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M3 Lee build - HL and hull kit from Hungary

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Old 05-23-2015, 09:38 PM
  #1
RichJohnson
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Default M3 Lee build - HL and hull kit from Hungary

Ok so I posted the pics of the basic body kit from Danes in Hungary in the other thread.
I have started building the tank and have run into some fit issues here and there.
For those that were questioning the 75 barrel length is the same as the aluminum 75 that Nick provides.
So here we go. The instructions are pretty thorough. I am glad it comes with them. I like this kit. Its going to be fun and challenging to build and get all the mech into the hull.
I kinda wish he had included the mini turret on top of the turret instead of the hatch. I guess the hatch makes it a late model Lee. Oh well, that funky little top turret makes it just look so tall and odd, hence why I would have liked to have it. Just don't have time to scratch one.

I stripped out the gear boxes from the henglong and began fitting the body. Fitting the new three piece tranny cover requires cutting some notches out of the front hull curve as shown in the pictorial instructions that Danes provides. The tranny cover doesn't fit perfectly and I have had to sand and fit the bolt plate to the glacis plate.

The low profile gear boxes that Danes recommended were brass mato Panzer 3 boxes. I ordered them from hobby raw on his recommendation and just received a refund. Guess Im not getting them. Anybody else got suggestions for low profile boxes? I wouldn't mind plastic to keep the cost and noise down. Im not going to battle much with the ugly duckling.

There was a considerable amount of flash built up on this area, the lower portion of the right front side. I had to grind it down and sand it smooth.

Here is fit issue I had with the bolt plate to the glacis.



There is one issue I have found that bothers me. The screw tab on the top left of the tranny cover fits into a notch on the left front fender. The problem is the very thin cover of that notch in the left front doesn't leave enough clearance, and it forces the hull on the left side to sit up a few thousandths exposing the sponson deck of the Sherman hull. It is very noticeable right below and infront of the square hatch. I think what will have to be done is screw a hull side to side bracket on to support the sponsons and then cut off that screw tab. There just isn't enough room to have a cover over the screw tab and have the hull sit all the way down.
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Old 05-24-2015, 04:43 AM
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Nice build thread you've started here.

If you want the low-profile gearboxes, you could order them from Asiatam directly or from rctank.de or Welsh Dragon Models. I've ordered from all three and they're all good.
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:24 AM
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Will any panzer 3 gear boxes work? I don't know what qualifies them as low profile. I would hate to order the wrong ones from lack of experience. How about from artistic hobbies. I have ordered from them before.
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:46 PM
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These are what are generally referred to as the Asiatam low-profile boxes:

http://www.rctank.de/51-PRO-steel-ge...-/-short-axles

http://www.asiatam.com/product_info....er-stug-i.html

They used to be available in brass. The steel version is new. Taigen is still working out kinks for a steel version with ball bearings on every gear shaft. If you can wait (don't know how long), they promise to be better.
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Old 05-24-2015, 01:01 PM
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Nice build RJ,
definitely one of my favourite tanks.
I'll be following this with interest.
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Old 05-24-2015, 01:13 PM
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I'm hoping that I can fit the HL 'stug' gearboxes in mine, as I'm not a fan of the Asiatam / Mato gearbox design. The version 2.0 Mato gears are better than the original (asiatam clone) version as they have a better load path from the motor to the final drive, but ultimately its still a bunch of gears spinning around a very thin shaft - either the shaft bends or the gears wear themselves (or the shaft) out very quickly due to the high unit loading on the small diameter shafts
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Old 05-24-2015, 02:13 PM
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The kit maker said taigen Panzer 3 boxes will work so I am going to get a set from artistic.
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Old 05-24-2015, 11:26 PM
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I had never gotten to see 'Sahara" with Humphrey Bogart until it was on TCM last night. With your thread fresh in my mind, I made the time to watch it and really enjoyed myself! There was many scenes of it plowing through sand dunes, and a lot of neat 'detail scenes' that were of interest to a modeler. (Using a grease gun to lube the idler and roadwheels, removing the bolt to open the engine access doors, several scenes of the guns firing, and the last scene showed them talking in front of the 75mm gun - you could clearly see the different color at the base of the barrel where it recoiled into the mantlet).
I really like the fact that this kit brings the possibility of having an M3 in your stable. My only real gripe with it is the lack of correct bogies and tracks available anywhere for it. If someone can solve that problem at a reasonable cost, I will probably invest in one myself. Thank you very much for sharing it! -Mike
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:59 AM
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Sahara was on last night and I missed it? Damn!! I love that movie.
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Old 05-25-2015, 07:20 AM
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The bogies can be made pretty reasonable by chopping up the plastic henglong ones. Yes they wont be perfect, but they will look good enough for what is available.
As for the track pads, I plan on trying to make flat track pads with a 3d printer. It would require buying a Mato metal track upgrade kit and disassembling the whole thing and changing the pads out. A big job in itself.
That would give the M3 the correct look. Yes the track would be a tad to wide, but what else are we gonna do.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:37 PM
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Ok so this pile of crap that used to be a Sherman is coming along. I cant believe I chopped these things up so bad. They require a lot of redetailing to look right.
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Old 05-29-2015, 07:28 AM
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I think you are doing some good work here! Looking great!
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Old 05-29-2015, 08:48 AM
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Thanks Manchu. Have you got your belt buckle? My old Lt had one from whe he was an nco in the 9th.
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:34 AM
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oh yea, I have my belt buckle it was a long day/night to earn it.
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Old 05-31-2015, 07:27 PM
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Ok so I got my Taigen Panzer 3 gear boxes and installed.
Photo one shows them boxes installed. They fit right into the screw holes except I count only use two screws each where as the HL boxes used 3. The unused screw hole was under the motor on each box and had the motors not been in the way I could have installed the screws. The arrow points to section of metal gear box frame I had to cut off for clearance for the body to fit.


Picture two shows the hull upside down and the area shaded with sharpie is where I had to chisel (carefully) a curved depression to clear the gear sticking up.


And here is a general overview for you guys. The gun barrel is mounted in the correct position. There is a flared end molded on the barrel muzzle and I think its prototypical so I am leaving it for now.
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Old 06-01-2015, 05:34 AM
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I like it, can you get a side shot for us?
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Old 06-01-2015, 05:40 AM
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I did look at that with mine, but bottled out of taking the dremel to the kit

I've got a set of the T34 gears on their way, I''ll see how they fit...
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:15 PM
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I worked on fitting my sprockets to the taigen gear boxes. The shafts appear to be longer. I shortened them about 1/8 inch and had to cut back the keyed flat side so the sprockets would go on far enough. I think I went just a smidge too far but I can easily space them back out.
In pic one the right shaft has been cut and the left one has not. (Facing you)



Here are the tracks mounted I like the closeness of them but I think I need to move them out a 32nd to a 16th.


Here is a nice broadside shot for you guys as asked for. Actually I was mocking up the bogies to see how much room is above them to begin to design the return roller supports.



The bogies appear to be just a bit taller than they should be, since they are Sherman bogies, but making do with what I have available, I don't think I am going to shorten them, I fear that there wouldn't be any material left on top to be able to cut the plate off to try and lower it closer to the screw hole. I might just fit rollers on top. I need to ponder it more.

After all this work to build the basic tank, I really don't know how far I want to go with the build. I really want to move on to a few other projects I have sitting here, Jumbo Sherman, African Queen boat (which will become a Disney Jungle cruise boat), fixing up my Dodge army truck to get it on the road this summer, tune up my Willys because it refuses to start for me etc.

I wanted to build this just because there aren't any out there but I fear Im starting to loose interest. I figure on using a continuous servo for the turret rotation and a micro for the 37mm but for the main 75mm gun, I haven't settled yet if I should try to just move it with a servo arm side to side or try to rig some gear driven half arc or something. Its kinda tight in that corner for 3 servos to get the gun to move side to side, elevate up and down and then attempt a recoil servo. Time and trial will give way to what works or doesn't and if I actually follow through and make everything operate or leave it a finished shell for now.
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Old 06-03-2015, 05:13 AM
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Looks good. Always nice to be the first out of the gate with a new tank. You've done a real nice job so far.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:42 AM
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Definitely Bring it Saturday. We will be glad to offer all the unsolicited advice you could ask for.
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Old 06-04-2015, 02:35 PM
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If you chop the bogie down to just above the screw hole then there'll be just enough room for the return rollers-

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Old 06-04-2015, 02:41 PM
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Very nice. Where did you get that casting that holds the roller? Did you make it yourself?
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Old 06-04-2015, 03:03 PM
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Yes I printed them.

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Old 06-04-2015, 03:41 PM
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Awesome, would you sell me a set please? That would save me so much time.
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Old 06-05-2015, 03:06 AM
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Is this going to be available in your Shapeways store, Woz?
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