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Armor/AFV: Allied - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Allied forces during World War II.
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Need Kit Recommendation for Tank Destroyers
holliday50
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Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2019 - 07:25 PM UTC
I'm wanting to build a proper 1:35 scale tank destroyer (m10, m18 or m36) that would have been present at the Battle of the Bulge. From my research on here, it looks like every kit has accuracy issues, although I can't find proper reviews on the newest Academy M36 kit. I'm willing to pay for an aftermarket "fix" accessory, if I need to do so to fix an otherwise good kit.

I'm also looking for detail kits, stowage and figures. My long term project is to model most of the prominent Battle of the Bulge American armor. Have future plans for Creighton Abrams Thunderbolt, the Cobra King Sherman, & M7 Priest also,but those all seem easy enough to find in accurate kits.
Vodnik
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Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2019 - 09:06 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I'm wanting to build a proper 1:35 scale tank destroyer (m10, m18 or m36) that would have been present at the Battle of the Bulge. From my research on here, it looks like every kit has accuracy issues,


New Tamiya M10 does not have any significant accuracy issues - it's certainly the best of all currently available TD kits. It's an early version though, so I don't know if it would be suitable for BotB.
Bravo1102
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Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2019 - 09:24 PM UTC
There are plenty of photos of M10 with the earlier turrets in the Battle of the Bulge.
Nearly everything was there. You had ancient M4 to brand new M4A3E8.
retiredyank
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2019 - 06:24 AM UTC
If you decide to build an M36, message me for a deal.
GeraldOwens
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2019 - 06:55 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I'm wanting to build a proper 1:35 scale tank destroyer (m10, m18 or m36) that would have been present at the Battle of the Bulge. From my research on here, it looks like every kit has accuracy issues, although I can't find proper reviews on the newest Academy M36 kit. I'm willing to pay for an aftermarket "fix" accessory, if I need to do so to fix an otherwise good kit.

I'm also looking for detail kits, stowage and figures. My long term project is to model most of the prominent Battle of the Bulge American armor. Have future plans for Creighton Abrams Thunderbolt, the Cobra King Sherman, & M7 Priest also,but those all seem easy enough to find in accurate kits.



The recent Tamiya mid-production M10 is quite good, and the sculpting of the figures is excellent.

The revised Academy M10 kit resolved most of the dimensional issues in the hull and turret in their original releases, though it is still not as good as Tamiya's. It does offer much more interior detail in the lower hull, though, especially if you want to open the drivers' hatches. The suspension arms have the vehicle sitting a bit high, as it seems Academy photographed a gutted museum vehicle, which was significantly lighter than wartime vehicles. Academy's tracks are also bit narrow (apparently because the sprocket wheels are a bit thick).

The revised Academy M36 uses the improved hull from the M10/M10A1 kit, mated to the old turret, which, while not perfect, is okay (in my humble opinion). The ammo stowage in the hull needs to have the fiberboard tubes replaced with bare 90 mm shells. Suspension issues are the same.

The AFV Club M10 and M36 are simply too wide, and the wheels are oversized.

Both the Academy and AFV Club M18 kits are a mess, though AFV Club's seems to be the less inaccurate of the two. The enormous engine grills need to be replaced with photo etch, but the empty engine compartment is quite noticeable if you don't scratch build something to go in there..

Of course, I have seen amazing builds of all of these kits, despite their flaws. A great paint job and realistic stowage will go a long way toward making a mediocre kit into a showpiece. It all depends on where you put your priorities.
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2019 - 08:22 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

I'm wanting to build a proper 1:35 scale tank destroyer (m10, m18 or m36) that would have been present at the Battle of the Bulge. From my research on here, it looks like every kit has accuracy issues, although I can't find proper reviews on the newest Academy M36 kit. I'm willing to pay for an aftermarket "fix" accessory, if I need to do so to fix an otherwise good kit.

I'm also looking for detail kits, stowage and figures. My long term project is to model most of the prominent Battle of the Bulge American armor. Have future plans for Creighton Abrams Thunderbolt, the Cobra King Sherman, & M7 Priest also,but those all seem easy enough to find in accurate kits.



The recent Tamiya mid-production M10 is quite good, and the sculpting of the figures is excellent.

The revised Academy M10 kit resolved most of the dimensional issues in the hull and turret in their original releases, though it is still not as good as Tamiya's. It does offer much more interior detail in the lower hull, though, especially if you want to open the drivers' hatches. The suspension arms have the vehicle sitting a bit high, as it seems Academy photographed a gutted museum vehicle, which was significantly lighter than wartime vehicles. Academy's tracks are also bit narrow (apparently because the sprocket wheels are a bit thick).

The revised Academy M36 uses the improved hull from the M10/M10A1 kit, mated to the old turret, which, while not perfect, is okay (in my humble opinion). The ammo stowage in the hull needs to have the fiberboard tubes replaced with bare 90 mm shells. Suspension issues are the same.

The AFV Club M10 and M36 are simply too wide, and the wheels are oversized.

Both the Academy and AFV Club M18 kits are a mess, though AFV Club's seems to be the less inaccurate of the two. The enormous engine grills need to be replaced with photo etch, but the empty engine compartment is quite noticeable if you don't scratch build something to go in there..

Of course, I have seen amazing builds of all of these kits, despite their flaws. A great paint job and realistic stowage will go a long way toward making a mediocre kit into a showpiece. It all depends on where you put your priorities.



:-H

DITTO, of what Gerald said.

One thing is for certain: A replacement 76mm Turned Metal Gun Tube will be required for the ACADEMY AND AFV CLUB M18 kits. RB BARRELS should be able to help you out with your Main Gun Tube, AND your MG Barrels, as well... RB makes three different 76mm Main Gun Tubes to fit the ACADEMY & AFV CLUB M18 kits; the "Plain" Gun Tube, the one with the "Thread-Protector Collar" at the "business-end", and the one with the Muzzle-Brake; it's up to you which one you will want to use. The ACADEMY kit-supplied Gun Tube is molded in "halves" and it is "out-of-round" when assembled, and the AFV CLUB Main Gun Tube is metal, BUT- It has a strange "crinkle"-finish on the outside surface, AND a VERY NOTICEABLE "CONVEX" CURVE in it's shape instead of the correct slight TAPER, so it's better to relegate both of those unsightly Main Gun Tubes right into the TRASH...

With some patient searching around, one can turn the ACADEMY and the AFV CLUB M18s into creditable models by getting the right parts to detail and correct them with. VERLINDEN made a nice multi-media INTERIOR set for the ACADEMY M18, but it's tough to find now. VERLINDEN also made a nice multi-media Engine Compartment set at one time, (complete with COPPER engine Compartment Screens), but there again, that'll be even harder to find, I think??? They also made a nice EXTERIOR set, complete with a nice resin "Canvas" Gun Mantelet Cover. HOBBY FAN at one time made a very nice resin "canvas" Mantelet Cover for the AFV CLUB M18, which included a very awkward-looking "Crew Member". I'm not too crazy about HOBBY FAN Figures- They're WEIRD-looking... I would try Ebay for this stuff, first. Trying to find new, old stock at "brick-and-mortar" Hobby Shops, would be a little bit more difficult, IMO.

Sorry, I don't have the kit #s for those sets, but if you enter "1/35 US M18 Tank Destroyer" in your search, you should be able to come up with stuff for the ACADEMY and AFV CLUB M18 kits pretty quickly. I'm pretty sure it was ROYAL MODELS that also marketed a really nice one-piece resin Exhaust & Muffler set for the ACADEMY or AFV CLUB M18, which I'm sure, could be adapted to either of those kits. You'll need that component because it is a very prominent detail that can be seen through the rear-most Top Engine Screen. I know that ROYAL made a nice resin Stowage Set for that kit, too. In any case, building PROPER 1/35 US WWII TDs and the M8 HMC will be real "labors of love" and "trials of patience".

As far as the ACADEMY M10/M36 Suspensions and Tracks go, I like to "fix" these with ASUKA/TASCA components. TRACKS? After-market, period...

Guys that remember me from my absence from this site for a couple of years will recall my very frequent lamenting over the apparent reluctance of model manufacturers to produce "PROPER" 1/35 kits of the M18, M10 and M36 TDs, AND the M8 HMC-

I've given up on that, since I've been writing and emailing the regular plastic kit manufacturers AND the after-market makers for YEARS about producing all-new 21st century-quality kits of these vehicles- To no avail...

Apparently, only Tigers and Panthers count...

PS- See Henri-Pierre's advice in the very next post...
Frenchy
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2019 - 08:55 PM UTC
M18 Hellcat : AFV Club vs Academy :

https://www.track-link.com/forums/modelling_kits/7854/flat

I also have a comparative article from a French modeling magazine (with drawings) which draws similar conclusions. IMHO, the dimensional issues of the Academy kit are not that easy to fix...

Here's a build of the AFV Club kit by Hervé Charbonneau

AFV Club kit build

If I had to build a M18 I would kitbash the two kits.

H.P.
holliday50
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Posted: Wednesday, February 06, 2019 - 05:37 AM UTC
Thanks everybody for the comments and suggestions. I think my first Destroyer will be the Tamiya M10 Mid-Production kit, inspired by the 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion pushing Peiper out of Stavelot during the Battle of the Bulge.

If there are any aftermarket accessories recommended for this project, let me know. I'm assuming most if not all of these would have had whitewashed camo during the battle, but not really finding much to support that theory.

Here is a picture of the same unit in Germany in 1945:



Looks like he's using sandbag armor on front with a camo netting draped on top of them.

Also, here is a colorized picture of them around Stavelot during the time.



I can't tell if that's a faded whitewash or not. Also, why would there be 6 of them? I thought the M10 had a crew of 4?
Armorsmith
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Posted: Wednesday, February 06, 2019 - 05:55 AM UTC
You won't be disappointed. The fit is nearly perfect. The only real challenge is if you decide to use the crew. Getting those 3 guys to fit in that cramped space is tough. Gives you some sense of how small it must have been in 1:1 and how they managed.