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Armor/AFV: Allied - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Allied forces during World War II.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Takom M3 Grant
gastec
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Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: February 03, 2014
KitMaker: 865 posts
Armorama: 835 posts
Posted: Friday, October 06, 2017 - 08:22 PM GMT+7
Always fancied building one of these and with teh release of the new Takom kit, I could resist no longer...



Decided to start with the VVSS suspension. Grant had the early type with a single return roller on top....



Parts are nicely detailed and seem pretty accurate when compared to the drawings etc in the Son of a Sherman book. However, there is a lot of clean up of mould seams, ejector pins etc which is a little tricky due to the nature of the soft styrene used. Take your time and you shouldn't have any issues. The parts fit well and follow pretty much the same set up as Tasca/Asuka early Sherman bogies go together....



Ended up adding a couple of missing details - volute spring adjustment points and the return roller mounting nut/bolt...

Took me the afternoon and part of this evening to complete all 6 units. Tamiya surface primer is used to replicate the cast effect missing from parts...



At the outset, I had no intention of wanting to use the kit's link and length tracks - hoping to use an indi link set from the likes of Bronco. Biggest question was whether the tracks would fit? Fortunately they do - but only just. A VERY snug fit, but a fit nonetheless...





The sprockets are the correct shape for the Grant - they differ a fair bit from a standard M4 - so Takom were paying attention. However, for some reason (only known to them), Takom have added nut detail on the inside face of the hub when the real one doesn't have any. So the detail needs to be removed...



I've made a start on the idler wheels which have seperate faces to replicate the undercut they feature. Fit isn't perfect so a little filler is required. They are currently drying so will post pics tomorrow. Unfortunately, Takom have missed off the grease and relief points so they will need to be added.

Gary
gastec
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Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: February 03, 2014
KitMaker: 865 posts
Armorama: 835 posts
Posted: Saturday, October 07, 2017 - 06:31 PM GMT+7
Onto the hull next...

I've noted from at least one other build elsewhere that the side sponson bottom plates and slightly bowed downwards which casuses misalignment with the rear panel. My kit is no different (dry fitted)...



So it's worth taking a little time at this stage to bend the sponson botom plates up slightly to ensure they sit straight...



The FDA, to be honest, is a real let down from Takom. A smooth finish to a cast part? When have you ever seen a FDA that is mirror smnooth? At least they got the casting part numbers correct...



Parts go together well enough without the need for filler (FDA is dry fitted to hull)...





I shaved off the casting details and added my own cast texture with Tamiya putty diluted with Tamiya cement. New casting marks were added using Archer resin decals and the two flanges were then cemented in place...









Rear idler mounts are two part and fitment is poor - requiring filler in several places....



Front fender/sand shield assemblies go together nicely though did require a miniscule amount of filler...



Fitment to hull was good - just a little tape needed at the front to keep them down while the cement cured...



Upper hull sides fit is excellent - parts are dry fitted here...



From this point on though.... what a mission!!!!

Why Takom had to design the parts so they meet with chamfered edges is beyond me. I assume the designer doesn't actually build models. Surely it would have been simpler to make it up using the plates as on the real thing?

Fitment, is, to say the least, a real challenge. I ended up removing the locating tabs and increasing the angle of the chamfer so the edges actually touch where they are meant to. Even so, I still had to use a fair amount of putty to full annoying gaps...



It looks messy, but at least things improve with a little wet and dry....



Main gun housing needs cast texture improved....



75mm gun mantlet has no cast texture at all...



No poly caps here - just a snug fit....



Odd traverse set up here



Before I get to that, top of gun housing needs texture added...



Takom have you heat the ends up and flatted then rather than use caps...



Gun sight also moves, but not in unison with the gun????



Rear panel is one piece which is bent along predetermined grooves on the inner face...



Again, all locating tabs were removed and edges chafered further to allow decent fitment of roof to hull...







Engine deck panel. Tie downs are removed as I'll be adding my own...



Opening in deck looks straight into the empty void of the hull, so I made up a box using styrene sheet and painted in black....



After a little fettling, rear upper side panels are in place....



Rear most panels fit perfectly (for a change!)...



Smoke bomb aperture has a piece added inside the turret, but still ends up with an open hole. I added somne brass tube with a piece of styrene to represent the launch tube...



37mm gun assembly - again a snug fit for elevation...





Front plate dry fitted at this stage...



Beginning to look like a Grant...



Gary
Removed by original poster on 10/08/17 - 17:24:27 (GMT).
Das_Abteilung
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United Kingdom
Joined: August 31, 2010
KitMaker: 172 posts
Armorama: 158 posts
Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2017 - 12:26 PM GMT+7
Thinking of the snug fit Bronco tracks you mentioned earlier, if your vehicle is going to represent one that's seen a bit of mileage you could file the sprocket teeth to represent wear. They adopted a noticeably hooked appearance as they wore, eventually of course needing to be replaced. Perhaps half an inch or more of metal might get worn away from the "front" of the teeth. You can see the effect on the Grant at Bovington even in this shot, which also shows just how much the track top run sagged at rest with the top-roller bogies.
Removed by original poster on 10/08/17 - 17:27:43 (GMT).
Das_Abteilung
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United Kingdom
Joined: August 31, 2010
KitMaker: 172 posts
Armorama: 158 posts
Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2017 - 12:28 PM GMT+7
Another point for early Grants was that the transmissions were built by Mack and carried a stamped data plate to this effect on the outside (later placed inside). Rectangular with the 2 top corners cut off at 45 degrees. This is the clearest photo I can find. It's just above the divisional marking.
JSSVIII
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Massachusetts, United States
Joined: March 28, 2007
KitMaker: 886 posts
Armorama: 804 posts
Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2017 - 02:19 PM GMT+7
Nice work Gary, I must say that I am not that impressed with my first Takom kit, I'm working on the AMX-13 with the Chaffee turret, and I'm having the same troubles as you. Not unbuildable mind you, but not a lot of fun in some areas. That turret front plate that you show, looks like it fits nicely though.
d6mst0
#453
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Texas, United States
Joined: August 28, 2016
KitMaker: 170 posts
Armorama: 82 posts
Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2017 - 03:29 PM GMT+7
Looks like I have my work cut out for me when I take on this kit.

Really nice work you are doing and the effort you are making on correcting the errors and mistakes. Looking forward to how the final will look. Hope the hard stuff is behind you.

I used the Archer resin decals on my Jumbo Sherman, they are a really nice product.
GazzaS
#424
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 23, 2015
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Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2017 - 07:17 PM GMT+7
Excellent work!
Hederstierna
#247
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Nordjylland, Denmark
Joined: January 03, 2008
KitMaker: 1,006 posts
Armorama: 924 posts
Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2017 - 07:41 PM GMT+7
Great building log.
I too am very tempted by this kit, so this one I'll have to follow, AND it will probably be tough on my wallet
Jacob
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ARMORAMA
#406
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
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Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2017 - 09:30 PM GMT+7
Great work thus far that I shall keep an eye on.
Bravo1102
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: December 08, 2003
KitMaker: 1,542 posts
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Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 - 05:15 AM GMT+7
What's with the stubs blocking off the bow machine guns? That's a late feature. The Bovington tank clearly has the holes and machine gun barrels.
gastec
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Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: February 03, 2014
KitMaker: 865 posts
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Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 - 06:51 AM GMT+7
Thanks guys.

Peter - wan't aware of that info. Thanks.

Stephen. Been mulling that over of late. Not sure when changes took place. Musejm piece 'Monty' has the holes covered but also has later wheel arms (minus cross bracing) so that does indicate a later vehicle. May look at drilling out holes and putting in some tubes to represent the .30 cals.

Gary
JoeOsborne
#480
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California, United States
Joined: October 08, 2013
KitMaker: 66 posts
Armorama: 35 posts
Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 - 09:33 AM GMT+7

Looking to build this for the Crusader/Gazala GB... will follow along closely. Sounds like a few Takom builds I've made... wonky but not unbuildable.

So far you're doing a great job on the assembly! I don't know why manufacturers can't provide a cast surface .... shouldn't be too difficult with today's molding technology.

Bravo1102
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: December 08, 2003
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Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 - 12:57 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Thanks guys.

Peter - wan't aware of that info. Thanks.

Stephen. Been mulling that over of late. Not sure when changes took place. Musejm piece 'Monty' has the holes covered but also has later wheel arms (minus cross bracing) so that does indicate a later vehicle. May look at drilling out holes and putting in some tubes to represent the .30 cals.

Gary


Monty is a later production diesel engined Grant II analogous to a M3A5 Lee. It does have later fittings. Don't fall for the Grant II retaining the Lee turret. From photos with all the storage and most taken from the front the different rear deck and exhausts are nearly impossible to discern. And unlike a M4, versus M4A2, M4A3 the angles on the rear are identical as is the fuel cap configuration visible from side views.
gastec
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Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: February 03, 2014
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Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 - 01:00 PM GMT+7
Beware of museum pieces....

Think I'll just drill out the openings and add some muzzles. Probably easier befor the hull went together!!!!

Gary
KurtLaughlin
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: January 18, 2003
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Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 - 01:53 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

From photos with all the storage and most taken from the front the different rear deck and exhausts are nearly impossible to discern. And unlike a M4, versus M4A2, M4A3 the angles on the rear are identical . . .



The diesel-engined rears are different angles. The diesel tanks have long, sloped rear plates while the Wright-engined tanks have short, vertical rears and the M3A4s have full-width, sloped plates with two exhaust pipes. This is apparent in any side view taken from slightly forward of center to the back. Also, nearly any welded hull tank is a diesel M3A3 as there were only 12 gas-engined tanks with welded hulls built. (Versus 322 M3A3s.)

KL
KurtLaughlin
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 - 01:54 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

I don't know why manufacturers can't provide a cast surface .... shouldn't be too difficult with today's molding technology.



They did elsewhere on the kit, just not on the main part of the differential housings. It was an error, not a technological limitation.

KL
KurtLaughlin
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 - 02:00 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

What's with the stubs blocking off the bow machine guns? That's a late feature. The Bovington tank clearly has the holes and machine gun barrels.



No, it wasn't. Photographs of the last M3 from Chrysler show open holes and a wrecked Soviet tank built in June of 1942 shows guns mounted in both holes. It appears that it would be a simple matter to remove the guns, back out a lock screw, and rotate the rotor 90-degrees to block the holes.

KL
gastec
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Auckland, New Zealand
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Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 - 02:42 PM GMT+7
Kurt

Assume then I will be okay laeving the MG ports closed as depicted with the kit?

Gary
KurtLaughlin
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Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 - 03:18 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Kurt

Assume then I will be okay laeving the MG ports closed as depicted with the kit?

Gary



There were plenty of Grants seen with plugged holes, and plenty with them open. The real plugging looks different than the kit, though. Most survivors have inserts in the holes, not just the rotor turned.

KL
lancew
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Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: April 15, 2006
KitMaker: 5 posts
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Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 - 09:07 PM GMT+7
Hi Gary

Following this with interest as I have succumbed to temptation again and bought the kit. Your trials and tribulations with this build will be duly noted.

I must say I was perplexed by the casting treatment on the transmission parts as you were. The bulges have overstated texture when compared to photos and the main part is smooth as a baby's rear end.

I'd lean towards drilling the holes out based on the majority of photos I have seen. Here a couple examples I've come across in my travels.





Lknixcz
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Stredocesky Kraj, Czech Republic
Joined: March 03, 2017
KitMaker: 8 posts
Armorama: 8 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 10:39 PM GMT+7
Nice job ... which colors you plan use?
My Takom Grant build
http://www.modelforum.cz/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=114764
I want use Vallejo paints:


Vallejo Model Air 71.028 Sand Yellow
Vallejo Model Air 71.330 Khaki Green Num.3
SCC2 -71.024 Khaki Brown OR 71.030 Brown green

Bravo1102
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: December 08, 2003
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Posted: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 11:04 PM GMT+7
Leave one hole plugged and one open. At least one book I've read on the desert war said the British usually only used one bow gun on their Grants.
tankmodeler
#417
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: March 01, 2004
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Posted: Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 03:01 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Fitment, is, to say the least, a real challenge. I ended up removing the locating tabs and increasing the angle of the chamfer so the edges actually touch where they are meant to. Even so, I still had to use a fair amount of putty to full annoying gaps...


I've seen this comment about this kit in several places now. Apparently, a couple of guys have had better luck fitting the superstructure parts together by starting to match things to the top plate rather than working up from the lower hull.

I haven't tried it yet, but I have seen this as a suggestion to fit things better.

Just a thought for those who haven't built it yet.

Paul