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Found 7 results

  1. M3 Grant Tank (A1370) 1:35 Airfix The US Army had been remarkably complacent with regard to tank development in the lead-up to WWII, and approached war with precious few tanks that were hopelessly outclassed. This realisation resulted in a frantic clamour to produce a modern tank that could hold its own in combat, with the M3 Lee coming into service as a stop-gap measure within a year of its first design while the M4 Sherman was in development. As a consequence of its rather rushed introduction, it was known to have a number of fairly serious flaws, but it also had some strengths that (at least in part) made up for them. Its high profile and sponson mounted main gun gave the enemy a large target, but when the 75mm main gun was brought to bear on a target, it was surprisingly powerful and effective, gaining a reputation in North Africa. A great many examples were exported to the British and Russian forces in the early stages of WWII, and after the majority of British armour was left on the beaches of Dunkerque, the need became even greater. The British stipulated some adaptations to improve the vehicle's performance, which most visibly included a new larger turret with a bustle to accommodate radio gear, and a cupola instead of the sub-turret with machine gun mount, which was named the Grant after general Lee's opponent. Due to the pressing need for suitable numbers however, the British did take a number of Lees, and the Soviet Union also took delivery of a substantial number of Lee variants, although some ended up at the bottom of the sea thanks to U-Boat action. The Soviets disliked the Lee intensely and gave it a wide berth wherever they could in favour of the more modern and capable T-34, the production of their own tanks ramping up substantially after the initial shock of Barbarossa, which led to the Lee/Grant's retirement from front-line service with them by 1943, while the other Allied continued to use them (mainly in Africa) until the end of the war. The Kit As you’ve probably already guessed, this is a reboxing of the Academy kit, which until not long ago was your best bet for a Grant/Lee, having its origins as recently as 2006. It arrives in the new red-themed top-opening box, and inside you will find eight sprues of sand-coloured styrene along with a lower hull part in the same colour, two lengths of black flexible track-runs, a small decal sheet and the instruction booklet with colour profiles for the decal options on the back pages. The Academy logo has been blanked out on each of the sprues, and on inspection it’s a detailed model with lots of raised rivets, some nice casting texture with casting codes in raised lettering, and restrained use of slide-moulding to fashion the barrels for the choice of two lengths of main gun and the smaller 37mm barrel in the turret. This is a British specification of the Lee, which discards the top machinegun turret in an effort to reduce the Grant’s high silhouette and remove a substantial weight into the bargain, which will have had a positive impact on MPG, albeit a small one. Construction begins with the vertical volute-sprung suspension (VVSS) units that are also seen on some Shermans, trapping two road-wheels between a bogie that is articulated centrally around the suspension unit with a return roller on the top. There are three units per side, so there is some repetition involved, and when they are complete they are cemented onto the mounts on the sides of the lower hull, with an idler wheel fitted to the rear of each side. Moving to the interior, which is included in the kit, the transmission is made up with the gearbox projecting into the centre of the cab, fitted to a sled-shaped interior insert, which has the drive-shaft and driver controls fixed in place, plus seats, treadplated footrests and foot-pedals. The lower hull is completed at the front with the rounded glacis plate, the large riveted support ribs and final drive housings that project to the sides and in front of the glacis. The drive-sprockets and towing eyes with shackles finish off that area, permitting the interior assembly to be slotted into place within, then adding a driver’s seat, radio gear for the left-seater, and a treadplated stowage box behind the driver. At the rear the aft bulkhead is built up from a myriad of exhaust parts, towing shackles and mudguards before it is fixed to the lower hull and an engine firewall placed at the rear of the fighting compartment. Ammo storage for the turret gun is added to the right sponson floor, a turret motor on the left, then the two front fenders are attached and decorated with lights, horn and the first of the pioneer tools, ready for the upper hull, which is next. The upper hull is an angular structure made up around the roof, with various facets and exterior strengthening beams fitted along with stowage boxes, vision ports, the upper glacis, side hatches and the curved splinter shield for the 75mm hull gun. It is flipped over to add the driver’s instrument panel, a twin-mounted bow .30cal machinegun mount, and a pair of rails that run down the side of the sponsons. The hull gun is next, and you have a choice of long or short barrel, so check your references if you aren’t sure. It is slide-moulded, so only needs its moulding seam removing with a scraper or curved blade. The longer barrel has a 2-part counter-balance around the muzzle to help the crew move it around and balance the centre-of-gravity of the longer gun. The recoil tubes, breech protection frame, seat and elevation/traverse controls are all fitted, and it is then dropped into the lower hull, rotating on a cup on the right internal sponson floor. A vision block is glued to the roof before the upper hull is mated with the lower, and the side-skirts are glued in place using the tabs moulded to the inside. It's turret time! The full turret basket is included, festooned with ready-rounds and having a treadplated floor that supports three simple seats, and an accessway to the rest of the interior. The 37mm cannon has a .30cal co-ax strapped to its side, and is inserted into the mantlet back plate, then the riveted front is offered up, and the two are joined by a set of caps that trap the axle in position. Elevation mechanisms are glued in, then the assembly is inserted into the turret from outside, with a lower part and turret ring installed, spare vision blocks on the sides, and clamshell doors on the hatch fitted before the basket is mated from below. The turret is added to the hull, some additional pioneer tools and a large riveted strip is added to the front, then it’s time to put the tracks on. Some modellers like individual links, some like flexible “rubber band” tracks, and some don’t mind either. Some folks will just get some metal tracks for every AFV kit they have, so there’s bound to be no pleasing some people with their choice of the flexible ones here. They are turned into a complete run by melting the pegs with a hot screwdriver, but please don’t use your best one as it’ll ruin it - also, don't burn yourself. There are some spare track links included to fit on the vehicle, and these are all individual links, but there are only nine of them with separate track spuds on the sides. You’ll need to place your tracks carefully on your Grant, as there are some inconvenient injection points with sink-marks around them on the main tracks, or you could smear them with some dirt to hide their appearance. Markings There are two decal options in the box, one from North Africa, the other serving in Australia’s defence, wearing desert camo and olive green respectively. The decals are printed anonymously for Hornby, and consist of unit badges, numbers and suchlike. From the box you can build one of the following: Robin Hood or Robin Hood II, HQ Squadron, Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, 8th Armoured Brigade, 10th Armoured Division, North Africa, 1942 1st Armoured Division, Australian Military Forces, Puckapunyal Camp, Australia, 1942 Decals are in good register, colour density and sharpness, with the two schemes divided by a handy dotted line. Conclusion This is another welcome AFV model from Airfix, and it will find a ready market both in impulse purchases and from us “serious” modeller, as it’s a decent kit for a reasonable price. New tracks might be on the menu if you feel the need, but many a good model has a set of “rubber band” tracks on them. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Grant Mk.II (36445 for MiniArt) 1:35 Eduard MiniArt recently released a new tool M3 Lee, and then added lots of other versions and variants, some of them Grants (35282 for example) in British service. This set is an upgrade to the kit, adding lots of new parts in more scale-accurate thicknesses for the fenders than are possible with injection moulded parts. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, it arrives in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. The set consists of one large fret of bare brass and includes two small protected switches for the interior, two lengths of PE retaining chain for the filler caps, then it moves onto the front fenders, replacing the kit parts entirely. There are two styles of fenders on the sheet, variants A and B. The A fenders are curved and given strengthening relief by running a ball-pen over the rear where indicated, then they are folded to shape and applied to the front with additional parts making up the detail. A strip runs the whole length of the tracks, and a new simple flat rear fender is fitted to the back. Variant B is more complex and as well as using the curved front fender in variant A, is fitted with an additional boxed out and riveted front fender and another at the rear, with a deeper strip along the side of the vehicle. Additional strips are added at the front to depict the small details there. Conclusion Having more in-scale fenders will add a lot of realism to your model, so they’re definitely worth considering. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. M3A5 Lee - Exterior Kit (35279) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models In the years before WWII America realised that they were lagging behind in respect of armour, a fact that became especially clear when Germany came out from under the Versailles treaty to show off and then use their new tanks and Blitzkrieg tactics. The M3 Lee was conceived in 1940 as a medium tank carrying a powerful 75mm gun, partly for manning by their own crews, but also because Britain had requested a large number of tanks to make good their losses from Dunkirk. The Lee was a decent tank but suffered from a high silhouette and limited traverse of the sponson-mounted 75mm gun, but was still widely used. In British service it was known as the Lee if it was fitted with the original American turret, or the Grant when using the lower-profiled British specification turrets. The Lee was used primarily in Africa and the Pacific theatres where the 2nd line equipment seemed to be fielded (for the most part) by the enemy, and against the Japanese who were far behind with their tank designs and tactics. Another major user was the USSR under lend lease, the Soviets did not like the tank and its nickname was "a coffin for 6", not surprising in a way as at the time they were facing panthers and Tigers with it. The tank underwent some substantial changes including cast, welded and back to riveted hulls plus changes in the power pack and loss of the side doors to stiffen the hull. The riveted hulls suffered from rivets popping off and becoming projectiles when hit, which could be just as lethal as a penetrating round and was never fully eliminated. The Late version deleted the side doors and left only one pistol port, it also had different wheels and drive sprockets. The M3A5 was a diels engined version the the riveted M3 The Kit MiniArt began 2019 with a new tooling of the M3 Lee and are expanded their range by adding new parts as they go along. The full interior kit of the Early Lee was reviewed here. This boxing now comes without an interior. The box is standard MiniArt fare with an attractive picture from their usual artist, and inside are a huge number of sprues of varying sizes with 60 sprues in grey styrene, a single sprue in clear, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet and the instruction booklet with painting guide at the front and rear completing the package. Construction begins with the vehicle floor onto which the transmission and final drive assemblies are fixed. The rolled lower glacis part is also added, and the final drive bell housings that are incorporated into the sidewalls mate with these to complete the shape of that area. The side plates are added and then the top sponsors. To the rear the engine compartment is built up, the doors are fitted along with the exhausts. At the front additional plates over the drive shafts are added. The big 75mm gun and substantial casemate are built up next for fitting into the hull front and the curved splinter shield that allows 14o of traverse to either side to counter any errors in position from the driver or enemy movement. The breech is surrounded by a shield. The various hatches can be posed open or closed, however as there is no interior best close them up! The bow machine gun is actually a twin mount with two .30 cal M1919s firing through a hatch near the port sponson. The rest of the hull is then built up in much the same manner as the real thing, but with glue and the rivets only there for show. Two large bins for the rear are then built up. When we reach the engine deck there are two large panels, the smaller of them having PE grilles and more filler caps, with both of them covered in small PE tie-down lugs. At the read the exhausts are added with their protective plates and the rear mudguards are added. The completed deck is then covered with pioneer tools and their PE tie-downs, plus the towing cables that you need to source yourself to go with the plastic eyes at each end. A scrap diagram shows their location and how to fix the PE straps to the tie-downs and eyes, with a length of 145mm suggested. The lower hull is finished off with a pair of short plates over the drive wheels and a host of additional equipment filling up the interior with more shell storage, tanks and auxiliary generator. The big 75mm gun and substantial casemate are built up next for fitting into the hull front and the curved splinter shield that allows 14o of traverse to either side to counter any errors in position from the driver or enemy movement. The breech is surrounded by a shield. Before it can be installed the super-structure must be built up to accommodate it, including the sidewalls, the curved surround and the angled front panels of the glacis. The various hatches can be posed open or closed, and an instrument panel is fitted to the inside of the glacis. The rest of the hull is then built up in much the same manner as the real thing, but with glue and the rivets only there for show. Fuel caps are added along the way, and when we reach the engine deck there are two large panels, the smaller of them having PE grilles and more filler caps, with both of them covered in small PE tie-down lugs. The rear of the deck overhangs the hull and armour plates protect the tops of the exhausts from stray rounds where PE brackets are used to hang the aft lights. The completed deck is then covered with pioneer tools and their PE tie-downs, plus the towing cables that you need to source yourself to go with the plastic eyes at each end. A scrap diagram shows their location and how to fix the PE straps to the tie-downs and eyes, with a length of 145mm suggested. At this stage the majority of the hull is built, but it is likely to fill with rain until the roof is fitted.. The stiffening plates to the lower glacis are also glued to the hull and then the roof is made up from a large main part that is stiffened with a number of ribs, and an extra section is attached to the side with a small periscope in the middle. The three square access doors for the crew can all be posed open or closed with latches and small viewing hatches within that can also be posed open. After fitting the armoured cover to the main gun's periscope and a few grab handles, you get to build up the running gear. Aren't you lucky? The Lee's suspension is very similar to the Sherman's with two fat wheels on a bogie with a return roller at the top, and there are three of these assemblies per side. The wheels with their moulded-in tyres are attached to the bogies via swing-arms that pivot inside the cast bogie with an additional arm linked to the compressible rubber towers. Before the front of the bogie is fitted the return roller is installed so it is trapped between its two bearings. Repeat that six times and then make up the idler wheels, which have PE edges and separate hub caps. The bogies are attached to the sides of the hull on their mounting plates, and two stiffeners are added to the top of each one, while the idler wheels are attached to their axles on the adjustable tensioners. At the front the drive sprockets are made up from two parts with an internal collar allowing them to remain mobile if you're sparing with the glue. A short break has you fitting the driver's hatch and optional clear window with a PE wiper blade, plus a couple of towing eyes with shackles under the glacis and some truly tiny parts in plastic and PE between them. Tracks. Love 'em or loathe 'em, they're a necessary part of most tanks and you have to do them eventually. There are 79 track links per side, and each link is made up from four parts. The pads are split to accommodate the links between them, and this is a little fiddly. Mike built a test section up fro the previous reveiw. That said, each link is good looking with fine detail at the ends, and they are flexing nicely as per the real thing. It'll take some time to complete them, but they will be excellent as long as you're careful with preparation and the glue. The rest of the pioneer tools are bracketed to the hull along with the front headlights and their PE protective cages, the former having PE tie-downs and brackets holding them down. You will need to find some thin wire to link the headlamps to the gland that takes the cable inside the hull. Now you can start the turret, most of which is held within the upper part, and that has some very nice casting texture moulded into it that should look great under a few coats of paint. The frames for the small hatches are first to be added, then the hatches themselves are fitted in the open or closed position with small stays holding them at the correct angle for the former. The breech is started by joining the two main parts together, adding the surround, the coax machine gun, then setting it aside while the mantlet and elevation mechanisms are made up. The barrel fits to the mantlet and the turret ring is added. Next up the US machine gun turret is added to the top of the main one. The small turret is built up with the gun and it mantlet being added, the lower ring is added as the main two part hatch. This is then fitted to the main turret, and the main turret then added to the hull. Markings There are a three options provided for the modeller on the decal sheet, all of them green From the box you can build one of the following: US Army training unit USA 1941 US Army training unit USA 1941 (painted as an enemy tank) Brazilian Army, 2nd Battalion of Combat Cars, 1950s Decals are by DecoGraph, and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a wonderfully detailed kit of the Lee as it was supplied to the US, Canadian and Red Army, plus a couple the Germans pinched. The detail incorporated in styrene is phenomenal and the addition of the PE parts gives the modeller all the shackles for their pioneer tools, which are usually included in aftermarket PE sets. A really impressive piece of plastic engineering that's going to be echoed with the Grants and further Lees very soon. Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Grant Mk.I Full Interior Kit (35217) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models In the years before WWII America realised that they were lagging behind in respect of armour, a fact that became especially clear when Germany came out from under the Versailles treaty to show off and then use their new tanks and Blitzkrieg tactics. The M3 Lee was conceived in 1940 as a medium tank carrying a powerful 75mm gun, partly for manning by their own crews, but also because Britain had requested a large number of tanks to make good their losses from Dunkirk. The Lee was a decent tank but suffered from a high silhouette and limited traverse of the sponson-mounted 75mm gun, but was still widely used. In British service it was known as the Lee if it was fitted with the original American turret, or the Grant when using the lower-profiled British specification turrets. The Grant eschewed the mini-turret on the commander's cupola that resulted in a reduction in height and a minor simplification of construction and maintenance for very little loss in flexibility, due to the coaxially mounted Browning machine gun in the turret. It was used primarily in Africa and the Pacific theatres where the 2nd line equipment seemed to be fielded (for the most part) by the enemy, and against the Japanese who were far behind with their tank designs and tactics. The Kit MiniArt began 2019 with a new tooling of the M3 Lee and have expanded their range by adding new parts as they go along. The primary changes in this boxing are the inclusion of a new cast turret with no machine-gun turret-let on top, and the inclusion of British equipment inside and around the exterior. We've come to expect great things from miniArt's new kits and of course this one is no different with a ton of detail included both externally and internally, as it is a full-interior kit with the increased part count that comes with that. The box is standard MiniArt fare with an attractive picture from their usual artist, and inside are a huge number of sprues of varying sizes with 67 sprues in grey styrene, a single sprue in clear, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet and the instruction booklet with painting guide at the rear completing the package. Construction begins with the vehicle floor onto which the transmission and final drive assemblies are fixed along with a long drive shaft. The front crew stations are installed around the final drive, and in the centre is the ammo storage with a tread-plated top with the engine firewall behind it. The ammo bin can be posed open or closed using the same door parts, exposing the striking plates moulded into the assembly, and more shells are added to the firewall in racks. Just in case the tank isn't quite flammable enough, a spare fuel can is strapped to the firewall, as are a couple of radiators which I'm hoping can be switched off or redirected in the desert! Moving to the lower sidewalls, these are separate parts and are fitted out with equipment such as fire extinguishers, ammo and a Thompson machine gun with the bow gunner's bench seat added to the starboard side as they are joined and the sponson floor fitted at right-angles using slots and tabs. Take care here to clamp them firmly against the bottom of the firewall to prevent them from drooping while setting, which would open up a world of pain if they set out of position. The rolled lower glacis part is also added, and the final drive bell housings that are incorporated into the sidewalls mate with these to complete the shape of that area. The Lee/Grant and to an extent the Sherman were powered by radial engines that sat vertically in the hull and can be blamed for their slightly tall hull shapes. This is provided in detail with the kit with all the cylinders, push-rods and exhaust tubing, plus the tin-work that helps cool the engine all mounted to a sturdy lateral mount that goes around the ancillaries at the rear. Two cheek parts are added into the engine compartment first, and the engine rests on the brackets protruding from the walls. Various tanks and reservoirs are squeezed into the remaining space along with piping for the twin airboxes and the general "spaghetti" that's seen on this kind of engine. The supports for the engine cover are fitted to the sides and the aft bulkhead with access hatch and twin exhaust stacks close in much of the hard work, with twin doors (open or closed) at the back and a PE mesh grille completing the top of the area, allowing the rising heat to escape. The lower hull is finished off with a pair of short arches over the drive wheels and a host of additional equipment filling up the interior with more shell storage, tanks and auxiliary generator. The big 75mm gun and substantial casemate are built up next for fitting into the hull front and the curved splinter shield that allows 14o of traverse to either side to counter any errors in position from the driver or enemy movement. The breech is surrounded by a shield and has the manual traverse wheel and other driver controls plus his seat and sighting gear included, as well as another box containing the 75mm shells peculiar to his gun. Before it can be installed the super-structure must be built up to accommodate it, including the sidewalls, the curved surround and the angled front panels of the glacis. The various hatches can be posed open or closed, and an instrument panel is fitted to the inside of the glacis. The bow machine gun is actually a twin mount with two .30 cal M1919s firing through a hatch near the port sponson. The rest of the hull is then built up in much the same manner as the real thing, but with glue and the rivets only there for show. Fuel caps and another Thompson are added along the way, and when we reach the engine deck there are two large panels, the smaller of them having PE grilles and more filler caps, with both of them covered in small PE tie-down lugs. The rear of the deck overhangs the hull and a small armoured "skirt" protects the tops of the exhausts from stray rounds where PE brackets are used to hang the aft lights. The completed deck is then covered with pioneer tools and their PE tie-downs, plus the towing cables that you need to source yourself to go with the plastic eyes at each end. A scrap diagram shows their location and how to fix the PE straps to the tie-downs and eyes, with a length of 145mm suggested. At this stage the majority of the hull is built, but it is likely to fill with rain until the roof is fitted. Before that the surround to the turret basket is completed with stowage space for six canteens moulded into the parts. The stiffening plates to the lower glacis are also glued to the hull and then the roof is made up from a large main part that is stiffened with a number of ribs, and an extra section is attached to the side with a small periscope in the middle. The three square access doors for the crew can all be posed open or closed with latches and small viewing hatches within that can also be posed open. After fitting the armoured cover to the main gun's periscope and a few grab handles, you get to build up the running gear. Aren't you lucky? The Grant's suspension is very similar to the Sherman's with two fat wheels on a bogie with a return wheel at the top, and there are three per side. The wheels with their moulded-in rubber tyres are attached to the bogies via swing-arms that pivot inside the cast bogie with an additional arm linked to the compressible rubber towers. Before the front of the bogie is fitted the return roller is installed so it is trapped between its two bearings. Repeat that six times and then make up the idler wheels, which have PE edges and separate hub caps. The bogies are attached to the sides of the hull on their mounting plates, and two stiffeners are added to the top of each one, while the idler wheels are attached to their axles on the adjustable tensioners. At the front the drive sprockets are made up from two parts with an internal collar allowing them to remain mobile if you're sparing with the glue. A short break has you fitting the driver's hatch and optional clear window with a PE wiper blade, plus a couple of towing eyes with shackles under the glacis and some truly tiny parts in plastic and PE between them. Tracks. Love 'em or loathe 'em, they're a necessary part of most tanks and you have to do them eventually. There are 79 track links per side, and each link is made up from four parts. The pads are split to accommodate the links between them, and this is a little fiddly. I built my test section up on a flattened piece of blutak to hold them in place, but if you have a commercial or self-made track-making jig that you've purchased separately you might find it a little quicker. That said, each link is good looking with fine detail at the ends, and they are flexing nicely as per the real thing. It'll take some time to complete them, but they will be excellent as long as you're careful with preparation and the glue. With the tracks in place, the side skirts can be installed and the additional stowage boxes can be fabricated from their parts and attached to the hull with PE brackets, their shape conforming to the surfaces that they are placed on. The side skirts are finished off with mudguards at the rear by boxing in the tops of the track runs. The rest of the pioneer tools are bracketed to the hull along with the front headlights and their PE protective cages, the former having PE tie-downs and brackets holding them down. You will need to find some thin wire to link the headlamps to the gland that takes the cable inside the hull, then the single-part main gun barrel is nipped from the sprues, has its seamlines removed and is joined to the optional two-part blast-bag that has excellent realistic-looking canvas wrinkle and sag moulded in. We're still not quite ready for the turret though, as there are a number of PE parts stretching the length of the side-skirts which are used to hang additional stowage in the real thing. These fit onto small depressions on the sides of the hull, and scrap diagrams show the correct way to fold the perpendicular front sections. Now you can start the turret, most of which is held within the upper part, and that has some very nice casting texture moulded into it that should look great under a few coats of paint. The frames for the small hatches are first to be added, then the hatches themselves are fitted in the open or closed position with small stays holding them at the correct angle for the former. The sighting equipment, racks, and fume extraction equipment are then fitted before the breech is built up and fitted, making adding parts after more fiddly. The breech is started by joining the two main parts together, adding the surround, the coax machine gun, then setting it aside while the mantlet and elevation mechanisms are made up. This all fits in the back of the riveted mantlet cover and includes a periscope next door to protect the viewer from being injured by direct small arms fire. The breech is slid into the mantlet and an ammo box is attached to the starboard side then the completed assembly is inserted into the turret from the outside. More equipment is fitted into the lower areas of the upper turret and into the lower turret part, including the increasingly important radio gear and their aerials once the two halves are joined. Next up is the reduced height British spec cupola with grab handles and a choice of open or closed hatch with periscope in the port door. The commander's .30cal weapon is mounted on a curved fitting on the front of the turret and is fitted with a drum magazine that has moulded-in bullets plus a separate short length that feeds into the breech, sandwiched between the two end-caps with built in mounting frame. The turret basket is bucket-shaped with a cut-out to one side to allow entry and exit, plus stowage space for more ammo for the guns and the machine guns, fire extinguisher and small button-seats for the crew. Additionally there is an opening door to the basket that widens the aperture and contains a pair of tanks for the electro-hydraulic rotation equipment. A studded bezel is installed in the top rim and the rest of the traverse equipment is put in place along with a bit more wire that you'll need to provide, then one more seat on a pedestal is put in the centre of the basket which is then dropped into the turret ring in the top of the hull to complete the build. There are additional parts for British Army specific stowage included in the box, which is good to see as a personalised model often looks better than a basic kit. Their locations and colour are shown on separate colour diagrams that can be found at the front of the painting diagrams. Markings There are a generous eight options provided for the modeller on the decal sheet, split between camouflaged, green and sand coloured vehicles, as the Grant and Lee served mainly in warmer climes. Considering this is an armour kit the sheet is relatively large due to the number of options, use of roundels and various personalisations of their tank by the crews depicted in the kit. From the box you can build one of the following: Great Britain Training Unit, 1942 Australian 1st Armoured Division, Puckapunyal, Australia, May 1942 Senior Regiment Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, 7th Armoured Division, North Africa, 1942 Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Regimental Headquarters, El Alamein North Africa, October 1942 Eighth Army tank of Bernard Montgomery, North Africa 1942-Jan 1943 British 8th Army, North Africa, 1943 C Squadron, 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, 4th Armoured Brigade, 7th Armoured Division, Gazala, May 1943 Repair base of the Allies in Heliopolis, Egypt, March 1943 Decals are by DecoGraph, and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a wonderfully detailed kit of the Grant as it was supplied to and used by the British Army. The detail incorporated in styrene is phenomenal and the addition of the PE parts gives the modeller all the shackles for their pioneer tools, which are usually included in aftermarket PE sets. A really impressive piece of plastic engineering. Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. This is the Mirage Hobby 1/72 scale kit, It goes together well and was an enjoyable 1-week build. My build log can be found here: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missinglynx/viewtopic.php?f=47210&t=315601&p=1527618&hilit=m3+lee#p1527618 Thanks for looking.
  6. Hi all im a newbie here at BM. I've already got one topic in ww2 aviation for spitfire's. So if i've overstepped my bounds chalk it up to newbie lack of knowledge. Anyhow my story is this my Grandfather drove shermans in the pacific for the U.S.Army. He drove all variants of the Sherman. But he trained initially here in the states in 1942 on M3 Lee's both Rivited hulls and cast. He passed almost 20 years ago and since i was the only one in my family he ever told his story to i feel obligated to build his tanks. These wont be my first armored vehicles. I have a number of shermans built including his tank. It also seems that because i've been so interested in ww2 history my family has made me the impromptu historian. I had a granduncle that joined the Royal Navy's polish navy in exile there in Britain in 1940. Thats another story i will eventually start a thread in ships because i have no ability to recreate his british vessel. But thats another story/thread. My problem is this I've built Tamiya's 1/35 M3 Lee. Though its very innacurate considering its based on a prototype (lack of cut-out for engine access doors being the most glaring one.) Tamiya's Grant is the correct hull for both versions so i will consider grafting the two together. Now i've looked at academy's offering and will eventually build that one. But no one any where has attempted to mold a cast hull of an M3. Does anyone know of any attempts in england/europe of this. If so any contact info would be greatly appreciated. Also maybe someone would know this. Did the M3 Grants ever use cast hulls? And if yes did anyone make a kit of one of these? I predominantly deal with 1/35th scale but will build anything if it gets me the version i need. To all i say thanks for any info and thanks for letting me tell a rambling story. Dennis
  7. Medium Tank M3 Lee Mk.I 1:72 Hasegawa The M3 was an American medium tank design which was intended as a stop-gap measure to provide both the US Army and the British Army with a reasonably well-armed tank whilst they awaited development of the more modern M4 Sherman. The resulting product was configured in a similar fashion to the French Char B and the Soviet T-35 in that it employed a large (in this case 75mm) gun mounted in the hull and a smaller (37mm) gun in a turret. This was intended to give the M3 both anti-tank and anti-personnel capability. The design had obvious limitations but was put into production owing to the chronic shortage of tanks available to the Allies (in fact the British had asked their American allies to produce Crusader or Matilda tanks in the States, but were refused). As with the M4 Sherman, the M3 was first deployed by the British during the North African campaign. In this role it was valued for its reliability and sound choice of main armament, although its high silhouette was found to be a serious drawback. The M3 was also supplied to the Russians, although it was somewhat less popular within the Red Army. The market is hardly overflowing with kits of the M3 Lee. Hasegawas and Mirage Hobbys are probably the best known. Hasegawas kit portrays an early model with riveted hull (later tanks were welded as the rivets were found to be a shrapnel hazard) and the US pattern turret. The kit is made up of 74 parts moulded in grey plastic, plus a pair of flexible tracks. The kit is no spring chicken, but the moulds look to be in good nick. Detail is reasonably sharp and flash is fairly light. Construction of the model follows a fairly conventional pattern in that it is broken down into sub-assemblies comprising of the lower hull, upper hull and turret. The lower hull is made up of a floor and two sides, onto which the mounts for the bogies have been moulded in place. Each bogey is moulded from a single piece of plastic and will trap a pair of road wheels in place once fitted. The parts are reasonably well detailed for the scale and should look fine once in place. As mentioned above, the tracks are of the rubber band type. They lack detail on the inner faces and look a little narrow to me, but will probably do the job well enough. The upper hull is made up of a deck onto which the superstructure must be fixed. The rather lofty box structure is made up of a roof with the front and rear walls moulded in place and separately moulded left and right walls. The side and top hatches are all moulded separately, which is handy if you want to use the included figures. The 75mm gun is semi-articulated and can be posed in a range of elevations. There are a couple of stowage boxes included and pioneer tools are all moulded in place. The turret has a small amount of flash which will need to be cleaned up but is otherwise ok. The 37mm gun us moulded as a single, solid piece and is poseable provided you dont glue it in place. The commanders cupola can be posed in the open position, but the opening in the turret is very small. As mentioned above, two crew members are included should you wish to use them. The marking and painting guide shows three examples, all belonging to the US Army. I think this is something of a cop-out by Hasegawa, given that so many M3s were used by both Britain and Russia. The decals look fine though. Conclusion Overall this is a pleasing little kit and despite one or two simplifications, it is sufficiently detail to pass muster straight from the box. I prefer link and length tracks to the rubber bands included in this kit, but that aside I wouldnt change too much about this kit. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
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