Friday, May 16, 2008

and something a little different

A friend in my local armor club gave me a Tamiya 1/48 scale M4 Sherman last year as a gift. I've been debating what to build since I was given it and decided it would be good blogging material. Sure it's technically not "braille scale," but it's my blog and I can do what I want!

I decided I would build an M4 called Hurricane, which was used in the allied landings at Normandy. Hurricane was in H company, 66th Armoured Regiment, 2nd Armored Division. There are a couple of well known pictures of Hurricane, and I can't decide whether I want to model it during D-Day with the wading stacks or after D-Day during the bocage busting days when Hurricane sported a two tone paint scheme.

Hurricane had some interesting features for an M4. It has a late model low bustle turret, without a pistol port, and loaders hatch, and with the thickened cheak armor incorperated into the right side of the turret. It also has open spoked wheels, which are included in the Tamiya kit, and a solid drive sprocket which is not. It also has a sharp nose transmission cover which is also not in the kit.

There are a couple of good articles on correcting Tamiya's 1/35 scale M4 kit, on Tim Streeter's
US Army Models website. Since Tamiya's 1/48 scale kit is more or less a scaled down version of its bigger brother, the articles are extremely helpful. The turret in the Tamiya kit is an early production, low bustle turret. To make it a late model the pistol port must be filled on the left side of the turret, and the cheek armor needs to be thickened on the right side.

Steve Zaloga also covers this modification in his Osprey book, "Modelling the US Army M4 (75mm) Sherman Medium Tank." It's a great book, nd as usual I will steal borrow his research. So armed with all of this great information, I broke out the Evergreen plastic and Apoxie Sculpt, and went to work.

The gun shield in the kit is also incorrect for Hurricane, so you need to cut off the flange on the left, then cut the gun shield to widden it, and insert a plug to make up for the width of the flange you cut off.

While I was at it I cut off the molded on tools using my handy dandy
JLC razor saw.

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