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miniart M3 Lee (interior)


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After a not so brief sojourn in the lands of hairy planes and scratchbuilt figures, I’m back on track with tanky stuff. I plucked this lovely miniart M3 Lee (interior) off the shelf off doom and blew the dust off it. It’s a simply superb kit – if anything too good – it’s caused me much procrastination as I try to figure out the best way to build it. For each sub-assembly I’ve had to constantly question; Paint first? Fit first? So a bank holiday weekend allowed me to catch up a bit.

 

Here’s where the interior stands:

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The engine is a jewel – it’s a real shame to lock it away in the bodywork.

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…but I did of course!

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Deviating from the instructions a bit, I glued (most) of the upper superstructure together to fit in one piece after internal painting. I also got the bogies together and fitted.

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If I were to complain about this kit at all, it would be to point out that many of the more fragile parts are just that – extremely fragile, and best replaced with more substantial/rigid bits of wire and rod etc.

 

See you next time!

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Looks fantastically good, engine like real! It will be very interesting to watch your build. 

Do you use hairspray for chipping or paint it?

 

Vytautas

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Thanks Vytautas - that's high praise coming from you - I'm very impressed with your work.

 

No hairspray so far on this one - chipping is all sponge applied grey acrylics followed by oil washes.

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Looking nice so far, would like to follow this as this is my next project after I have built their T34/85 Egyptian. I agree Miniart parts are very fragile as the parts are generally made from quite soft plastic. What you have done so far is looking really good...

 

Ed

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Looking very good. Interior looks quite busy there.
I would suggest oils spills and grease to the engine compartment though. Makes it more lively.

 

 

Kristjan

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well it's true that not everything would be likely to be scratched up, but once the rest of the bodywork is in place, only a bit of it will be visible through the hatches.

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Conversely, if you're trying to manoeuvre a heavy aero engine into place in awkward conditions in the field might it not swing and rock about on the way to mating up with the transmission? If the maintenance team was in a hurry I'm sure it would be banging about and tools would be dropped left right and centre, not improving the paintwork at all.

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1 hour ago, Patrykd said:

I think that scratches are overdone. All surfaces couldent be scratched. This is impossible and dosn't look real

Yes, you are absolutely right. But how beautiful and interesting it looks! In a real-world, of course, a tank does not look that way, but here’s another world, this one specifically belongs to @Model Mate, and in his world, all the tanks, or maybe just this one, are terribly scratched, stained, and dirty. 

I not everything like in his tank world ( @vaoinas thinks it is a lack of grease and oil, and I second him), but overall this world looks interesting, colorful, and fine (but God forbid to live in it! :fraidnot:)

 

Vytautas
 

Edited by vytautas
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I see the relevance of both points of view !

..but certainly machinery that I've wrangled with in real life has got fairly battered as Echen says.. ( tho where's the oily handprints ? :)  )  also it's a model and  certain artistic licence (or even theatrical exaggeration) is essential to convey the impression, otherwise a small model is just a green ( or whatever colour) lump of plastic !

I think he's done a great job so far anyway.

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gorgeous work... once I have a few other interior kits done I would love to give this a shot

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Thanks Rob. Yes, it's a lovely kit - probably the best I've tried, though kits do force you up to a set detail level and I've suffered a fair bit of procrastination on this one trying to reach the expectations the kit demands. I'm now itching to get another scratchbuild underway; one where I can dictate the level of detail!

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Beautiful! 

I have picked this kit up off the local shop shelf and put it back down about 10 times now. Now that I have seen this the next time it comes home. 

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The Miniart Lee and Grant kits are superb.  I’ve built two Grants and have a Lee Interior Kit on the shelf for when I clear some space (a lot of space) on my bench and finish the 6-8 projects I have working including a Miniart T-34/85.

Very nice work on yours!

Edited by f matthews
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  • 4 weeks later...

Slow progress on the Lee I’m afraid, but something has been achieved at least.

 

I completed the main gun and added it to the hull upper. Everything got the usual grey acrylic chipping and black & burnt umber oil washes. I’ve just upgraded to W&N artist colours and they’re lovely – very fine pigmentation which really helps with very thin washes. I had been using Winton (W&N’s budget range) but these posh ones are noticeably better.

I removed the gun barrel cleaning rods and added a couple of foil straps. I plan to use Miniart’s tank gun cleaning crew in a diorama.

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With all the internals in place I was able to glue on the upper hull. This required a gradual fixing using plenty of clamps and tape to close up gaps (as best I could) probably due to my deviation from the instructions, but it seems to have worked out ok. The last part of the main body panels to be installed was the front glacis. I painted a drop of dark grey into each dial and used a pin to scratch marks onto them, revealing the white below, before a drop of gorilla clear glue was added to each for “glass”.

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That’s all for now…

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If the exterior ends up to the same high standard as the interior you'll have a real masterpiece in your collection. 👍

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Ahh, thanks chaps! High praise indeed from you lot....

I’ve just taken delivery of some fresh plastic card and tube, so a new scratch build is on the way. Hopefully it won’t push this one back onto the shelf of doom though.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Minor update –

The turret interior got a bit of attention. The usual white followed by acrylic grey sponge dabs, oil washes and a touch of graphite.

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The overhanging rear bodywork panels were glued in place along with the idler wheels. I plan to leave the engine panels loose so they can be taken off for viewing all that lovely engine detail. Thankfully it seems to fit very neatly without glue.

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27 minutes ago, Model Mate said:

the engine panels loose so they can be taken off for viewing all that lovely engine detail.

And so they should! Great shame to hide that engine.

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Really nice work you have done so far, detailing is great and super weathering. " I plan to leave the engine panels loose so they can be taken off for viewing all that lovely engine detail. " I totally agree  with this option, Miniart generally give a really good fit of parts that allow you to take this option and I'm pleased that you are doing so, it's a shame if you hide all the good work that you have done. Well done really excellent work..

 

Ed

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  • 3 weeks later...

I finished off the turret internals and got the top glued onto the basket.

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The cupola was also finished off, ready to fit.

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And here it is all together…. The turret was a bit of a snug fit, with a slight gap appearing towards the middle of the vehicle, so I had to file/sand the rings around the base of the turret a little to get it to sit nicely. As with the engine panels, I’ll not be gluing the turret in, so it can be removed later to see all the insides.

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I also added the main grab handles from aluminium wire and have been plugging away at the tracks. They’re a bit fiddly, so I made up a simple jig to make it easier.

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