy to harden, as I’m using superglue for everything that won’t be subject to much force.
 

Tim Marlow

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#13
Nice work Jakko. If you can find it, Devcon epoxy is excellent. I filled a hole in a motorcycle engine case with 24 hour epoxy back in the day...the joint never failed at all.
Also, a trick for larger joints is to use epoxy for the main glue to get strength, but tack the part in place with cyanoacrylate so it doesn’t move while the epoxy dries. I used to do this with white metal wagon bodies in my railway modelling days...
Cheers
Tim
 

Mickc1440

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#14
Great start to your build Jakko, thought you might like to see this. My dad's mob out in Cyprus during the uprising. He was in the household cavalry.
550765.jpg
 

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John Race

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#15
Well Jakko , it's looking good .
The last time I saw one of these was in Germany , upside down and I had to recover it . That's a long time ago !
John
 

Jim R

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#16
Hi Jakko
Coming on nicely. As for the wheel I think you are right to leave the suspension alone as it ain't coming apart easily. Just a thought - when you mount the wheel/tyre can you somehow mount the wheel slightly low. Maybe slightly alter the back of the wheel so it fixes off centre :thinking:
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#17
Jakko,

Looking good I have always had a soft spot for this vehicle. I am surprised this has not been released in plastic.
 

Jakko

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#18
Great start to your build Jakko, thought you might like to see this.
Those are nice photos for sure. Mine will be finished in different colours, but the second photo shows very well the tie-downs I need to add to the turret — just what I’ve been needing to go look for, so you solved that one for me :thumb2:

The last time I saw one of these was in Germany , upside down
I see mine upside down a lot too :smiling3:

Just a thought - when you mount the wheel/tyre can you somehow mount the wheel slightly low.
That thought had also crossed my mind, but I wasn’t sure. Now you’ve mentioned it as well, I think I will see if I can’t cut a bit of the inside of one wheel away to mount it lower.

I am surprised this has not been released in plastic.
You and me both. I’ve always liked the Ferret too, so when someone sold the kit I’m building now I jumped at the chance to get one relatively cheaply. Only thing is the time it takes me to begin building most of the kits I’ve bought …
 

Jakko

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#19
The hull is now almost finished. The headlights needed slight correction, in that they’re mounted to far outboard on the kit. I cut away their mounts and filled the holes, then drilled new ones closer to the inboard edge of the front mudguards:

IMG_4673.jpg

And they’re also mounted too high, it turned out … However, as can be seen in the photo above, I did have all six smoke discharger tubes after all, so I probably just missed one in the bag when I laid out the kit parts for the photo in the opening post of this thread.

There didn’t seem to be a mount for the spare wheel in the kit, but as it was carried vertically against a sloping hull side, there must have been one. I fashioned one from a length of plastic tube cut to match the angle of the hull side, then added a second piece that fit nicely inside the first to the spare wheel, so I can keep it separate for painting:

IMG_4675.jpg

Here are two views of the almost completed hull:

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The interior is painted black, which is very effective as the photos show :smiling3: The driver’s hatch is in transparent resin, and though I originally wanted to glue it shut, it has so much detail on its inner face that I thought it would be a shame to do that.

As the model will represent a BATUS range safety vehicle, I had to make two panels that were carried on these, one on the spare wheel and one on the back of the hull. The ammo box on the engine deck also seems to have been very common on those Ferrets, and I just happened to have an old Verlinden one in one of my spares boxes, so I glued it to the engine deck.

I’ve left off most of the tools on the hull front because as many BATUS Ferrets seem to have gone without as carried them, though the long pipe-like thing (no idea what it is) appears to have usually been present, so I just glued a bit of plastic rod there.

What I need now are two fire extinguishers. The kit included only one and it would look better on a 1/25th scale model than on a 1/35th one, but all I can find in my spares box are Second World War types rather than the more elongated and slimmer post-war ones.

Finally, my fix for the right rear suspension. After mentioning the problem to my father, he suggested using a lathe with an independent-jaw chuck so the wheel could be put in offset, which allowed him to cut part of the wheel away on the upper side only:

IMG_4678.jpg

The black marking is so we could tell which side of the wheel is to go on the ground (because it has a scar from the casting plug).
 

Jim R

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#20
Hi Jakko
Now that is really looking the part. Great that the wheel situation is sorted. Older generation to the rescue.
Jim
 
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