login   |    register

Building the Academy M3 Grant

  • P6060007

I am not an expert on the Grant and much of what I did, I learnt along the way and through feedback and advice from fellow modellers. I was already aware of the suspension issue and sent of the Formations Quick Suspension set to fix that issue (more later), so whilst I was waiting for that to arrive I started at the top. The Grant has a very unusual; turret, the reason it came about was that the British considered the Lee to be much too tall and so the Grant was born. Casting standards and processes were still in an early development stage, so if you look at two Grants, the turrets will probably be different. The turret of the Grant was quite crudely finished, the kit part much smoother and I set about fixing that with some milliput. I have good references from pictures I had taken at the Imperial War Museum in London and Bovington Tank Museum.

It was during this turret building process I was informed of the rotor issue on the 37mm gun. At that point I thought I might be beaten as there was no way I could see to fix or alter the kit part correctly. I had the parts of an old Tamiya Grant in a box, having dismantled it to use the suspension elsewhere, so I got the rotor off that and compared it to the references I was using from a post on ML (thanks guys). The rotor seemed to be correct, but was too big for the opening in the academy turret so I filed it down to fit. Once I had a good fit I added the Academy parts so it would elevate and lower correctly and then cut of the Tamiya barrel, and drilled suitable size hole to accept the Academy 37mm, which looked fairly OK, and had most of the fittings for the breech. I also deepened the space below the 37mm with a file, as again it look some what to small. After that and using some diagrams I added some internal fittings, basic wiring and the radio, a No 19, to the turret.

Link on the 37mm issue for reference

Next I started work on the lower hull and the internal parts for the kit. I built these as per the kit instructions. This went together reasonably well, with no major issues as I recall. The only issue was a warp in the lower hull but there wasnít much I could do about that and hoped that when the upper and lower hull were mated together that it would pull into the correct shape. Then the Formations Quick Fix Suspension Set arrived. I donít know if you are like me but the level of fear usually rises when resin arrives. Not only is it costly but breakages are much more possible. Anyway I took my time and fitted the parts as directed and was quite pleased with the result.

I finished off the main element of the interior and then, again thanks to a fellow modeller got hold of an internal layout diagram. The first thing I noticed was that the radio operators seat wasnít need as the radio in the Grant was placed in the turret, so I removed it. The next internal issue was the layout of the 75mm ammo bin which was correct for the Lee but incorrect for the British Grant. I decided to remove this bin and remodel it somewhat more in keeping with a British tank. I turned it on its side and made a new front from plastic card, then cut out the individual ends of the shells and repositioned them into the new bin. To finish it off I added 4 75mm rds and some racking on top. This was not a 100% fix but much more in the style of the grant. It hadnít been my intention to do too much to the interior but as Wild Bill had turned my thread into a blog I though I better make the effort and correct the interior it as best I could. I fashioned a new 37mm ammo bin for the LHS and a water holder, box for the 303. Ammo and 2 small tool boxes, plus some packs and cleaning rods that were stored just under the RHS doorway.

While the internal correcting work was underway I constructed the top hull. The internal upper hull is void of detail and had a lot of injection marks that needed filling in and filing down. I also added a large L bean across the top of the driversí compartment, as this is a prominent feature in the internal reference pictures I had seen. I had a set of Lion Roar rivets Iíd bought for the boat builds and never used so set about adding some detail to this part of the kit. I used the internal layout diagrams I had plus the external detail to place the rivets reasonable correctly. I also added 2 Thompson .45 MG in the appropriate place. I added junction boxes and wiring for the radio and various bags and boxes as per the internal lay diagram. When finished I added some plumbing from the instrument panel which was a pretty big feature in the internal pictures Iíd seen, plus a fitting for the drivers periscope. The last item to be added to the upper hill were the twin .30 cal browning, the barrel ends of which Iíd earlier drilled out. During this internal restructuring, I checked the fit of the upper and lower hull and whilst it was a tight fit in there, just about every thing seem to fit.

  • 6317
  • 6263
  • 61100
  • 6022
  • 5817
  • 5717
  • 5620
  • 5521
  • 5420
  • 5328
  • 5266
  • 51104
  • 5028
  • 4928
  • 4834
  • 4732
  • 4630
  • 4531
  • 4432
  • 43_1
  • 4344
  • 42103

About the Author

About Alan McNeilly (AlanL)

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...


Hey Al, Not sure if anyone in Canada was able to take advantage of the offer. The MRC/Stevens International replacement deal only seems to be for kits purchased in the U.S.A. Academy's English language site is not the best and at times is very hard to access things like their email address. I think I'll get my Korean friend, who owns a LHS, to contact them directly and see what they can do. Failing that, my friend that imports Academy may be able to help me out. Cheers jjumbo
JAN 11, 2009 - 08:10 AM
Hi john, If you know the chap who imports them then he should be able to sort one out for you. Al
JAN 11, 2009 - 08:24 AM
Hi Al ..great article ...
JAN 11, 2009 - 11:59 AM
Hi Rick, Thanks, you comments and assistance during the build were much appreciated. Al
JAN 11, 2009 - 05:44 PM
First nice build Alan. Great job on the beast. A couple of questions. First why did you not go back to Academy they were giving the Suspension parts away? Now charging $8.00 here USA in shipping charges. Second I hate to say but are not the Exhausts in need of changing? If you did discard this as a Alzheimer's thing. I am not sure on the Grant on the Lee I am working they do to be changed. If so Tiger Models has then for $3.50 here anyway but I guess for you across the pond would be $14.00 which I think is a bummer. Here is what I mean by rear end. Image from US Army Ordnance Museum And in case you were wondering how they did those Rivets. photo by Wikipedia. Boy if that was today OSHA would be all over them fellows no eye protection ETC... Looks like they got a little sloppy with that Filler also. Well correcting myself Alan in fact it appears that the British did in fact use the old style of pipes as Displayed on the Grant Monty. So one down and one to go. Good job Mate.
JAN 27, 2009 - 01:21 AM
Hi Jeff, Thanks for dropping in. The exhausts are OK for this one, so no worries there. On the spur, you probably missed the post up above, but I did in fact manage to get a replacement set of spurs here in the UK through Toyway. Unfortunately they came too late for the build which by that time I had finished. Thanks for the comments, apprecaited. Nice pics - yes the H & S guys would be having a fit Cheers Al
JAN 27, 2009 - 07:40 AM
Alan do you get the replacement sprue with the kit now or do you have to get it seprately?
JAN 27, 2009 - 08:40 AM
Hi James, My understanding of the situation is that all new kits would have the replacement spur. You would need to check with your supplier or Academy to be sure. You could phone Toyway on 01462 672509, I think the chaps name was John or email to toys@toyway.co.uk Bets I can do. Al
JAN 27, 2009 - 08:47 AM
Thanks Al i will indeed
JAN 27, 2009 - 08:52 AM
Hi James, Let us know what answer you get. Al
JAN 28, 2009 - 05:49 PM