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Armor/AFV
For discussions on tanks, artillery, jeeps, etc.
Italeri M4A3(76) - sort of
kunjuro
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Philippines
Joined: October 27, 2013
KitMaker: 286 posts
Armorama: 282 posts
Posted: Monday, April 16, 2018 - 06:42 AM UTC
Hey folks. I decided to start a build log of my current WIP - an Italeri M4A3(76) Sherman which was erroneously labeled an M4A2 Jumbo. Well, sort of. I made the mistake of attaching the rear of the original M4A1/M4A2 included in the kit... I realized this too late when prepping the model for primer. I didn't have instructions for the kit so that also contributed. The gigantic rear exhaust hides most of it anyway so I decided to live with the error.

in just the first few steps in building the thing, I immediately realized the major advantage that tamiya had over italeri - good fit. The turret on my kit had its brackets that was supposed to latch on to the hull molded too short. The damn thing flapped about loose. So I took some sprue and jammed it on the brackets to lengthen them. Once the glue set, it was a pretty decent setup.



When I fit the lower and upper hull together, I discovered that there was a huge gap between the transmission cover and the upper hull. Sigh. Out came tamiya's grey putty and some tape. Furthermore, the hull was warped - the suspension system sliiighty bowed out. Hence, I couldn't get the wheels level with one side of the hull to the other. When I slapped the tracks on, I put some weight on the hull to lessen this effect. It is less noticeable so I decided to live with it.



What is worse is the fact that the "workable" suspension bowed under pressure from the unsurprisingly stiff tracks. I tried to use a set of spare tamiya m4 early tracks (T48) but I put them aside and just decided to go with the kit's tracks.



I also noted that the cast parts of the kit (turret, transmission cover) was as smooth as a baby's arse.


So, I used an old trick - tamiya extra thin cement applied on the surface, and a hard bristle brush pushed on the wet surface.




Finished the assembly and applied the primer. I liked how the cast effect turned out. I squished the turret halves together after applying heavy dosage of tamiya white cement to create a seam to hide the gap. Used a nail cleaner/burr to lessen the seams on the turret and dull the cast effect. I also used it to make small indentations on the hull.




Here she is now. I realized that I had misplaced the turret roof MG. Gonna look for it tomorrow. Not to worry - I did not like the look of the thing anyway PLUS the base holding it looked.... frail and skinny. I took out the MG from the tamiya m4 and am considering using it. I also have academy's US MG set which I might crack open to replace the entire sub assembly. Anyway, leaving it at that for today. Would highly appreciate suggestions or comments. Thanks folks.
GeraldOwens
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Florida, United States
Joined: March 30, 2006
KitMaker: 3,402 posts
Armorama: 3,363 posts
Posted: Monday, April 16, 2018 - 09:04 AM UTC
The step on the gun barrel was only present on postwar Italian Army M4A1 Shermans. You need to sand it out, if you want to depict a wartime US tank.
kunjuro
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Philippines
Joined: October 27, 2013
KitMaker: 286 posts
Armorama: 282 posts
Posted: Monday, April 16, 2018 - 04:04 PM UTC

Quoted Text

The step on the gun barrel was only present on postwar Italian Army M4A1 Shermans. You need to sand it out, if you want to depict a wartime US tank.



Thanks for the info Gerald. I knew that the step on the barrel was inaccurate - but I didn't know that it was an actual thing on post war shermans! I thought Italeri just made an honest mistake with the barrel rather than copying it from an existing tank (sorta like Tamiya's error with the T-72 kit). I had considered sanding it down but I felt like I would not be able to do a good job and end up with an oval shape. I also didn't want to waste an AM barrel on a mediocre kit. I also had the same problem with the Academy M4A2(76) I had just finished.
tankmodeler
#417
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: March 01, 2004
KitMaker: 2,988 posts
Armorama: 2,404 posts
Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 07:28 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I knew that the step on the barrel was inaccurate - but I didn't know that it was an actual thing on post war shermans! I thought Italeri just made an honest mistake with the barrel


You are correct. The step is not a "thing" in real life, just on the one M4A1 76(W) VVSS that Italeri patterned their original M4A1 76mm off of and then used that turret on your model. The stepped area is where the original gun tube was demilled by cutting it through and where the Italian museum camouflaged the cut using sheet metal.

There were no actual 76mm M1 gun tubes with a step. Ever.

Paul
kunjuro
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Philippines
Joined: October 27, 2013
KitMaker: 286 posts
Armorama: 282 posts
Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 03:03 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

I knew that the step on the barrel was inaccurate - but I didn't know that it was an actual thing on post war shermans! I thought Italeri just made an honest mistake with the barrel


You are correct. The step is not a "thing" in real life, just on the one M4A1 76(W) VVSS that Italeri patterned their original M4A1 76mm off of and then used that turret on your model. The stepped area is where the original gun tube was demilled by cutting it through and where the Italian museum camouflaged the cut using sheet metal.

There were no actual 76mm M1 gun tubes with a step. Ever.

Paul



So that solves it. Thanks for the informative post

I haven't gotten any free time to spend painting the kit sadly. Our dog got Ehrlichiosis and we've been spending time and energy trying to nurse her back to health. There was also a power outage recently. Hope to get some more time this weekend. Also planning to add stowage all over the thing as practice. Have accumulated a lot of scrap stowage, bags, boxes and such from other kits.
tankmodeler
#417
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: March 01, 2004
KitMaker: 2,988 posts
Armorama: 2,404 posts
Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - 03:04 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I haven't gotten any free time to spend painting the kit sadly.


Real life.

Always getting in the way of modelling.
165thspc
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Kentucky, United States
Joined: April 13, 2011
KitMaker: 7,121 posts
Armorama: 6,672 posts
Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - 03:16 AM UTC
Better to glue that first bogey in a fixed position. Otherwise the "spring" of the stiff rubber band tracks will cause the first road wheel to rise up unrealistically.

"As we all live and learn."

Nice job!
bat-213
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Canada
Joined: December 30, 2011
KitMaker: 808 posts
Armorama: 698 posts
Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 08:19 AM UTC
it seems as though you did a great job on a bad kite .good for you ,I have never built a Sherman but I will soon I hope I do as well as you did .
165thspc
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Kentucky, United States
Joined: April 13, 2011
KitMaker: 7,121 posts
Armorama: 6,672 posts
Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 02:51 AM UTC
Also I usually try and hide a chunk of plastic wedged between the idler wheel and the tank body. This to keep the stiff tracks from bending the idler wheel in towards the tank body. (Sometimes this does not happen till months later.) A chunk of mud will hide the wedge.

I have been known to drill all the way through the transmission housing and install a brass tube axle to mount the drive sprockets on. Again to help support the suspension against it's never ending battle with those wonderful "flexible" rubber band tracks.
Garrand
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: October 27, 2009
KitMaker: 132 posts
Armorama: 131 posts
Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 04:51 AM UTC
I built the Italeri M4A1 a while ago, and replaced my tracks with ones from Asuka, back when they were still selling them separately. That solved a lot of problems!

Damon.