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A M4 with a M1, together they are called 'APACHE'


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As my original build was going to be a Russian lend lease M3 and M4 but present hostilities against Ukraine means I'm not building anything with a red star.  So...

A rummage through the stash brought several alternatives to the fore but I have wanted to build a Sherman with a dozer blade for several years, I even bought the Academy M4A3 just to get the dozer blade.

Looking at photos of these adapted tanks, I had the choice to use an M4, M4A1 or a M4A3, they were all adapted with the M1 dozer blade and armed with the 75mm gun.  I had all 3 of these kits in the stash but I decided to use the Dragon M4 so that I could build it as a D-Day Sherman called 'Apache' of the 746th Tank Battalion, Normandy, June 1944

As the Academy dozer blade is made to fit a Sherman Easy 8 with horizontal suspension units I will have to scratch build the attachment brackets to fit my vertical suspension units, I have no plans so it's a case of  working out the dimensions from photos of the real thing and putting some mud on it.

 

Here is the kit photo, everything still bagged up.

IMG_1818 IMG_1819 

All ready to start this weekend. :winkgrin:

Edited by Retired Bob
double photo!
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Nice to see another dozer tank in the GB :D For my build I'm using the Acadamy kit as a reference to design & 3D printing an improved M1A1 dozer blade.

 


Here is a build by panzerserra where he converts the Acadamy dozer to fit onto an earlier Italeri Sherman with vvss suspension. It includes some images of the Verlinden resin kit & the original army technical manual for the M1 & M1A1that you might find useful.

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1 hour ago, Retired Bob said:

 

IMG_1818

Blimey you've done well to get one of those! Been after one for a while now and only one's i've seen are generally priced at £100+ on ebay! Don't build it and use it as your pension plan! 😆

 

Regards,

 

Steve

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33 minutes ago, fatfingers said:

Blimey you've done well to get one of those! Been after one for a while now and only one's i've seen are generally priced at £100+ on ebay! Don't build it and use it as your pension plan! 😆

It's been in my stash for years, it's the last one of a few I bought when they first came out, I think they were about £27 back then.  With my luck, if I kept it as a retirement cash builder, Dragon would re-release it. :doh:

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1 hour ago, Mig Eater said:

Here is a build by panzerserra where he converts the Acadamy dozer to fit onto an earlier Italeri Sherman with vvss suspension. It includes some images of the Verlinden resin kit & the original army technical manual for the M1 & M1A1that you might find useful.

That is very useful, thanks for the link. :like:    I thought I would have to reduce the width for an older VVSS tank.  If I could have found a Verlinden dozer blade, life would have been much simpler.

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Academy incorrectly made the width of the blade halfway in-between the size of the M1 & M1A1, so while inaccurate it can also "technically" be used for either of them 😛

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Nice plan Bob,  then again no plan lasts longer than its first contact with extra thin...

 

Good luck!

Darryl 

 

The more I'm reading the more reluctant I am to crack open one of my Dragon M4s, I could swop one for a couple of gallons of petrol!

 

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26 minutes ago, Jasper dog said:

The more I'm reading the more reluctant I am to crack open one of my Dragon M4s, I could swop one for a couple of gallons of petrol!

I like to think that it's better to have the model gathering dust on the completed shelf than gathering spider poo in the stash.  :nod:

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Hi Bob. Welcome to the GB. Great to have you here. And that does look like a really nice kit. I'm looking forward to following your progress.

Kind regards,

Stix

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4 hours ago, PlaStix said:

Hi Bob. Welcome to the GB. Great to have you here. And that does look like a really nice kit. I'm looking forward to following your progress.

I think the Dragon kits are pretty good, as long as the DS tracks are replaced.  I spent some time deciding what to build instead of my first choices, I nearly went with a Taska Firefly Vc or a conversion of the Dragon M4 75mm into a Firefly M4, I have all the kits and AM so if 'Apache' goes smoothly I have an idea what to build next.

Today I started cutting all the wheels and suspension units off the sprue and cleaning them up, not the most exciting part of the build.

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On 3/18/2022 at 6:18 PM, fatfingers said:

Blimey you've done well to get one of those! Been after one for a while now and only one's i've seen are generally priced at £100+ on ebay! Don't build it and use it as your pension plan! 😆

 

Regards,

 

Steve

I’ve got a DML M4 Normandy kit in my stash too! Bought it years ago at a club meet for a tenner! 

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18 minutes ago, Threadbear said:

I’ve got a DML M4 Normandy kit in my stash too! Bought it years ago at a club meet for a tenner! 

That was a good buy, the Dragon M4 builds into a really good M4, Taska/Asuka have also made one but it's as difficult to find as the Dragon one.  :shrug:

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Getting through the boring bit of preparing the wheels and suspension units, all the plastic parts have been cleaned up and assembled, ready now to fit the track skids that I had in the stash, they are pre-formed and much thinner than the kit plastic parts, I bought a few sets of these years ago, they are made by LionMarc, not sure if they are still trading?

The green coloured drive sprockets are spares from a Tasca Sherman kit as the detail is much better than the Dragon kit ones.

IMG_1821

Tonight I will be gluing them on and adding the last bits of detail to the suspension units.

 

Then there is the fun of making some tracks, I will use these AFV Club T-51 tracks, the little bit of track I can see on the photo of Apache seems to be this type.

The links come in one piece but there is a raised ejector pin disc on every link, could be worse, they could be indented and need filling.  After cleaning each link the end connectors slide on to hold the links together, no glue required, well that's the idea.  Don't mention the supplied duck bill extenders, even AFV Club recommend you don't use them.

Luckily, Apache didn't have them fitted in Normandy 

IMG_1831

 

With the tracks and suspension dealt with, the rest of the 'big bits' of the hull have been cleaned up ready to start construction.

IMG_1822

 

Any comments or questions are most welcome.  Back with the next update tomorrow. :winkgrin:

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Nice start and am interested to see how those tracks go together. I've got a set of those brass skids somewhere... problem is i can't remember which Sherman kit i put them in as i've got about 30 odd in the stash! 🤦‍♂️

 

Regards,

 

Steve

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8 minutes ago, fatfingers said:

Nice start and am interested to see how those tracks go together. I've got a set of those brass skids somewhere... problem is i can't remember which Sherman kit i put them in as i've got about 30 odd in the stash! 🤦‍♂️

I have that problem Steve, I put AM in the kit box and either forget I bought it or forget where it is.  I will be starting the tracks tomorrow, just a couple of inches per day to eek out the monotony. :hypnotised:

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Hi Bob. Looks like you are off to a good start. Good you got pre-formed skids. Mine were tricky to bend to shape. Hope the track making goes well.

Kind regards, 

Stix

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And at last he's off...:christmas:

 

Not even going to snigger quietly at your AFV club indi links...

Rubber band tracks always look so much better anyway...:whistle:

 

Wingy-thing modellers have so easy!

 

 

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21 hours ago, Retired Bob said:

they are made by LionMarc, not sure if they are still trading?

 I have no idea whether LionMarc are still trading to be honest, but those brass skids look very nice, the Dragon ones can be a bit gnarly with part lines n stuff.

 

 It's nice to see a Dragon Sherman getting built, they are not easy to get these days, I think folks are tempted to just hoard them, and watch the value go up, maybe :hmmm:

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59 minutes ago, Cerberus said:

I think folks are tempted to just hoard them

Guilty as charged mi lord! 🤭

 

Regards,

 

Steve

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13 hours ago, PlaStix said:

Hi Bob. Looks like you are off to a good start. Good you got pre-formed skids. Mine were tricky to bend to shape. Hope the track making goes well.

The pre-formed skids were a breeze, a couple of dabs of ca and they were done, the track building is also going well, just the clean up takes a lot of time.

IMG_1834

 

13 hours ago, Jasper dog said:

Not even going to snigger quietly at your AFV club indi links...

Rubber band tracks always look so much better anyway...:whistle:

Snigger away Jasper, the glue free assembly is really easy. :nod:  Just push the end connectors onto a pair of pins and job done

 

IMG_1833

 

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1 hour ago, Cerberus said:

 I have no idea whether LionMarc are still trading to be honest, but those brass skids look very nice, the Dragon ones can be a bit gnarly with part lines n stuff.

They are a great asset, it would be nice if they are still available, I'm nearly out of them with lots more Sherman's to build.

 

1 hour ago, Cerberus said:

 It's nice to see a Dragon Sherman getting built, they are not easy to get these days, I think folks are tempted to just hoard them, and watch the value go up, maybe :hmmm:

Perhaps when Dragon sort out some replacement tracks for the DS ones they will re-issue them or at least pass the moulds to another company to release them.

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Todays update, with the tracks under construction and the suspension units fitted I have attached some other parts to the hull so that I can now start making the dozer pivots.  I also found a turned metal barrel in my AM stash, not sure who it's made by as the packaging is long gone.

IMG_1827

 

I thought I had better introduce the dozer blade to this thread, as I mentioned earlier, the Academy dozer blade is the M1A1 version for the easy 8 Sherman with horizontal suspension units.  Thanks to the information passed to me by @Mig Eater I now know about 100% more about the dozer blade than when I started this project.

I will have to reduce the width of the blade to fit the earlier M4 version, but so I don't remove too much I want to make the pivot brackets first, I have assembled the side arms, as can be seen, they needed quite a bit of filler along the joint between the upper and lower halves.  Tomorrow it's time to break out the 40mm plastic card and some resin nuts and bolts.

IMG_1828

Thanks for looking, any comments or questions are always welcome. :winkgrin:

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Why can't the Miniart indi-links be so compliant.

Really scooting ahead with this already, should look pretty impressive with the blade mounted!

 

Cheers 

Darryl 

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