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Old 01-20-2017, 05:12 PM
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Amccombs3 Amccombs3 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Fairfax, VA
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Anne's M4A3 Sherman GPM

So yes, I decided on GPM's M4A3 Sherman for my next build. I'm not trying to be egotistical with the name here, but rather to distinguish my build thread from the several other fine efforts that other builders have shared on this forum. I will be making frequent reference to those threads as I muddle my way into this somewhat daunting kit.

So, on to first impressions. I'm expecting a very high quality kit with few fit problems, based on other builders' reports. The printing is beautiful, with subtle shading of this rather monochromatic tank (All OD All the Time). There are small parts, but none that are excessively microscopic. The tracks are built-up band tracks, which should help with the tedium.

The cover, printed on glossy card, has the expected handsome painted portrait of the subject on the front, eight photos of the completed model (in two variations) on the back, a history of "the legendary tank" in Polish, English, and German on the inside front cover, and two diagrams on the inside rear cover. One is a top and side view of the tank, and the other contains details of the optional accessories, including spare track, top gun, gas cans, wooden boxes, a bucket, and an add-on side rack that held (I assume) sand bags. I think the sand bags and rack are really ugly, so I intend to omit those; I'm reserving judgment on the rest.

Inside, we find 3 pages of formers, printed on lightweight paper; 5 pages of diagrams, patterns and instructions, including verbal instructions in English (which I greatly appreciate) as well as Polish and German; 10 pages of cardstock parts; and two pages of cardstock optional accessories as noted above. Page 7 of the cardstock parts also has a few diagrams which relate to the turret.

One minor confusion so far is that the instructions say to laminate parts marked with one asterisk onto 0.5 mm cardboard, and parts marked with two asterisks to 1.0 mm board. Then it says to glue all the formers onto 0.7-0.8 mm board. I couldn't find any parts with two asterisks at all, so the question is moot. I used some divider boards that I get from my friendly local comic book shop, and the thickness looks like it's going to be just right. This is a good thing because I have lots of that type of board in stock. I did the laminating with some Krylon Spray Adhesive All Purpose 2010. I have had a little problem with delaminating in the past, so I laid on a good heavy coat this time and will not start cutting those pages until tomorrow to give it a chance to dry thoroughly.

I also took the precaution of scanning all the parts pages -- just in case.

Because I can't resist doing a little cutting, I will probably play around with the first couple of colored parts, 1 and 2L & R, which are the lower indented part of the hull where the tow hooks mount. These were a bit of a puzzle, and I am grateful to Kevin Stephens for his fine photographs of this area, which confirmed my theory of how they were supposed to fit together. Parts 3 and 4 are the largest parts, the hull, and I may or may not get to initial scoring, cutting, and playing tonight.

This will be a long-term project; judging by my last build, it will take a year or longer. I intend to intersperse quicker projects now and then for the occasional shot of instant gratification. But right now, I'm looking forward to building my very own Sherman tank.
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