@Dan, Sorry I missed your post, what a beast indeed yes, you did a nice job with that restoration.
I will start a build log of a jacked E8 kit with a scratch built hull.. who knows.
Well, if you are determined to go that route, then give me a few weeks and I should be able to post something that will be helpful maybe, somewhere I have some patterns for a M4A3E8 lower hull, I just need to find them, they got packed away in a box years ago, I shall hunt them down and then maybe post some pictures with dimensions on them.
And don't forget that Tasca/Asuka are still selling separate sprues I think, so you could just buy a lower hull from them and then just make it fit.
Hope to see this back one day
Hello Paul, probably when the weather turns, then I'll have more time available again for this, part of the problem is that I'm working on something else, a kinda 1946 'what if ' M4A3E8 evolved, with both scratched lower and upper hull (but don't tell Easy8, lol) there was a clue with the turret back on page 8 I think, when projects overlap, something always bites the dust, but anyway,
Mojo, someone should invent a little robot called mojo, who's sole purpose in life is to venture out into the big bad world and hunt down mojo, returning it to a found status
Sad to see progress stop, even sadder to see that you are not planning on painting it. Will look foward to progresss when the seasons change and the bug to build returns. Untill then plant sunggles some cat nip and enjoy the out doors. Maybe when I get set up here (read if at this point) I will start a build log of a jacked E8 kit with a scratch built hull.. who knows.
Spring has sprung, updates will be very erratic and much shorter in length (probably a good thing) from this point onwards, I have gardening to do.
You know things are getting bad on a forum when you have to start quoting yourself, lol, but anyway, slight update on the above, this build log is shutting down, going into hibernation until I have time to work on it again, when that will be, God only knows...
I did at least finish my stand, well kinda, not really, I just put some feet on it, every stand needs some feet right?
Kharkov - "I'll get the lights, Snuggles." Snuggles - "I'll try and shut HAL 9000 down Dad." Kharkov - "Pull out the blocks, one at a time for dramatic effect." Snuggles - "They're numbered Dad! What's the correct sequence?" Kharkov - "Any order you like, That's just to make it look complicated..." Snuggles - "What the f... Dad! He's singing Daisy Daisy..." Kharkov - "He will do, It's a crappy Microsoft OS." Snuggles - "He wants to do security updates!" Kharkov - "Just hit cancel Snuggles."
Fromthe curved sponson lowers at the front it looks like an M4A1 hull, The big issue is the fact that the lower seems narrow compaired to the upper and the rear idler mounting is different (the way dragon made it) and I am not sure that there are the parts in the kit to put it together or not. I also noticed that the upper hull has pretty nasty sink marks along the side where the supports are cast on the inside... I hate sanding and filling.... maybe one of those heavy sand bagged tanks Patton loved so much.
PS. Here is me with my fingers crossed that your little blue knife runs off to only be found hours latter...
First thing to check is that you have the revised upper hull, you need to look at the hull side plates where they join the rear plate, Dragon revised the rear plate angle, and when they did that they moved the weld bead/line, that left traces on the surface of the kit plastic, you should be able to spot it fairly easy.
Then you need to acquire a suitable lower hull (lol) or make one, and it really does depend on whether you think its worth it or not, the Dragon upper hull is not bad really to be honest, the cast portion is done very well, weld beads/lines are a little iffy I think (recessed) but its not too bad.
The way dragon do their M4A3E8 suspension it can be plonked straight onto a scratched lower hull if I remember correctly, that's probably not much help, but then I am still giggling slightly...
It does beg the question, what lower hull did you get in the box?
Ok so lets just start by saying I have a problem.... Went to the Seattle IPMS show this weekend. As they were annoucing the special awards I walked the few vendors that were left. Guess what, I found the dragon 2005 Dragon Expo M4A3E8 sherman sitting on a table. The vendor was asking $15 for it. Told me it was missing the metal barrel and brass ammo. The rest looked good... you know where this is going. So I bundled it with a late model AFV tiger. So we get the kit home and start looking into it. The sprues were in sealed bags and everything looked good...not so much. Seems that some one started it
So the biggest issue it the lower Hull (laugh now Matt) The hull in the kit has not been touched, the issue is it is not the right hull for the kit. So it looks like I be scratching a hull here. So I may have to borrow some of snuggles skillz here.
I am probably not going to do the cobra king, was thinking of trying my hand at some shell damage on the frontal armor of the jumbo. Still only a project in the back of my mind, with the kit on the shelf. I also have an E8 sitting next to it... surprise there huh? Might even get crazy and do a dio with the jumbo and an E8 and maybe a destroyed german AT gun that lost the duel with the jumbo... who knows.
It is funny, looking at those pics the first thing that went through my head as that they stole your stand. Though yours is just a touch more classy. Tell em if they keep stealing your stuff they will have to deal with an angry snuggles..
A very nice picture, but badly cropped, that's not my fault, and why is a pick up truck on display next to a tank? only this could happen in America,..lol
Picture above, for a guess you're gonna have a go at this maybe? Good old Cobra King, a good picture because it shows that sometimes it is realistic to have the first road wheel sitting up/pressed up high, it does kinda depend on the terrain that the tank is sitting on, as in this example maybe, plus there is a lot of extra weight over the front on a Jumbo with all the added armour plates and the massively thickened FDA.
Picture above, rear bogie - angled suspension arms, middle bogie - slightly angled suspension arms, front bogie - flat suspension arms, maybe due to the extra weight putting pressure on old tired suspension, or they were like that when they rolled of the production line, but anyway...
They're copying my stand! The b**tards, everyone steals my work...
This I suppose could be described as very basic scratch building, or basic model making even, it does kinda depend on your views, and it has to be said that there is nothing hard or complicated about any of this, it's just cutting card, cleaning up edges and making things look nice and clean, no pencil marks, no rough edges, basic clean n tidy construction, and if you f**k it up, well it doesn't matter, so it's perfect practice for anyone who is thinking about doing some scratch building for the first time, or who has maybe just done a bit and needs more practice (and yes, that includes me)
Picture below left, the base, this is thick plastic card (2mm) with the corners cut off and two 'I' beams stuck to it, these are to act as rails, the angled corners keep things looking clean, picture below right, two planks of card (1.5mm) one with the corners cut off, and one with horrible pointy corners, If you don't need pointy corners, then cut them off, or round them off, it will always make things look a million times better.
Pictures above, next 'T' grooves (slots) are added so that the planks will just slide on and off the 'I' beams, why do it like this? Well, because 'reasons' that's why, this is simply done with plastic strips of different sizes , first 1.0x2.0mm and then 0.4x4.0mm layered on top, the top layer needs to be thin and bendy so that it will grip the underside of the 'I' beam which has an angled edge, and what we end up with is a plank of card that will slide on and off our rails.
Now PE tread plate needs to be added, this is a 4 bar type cut from a fairly big sheet, and it comes as new in a horrible looking golden colour which I really can't stand , so it needs to be given a nice 'antique' kinda look, first both strips are heated to cherry red then left to cool, this burns the surface which will then gain contrast, and removes the tension (springiness) from the metal, then we do the following -
1. Clean with rough wire wool and Jif, removes all the harshness from the tread plate, and makes one hell of a mess 2. Clean with fine wire wool and Jif, and washed with hot soapy water. 3. Polish with fine wire wool and Autosol metal polish, wash with hot soapy water. 4. Polish with a soft cloth and Autosol metal polish, another wash.
Picture above right and below, after all that messing around you get nice 'antique' looking PE tread plates that don't have that harsh new look, it's a lot of messing around just to slightly change the appearance of the metal, but I much prefer it looking this way.
Picture above, The PE tread plate is glued to the plastic planks with epoxy resin and left to set for an hour or two, the edges are then sealed with CA applied with thin wire, and this is important because the edges need to be dressed (that's dressed as in cleaned up, sanded, not put your socks on) If you don't seal down the edges then you will have one hell of a game dressing them, both sides are dressed with various grades of sandpaper glued to metal blocks (my metal squares)
Picture above left, the edges are then faced with 2.5mm angle strip, this covers the bare metal edge which is very important, unless you fancy slicing your fingers open on bare metal edges, and they also sit just slightly proud of the tread plate which provides a nice visual effect, picture above right, then four little end caps/plates are added to seal in the ends of the tread plate and finish everything off, then simply slide the two planks onto the 'I' beams and it's job done, for now.
And after all that nonsense I have a simple, functional and clean looking stand for the Grizzly to sit on, and just like everything in this god damn build log it's not finished yet, it will be getting further work as time goes on, as and when I can be bothered to work on it, a bolt head theme will be developing I think.
Spring has sprung, updates will be very erratic and much shorter in length (probably a good thing) from this point onwards, I have gardening to do.
Kharkov - "Enya,..Snuggles?" Snuggles - "One for the oldies Dad!" Kharkov - "We are the 'oldies' now, Snuggles." Snuggles - "Well then, words for the wise,..Dad" Kharkov - "The more you have, the more you want?" Snuggles - "And the more you want." Kharkov - "The less you have."
Yes that video puts 1/35th into perspective, it clearly shows me and my failing eyes that I need a 1 to 1 scale E8... then my old back says "stick with the plastic stupid or I will go out" and the wife agrees.. oh well they get horrid gas mileage any way.
I do have a tasca jumbo on the short list so I will look at the way you both did the suspension and then screw mine up accordingly.
For anyone who might be currently working on some Tasca VVSS bogie units, complete with their foam based 'working' suspension system, here is a very good video by Paul Budzik, who it has to be said is a very talented model maker who goes out of his way to be very helpful with regards to hints and tips when building Sherman kits, mainly Dragon kits, but also Tasca and Tamiya related stuff.
He shows a much better way to do the foam pads that form Tasca's 'working' suspension, which is highly recommended, Tasca's foam pads are not brilliant to be honest, he also suggests the very same thing that I did with mine (back on page 4) which is to simply junk the foam and replace it with plastic card to in effect just forget about that 'working' nonsense and lock everything in place.
He also shows another way to put your wheels, suspension arms and return rollers in after the bogie unit has been glued together, it involves trimming back the locator stubs (and cutting them back at an angle) so that the parts can be kinda squeezed in afterwards, it can result in things being a little bit wibbly wobbly if you're not careful with the cutting, but it's another option, and a damn site easier than mine.
We spend so much time working in our good old 1/35th scale it's easy to forget just how big some of the parts are that go to make up a real Sherman bogie assembly, so here's a nice little video showing two guys putting one back together after the parts have been restored, the restoration is by the Museum of the American G.I. in College Station, Texas.
I am still ogling that cast hull... just speaks to me
Well, you will be seeing a lot more of it later as it needs a little modification, more detail, and more stuff to go on it.
The plan is to use metal tracks yes, not many options track wise, they will hopefully be pinned together with steel or brass pins to keep them tight(ish) and the jig/stand thing is currently morphing into something else, and that is the next post
Looks like progress.. I am still ogling that cast hull... just speaks to me. I did expect the jig for the boogies to have some sort of addition to check the wheel.spacing... not that it is needed. Are you really going to use metal tracks??
Kharkov - "The Cage? Snuggles?" Snuggles - "Hidden tracks Dad, tucked away at the end." Kharkov - "A lesser travelled path? Snuggles?" Snuggles - "Not so much a path, just a better way." Kharkov - "You can't change the past Snuggles." Snuggles - "Then why do you try?"
Picture above, Robin Hood is another fairly famous M4A1 Grizzly which is located at the Nationaal Bevrijdingsmuseum 1944-1945, in the Netherlands, and is part of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry (Nottinghamshire Yeomanry) Memorial, this Grizzly has had a fairly adventurous history as she served with the Portuguese Army for a period of time before ending up back in the UK to be restored, I'm not sure who did the restoration (Bovington Tank Museum maybe?) and then finally shipped over to the Netherlands, the name Robin Hood comes from the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Regimental HQ tanks.
The first of many boring jobs was to clean up all the wheels and suspension arms (picture below) On the real thing all of the suspension parts are cast items, so you don't really want any harsh sharp edges I don't think, it all comes down to personal preference on how you prep plastic parts, me personally I can't stand harsh edges or seam lines on anything really, even if it is accurate, but anyway, the tyres have simply been scraped with a knife blade, another boring repetitive job.
Next job (picture above left) was to clean up, modify and fit all of the little rocker arms, these would normally be fitted when you glue the two halves of the Tasca bogie units together, because they locate on a bar which is up inside the bogie unit, but I didn't want these flapping around while I was doing modifications to the bogie ribs, so decided to convert them to clip on, this simply involved cutting out the top portion, but leaving enough plastic so that they in effect clip into place, as shown in the pictures.
Last job (picture above right) was to make a whole bunch of new spindle tubes to fit my brass spindles, these are made from plastic tube, spun in a Minicraft tool to achieve square ends, and drilled to be a tight fit on the spindles, you can drill out the standard Tasca spindle tubes, but you will be left with wafer thin plastic, and if you drill even slightly out of square and true you will be in big trouble. again all of this lot would normally be fitted when the bogies are glued together.
Pictures above, I have wheels on my wagon at long last, my spindle tubes are a little bigger than the Tasca ones, but it doesn't matter as you can hardly see them, and this way it all works out with the bogie assembly being a lot stronger, which is important as the model is getting handled a lot and will be getting metal tracks, at some point, It also took me forever to choose which wheels to use, I really couldn't decide, but welded spoke wheels is probably the better choice.
Kharkov - "Clementine? Snuggles?" Snuggles - "I wish I was a little more,..delicate, Dad." Kharkov - "So what have you broken now? Snuggles?" Snuggles - "Broken,..that's,..such a harsh word." Kharkov - "No, Snuggles, It's the correct word." Snuggles - "It wasn't my fault Dad!" Kharkov - "It never is."
Now tracks and that turret you are putting off... or are you waiting on snuggles to finish that one?
Wheels and tracks is gonna take a bit of time, there's a fair bit to do, including scratching some idler wheel mounts, I decided to go back and start from the ground up just in case of any bogie placement problems or track alignment problems, and I'm running ahead of the build log, so I already know the answers to that lot
The turret is waiting for me to decide what will be scratch built, there's one particular thing I want to make, it's an easy enough shape to make, but requires some very delicate placement of some very small screw heads, so still working things out, and getting things I need, so the turret will be done later, hopefully with some scratch stuff, kinda all depends on time.
Glad to hear you did not need snuggles boat. And for the record you brits have the best tea. Shipment is scheduled for Monday morning, so we get to see if it all made it or not.
Looking good, I am going to steal the method of dealing with white metal. Thanks. Looks like the hull is pretty much wrapped up, road wheels almost.. now tracks and that turret you are putting off... or are you waiting on snuggles to finish that one?
Tasca/Asuka provide two sets of wheels in both their mid production and late production M4A1 Sherman kits, which is good, it gives you a choice, and it gives you a spare set of Sherman wheels all at the same time, they give you the early welded spoke wheels and the later pressed/stamped spoke wheels, both types can be seen on the M4A1 Grizzly, but I think it's fair to say that the early welded spoke wheels are more common.
Pictures above, these are the wheels provided by Tasca, which are very good it has to be said, the welded spoke wheels have some very subtle welding down in all the corners, and they have the two grease nipples as well, the pressed spoke wheels just need the little rivets adding on the inner face of the rim, and Tasca provide these in the kit, or you can use your own.
Picture above, quite a few examples also show a mix of both types of wheel as well, so that's another option, I'm not keen on the mixed wheel look though to be honest, I would much rather just use one set and then keep the other set for spares.
There seems to be two types of drive sprocket for the Grizzly, one without an extra set of mounting holes (left picture) and one with the extra set of mounting holes, not sure on this though, the one on the left could be a post war period sprocket that's been made by an engineering firm? And they just didn't bother with the extra set of holes, not sure, I'll have a look at some Sexton pictures, that will probably explain things.
Pictures above, the white metal sprockets provided by Friul have the extra set of holes and are very nice, they need quite a bit of clean up (white metal parts always do) and the outer set of bolt heads, marked by the red arrow, are a little bit vague and will hopefully be replaced by MasterClub resin bolt heads.
The sprocket on the left has been cleaned up (obv) and polished slightly with very fine wire wool and Autosol metal polish, this takes away the horrible white metal look, and gives it a much nicer steel kinda look, these sprockets also need to be spaced correctly for the track, more on that later.
Next post will hopefully have some actual model making in it, I'm just splitting things down a bit.
See how sensible the above picture is, it's almost kinda posh looking, there's no growling snarling bear, no drama, no fuss, the picture was going to be my build log starting picture, that is until I junked it, because I thought it was a little,..on the boring side of life, lacking in impact, that kinda thing, see, I can be sensible,..sometimes.
The Sensible Way
Well, everything up to this point in the build log could be considered doing things the hard way, the stupid way, the overly complicated way or the fun way, it's up to you, so take your pick, but there's also another way to get to this exact same point in the build, and I suppose it could be called the sensible way or maybe the easy way, it's a lot less complicated and it involves far less time, but it does have a few downsides, it involves running a lottery with the resin guys, because you never quite know the quality of the resin until it arrives on the doorstep, and it involves a credit card, as always.
For Those Who Refuse to Count... ('friendly' or otherwise)
For people who really don't care about any of the detail on the underside of a Sherman M4A1 welded hull, and let's face it, most of us don't, including me most of the time, well it's kinda easy, you just take the standard Tasca riveted hull and convert it into a welded hull by simply shaving off a few rivet heads on just the sides of the hull, there's not even that many of them (about 84 I think) It's that easy, as the picture below shows, simply remove the lines of rivets as shown by the arrows, then forget about the hull bottom, because you can't see it anyway, and you have a welded hull.
For Those Who Like to Count... ('friendly' or otherwise)
For people who are a little more concerned with all the detail, even all the stuff that can't be seen, i.e. all the detail on the underside of the hull, well, things are a little harder, first you need to remove all the rivets, a lot more than 84 (I'm not gonna mark them all out, you know the deal) plus, you need to rework the two cross beams/strengthening beams marked with the two arrows in the picture below, these need to be more triangular in shape with spot welds down both sides, the Tasca beams have flats because they are designed to be riveted on with huge rivets (obv) then a few other changes are needed, there's more info on all of that stuff way back on page one, which is where this post should be, but never mind.
A Resin Hull
With the upper hull, there are a few options, you can use the Tasca upper hull without any applique armour, either cast-in or welded on, the Bovington Grizzly for instance has no additional armour on the upper hull, you could make your own welded on applique armour plates and stick them on the Tasca hull, or you can just buy a resin upper hull with cast-in applique armour as shown in the picture below, this one is made by Panzer Art and looks very nice to be honest, I think Formations might also have one as well, but not sure on that, but there are resin options if you want to go that route.
Not so many options with regards to the Sexton 'big rib' bogies unfortunately, Resicast make three sets of bogies which are designed for the Dragon Sexton kits, but can be used for a Grizzly build, they are designed to fit the Dragon hull but they could be modified slightly to fit the Tasca hull, I bought a set just to have a look at them, to see what they are like (picture below) they seem fairly good, they need a bit of a clean up and filling where the pour plug is, nothing major, on my set the return rollers are a little bit iffy, but not a problem, you could simply snip them out and replace them with the kit return rollers, brass, plastic rod/tube, whatever.
The bogies in the Dragon Sexton kit don't seem to be that good, well, not as good as these Resicast ones anyway, let's put it that way, though I've only managed to find one picture of them online, so kinda hard to tell, but I don't think it's worth it to buy a Dragon Sexton kit simply to steal the CDP tracks and Sprocket plus the 'updated' big rib bogies, not when you can simply buy the Friulmodel track set which comes with sprockets, and then get some resin bogies, all the Sexton parts wouldn't be much use to me as spares, but they might be for you.
You could probably knock all that lot up in a couple of weekends, kinda depends on how you work, available time, all that stuff, but it would be a lot faster than all my messing around with silly little bits of white plastic, but would it be more fun? I suppose that kinda depends on how you obtain fun, if you just want to get on with the job, get to the paint stage as fast as possible, then this is probably the better way.
But what about muh FDA? Just use the Tasca item, it's perfectly fine, I was just being a drama queen...
Kharkov - "Snuggles, how many rivets need to be removed?" Snuggles - "F**k that Dad! I'm not counting all those rivets." Kharkov - "I thought you were always 'happy to help' Snuggles?" Snuggles - "I'm happy Dad, just,..not that happy." Kharkov - "Have you seen the rain? Snuggles?" Snuggles - "I'm making a boat Dad! As we speak." Kharkov - "Yeah, in 1/35th scale,..idiot!" Snuggles - "Do we live on a hill?" Kharkov - "You ever go outside?"
Snuggles - "I know a cat called Noah,..is that any help?"