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Another M51 Sherman - Final Configuration


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I'm calling this one Finished - apart from a set of RFM T80 tracks.  I didn't collect any construction photos along the way.

 

I actually had no intent to make another M51, having already done the less usual Chilean and welded hull types.  But then I managed to get hold of both the Legend "1973" update set for the Tamiya kit and the Accurate Armour upgrade set for the DML kit for less than £20 the pair.  So it seemed rude not to.......

 

The Legend set isn't strictly "1973" and is a bit confused.  If anything it represents the final M51 configuration between Yom Kippur and end of service as it has the rear stowage bin.  It also has the 60mm mortar base but not the travel clamp and still has the central M2 HMG mount - yet has the base for the commander's hatch 0.30" Browning scissors mount. The M2 was removed to make room for the mortar and the scissors mount introduced.  Sadly, the scissors mount itself isn't included (no-one does), so I had to scratchbuild another one (I did one for the Chilean M51).  The MG mount on top is only on with blu-tack here.

 

As the mortar base was there I decided to add the travel clamp and mount the rarely-seen 60mm mortar.  Then I thought I'd go the whole hog and add the equally rarely-seen ranging MG mount over the main gun barrel.  Used up the last of my Shapeways jerrycan racks as I couldn't face the Legend etched ones.  Tools replaced with resin ones and MJ Productions 3D printed straps.  Tamiya mould some massive divots for mounting the kit tools that needed filling.  Eureka tow cable, MR Modellbau gun barrel, RB Models MG barrel.  Lots of Mr Surfacer.

 

Hull-wise I thought I'd have a go at the Airflow Extension of the rear upper hull.  Basically the rear upper hull was cut off behind the engine access hatch and then welded back on with a wedge inserted in each side, making the angle very much like an M4A3.  This allowed greater radiator airflow.  DML attempted this on their 2nd M51 release but depicted it as a complete extension - as if a new longer piece of rear upper hull had been welded on.  Which it was not.  There will be some tie-downs for things like the tactical signs and oil can after painting.

 

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