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Found 6 results

  1. Sherman II 'El Alamein'

    Started Today - a lovely Tasca / Asuka Sherman - early direct vision version After 4 hours work, I have working suspension Peter
  2. Pzr IIL 'Luchs'

    Finished today - lovely kit. Painted with Tamiya acrylics, weathered with Oils, Oilbrushers and Pigments Peter
  3. Pzr IIL "Luchs"

    As light relief after the Blenheim I started the Tasca Luchs - really nice kit, 2 days quick work gets me here Peter
  4. I took the unusual decision (for me that is), to build two models of the same tank, one as it was during 1944, and one as it is now. Champagne was an early M4A3 (76mm) and served with the 12eme Regiment de Chasseurs d'Afrique, 2eme DB. It was knocked out during the Battle of Dompaire. It is preserved as a monument in the town of ViIle-sur-Illon. The first model that I built was of Champagne in 1944, and for that I used parts from several kits. The upper and lower hull are Tamiya's M4A3 (75mm), but it is the large hatch version. The turret came from Asuka but I still had to source the main gun. Champagne was fitted with one of the early M1A1 unthreaded 76mm guns and I made this from a Formations threaded barrel with a piece of plastic tubing glued to the end. The transmission housing and running gear are all from the Dragon M4 (105mm) kit. The tracks are from Panda. The exhaust deflector which comes with the kit, is a little on the thick side, so I made a new one from 10thou card. I also made a new folding stowage shelf from card for the same reason. The commanders hatch and the loaders hatch are both Dragon. Other additions were the bump stops for the engine doors, the armoured blower vent on the rear of the turret, the rebuilt vent between the hull hatches, the extra "lifting" ring on the turret, seen on early 76mm turrets along with the 2" mortar tube, gun lock and spare track holders from Dragon, plus umpteen other improvements/additions, including Eduard etched brass. It was painted with Tamiya acrylics, decals are Bison and I used Carr's weathering powders. All I have to do now is build it all over again. But it will be quite different. Thanks for looking. John.
  5. Hi there, I am thinking of making Sherman Mk.I dozer using Resicast dozer and Bison decals. Now I am just considering a donor - but since all my other Commonwealth Shermans should be from Asuka kits, can you please recommend, which kit or kits should be used from Asuka/tasca range ? Thanks.
  6. British Sherman Ic Firefly (Composite Hull) 1:35 Asuka The Sherman was one of the most widely used Allied tanks during WWII, named after an American Civil War general when it entered service in the early part of the war. It was the mainstay of Allied armour, and was a reliable and rugged vehicle, but initially suffered from weak points that led to the Germans christening it the "Tommy cooker" because of the thin side armour that allowed a carefully placed shot to penetrate it an set the tank afire. Once identified appliqué armour was added to the vulnerable spots to improve survivability. It became one of the most produced tanks of WWII, with over 50,000 produced, 17,000+ of which were destined for British service. Originally fitted with a 75mm gun, the arrival of the Panther and Tiger tanks in the European Theatre led to tests for improving firepower to penetrate the thicker armour of these new foes. The American tests weren't as successful as the British forays into heavy armament, and it was the installation of the Ordnance QF 17-pounder gun in a standard turret that resulted in the Firefly. It was capable of knocking out a Panther and Tiger at combat ranges from then on, but the US Generals preferred to carry on with their M36 Tank Destroyer as the end results were broadly similar, although the M36 had to have a new turret installed. Although the Firefly concept was initially rejected, it was pushed ahead and the improved Shermans started reaching the front just in time for the work-up before D-Day where it accredited itself well. To hide the extra firepower the length of the barrel was sometimes disguised by adding a wavy camouflage to the underside in the hope the enemy would confuse it with the weaker 75mm gun and be less cautious. By war's end around 2,000 Fireflys had been produced, and had been used effectively as part of the larger Sherman force, evolving new tactics to protect the valuable Fireflies while making good use of their heavy hitting power. The Kit Tasca are the acknowledged kings of 1:35 Shermans, and if you didn't know, they rebranded to Asuka some time ago for reasons unknown. The product is of the same high quality though, with the box, instructions and sprues unchanged apart from the name. The box has a beautiful painting of a Firefly in front of a knocked out Panzer, with some windmills in the background. Inside the box are 21 sprues in olive green styrene, three os clear parts, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a small sheet of laser-cut card, a sheet of foam rubber material, a sprue of clear polycaps of differing sizes, and a decal sheet. The tracks are supplied as four part "rubber-band" type lengths, two used per side, but they are possibly the best of the type I have seen so far. The instruction booklet is separate from the instructions for the accessories set and track instructions for some reason, possibly to allow greater modularity of the kit designs – an aspect of their planning this is evident in the smaller sprues that can be interchanged to use with other versions in their range. The instruction booklet is pure Tamiya, which is no bad thing, and speaks of the origins of some of the staff. The primary language is Japanese, although most sections have translations into English as well, and a happy looking tanker with his cuppa adorns the front page of the guide. As is to be expected, construction starts with the road-wheels, with a choice of three types of drive sprocket which are solid sprocket, with small cut-outs, or with larger triangular cut-outs. Each one has a polycap trapped between the halves, as do the other wheels for easy installation. The idler wheel has a separate inner hub face to accommodate the polycaps, as do the road-wheels, and again you have a choice of three styles of hubs. Solid spokes, spoked and dish types are provided, which should give you plenty of options as well as spares for other builds. Each wheel is then given a handed swing-arm for later integration into the paired bogies, and you are commended to take care in getting these the right way round, with the grease nipples visible near the centre of the hub. The bogies have hollow backs with two upper swing arms dry-fitted to an axle either side of the suspension towers and backing against the inner casing. Above the axle is a recess into which you can fit either a number of strips from the rubber sheet to give your model "live" suspension, or the small styrene tabs to fix the wheels in the flat position. Inserting three foam rubber sheets will give a firm "ride", but you can tune this by removing one for a softer suspension if you are planning on posing it on a rough ground diorama. The return roller is trapped in place by the outer casing, and the styrene return spring is then added to the top. You must make three of these units for each side of your Sherman, and the instructions advise you not to try moving the wheels until the glue is fully set. The next step is building up the cover for the differential gear, which is more complex than you'd imagine, having side covers and an upper and lower jointing strip with plenty of large on the top. Towing shackles are also added in pairs inboard of the gear "humps", and their correct positioning is shown in a two-view scrap diagram. The rest of the lower hull is made up from individual panels that are added to the floor and T-shaped inner bulkhead to ensure the shape of the hull is retained while the glue sets. There are toppers included for the undersides of the track run, which register under the sides of the T-shaped part, to ensure they stay true during construction, and a rear bulkhead with twin doors is added to the rear along with the idler wheel axles, which you can set once the track is installed to give the correct tension – just like the real thing! Two types of air cleaner pots are provided for the rear, so choose one and fix them in place inboard of the sponson overhangs at the rear. The upper hull is then detailed with grouser box covers that have PE fronts cut from the supplied spare mesh, outlet screen with a PE backing mesh, hinges for the crew hatches on the glacis plate, and mushroom covers to air intakes/outlets. The upper and lower hull assemblies are then brought together along with the diff. casing and the upper section of the rear bulkhead, complete with a curved panel supported by two rods. The glacis area is then detailed with light clusters and their cages, plus the two hatches on the front of the deck, which have clear periscopes added to their rotating centre discs, and you are also shown where to place some self-made brass grab handles in a scrap diagram. A pair of optional brackets are also shown added to the glacis for some decal options, and another scrap diagram details their location from a three-quarter and side view. The engine deck is absent from the main upper hull part, and is built up in sections for modularity, starting with the forward section with an armoured intake that has a PE grille underneath. A spacer is then added between this and the rear section that holds the twin exhausts that eject into the rear overhang, and the gun's travel-lock. A full complement of pioneer tools is then attached to the rear sides, and these also have 1:1 scrap diagrams to show the correct placement. The rear light clusters and their cages are then fixed to the rear edges behind the pioneer tools. At this point the suspension and road-wheels are added to the chassis after adding the final drive housing for the drive sprocket. The track follows, and the tread is directional, so ensure you have it in the correct orientation before you show anyone! The tracks are of the rubber-band type, which I generally dislike from a personal point of view. On this occasion, I'm happy to make an exception, as the tracks have been tooled with a narrow area between the track pad and the link, which allows the pads to flex as a unit, remaining flat, rather than the usual unrealistic curve of the whole track. The moulding is also first rate, although the runs are split in half, so you will use two lengths per side. The instructions tell you to glue them with CA, so it would make sense to position the seams (which are invisible once glued) on the top and bottom runs, so that the CA isn't subject to the stresses of the curved areas, as we all know that CA's shear strength and flexibility isn't too good. You are also exhorted to use lacquer based paints on the tracks rather than acrylic (which I guess will flake off), or enamel, which I suspect melts the plastic? Just a guess, so please don't quote me and create an internet factoid. Alclad's excellent Lacquer based primers would be most useful here. Sand shield mounts are added along the length of the sponsons, as is the appliqué armour, with 1:1 scrap diagrams showing their location perfectly, as well as a tiny 0.1mm hole that is drilled into the side of the hull. Now the fun part begins. The long 17-pounder barrel is constructed from two halves split vertically, with separate flash-hider muzzle split the same way. Careful alignment will be the watchword here, in order to reduce the seamline as much as possible before sanding and polishing it away. It slides through the mantlet into the front of the breech, which then fixes into mounts on each side, with polycaps providing a friction-fit to allow the gun to posed elevated without gluing. The coax machine-gun is attached to a square peg on the end of the pivot point, and the outer mantlet cover is slipped over the end of the barrel and located on the inner section. Note here that the breech is simply a stub-end and not the full item, and there is no trace of interior detail to the turret, although some might have been visible through the two hatches on the roof, which are built up next. The commander's rotating cupola has twin clamshell hatches, one of which has a rotating periscope on the top, the other simply has a grab-handle, which is supplied in styrene. The gunner's hatch is simply a hinged panel with a hydraulic retaining piston that fixes inside the turret as shown in the scrap diagram that accompanies it. Numerous sighting vanes, periscopes, lifting lugs and aerial mounts are added to the outside of the turret, and a radio box is fixed to the bustle, with an optional stowage bin piggy-backing on it. The turret is placed on the turret ring and pushed down until there is a click of the flexible retaining lugs snapping past the ring's lower edge. This should hold it firmly in place, although I wouldn't recommend too much removal and replacement due to the poor fatigue life of styrene parts. Additional track-links are supplied in styrene for unofficial appliqué armour on the transmission housing, with six links and retaining brackets all finely moulded in case you feel the urge to use them. The eyes for the towing cable are included with the kit, however the cable is not, so you'll have to find some suitable cord or braided wire of 0.5mm width and 160mm long. I'd suggest some RB Models braided wire if you've not got anything similar lying around. Accessories Pack This kit comes with an accessories pack that will allow you to deck out your Firefly in a more candid style for diorama purposes with the two included crew members. The following items are included: 2 x Stowage Box A – with "25PR CART NO" decal on the sides 2 x Stowage Box B – an ammunition can 4 x 17-Pounder Ammunition case 4 x .30 calibre ammo box 6 x POW (Petrol, Oil, Water) cans with decals 4 x Petrol can 4 Biscuit can (2 open, 2 closed) 2 x Kettle 2 x Bucket 2 x Bowl/washbasin 6 x Clear wine bottles with labels 1 x Clear sake bottle 1 x Clear lantern 8 x Extra track links for appliqué armour Suggested stowage locations are given for all the items on the glacis plate and the rear of the engine deck, but the choice is yours, and there are plenty of photos of loaded-up Shermans of all sorts out there . Markings You might think "any shade as long as it's Dark Green, but Asuka have included a white distempered option to break the monotony, which should test your grasp of the hairspray technique! From the box you can build one of the following: C Squadron, 5th Dragoon Guards, 22 Armoured Brigade, 7th Armoured Division, 1945 Netherlands. A Squadron, Royal Scots Greys, 4th Armoured Brigade, 1945 Germany. A Squadron, Royal Scots Greys, 4th Armoured Brigade, 1945 Germany – winter white. Decals are well printed with minimal matt carrier film, with good register and colour density, and look to be up to Cartograf standards, although there is no manufacturer's mark other than Asuka's on the sheet. A decal for the under-barrel disruptive camo is included for those that don't fancy masking a wiggly line themselves. Decals for the accessory set are also included in the shape of labels, stencils and so forth, with all the text legible under magnification (if you're blind like me). Conclusion Whether you're looking at a Tasca branded kit of yore, or the new Asuka name, the end result is still the same. You have the most comprehensive, detailed and generally good quality kit of the Sherman, which is almost all Asuka do, with the occasional exception. Inclusion of a small sheet of PE, two crew figures and the accessory set is just gravy on an already great kit. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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