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  1. So this is what $239 looks like.........
  2. Oxford Diecast do the DB tractor in several colours. They also do some other period vehicles that might work. But they are slightly off scale at 1/76.
  3. I suspect it is there because of the weight of the tools stowed there.
  4. Short answer: yes those were all Valentine serials - almost all MkIIs I dont have those DT books, but the Fletcher Osprey book on Valentine says that 16121 - 16220 were allocated to Valentine MkIIs built by Vickers against their 1939 first order for Valentines. T16265 - 16355 is partly covered by Metro-Cammell's first order for Valentines which produced 44 MkIs and 81 MkIIs. Their number range was T16221 - 16345. The split between MkI and MkII is not shown, but logically the MkIIs would have begun at 16265. T16422 - 17384 is covered by Valentine IIs from BWCRC against 2 1939 orders and a 1940 order which delivered 133, 25 and 300 tanks. T16422 should have been the last of the MkIs against the 1st order, but the quantities were reduced. So I believe the MkIIs probably began at T16420 and ended at T16553. Fletcher says 16422 - 16555. The smaller order for 25 got the numbers T17360 - 17384. The 3rd order got the numbers T17385 - 17684. although 17474 became the Bishop prototype.
  5. Picking your way through the minefield of Valentines in India/Burma is difficult. I imagine the Scorpion conversions were done in the UK. This article on WW2Talk from Sept 2022 is very informative http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/tank-numbers-in-india.96451/ Apologies if you've seen this already.
  6. @nheather I have some spare sprues of those Dragon tracks. I think I have some Asuka vinyl T62s from their M4A4 too. PM me if these might be useful.
  7. The original plan was for CR3 to be Fitted For But Not With Trophy. We might fit it later. This may be a test of the installation setup to make sure it is sound. Too late when you find out later that it doesn't fit....... This might even be a production turret from James Cook. Again, it needs to be tested on a representative production configuration. We've fallen into that trap before. It remains to be seen whether we will see CR3 sporting Trophy routinely and whether we will actually buy it to put aside in case it is needed. It will likely be a TES fit only as there is no obvious way of safely using it live in training. No one will be firing even inert warhead weapons at tanks in training. Remember the heavily armoured Centurion Target Tanks - and they were intended only to be shot at by Carl Gustavs.
  8. The Jaguar-built engines will have been Centurion-spec. This is a MkIII from Jan 45, so Comet configuration. This is a MkIV installed in a Centurion. The tank was originally a MkII that became a MkIII but will have been worked-on along the way, and the cutting in half dates to 1983. This may not be the original engine: IIRC a MkII Cent would have had a MkIV rather than a IVA or a IVB. Apart from the reversal of the exhaust manifolds there are differences to the top and front of the engine between MkIII and MkIV.
  9. The eau-de-nil engine they have on display is dated 1945, so probably a Comet version but could be for an early Cent. I can't recall the Mark number on the dataplate. I think the grey partly sectioned one is possibly a Comet version too. Their cut in half Centurion has a visible engine - but right side only - along with the rest of the engine and gearbox compartments. By my recollection it looks the same as the display engine. Fan/accessory drives, perhaps? Bovington would only have the info if MOD gave it to them, which of course they may not have done. Wth all the site closures and rationalisations since the 90's I suspect that a veritable goldmine of information has gone in the shredder and the incinerator. I was working in London buildings for about 18 months during the decant to Bristol in the late 90's and I recall empty rooms with piles of papers, folders etc waiting to be collected and taken away for destruction. Heritage would not be a consideration for retention: it wasn't even a retention criterion on the MOD Form 262 archive/destruction form. Although there was an option for permanent retention by PRO, now National Archives. A whole-engine drawing pack, or even a General Arrangement drawing, for a Meteor probably hadn't been needed since the late 50's and the end of Centurion production. Spares production after that - which ended up with R-R again - would have been individual parts drawings. And as a proprietary product MOD's rights to hold and use the drawings would have been limited to "Crown purposes". A definition I have argued-over with suppliers many times.
  10. You might get something from the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust. They built 150 Meteor Mk IVB in 1952-53 under Ministry of Supply contract. This being so, MoS must have had the rights to use the design and a production data pack Which means that MOD must have inherited those rights, so Bovington archive might have something. REME archive seems less likely. Rover acquired the Meteor design and a Nottingham tank engine factory from R-R by swapping it for jet engine work they were struggling with. So any still-extant company-held information will now be with Jaguar Land Rover, who own the Rover brand. There doesn't seem to be an overall Rover archive, or similar but the Jaguar-Daimler Heritage Trust says they work with JLR, so they migh have access to any Rover historic data. Henry Meadows built the original Meteor I engine by converting non-airworthy Merlins. They may have built later Marks too. But guess what? Jaguar acquired Meadows in 1965., so that road leads back to JLR. Morris Motors built some too but I suspect that anything they might still have had was lost in the BLMC debacle. The Morris brand is owned now by MG Cars, ie SAIC. There is no shortage of online photos or survivor engines to photograph. Bovington has 2 on display. It is not exactly the same as a Merlin, but is certainly very similar. In an engine bay most of it won't be seen anyway. But an engine bay needs a lot more than just an engine, and the installations in Cromwell, Comet, Tortoise and Centurion will be different. Conqueror had a fuel-injected Meteor version. Accurate Armour already do a full Cromwell engine bay in 1/35, but it is £46.
  11. The Dragon tracks are awkward to say the least. If any of those pins break off then the end connector must be glued. I would class them as non-workable and make up the appropriate lengths/shapes for top and bottom runs, front and rear sections around sprockets and idlers. The sprockets will need 2 pieces to get the teeth to mesh. Leave off end connectors to make the joins between the pieces. If you can still leave the idlers loose to adjust the fit, do. I can't recall if that kit has any adjustment on the idlers. Your alternatives are limited. M4A4s suitable for Firefly conversion and matching the Dragon kit all left the factory with T62 tracks. The RFM T62 tracks from their VC (a far superior kit all round) are appropriate. But expect £18-20 a set. These have end connectors with 2 short pins which are trapped between inner and outer link halves. You get a jig to build short lengths. Having tried Bronco tracks, I can certify that they will suck out all of your sanity. If the 2,500 sprue points to clean up per set don't get you, trying to get the end connectors on will. Masterclub metal links are a good option, but expect £30. Easier than Friuls.
  12. To add further fuel to the fire, although not directly affecting Shermans but might affect late production Sextons, it has been said that Canada adopted US OD in Jan 44 rather than UK SCC15 for simplicity of supply. But I'm not sure there is any incontovertible evidence for this. I can't see mix and match SCC2 and OD painting in mid-42 to early 44, although I can see Khaki Green 3 and OD before this as they were broadly similar. Not that we had very many US vehicles before SCC2 came into use anyway. But once SCC15 came into use I can see that any available "green" would have been used for patch-painting at unit level. Depots may have been a little more regimented but what was the priority? Out of the gate or sitting on the vehicle park waiting for a can of the exctly matching paint? Something I forgot to mention earlier is wading gear. All wading trunks and other wading parts were apparently finished in SCC15. So if your Sherman is to be fitted with any of the wading trunking that will definitely be SCC15. Even the few lingering SCC2 vehicles such as RMASG Centaurs had SCC15 wading gear. I therefore imagine that the relocated 17pdr travel lock brackets to accommodate the wading trunking would be SCC15 regardless, as would the other hull rear wading fittings like the bracing strut brackets, mounting flanges and the bracing bracket on the turret to rear. If you have the RFM Firefly you might want to know which parts to use for a wading-equipped or non-wading tank. The instructions are entirely unclear. I have some annotated photos. Back in the room, I use that Bovington M4A1/Sherman IIA as an example of what OD No9 should look like as - to my eye at least - it looks "about right" despite being a recent repaint. BUT - he says, opening a new can of kerosene to lob onto the conflagration - I spotted these paint layers on M4A1 Michael's wheels at Bovington after the tank was moved earlier this year. They must have been behind the bogie arms before. The wheels are not original to the tank, which originally had open-spoke wheels. Pressed-spoke wheels of this Chrysler design were used by other factories but my bet would be that they came from an M4A4. The very brownish colour appears to be factory-original OD as there is nothing under this except bare metal. And it is very brown - although it appears less brown in the close-up, taken at the same time with the same device. The vibrant green is a post-war repaint in its current Deep Bronze Green. But under this there is a smidge of what I believe to be SCC15 showing just above the top of the hub. Assuming that analysis to be correct, although I have no idea how the colours might have alterered after decades under other layers, they are very different colours and I can't see patch repainting with such contrast being acceptable. But it does hint at the wheels having been repainted in SCC15 at some point. But was that on the original donor tank or on a previous Michael repaint, leaving the unpainted original colour area? Circling us back to possible full repaint of conversions.
  13. While looking for something else, I came across the page linked below. An interesting insight into the work done on Shermans and other vehicles at Ordnance Tank Depots, specifically Lima in this case but I imagine that all 4 did the same things. I was interested in the comment that a 5th Depot was opened in Canada for vehicles destined for the UK. As far as I was aware, Shermans for the UK were shipped directly from US ports. M4A4s are certainly photographed at US East Coast Ports and the first shipments of M4A1s and A2s to N Africa certainly went via US ports. I was - and am - under the impression that all Shermans regardless of destination were processed through the 4 US Depots and assigned to onward shipping from there. Moving some to Montreal and then moving them again to Canadian ports rather than directly to the much closer US ports makes no sense with a hindsight view. So I wonder if the Montreal depot was established before Lend-Lease for British cash purchases. Much early equipment for the UK, notably aircraft, was shipped through Canada to get round US war materiel export restrictions in force before the USA entered the war. I know that Grants existed outside the Ordnance system but I thought they came via US ports. https://usautoindustryworldwartwo.com/General Motors/unitedmotorsservice.htm
  14. Regarding Fireflies in particular, where the external modifications were relatively few, it has been claimed that only the modified areas were repainted SCC15. The extended bustle, mantlet shield and hull MG plug. But that glosses over the fact that almost all Shermans processed through the UK - i.e. all Fireflies - also had other "standard" British modifications fitted such as the rear fire extinguisher brackets, rear stowage box on M4A4s, leaf spring towing pintle and glacis spare link holders. And then there were the various little wading fittings on tanks modified for wading. None of these would have justified a whole-tank repaint and Fireflies were in urgent need and there were never enough, so getting them out of the door as fast as possible would have been a priority. Although anything involving welding would require the removal of some paint back to bare metal around the areas to be welded, so the repaint would include an area around, for example, each of the spare link brackets. Maybe an inch all round, a fraction of a mm in 1/35. The bustle painting would necessarily include a margin of the original turret all round. SCC15 was a very different colour to OD No9. For a start it is a green, whereas OD is a brown. A very greenish brown but a brown nonetheless. More like Khaki Green 3 than SCC15, which is why we originally accepted it as a Khaki Green substitute on Grants and other pre-Lend-Lease purchases. But is this difference apparent in monochrome images? Firefly images don't seem to show noticeably differently-coloured bustles and mantlets. Firefly conversions would have taken place in the SCC15 era but many of the "standard" modifications on earlier vehicles would have taken place in the SCC2 era before Jan 44. And they were not painted in SCC2: that would be obvious in images. Which leads me to wonder if the UK received supplies of OD paint or whether the large crates of On Vehicle Materiel shipped with each tank contained a tin of "touch up" OD paint for use at the receiving depot where tanks would be prepared for unit issue. Although US depots probably stocked it anyway. You can find images of the on-vehicle operational stowage but that isn't necessarily exactly the same as the shipped OVM. There are no surviving original-paint Fireflies, or indeed any UK Shermans. All have either been repainted if restored or the paint has degraded and flaked away if still un-restored. New tanks were preferred for Firefly conversions, which is why you see so many IC Hybrids and direct vision Baldwin ICs as these were the last new-build 75mm tanks the UK could get. Also why you see so many direct vision VCs as 1,600-odd remanufactured early M4A4s from US training bases - the first 1,600-odd built - were being supplied during 1944 until about Sept. Some older M4A4s were converted, but the majority of tanks fed into the Firefly programme would have been factory-fresh. To add fuel to the fire - I'm not helping here, am I? - the single known photo of US Firefly conversions in 1945 shows the single visible Ordnance serial stencilled on in an odd place in small font and without the USA prefix. Which could imply - and I only say could - that the vehicles had been fully repainted. But many of the 80-odd US tanks were older, although possibly freshly remanufactured, and may have needed a repaint anyway. US forces wanted the 17pdr urgently and I doubt they cared about the colour it came in. But equally, did the UK care about patch-painted 2-tone Fireflies? So I've rambled my way to pretty much no firm conclusion. Logic and the exigencies of the time suggest that patch-repainting in SCC15 made most sense. Beyond that an SCC15 repaint seems next most likely. But I don't think we can conclusively rule out the possibility of patch-repainting in OD.
  15. I tried uploading a video clip from Imgur of a running Stuart seen at the weekend in case anyone was interested. But Imgur doesn't seem to support sound, which kinda defeated the object. You can see the video but can't hear anything. If I can work out how to do it with sound, I will.
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