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Cobi Brick Tanks Build #3: M3 Scout Car


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#1 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 03:29 PM

So to answer the first question...

 

Builds #1 and #2 are on our sister forum,

 

Brick Tanks from Cobi: Sorta Like Lego

 

http://www.worldmili...e-lego/?hl=cobi

 

Cobi Brick Tanks Build #2: Panzer IV Ausf. H

 

http://www.worldmili...ausf-h/?hl=cobi

 

If you read those, some of this is going to be repetitive.  But I thought I would share one of these on the USMF with a US subject, an early WWII M3 Scout Car.

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#2 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 03:42 PM

So, at the risk of repetition...

 

Once upon a time, before college, career and kids, I used to model with paint and glue.  I got to a point where I wasn't half bad. 

 

That was about a million years ago.

 

As the kids came along, my creative energies became diverted (or better, "refocused") on Lego sets.  First Duplo, then basic Lego's, and then finally up to more complex sets.

 

(First photo from https://www.watersto...toys-games/lego)

 

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#3 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 03:47 PM

Lego, which was founded in 1932 in Denmark, has steadfastly over the years refused to make military toys. 

 

Various entrepreneurs have used original Lego pieces to make various custom kits of tanks and airplanes, but somehow these always fell short in appearance.

 

Enter in Cobi, a firm from Poland.  Apparently, despite the depredations of World War II, Cobi has no issue with offering examples of both well known and lessor known vehicles from the conflict.

 

I first became aware of their products in, of all places, the gift shop of the National World War I Museum in Kansas City.  That is where I spotted the Renault FT-17 that was the subject of my first build.

 

The advantage of these kits is they will keep your hands busy without the requirements of paint, glue, spray guns, etc.  If you are not set up for these things since your youth, it's not a bad alternative.

 

With that said, you have to be willing to accept the fact that these don't have a super realistic appearance.  But if you want something to sit on the book shelf in your library, they can fill the bill.  (And they are still much cheaper than buying anything from King and Country!)

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#4 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 03:56 PM

I picked the M3 because I always liked the design, but also because some of Cobi's kits are better done than others.  Not surprising with bricks, the more angular or block like the original vehicle was, the closer the Cobi models can come in approximating it.

 

So, when you pop open the box, you will find parts in clear plastic bags.  Somewhat helpful is that Cobi divides these into phases of construction.  So we start with bag 1, which once opened, will yield a number of smaller bags.

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#5 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 03:58 PM

So where to start with making sense out of 330 parts?

 

Lego offers the best advice...

 

(photo from a set of Lego kit instructions)

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#6 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:01 PM

Of course, if you have built Lego kits before, you will be immediately struck with the lack of diverse colors in the Cobi kits. 

 

You will swear you have never seen so much black and green in your model building career.  (To be fair, there were a handful of pieces in in grey and brown.)

 

To keep your sanity, you will really want to not only sort by color, but also by like shape.

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#7 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:06 PM

A tip I will repeat is always hold your empty parts bags up to the light before discarding.

 

Getting 10 steps farther down the construction process and realizing something is missing is something to be avoided, especially if the parts bag is now under what was discarded from lunch.

 

One neat thing about this photo is to note how many languages are on the wrapper, showing the wide range of countries in which Cobi sells its kits.

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#8 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:11 PM

So we dive into assembly.

 

In order to keep your sanity, it's probably best to lay out the parts for each step, as opposed to randomly grabbing them from the pile.

 

The instruction manual is very basic, without a word of instruction.  Basically when you move from one step to another, the previous build is greyed out, with the new parts in full color.

 

One nice thing they do for the long, flat pieces is they give you a size guide so you know that you have right one.

 

For all other parts, it is a matter of counting the dots.  This can leave you cross eyed after awhile.

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#9 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:15 PM

Mistakes happen.  You miscount the number of bricks, or place one or several in the wrong spot.  You normally figure this out five steps later when things do not fit properly.

 

See the bright orange thingy?  It is an official Lego "brick separator", which can be ordered from Lego.com for a whopping $2.98.  It is well worth the price.

 

I was going to post a picture of this no matter what, but as luck would happen, this is exactly where I had bricks about three layers down in the wrong place.

 

As opposed to a glued model, generally you can retrace your error with no foul or damage.

 

Note the structure to support the steerable wheels up front... more about that later.

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#10 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:19 PM

This is about halfway through.  The vehicle is starting to take shape, with seats and steering wheel.

 

As noted in my previous threads, these kits are very, very solid.  Picking one up feels like you are picking up a real brick!

 

The markings are already applied to the vehicle parts.

 

Notice the US Army and vehicle number on the rear corner.  This is a good example of having to pay attention to which part is which.  This quarter panel was identical to the other three... if you are not careful, it could have been reversed and the markings would have been hidden in the interior of the model.

 

 

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#11 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:23 PM

Now it's time for big bag #2 of parts... more sorting by color, shape and size.

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#12 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:24 PM

The kit comes with two soldiers, shown here with a standard Lego minifigure on the left.

 

The expressions are a bit overstated on some of them, like SGT Rock when he is having a really bad day.

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#13 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:26 PM

Accessories...

 

The troops in these kits always seem to be well armed.

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#14 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:34 PM

One nice feature of this vehicle is that the front wheels turn in tandem.

 

It was also the source of the greatest aggravation.

 

The instructions appear to have an error in them, with one of the bricks in the steering shown as upside down when it should have been right side up.  I spent a good 20 minutes taking it apart and putting it back together until I figured it out.  Once I went opposite the directions, everything popped very nicely into place.

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#15 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:34 PM

Fast forward... and ta da!

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#16 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:35 PM

A few more views...

 

 

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#17 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:36 PM

SGT Rock is scaring away the enemy with his grimace!

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#18 gwb123

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:37 PM

Anyone who is familiar with the M3 knows the mounting track used for both the .50 cal and .30 cal machine guns.  It's not exactly replicated here, but suggested by the angled blocks.  The .50 cal which should be attached to this track is free standing on a pivot mount in the rear of the cab.  I suppose that is a possible modification.

 

I got a bit nervous about this profile at first, but after looking at photographs of the original vehicles, I felt a little more accepting of it.  There is only so much you can do with blocks.

 

One challenge Cobi seems to have is with scale.

 

The soldiers that are included are a bit small, to say the least.  Standing next to a vehicle that in reality is 6 foot 8 inches tall at it's highest point, these figures should be at least twice as tall.  Standing next to the vehicle, SGT Rock looks like he is between 8 and 10 years old.

 

Scale does not seem to be consistent between models in this line.  If I measured this correctly, the M3 works out to be about 1/24.5.  The Panzer IV on the other hand looks more to be 1/29 or 1/30 scale.  It's a subtle difference, but the M3 looks a bit large compared to the Panzer IV.

 

I hope you enjoyed this introduction to Cobi brick tanks.  If you can't invest in fine scale modeling at this time, it's an alternative to consider.

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#19 Proud Kraut

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 07:18 PM

Gil, another great tutorial, I enjoyed it very much! And yes, compared to some other cobi kits this M3 really looks "real". Thanks for sharing!



#20 ScottG

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 11:08 PM

And one for the brick building budding rock star that wants to own a tank!   Scott

 

https://www.amazon.c...gateway&sr=8-18



#21 gwb123

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 04:55 AM

And one for the brick building budding rock star that wants to own a tank!   Scott
 
https://www.amazon.c...gateway&sr=8-18


Rock on!

#22 cutiger83

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 06:44 AM

Great tutorial! I have been debating getting their B-25 but at $50, I wasn't sure if it was worth the price.

...Kat

#23 gwb123

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 08:18 AM

Great tutorial! I have been debating getting their B-25 but at $50, I wasn't sure if it was worth the price.

...Kat

 

Look at the number of pieces, and then cross compare with Lego brand products.  I think you will actually find they are slightly cheaper.  That said, these things are not inexpensive, but that is the trade off in not having to invest in glue, paint, etc. 



#24 cutiger83

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 05:29 AM

Gil,

I couldn't take it any longer. I broke down and bought the B-25.

I must say I am highly impressed! The detail is amazing. It even included the bottom turret. It was an easy build that provided much entertainment this past weekend. I think I am addicted!

Kat

#25 gwb123

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 09:40 AM

Congrats!  Feel free to show photos.




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