Welcome to Field of Armor Tanks
The Modeler's Corner
Introducing 20-Gauge Steel
Most of FOA STATIC Products are made of 20-gauge steel (NOT stainless - put a magnet on it!). Its thickness is 0.036" - 0.91mm and its weight is 1.5 lb/sqft - 7.3 kg/m2. Most RC/Gamers products are made of 18-gauge steel (.0478" thickness). 20-gauge is the same steel size used in your automobile. FOA decided to limit your use of bolts/nuts/brackets with precision laser cut bend-lines assembled with aluminum or steel rivets.
BENDING THE STEEL: we tested bending the steel and found that it will break off after THREE 180-degree folds. you can easily repair any break-offs with a drill, bolts and nuts and a 90-degree bracket.
CLEANING THE STEEL: It is recommended that you clean the steel parts with Lacquer Thinner or Acetone. It will remove any oil residue and dust from the laser cutter. Also, it will increase the bond with J-B Weld, SuperGlue, and Primer/Paint.
What Special Tools Do I Need?
1. Straight Seaming Pliers (different widths available - 4", 6")
2. 18" Sheet Metal Folding Tool (Harbor Freight) or Wiss 12" Steel Snips (Lowes)
3. Pop Rivet Tool with Slim Nose (including assortment of heads 3/32, 1/8, 5/32, 3/16)
Most of the other tools you will be using are from your tool box: hammer, pliers, flat metal file, drill.
Rivets versus Bolts, SuperGlue versus JB Weld
There are many types of Closed-End POP Rivets, but the main rivet we use is 1/8" Steel Mandrel (Pin) with Aluminum Head. Make sure that the flat part of the rivet (Head) is on the VISIBLE side of the kit, with the compressed body on the hidden side. You can always reduce the "compressed body" with a pair of metal cutter.
You can acquire rivets in all aluminum Mandrel/Head (NOT recommended as it is too weak) or all steel Mandrel/Head (very strong but you may need a Pneumatic Rivet Tool).
Replace the Rivets?
TIP #2: Eliminate a Rivet and achieve a Smooth Surface - Mix the J-B Weld according to the manufacturer's instructions and apply to a clean metal surface. Connect the two metal pieces and RIVET them together. When the curing time of the J-B Weld is complete, use a drill to remove the rivet. Fill the hole with BONDO Body Filler, and follow manufacturer's instructions for curing time and sanding process. Your surface will be smooth and strong.
You may use Superglue to position each resin accessories on your metal vehicles. We use many Cyanoacrylate products (named SuperGlue). We prefer the "Gap Filling, 5-15 sec Insta-Cure+" because it will give you time to re-adjust your bound if necessary. "Insta-Set" Accelerator will allow the glue to cure faster.
TIP #3: Many modelers will drill a small hole in the metal on the back of the resin accessory, and add a small screw to secure the accessory permanently in place, after adding some Superglue as well - especially if you are interested in the rigorous abuse of RC or Gamer environments.
Elmer's Carpenter's Wood glue will be useful for any work with wood or fabric parts
It is important to follow strict rules for painting if you want your model to pass through the abuse of time or friends drooling over it!
PRIMER: You may use a coat of Primer on the CLEAN metal sheets, especially if you are using Acrylic colors. We recommend Automotive Lacquer Primer because it is made to adhere to metal, and dries evenly.
PAINT: You can easily obtain computer scanned paint matches for your era of interest at any large Hardware Stores (in the Western USA it would be "Lowes" or "The Home Depot"). A tank this size will take a LOT of paint. We suggest at least a quart of paint for the main base color.
TIP #4: Modelers like to have "semi-gloss" or "flat" finishes for most of their military vehicle projects. But remember that decals or washes/weathering are usually done on a "glossy" surface where the flow of the oil paint is optimized. You can always paint a flat clear coat when your project is finished.
Displaying My Model
1/6 Scale Vehicles are NOT small models! It will take room to display them. A good display will allow you to optimize your storage and to access the vehicle easily. Please remember safety as EACH tank is usually in the 50-80 lbs range (23-36 kg). Below are pictures of the display Shelving we offer at Field of Armor Tanks LLC [600lb capacity, 74" High, 24"x48" Extra Heavy Duty, Chrome finish]. Contact us for prices
Advantages of Large Scale
I heard all these modelers complain about the size of 1/6 Scale! So what is all this about?
1. Size means Details: In 6th Scale, you can make the parts "work". Depending on the your skills and willingness, your model will include MANY sub-models with working parts made with your ingenuity!
2. Opening other skills sets: Building a 1/6 scale metal vehicle will open doors for other media than plastic. You can possibly extend your expertise in the use of a Drill Mill, Lathe, Punch & Die Set and many other tools.
3. Making a Statement: We promise you that wherever you go with your model, you will be noticed!
4. If you think that BIGGER is for "Older", then look up to the new generation of "Gamers"...