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Found 5 results

  1. AndyRM101

    Cast hull M3

    Looks like Takom are expanding their M3 Lee range with a cast hull A1 and a CDL (Canal Defence Light). Great to see the available range of M3s getting larger all the time. Andy
  2. M3 Lee Update Set (36373 for Takom) 1:35 Eduard Takom brought out their first of a growing range of M3 Lee kits late 2017 (reviewed here), which is filling out nicely, and brings a lot more detail to the party than the ageing Academy kit. 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 single brass fret contains parts to replace the front fenders with more in-scale parts, which have the stiffeners added, as well as the bracket that holds the kit's lamp cluster parts. A number of brackets and tie-downs are supplied to improve the realism of the pioneer tools, which requires some minor modifications to the tools so that they fit their new brackets. The side doors have hasp and staple locks added, as do the other hatches, and the fuel cap is fitted with a retaining chain, while the tow-rope is fitted with new tie-downs, and the rear-facing mesh grille on the engine deck is scrubbed of moulded-in detail before a PE part replaces it. Another finer mesh panel fits to the forward section of the engine deck, replacing the kit part, which is also PE. The turret rear is fitted with a couple of additional panels with brackets, but check your references about these parts, as they aren't visible on many of the examples I've seen. An extra track stowage area is folded up into a tray, with a pair of straps strung across to keep the contents safe, which is then attached to the glacis plate with a triangular stiffener helping keep it in place. Review sample courtesy of
  3. M3 Lee Late Medium Tank 1:35 Takom via Pocketbond The US Army had been remarkably complacent with regard to tank development in the lead-up to WWII, and approached war with precious few 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 required some changes 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 which ramped up substantially after the initial shock of Barbarossa, which led to its retirement from front-line service by 1943, while the other Allied continued to use them (mainly in Africa) until the end of the war. The Late version deleted the side doors and left only one pistol port. The Kit There have been three kits released initially, one being the Early Lee, the other the British specification Grant (see here), and the M31 Recovery version (see here). This kit does share a core of common parts.. Inside the box are ten sprues and two parts in grey styrene, a small clear sprue with headlights, a PE sheet, decal sheet and instruction booklet as mentioned above. Construction begins with the lower hull, which has a rear bulkhead and final drive housing attached at the front, with three stations on each side for the VVSS (vertical volute-sprung suspension) units, which held a pair of wheels each. The drive sprockets are fitted to the front, and idlers at the rear. The individual double wheel units are made up. 12 wheels are made up and fitted into 6 bogie units. The tracks are link and length, with a jig supplied for the top run, which has an upward curve at the front as it rides over the drive sprocket. The highly curved areas have individual links supplied, with the diagonals under the drive and idler wheels fitted in short lengths. The tracks fit under the sponson floors, with separate sides added. The complex angles of the glacis plate and casemate of the 75mm gun are formed over a number of steps, with the roof having a cut-out for the turret and the limited-traverse mantlet of the main gun attached before it is flipped over and fitted to the rest of the hull. The engine deck is fitted last, and has a choice of pioneer tools and towing cables, which require some holes to be drilled from the inside before fitting. The exhausts and mudflaps are fitted to the rear bulkhead along with a number of panels and towing eyes to the rear, with the driver's hatch and caged light cluster on the wings. The turret has a simple two-part construction, with the mantlet inserted into the lower half, allowing the gun to elevate, while the top machine gun turret actually has more parts, including vision ports, a split hatch, lifting eyes and machine gun barrel. The 37mm gun and coax machine gun are fitted last before the mantlet cover is installed, which makes one wonder what the purpose of the additional machine gun on the top of the turret was when there was already one mounted coaxially. Markings There are four markings options spread over the inner cover pages of the instructions, All of which are in Olive Drab, the captured example featuring applied winter camo. From the box you can build one of the following: Unknown captured tank Pz.kpfw M3 744, probably on the Eastern Front? 1st Armoured Div , England Dec 1942 Tank #9 1st Armoured Div , England Dec 1942 Tank #4 1st Armoured Div , England Dec 1942 Tank #7 The decals are printed anonymously, and have generally good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Recommended Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  4. From their facebook page;
  5. M3A1 Lee Medium Tank (Cast Hull) 1:72 Mirage Hobby 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 who named it "a grave for six"! The rivited hull of the tank was found to provide shrapnel inside in the form of the rivits when rounds failed to penetrate which lead to the M3A1 cast hull and the later M3A2 welded hull, though in comparison to the rivited hulls not that many were produced. The Kit The Mirage Hobby range of M3 tanks has been with us since the early 2000s and looks on opening the box to be a fairly comprehensive kit. There are four main sprues of parts, two smaller sprues, the main cast hull, a flexible sprue with the tracks and tow cable on, a small sheet of photo-etch and a small decal sheet. All the parts are wellmoulded with no flash or defects, the cast texture on the hull is very approriate for this scale. Construction starts with the main lower hull. The sides and front are added to the lower part. The main bogies are then made up. One wheel is moulded to the upper return roller, the other wheel is then added as the parts are sandwiched between the front and rear parts. Once three bogies are made up for each side they are added along with the single piece idler wheels and the two part drive sprockets. The plates over the wheels and the rear plate is then added. The mudguards for the rear are also added at this stage. Construction can then move to the main hull. The 75mm gun is put together this is two sides with a two part muzzle. This along with its mount are then put into the main hull. The main side hatches which are a combination of plastic and PE are then added. Once this is done the upper and lower hulls can be joined up. The upper turret is completed along with its 7mm gun. This is a complicated part with 14 separate parts. Once built this is set aside for late. Next up a complete set of handles, hatches, tools, and ancillary parts are added to the hull. Once all of these are on the tracks and turret are added. The last touch for the model is to add the flexible tow cable. Decals A small sheet of their own making provides markings for two tanks; Armoured Force School & Replacement Center - Fort Knox - 1942 Aberdeen Proving Ground - 1942 Conclusion This is a comprehensive kit in 1/72 and no doubt will look the part once built up. Highly recomended for the small scale armour builder. Review sample courtesy of
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