Academy M4A3 w/T-34 Calliope Update

Wow.

I had good intentions with this kit and writing a build log. Really, I did. But, I just counted the photos and realized that over 100 photos with commentary is a bit much, so I will give a few comments and then post pics of the finished model.

First of all, I want to mention that this is my second Academy kit. The kit overall is pretty nice. There are a few detail things that are not to my liking, but easily fixed. Engine hatch grab handles come to mind. The ones on the kit are the solid, molded on type, and those were easily shaved off and replaced with some of the extra handles that come with the kit.

Fit is generally good with some not-too-difficult modifications to the rocket tubes to get everything to come together smoothly.

I built the kit mostly from the box, but added wiring to the rocket launcher assembly, and reworked the springs on the rocket launcher mounts to look a little better.

I also replaced the kit tracks. The ones in the kit are the rubber chevron type with extended end connectors, usually referred to as duckbill end connectors. The vehicle I was building had the steel chevron tracks, so I opted to go after market. The brand I chose was Kaizen.

I have messed with Kaizen tracks once before and really liked them, so I thought I would give them a try again. They are much cheaper than the metal tracks that are available and seem to be better quality than some of the other brands.

The one snag I ran into was that the drive sprockets were too narrow for the tracks. So, I had to cut the sprocket apart and add a spacer to make it wider.

Here is a photo of the tank I was recreating

m4_sherman_t34_calliope-1

And here is my version

And a few more.

And that, is that.

For my next review, I will cut back on the photos and be a little more general, with emphasis on modifications or fit issues.

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