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1/76 M3, M5A1 & M9A1 US Armored Halftracks
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PostPosted: October 20th, 2017, 4:07 am 
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That is supremely cool! Great scratch-built gun pulpit, and very effective finish and weathering.

I love seeing 1/72/76 armor going from chunky you to fine model, like this.

I'm looking forward to more.


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1/76 M3, M5A1 & M9A1 US Armored Halftracks
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PostPosted: October 20th, 2017, 3:27 pm 
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That is seriously good, Neil, with detailing to rival a 1/35th build. As it so happens last week I was sorting out some old models and came across my build of this kit from about 1976. Needless to say the build is not what I would produce today (I think I'd at least get the wheels on straight nowadays :ha: ) but what struck me is how small the model is and when I look at what you've done, I can but only admire your efforts even more 8-)

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1/76 M3, M5A1 & M9A1 US Armored Halftracks
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PostPosted: October 25th, 2017, 12:18 am 
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Thanks once again for the very kind comments. @Shaun, I am definitely not posting photos of the Matchbox M16 to M3 Halftrack conversions I made in the same sort of time period as yours...

A little progress. I airbrushed the Model Master matte lacquer/varnish to seal the decals and mud in. Then I added the windscreen, dusted the windscreen over a wiper pattern mask and then stuck on some wipers:
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Obviously the windscreen had to be added and finished before adding the raised windscreen armor, which has to be done before adding the 50-cal MG pulpit. Once the windscreen armor is added, I doubt the wiped clear patches on the windscreen will be visible. Still, at least I'll know they're there... The driver (from Milicast) is also assembled (with one arm from the kit driver) and ready for painting.

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1/76 M3, M5A1 & M9A1 US Armored Halftracks
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PostPosted: October 25th, 2017, 2:41 am 
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So good!

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1/76 M3, M5A1 & M9A1 US Armored Halftracks
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PostPosted: October 25th, 2017, 5:55 pm 
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gnomemeansgnome wrote:
So good!


+1 from me, Neil and I really like the realistic windscreen wiper tracks showing where the blades have cut through the grime. All in all, full marks here so far!

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1/76 M3, M5A1 & M9A1 US Armored Halftracks
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PostPosted: October 29th, 2017, 9:13 pm 
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And again, thanks for the comments and interest.

So, the good thing about Evergreen strip is that it bends easily. The bad thing about Evergreen strip is that it bends easily... As I glued the MG pulpit in place, the outer shield bent slightly to fit, which put pressure on the over-constrained ring mount, pushing it out of round. So I had to unattach one of the ring connections to relieve the forces...which broke part of the ring... requiring repairs and repainting. Anyway, once that was resolved I added the rear MG pulpit support pole and bracket from brass rod and more Evergreen strip.
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Next I followed Shaun's suggestion and made mudguards from the foil on a wine bottle, and painted the added bits and areas needing touchup. I also dry-brushed the 50-cal MG with gunmetal to bring out the detail.
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Image

I am currently working on the pin wash and the driver.

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1/76 M3, M5A1 & M9A1 US Armored Halftracks
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PostPosted: October 31st, 2017, 5:53 pm 
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Great bit of repair work, Neil. I'm glad to see the foil has worked well for the mudflaps as well, the OOB plastic ones in kits always look too flat and lifeless to me.

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1/76 M3, M5A1 & M9A1 US Armored Halftracks
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PostPosted: November 6th, 2017, 1:12 am 
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I am going to call the Fujimi/Nitto M5A1 complete (if only to stop me fiddling even more...). Pin wash completed, along with detail painting and added stowage (some resin, some home made):

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Fujimi Nitto M3A1 Halftrack Converted To M5A1 BLF

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Fujimi Nitto M3A1 Halftrack Converted To M5A1 RF

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Fujimi Nitto M3A1 Halftrack Converted To M5A1 RR

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Fujimi Nitto M3A1 Halftrack Converted To M5A1 LR

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Fujimi Nitto M3A1 Halftrack Converted To M5A1 LHS

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Fujimi Nitto M3A1 Halftrack Converted To M5A1 LFTop

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Fujimi Nitto M3A1 Halftrack Converted To M5A1 RRTop

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Fujimi Nitto M3A1 Halftrack Converted To M5A1 LRTop

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1/76 M3, M5A1 & M9A1 US Armored Halftracks
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PostPosted: November 6th, 2017, 4:18 am 
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Excellent work on what is
a small model.

Nigel


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1/76 M3, M5A1 & M9A1 US Armored Halftracks
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PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 5:46 pm 
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Excellent work, Neil, a superb bit of small scale half-track building. I certainly would take this for 1/35th if I didn't know better!

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1/76 M3, M5A1 & M9A1 US Armored Halftracks
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PostPosted: December 29th, 2017, 8:47 pm 
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So I took a bit of a detour... The ATF was having a Group Build for the Airfix M3A1 Halftrack, so I decided to bump the M9A1 conversion up the list, delaying the promised Airfix/Matador M3. Anyway, here are the build photos:

I cut the 'slot' down the center of the track outer surfaces, dividing the treads into two, cut grooves in the drive sprocket, idler and bogies to give the impression of paired wheels and drilled some holes in the drive sprockets and idlers to make them at least a little more realistic.
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I filled and sanded all the ejection pin marks! I also added the under-seat lockers on either side of the passenger compartment and the raised step between the lockers and at the same height towards the front, unique to the M2/M9. For the gas tanks, I drilled a hole, the put strip underneath and added smaller diameter rod inside the hole to represent the cap with a gap all the way round.
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Same key error on the Airfix kit as the Nitto one, the bulkhead between the driver/co-driver section and the passenger area. This was only present on the M13/M14/M16/M17 AA versions. The M3 and M5/M9 did not have a divider. Since the bottom of the offending part is a key structural component, I cut just below the seat backs to get what was needed:
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The bottom part then fit like this:
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For the driver/co-driver part, I removed the center seat, since this mounted further back (on the raised step in the passenger area) on the M9A1.
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I removed the spurious step above the side doors; removed all the rivets and AA version side hinges and panel line; removed the sliding armored slit covers on the outside of the doors and scribed a line across the rear lower triangle. All in line with making this into an International Harvester version. I also scribed the side door edges.
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Having removed the M3 style external sliding armored slit covers, I had to recreate them on the inside M5/M9 style. The inside of the side doors are not marked at all on the Airfix kit, so I scribed them in as well:
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And then I started adding wire mesh to simulate floor texture and to mark out the under-floor lockers:
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I scratched the ammo lockers and mounted them, along with the gas tanks. I just have to add the seat cushions and backs and this part will be ready to go.
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I added the seats, seatbacks and grab rails to the passenger area. The seatbacks for the two laid-back seats between the gas tanks and ammo bins attached to the sides, so will have to be added later.
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Image

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1/76 M3, M5A1 & M9A1 US Armored Halftracks
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PostPosted: December 29th, 2017, 8:50 pm 
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I completed the driver's area and assembled the three interior parts to the chassis.
Image

Image

I also attached the middle seatbacks to the sides, added a map case to the passenger side door and opened up the slots above and below the slats of the front radiator cover.
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This view has one side dry assembled to show how the middle seatback fits:
Image

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1/76 M3, M5A1 & M9A1 US Armored Halftracks
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PostPosted: December 29th, 2017, 8:52 pm 
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Next I added the tilt tie-downs along the upper sides and rear. I also removed all the M3 style features on the back and scribed M5/M9 style plate edges. I also drilled markers for the grab handles and rear blackout lights. The four vertical strips are intended to be the edges of the M5/M9 style rear bumpers. These bumpers are very difficult to scratch, as they are complex curves. My hope was that this approach will work better/easier than the ones on my recent Nitto M5A1 conversion where I tried to include the flat edges in the bending process. They are 3mm apart, where the bumpers will be 4mm at the widest, encouraging the inward curve. I hoped...
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The finish selected was British SCC2 Service Drab, representing a vehicle repainted by the British after receipt. Here I have painted and weathered the inside ready for assembly:
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Image

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1/76 M3, M5A1 & M9A1 US Armored Halftracks
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PostPosted: December 29th, 2017, 8:53 pm 
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Basic assembly completed, rear sides rounded and a few details added. I thinned the top of the sides and added the inner rail. The mine racks were cut in half and thinned. I also got the back of the mine rack right this time (they were too far forward on my recent Nitto M5A1), to extend past the rounded part of the sides, requiring the extra bracket on the rear to hold them in place. I added the handles, rear lights and curved bumpers to the rear as well.
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On the front, I thinned the mudguards considerably, and added the mid/late production style headlamps and guards.
Image

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1/76 M3, M5A1 & M9A1 US Armored Halftracks
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PostPosted: December 29th, 2017, 8:55 pm 
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I had selected an Airfix 6-pdr ATG to be towed, which required some work as well...

First, the gun barrel is about 3mm too long and the extra length is near the back as the recoil mechanism under the barrel is also too long. So I cut some out:
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I also filled in the reduced diameter behind the muzzle break (which I drilled out). There are photos that look like the Airfix version, but also ones without the reduced diameter section too. My guess is that older Mk 1 barrels were retro-fitted with the longer Mk 3 liner, which then stuck out the end of the barrel. Not sure if this was a wartime or post-war upgrade though. The ones with a stepped barrel often seem associated with a double shield, again I'm not sure if this was a wartime or post-war upgrade either.

The gun shield is too thick of course, but also too low and slightly the wrong shape, possibly from being based on a double shield version. So I decided to try and scratch one... which turned into a project on it's own.
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This was my first attempt. The sides were OK, but the front ended up skew-whiff, so I had to remake it...

This is the final version:
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Not perfect, but better...

And some more pics with the Shield dry assembled:
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And with the M9A1, with dry assembled tracks/wheels:
Image

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