Decades ago I bought the old Aurora 1/48 S Tank kit and banged it together. It looked pretty magnificent, which had more to do with what the tank looks like than my modelling skills. While I admit to a certain weakness for tank models I try to control the impulse by making only French tanks. (I might also be tempted to make a nice Chieftan kit when something better than the old Airfix one emerges.) But when the new Trumpeter kit of the S Tank appeared in the shops I gave way to temptation.
The box was not big but when I opened it I discovered that it had TARDIS like qualities – there were more pieces inside than you could possibly imagine by looking at the outside. There was also an extensive booklet setting out in innumerable stages the construction process. I got as far as putting the suspension onto the lower hull and then gluing the running wheels together before the prospect of having to deal with what seemed like hundreds of tiny pieces overcame me, and I put the whole thing away for a later time.
Then, in November, I faced the prospect of spending a week in a motel room in Canberra. To take some of the tedium out of the evenings I packed two or three kits, including the S-Tank. Perhaps I only needed to take that one kit because it took me three evenings to finish the construction.
Most of that time was spent in trying to identify a tiny piece, find it on the sprue, try to figure out where it actually went on the model and then get it fixed there without doing too much damage to the rest of the model. The instructions were not entirely helpful and the photos that I’d thoughtfully installed on the hard drive of my laptop computer sometimes weren’t too helpful either. In the end, however, almost all the tiny pieces were attached to the model with only a handful remaining, where I could not figure out where or how they should also be attached. Having constructed this fragile little model with all those bits just waiting to be broken off, I then had to get it back to Ballarat in one piece – but that’s a different story.
One photo I had showed an S Tank painted up as a giant blue and yellow Swedish flag but it appeared not to be a 103c, which is what the kit provides, so I painted the model in standard Swedish army colours. I’m happy with it, it looks like an S Tank.