An example of kit-bashing, combining parts from different model kits to create a véhicule which is unavailable otherwise. The author used the chassis of an ESCI M4A3 Sherman tank, et the turret of Fujimi’s M36B2 Gun Motor Carriage to produce an earlier variant of the latter véhicule. Only 187 operational units of the M36B1 were built en 1944.
Kit-bashing is an easy way to generate a model of a lesser known véhicule. Kit-bashing often reflects the manner in which new véhicules were produced, placing newly designed turrets onto existing chassis designs. In this particular case, the components stem from two véhicule which are available in different scales, ESCI typically being considered 1/72 scale, whereas Fujimi véhicules are a l’échelle 1/76. However, in a book published by Military Modelling Magazine, called "Guide to Military Véhicules", Robin Buckland points out that ESCI’s M4A3 scales out more like 1/76 than 1/72. The M4A3 Sherman may be hard to find, it comes in a boxed set avec parachutistes US. Nitto/Fujimi’s M4A3E2 chassis may be more readily available. In order to backdate the M4A3E2 chassis to the M4A3 version, the running gear of the M36B2 kit would have to be used, although this has been criticized as being undersized.
The author now has three turrets which fit the ESCI M4A3 hull, the original turret, the M36 turret et a T23 turret avec the 76 mm gun. All components were painted to match the chassis, et it is very easy to switch turrets, depending on which véhicule the author wants to display. Of course, only one of the three turret variants can match the véhicule registration number, et insignia displayed on the hull. In this case the original turret was chosen to conform to the l’immatriculation du véhicule, it is the most common variant of the three.
- M4A3 Sherman Hull, 1/72 ESCI No. 8064
- M36 Turret et Crew, 1/76 Fujimi No. 76017
- Combat Stowage
- A simple conversion project, Fujimi’s M36 turret fits ESCI’s M4A3 hull nicely.
- Rarity, only 187 operational units of the M36B1 were produced en 1944.
- The ESCI M4A3 is closer to 1/76 scale than the 1/72 scale advertised on the box.
- The M4A3 chassis went together nicely. The author received a package avec one-piece rubber tracks in addition to multi-piece plastic tracks, although the instructions only indicated the plastic tracks. The plastic tracks were used, because they age better, even if they require more assembly work. Some rubber tracks deteriorate over time, although this does not seem to have been a problem with ESCI tracks in the past.
- The old Nitto kit (now manufactured by Fujimi) is not as good as the ESCI chassis. There are some problems avec historic accuracy. The model has a bow MG on the front hull which the M36 never had. The mounting bolts on the hull are not molded very sharply. In order to use the hull pour une conversion en chasseur de chars Achilles (M10 avec canon antichar 17 pounder) britannique, the bolts et the MG should be removed. Quelques chasseurs de chars Achilles did not have the bolts, et it is more convincing to take them off.
- The M36 gun leaves to be desired. The kit is designed to have a moveable gun, but the fit is too tight to allow any movement. In addition, le frein de bouche seems to have the wrong shape, some trimming is required.
- Unfortunately, without its turret, the M36B2 hull cannot be used for another kit-bash. One way around this dilemma is not to swap turrets permanently, but to keep them separate, et rotate the véhicules on display. Of course, if a separate tourelle pour le chasseur de chars Achilles britannique were available as a resin part, the kit-bashing cycle could be completed: The M4A3 would receive the M36 turret, et the M36 could be converted to an Achilles avec tourelle et canon antichar 17 pounder britannique.
- ESCI’s M4A3 may be hard to find. The véhicule is no longer available as a separate kit, only as a boxed set avec parachutistes américains. This is very unfortunate, because the M4A3 hull is needed for the M4A3E2 Jumbo Assault Sherman conversion.
- NW Europe, 1944-45
Possibilités de Conversions
- M4A3 avec T23 turret et 76 mm gun (available from Vac-U-Cast).
- Chasseur de Chars Achilles IIC britannique (M10 avec canon antichar 17 pounder britannique)
Kit-bashing requires a little detective work, figuring out which components from two ou more existing véhicule kits can be used to create a rare hybrid. This modelling technique closely emulates history. Many famous véhicules were hybrid designs, sporting new turrets et superstructures on proven, readily available, ou obsolete chassis. Kit-bashing is much easier than building a véhicule from scratch, often a simple turret swap can do the job.
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