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AndyRM101

M31 Recovery Vehicle

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Bit late to the party, as normal, but the kit I'll be building finally showed up this morning, which was a nice distraction from the fact that I turned 45 today :huh:

 

And the kit is...

 

27743861009_1e78f79024_b.jpg

 

What you should really have been seeing above was a box shot of Tamiya's new Korean war Sherman, but there doesn't seem to be much sign of it turning up anytime soon, despite being listed as a Jan release. Not a problem though, as the M31 was going to be my choice prior to the Tamiya announcement, so it'll make a perfectly good stand-in. There's an outside possibility that, if I get this one done quick enough, I might squeeze the Sherman in as well, so long as it's out before the GB ends.

 

Progress will begin once I've recovered from the shock of not being 44 anymore :frantic:

 

Andy:cat:

 

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Looking forward to seeing this build :coolio:

 

Many happy returns! :cake:

 

Regards.

 

Steve.

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Ooh thats a  busy kit , i like the look of that one andy, you'll have an absolute ball weathering it I'll wager

Glynn 

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Happy Birthday Andy, :popcorn::popcorn: after seeing your Lee in the RFI section. I can't wait to see this come together.

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Many happy returns Andy looking forward to getting some weathering tips from your build 

 

Great choice prefer this one to the Korean version will be looking to get one of these myself soon. :thumbsup:

 

beefy 

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21 hours ago, AndyRM101 said:

Progress will begin once I've recovered from the shock of not being 44 anymore :frantic:

I'd probably agree with you, if I could remember that far back!

After seeing what you did with the Russian M3, this should be good.

 

John.

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I was tempted to start this kit for the GB but a lack of time meant I wouldn't be able to finish it by the deadline. However, time WILL allow me to sit back and watch Andy be the pathfinder and problem solver for any issues with the kit :)

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Belated happy birthday Andy!  :hbd:

 

Really looking forward to seeing what you do with this one, if ever there was a perfect canvas for your remarkable weathering skills, the M31 has to be it.....Soooo many fiddly bits!  :coolio:

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Thanks for all the birthday greetings everyone.

 

So, a little bit of work has begun over the weekend. Just starting to get the basics of the lower hull together.

It's interesting that Takom has slightly retooled the kit from the initial Lee/Grant releases. Obviously, they've added the extra bits for the ARV version, but some of the common parts have been modified too.

One of the first jobs is to add the transmission cover and final drive housings to the lower hull, and Takom has made changes here. The final drive covers fit into recessed sections at either end of the transmission cover

 

24704994497_0351158b6a_b.jpg

 

On the previous Lee release, those recesses were open instead of being filled in, which you can just about see in the photo below from my Lee build

 

24705047507_75641a7840_b.jpg

 

The revised transmission cover included with the M31 does give a bit more glueing area but otherwise doesn't make much difference. There's also a number of strengthening ribs that have been added to the lower hull, and these do improve things, as the Lee hull was a little warped

 

25702676618_f6d98a1815_b.jpg

 

You also get the opening in the base of the hull for the cable rollers, should you want to rig it up that way. I won't bother fitting the rollers, as I'll have the cable rigged on the main crane jib

 

25702678328_ec793eee0d_b.jpg

 

I've added some cast texture to the front faces of the final drive covers with Mr Surfacer since Takom only mould texture on the side faces. When the front end is finished, I'll add some more light texture to the rest of the transmission cover

 

38676528485_c6c96d7c91_b.jpg

 

I've also started to build up the suspension bogies and track runs. The upper track section is mainly a single length, but a few separate links are added on the end to get the slight upsweep to the sprocket. There's a jig included for doing that

 

24704991597_3584c57e59_b.jpg

 

 

Beyond that, I've been doing a bit of research on the 5 marking options included in the kit, for which this site has been very useful. Going by the production charts at the top of the page, the hull numbers for four of the 5 options seem to correspond to the second production run that were modified from previously used M3s. That matches the parts you get in the kit, such as the welded side doors.

The one that doesn't match is the fourth option, which is an overall OD tank with the hull number 40103211. That doesn't seem to match up with any on those charts.

 

The other options are...

40104020 'Georgia on my mind', OD with a sand camo

40103727, OD with chalked markings (there's a photo of this one on the above site, although the kit doesn't include the sand guards shown in the image)

40103935 'Invader', OD with black camo

The fifth option doesn't include a serial number, and is OD with an improvised sand camo, and matches the one in this photo

 

Not sure which one I'll be doing yet, but it'll probably be one of the two named options. A long way to go before we get to that stage though.

 

Andy:cat:

 

 

 

 

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I'm voting for #1 purely because 'Georgia on my mind' was one of my father's favourite songs.  B)

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Very impressive looking kit and vehicle. And belated Happy 45th Birthday! (Bloomin' youngsters)

Kind regards,

Stix

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Nice job Andy, thanks for the fantastic photos the kit looks very nice and Takom look to be producing some nice M3/M4 kits.

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Posted (edited)

Happy fellow January birthday Andy! Hope it was a good one! I'm pumped to see this one come along. Especially after you made an absolute gem with the Soviet Lee. That thing is stunning. You made an all OD tank look nothing short of spectacular. 

 

-matt

Edited by M_Sinclair

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Thanks guys

 

On 08/01/2018 at 10:14, Sgt.Squarehead said:

I'm voting for #1 purely because 'Georgia on my mind' was one of my father's favourite songs.  B)

Yes, I think that's the one I'll be going with. The sand camo will be a good base for the weathering.

 

I've got a little bit more work done over the last couple of days. Just starting to get the main hull panels on. The side panels that Takom have supplied with this kit are the revised ones from the M3 Late release, which don't have the cutouts for the main hatches

 

25748006658_8069f2203e_b.jpg

27842098389_ffa6d9fb2d_b.jpg

The version of the M31 in the kit has the welded shut side doors and these come as separate parts which glue directly to the side panels, but if you left them off it should be possible to make an M31 without the side doors, as in the photo below, although it would probably need a few other mods

 

trv_9.jpg

 

Other than that I've got the running gear together. I'll give them all a shot of black in the nooks and crannies before I attach them to the hull. They're still articulated at the moment, but once they're in place I'll stand the hull on something flat and fix them in position

 

38911238024_414ef763ff_b.jpg

 

I'll hopefully get the rest of the hull panels built up later this week. They need a bit of careful lining up but for the most part they go together well. I'm sure a few areas will need a spot of filler at the end though.

 

Andy:cat:

 

 

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Looking good so far, i really like the look of this. 

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Nice  :popcorn: :popcorn:

 

beefy

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Nice work on the road wheels Andy.

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Aye up Andy,

 

Nicely done so far :popcorn:

 

Regards,

 

Steve 

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OK, nothing certain here.....But if my eyesight and memory of US tactical markings are not mistaken, this is a sand over olive drab M31 from (66 Battalion) 2nd Armored Division:

 

M31+towing+M4.jpg

 

It appears to have been equipped with a prototype death ray!  :shoot:

 

PS - I'm pretty sure I found the photo that the box art's based on and from what I can see, that ain't 'Georgia':

 

mmu_get_jpeg.php?0bf5a3bcdb36c36376f0ad5

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

It appears to have been equipped with a prototype death ray!  :shoot:

 

Either that, or the grunt on top is well endowed ... :coat:

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Death ray sounds better though. Actualy, concerning that pic, interesting layout of boxes on the top of the hull. With those (and the the death ray) it looks like the turret couldn't rotate.

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Fantastic progress Andy - looking very smart!:thumbsup:

Kind regards,

Stix

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