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M3 Lee, Tunisia 1942 (1/32 Airfix kit)

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  • Member since
    November, 2005
M3 Lee, Tunisia 1942 (1/32 Airfix kit)
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 11:52 AM
I've finally (took me ages to get around to doing the final weathering) completed building the Airfix 1/32 M3 Lee, and I have to say that for such an old kit, it's turned out really well. It may have dimension inaccuracies I'm not aware of (I'm not really too worried about this sort of thing providing the model looks like the prototype it represents) but the surface detail is very good, not to mention the wide variety of external stores, tools etc.
There's no interior details unfortunately, but all of the hatches and vision blocks can be modelled open or shut, and have supporting brackets
The map-reading commander figure is also a nice touch (I always try to add crew figures to my AFV models, and it's a shame that some manufacturers don't include them).

I'd be interested to know how the Airfix kit compares to the (not much newer) Tamiya offering - I've never actually seen that kit unbuilt, I once saw a built example but it was a while ago, before I bought the Airfix kit.

The model represents a vehicle in the Operation Torch campaign, Tunisia 1942, and therefore I've weathered the lower half fairly heavily to represent dust.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 12:29 PM
Looks good. The top hatch interior color is OD green not white though. The Airfix 1/32 scale M3 Lee and M3 Grant are the two best M3 kits, far superior to the old Monogram 1/32 scale Grant and Lee and better than the Tamiya 1/35 scale M3 Grant and Lee too.

I've got a couple of Grants and a Lee, well worth the search. Academy is rumored to be doing an all new M3 Grant and Lee in 1/35. I hope I get to see them soon.
  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Tochigi, Japan
Posted by J-Hulk on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 12:34 PM
Nice build!
That does look like a decent kit, aside from the tracks. The spacing between the links is a bit funky, and I'm not sure that's an accurate pattern (but it may be). Still a good-lookin' Lee, though!
I've never seen the 1/32 Airfix kits, but I built the Monogram 1/32 Lee and Grant back in the 70's, and thought they were great kits way back then. I've never built the 1/35 Tamiya offerings, but am continually tempted to pick up the Grant every time I see it (Heck, it's only about 10 bucks or so!). Evidently it has its accuracy problems, but it looks decent enough to me. Just from looking in the box, I'd say the biggest problem is that the hull and turret moldings seem really smooth (moreso than usual), so something would need to be done to rough 'em up a bit. The tracks also have the end connectors molded at the exact ends of each link, rather than in between each link (same deal with the Monogram kits). That's kinda hard to see, though, and doesn't detract much from the kit, in my opinion. Of course, you could always slap on a set of AM links.

Anyway, nice Lee, Drawde!
  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: bc,canada
Posted by gdarwin on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 1:15 PM
Big Smile [:D] look good ,what did you use the the rust on the spare tracks? great workBig Smile [:D]

airborne death from above
  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posted by mm23t on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 5:53 PM
Good work! I'd also like to know what you used on the tracks.

Medals are not "Won", they are "Earned".




  • Member since
    April, 2004
  • From: sunny imperial beach
Posted by yw18mc on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 6:06 PM
Nice job on your Lee. Someday would like to build the Tamiya with interior detail in some kind of a desert dio. Thanks for sharing with us. Semper Fi, mike
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 6:21 PM
looks great
thanks for posting
  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Northeast Washington State
Posted by JCon on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 6:33 PM
I agree, you did a fine job there!
Happy Modeling, Joe Favorite Quote: It's what you learn after you know it all that counts!
  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Ozarks of Arkansas
Posted by diggeraone on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 9:58 PM
Dwarde you did a good job.Digger
Put all your trust in the Lord,do not put confidence in man.PSALM 118:8 We are in the buisness to do the impossible..G.S.Patton
  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Philippines
Posted by Dwight Ta-ala on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 10:21 PM
Nothing to add. Great job. I would however like to suggest that tracks (excluding the spare) should be drybrushed with steel colored paint to simulate active wear and tear. Since the spare tracks are not being used and static it is susceptible to rusting but the active tracks will always shed off much of the rust once it starts moving.

Again, well done.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 2:28 AM
Thanks for the suggestions!

I'm -always- forgetting to paint hatch undersides in the hull base colour. It doesn't help that some vehicles (such
as modern US ones) do have hatches painted in the interior colour!
I painted the cupola hatch green on both sides, but wasn't sure what colour the hull roof hatch would be; I'm assuming that the undersides were painted in the hull colour for camouflage/air visibility reasons, so I thought that since the hull hatch would rarely be opened during combat, it might be painted in the interior colour.

Still, this is one thing that's easily fixed, I'll repaint the hatch next time I do some painting!

I'll definitely have to try out some surface-roughening techniques the next time I build
a tank with cast parts.

As for things like track pattern, that's not usually the sort of thing I worry about - I add missing details and correct
very serious inaccuracies (i.e things like a hatch in completely the wrong position, not things like a hull 3mm too short!) if I can using scratchbuilding techniques. But as the tracks for this tank were vinyl (not easy to work with to say the least) and I didn't want to buy some AM tracks (which would probably cost more than the £9 I paid for the kit) I left them as they were.

Usually the method I use in painting tracks is first to paint them in an appropriate mud/dust colour (depending on theatre)
and then dry-brush heavily with gunmetal (Humbrol #53) so the mud stays in the crevices and the raised surfaces are metallic. Then I add rust, trying to avoid the raised surfaces as much as possible.
This final process didn't work so well on this model as the treads are so wide.

The paint I use for rust is Revell Matt #85, dry-brushed on with old paintbrushes of various size (heavily brushed on things like spare tracks and exhaust cylinders, lightly applied with a small brush to the hull corners and crevices)
  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 2:39 AM
Looks good Drawde... You should maybe try Mirage's series of Lee/Grant kits... All 1/72, but they look fantastic!


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