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Academy 1/35 M51 Sherman ***COMPLETED***


Stikpusher
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A new year, a new project is begun. I’m building Academy’s 1/35 M51 Sherman. For those not familiar with the type, this was probably the ultimate development of any Sherman. The Israelis started with 76mm gunned M4A1E8s, replaced the gas radial engine with a Cummins Diesel engine, then modified the turret to accept a French made 105mm main gun. These tanks saw combat in IDF hands in the 1967 and 1973 wars where they faced off against T-54/55s, T-62s, M47s/M48s, and Centurions among other types. And the upgunned Shermans were able to help win the battles.

Anyways, this is Academy’s 90’s vintage kit that I’ll be building OOB, except for adding some stowage. 

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Today I completed the first couple of steps, assembling the HVSS suspension, and adding the return rollers to the lower hull sides

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the biggest time killer was mold seam line clean up, and dinging up the idler and road wheel tires…

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Hopefully this should move along at a quick pace now…

Edited by Stikpusher
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Looks good!  I like the wear and tear on the bogeys.  🤠

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Carlos,

              I’ve only seen one of these kits built a very long time ago. I like the chunks of road wheel rubber that you removed. A great Idea. Looking forward to more.

 

Chris

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Richard, Mark, & Chris, thank you for looking in and your comments.

Today was a good couple of sessions at the bench.

In the morning I added the HVSS Bogie assemblies to the lower hull, as well as assembling and adding the rear hull plate, and transmission cover to the front.

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then in the afternoon I began working on the upper hull. I added the accessories to the left side and glacis, as well as building the engine deck and  front hull hatches

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Tomorrow I’ll try to get the rest of the upper hull wrapped up…

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Todays update starts with a fix of yesterday’s session. The kit has two different exhaust options, but doesn’t fully explain them, only that one is “early”.
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While doing image searches last night I came across info that,1, they are not both attached at the same time, and 2, that only the early rear type was in use during the 1967 and 1973 wars. The top engine deck exhaust was not installed until 1975. So first thing today I took off that part and cleaned up the attachment marks.

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Then I finished up the rear area and right side upper hull accessories

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Then I had to try test fitting the upper hull onto the lower hull

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One other bit of info that I turned up last night was that between the ‘67 and ‘73 wars, the bow machine guns were removed from last M51s, so I cut the barrel off, and drilled out the mantlet.

Next stage, the turret…

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Thanks John! This one builds up pretty quickly.

Two days progress for this report:
On Friday, I started assembling the turret, but ran into a speed bump fairly quickly. The lower portion of the mantlet dust cover was not as wide as the upper potion. After gluing those two parts together, I had to add putty then allow it time to dry overnite before sanding and adding fold contours with needle files. And since I didn’t want to add all of the easily broken off external turret fittings before adding the mantlet, I stopped at this point.

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Saturday was smooth sailing on picking up where I left off. With the help of online reference photos for more accurate placement, I added all of the remaining turret parts, aside from the antenna bases and the TC’s .50 cal. MG. 

Then I set everything up for a couple of progress photos

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I just have a last few small bits to add, then I can start painting.

 

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Carlos,

          It looks awesome just like it sits right now. That’s one heck of a muzzle break on the end of the barrel. Can’t wait to see the finished model. Thanks for sharing your progress photos.

Chris
 

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Thank you Chris! That gun is most imposing on the Sherman. It is rather fantastic to believe that a WWII tank was up gunned and able to still have a knockout punch against current MBTs three decades later. Quite a cross of old and new.

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Yes, both sides had a lot of WWII retreads rebuilt and repurposed into new types. The Israelis still continue that tradition to this day, as they convert old tanks into heavy APCs.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So I neglected to add my last few updates here…

Firts up, I built the kit crew figures. I love the poses on these guys, very natural

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then I started priming… not realizing that I had forgotten to add stowage. So I stopped the priming, let it dry, selected some stowage items from my spares collections and epoxied it all in place

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then the next day I finished up the priming

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next up, base colors…

 

 

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Thanks Chris. The M51 is pretty impressive. From a tank that could only take on heavier tanks from the flanks or rear to being able to take out a then current Soviet MBT frontally three decades later is damn impressive. The HVSS suspension gave lower ground pressure than a T-34 and with the new Diesel engine, automotively it was a power to weight ratio that gave the Sherman mobility that the early M4 crews could only envy.

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Carlos, I am loving this build!  I have not posted my only armor build thus far as yet, but I think tanks are just simply fun to build.  I think it might be in the weathering.  It seems that the more you make it messy and dirty, the better off it looks, lol.  That being said, yes, I agree with Bradley25mm that this build is the neatest Sherman I have seen.  I need (and want) to build one myself.   Thanks for sharing this build of yours.  I think it looks great so far! 🙂 

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Thanks Ed! It’s getting there, slow but sure. I had never paid much mind to the IDF M50 or M51 Shermans, but after building this one, they sure have grown on me.

So today I started slinging paint. I did a heavier highlights coat of Model Master Acrylic IDF Sand

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I’ll let it dry overnite then do a thinner coat of the same color in the areas not covered yet. It should give a nice look…

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Mark & John, thank you.

Today I airbrushed on a more thinned and translucent coat of the same color over the dark areas to reduce the contrast… 

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Now the contrast is far more subtle…

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Today was a paint session on the stowage items base colors. Almost four hours using most of my enamel Olive Drabs, Olive Greens, Khakis, and most everything in between to paint the items. The beautiful thing about using enamels over acrylics is that any enamel mess ups onto the base acrylic IDF Sand are easily cleaned up with paint thinner.

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Tomorrow I need to work on the road wheel tires and the exhausts. 

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Carlos,

              Looks like your in the home stretch. The use of enamels over acrylics was a great idea. I would have not thought of that. Great job.

Chris

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Thanks Chris. Yeah, a bit more work here and there… I can see the finish line, but I’m not quite there yet. Perhaps by the end of next week. 
I love working with dissimilar layers for paints. Easier to clean up the coffee hands goofs… 🤨

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The stowage items look great, Carlos!  I think that your choices of different colors and hues make for a more interesting visual whole of the model overall.  Well done!

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Thanks Ed. I remember how stowage on our vehicles used to look, so I just used that mental image for my inspiration on this build.

So I’m inching this one closer to the final stages. Last week I finished up painting the road wheels, commander’s .50 cal., and today I did the final straps on the stowage items, and the mantlet canvas dust cover

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So this is how the build looks now

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Next up, gloss coat and decals…

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  • Stikpusher changed the title to Academy 1/35 M51 Sherman ***COMPLETED***
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