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1/35 M53 155mm Self Propelled Gun - WIP - 2/8/2015 Paint & Weathering

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  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: New Jersey
1/35 M53 155mm Self Propelled Gun - WIP - 2/8/2015 Paint & Weathering
Posted by redleg12 on Saturday, January 3, 2015 1:27 PM

Fire Mission

1/35 M53 155mm Gun in Vietnam

Introduction

The M53 used components of the M47 Patton tank, but the automotive aspects were reversed. The engine was mounted in the front and drove through a front-drive sprocket. The driver's cupola is visible on the front left of the turret, and spare track blocks were stored on the turret front. Because the driver's seat was in the turret, a special seat was used to keep the driver facing forward, independent of the turret facing.

The M53 was used during the Vietnam War, and subsequently withdrawn from service in the US military.

The Kit

I will be using the Elite M55/M53 8 inch/155mm kit. The kit is a full resin kit. The kit is better from a scale perspective to the old Revell kit. Warning…. do not attempt this kit without a full tube of good putty!!. The kit could seriously use a PE fret and as such I will be using a number of leftovers to improve the build. Second warning, you will need some styrene sheeting and rods to improve some kit components. 

The Build

The main sections of the turret are assembled with 5 structural parts. Fortunately the seams are also along the same lines as the actual weld seams. After assembly and after a number of putty applications, here is the bare turret

After the seams were sealed, I added the hatches and vision blocks. I replaced the kit resin tool rack and parts with PE rack and clips. Around the mantelet I used PE to make the mounting bracket and add the bolts to hold the bracket. The seams are covered with Archer weld seam decals. The lifting lugs are 18 gauge wire and the handles are 22 gauge wire. The antenna mount is brass cast to again replace the kit resin mount. The diamond plate on the step plates are from old PE sets

The main carriage is assembled from 3 major parts. The mounts for each road wheel are the glued to the hull. Again, as you can see there are areas which, require a fair amount of putty. The engine grills require handles which I am using some spare PE handles. I replaced the vent covers on both sides behind the headlights with styrene sheet. Also the styrene under the grill hinges as the attachment bracket.

This is where I started this holiday week. I will have an update tomorrow to get you totally up to date.

That’s it for now 

As always if you have any comments, please feel free to drop in.

Rounds Complete!! 

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    October 2013
Posted by Alpha 43 on Saturday, January 3, 2015 1:35 PM

As usual Mike, your builds are incredible. This build is beyond me, so I look forward to this one as you go along.

Earl

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Saturday, January 3, 2015 2:47 PM

Hello Mike!

I'm excited to see you build this one - I have the Revell kit and I also bought a discounted M47 to try to improvise something. Do you have any references for this build that you could share?

I will be watching this build, good luck with it and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Saturday, January 3, 2015 4:09 PM

Earl - Thanks for the kind comments

Pawel - You can look at my personal pictures here  

www.redleg2scale.com/.../M53.html

If you want the full camera copies so you can use them, send me your email and I will forward them to you.

Thanks for the peek. As I go along more ideas to come!!

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    August 2008
  • From: S.W. Missouri
Posted by Pvt Mutt on Saturday, January 3, 2015 4:26 PM

Mike am I glad you're building this one,now one of the big companies will do a really nice one in plastic.Yes

Thanks heaps buddy

Tony lee

Shoot Low Boys They're Ridin Ponys

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Saturday, January 3, 2015 7:55 PM

If I build it they will come!!! LOL....

Thanks for the peek Tony. You and your lovely bride have a fantastic 2015!!

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    August 2008
  • From: S.W. Missouri
Posted by Pvt Mutt on Saturday, January 3, 2015 8:07 PM

Thanks Mike we're sure going to try but the financial forecasters are saying otherwise.Censored

Same wishes to you and your little lady too

Tony lee

Shoot Low Boys They're Ridin Ponys

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Sunday, January 4, 2015 11:06 AM

Back to show some more holiday work.

On the turret much of the rod type parts were in sad shape from the kit so I replaced them with styrene. Also the fuel cans were molded all in one in the kit. I have replaced it with PE holder and will use resin cans and PE straps. The last few items added including PE tie downs. At this point the turret is ready to head to the paint booth for priming.

On the chassis added a bunch of PE handles and PE bolt heads for the grille mounting bracket. The exhaust grilles are a molded blobs from the kit. I replaced them with a scratch PE grill and styrene frame. The handles on the side boxes are fabricated from 24 gauge wire. Lastly had to repair with styrene, some of the molded details, which were broken.

Here is a view of the chassis from the rear. You can see the “putty work” to close the seams and to seal up some of the areas of major gels or air release bubbles. The chassis is also ready for priming

The last major assembly is the recoil spade. This is the worst fit item in the kit and as you can see requires a fair amount of putty work to fill in the poor fit. Still need some more work and then will need Archer weld marks.

Not shown are the road wheels. I spent time cleaning up all the road wheels and assembling the road wheels. They are also moving to the paint booth.

Lastly is the barrel. The kit barrel was molded poorly for the 155mm and was not round but oblonged. The M53, M46 Barrel was the design basis for the M107 175mm barrel. Though not perfect (about 0.6 mm larger in diameter on the model) I took the front end of the Barrel Depot M107 barrel and used a 5/16 brass tube for the back end. The barrel is centered and mounted in the tube and the space between is filled and sealed. This is the base barrel also ready for priming.

Warming up the paint booth next!

As always if you have any comments, please feel free to drop in.

Rounds Complete!! 

 

 

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Sunday, January 4, 2015 12:13 PM

Looking great Mike.  Excellent job so far.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/HeavyArty

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Sunday, January 4, 2015 12:26 PM

She looks great really nice work! I've looked at a few resin kits but never worked up the guts to try something like this.

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

 

  • Member since
    January 2007
Posted by the doog on Sunday, January 4, 2015 7:27 PM

I cannot even tell you how jealous I am that you're going to have a model of this in your display case! I have been hoping that the big boys would come out with some proper big gins like the kind that used to line Aberdeen's entry road! An M53, M44, and all the rest of them. That Renwall kit is just too bizarre to waste time on.

I can't wait to see this done up right, Mike!!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Monday, January 5, 2015 6:18 PM

Karl - Like Tony said, once I finish it I am sure someone will come out with a styrene version. I will say it is a big boy and with it being resin it is also quite hefty!! Thanks for the peek.

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Dripping Springs, TX, USA
Posted by RBaer on Tuesday, January 6, 2015 3:36 PM

Great modeling!

Apprentice rivet counter.

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Texas
Posted by wbill76 on Tuesday, January 6, 2015 5:54 PM

Can only imagine how much all that resin weighs Mike. Don't drop it on your foot! Looking good. Beer

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Tuesday, January 6, 2015 6:42 PM

Bill - I have to be careful not to put it in the center of a shelf or the shelf will sag!! It definitely answers the question....where is the beef!  Thanks to you and RB for the peek

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Sunday, January 11, 2015 5:59 PM

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    August 2008
  • From: S.W. Missouri
Posted by Pvt Mutt on Monday, January 12, 2015 1:19 PM

Nice color big guy Yes

Tony lee

Shoot Low Boys They're Ridin Ponys

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 3:09 PM

Hello Mike!

Looks very nice! Just don't make it too green, I heard the OD shouldn't be green at all - but you've seen it in person much more times than me. Or is it going to be a Marine gun? Anyway, good luck with your build and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 3:14 PM

Nice looking build and an interesting looking subject.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Harrier GR.3/Fujimi 1/72nd Ju 87D-3

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 8:49 PM

Tony - Thanks and thanks for stopping by

Pawel - Yep, still looking to see how the finished color turns out. I will be doing a Marine Corp version. It was the USMC that deployed the M53 to VN. Still have to work up the markings.

Bish - Thanks, always fun to do the different.

Thanks again guys

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 8:02 AM

Looking really good, looking forward to seeing how the shading work outs.

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

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Thursday, January 15, 2015 5:06 AM

Gamera - Thanks for stopping by and the comments

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    January 2007
Posted by the doog on Thursday, January 15, 2015 9:02 AM

Cool, Mike! Are you actually going to do like, airbrush shading with lowlights and highlights? This would be a perfect model for that! A little bit of black in the base coat for the lowlights, and some tan in there for faded highlights--could be VERY cool!?

It's looking monstrous. I'm still green!

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Dripping Springs, TX, USA
Posted by RBaer on Thursday, January 15, 2015 10:21 AM

Excellent! I'm doubly impressed, considering the "quality" of the kit itself.....

Apprentice rivet counter.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Thursday, January 15, 2015 6:54 PM

Karl - Yep....the Vallejo kit sets up the base color and mixes for the light and dark highlights. The light side is the bright green and the dark is a mix of the OD and a Russian green. That is the next step. Looking forward to it!! I do agree this will be a great model for this.

RBaer - a Double Thanks for the comments!!

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Sunday, January 18, 2015 8:10 PM

Not a lot of work this weekend. Accomplished the shading using the Vallejo set mix of 50/50 OD green and Russian Green for the dark areas and the underside. On the top exposed areas the light highlight with Bright green. The canvas of the mantlet used Vallejo Canvas green (which is not in the VN set).

Next will be setting up for some blending, highlights and weathering. Also will begin working on the tracks

As always if you have any comments, please feel free to drop in.

Rounds Complete!! 

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, January 19, 2015 8:08 AM

The shading came out great! I've got two of these shading sets though mine are AK Interactive and wonder what I'd do without them now, I could just add a drop or two of tan to the green as I go but they make it so much less muss and fuss.

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

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Monday, January 19, 2015 8:24 AM

She is coming along very nicely Mike.  Great job as always.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/HeavyArty

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Monday, January 19, 2015 12:38 PM

Yeah, lookin' very nice already. But I'm still puzzled with the colour - somehow I'm expecting some other shade, maybe darker? Any comments on this, Mike?

I'm also wondering about the chances to see drawings or photos of the interior of this - it would be a lot of work to build in scale, but still.

I bet there would be a nice base to show your model off - what are your plans here?

Good luck with your build and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: New Jersey
Posted by redleg12 on Monday, January 19, 2015 6:37 PM

Gamera - Thanks. Thought I would give the ease of one of these sets a try.

Gino - You are always welcome at the firing point....thanks

Pawel - Overall the current "bare" color does even appear light to me. As I add wash, weathering and a "satin" finish I am hoping the overall color darkens up.

As for the drawings...would need to get a copy of the TM for the system. That would be the best place to see the layout of the inside.

The base i am still completing the thought but will be going a bit ore on the muddy side. Looking to use some Vallejo Still Water for some puddling

thanks again everyone

Rounds Complete!!

"The Moral High Ground....A Great Place to Emplace Artillery."

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