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Help me build a Sherman +++COMPLETED+++


BIG X
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Happy Friday everyone.  It’s just 4 weeks to the Christmas break and I need something to take my mind off all the things I should be doing right about now.  So – I’ve decided I want to build a tank.

I’ve never built a tank – not even back in the day when I was a kid.

 

I’ve recently taken my first baby steps in the AFV section of the forum and built myself a halftrack.  It was a very simple build, but it was great fun too, so now I really want to build a Sherman Firefly.  Why?  Well simply because it has a VERY BIG GUN!!!

 

I’m going down the simple route again, but I’m going to need some help and encouragement along the way.  I’ve been looking at all the bits and to be honest even though there are only a few, I have no clue as to what half of them are – or whether they are correct or could be improved a little.

 

So if you are feeling helpful – please feel free to chip in along the way – I’m going to need your help.

 

Thanks - Steve

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This is the kit – 1/72 - PLASTIC SOLDIER COMPANY – ALLIED SHERMAN M4A4 / FIREFLY TANK

 

sherman001.jpg

 

sherman002.jpg

 

…yes the paint diagram is actually that dark!

 

You get 3 kits in the box and they are really aimed at wargamers – but for a beginner like myself they are a good choice to learn on something that hasn’t cost a fortune and they are made really quite crisply for the tiny size.  Here is the sprue shot…

 

sherman003.jpg

 

Each of the 3 tanks comes on 2 small sprues, with multi-choice parts, depending on which version you are building.

 

Instructions are basic – but then it is a very basic kit – designed for a fast build.

 

sherman004.jpg

 

sherman005.jpg

 

Here’s a closer shot of the Firefly version…

 

sherman006.jpg

 

…I’m off to bed now :sleeping: but I'll be back in the morning after I've taken some pictures of various bits I have questions about :sleeping: nitey nite ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

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Hi Steve,

I see that you're going down the 'cheap and small' route again, which is entirely understandable. And you'll get lots of helpful advice, as with your half-track.

I look forward to seeing your progress and the raise in 'skill level' which has surely occurred!

 

However, may I suggest that for your next project you save up for a larger scale and more expensive kit - a Tamiya would be a safe choice. You'll probably find that they are easier to build and paint, with no extraneous work required to improve the accuracy and with larger pieces to handle/glue/paint.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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2 hours ago, Badder said:

Hi Steve,

I see that you're going down the 'cheap and small' route again, which is entirely understandable. And you'll get lots of helpful advice, as with your half-track.

I look forward to seeing your progress and the raise in 'skill level' which has surely occurred!

 

However, may I suggest that for your next project you save up for a larger scale and more expensive kit - a Tamiya would be a safe choice. You'll probably find that they are easier to build and paint, with no extraneous work required to improve the accuracy and with larger pieces to handle/glue/paint.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

Morning All,

 

Cheers for the support so far everyone.  Who needs larger pieces when you have 'technology'... :lol:

 

honey.jpg

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OK - question time….

To help me along and to demonstrate how much of a beginner I am – I found this diagram of ‘tank parts’ – so I sound like I know what I’m talking about – well sort of…

 

sherman007.jpg

 

…the muzzle first…

…obviously one of those really fancy brass barrels is over the top for a kit of this simplicity – but I do want to drill out the muzzle.  Which way would you do it? Would you do the tip first and then the side holes? Or – holes first and then the tip?

 

sherman008.jpg

 

...and for that matter - do those holes have a name?
 

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Next up – what I believe is called the gun mantlet…

 

sherman009.jpg

 

…now I’m guessing the blob in the red circle is a machine gun and looking at it I can probably hollow the tip of that out too – but it is only 1.5mm – so no pressure there then.

 

But the thing that has me confused is what looks like a ‘sink mark’ in the blue circle.  Having googled lots of model and real Shermans I can’t see this on any of them.  However all 3 mantlet options in the kit have the same mark?  Is it a job for Mr Dissolve Putty?  He is a hero of mine…

 

here are the other two...

 

sherman010.jpg

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1 minute ago, Army_Air_Force said:

I'd go for small brass tube for the machine gun.

I don't think my LMS do brass tube that small - it sounds like it would be really good though.

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8 minutes ago, Arachnid said:

Don't you think it's time we had a separate section for small scale armour up to 1/48 ?

You could ask the same question in any WIP or RFI section on the forum - any particular reason?

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This hole in the gun mantlet in my opinion is the mold error, but I am not an expert. Here is the photo with real one. 

 

m4a4_sherman_vc_17pdr_field_4_of_7.jpg

 

Photo from Primeportal. 

If you do not want to get the metal barrel for MG (I do not know that there is any in that scale) use the syringe niddle. Even the smallest still will have a hole in it. 

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7 minutes ago, Kris B said:

This hole in the gun mantlet in my opinion is the mold error, but I am not an expert. Here is the photo with real one. 

 

m4a4_sherman_vc_17pdr_field_4_of_7.jpg

 

Photo from Primeportal. 

If you do not want to get the metal barrel for MG (I do not know that there is any in that scale) use the syringe niddle. Even the smallest still will have a hole in it. 

Hi Kris - I think your right about the mould mark.

That is also a great tip about the syringe needle - or maybe something similar.

Handsome looking Sherman by the way - though I'm not sure about the dodgy little French guy popping his head out under the barrel. :lol: 

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4 minutes ago, Arachnid said:

We have the big tank forum,why not a small forum ?

Do you know I didn't know that...

...over in the wingy thingy area - which is more my usual domain - everything gets lumped together - I must go and have a look - thanks :D

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11 minutes ago, BIG X said:

Hi Kris - I think your right about the mould mark.

That is also a great tip about the syringe needle - or maybe something similar.

Handsome looking Sherman by the way - though I'm not sure about the dodgy little French guy popping his head out under the barrel. :lol: 

Peaky Blinders acquiring more weaponry 😁

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Looking at the main bodies - as you get a choice of 2 different ones – depending on what you are building - I can see the following differences – outlined in blue – do they make sense and what are they exactly?

 

sherman011.jpg

 

I can also see a lot of what look like 'hooking points' that are just 'blobs' on the kit - I will come back to that after a bit more googling - but it might be best to 'skim them off' and use bits of wire to make these - or maybe I can drill through them...  I'll have a closer look later.

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Now on to the tracks and wheels.  I was a little disappointed when I researched my halftrack that they actually had rubber tracks – as I really fancied trying to create some ‘heavy metal’.  So having learned a thing or two from that one can I assume that the ‘road wheels’ on this would have a solid rubber cover on their outer edge to the halftrack?

 

…and do we think this is a ‘spare wheel’?…

 

sherman012.jpg

 

…as it doesn’t appear on any of the instructions?  Maybe it rests on top somewhere? As ‘stowage’ – there is a jerry can too…

 

sherman013.jpg

 

…that’s obviously an ‘extra’ too – along with those extra bits of track.  Any idea what the thing on the left is though?

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Steve

the  Firefly had various mods,  including blanking of the hull gun,  the 17pdr has a  long  barrel,  and the bit on the decking is a gun barrel lock for locking barrel in place when travelling, turret facing backward,  the long rods on upper hull are for cleaning the gun barrel.

sherman011.jpg

 

the other bits, don't know off hand.

 

BUT, given over 50,000 Shermans were built,  they are hideously complex in detail,   

 

OK,  time for today's brain ache

http://the.shadock.free.fr/sherman_minutia/index.html

 

It should give the answers you  want, but you may regret asking :banghead:

 

FWIW,  the kit looks  OK for what it says it  as, an M4A4 Firefly,

...but I'm not in anyway an expert, for that, read the  link,  note variation in hull types (3) glacis angle(2) suspensions, tracks, engines, turrets etc etc etc.

have  fun!

 

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As Troy says, the Sherman was much-amended both on the production line as well as in the field.  I'd focus on the build & painting if I were you Steve, just so you don't send yourself bat :poop: crazy with the details :mental:

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  • BIG X changed the title to Help me build a Sherman +++COMPLETED+++

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