The DODX 41000 Series from Alkem Scale Models is something I’ve wanted to build for a while, not because it fits what I’m modeling but because it’s super cool prototype being used for one M1 Abrams, two Bradley fighting vehicles, or a combination of smaller vehicles. I plan on having my carry an M1 but if I build more (and I kinda really want to) there is a panoply of cool military vehicles that likely have been transported on them and it probably wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say some Oshkosh Defense vehicles have been carried on them and being manufactured a couple hours east of what I model that’d be a more plausible thing to see.
This is also an interesting project as it’s primarily photo etched brass and laser cut acrylic and I’ve never really worked much with brass (other than wire for grab irons etc). When I set out on this project I thought I’d do a big photo heavy build guide but the instructions are already so good it didn’t really seem like it’d add much so this is largely going to be just some photos and a little commentary.
Cleaning the melted acrylics from the slots is something that took a little practices to get a hang of, I used a #4 blade as it’s the perfect size for most of the slots (and the tip of a #11 for the small ones).
This is why all those slots need to be cleared out, also a tip is the syringes for applying CA makes things so much easier. I got mine from Proto87 Stores but have found bulk it available in bulk on Amazon for the syringes without needles and blunt 27G needles. Those are pretty fine, other sizes are available.
Putting the deck on was a little nerve wracking making sure it was lined up correctly before the CA set but that was nothing once I started folding the sides down.
Once the sides were folded it really starts looking done and can get you into the feeling of just getting the last bits done… but there are still a lot of bits left.
Next up was the brakes, these are cast white metal (though I believe previous releases of the kit they were 3D printed). Between these 3 pieces 7 holes need to be drilled out with tiny drill bits which tends to result in broken tiny drill bits (note to self: need to restock on #76 drill bits)
I’m fairly certain I don’t have the brake piping 100% correct but it’s close enough for me on my first attempt.
With endplates, grab irons, coupler pocket details, jack lift reinforcements, and reinforcement plates there isn’t a whole lot left but there are a few things. At this point I found I was getting a little sloppy with my gluing and frustrated so I put it in a project box to take a little break from it (and wrote the post On Slowing Down).
This was a fun and challenging build for me, I will probably at some point in the future build more and of course will have a follow up post for when I finished this one.
Check for more posts on this project here