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  1. I think the T41 was too early for Korea, being developed in 1949 and committed to production in August 1950 because of Korea, yet the M41 was too late to see service in Korea because it was rushed and flawed and most of those built were embargoed in Tank Depots pending rectifications. It seems that some M59s were initially deployed to Vietnam but didn't last long as it was a cheap, poor, underpowered and unreliable design and the superior M113 was available from 1960. M114s were in Vietnam in small numbers but identifiably Vietnam images are rare. Here are a couple. These might both be ARVN.
  2. I'm going to take a different tack here too. But first I will point out that some old-established manufacturers like Tamiya and Italeri are still selling kits from 40+ years ago. And this presents its own problems as it can be hard to work out what is old and what is not, and what is apparently new but just based on old with some new parts. Here a site called Scalemates is your friend as they show the history of a product, provide links to reviews, suggestions for related associated items such as decals and detail sets, and often have links to instruction sheet downloads. No manufacturer is universally good or universally bad, especially those with a large back catalogue. Although smaller and newer ones can very quickly gain a good or bad rep based on a small number of products. A reputation that can develop and mature with time and more product. I would say that you should look at the subject matter rather than the brand, and here again Scalemates can help. Other review sites such as the well-regarded Perth Military Modelling Site are out there. I find it useful just to Google "[brand] [kit name] [scale] review" and see what comes up. You can find a lot out that way. Let me give you 2 examples. Let's say you want a T-55. You can have the old Tamiya kit which will be a simple build with vinyl tracks and poor and inaccurate detail. It's a bit of a dog IMO. But for about the same money you could have the Takom or Miniart offerings, the latter with full interiors if you want that. Miniart is superbly detailed, much more accurate and comes in multiple versions but has the afore-mentioned zillion pieces. Takom sits somewhere in the middle and would probably be the right choice for a first venture. Now let's say you want a Valentine. Again there is a Tamiya offering and again this is the simple build option but is again somewhat simplified. Miniart offer Valentines too but theirs have accuracy issues as well as being complex. AFV Club Valentines sit in the middle being more accurate and simpler than Miniart while more detailed but more complex than Tamiya. Something you will find very different from times past is track types. Decades ago they were vinyl or even still rubber. Many still are vinyl. But now some kits have individual links, often made from multiple parts. There are also now "link and length" types made of both individual links and pre-moulded sections. And after-market species in plastic, white metal, resin and 3D printed. A set of metal or 3D links will set you back £30+ or even £40+. So if like me you don't like vinyl tracks, finding kits that don't need a second mortgage for a set of tracks can be an important factor. Metal replacement gun barrels are another innovation, but are not available for everything. Eliminating joins and mould seams on plastic barrels without making them oval or giving them flat strips can be problematic.
  3. T48 rubber chevron tracks were the common factory fit on M4 Composites. But they wore down more quickly than the steel types, which is why the UK preferred the steel types - but we got what we were given. So you might find replacement T54s or T49s in use. A quick search found T54E1 and T45E2 tracks on British composites and T51 plain rubber blocks on US composites in the Pacific, so the T48 was not universal. If you shave the 3 rivet heads off the T62 spare links they will pass for T54E2s: the chevron shape is almost identical. Rubber tracks were back on the menu from late 1943 once the US had built up synthetic rubber production to compensate for the complete loss of natural rubber from the Far East early in 1942, only a few months into Sherman production. T62s were only factory fit on M4A4s: it seems that Chrysler did not use them on the M4 Composites which followed the M4A4 in production there. As @Bullbasket says, once you've built a few Shermans - especially Dragon ones - you will end up with a substantial spares box. There must be some fellow modellers at your end of the Pacific with some spare bits they might part with. BNA have an eye-watering and wallet-weakening selection of M4 after market parts if you just search "Sherman" and filter to 1/35 and in stock. Your Asuka kit doesn't need most of these however, especially as you're building OOB. You probably get enough etch in the kit to be going on with, without splashing out on more. I would suggest that you might look at these (in price order). The 2 I've underlined are the only ones I consider essential. The others are more for ideas about how you might pimp your ride. Commonwealth Shermans are rarely seen without various stowages, and most of what is in either of the 2 Firefly stowage sets will work. Eureka XXL tow cable #3503, which also has some nice resin MG barrels (the 0.50 is the wrong type, though) Panzer Art UK Cullin prong #35-060 Value Gear M4A1(76) sandbag armour #VG-SB008 (Composite glacis has same profile where this fits) Aber 75mm barrel #35L-135, which is designed for the Tasca/Asuka kits Resicast cupola #352279 if you want the hatch open MJ Miniatures light guard set #EZ35004 (easier than bending etch!) or their Detail Up Set #EZ35017 Black Dog Firefly accessories and stowage #T35029 Legend Firefly stowage set #LF1144 The one thing I didn't see were appropriate replacement tracks. Asuka kits come with vinyl tracks, which I don't like - but you may be happy with. Bronco, Masterclub and Friul all do suitable replacement tracks - Bronco being cheapest but fiddliest in a lose-your-sanity way. IMO Masterclubs are better than Friuls if only because the pins are longer and you get a jig - but either will cost you nearly as much as the kit itself. I have all of those brands in my spare stash pile right now but I suspect that shipping from the UK will be prohibitive: you're probably looking at about AUD 75-80 inc postage. It cost AUD 22 to send a set of metal tracks just to Italy!! Probably better to wait for BNA to have stock or look elsewhere in Oz. At a pinch you might get away with the AFV Club T51 plain rubber block type, which they do have: you could even scuff them up as worn-down T48s. But the pins on these are fragile and once twisted off by a stiff end connector are very hard to repair and impossible to repair workably.
  4. There are brass and resin options for the stowage box - or at least there have been. Another British mod you would expect to see would be the triple racks for spare links on the glacis, usually 2 racks but the positions varied. Also 2 UK-pattern fire extinguishers, one each side of the rear hull in front of the rear lights and outboard of the lifting rings. These might be on the same sprue as the box. Some etched brass detail sets for M4s give you the track racks and IIRC some also include the box. Fire extinguishers are available from Panzer Art and Resicast, in both cases without annoying mould seams. BNA Modelworld are worth a look for after-market stuff. I've even used them from here in the UK!
  5. You can make satisfactory width indicators with round-headed sewing pins and a piece of plastic tube or insulation sleeve from this wire for the base section. This is what we used to do back in the day before there were after-market products........ RB Model certainly do them in turned brass and I think other brands do too. The grenade covers are more difficult. You could make the framework from plastic strip and add your own mesh. But as suggested above there are after-market detail sets for that kit. As well as Aber you might look for Eduard, ET Model, Voyager or Lion Roar. Don't forget that kit it is an Italeri re-box, not an original Tamiya kit, so you might try Italeri too for the original kit parts.
  6. Nicely scruffy. But that's a Lee, BTW - not a Grant (although the US didn't use that name).
  7. Molotov pens are really paint pens. Their 'ink' is very thin as it must flow through the fibre tip. They are also designed for use on porous surfaces. So it will spread out on non-porous surfaces. It might spread less on a gloss surface but the key point is that too much ink is being applied. Artists permanent ink pens are better, but usually only come in dark colours like black and brown. I would recommend bottled artists ink and an old fashioned mapping or calligraphy pen.
  8. There have been a couple of limited edition decal sets for Lebanese Fireflies, published by Military Modelcraft International. I have both. But I was concerned about the carrier film showing or silvering. And it seemed a shame to butcher a rare multi-tank set for 1 model. So the graffiti is copied from the top decal set freehand using green artist's acrylic ink and an old-style dipping pen. The Palestine outlines are black ink. If anyone is interested in buying either of these decal sets, PM me. I don't need them any more as I won't be doing any more Lebanese Fireflies.
  9. Some paint on the Repotenciado. Some were plain dark green, but that's just boring. The colour was difficult. Colour images vary a lot and many are of preserved vehicles in poor repair. The Argentine Army maintains a few in running order so I've gone with that as a reliable colour. The "brown" has a distinct pinkish tinge to it. Mig Ammo provide German WW2 Sandbraun RAL8031 in their Argentine set, which isn't bad but I felt wasn't pink enough. Eventually I settled on a Warhammer colour called Tallarn Flesh. Markings are basic: just a black serial each side and a white 2-digit number front and back.
  10. The original wisdom was that the Thunder version was "better" but it has become very hard to find and most people seem happy with the IBG offering. Because of the limitations of the way the wheels are moulded both kits need after-market resin wheels to get the correct tread patterns. Wildcats Models have several after-market parts for the Scammell including 2 types of wheel. Other vendors are available, but I've used this guy many times and found him to be completely reliable. https://wildcatsmodels.com/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&poscats=&search_query=scammel&submit_search=Search The Thunder kit is hard to find in the UK but I believe you can get it direct from LZ Models in Eire. They do their own replacement wheels and basket too. But you may get stung for 20% import VAT and a £9 Royal Mail fee. https://www.lzmodels.com/Thunder-Model-kits.html
  11. They were not designed as APCs, although Ukraine appears to be using them as such. It was basically a truck version of Mastiff: the Tactical Support Vehicle (Heavy). Designed to carry supplies in Mastiff-equipped units, but was later used as an artillery tractor.
  12. No. I just came across the rusty dump photo online while researching. There's a UN soldier posing in the turret hatch. I presume Swedish as it was originally posted on a Swedish site.
  13. Managed to snap the right side - in focus this time.
  14. The Work In Progress for this one can be found here: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235070810-unusual-ex-fireflies/ A Lebanese VC Firefly from the 1976 Arab Army Of Lebanon mutiny refitted with the M4A2 diesel powerpack and unusual applique armour. The only photo I've ever found of the applique is rusting in a dump in UN days in Lebanon. Almost certainly a unique individual vehicle. Without knowing its history placing it in these markings and in that particular part of Lebanon's troubled past is, I admit, a complete swag. Markings are hand-applied. The right side photos were out of focus: must take some more. Yes the turret is empty. There was going to be a figure, but now there isn't.
  15. I'm moving the Lebanese Firefly over to Ready For Inspection. Time to get on with the Repotenciado. I was going to use the RFM kit tracks but realised that life is too short to clean up all the sprue gates and it would be unlikely for the tank to still be on its original tracks anyway over 30 years later, a type (T62) not made since the end of 1943. So some Masterclub T74s were substituted.
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