1⁄35Building the Academy M3 Grant
Painting and WeatheringThose of you who followed the blog will know that I paint as I go. On this model I used White Ensign Paints, which are enamel based and were not something I was familiar with using, but offered the best choice of desert colours I could find. The kit was base coated in Humbrol Matt 70 in specific areas and in Light Stone overall. I used Dark Olive Green for the camouflage. On the internals I used Vallejo Off White and weathered in worn spots and grease. The kit was weathered in with a variety of Mig Filters and finished off with some Mig Pigments, for a dustier look. I have no special technique for painting, mostly trial and a lot of error, but I do tend to paint from light to dark and build up the finish over several layers. On the question of the white paint on the side doors; normally these would have been OD or desert yellow. However, the Lees when they arrived from the factory had white internal doors and Iíve opted for this finish simply as I rather like the effect and it is therefore possible newly arrived Grants were also finished in that way. As part of modelling is to attract the viewer, then the open white doors help to draw the eye into the vehicle, so Iíll probably leave them as is for now.
StowageThis came from a variety of sources, Resicast, Accurate Armour, and Tamiya and was secured with rolled lead wire straps as necessary. I fashioned a small bin for the RHS fender. I did attempt to make a canvas cover but whilst the canvas worked OK, I couldnít get it to sit correctly as it was secured by 2 plates that are visible in most pictures and I couldnít reproduce these incorporated into my paper canvas. I have opted for the Lion Road resin cover which will arrive I hope when they get back from holidays. I opted to sling the towing cable around the outside rather than rolled up neatly on the back.
DecalsThese came from the Echlon set for the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry. The Royal Wiltshireís took part in the 2nd Battle of El Alamein, reportedly the first unit into action against Rommelís forces. They were attached to 2nd New Zealand Division, 9th Armoured Brigade. There were equipped with a variety of tanks, Crusaders, Grants (Heavies) and Shermans. They were only in Egypt for about 3 or 4 months and there is evidence that they carried forward their vehicle names from Crusaders to Grants to Shermans.
ConclusionWell the test is did I enjoy the build. The answer to that is yes, very much, it was very challenging at times and very frustrating at others. Iím happy with how the kit turned out and learnt a lot along the way. Would I build another? Well if they fix the suspension problem then probably yes, I would. I still have one old Tamiya Grant rotor for the turret problem and a Grant in Burma would be a nice variation on this one. Not this year though!! There are now 2 PE sets available for the kit, not around when I built mine, well turned up just towards the end, that will I imagine add to any future builds. To all those who contributed to the build both here and on SMW; many thanks guys. "As with a lot of builds there is always something that comes along just when you think you have finished. In this case it was the placement of the spare wheel in the centre of the rear hull plate. There was an access hole there (not in the kit), so that the engine could be turned over, something that happened each time before the tank was started, to manually force any pool of oil out of the cylinders, so I had to move the spare wheel and drill a small hole to represent this." My thanks to Paul Roberts for pointing this out, which just goes to show don't trust museum pictures too much!!!
Copyright ©2020 by Alan McNeilly. Images and/or videos also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of Armorama, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2008-11-22 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 34535