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Ian Shumsky

Dragon's 1/35 El Alamein Sherman MkII

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The tracks look very nice, were they difficult to assemble?

Not difficult, just fiddly and time consuming. Once I got into a rhythm they went together quite well -- I'd isolate 5 each of the top pads, bottom pads and links, sand the sprue connection points and then connected them using a fine pair of tweezers and small amounts of Tamiya Extra Thin. I did overglue a couple of links and these were put aside and a new piece chosen.

I think the real challenge will be adding the guide horns. Not sure when I'll find the type for that...

Cheers,

Ian

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Managed a combined 3 hours of bench time tonight and the result is this:

el-al-sherman-023.JPG

158 guide horns on one of the tracks! It should be 160, but I managed to get one of the links the wrong way round and the horns won't fit, so I'll need to fix that somehow

At the moment they are VERY fragile and the slightest pressure knocks the horns off. I'm going to let the run cure fully overnight and then likely apply very small amounts of liquid poly on the bottom of the horns to lock them in. I have also managed to glue a couple of links flat, but it appears that it is only in the one place so will be easy enough to position -- I'll check again once it is all dry.

Have to admit that it wasn't much fun or that I'm not looking forward to the other track, however at least it is done and once the second is complete I can make some actual progress!

Cheers,

Ian

Edited by Ian Shumsky

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Hi Mish, thanks, and I have to admit I've not really enjoyed this part of the build. I deliberately started them early in the build so I can get them over and done with, and I do think they look good, but I will be very happy once they are complete!

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Hello Ian,

Do not want to worry you but it was the M4A4 that had 83 links per side, all the other M4's, apart from the HVSS types had 79 per side. On a totally different subject, we, (Sundowners) enjoyed the Newbury Show and hope we will be invited back next year.

Cheers

Phil

I finally managed some bench time last night and made a start on the tracks! Result of a long evening:

el-al-sherman-021.JPG

80 pads in place! A full run should be 83 but I'm keeping a couple off to check for length. I also need to attach the guide horns, but that will be for another night ...

Cheers,

Ian

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Hi Phil,

Glad you enjoyed the show!

Thanks for the advice on the links -- I don't mind prising a link or two out if needed -- I aim to be fitting them around the running gear on Saturday or Sunday night, so should have a good fit... eventually!

Cheers,

Ian

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Finished the second track

el-al-sherman-024.JPG

I really have mixed feelings about these Bronco tracks. They look good, but the effort involved in construction and the fragile nature of the tracks once complete is a bit negative. I'll see how they end up looking before making any final judgement!

Cheers,

Ian

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With the tedium of the tracks out of the way, it is time to move back into the build propper and on to Step 5 in the instructions which is the detailing of the upper hull. I had decided to replace the kit's front Browning MG with a barrel from RB Models.

el-al-sherman-025.JPG

and with a little cutting and trimming it went together easily

el-al-sherman-026.JPG

and with the MG in place:

el-al-sherman-027.JPG

Next it was a case of adding several bits and pieces to the upper hull. Most of this is done apart from the lights, light guards and hatches:

el-al-sherman-028.JPG

The lights are not added as I'm not sure on the wiring -- if anyone can find a useful picture, please let me know! The hatches are not done as I may open one up...

Talking of which... I did say I was going to have the commander's hatch open so I'd want to add some sort of turret interior, so I dug these out of the stash:

el-al-sherman-029.JPG

el-al-sherman-030.JPG

That should slow me down some!

Cheers,

Ian

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Yup, some bling there! The interior was a purchase from eBay a while back and a bit of a bargain. I was going to use it on another build, but then I realised that I don't have any Shermans in the stash and I'm unlikely to get another for a while, so why not use it!

I expect to finish off most of the upper hull tonight and then start of the turret tomorrow.

Cheers,

Ian

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looking nice... for the RB Models barrel you said you had to do some cutting - was that just the kit piece to get the barrel to fit, or did you have to cut the barrel? am going to add AM barrels to my PZII (on order, should be here next week I hope) but not sure how to use them.....

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for the RB Models barrel you said you had to do some cutting - was that just the kit piece to get the barrel to fit, or did you have to cut the barrel?

It was just the original kit part. I first cut off the plastic barrel with side cutters and placed it off to one side so I could check the length of the replacement barrel later. I then drilled through the MG mantlet with a small bit the same diameter of the replacement barrel and then enlarged the locating slot on the upper hull to accept the back end of the barrel. With this done I pushed in the RB Models barrel so it protruded from the front of the mantlet the same distance as the original piece and then secured it in place with some superglue. The MG and mount was then fitted to the hull with regular liquid poly.

I'm thinking of adding a drop of epoxy glue to the inside of the hull to make sure it doesn't move as sometime superglue can be a little brittle.

HTH!

Cheers,

Ian

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I'm so glad that the tracks are mostly done -- I didn't enjoy them one bit.

Right, time to make a bit of a start of the turret interior... First all the resin bits received a soapy wash and I started looking over the instructions to see what I should do first. One of the main bits I noticed was that I’d need to do quite a bit of work on the replacement lower turret part

el-al-sherman-031.JPG

Apart from carefully removing the large casting ring at the bottom, I’d need to do some trimming to get the rear of the turret to match up

el-al-sherman-032.JPG

The turret interior also needs some filling and cleaning up

el-al-sherman-033.JPG

So several dollops of Squadron Green will liberally applied which will be sanded flat once fully dry.

el-al-sherman-034.JPG

After a few minutes with the razor saw in a bowl of water, I removed the lower turret casting block and started to check how it would sit on the hull.

el-al-sherman-035.JPG

As you can see the kit opening is a lot smaller than the turret interior requires. This really isn’t surprising as the kit is not designed with an interior in mind, but I still had to accurately open it up so I could fit the turret. After a little pondering about how best to do this I superglued some thick sheet styrene to the underside of the upper hull and marked out the centre of the existing opening. I then measured the required sized hole needed to accept the turret basket and set my rotary cutters appropriately

el-al-sherman-036.JPG

After quite a few minutes of careful cutting I had a neat new opening

el-al-sherman-037.JPG

Which accepts the lower turret part perfectly

el-al-sherman-038.JPG

I used superglue to fix the styrene to the underside so I'd be able to easily remove it once I'd cut through the kit plastic. It only took a little pressure to prise off the sheet.

I have to admit I was quite glad I’d both held off fixing the upper and lower hulls and from attaching any of the more fiddly parts on the upper hull as I don’t think I’d have been able to achieve this without some major damage!

As mentioned above the turret itself is going to need some major work

el-al-sherman-039.JPG

First, I have to raise the inside lip of the resin ring sits flush, and then I’ll need to add some stock styrene to the back to fill the gaps. Pretty much all of this will have to be done without fixing the two haves together as I’ll need full access into the upper turret half to add details! I plan on slowly building up the necessary extra plastic on the kit part by adding and shaping thin pieces of sheet styrene so I get a strong bond. When the rest of the interior is done and I’m ready to attach the turret halves it should be just about OK.

However, that will be for later. Now that I’ve opened up the upper hull I can attach the hull halves together and add the remaining details to the body, though that is likely to be tomorrow’s update!

Cheers,

Ian

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Great build so far Ian keep up the good work. In fact this is probably the most i have seen you add in after market to any model!!!!!!!! ;)

Cheers

Malc

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Mish, Malc, thanks for looking in!

I was quite pleased how neat the new turret run came out -- better than my usual work!

Malc, yup, there is a little bit of AM here, but all sourced relatively cheaply. I have to admit I'm approaching the turret interior with some trepidation as I've never really worked with resin before!

Cheers,

Ian

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Ian that looks like some great work there on the turret and the tracks, certainly worth all the work you've put in. The tracks may have been fiddly but they sure look the part, which is one of the weak points with the Tasca Shermy I'm building, the tracks are nice but their still rubber band.

Cheers

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Thanks Darren -- the tracks do look nice, but I’m glad they are mostly done. Not sure what I’ll try next time I build a Sherman -- may try some Model Karsten tracks and see if they are easier to use.

While dry fitting the hull halves I noticed a slight misalignment against the transmission cover and a general loose fit around the hull sides. You can just see in this image that the left hand side of the transmission cover sits correctly, but the hull is a fraction too low on the right hand side.

el-al-sherman-040.JPG

To rectify both issues I added some 0.25 mm thick styrene around the lower hull areas, as well as some square styrene rod on the inside of the upper turret to help give a better mate between the hull halves

el-al-sherman-041.JPG

I also opened up the locating holes for the OEM tools. With this done there was a final coat of matt black on the inside and the hull halves fixed together

el-al-sherman-042.JPG

With this done I moved onto the OEM tools themselves. The kit comes with PE straps, but the tools themselves still have moulded on clamps. The part details were removed and the tools fixed to the hull. Unfortunately there is no large, clear image of how to use the straps, but after a little starring at the instructions I think I grasped what was needed. For the spade, axe and pickaxe head I also added holders from spare thick foil rather than use the moulded on detail, and a length of styrene rod for the crow bar.

el-al-sherman-043.JPG

Next I moved on to the drivers hatches which I added in a closed position as there won’t be anything to see in the fighting compartment. The periscopes had a thin piece of Tamiya tape added as a mask in preparation for painting. Finally for the night I added the front lights and light guards to the hull. The front lights are provided as clear parts, so the backs were painted silver and the front lens masked. The light guards are PE parts that come with the kit. Dragon handily include a former for the guards which sort of helps get the right shape but still a fiddly fix.

el-al-sherman-044.JPG

Just need to add the back lights and then the hull is complete and it will be time to move on to the turret. More on that later!

Cheers,

Ian

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Ian she looks fantastic, I can't wait to see some paint on. By the way what scheme are you going for?

Cheers

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