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IDF M1, based on an M4A1 Hull. 1/35th scale.


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Loving the attention to detail ..... and education too! 

 

Keith 😁 

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The pick axe handle looked a little bit under nourished, so I whittled one from a piece of sprue, and then glued it into place on the RHS. I also added the small bracket that one end nestles in. This was made from thin card.

The long crow bar which sits next to the handle, was in the same condition as the kit's handle. In fact, it was only about two thirds of the proper length and strangely shaped at one end, so a new one was made from 40 thou rod. Brackets for this also from thin card.

Final pioneer tools were the axe and the pick head. The brackets for these two were made from pewter foil .

uWAmubM.jpg

 

I made the tie down points using the Steve Zaloga method, which is two small punched out circles, with a piece of 10thou rod glued between them. All of the securing straps are cut from thin lengths of pewter foil.

This last bit of the build has taken me the best part of a week, and is the most fiddly part.

I thought that I had some buckles in one of the etched brass sets, but it seems that I've used them all up. So rather than order some new ones, and wait goodness knows howw long for them to arrive, I thought that I'd have a go at making them. So using some 5amp fuse wire, I bent them into a rough square shape and then super glued them into place. They don't look brilliant, but are better than nothing.

PO948UU.jpg

 

Oh, and when I'd finished, I discovered that Dragon supply an etched set in the base kit with.......you've guessed it. Straps with buckles on. Sod's Law, but at least I have some for a future build.

OK, that's the main build finished, so now it's onto the turret. Back soon.

 

John.

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14 hours ago, StuartH said:

Outstanding attention to detail on those small parts 👏

Looking superb 👍

Cheers Stuart. Much obliged for the comments.

 

John.

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1 hour ago, edjbartos said:

Very interesting read John, keep up with the narrative, always learning new things. The extra details really do look good...

 

Ed

Many thanks Ed. I wasn't too sure about the appearance of those buckles, but they've gone as far as I intend taking them.

 

John.

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3 hours ago, Andy H said:

. Believe it or not, I've picked up some ideas for shipbuilding

I don't doubt that for a minute. There are a lot of cross overs between the various genres. I still have a roll of string, bought from a ship model shop in S.London, that I use a lot on my vehicles in the form or a roll of rope.

Many thanks Andy.

 

John.

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On 3/19/2024 at 12:56 AM, Bullbasket said:

Oh, and when I'd finished, I discovered that Dragon supply an etched set in the base kit with.......you've guessed it. Straps with buckles on. Sod's Law, but at least I have some for a future build.

…and also given me ideas for the future 😀 great detailing as usual. 

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3 hours ago, SimonL said:

…and also given me ideas for the future 😀 great detailing as usual. 

It's the 50% Scottish blood in me. I didn't want to have to spend some more money:yikes:.

Thanks for the comments Simon.

I've slowed down a little at the moment because, and I know that you're going to find this hard to believe, but.........it's not raining!!! So I'm out with Black Betty (my sit upon mower), cutting the elephant grass. I've only got a small window of opportunity, before the rains return again next week. I cut mine (about half an acre) and I look after our next door neighbours as well (also about half an acre), so I will be busy out in the sunshine.

 

John.

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I've tried etched straps and buckles with little success. Without annealing they are just too stiff. You get about 5 nanoseconds to anneal them before they disintegrate.  Maybe I was using too much heat.  And frustratingly fiddly to use..........

 

For footman loops I do like etched brass from Voyager etc.  Make a little jig from card and strip to press them over. Dab of cyano and done.

 

Some of the 3D sets from the likes of MJ Productions have the footman loops moulded with the tools and/or straps.

 

And the strains of Black Betty by Ram Jam are now running through my head and conjuring a vision of manic mowing.....

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The only thing that I have against 3D printed items is removing them from the base plate. So easy to snap them in half.

And every time that I go to get the mower out of the barn, straight away my brain starts singing "Whoa oh Black Betty, bam alam". And that's after about eighteen years!

 

John.

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Nice detailed work with the tools. Bit early to ask this question but I might forget to ask. Tank tools, are they generally painted the same colour as the tank or would they be with their own individual tool colour?

 

Stuart

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On 22/03/2024 at 21:10, Courageous said:

Nice detailed work with the tools. Bit early to ask this question but I might forget to ask. Tank tools, are they generally painted the same colour as the tank or would they be with their own individual tool colour?

 

Stuart

Many thanks Stuart for the comments. To answer your question, I think that it's both. If the tank was just entering service, or had had some major work done and received a coat of paint, probably the tools had been removed, so therefore once returned to the tank, they'd still be their natural colour. But sometimes, tanks just got a new coat of paint. In these circumstances, the tools quite often were left on the tank and received a unifying covering.

But whatever the circumstances, I prefer to keep mine in wood and metal. I just like it that way.

 

Not a lot of progress, but I've made a start on the turret.

Dragon have moulded a rather prominent step around the bottom of the turret's circumference, which didn't really resemble anything that I'd seen in photos of the real thing, nor other kit manufacturer's turrets. So I made up some Milliput, rolled it into a thin sausage, and the blended it in, all the way around the bottom. After some sanding with wet and dry, and a flat file, it looked a bit more presentable.

uYtvXJ9.jpg

 

VSbbiJW.jpg

 

On the top of the turret, there were some numbers cast into a small oblong. Now I'm quite ready to be proved wrong, but I've never seen casting numbers such as these in this position, so this also got the Milliput treatment. While I was in filler mood, I filled in the void on the back of the turret where the ventilator goes, as this tank didn't have one.

yyABPhp.jpg

 

Progress has been a bit slow, due in some part to the weather (it was sunny and warm), so I needed to do some work in the garden. The other cause for the lack of much to show is that I've been working on making and fixing the framework in place around the gun mantlet for the dust cover. The photo that I have of the tank shows that the cover wasn't fitted, just the frame.

Rain forecast for at least the next ten days, so hopefully I'll be able to get some more work done.

Thanks for looking.

 

John.

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I've finally got this stage out of the way.

This tank doesn't have a dust cover on the mantlet, but in the only photo that I have seen of the actual tank, it clearly shows that it was fitted with the brackets for a cover. To replicate this I used thin strip and 20thou rod. So, I bent the rod to 90 degree angles, and cut small pieces and glued them in around the forward part of the turret and the mantlet. The strips were cut from 10x20thou strip and glued in place.

l0oDR1d.jpg

 

iNrW3UY.jpg

 

For the small bolt down brackets I cut a strip of 5thou card, 1mm wide, and then cut it into 2mm pieces. By using pointed tweezers I was able to bend the end and then glue them into place. Finally, bolt heads were punched out of 10thou card, and fixed in place with a drop of MEK. A lot of this is guess work as I don't have any photos showing the whole set up,but I was able to work from some museum photos of a similar tank.

wuhpDrw.jpg

 

7lzOEca.jpg

 

I hope to move this along a bit quicker now, although it doesn't help when you find that both hatches are missing from the box!! Oh the joys of buying kits from ebay.

 

John.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Hamden said:

 

Great work around the mantlet John.

 

   Stay safe          Roger

 

31 minutes ago, Jasper dog said:

Looking good John, super attention to detail!

 

Atb

Darryl 

Thanks to both of you. I appreciate it.

 

John.

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Many thanks Ed. I only get a couple of hours in the modelling room, due to being chief cook and bottle washer, but in all, those brackets took about five or six sessions to get them done. And I'm relieved that they're finished. Comparing them with a photo that I have of the real thing, I'm fairly happy with them.

 

John.

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Wow ..... just WOW! 😲

 

I can't believe the detail you're adding here John ....it's superb! 👌

 

Keith 😁 

 

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54 minutes ago, Keeff said:

Wow ..... just WOW! 😲

 

I can't believe the detail you're adding here John ....it's superb! 👌

 

Keith 😁 

 

That's very nice of you to say Keith. It's much appreciated.

 

John.

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Approximately the first 450 T23 turrets manufactured, were made without a rear ventilator, and if the Sherman Minutia page has it right, this was down to an oversight on behalf of the manufacturers. They were also made with an additional antenna point on the front LHS of the turret and a 2 inch bomb thrower. The tank which I'm building had such a turret, but for some reason, although this is the turret which Dragon provide in their Cobra kit, it is equipped with a ventilator (which I've already taken care of). Fortunately, Dragon have depicted the turret with the antenna base and the bomb thrower hole, which they've shown as if it has been welded closed.

Just in front of the additional aerial is the two inch bomb thrower hole. As I said, Dragon have depicted this as being welded closed, but I wanted to show it as still being there, so a small circle was cut from the end of a piece of stretched sprue and glued in place where the opening would be. A small length of etched brass chain was then bent to shape and super glued in place as a retaining chain.

0kTodaz.jpg

 

The base for the additional aerial was missing from the kit, so I had to make a new one. The return rollers of a VVSS unit are the exact diameter of the hole in the turret. So using a razor saw, I cut off a thin circle and once cleaned up, it was glued into place. I smeared some putty over the top, and when it had hardened, it was blended into the roof of the turret. I bent a piece of scrap etched brass into an inverted U shape. To the underside I glued a small piece of tubing, and into that I inserted a piece of .31mm nickel silver wire. I drilled a hole into the roof of the turret, and then the whole lot was super glued into place over the aerial base. On the top I glued an aerial base from the kit.

ujFEJ0C.jpg

 

Another item that was missing was the additional “lifting ring”, just in front of the loader's hatch. This was a left over from the T23 days and was not a lifting ring as such, but a support for the boom, used to lift the power pack. Fortunately, there was one in the Meng M4A3 kit.

OFOgD5M.jpg

 

This turret is taking me longer than I anticipated, but it's all good fun. I'll be back when I have some more progress.

Thanks for looking.

 

John.

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More and more detail of extremely high standards being added making this into a superb replica.

Bar most definitely raised!

 

    Stay safe              Roger  

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