Post by beekster on Jun 1, 2017 11:51:30 GMT -5
So, here's the story on this one, fellas. Last week I hit a couple of stumbling blocks on the Madill and felt my enthusiasm flagging, so I knew it was time to put it aside for a few days and play with something else. That coincided with the arrival of the last element of this project. The CDL, or Canal Defense Light, was a high-powered arc lamp fitted into a turret of British design for use as, well, something...it was so top-secret that these things were only used once, to light up ground during the crossing of the Rhine in 1945. The Brits first fit the turret to Matildas, and then to M3 Lees. We used the same turret design with minor alterations (like MG mounts) and also used Lees, but we used both riveted M3 and cast M3A1 hulls. I've always thought the oddly organic shape of the cast Lee to be attractive, and so I had to put one on the list. What you see here is a Korean home-market M3 Lee hull tub, Formations cast upper hull, and Resicast turret, all mocked up. As you can see, there is a bit more fettling to do bit the fit between the three manufacturer's components isn't all that bad.
The right side front fender hangs on by a thread after removal of material to fit the hull casting, and it won't be really secure until I glue the upper hull on for good. It isn't sitting quite level at the back, but that's mostly me being sloppy in assembly for images. I had to add styrene strips inside the turret ring to make it smaller so that the turret would fit correctly, and I thinned down the base of the turret considerably and added back a disc of sheet styrene so that I can have a plastic-to-plastic join (and some working time for adjusting placement).
This one won't get a lot of detailing; just a pretty basic build. I will grind off the idler mounts and use Asuka parts for that and the drive sprockets to make fitting LTL tracks easier. I will use the kit suspension, which interestingly enough isn't the early version used in the US release of the Lee...it has the straight-arm Sherman type that came in all of Academy's M10/M36 kits. This is fine, since that is what was fitted when these tanks were rebuilt. And it will sit on level ground, so the incorrect motion of the gudgeon arms doesn't matter at all. I will have to scratchbuild one notable component, the external gun shield for the 75mm gun. Not many photos of this, and it looks to be of two-piece rolled and cast construction held together with big slotted-head bolts. I think that I can use elements of the unused 37mm turret basket to get the curvature I need for the rolled plate, and the cast section will be styrene tube, strip stock, and epoxy putty.