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Rye Fields Sherman M4A3 76W HVSS with Full Interior: Start-to-Finish Build

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  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Rifle, CO. USA
Posted by M1GarandFan on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 6:05 PM

Seventeen parts for the .50 caliber seems a little excessive to me, but it looks very good. About 10 parts is average for a decent looking Ma-deuce IMHO.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 8:56 PM

I thought so too. Today is the beginning of the end. I got all the remaining details onto the tank, did the panel accent treatment, and put on some limited amounts of gloss in preparation for the limited amounts of decals.

The first details to be applied were the extra tread pieces and the tool sets. The treads got some rust-colored weathering powders.

Notice too I painted and mounted the four Jerry cans. I have not added any fuel stains or spills yet. I'm happy with how the tools look. I used small drops of med CA to hold them in place. They're probably very fragile being that the CA is basically holding onto three layers of paint and not welded to the styrene base.

I then got the 50 cal painted and waiting for a decal on the ammo box. I use the Molotow Chrome pen on the muzzle end just for effect. I added a little gloss just to the gun barrel to give it some contrast with the receiver.

The tow cable is a thread and two styrene ends which I med CA'd onto the thread. It then gets attached to the hull via a very tiny little base piece, a piece of bent PE and a very tiny wing nut. I lost one of the base pieces and after looking for it, made one out of 0.030" X 0.030" styrene. After getting it all done, I found the missing piece in my catch cloth. I actually checked there first, but the piece was so small as to be nearly invisible. Since I had already replaced it, it was now moot.

The cable was supposed to belay onto the gear case. But if I put it there I wouldn't be able to remove the upper hull which is NOT glued. So I relocated it to the hull space above the gear case. Not prototypical, but pragmatic for my purposes.

This picture also shows the scratch-build rear view mirror installation. The plastic shafts somehow glued into a tiny folded PE bracket was a non-starter. Furthermore, one of the two shafts was already fractured in two while still in the sprue due to stresses imposed by a huge ejection pin defect right next to it.

Tomorrow, I will use the Molotow pen to apply a nice reflective surface on the viewing side of the mirror.

So all the little bits are on the vehicle. I used Tamiya Clear Gloss to selectively airbrush areas where either decals are going or I wanted to use the black panel accent treatment. This was specifically the engine grills shown below.

Notice also the the 50 cal is done. I painted the cocking lever and hand grips my wood color. Also I opened the gun port of the turret side since this was not glued in. 

 

 

I used some black weathering powder on the muzzle end of the big gun, but it doesn't show up much. I may go back and just kiss it with some flat black finely airbrushed.

 

 

 


After decaling I will go back and flat the tank to seal them and even up the sheen. I'm still working on a display support. There's no rush since the tank can sit on the shelf as it is.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, September 17, 2020 11:53 AM

Again, simply fantastic job there! Love the tools and the .50 cal. And the overall finish looks great too! 

I think it's a rule somewhere. If you lose a part and you buy or fabricate a replacement the missing part will always re-appear.

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    February 2011
  • From: AZ,USA
Posted by GreySnake on Friday, September 18, 2020 7:50 AM
Very nice work on the tools and the .50 cal. I’m really impressed with how quickly the kit came together as it would take me at least a year to finish at my working pace.

 
  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Friday, September 18, 2020 10:04 PM

Thank you! You have to remember, I'm retired and my "job" is building cool stuff in the basement. I put in 2 to 4 hours most days in this endeavor. I don't work on weekends as you all know by now, but it's still really satisfying that I can work on stuff like this at a reasonably steady pace.

So...on July 27 I started this project with box with over 1,900 parts in it and now there is this...

The parts rack is empty. And you know what that means? The model is done! I started assembling the crew set, but I have my doubts as to its usability. I built the one seated figure that could possibly go inside. He fits... sort of... it seems a little big, and he would be a loader since his hands are positioned to handle a round. The loader sits with his legs dangling into open space so there's not much supporting the figure. His head is almost out of the hatch, but not quite.

I'm also having trouble printing a workable display rack to show the hull and turret in a position so you can see underneath.

Be that as it may... the model I'm declaring is finished! Here are some of the final shots. I'm not taking any more interior shots since the insides have been done for a while. I tried to take a picture showing how reflective those rearview mirrors are, but it didn't work.

These two shots were done with my Canon EOS Rebel and Zerene Stacker image stacking software. Once again, the little camera on my iPhone 7 is actually producing more pleasing images. I'm itching to get the iPhone 12 when it comes out, and the Canon will probably go to the thrift shop.

So that's that. In summation: this was the most complete, intricate and challenging plastic kit I've ever done. Now I have to add that my Missouri and Essex projects were huge and took longer, but most of the complexity was driven by me wanting to add to the kit with 1,000s of pieces of aftermarket PE, mods and scratch-building. The box kits themselves weren't all that complicated. This one was complicated and difficult out of the box. It was over-engineered and multi-part assemblies which added complexity without adding much more in clarity. One of the most difficult and ambiguous assemblies was the gluing in the gear case and interior front end to the hull bottom. I may not have gotten this correct since the upper hull does not slip under the faux bolt lip on the gear case. There doesn't seem to be room for it and I would definitely break something if I attempted to get it into there.

The treads, which I dealt with in great detail, are frankly, frightening. The fact that they're still together and look so good is remarkable and surprising. 

But, I never shrink from a challenge, and wanted to build one of their kits. My next plastic kit is up in the air, but as I noted before, I may try my hand at the Meng Bradley with the full interior. And I may be a glutten for punishment because I still want to built Ryefield Model's A-1 Abrams with full interior too.

My next project is going to be for the model railroad and will be my rendition of Edward Hopper's masterpiece, The House by the Railroad. I had to draw the entire building from his painting, imagining all kinds of details that were in the shadows. I have 3D printed over 100 architectural details and have had the flat parts laser cut by Rail Scale Models. It's all in the shop waiting. This will be an interesting project that I'm anticipating writing an article about.

Here's Hopper's painting.

And here's the SketchUp drawing that I made to produce the model.

If any of you wish to follow the construction of the this 1:48 scale model, I've been running a continuous thread on the O'Gauge Railroading Magazine Forum since April 2013. It's now 84 pages long and covers an enormous amount of work. I will be posting daily construction notes on this project as I do with my plastic kits.

Page 1 starts here: https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/continuing-saga-of-the-pandampprr?page=1

This project will start around page 84.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Monday, September 21, 2020 5:21 PM

Did one more thing on the Sherman. I'm cobbling together some for of display rack to let people view the underneath. My attempts to 3D print something didn't work, so I resorted to old school. I used two sizes of Plastruct tubing. It was a pain to drill and shape the openings in the uprights so the cross bracing would set at the right angle. I did not want butt joints. It isn't very square since I should have made workng drawings to accurately measure the cross bracing. I will spray paint it some nice Tamiya Real Metal paint and that will be that. Instead of making a separate rack for the turret, I'll let the turret display while attached to the upper hull.

And I've purchased the Bradley, so when the House by the Railroad is finished, it will be my next kit. A nice thing about this kit is sensible workable tracks. One part per link and they snap together so no glue anywhere. What a difference between that and the Ryefield 6 pieces five of which had to be glued without gluing the other two that had to be movable. The fact that the track mostly works is quite remarkable.

I will start a separate build thread in a month or so. Stay tuned!

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 6:08 PM

I painted the stand and it's now doing its job.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 7:18 AM

Fantastic job there!!! Looks amazing and I'd swear after this I have a better apprecation for the complexity of the real thing. 

Love the stand and love the Hopper painting house- good luck with that!!! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    February 2011
  • From: AZ,USA
Posted by GreySnake on Sunday, September 27, 2020 6:47 AM
Outstanding work! Thanks for always taking the time to share updates and photos on this build it was very interesting.
 
 
I’m sure the Hopper house will come out amazing. I’m looking forward to seeing a future topic on the Bradley.

 
  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Sunday, September 27, 2020 11:26 AM

Thanks. I anticipate the Bradley's going to be more "fun" than the Sherman. The Hopper House is, indeed, going to be a neat structure.

The stairway, while probably not very visible when embedded in the House, is a fun challange that I'm doing "just because I can". This is the foyer and 1st floor with the to-be-detailed entry hall closet roughed in.

Here's the second floor installation. The staircase is one unit comprised of 11, 3D printed parts all glued together with the same UV resin as it's made of or CA. The four fireplaces were 3D printed too. In all, I printed about 100 parts for this.

I took this fun shot looking in the front door. There's a seam on the stair treads. I was unable to print the entire stair with railing without having supports in places that would have damaged the finished product in their removal. By separating the steps into the railing and tread areas, the print was doable. Unfortunately, getting a perfect seam was not. My iPhone 7 camera doesn't allow you to change focal distances in small enough increments to use my photo stacking software. If I could, you can get closeup model shots that are in focus front to back. I don't know if the new iPhone 12 will be able to do it. I'm getting ready for an upgrade.

I'll periodically post status pictures of this project as I go along. It may not be plastic or a vehicle, but it is 1:48 and therefore falls into the definition of a fine scale model IMHO.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Sunday, September 27, 2020 4:52 PM

Oh that looks cool! I've got to try one of those some day....

Could you maybe just put a carpet down on top of the stairs to cover the gap? I mean it's not a great idea considering sliding up and breaking your neck but I think I've seen them in some period movies.

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

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