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Armor/AFV: Vietnam
All things Vietnam
Hosted by Darren Baker
Tamiya Vietnam M551 Sheridan build/review
Frenchy
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 09:37 AM UTC

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What is the difference between the full kit and the belly-only kit?
And how can you tell? I looked hard at your (and other) pictures but I just can't spot it.



The full kit includes sponson armor plates (TM drawing here, on page 3-128) ) You can see the plate fitted in the Vietnam picture below (above the first three roadwheels) :



You can compare it to this other one :



H.P.
alchemymike
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 08:51 AM UTC
I tried looking up the Aber S508 diamond pattern mesh... couldnt find it...can you supply a link or a source to buy?
Wolfhound113
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Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 - 08:19 AM UTC

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Was the anti mine kit sometimes fitted uncomplete?
I've come across pics showing the whole kit fitted or just the floor plate.

Regards,

Marc



Hi,

Hey, that's interesting. I never know there was more than one type of kit.
All I ever heard about was some steel belly armour, and that it apparently only went halfway back.
What is the difference between the full kit and the belly-only kit?
And how can you tell? I looked hard at your (and other) pictures but I just can't spot it. (Maar misschien kijk ik met m'n oren, ha ha.)

Rgds,

Marc (yeah, another Marc)
sherb
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Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 - 05:55 AM UTC
A small update.

These are the supports for the rear ammo rack. The only reference photos I could find (of a 3/4 Cav Sheridan)without ammo cans were of a rack that had been so badly mangled it wasn't even being used. This is my best guess.



Here is the rack (not yet glued in place). Reference phots seem to show these were made of angle iron with an inverted T piece (or double angle) running down the middle. Some show a second loop near the tops of the can made of pickets.



Probably should have been a can or two narrower. A couple photos showed jerry cans in holders as I have depicted so I added one.
Kornbeef
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Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2019 - 10:46 PM UTC

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Looking good,glad to see some images again at last.

How did you find the engine grill covers from Tamiya worked out? From the image they look rather fine compared to the awful effort Eduard have made, In fact the Eduard set on a whole is a bit of a disappointment IMHO

Keep the pics and info coming... Keith



The only thing I don’t like about Tamiya’s pe parts is that they’re made of a tougher material, stainless steel? It makes it a little harder to remove from the fret and to clean up the bits. Couple this with how fine and detailed they are and you can have a disaster on your hands. They do fit really well but you have to make sure you get all the burs off.



TY for updating me. Yes Tamiya use steel for some reason! Still looks better than Eduards.

I got some Aber S08 diamond mesh in the mail today and its realy nice and fine. I'll be using that. Eduards mesh completely hides the grilles beneath.

Eduards do do a reasonable chickenwire sheet though to make a rolled up anti-RPG screen though their pt no 00113.
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2019 - 07:42 PM UTC

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Ammo can from Armand Bayardi, M113 .50 cal mount from Tamiya.



Engine screens in place. Holes drilled out for the engine hatch grab handles.
A "common" modification was the addition of a powder canister exhaust extension. I unfortunately nicked the lip while drilling it out. Battle damage?





We've got a fairly free weekend so I'm hoping to add some tie down straps and more stowage. The loaders hatch is closed right now but it is actually functional and will be left open when I'm done.






Looking really FINE, Eban!!!
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2019 - 07:35 PM UTC

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Sherb, how do the Aluminum and plastic barrels compare?
VR, Russ



I tried to take a couple pics but they didn't do the barrels justice.

The plastic barrel is single piece which is slide molded and included the barrel rifling. There is a slight mold seem that needs to be sanded off.

The metal barrel not only has rifling but the rifling also has a twist to it.

Dimensionally and appearance wise, they are the same. I don't have any specs to say how accurate they are.

It's hard to say you NEED to get an aftermarket barrel to replace the plastic version. I like that fact that you can get both some really nice engine screens and barrel in the Tamiya "Detail Up" set for $12-15 more. Whether or not they should have been included in the kit to begin with is always a point for debate.



I don't really see the need for a debate on the barrels; IMO, that's up to the individual modeler. Speaking for myself, I would have gone for the TAMIYA Screens and Barrels, but in addition, I'd have bought the appropriate A/M Barrel from DEF- (They make two different types of Barrels for this kit)... But that's just ME being ME. DEF makes very nice stuff...

Incidentally, ANY Barrel Rifling, whether it's for a real 1:1 firearm or a 1/35 Main Gun, is machined by means of a special Broach, which is mounted in in lieu of the standard-type chuck in the lathe. CNC-machining has made this process much faster and more precise. It's really neat to watch this broach set-up in action...
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2019 - 07:27 PM UTC

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Sherb, I'm sorry we seemed to have hijacked your thread. It did get me to buy the kit. Your doing a great job by the way.

Tom



What, are you kidding? I couldn’t have asked for a better thread.

My only qualifications are owning three Sheridan reference books....and they don’t go anywhere close to the detail you guys do.



Hi!

So after all of the (positive and instructive) palaver, how are you getting along in your build?



Well, my biggest mistake was starting a second Sheridan. Here is a shot of my 3 1/2 year old assistant:




Cute Jammies!!! Love IT!!!
sherb
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Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2019 - 01:14 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Sherb, how do the Aluminum and plastic barrels compare?
VR, Russ



I tried to take a couple pics but they didn't do the barrels justice.

The plastic barrel is single piece which is slide molded and included the barrel rifling. There is a slight mold seem that needs to be sanded off.

The metal barrel not only has rifling but the rifling also has a twist to it.

Dimensionally and appearance wise, they are the same. I don't have any specs to say how accurate they are.

It's hard to say you NEED to get an aftermarket barrel to replace the plastic version. I like that fact that you can get both some really nice engine screens and barrel in the Tamiya "Detail Up" set for $12-15 more. Whether or not they should have been included in the kit to begin with is always a point for debate.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2019 - 10:16 AM UTC
Sherb, how do the Aluminum and plastic barrels compare?
VR, Russ
sherb
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Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2019 - 09:51 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Looking good,glad to see some images again at last.

How did you find the engine grill covers from Tamiya worked out? From the image they look rather fine compared to the awful effort Eduard have made, In fact the Eduard set on a whole is a bit of a disappointment IMHO

Keep the pics and info coming... Keith



The only thing I don’t like about Tamiya’s pe parts is that they’re made of a tougher material, stainless steel? It makes it a little harder to remove from the fret and to clean up the bits. Couple this with how fine and detailed they are and you can have a disaster on your hands. They do fit really well but you have to make sure you get all the burs off.
Kornbeef
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Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2019 - 09:38 AM UTC
Looking good,glad to see some images again at last.

How did you find the engine grill covers from Tamiya worked out? From the image they look rather fine compared to the awful effort Eduard have made, In fact the Eduard set on a whole is a bit of a disappointment IMHO

Keep the pics and info coming... Keith
marcb
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Posted: Sunday, March 17, 2019 - 09:25 AM UTC
Was the anti mine kit sometimes fitted uncomplete?
I've come across pics showing the whole kit fitted or just the floor plate.

Complete kit:


Floor only:



Regards,

Marc
sherb
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Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2019 - 03:33 AM UTC
Ammo can from Armand Bayardi, M113 .50 cal mount from Tamiya.



Engine screens in place. Holes drilled out for the engine hatch grab handles.
A "common" modification was the addition of a powder canister exhaust extension. I unfortunately nicked the lip while drilling it out. Battle damage?





We've got a fairly free weekend so I'm hoping to add some tie down straps and more stowage. The loaders hatch is closed right now but it is actually functional and will be left open when I'm done.



sherb
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Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2019 - 03:26 AM UTC

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Sherb, I'm sorry we seemed to have hijacked your thread. It did get me to buy the kit. Your doing a great job by the way.

Tom



What, are you kidding? I couldn’t have asked for a better thread.

My only qualifications are owning three Sheridan reference books....and they don’t go anywhere close to the detail you guys do.



Hi!

So after all of the (positive and instructive) palaver, how are you getting along in your build?



Well, my biggest mistake was starting a second Sheridan. Here is a shot of my 3 1/2 year old assistant:

M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2019 - 01:00 AM UTC

Quoted Text


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Sherb, I'm sorry we seemed to have hijacked your thread. It did get me to buy the kit. Your doing a great job by the way.

Tom



What, are you kidding? I couldn’t have asked for a better thread.

My only qualifications are owning three Sheridan reference books....and they don’t go anywhere close to the detail you guys do.



Hi!

So after all of the (positive and instructive) palaver, how are you getting along in your build?
TankSGT
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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 05:57 PM UTC

Quoted Text


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Sherb, I'm sorry we seemed to have hijacked your thread. It did get me to buy the kit. Your doing a great job by the way.

Tom



What, are you kidding? I couldn’t have asked for a better thread.

My only qualifications are owning three Sheridan reference books....and they don’t go anywhere close to the detail you guys do.



That's great Sherb. I just wish I had more pictures of my time on the M551s. I dropped my camera in the turret and it ended up in the sub floor in all the oily water and crud. We found it a month or 2 later total loss. It was also tough to take pictures while driving.

Tom
sherb
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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 12:06 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Sherb, I'm sorry we seemed to have hijacked your thread. It did get me to buy the kit. Your doing a great job by the way.

Tom



What, are you kidding? I couldn’t have asked for a better thread.

My only qualifications are owning three Sheridan reference books....and they don’t go anywhere close to the detail you guys do.
trickymissfit
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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 10:42 AM UTC
Been a lot of discussion about the faults of the Sheridan, and trust me there were issues. The one major issue was the hydraulics design. It was ok for stateside use, but marginal for combat. This went the auto loader and recoil/ ejection system were probe to failure. The fix was easy, but it went deeper than that. I went to work for Detroit Deisel Allison in 1974, and was placed in what was known as the gun launcher area. My job was simply to repair and fix the machinery. I told them about the major issues they were having in the field with the product line! They at first said they had no issues, so I went about a quarter mile east an brought a guy from the First CAV. He was blunt! Next day a half dozen engineers came see us. The lead engineer flatly said they were unaware that there was even the slightest issue with it, as TACOM always said things were great. The pulled up the hydraulic schematic, and they instantly saw the issues. They did a temporary fix of adding three half gallon accumulators and a series of pressure controller valves to bring them in when more volume was needed. The really fix was the complete redesign of the pumps and oil cooler. The actual design was from Philco Ford, and had always been a sour note. The system was built to run at max pressure with no reserve. Ford really screwed that up, as TACOM has requirements that work off a four to one factor. Yet they give a wavor to two to one in a few instances. This would be one. The ammo was made by Ford, and was always suspect. I think that TACOM shifted that to an Army munnitions plant later.
They had about the engine overheating issue, and did a field fix. TACOM refused to allow a completely redesign of the engine compartment and cooling system. The basic hull was still undergoing development when it was decided to send it to Vietnam.
The hull had two major issues that could not be fixed. First was the material. Second was the track width. It was too wide to break trail, and yet couldn't follow an ACAV breaking trail. Should have been a little narrower. Could also have used a hundred fifty more horse power.
Gary
TankSGT
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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 08:28 AM UTC
Sherb, I'm sorry we seemed to have hijacked your thread. It did get me to buy the kit. Your doing a great job by the way.

Tom
TankSGT
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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 08:25 AM UTC
Russ, notice the torn aggressor square behind the star, that was not used past the early 70s I think. POMCUS! I remember seeing M551s on REFORGER after we had M60s. I doubt POMCUS vehicles would have their paint and markings updated in storage. I imagine they would be last on the list after the last NG unit. That would explain the whoopie light if it is in Europe. I wish we had a clearer picture.

Tom
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 04:36 AM UTC

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Russ, I think the star may be white and between dirt and a yellowed picture it appears yellow. All of the pictures I have from Germany 1977 to early 76 have yellowed dramatically. It was either the paper or the chemical they used at AFEES. A theory anyway.

Tom



White doesn't make much sense either-- since by the time the laser and the gum ball light were required, the colors would almost certainly have been changed to black. I'm wondering if this is a "colorized" photo put up on Pintrest-- there are so many inconsistencies. The size of the star is also strange. By the way, this indeed must be an original M551, brought up to A1 standards during the rebuild program. The presence of the old bore evacuator is the give away, since the new A1s were coming off the assembly line with the new CBSS system, which was retrofitted to the old guns. I understand less than 100 Sheridans were sent to Vietnam, but they didnt all have this gun tube, many had the new CBSS tube. This tube is very close to the prototype tube with the original scavenging system. The second generation tubes had the ring around the barrel, like in the Tamiya kit. Third generation tubes had no ring at all. Sheridans came and went periodically to the rebuild facility (in CONUS and in Europe). I was the Range 43 OIC at Graf when we had two brand new rebuild M551A1s come in February 1979, one of which promptly caught fire on the upload pad, burning completely to the ground overnight (short in the sub turret floor while loading ammo). So they were upgrading and rebuilding these things right up to the end-- evidently not very well from my Graf Fire experience!

Another thought just occurred to me-- maybe this is a test vehicle at Fort Knox or Aberdeen, of the early M551 undergoing the A1 acceptance testing? I suppose that would explain the laser, white star, and old gun tube? It would be nice to know the history of this photo.
VR, Russ
TankSGT
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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 - 02:44 AM UTC
Russ, I think the star may be white and between dirt and a yellowed picture it appears yellow. All of the pictures I have from Germany 1977 to early 76 have yellowed dramatically. It was either the paper or the chemical they used at AFEES. A theory anyway.

Tom
Kevlar06
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Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 05:45 PM UTC

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I beg to differ that M551 stuck in the mud is an A1. The gun tube has no bearing on the model number. Its whether or not it has the TCs laser range finder. If you look closely at the picture you can make it out under the 50 cal. Also it looks like the power supply box is visible above the TCs hatch in the rear chicken shield.

Tom



Yep you're right-- didn't notice them in the photo until I enlarged it in the view. The yellow gum ball blinker light would indicate Europe too. The yellow star is a mystery though-- by the time a laser would be found on a Sheridan, the stars would have been small and black.
VR, Russ
TankSGT
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Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 05:10 PM UTC
I beg to differ that M551 stuck in the mud is an A1. The gun tube has no bearing on the model number. Its whether or not it has the TCs laser range finder. If you look closely at the picture you can make it out under the 50 cal. Also it looks like the power supply box is visible above the TCs hatch in the rear chicken shield.

Tom