Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Project: 1/48 M4A1 Progress

The Tamiya kit as it stands now. Assembly of this model is mostly complete, with just a few bits to finish. As can be seen in the photo, I've started assembly of the tracks, molded in link-and-length assembly. Unfortunately, when painting this model, I forgot to paint the idler and drive sprockets, so assembly of the tracks will have to wait until those get sprayed. Additionally, the M2 .50CAL machine gun provided in the kit is fairly poor, lacking separate grips for the weapon as well as simplified detail. This will get replaced with a Verlinden after-market machine gun. Also, I ordered a Legends after-market stowage set to give the tank that "lived in" look...

Overall assembly is straight forward. Although it cannot be seen well in the photo, I enhanced the cast texture on the hull, transmission cover, and turret by stippling with liquid cement. Also fit of the transmission cover to the hull is not very good, and you can tell Tamiya cut some corners with it. It required a bit of filler on the hull sides to get rid of a pair of unsightly gaps. I suspect this job would've been easier if the lower hull was plastic instead of metal, but for some reason Tamiya decided to mold the lower hulls in die-cast metal, which is inferior in detail to a conventional plastic item. Newer kits no longer have this "feature," but we must suffer through it with the older kits...

Final steps will be track assembly, mounting the machine gun, and weathering.

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