Model ready for painting, Toyota technical by Meng

Improvised warfare: the construction

My two previous builds were pretty complicated on the construction level, especially ZSU-57-2. I expected Meng’s technical to be much easier. I like scratch-building, but the way I see it – painting is the essence of this hobby. So this time I decided to get there as soon as possible.

This section of the SBS is going to be rather brief as I’ll concentrate on the most important aspects only. If you’ve missed the first part of the story, here it is:


The construction of Meng’s Toyota goes smoothly. The fit of the parts is flawless, I haven’t encountered any major problems.

I started with the interior which is composed of various tiny bits. The front panel and the steering wheel are represented nicely. Maybe I’d like to have some more PE details here like seatbelts but even without them the interior looks pretty realistic.

Interior, Toyota technical by Meng
Interior of Toyota Land Cruiser pickup, ScaleDracula modelling blog

Next up is the gun which is the most complicated part of the build. There’s a lot of tiny and fragile details here so be very careful handling them. There’s also some PE parts to deal with at this point. I wouldn’t say they’re essential, but they do give the gun some extra detail.

Tiny parts on the gun, Toyota technical by Meng

At the same time, I put together the barrels by MASTER. This set is very similar to the one I used on my BRDM-2 project. The barrel itself consists of two parts: the jacket is installed separately which is a great idea. The set is completed with a pair of resin handles and some really tiny PE parts.

ZPU-2 barrel by MASTER models
Barrel by Master, Toyota technical by Meng

To install the metal part you need to cut off the plastic barrel and drill a hole (approximately 0.8 mm). Then it fits like a glove. Very basic stuff.

Fitting aftermarket barrel, Toyota technical by Meng

Here’s a comparison of the two barrels. I guess I could live with the stock part. But I really like the details on the metal barrel. Also, the holes in the jacket will make the painting of the gun really easy. In a small model like this Toyota  I really want all the details to be cranked up to eleven.

Test fit of barrels, Toyota technical by Meng

And here’s the main part of the gun and the magazines. Originally all the unnecessary parts like optics, wheels and the second seat were removed -probably to make the gun lighter or due to maintenance issues. To recreate this I had to do a few changes and some scratch-building.

Building the ZPU-2 gun, Toyota technical by Meng

The first problem was this handle that is represented in a folded position.

Building the ZPU-2 gun, Toyota technical by Meng

I simply cut the piece into two parts and I reconnected them with a brass wire. The same wire was used to add some more details around the gun.

Building the ZPU-2 gun, Toyota technical by Meng

I used a plastic tube to fill up the places where the wheels were supposed to go.

Building the ZPU-2 gun, Toyota technical by Meng

And that’s pretty much it for the gun. It wasn’t that hard to put it together and the scratch-building was rather simple this time. But it took me some time to handle those tiny parts carefully.

Building the ZPU-2 gun, Toyota technical by Meng

Let’s move to the platform. It is a square pedestal made of heavy L beams. I glued the thing together but it didn’t seem to match to my project. The platform on the photo looks much lighter and it doesn’t have those diagonal braces.

Building the ZPU-2 gun, Toyota technical by Meng

So I decided to rework the part a bit. I kept the base from the kit and I added a much lighter construction of plastic rods found in my stash.

The photo doesn’t show the top of the platform so I figured I could improvise a little bit and give the part some extra detail. I cut out a piece of ABER’s engrave plate set. It’s going to be barely visible but I guess it will make the platform a little bit more interesting.

Scratchbuilding gun base, Toyota technical by Meng

Here’s the gun sitting tightly on the platform.

ZPU-2 gun on the scratch-built mount, Toyota technical by Meng

The ZPU-2 must be a substantial weight for (after all) a civilian car. The gun itself weights more that 600 kg. Add the platform, ammo, the crew and other equipment and the load will easily reach a tonne. I decided to give the tyres a little sag to enhance this overload effect.

For that I used an ancient Chinese technique – basically you need to insert a screw that will flatten the tyre slightly. I’ll show you how to do it step by step on another occasion. Still, the method is widely known- if you’re impatient look it up elsewhere.

Making saggy tyres, Toyota technical by Meng

Here are all the parts ready for the next steps. Unfortunately I can’t put them all together as it would make the painting too complicated. Not a perfect situation for me, but I’ll have to deal with it.

Model ready for painting, Toyota technical by Meng

And that’s it – it was a really quick build. It took me some time to detail up the ZPU-2 gun and do some other minor tweaks. Apart from that the model can me easily constructed within a day. See you on the next part where I’ll be painting and weathering the interior of the car.

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