Operable engine hatch hinges

Sander69

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Hello,

My model building experience up to this point in life has always been of the “out of the box” variety and I wish to learn to build more creative works. I live in a very rural area where modeling clubs do not exist. I have purchased both the Complete Encyclopedia Set of Aircraft, and Armor, Modeling Techniques by AMMO of Mig Jimenez and I’m learning quite a bit about building things from scratch but I have not applied that information yet.

I am attempting to build the 1/35 Academy M10 GMC US Army (70th Anniversary of the Normandy invasion) kit. I wish to open up the engine hatches and use the Royal Model’s 1/35 M10 Tank Destroyer engine and engine hatches for the Academy M10. To make matters worse, I wish to have operable hinges for the engine hatches so they will open and close. The Royal Models kit does not come with Hinges.

Does anyone know of an aftermarket source for obscure products such as this? I have tried my best to search with Google to find aftermarket products but I have not been successful.

In the case where a hinge of this nature does not exist how would I go about building one?

Though the thought of creating a set of hinges from scratch excites me, I honestly do not believe that I am up to the task. I hope that there is a very talented person out there who has already done this.

Thank you

Steven
 

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Jakko

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Operable hatches in 1:35 are very tricky. They’re difficult to make to scale, for one, even for relatively large hatches like those on an engine deck. One way to do it to reasonable scale would be to cut strips of thin sheet metal and fold them over a metal pin, then glue them to the hatch and the hull so the pin will function as a hinge. This is very fine work if you want it to scale, though.
 

John Race

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Steven, welcome to the forum.

Jakko is quite right, hard to make and I've never seen anything like that advertised. As to making Steve Jones might have some ideas.
 

Tim Marlow

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Not trying to put you off here Steven, but here’s my take on it.....
The only way I know to do this is copy the real thing in miniature, which is what the available etched sets do. When you do you will find the hinge extremely flimsy in operation, or crude looking if it is robust enough to survive repeated uses. It will also be very difficult to make four that are lined up so they work properly, and are identical in appearance. One that is visually different to the others will stick out like a sore thumb, detracting from 5he finished model rather than enhancing it. If you are looking to show off the engine, why not simply make the engine access doors removable?
That’s a great couple of weathering reference shots by the way, look at the contrast between the extremely dusty horizontal engine deck and the relatively clean vertical surfaces on the turret and sides......
 

Steve Jones

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If you do decide to go down the road of making the hinges then the AM PE sets are your best bet. Once you start doing your own scratch work then you will be able to make your own from foil or copper sheet and make your own rivets. However if you do use the PE sets then you will need 0.3mm styrene rod to make the bolt in the hinge. Let us know how you get on.
 

Sander69

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Not trying to put you off here Steven, but here’s my take on it.....
The only way I know to do this is copy the real thing in miniature, which is what the available etched sets do. When you do you will find the hinge extremely flimsy in operation, or crude looking if it is robust enough to survive repeated uses. It will also be very difficult to make four that are lined up so they work properly, and are identical in appearance. One that is visually different to the others will stick out like a sore thumb, detracting from 5he finished model rather than enhancing it. If you are looking to show off the engine, why not simply make the engine access doors removable?
That’s a great couple of weathering reference shots by the way, look at the contrast between the extremely dusty horizontal engine deck and the relatively clean vertical surfaces on the turret and sides......
I like honesty. It gives me something to think about.
 

Jakko

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Steven, if you don’t mind me asking, what is the reason for wanting working hinges on a 1:35 scale model?
 

Sander69

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Steven, if you don’t mind me asking, what is the reason for wanting working hinges on a 1:35 scale model?
I had a toy allis-chambers tractor when I was a kid that had, on one side of the engine cover, a hinged cowling that you could open up and look at the motor. That is where I got the idea from. However, after reading the responses I think my idea is a bit silly. After all, my toy tractor was made of metal and was probably closer to approximately 1:25 scale. The hinges on the tractor had to have been very sturdy to survive my childhood adventures so they were probably not of the same scale. I wish I still had it, it would be worth quite a bit.
I might try the hinges KarlW suggested just to see if I can do it and then leave the hatches open to display the engine. This is really my first attempt at deviating from the kits supplied directions so I do not have the experience to know what is practical or not.

Thank you
 
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Jakko

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That’s always the problem: things quickly get so small and fiddly that they’re unlikely to be very sturdy. The bond between a piece of etched brass and the plastic of the kit parts isn’t likely to be very strong, given the tiny sizes involved, so chances are very high that after opening and closing the engine deck hatches a few times, one or more of the hinges will become unglued (literally, of course :smiling3:) and the hatches come off.

Of course, don’t let that stop you from making it anyway if you want :smiling3: My suggestion, though, would be to do it with a larger-scale model instead. There are some 1:25 scale tank kits available, and also even in 1:16, where this would be more practicable.
 

KarlW

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It's the kind of thing you can do for the sake of doing it rather than any thoughts of it lasting a long time. Or even to allow you flexability in posing the finished model, a crewman opening the hatch for example. (Though I think in most cases the hatches will need reworked for scale thickness.)
Think of it as in the same vein as workable tracks, they're not actually working tracks but give us flexability in the final presentation.
 
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Jakko

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There is that, of course. But if it’s for posing open with a crewman, you can just work out the correct angle and glue the hatches in place. Working tracks are much more useful, I agree — if you can get them to stay together until you put them onto the model :smiling3:
 

Sander69

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Thank you all for you time and comments. I work slow and am just now painting the forward interior - so I have time to think about detailing the exterior. I'll keep you posted on how it turns out.
 

rtfoe

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Many have made the mistake of posing figures opening engine hatches effortlessly with one hand, in fact its quite tough and heavy and needs brute strength or extra hands to lift it.

Cheers,
Richard
 
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