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My new project, although this is a slow burn as it has to contend with my 7 month old son!  I'm building the M4A3E8 depicted in this photo below as its a bit of an unusual subject (photo used for discussion only). The unusual things that have attracted me to building this are the use of empty jerry cans as additional armour, the early style turret and the the angled plates on the suspension bogies. I've never seen this last detail in any other photos of HVSS suspension shermans or can find any information mentioned in books or online about their purpose. If any of the experts on this site know their purpose, please let me know!

 

for the build I'm using the Tamiya easy 8 as the base kit but with numerous additions. The main issue with the kit for this build is that it has the late style turret with the oval loaders hatch so I've used a dragon turret from their M4A3 76 kit that I've previously taken the lower hull from for another project. I've also used parts from an eduard PE kit and a DEF model barrel.

 

Io2wAI0.jpg

 

KgiT2tD.jpg

 

ive cut away the fenders, these will be replaced by PE fenders so that I can wire the cans to them.  The footsteps are also missing on the original tank so I've not added these and will be adding details to this area.

 

yx2hUH8.jpg

 

the original photo doesn't show the barrel style, so given that it has the early style turret, I've used a barrel with thread protector to match that and make my E8 a bit different to the usual ones you see.  I've added the stowage rails around the turret to match the photo and used mr surfaced 500 to add the cast detail back in in the joins.

 

9VfnrfE.jpg

 

I added the strange angled plates from pcard with some meng bolt heads.

 

next job is the fenders to add.

 

 

 

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nice start... look forward to more

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Thanks Rob.

 

update time, fenders are on and front track guards are soldered up.  Also filled in the spare track holes, as they're now on the turret and the locating holes for the various parts on the glacis as I'll be either moving bits or replacing with PE.

 

FWTGpyK.jpg

 

Fvojn3X.jpg

 

Also, forgot to show it on my last post but the turret ring on the dragon turret is a lot smaller than the Tamiya one so I had to build a new ring from plasticard to fit it. Bit of a rough job but it won't be seen! Filled the hole below the mantelet with a pcard offcut as well. The commanders hatch is built, replaced the hatch bar with some plastic rod.

 

jjz5hi1.jpg

 

aNNwDUm.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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Looks an interesting project, I shall follow along if I may. Interesting reference photo :)

 

I also have the Tamiya Easy8 kit, however it appears that 'accuracy issues' with Tamiya Sherman kits is very much a recurring theme on here. It's one of the factors putting me off starting it to be honest. I am not a Sherman expert even by the loosest of definitions, so I imagine having to do a shed load of background research in order to cover all the variances.

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Nice foto of the original vehicle. Are you be doing the sand bags from scratch or buy some ready to fit? 

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On 14/06/2018 at 13:40, bigfoot said:

Also, forgot to show it on my last post but the turret ring on the dragon turret is a lot smaller than the Tamiya one so I had to build a new ring from plasticard to fit it. Bit of a rough job but it won't be seen! Filled the hole below the mantelet with a pcard offcut as well.

I had to do the same when I wanted to use Asuka's turret on a Tamiya M51 hull. I'm sure they do it on purpose.

Nice work so far.

 

John.

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On 6/14/2018 at 2:41 PM, clive_t said:

Looks an interesting project, I shall follow along if I may. Interesting reference photo :)

 

I also have the Tamiya Easy8 kit, however it appears that 'accuracy issues' with Tamiya Sherman kits is very much a recurring theme on here. It's one of the factors putting me off starting it to be honest. I am not a Sherman expert even by the loosest of definitions, so I imagine having to do a shed load of background research in order to cover all the variances.

Thanks Clive, good to have you following. I think this Tamiya kit isn't too bad accuracy wise, I know there were issues with their older kits but from what I've read and seen, this is a marked improvement. I'm only making so many changes as the reference Tank has a lot earlier aspects than the later version depicted by Tamiya.

 

6 hours ago, Kris B said:

Nice foto of the original vehicle. Are you be doing the sand bags from scratch or buy some ready to fit? 

I'm going to make my own out of magic sculp. I did look at a resin piece for the glacis but decided making my own would fit better with the sides.

 

2 hours ago, Bullbasket said:

I had to do the same when I wanted to use Asuka's turret on a Tamiya M51 hull. I'm sure they do it on purpose.

Nice work so far.

 

John.

Cheers john, I have to say your Sherman's were what inspired me to try my hand at making so many changes to this so nice to have you in here. I'm sure they do do it on purpose with the turrets!

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Nice of you to say so. Thanks.

 

John.

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Great to see another Easy 8 being modified. It looks like you're going down to the minutest details, which always impresses (and slightly disturbs:jump_fire: ) me.

I had great fun (and tribulations) modifying and then winter camouflaging mine, but it was worth the effort as it somehow turned out to be my best model to date - one that won't end up in the bin in a few years time!

Interesting, as you say, to see the jerry cans being used as additional armour. I assume they were filled with sand or water or they'd have been pretty useless. Still, an early and accidental forerunner to spaced armour maybe?🤪

As for the angled plates on the bogies, I'm wondering if they were simply guards, there to stop large pieces of debris, rocks/rubble/timber from falling down between the wheels and onto the tracks? Aside from that, I really can't think what purpose they might have.

 

Following...

 

Rearguards,

Badder

 

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Thanks badder, I like the finished result on your easy 8, the extra armour and white wash add to a great finish.

 

On 6/16/2018 at 2:17 PM, Badder said:

Interesting, as you say, to see the jerry cans being used as additional armour. I assume they were filled with sand or water or they'd have been pretty useless. Still, an early and accidental forerunner to spaced armour maybe?🤪

The caption with the photo says they were filled with sand to try and stop panzerfausts.

 

Did some more work on it last night but nothing that is worth pictures. Added the front mud guards and removed all the moulder in brackets and clamps in preparation for PE parts. Fiddly stuff comes next! Managed to snap the axe in two whilst cleaning it up though... pictures once they’re mounted.

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This Swedish strv td with the fixed gun had side skirts of jerry cans with exactly the hollow charge stopping capability in mind. That was somewhat later still.

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I thought the brackets on the bogies may perhaps be part of the M1A1 dozer blade attachment.  But if so, they would only be on the front 2: you can just see the bracket on the rear bogie behind the crouching crewman in the photo.  And the dozer mounts seem to attach directly to the fixed central part of the bogies.  So, not that then.

 

You noticed the odd little bracket on the turret side between the mantlet and the 1st spare link, but what about the "shelf" (for want of a better word) at the top of the rear corner of the turret behind the grab rail?  I wonder what both of these are for.  It may just be an illusion, but the turret lift rings in the photo look further forward than the kit location.

 

I don't think this vehicle has the supports for the open engine deck hatches.  IIRC these came in after the switch to the small loader's hatch (open to correction).  But there is something on the rear deck in about that location.  Wooden ammo box laid on it's side, I think.  See the hand-holds?

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I've had an exchange about this pic with a Shermaholic in the States, Greg Buechler.  There isn't much he doesn't know about Shermans.

 

He has never seen the bogie plates either and has no idea what they might be. 

 

He thinks the bracket on the turret side is an improvised antenna base mount: but why?  Very early T23 turrets had an integral antenna base location on the front roof just a bit further back, later deleted, but this one doesn't have the tell-tale lip where it would be.  They mostly/all went on M4A1s.

 

The object at the rear top edge of the turret is of course the rear-facing bracket for the HMG barrel clamp and spare barrel clips.  D'oh!  Like an idiot I thought it was something on the side of the turret from the photo angle.  New specs needed............

 

This tank is definitely too early for the engine deck door supports: 1945 production only.

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10 hours ago, bigfoot said:

Thanks badder, I like the finished result on your easy 8, the extra armour and white wash add to a great finish.

Kind of you to say. I get the feeling that your modifications are going to be a lot neater and more precise than mine were! Looking forward to seeing more progress.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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Thanks DA, that’s some useful additional info.

12 hours ago, Das Abteilung said:

He thinks the bracket on the turret side is an improvised antenna base mount: but why?  Very early T23 turrets had an integral antenna base location on the front roof just a bit further back, later deleted, but this one doesn't have the tell-tale lip where it would be.  They mostly/all went on M4A1s.

I had thought that front bracket was part of the stowage rail from the rear of the turret that the rail had been removed from  to mount the spare links. Now you say it though, comparing the dragon turret to the photos you can see the absence of the lip from the aerial base in the photo that is on the dragon turret so the bracket as an aerial mount makes sense. Although the actual aerial mount seems to be missing. I’m going to have to dig through my reference books and amend the turret.

 

As for the door stoppers, I thought they were introduced earlier than 45. I’ve already attached them to the kit so either I’ll remove them if they shouldn’t be there, or as that area is going to be sandbagged I may just leave them.

 

Cheers for the info (and to Greg!) 

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The door stops were fitted before '45 (at least as early as Aug.44) as there are lots of photos of M4A3 (76mm) with them.

 

John. 

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Quite a few great looking Sherman's being worked on and yours will be right up there nice start Bigfoot.

 

Regards

Richard

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On 6/21/2018 at 4:09 PM, Bullbasket said:

The door stops were fitted before '45 (at least as early as Aug.44) as there are lots of photos of M4A3 (76mm) with them.

 

John. 

Thanks John, I thought they came in in mid 44.

 

On 6/24/2018 at 2:45 AM, Ripaman said:

Quite a few great looking Sherman's being worked on and yours will be right up there nice start Bigfoot.

 

Regards

Richard

Thanks Richard, there are indeed, lots I'm taking inspiration from.

 

havent had much time at the bench until the last week but I've made some progress. Having done further research into the T23 turret, I've discovered that there were essentially three versions of it. The early one was taken straight from the T23 prototype and had the split loaders hatch and the forward aerial pot was eliminated, these pretty much only fitted to m4a1 76 shermans . The late version has the oval loaders hatch and loaders periscope that are commonly seen on easy 8's. The mid version is what I believe was fitted to this vehicle and was essentially an early late turret, with the front aerial base removed but a split loaders hatch instead of the oval, no loaders periscope and no central .50 mount.

 

Now, helpfully the two turret uppers supplied by dragon in all their 76 Sherman kits are an early and a late version so some surgery was required. I started by smoothing down the forward aerial base lip and top and filling the recesses. I also had to remove the aerial mount at the back and fill that with a blanking plate and drill a hole in the rear right plate to accept the aerial mount. I also eliminated the foundry markings as they are wrong for this turret I think. Since I took this picture, I've also added the cast texture back in to the modified areas with mr surfaced 500.

 

oIGWbr6.jpg

 

Ive also got all the pe done on the tool attachments. Took a while as small and fiddly but look good now they're done I think. Just need to clean up the excess CA so ignore that!

 

g4QmT2i.jpg

 

Fk0cCrO.jpg

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Coming nice. Can't see on the photos, but the fuel cap guards have to have a drain holes - here is the example photo from Primeportal. 

 

m4a3e8_032_of_109.jpg

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Thanks Kris. I do normally drill those drain holes out on my Sherman builds but I got carried away on the PE with this one and forgot. Would have been easier to do it before I added it all but will drill them, thanks for the reminder!

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Nice PE work Bigfoot I have a Sherman to do and great info by Kris :like:

 

Regards

Richard

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Nice progress. Have to laugh at the state of the welds and grinding on those fuel spill guards. Yeah I know they were churning them out super quick, but still....

 

Rearguards

Badder

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Had a couple of sessions at the bench recently and got a good way through the PE stuff and on with the jerrycan armour.  British jerry cans are from Tasca but I've realised I'm a few short even with all the US ones I could find so will have to purchase a few more.

 

v63xRAY.jpg

 

Front light and horn guards added.

 

oLmLi56.jpg

 

rear PE work including light guards added.

 

WSbxUuQ.jpg

 

left side jerry can armour

dENSf62.jpg

 

and the other side. Still need a few more at the front to finish it off.

 

i had to remove all the fender support brackets as the cans wouldn't fit otherwise. I think they must have done this on the real things as well as i can't see how it would have fitted otherwise.  You can see in the original photo that the front support has been removed with just the base left on the hull side.

 

ive also cut the wooded front beams to be added to support the sandbags. I've still got a few little PE details to add to the hull mostly chains and little bits like that but I think I'll wait until the sandbags are on before doing that. Sandbags is probably the next job once I've go at the last jerry cans and then to finish the turret.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That's looking a really nice build BF......really nice PE and scratch work.....enjoying the ride and taking a few tips.....:yes:

 

Simon

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Nice work with the etch and the engine deck grab handles.

 

John.

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