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Tamiya 1/48 M4A3E8


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Here's my entry for my first GB.  I won't be starting quite yet as I have another build (1/48 M10) I want to finish first but figured I'd start my post here.  Been lacking motivation lately as other life things have gotten in the way but I think I'm ready to go again.

 

Kit is Tamiya's 1/48 Easy Eight which is one of their best 1/48 tanks in my opinion and accessories I plan to add include photoetch from Hauler, metal main gun and .50 cal barrels from RB model and a tow cable from Eureka.  I also have various odds and ends of stowage from other Legend sets I'll most likely add as well.  I also went ahead and purchased Steve Zaloga's excellent Armored Thunderbolt which has proven to be a great read so far.

 

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Edited by Matt B
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  • Matt B changed the title to Tamiya 1/48 M4A3E8

Hi Matt and welcome to the GB. Great to have you here. Great to see another 1/48 Tamiya kit being build. Nice extras too. Looking forward to following your progress. 

Kind regards, 

Stix

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

 

Well, with my M10 build (not part of the GB) going swimmingly and being close to complete, I decided to start the Easy Eight.  I like that Tamiya ditched the die cast hull with this model and instead opted for a multi piece plastic hull since the metal hull led to minor fit issues on other kits.  The upper hull and lower hull went together pretty quickly and that's all I got for now.  Had a small glue mishap on the transmission cover but I planned to enhance the cast texture there anyways, so no issue.

 

 

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Edited by Matt B
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Posted (edited)

Another "simple assembly" update before I start getting into the smaller details on the hull and turret like casting texture, weld seams and casting symbols. 

 

The turret went together pretty easily but the RB barrel did give me issues.  I think it might have been designed for the Hobby Boss kit because there was just no easy way to mount it to the Tamiya mantlet.  The barrels for my M10 and M26 went on fine, but the butt end of the barrel for the Sherman is larger than the hole in the mantlet so I took a knife blade around the hole to widen it a little bit and ultimately stuck a glob of milliput in the hole, followed by the barrel, hoping that would provide a good enough mount.  I used the kit barrel to determine how far in I needed to get the RB barrel, and it turned out it didn't need to go in far at all.  so I tried to eyeball the straightness of it, then when it was set up a little bit, put a small bead of thin CA where the metal meets the plastic.  I think I got it pretty good.

 

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Originally when I started this I thought I would just do a simple build with just the vehicle and then possibly attempt to also build a 1/35 Takom M3 I have in the stash, but then I decided I better not rush it and take my time and now I'm thinking I might do a small winter vignette with it.  I was surprised to find a brand new unopened US Army GI figure set in my stash (dont remember when I bought that!) and did a quick mockup of the tank commander figure looking through binoculars.

 

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Next up?  The super fun process of cleaning up all the suspension components 😒

 

 

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Edited by Matt B
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Last update for today.  The benefits of mother nature deciding to return some winter weather this week has led to more bench time and today it's been raining all day.

 

I chiseled off all the molded grab handles and replaced them with some copper wire.  The top hatch was a little tricky as  plan to have it open, so I couldn't drill all the way through it, but I managed to not mess it up.  I then also started to texture some areas like the front armor plate around the hatches and then the mantlet and turret sides.    Also done and cleaned up are the bogeys, but I have yet to start on the road wheels....need to be in the right mood for that type of repetitive work.

 

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Hi Matt. Great to see the progress you have been making and at least you are underway with the running gear. The replacement handles took far better! :thumbsup:

Kind regards,

Stix

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Got some casting symbols on the mantlet and front armor section using Archer resin decals.  They go on easily with Micro Set/Sol and will look cast on when the paint goes on.  I used the 1/35 Tamiya Easy Eight as a guide as well and the handly little code sheet Archer provides.  The mantlet code is correct, but the front armor codes are made up....I didn't see a matching code on the sheet and 1/48 is too small for me to do individual numbers and letters, so I just used a different pre-made code that was on the sheet.  Once I add on some more details and cast texture on the turret roof, I'll add some symbols there as well.

 

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Posted (edited)

Frustrating night at the bench but managed to get some more work done.  One of the things I like least about this scale for armor is being able to get light guards and periscope guards that look to scale.  The kit light guards are too thick and there are no periscope guards.  While PE looks better, I hate trying to bend it to the correct shape for light guards, so I was delighted to see that T-Rex Studio made a small update set for this kit of 3D printed parts which included light guards, periscope guards, fender braces, .50 cal travel locks and various other small pieces.  My enthusiasm didn't last long though since the pieces are so thin and fragile in 1/48 that a couple pieces were broken inside the tin, and then just about every other pieces broken on me when I was trying to remove it, no matter how careful I was, so the majority of the set is a loss.  So, I'm going to have to make due with the Hauler PE for the light and periscope guards.  The latter came out ok although I could have gotten the bow gunners' better.  All in all, I think things are still looking good, I'm just not looking forward to trying to bend the light guards.  I need to remind my self too that the reason I'm doing 1/48 right now is to get used  to armor and work out most of the kinks before digging into 1/35, so no need to get all worked up.

 

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Most the work was done on the turret.  I stippled on some liquid cement with a stiff brush to enhance the cast texture, then added some more Archer casting symbols, a couple bits of PE and then the organgish cream colored parts are the 3D printed parts that didn't break on me.  The .50 cal is the one I plan on using on my M10 build, but I stuck it on here for a couple quick photos.

 

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Then on the hull, I got the fender braces attached (I'll clean up the sprue attachment points once they're dry) and then drilled out the fuel drainage holes by the fuel caps.

 

 

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Edited by Matt B
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Hi Matt. Sorry you had a frustrating time with the T-Rex Studio parts. It's looking good so far and good luck with the Hauler light guards!! The periscope guards look okay to me. :thumbsup:

Kind regards,

Stix

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11 hours ago, PlaStix said:

Hi Matt. Sorry you had a frustrating time with the T-Rex Studio parts. It's looking good so far and good luck with the Hauler light guards!! The periscope guards look okay to me. :thumbsup:

Kind regards,

Stix

 

Sometimes I gotta remember there's limitations to smaller scales and realistically thin parts for armor vehicles in 1/48 is one of those.  Once I get past the lightguards it should be smooth sailing!

 

7 hours ago, Longbow said:

Those guards look pretty darned good to me, and the cast numbers too... 

My eye sight is and patience is just not that good ;)

 

 

 

Thanks!  It definitely tested my patience, thats for sure.

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Bending the Hauler lightguards is made a lot easier by using the shank of a drill as a mandrel. I share your pain with 3D printed parts some are unusable as we've both discovered.

 

I'm stunned that the cast armor roof for the driver & co-driver positions has been left off, Likely the most obvious casting symbol on the vehicle.

 

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Starting to think ahead about how I want to display the tank, so I cheated and bought this pre-made base.  I was roaming Ebay last week and found a guy here in the states selling various basic bases like this that he said were good for 1/72, 1/48 or 1/35.  This one looked good to me so I bought it.  I'll be adding more to it when the tank is finished, since I plan to do a winter scene, but size wise I think it will work perfectly.  I want to get into making my own bases in the future but decided to take the easy way out this time.

 

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More ups and downs with the Sherman this weekend.  On a positive note, I sat down and powered through the two jobs I kept putting off:  bending and attaching the light guards and cleaning up the mold seams on all the wheels.  On them inus side was that I apparently didn't clean the airbrush as well as I thought the last time I used it and when I was applying a black basecoat, the airbrush wasn't spraying that great and some of the paint went on pretty grainy.  I use two airbrushes, with my old Iwata Neo relegated to primer use since I switched out the .35mm nozzle with a .5, so after I was done I did a deep clean and got rid of some gunk I didn't realize was in there.  Should be good for next time.  The paint isn't too bad and I actually don't mind a little surface texture on the cast metal areas.  I used some higher grit sanding sticks to knockdown the grain on the flat surfaces so I think everything should be ok when the OD goes on, just made more work for myself.  And then the other minus was inadvertently crushing the driver's periscope guard with my finger, but luckily the Hauler set has a couple extras.  But all in all, I got the most time consuming tasks done, and I'm looking forward to getting some color on the tank soon.

 

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Hi Matt. Your light guards look to have woorked out well. Annoying about the airbrush but the paint looks okay in the photo above. Annoying about the periscope guard. I knocked a couple off on mine when I was starting the painting.

Looking forward to seeing yours with the OD on.

Kind regards,

Stix

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4 hours ago, PlaStix said:

Hi Matt. Your light guards look to have woorked out well. Annoying about the airbrush but the paint looks okay in the photo above. Annoying about the periscope guard. I knocked a couple off on mine when I was starting the painting.

Looking forward to seeing yours with the OD on.

Kind regards,

Stix


Thanks, the guards came out alright.  Not quite as good as yours but good enough for me!

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