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The 1/48th version of this hasn’t been forgotten, just put aside so that it’s big brother can take centre stage (yes, I know; it’s becoming a habit!!) I picked this kit up off of Ebay for a reasonable price, so that I could tackle the IDF M1 in 1/35th scale. I did one of these a few years ago, but that one mounted the M1A2 main gun with the muzzle brake. The one that I intend building this time has the earlier M1A1 main gun without the muzzle brake.

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For this build, I'm using the Dragon kit No.6083, M4A1 (76mm)W, Operation Cobra.

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As I said, I bought it off of the internet, and I'm a little bit suspicious that the seller has cobbled it together from different kits. Some of the reviews that I've read state that the kit contains an aluminium barrel. Mine didn't. This kit has been around for a few years now, and I think that maybe Dragon have changed a lot of what is included, as some of the reviews state that the kit includes British T62 tracks, whereas mine contains two sets of DS T48 tracks, one with duckbills and one without. These will end up in the spares box, as what I need for this build is a set of T54E1's. I found a set in a Tamiya kit and they don't look bad, so providing they fit the sprockets, they will suffice.

There are one or two features which I don't like about the kit, most noticeable being the OTT casting texture on the hull and FDH. Dragon state on the box lid that the hull has “realistic cast texture”, and even some of the well known online reviewers say that it's realistic. I beg to disagree. Cast hull Shermans had very little casting texture. This is way over the top. It will need sanding down quite a bit to get it to a more realistic appearance. It's very reminiscent of the cast hull in the old Dragon M51.

What I do like though is the slide moulded M1A1 barrel, so IMO, there is no need for an AM barrel. Also included is a new exhaust deflector.

So, hopefully, I'll post some progress in the near future.

 

John.

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50 minutes ago, Bullbasket said:

Glad to have you along Ben.

 

John.

No problem - I'll be making notes for if I ever get round to some Israeli shermans in 1/72.

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Finally got some work done on this build. Progress is going to be slow as I'm still doing a lot of work in the new hobby room.

First job that I tackled were the VVSS units. The tank which I am building had the straight return roller arms with a pillow to raise the roller, which the kit has. I won't go into too much detail with regards to the assembly of these units as I've covered the procedure in other M4 builds. So briefly what I did was to assemble each unit, drill four holes on the forward face and add a piece of 5mm X 6mm 10thou card to the rear face. I scraped the leading edges of each track skid to a more acceptable thickness, then glued them in place. Finally, four bolt heads were punched out and added to each skid, and four more to the rear face of each unit.

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Drive sprockets (of the plain variety) assembled with no problem, and they fitted perfectly on the FDH stubs. But then it comes to the idlers. There are two types included in the kit. Ones with backs to them and the old hollow backed version. Guess which ones the instructions would have you use, bearing in mind that all of the road wheels are the ones with backs to them. Yes, the hollow ones. Another anomaly. I'm going to use the backed ones, simply because they look better, but it requires trimming the stub axle down a bit and packing out the hole in the back of the idler because the thing flops around on the stub.

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Also done some work on the rear of the hull. Not a lot to do there, but the air cleaners are in place and I've added some etched brass clamps instead of the over scale kit offerings. The two drilled holes in the doors are for fixing the exhaust deflector in place once the upper and lower halves of the hull are joined together.

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I know that it doesn't appear to be much, but this lot took me several hours. I hope to get some more work done on it at the weekend. Thanks for looking and any comments.

 

John.

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Hi, John

I don’t know anything about these tanks, but what you’re doing looks really good. It will be interesting to watch your work.

 

Vytautas

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17 hours ago, vytautas said:

Hi, John

I don’t know anything about these tanks, but what you’re doing looks really good. It will be interesting to watch your work.

 

Vytautas

Thanks Vytautus. Israeli tanks are a whole new, and very interesting ball game.

 

John.

3 hours ago, Jasper dog said:

Doing a Sherman John, not like you...:whistle:

 

Atb

Darryl 

Everyone needs a change now and then.

 

John.

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20 minutes ago, Bullbasket said:
18 hours ago, vytautas said:

Hi, John

I don’t know anything about these tanks, but what you’re doing looks really good. It will be interesting to watch your work.

 

Vytautas

Thanks Vytautus. Israeli tanks are a whole new, and very interesting ball game

Don't be offended, but there is only one game that can be played - German vehicles. Other games are just fun to watch :rofl:

 

Vytautas

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3 hours ago, edjbartos said:

Nice, neat and clean work so far John, looking good...

 

Ed

 

2 hours ago, Hamden said:

 

Nice start John.

 

  Stay safe      Roger

Thanks to both of you for the comments. Due to that great TV program, Constipation Street, I was able to spend the evening in my room, getting a little bit more done. I'll post some more photos once I can justify calling it progress.

 

John.

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Thats good, I've caught you at the beginning of what i know will be another excellent IDF Sherman build. Might even get round to doing one myself one day, but many ither projects to finish before that!

 

Will follow and learn!

 

Terry

 

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'Morning Terry, and thank you for the comments. I'll look forward to you joining the Sherman club.

 

John.

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It's not much, but it's progress.

Each VVSS base plate has a tapered piece which inserts into a slot on the side of the hull, and then the base plate slots into this. Trouble was, the tapered pieces just fell straight through, so to get around this, I glued some scrap plastic blanking pieces on the inside of the hull. The tapered inserts then needed thinning down a little bit, but once done, they were glued into place, and the base plates fitted perfectly.

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As with the majority of Sherman kits, the eight bolt heads which hold the FDH in place, are missing in this kit, as are the three smaller bolt heads just in front of them. So a couple of hours work and they were in place.

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The kit's instructions would have you join the upper and lower halves of the hull together right at the end, but that's not how I like to do it. If I needed to clamp the two halves, it would be difficult with all of the detail added. So I added the two exhausts to the lower hull, and then glued the two parts together. I have an Eduard set for the M4 which contains the grill which fits around the two exhausts, but I didn't use it. I did so on another similar project, which also used the exhaust deflector, and once this was in place, the grill couldn't be seen. So I'll save that for one that doesn't use the deflector.

The four little white marks on the bottom edge of the rear hull is some card I use to fill the notches for the spare track frames, which weren't fitted to this tank.

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The final job for this update was to fit the two forward track guards. They're reasonably thin, but I scraped them some more with a blade to give them a more scale appearance. I cut off the two side pieces which rest upon the FDH, as they pushed the guards making them sit at the wrong angle. I glued the guards in place and then added the two side pieces from thin card.

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That's the state of play at the moment. I'm now off to do some more work on it.

TTFN.

 

John.

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Nice progress John, and I will say I'm with you on joining upper and lower hull earlier in the assembly process. Have done that on the few AFV's I've built, and indeed on the two I'm currently building.

 

Terry

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Nice update John, really like your attention to detail taking this to the next level

 

   Stay safe          Roger

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18 hours ago, vytautas said:

Great job, you move forward really fast.
The texture of the cast armor surface was like that from the box, or did you make it?

 

Vytautas

 

Thanks Vytautus. No, the texture on the hull, FDH and the turret are all as per what comes in the box. As I've already said, I think that it is way over the top as cast Shermans were relatively  smooth. I've sanded it down quite a lot. I just hope that it looks a bit better once the paint goes on.

 

John.

 

17 hours ago, Terry1954 said:

Nice progress John, and I will say I'm with you on joining upper and lower hull earlier in the assembly process. Have done that on the few AFV's I've built, and indeed on the two I'm currently building.

 

Terry

Thanks Terry. Yes, the very idea of trying to clamp upper and lower halves together with all of the etched brush guards in place, fills me with dread.

 

John.

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18 hours ago, diablo rsv said:

Nice work John,

as always I shall look forward to seeing your progress on this one.

 

Wayne

 

2 hours ago, Hamden said:

 

Nice update John, really like your attention to detail taking this to the next level

 

   Stay safe          Roger

Thanks to both of you for the comments. I really appreciate them.

 

John.

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3 hours ago, Mick4350 said:

How do you make the bolts that are missing on the kit ?

G'day Mick. I use a hexagonal punch and die set. The one I have, I've had for many years. I got it from Historex Agents. But there are many on the market now, and Historex stock a few of them. You could always try BNA Modelworld. They might stock some.

 

John.

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