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  1. Hi Guys I recently finished my „Three Shermans in the PTO“ - Caesar (Tinian, 1944), El Toro (Guam, 1944) & Davy Jones (Iwo Jima, 1945) in 1:35 scale. I used the newer Zvezda Kit (for Caesar), the older Dragon Tarawa kit (for El toro) and the Italeri USMC Sherman kit for Davy Jones. Individual tracks for Caesar plus duck bills for Davy Jones from Bronco, plus a bunch of aftermarket stuff for all three of them. Some minor scratchbuilding was done on Davy Jones. Decals via Toro Decals. They were painted with Mig's Ammo colours, weathering was done with oils (Abteilung 502) and pigments (Vallejo/AK Interactive). ...looking forward to your feedback!
  2. Sherman Firefly VC Starter Set 1:72 Airfix A55003 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 and 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 redesign and installation of the Ordnance QF 17-pounder gun in a standard turret that resulted in the Firefly, lead by W.G.K. Kilbourn, a Vickers engineer, that succeeded in adding the gun to the Sherman. It was capable of knocking out a Panther and Tiger at combat ranges from then on. 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. Tanks with 17-pounder guns were usually known as "1C", "1C Hybrid", or "VC", depending on the basic mark of the vehicle. The "C" indicated fitment of the 17 Pounder Gun. The Firefly nickname is said to be a response to the bright flash of the gun firing. The Kit This is a new tool from Airfix and is 1.72 unlike some other small scale armour kits which were 1/76 scale. As you can expect from a new tool the moulding are crisp and clean, the plastic also seems to be a bit harder than some of the modern aircraft kits. In a departure from previous kits the rubber band tracks have gone. In the initial boxing both link and length tracks and single part tracks moulded with the wheels/bogies were included, this is now a "Simplified" version of this kit with only the single part tracks/wheels included. A good thin for the younger modeller. As well as paints, glue and a brush the instructions have also been re-worked to show where all the parts are on the sprues, and a small guide to tools is included in the kit. The main lower hull is the first step in construction. the two sides attach to the base and the front and rear parts go on. In addition at the rear the exhaust shroud goes on. The tracks can now go on. We then move onto the upper hull. Some holes first need to be made and then the rear bulkhead with mud guards attached is added . Next up its the turret containing that all important 17 pounder gun. The mantlet is first added to the turret followed by the single part barrel. With careful gluing of the parts the gun will elevate. Only one half of the muzzle brake is moulded onto the barrel, with the other half needing to be added. The base is then added to the turret, and on top the large hatch and aerial mount is added. A side hatch complete the turret and it can be added to the vehicle. Decals The small sheet from Cartograf (no no issues there) provides markings for a single tank from 1st Sqn, 2nd Armoured Regiment, 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, Polish 1st Armoured Division. Conclusion As well as Airfix's drive into 1/35 scale armour it is good to see them sticking with their roots and producing new kits for the small scale armour modeller. The kit looks really good in the box and their should be an appeal to the younger modeller with the simplified track details, or even a market for war gamers? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Classic Conflict Gift Set Tiger I / Sherman Firefly Vc 1:72 Airfix A50186 This new set seems to be Airfix's Dogfight Doubles set for Armour. This new box brings together the the new Tiger and Sherman Firefly kits with paint, glue & brushes added. Everyone that’s even a little bit interested in tanks will know the name of the dreaded Tiger tank from WWII, which was at the forefront of German armoured might, and if it wasn’t for the limited numbers on the battlefield coupled with their unreliability, plus Hitler’s meddling with his General’s decisions, the invasion in 1944 might have been much harder fought than it already was. Designed to replace the Panzer IV but often fighting alongside it, the Tiger added extra armour and a larger 88mm gun similar to that of the successful Flak 37 artillery piece, and became one of the most dangerous tanks on the field in the later stages of WWII. The drive-train was stressed to the max due to the huge weight of the gun and armour, which caused many vehicles to be lost due to breakdowns and subsequent abandonment and scuttling of the hull. 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 and 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 redesign and installation of the Ordnance QF 17-pounder gun in a standard turret that resulted in the Firefly, lead by W.G.K. Kilbourn, a Vickers engineer, that succeeded in adding the gun to the Sherman. It was capable of knocking out a Panther and Tiger at combat ranges from then on. 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. Tanks with 17-pounder guns were usually known as "1C", "1C Hybrid", or "VC", depending on the basic mark of the vehicle. The "C" indicated fitment of the 17 Pounder Gun. The Firefly nickname is said to be a response to the bright flash of the gun firing. The Kit - Tiger I This is a new tool from Airfix and is 1.72 unlike some other small scale armour kits which were 1/76 scale. As you can expect from a new tool the moulding are crisp and clean, the plastic also seems to be a bit harder than some of the modern aircraft kits. In a departure from previous kits the rubber band tracks have gone. In this boxing both link and length tracks and single part tracks moulded with the wheels/bogies are included, it would seem Airfix are also going to release a "Simplified" version of this kit with only the single part tracks/wheels included. The first thing to do when starting construction is to select which track types you want and follow the instruction steps for that one. First up the lower hull is built. The sides are attached to the base and the front and rear bulkheads are added. The main top of the tank is then added and the side plates with track guards go on. At the rear the engine exhausts with their covers, and the rear mud guards are attached. At the front the bow machine gun and drivers vision port are added. To finish of the hull the tow cables are added. Construction now moves to the turret. The gun mantlet is built up and then placed in between the tow side of the turret. No glue is used here if you wish the gun to elevate. Hole are drilled in one side of the turret for attaching additional track links. Once the side are together the turret roof can be added along with the rear storage locker. Hatches and vision blocks can then be added also. Next up the single part barrel goes on, the muzzle brake is in tow halves one moulded in and the other half now going on. If using the simplified tracks these can be glued together and attached to the tank, though this will leave a central seam. If not using the simplified tracks then you dont have to worry about the multitude of interleaved wheels. Airfix have moulded these as one major part onto which the faces of the second row wheels are separate and now go on. The outer wheels are all individual parts. The drive sprockets are made up and then these attach to the front of the completed wheel assembly which also contains the return roller. The link and length tracks then go around the whole assembly. To finish up the track assemblies are added to the hull along with the turret. Decals The small decal sheet is from Cartograf so should post no issues, it has one scheme, the Tiger commanded my Michael Wittmann, The Kit - Sherman Firefly This is a new tool from Airfix and is 1.72 unlike some other small scale armour kits which were 1/76 scale. As you can expect from a new tool the moulding are crisp and clean, the plastic also seems to be a bit harder than some of the modern aircraft kits. In a departure from previous kits the rubber band tracks have gone. In this boxing both link and length tracks and single part tracks moulded with the wheels/bogies are included, it would seem Airfix are also going to release a "Simplified" version of this kit with only the single part tracks/wheels included. The first thing to do when starting construction is to select which track types you want and follow the instruction steps for that one. The main lower hull is the first step in construction. the two sides attach to the base and the front and rear parts go on. In addition at the rear the exhaust shroud goes on. Then at the front the drive housings go on. If you have elected for the simplified tracks these can now be added. If you are going for the full works then three sets of bogies for each side need to be built up, along with the drive sprockets and return rollers are added. The lenghts of track can then be added. We then move onto the upper hull. Some holes first need to be made and then the rear bulkhead with mud guards attached is added. Additional parts and tools can then be added to the upper hull . A cross beam is added to the front plate which was commonly used to store extra spares and equipment on. Jerry cans and extra ammo boxes are supplied in the kit for use in this area, or any where else the modeller wishes to use them. Additional track, and road wheels are also provided if the modeller wishes to add them to the hull in the form of spare links, and/or extra armour. Next up its the turret containing that all important 17 pounder gun. The mantlet is first added to the turret followed by the single part barrel. With careful gluing of the parts the gun will elevate. Only one half of the muzzle brake is moulded onto the barrel, with the other half needing to be added. The base is then added to the turret, and on top the large hatch and aerial mount is added. A side hatch complete the turret and it can be added to the vehicle. Decals The small sheet from Cartograf (no no issues there) provides markings for one tank; "BELVEDERE" Staffordshire Yeomanry, 27th Armoured Brigade, Operation Goodwood, Normandy June 1944 Conclusion As well as Airfix's drive into 1/35 scale armour it is good to see them sticking with their roots and producing new kits for the small scale armour modeller. The new box brings together their two newer kit. This should appeal to the younger modeller with the simplified track details, or even a market for war gamers? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. This build has been sitting in a drawer under my modelling bench for about six years now, It's a build that was started back in 2012 after buying Tasca/Asuka's excellent M4A1 kit which at the time I intended to build with very few changes, but then things spiralled out of control somewhat (a mild understatement) and I think it's fair to say that the build has been abandoned and restarted quite a few times over the years, due mostly to a lack of enthusiasm and a heavy dose of life stuff getting in the way, so in short, It's the usual story of an abandoned build, and I'm at the point now where I need to either throw it all in the bin, or do something with it, even if that means making a complete pigs ear out of it, which is looking highly likely to be honest... Canadian M4A1 Grizzly The pictures above, two nice examples of the Canadian M4A1 Grizzly, the one on the left is in Portsmouth USA I think, and the one on the right is the Bovington Grizzly before it was restored and used as a gate guard (I think) And the two pictures below are just my progress so far with the build really, people with a keen eye for detail will notice that I haven't really got very far with this build, It's fairly safe to say that my build speed is very slow, the number of things that are finished is greatly exceeded by the number of things that are not finished, or not even started yet. It's probably best to go back to the start and run through how I got to this point otherwise things could get very confusing to be honest, because there are a lot of things that make no sense whatsoever, either to me or anyone else, I can't even remember why I did certain things the way I did, I was just having fun with white plastic I think at the time, It's all a blur, but anyway, this build log is just a bit of lockdown fun and shouldn't be taken to seriously, the chances of me ever getting this finished are pretty low to be honest, but it might be fun. Feel free to comment, point out mistakes, It's just fun with plastic The Welded Hull As far as I'm aware all of the Canadian M4A1 Grizzlies had welded hulls, but unless I go and check every single one of the 200 or so that were made, I can't be sure of that, but anyway, Tasca provides a riveted hull in the kit and it can easily be converted to a welded hull, the Tasca instructions included give clear advice on what needs to be done, which is mostly just removing all the rivets to be honest, something that is time consuming but not exactly difficult, but me being me, I decided to do things the hard way, and going against my better judgement and all model making related common sense decided to scratch build the lower hull, as you do... Pictures above, It's mostly just a copy of the standard Tasca hull really, but with a much thicker floor plate to give the whole thing some strength, the engine bulkhead wall is there also just to give the whole thing added strength, it's not really needed to be honest, though it does help when test fitting the lower hull to the upper hull as it kinda provides a handy bump stop which lets me know when things are in the right place, the tubes and stuff are also just to strengthen things up a little. My photography skills are not good, that's for sure, and I'm not sure about this centre alignment thing either, might change that, but anyway, picture above is the basic scratched hull, glued together with ca after first being 'tacked' with little spots of poly cement, Evergreen plastic sheet/card is very soft so it's best to do most of the major glue work with ca in my opinion, poly cement can cause havoc sometimes, the bolts that secure the FDA to the sides of the hull have been added already using Masterclubs resin bolts. And pictures above are simply test fitting the new lower hull into the Tasca upper hull, the curves on the sponson edges make getting a good fit a bit of a pain but nothing to bad, the main problem is that the sponsons are fairly weak and are put under a lot of stress when test fitting, so care is needed otherwise joints will start to creak and something will break off, more on this later, as things did start to creak and I had to strengthen the sponson joints, I have to admit that at the time I was kinda shocked at how well it fitted the upper hull, but it would of been much faster to just remove the rivets from the Tasca hull, more fun this way though... The Tasca Hull Pictures below, this is the standard Tasca/Asuka hull as supplied in the kit, basically you just need to remove a huge number of rivet heads from the hull bottom and both of the side plates, as shown with the arrows in the pictures below, and If you are a stickler for detail then I think the two cross braces will also need to be reworked as they are slightly different on a welded hull, but its nothing too difficult, and the bottom of the hull doesn't really matter anyway as it's not seen, It's important to leave the line of bolt heads that can be seen on the front edge of the side plates though, as these represent the bolts that mount the FDA to the hull. I think (but not sure) that the two cross braces that are marked with arrows in the picture above need to be reworked, they need to be more triangular in cross section and then spot welded in place with strange looking elongated spot welds, I also read somewhere that the Canadian M4A1 Grizzly had an extra hatch on the bottom? But as already stated elsewhere it's the underneath and will never be seen so it's not really that important unless you are a stickler for detail to be honest. As you can imagine, pictures of the underneath of a Canadian M4A1 Grizzly are not exactly common on the internet, so it's fairly hard to check anything, but I think the picture above gives a good idea of what the cross braces should look like on a welded hull, it's like a flat plate that's been pressed to form a triangular shape and then spot welded on instead of being riveted, anyway this is what I copied when I added some detail to my scratched hull, If I remember correctly I had lost the will to live at this point after spending far too much time trying to find some pictures of the underside of the Grizzly hull. Matt
  5. Sherman - The M4 Tank in WWII Casemate Illustrated Special ISBN : 9781612007397 The Sherman, its hard to think of a more iconic allied tank of WWII. There were plenty of different tanks out there but the M4 Medium Tank was the most numerous. It was used in all theaters of WWII by all the allied nations. While the Sherman may have been out gunned by the heavier Axis Armour the sheer force of numbers combined with the way it was deployed and supported won the day. This book from Casemate in their Illustrated Special range is just slightly smaller than A4 in size, hard back with 240 pages. The book is illustrated throughout with black and white photos, with some colour photos, plates & drawings towards the back of the book. The book looks all aspects of the Sherman in service, all the tank variants, and other uses,; along with post war use by other nations. Full contents of this expanded Casemate Illustrated Special are; Origins Production The Chassis Turrets Armament & Ammunition Crew Evolution for the Sherman Logistics, Supply and Backup Numbering and Markings Unit Composition & Organisation The Success of the Sherman Sherman since 1945 Conclusion This is a quality publication looking at this most important of Tanks in WWII. All aspectrs of the tank, its development, use and support are considered. There are great photos throughout which will be of interest to the modeller and WWII buff alike. Very Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. HI Everyone, I have finally finished my first diorama, as above I have called it NAAFI Break I had no plan and no idea really, Started with a Comet my first model for well over 20 years and then a Firefly my favourite WW2 battle wagons, then decided on a diorama, and found the base by accident I liked, and without any planning just added as I went along, lots of first for me on this, so overall I am chuffed to bits with it, few areas could be better especially the figures, but thanks to some great tips received and with practice the next ones will be better. Enough Waffle The Pics Well there it is, It has been a great stress reliever if not for COVID I may not have got back into the hobby. Cheers Mark
  7. Sherman Firefly VC 1:72 Airfix A02341 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 and 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 redesign and installation of the Ordnance QF 17-pounder gun in a standard turret that resulted in the Firefly, lead by W.G.K. Kilbourn, a Vickers engineer, that succeeded in adding the gun to the Sherman. It was capable of knocking out a Panther and Tiger at combat ranges from then on. 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. Tanks with 17-pounder guns were usually known as "1C", "1C Hybrid", or "VC", depending on the basic mark of the vehicle. The "C" indicated fitment of the 17 Pounder Gun. The Firefly nickname is said to be a response to the bright flash of the gun firing. The Kit This is a new tool from Airfix and is 1.72 unlike some other small scale armour kits which were 1/76 scale. As you can expect from a new tool the moulding are crisp and clean, the plastic also seems to be a bit harder than some of the modern aircraft kits. In a departure from previous kits the rubber band tracks have gone. In this boxing both link and length tracks and single part tracks moulded with the wheels/bogies are included, it would seem Airfix are also going to release a "Simplified" version of this kit with only the single part tracks/wheels included. The first thing to do when starting construction is to select which track types you want and follow the instruction steps for that one. The main lower hull is the first step in construction. the two sides attach to the base and the front and rear parts go on. In addition at the rear the exhaust shroud goes on. Then at the front the drive housings go on. If you have elected for the simplified tracks these can now be added. If you are going for the full works then three sets of bogies for each side need to be built up, along with the drive sprockets and return rollers are added. The lenghts of track can then be added. We then move onto the upper hull. Some holes first need to be made and then the rear bulkhead with mud guards attached is added. Additional parts and tools can then be added to the upper hull . A cross beam is added to the front plate which was commonly used to store extra spares and equipment on. Jerry cans and extra ammo boxes are supplied in the kit for use in this area, or any where else the modeller wishes to use them. Additional track, and road wheels are also provided if the modeller wishes to add them to the hull in the form of spare links, and/or extra armour. Next up its the turret containing that all important 17 pounder gun. The mantlet is first added to the turret followed by the single part barrel. With careful gluing of the parts the gun will elevate. Only one half of the muzzle brake is moulded onto the barrel, with the other half needing to be added. The base is then added to the turret, and on top the large hatch and aerial mount is added. A side hatch complete the turret and it can be added to the vehicle. Decals The small sheet from Cartograf (no no issues there) provides markings for two tanks; "BELVEDERE" Staffordshire Yeomanry, 27th Armoured Brigade, Operation Goodwood, Normandy June 1944 "12" 3 Troop, A Sqn, Northamptonshire Yeomanry, Normandy 1944 Conclusion As well as Airfix's drive into 1/35 scale armour it is good to see them sticking with their roots and producing new kits for the small scale armour modeller. The kit looks really good in the box and their should be an appeal to the younger modeller with the simplified track details, or even a market for war gamers? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Hi Here is my recently completed Tamiya M4A3 with improvised armour. It was painted with Tamiya and Life Color acrylics and weathered with oils and pigments. Scratch items: Timber armour - popsicle sticks Steel plate armour - .5mm styrene sheet, styrene rod (weld seams) and nuts/bolts from spares box. Tarp - lead foil from wine bottle Nails welded to hatches - stretched sprue (cut to scale at 4mm lengths) Cast steel texture - Tamiya putty mixed with extra thin cement Thanks for looking - Cheers, Greg History taken from <https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2-usa-improvised-armor-on-m4-shermans-in-the-pto> "In the Island hopping campaigns of the War in the Pacific, the major threat to tanks of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) was Japanese infantry. The stubborn island defenders had various grenades and mines at their disposal. These were often used in suicidal point blank ‘Kamikaze’ style attacks with infantry charging the American tanks armed only with an explosive device. The attackers would also climb aboard the tanks and claw open hatches so they could throw grenades and explosives inside. By the Okinawa campaign of 1945, the tactics of the Japanese had been identified. Come May of that year, it was determined that at least 64 tanks had been knocked out by infantry & mine attacks. Men of the United States Army’s 193rd Tank Battalion recorded the attack method as such: “Japanese squads of three-to-nine men attacked individual tanks. Each man in the squad filled a role. One man threw smoke grenades to blind a targeted tank. The next man threw fragmentation grenades to force the tank’s crew to close their hatches. Another man placed a mine on the tank’s track to immobilize it. A final man placed a mine or explosive charge directly on the tank to attempt to destroy the tank.” These direct, ferocious and desperate assaults led to a number of unique improvisations in appliqué armor by the USMC. The US Army would also employ these improvisations as more troops and tanks from this branch were deployed to the Pacific."
  9. Hi All Started this while letting the Comet varnish harden, very impressive good mouldings no flash, Just one small part missing rear towing lug. did not take too long to get this far which surprised me, when assembling suspension don’t follow the instructions fully, after the first part you have to then prise the bottom open to get the wheels in, I struggle with CA on the Pe parts get it everywhere!, bit of work needed to get the bogies to fit to hull it’s very tight. missing lug on right, I made a handle for the rear doors as I broke it, and the lump with the pe was not very clear how it mounted. cheers Mark getting the bug big time lol
  10. Hope nobody minds this post ...you have all seen this before, i was so happy with the Jagdtiger and the small base i did for it i decided to do the same for the Orphan...this is the result.
  11. Hi everyone, first time poster here. This is my 1:35 Super Sherman from Tamiya. Done with Testors olive drab, weathered with an acrylic wash and Tamiya pigments.
  12. Resin Tracks for Churchill and M4 Sherman Tanks 1:72 OKB Grigorov In this review we're looking at a couple of sets of OKB Grigorov's resin replacement tracks. As with the Panther turrets we reviewed a while ago, these don't appear to be intended for a particular base kit, so it'll be up to you to pick the appropriate model and address any fit and finish issues you find. The two sets we have here are both intended for tanks used by the Allies. The Churchill tracks represent the heavy cast steel variant, while the M4 Sherman tracks have added grousers (or cleats) for improved traction over rough surfaces. The tracks are well made, with sharp details and no flaws that I could see. Once removed from the pouring stubs, the tracks are fairly flexible but would probably still benefit from being warmed in hot water prior to fitting in order to improve flexibility. Tracks for M4 family, T51 with grousers Tracks for Churchill Tank, Heavy Cast Steel Conclusion I can't really fault either of these items from OKB Grigorov. The quality of production is very high indeed and they will provide additional options for modellers wanted to add detail to their small scale tanks. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. M4A3E2 Jumbo US Assault Tank (TS-045) 1:35 Meng Model The Sherman tank is familiar to most armour modellers, and as such needs little introduction. It bears a familial resemblance to the M3 Lee/Grant, especially from the waist down, but the new upper hull and turret did a lot to fix the shortcomings of the earlier tank, although it was by no means perfect. Its main armament was good enough when it entered service, but became a little underwhelming toward the end of the war, as was her armour, which although sloped in places couldn’t resist the high velocity rounds from the Panther or Tiger tanks. Her most appealing feature was that they were easy and cheap to build, so there were a lot of them available both to US forces, the British Army, and other combatants of WWII via the lend/lease programme. The M4 progressed through subvariants as improvements were made with changes to the construction, armament, suspension and armour, which can be confusing to the uninitiated. By the time the M4A3 was in service the tank had matured, reverting to a welded hull and replacing the bulky radial engine with a V-8 lump manufactured by Ford. The main armament was upgraded to the more armour-focused M1 long barrelled high-velocity gun, which was more capable of penetrating the thicker armour of the later German tanks, especially if using the High-Velocity Armour Piercing (HVAP) round that could punch through almost 180mm of rolled-steel armour at 1km. Another change made with some of the M4s was the addition of wet ammo storage that reduced the risk of a tank “brewing up” when hit by enemy fire, a reputation that had resulted in the cruel nickname of "Tommy Cooker" by the Germans. The variants with this useful safety addition were suffixed with the letter W. In an effort to reduce losses in frontal assaults, the M4A3E2 variant was upgraded with an additional inch of cast frontal armour protecting the running-gear low down, and a thicker 4” upper glacis plate with an extra 1.5” welded to the sides, plus an over-thick mantlet with a 75mm gun (sometimes replaced with a 76mm) mounted on a vertical-sided cast turret. It gained the nickname “Jumbo”, probably because of the mantlet or its weight, which made it slower than a standard M4A3, but it remained popular with crews and generals alike for its ability to take punishment and remain operational. The Kit This is a revised tool from Meng adding a new sprue, hull and turret, and in their usual style it is a highly detailed kit. It arrives in a satin themed box with a painting of a distempered machine parked up near another Sherman in the background. Inside are twelve sprues in sand coloured styrene plus four larger parts off sprues, two clear sprues, a small box of springs, a coil of wire, a tiny bag of pre-cut track-pins, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a turned aluminium barrel, two trees of poly-caps and decal sheet, with the instruction booklet found at the bottom of the box, and a set of rubberband tracks. This is an exterior kit with only breech, periscopes and some hatch details included inside. There is a hint of a possible interior set in the future by the inclusion of a detailed firewall between the crew compartment and engine compartment, although at time of writing that’s still just speculation on my part. Construction begins the same way as the earlier boxing, with a few steps re-ordered for some reason. The suspension units and twin-wheel bogies are made up, which includes one of my favourite parts of the kit because of the springs – yes, I’m still impressed. To the top of the swing-arms you add these springs, which can be found inside a small box that also has some ration boxes printed on it, all safely cocooned in foam. They’re real springs too, made from spring steel and compressible just like the real Vertical Volute Suspension System (VVSS), so your Sherman will have working suspension as long as you obey the little “don’t glue” icons along the way. Each wheel is made up from a front part with moulded-in tyre and a rear part, which once added is trapped between the two axle-halves. A pair of wheels and their axles are inserted into the bottom of the suspension unit with the springs and their swing-arms inserted into the top section, which is closed up after adding the return roller then joined by a return skid that has some slide-moulded rivets moulded into it. You make three of these units up for each side and then set them aside while the hull is built up from main lower plus front drive housing and rear bulkhead, with final drive housings and poly-caps added to the sides at the front and idler mounts at the rear along with towing eyes. At the rear the radiator vents are stacked up into a matrix and held together with their end-caps before being fitted under the rear valance with the two curved exhaust pipes. The suspension units are all added on their mounts and the drive sprockets are pushed into the final drive housings, held in place by the aforementioned poly-caps, with more added to the idler wheels before they are fitted. The tracks are styrene, and made up from four parts per link, held together with short pre-cut lengths of nickel-plated wire that’s in a small bag in the box. A clear two-part jig is included that holds up to 10 links, and although you’re not advised on how to put them in the jig, I found that putting the track ends into their recesses first and then laying the pads between them was the easiest way. I also taped the jig closed before I tried adding the pins. The pins go straight through, and a dot of super glue (CA) into the ends helps to hold the pin in place, then I did the same on the other side. The result is an incredibly flexible set of tracks that will look great under a coat of paint. They take some time to clean up because of the part count, but it’s really worth the effort. Each link is four parts as mentioned, and there are 10 sprue gates per link in total. The pad links are easy to clean as they are flat, but the three on each horn have to be cleaned up carefully to preserve the detail. It’s still worth the effort though, and I can’t stop playing with the section I made up. There are 78 links per track run, and you are advised to make them up and fit them over the tracks, using the adjustment capability of the idler axle to get the correct tension, then glue little parts in place to wedge the tensioner in place. Those that are phobic of individual links will be pleased to find a set of flexible rubberband-style tracks in the box, although these aren’t documented in the instructions. Tensioning them in the same manner as the individual links will allow you to obtain a more accurate sag to them. The up-armoured upper hull is next, and begins with the drilling out of a few flashed-over holes depending on which decal option you have elected to portray. The main upper hull is fitted out with the additional armour panels to front and sides, which all have a crisp weld-line along the edges, then is prepped with hatch hinges, a movable bow machine gun, and engine deck comprising one main C-shaped part and a choice of two inserts depending on your decal choice. This is dropped onto the hull with the engine bay bulkhead supporting the centre section, then the front is detailed with lifting eyes, small fenders, hatches with detailed periscope. The rear cages are either made up from PE or plastic parts, so if the PE sounds daunting, rather than using the plastic parts, Meng have provided a multi-section jig that you can use to obtain the correct curve and shape, but it would be advisable to anneal them in a lighter flame for a few second first to soften them up. The remainder of the engine deck is made up from left and right pyramidal sections that drop into the space left on the deck with little grab-handles for mechanics to remove them for maintenance. At the rear the bulkhead is fitted out with two rows of three spare track links, rear lights with PE cages that are formed on the jig as already mentioned, barrel cleaning tools, pioneer tools, spare fuel cans and larger rear mudflaps. A rack is made and attached to the rear and is filled with additional fuel containers, probably to make up for the extra thirst of the engine that was coping with the weight of the additional armour. Along the edges of the tracks you have to apply (usually) winter-weather track grousers that give it extra traction in muddy conditions and to counter the extra weight, helping to decrease ground-pressure. There is one for each track link, and as they project further than the side skirts would, which weren’t fitted due to the side armour panels. The towing cable is also made up from the braided cable supplied with the length printed on the page, and two styrene eyes, one for each end. On the glacis plate a four-piece bow-wave board is attached between the fenders, with a large British-style ammo box resting on it for one option. Now for the turret, which begins with a pretty good rendition of the breech, with recoil mechanism, co-ax machine gun, breech guard and mounting gear attached to the back of the mantlet. A clear periscope is fitted to the roof, and the lower turret and turret ring are attached to the slab-sided top, along with pivot pins for the mantlet, which don’t need gluing. The blocky mantlet is fixed to the rear part, which has its lifting-eye “ears” removed from the top corners and moved to the sides using new parts, then being fitted to the pivoting part inside the turret. The commander’s cupola with clear vision blocks inserted from below, plus the gunner’s hatch with clam-shell doors are both made up with clear periscopes and inserted into the turret roof along with various lifting eyes, search lights, aerial bases (straight and tied back), vents and other detail parts. The turret’s casting texture is well depicted, and in addition Meng have supplied casting numbers in PE to apply to the turret depending on which decal option you have chosen. At the rear of the bustle, an M2 Anti-Aircraft .50cal with hollow muzzle is provided that can be pintle-mounted on the gunner’s hatch, or stowed across the back of the turret along with a spare barrel. The final task is to attach the barrel of the main gun, with the option of a longer, plastic barrel or a shorter turned aluminium one in the box, depending on which decal options you are making. The turret is then twisted into place on the hull, thereby completing the build. It doesn’t use a standard bayonet lug system, but has three sloped lugs that snap into place on the turret ring. How often you can remove and install it again without it fatiguing is a question I still can’t answer at this stage, so take care. Markings There are four decal options in the box, and all of them predictably are based on an olive green finish and they all have some camouflage added on top to give them some individuality, which should make for some fun-looking models. From the box you can build one of the following: 37th Tank Battalion 4th Armoured Division, US Army, Battle of the Bulge, Bastogne, Belgium, Dec 1944. 69th Tank Battalion, 6th Armoured Division, US Army, Mar 1945. 2nd Squadron, 2nd African Hunter Regiment, 5th Armoured Division, Free France, Summer-Autumn 1944, France. 15th Tank Battalion, 6th Armoured Division, US Army, Germany, Spring 1945 (OSF Turret, 76mm gun). Decals are printed in China and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion I’m still impressed with the springs, but when you add in all the detail and the subtle casting/rolling texture to the exterior of the hull, the extra-armour, the PE light cages, the turned barrel and those funky tracks, it makes for an impressive package. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Spotted this one on Fcebook this morning, for December release apparently:
  15. This is my M4A3E8 SHERMAN "Easy Eight" from Tamiya - is my second scale model and first tank I made. On it I tested different primers (as on previous model had some issue). Kit went nice even for a begginer like me. Those are general pictures - can add more detailed ones later if necesary
  16. Kit - Tamiya. Paint - Mig acrylics (OD Modulation set), Tamiya acrylics & enamels, Humbrol enamels. Decals - Star 35-C-1048 M4A3E8's, 6th Armoured Division Extras - Legend 'Fury' stowage, Verlinden M4 Stowage, various Tamiya, Historex & Italeri pieces. M4A3E8 Sherman 68th Tank Bt. 6th Armd Div. Near Leipzig, Germany. May 1945 Started in September 2018 after a good friend realised he just wouldn't be able to 'do it justice', he also included the Legend resin stowage set - which is vast, I put it to one side in early 2019 to start another project and then lost the enthusiasm. So after spending most of last year on the 'Shelf of Forgetfulness' I brought it back to the bench in November, and have grabbed a few sessions here and there since then. This was the first time I'd used Mig acrylics - the full OD modulation set, also included by my friend - not surprisingly I was VERY nervous about this entirely new (to me) way of painting an AFV, but by watching a number of excellent YT tutorials and having a new bottle of 'brave pills' to hand I simply tried it and... well I think I got lucky, first time out. After the decalling I simply weathered and faded the model in the usual way with a pin wash, overall washes, oil-dot filter and finally pigments (ughhhh). Used another 'new' product for the final matt coat - Migs' Ultra Matt 'Lucky' Varnish (A.Mig 2050). Really scary when I tested it on the underside, as it immediately went-on 'milky', but after ten mins it dried so matt, that light simply falls into it - nil reflectivity, bl**dy marvelous stuff but only apply in VERY light mist coats. One of Tamiya's very best and an utter joy to build. Won't be to everyones' taste and definitely will upset some Shermaholics I'm sure. No matter please feel free to ask any questions, make any comments or pass-along any criticisms. Best from NZ. Ian.
  17. Time to declare my build for this first armour STGB. It has been a bit of a struggle to decide what to build and I've been torn between several different scales and manufacturers before going back to my original choice. I've re-decided on Eduard's reboxing of Tasca's M4A1 (Tasca kit number 35010). I've recently completed another 1/35 build which I thoroughly enjoyed so thought I'd stick in the same scale. So this is the kit box: ..........you can also see I've recently picked up the Haynes Owners Workshop Manual for £6 Good timing from the Works! I'm going to build the kit as “Goldie”: ...which landed at Normandy on June 9th and took part in the Battle of Bloody Gulch near Carentan, France, a week later. As I mentioned above the kit is a reboxing of Tasca's kit but includes some nice Photoetch from Eduard - although the version I'm building doesn’t use all of it: Looking forward to the weekend. Kind regards, Stix
  18. It`s an old Tamiya kit with Aber`s muzzle and Eduard`s PE set. Painted with Tamiya, Mr.Color, weathered with Mig`s stuff mostly. My first AFV model and I`m sure not the last - It`s been sooo much fun. I hope Sherman purists will spare me for all the mistakes I`ve made. The commander`s figure will be repainted - I`m not happy with the result. I`m also planning to make a base for it.
  19. Can anyone tell me how many holes there are on the adapter used to fit the british all round vision cupola to the sherman turret? My best guess is 16, but it is difficult to tell from the single photograph that I can find!
  20. With the varnish still drying, I'm calling this one done and photographing it. Aerials need to be fitted and, rather distressingly, I appear to have lost a small part that fits on the rear of the commander's hatch This is Dragon's Sherman Firefly 1c. I've had it in my stash for years, always meaning to build it , but put off by the individual track links. I haven't the patience to put them together, and bought AFV club's T62 Track for M4 VVSS. No idea if it correct for this Sherman, but I wasn't about to put those links together. Having bought the tracks, I put them somewhere 'safe', which meant I 'lost' them, then 'found' them, only to 'lose' them again as I didn't have time to build the tank. Roll of a few repeat iterations and years, and I finally manage to get both together, start the build, then stop the build for house improvements i.e. double glazing and replacement kitchen. I finally get up the gumption to restart the build, got to the point of painting it olive drab, only I discovered I had sprayed faded olive drab - a sort of sand. Back the tank went to the shelf of doom as I figured what to do. I normally do aircraft, and turn to tanks when I get fed up with the rigours of getting perfect finishes on planes. However, my tanks are usually completed as fresh out of the factory i.e. a simple paint job, with no weathering. I finally worked up the enthusiasm to get going on this tank again, and decided to spread some sort of dark green over it in a desperate attempt to make it look sun faded. Basically I sprayed a little, brush painted a little, dry brushed a little, splashed it all over a little, and relied heavily on transparent burnt sienna and burnt umber for the rusty bits. I don't really have a clue what I am doing, as I normally go for a pristine finish. After about a half a day elapsed time of faffing around like this, I'd had enough and decided it was time to fit the AFV tracks. First a clean with soapy water. Then a coat of Halfords Flexible Vinyl spray. I find it is gives a good base for paints. However, when dry fitting the tracks I noticed they looked a little tight...too tight in fact to fit the tracks. Undaunted I simply stretched the tracks, and soon one began to fit better, and then the other one snapped in half! The air turned blue for several minutes. In the end, I worked out a plan. Stick the broken track together with the overlapping joint provided by AFV. I used superglue, rather than the technique of applying a hot screwdriver to melt the nibs on the joint. Then I offered the track up to the tank, ensuring the broken end met over a lower wheel. The track was then stuck to the road wheels with copious quantities of super glue. I wasn't really enamoured by the Dragon kit. Attachment points seemed vague to non-existent, while the front sprockets wouldn't fit; needing a bit of hacking. It also seemed over engineered. You can see part of the problem with the left front track. It looks splayed, much Wall-E when he got squished. You might also note a little raised bit in the middle of the right track. There were a few other areas which caused me much lip pursing. I like my old, simple Tamiya tank kits. I sort of painted the yellow triangle, but tried to make it look as is this was a tank that had gone through quite a bit, with the crew having to repair and paint bits. I didn't bother with unit markings. Quite a few photos I see of Fireflies show no unit markings; either deliberate or simply hidden under much grime. Also, it occurred to me that if you were in Panther or Tiger country, the last thing you need is a nice bright, colourful unit insignia to make it easier to spot you. Alternatively, I could have loaded up the tank with all sorts of equipment, and thus neatly hide any unit markings. I was too lazy to do so. I have another, exciting, tank to be getting on with. I photographed the tank in the garden in full sun. In many ways this was a mistake. The sun tended to remove contrast and sort of bleach out the colours. The faded tops and sides do not look as sandy as on the model, and the green I splashed about is simply not green enough. Sigh. Better efforts required next time. Just for the record. My camera/lens combo is a Canon 800D with a Sigma 150-600mm contemporary. I simply stood about 3m (10 feet) away from the tank, zoomed in, and photographed it. I had a minimal field of depth. It seems to work, and provides a nice hazy background. I was too lazy to switch lenses. The overhead shots were obtained by me leaning out of the first floor bedroom window. Glad none of the neighbours were about. I shall now take my next, continued build, from the shelf of doom. A King Tiger (Late). I have the turret built, but that's about it. I will complete this one, before tackling a Tortoise and then Crocodile. Angus
  21. I've got a load of US Shermans to paint for the Flames of War game and just want to check what Olive Drab base colour to use. I remember building the Tamiya 1/35 M4 Sherman kit when it came out in the 90's (nice kit too!) and I'm sure it quoted AS06 (spray paint) Olive Drab. I've ran this through the Ultimate Paint Conversion Chart and the closest match in Vallejo (which is what I mostly use) is Brown Violet (RLM81 in the Model Air range). Now Brown Violet or RLM81, does look similar to Tamiya's AS06 if I remember right. What do other people think about US army olive Drab in WW2? thanks Mike
  22. Hi, This is a 1:35 model I finished 2 month ago, the Sherman M4A3E8. This is Tamiya KIT no. 35346. I made it as movable model and also all hatches are openable (the film about how can it ride is at the bottom). Additional parts are the Friulmodel tracks, small accessories and decals. Constructive criticism is encouraged. To dispel doubts - darker areas on the hull are the camo and not a failure of painting
  23. Hello all. Today i want to show my old project, this model build during 11 years (start 2003 end of 2014). In model i used add parts: Aber PE set & Bronco track link set. Best regards. Michael.
  24. M4A1 SHERMAN 1/35 ITALERI Hi Pals, here is the Sherman for the occasion, finally finished, not exactly as I thought at first, but IMHO, it's not bad at all .... As I mentioned in the thread of the GB, I had problems with the choice of what the kit would look like, first, U.S. Army of choice of Italeri, then U.S. Winter Camo, and finally something with a British accent ... more or less with the resources that were available ... What to say about the tracks, the ones that the kit brought, when they were already fixed and painted, ended up collapsing ... damn ... fortunately, I had the others from the same kit that I did about 1 century ago (I really did them in the last century ... lol), and interestingly they had better quality than the most recent ... "Twilight Zone ....". Some shots in detail... Some shots closer... Thanks for watch and comment as always, cheers mates
  25. Greetings Sherman Fans. My entry for this GB will be this Photo for discussion only from the excellent walk round HERE. I may also make an instructor figure as this is a driver instructor in the Israeli Army.... After that I assure you things will go downhill.... This is what I'll be starting with My big box of unloved Sherman bits left from several stalled and abandoned builds. Fortunately there are enough bits to build this vehicle but I will be replacing the horrible HB tracks with THESE from OKB Grigorov and using his drive sprockets HERE. The HB tracks are a little narrow due to overthick drive sprockets. But they seem right for the slightly narrower items fitted to the T29...... The M4A1 upper hull has had an engine bulkhead added to keep the lower hull aligned and it's engine deck removed for another project which, as you may guess, never got finished. Roll on the 30th!
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