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From a Sow's Ear to a Silk Purse... :-)

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From a Sow's Ear to a Silk Purse... :-)

Old 10-25-2023, 09:57 AM
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Default From a Sow's Ear to a Silk Purse... :-)

Making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.... :-) This is my first of 3 IDF M-51 Shermans that I plan on building in the next while. The re-build list is long! sorry if I go on and on but there really was a whack of stuff to do!


So I picked up an IDF Sherman that was basically a kit bash Mato upper, and a Tamiya lower. The problem was that the kit was horrible. There was glue everywhere and lumps and bumps and just horrible scratch building of details. I have included some pics of how bad it was. So to work I went to try and make it at least presentable in my eyes. This required a complete rebuild from the ground up. I used the M51 walk around from prime portal as well as pictures from the net-maquettes.com site.

After ripping the kit bash apart I started re-doing everything including:

TURRET: rebuild and refill to add better welds, filled the rear compartment with epoxy to counter weight long barrel, replaced rear vent,made a new turret rear rail, replaced both antenna mounts, replaced both hatches as the ones that were there had chunks of putty everywhere! scratch built the smoke throwers as the ones that were on there used 4 different sizes of tubes! The mounts also had no details. I used an old Panther barrel and added a Tamiya muzzle brake and some detail work, made the barrel sleeve out of brass and built up some putty to make it closer to the real thing. Scratch built the mantlet cover using blue rag and styrene. Improved the .50 by adding a magnet to it so you can easily remove the stand.

UPPER HULL: tore off the fender skirts that were on there and scratch built replacements using styrene and styrene "I" beam for the supports with MENG bolt heads, rebuilt the front fenders to look like the museum unit with welds and supports.. Scratch built the gas can holders out of brass. These too have little styrene rods with MENG bolt heads.. Scratch built the small exhaust muffler and cover, Scratch built the stowage boxes and used resin printed clasps and some small brass parts for details. Replaced all the lights and covers with Mato metal ones as they are closer to scale. Rebuilt the rear storage box and rear deck with styrene again to match the IDF versions. Scratch built the back infantry phone box,

LOWER HULL: didn't have to do too much to the running gear other than repaint. I did the rear end with proper engine doors and the back extensions and tow rings and some other IDF details. The front mantlet had to have a putty treatment to get the correct angle to fit the upper hull. Added the scratch built brass tiedown located there.

ELECTRONICS: the tank was completely gutted of the existing electronics, a cheap old HL set up and replaced with a Clark TK50Sbus. New barrel flash, mato lights, Full battle system installed with DGS military Hobby kit, Jarlath recoil kit, custom speaker.

PAINT AND DETAILS:Most of the stowage gear is from a DGS Military Hobby U.S. stowage kit along with some bits and pieces from the spares box and I did use a couple of the existing items that came with the tank, for example, the IDF ration boxes. The overall paint was done with Tamiya acrylics and oil washes and thinned Tamiya detail washes. The markings were done with stencils Thanks Tom! :-) One little note, all the backpacks on the rail have straps. Nothing bugs me more than when I see stowage on a tank with no visible means of support. Just a little pet peeve of mine... :-)

All in all, compared to the wreck I received I am pretty pleased with how it turned out! :-) Any questions or comments welcome! As always this one will be going up for sale in the near future. You can see lots of my other builds on my website https://dgsselkirk.wixsite.com/dgsmilitaryhobby

And please subscribe to my Youtube channel to see lots more videos!














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Old 10-25-2023, 02:08 PM
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how much is that tank worth?
Old 10-26-2023, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by trewqaz
how much is that tank worth?
When it comes to RC tanks, it's worth whatever you can get for it. The question you should have asked is, how much do you have into it? And that's something I wouldn't mind knowing myself.
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Old 10-26-2023, 09:03 AM
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Great work as always,
the only problem with the mato A1 hull is the fenders are all wrong. I’ve remodeled the fenders on the tanks I used mato hulls on but it is some work and then they are more fragile since they are made from sheet styrene. I have thought if it did it again I would try brass sheet next time.
I do love my IDF Sherman’s and have one more in the works that I have half built as I’m working in other projects.
With my HVSS kit for henglong Sherman’s available now and my T23 turret available in a couple weeks, Rick Brat and I are working on an A1 hull and M51 kit for the henglong Sherman so they will be even easier to get one in the future.
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Old 11-10-2023, 05:23 PM
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There were things on it that I could have further addressed but I felt I had put enough into it already? LOL! Most people when I explain the costs understand why I sell my tanks for the amounts I do. when all is said and done, it is basically cost! :-) Here is a breakdown of this particular one:

Tamiya lower hull $250
Mato upper hull and turret with IDF modifications like extended rear turret, extended side fenders, rear deck, rear stowage box, barrel and muzzle brake, rear lower plate, turret hatches, etc... $400
Clark Board TK50Sbus, WITH FS-i6s radio and 10 ch. receiver, $250
Custom speaker with scratch built box $40
DGS Military Hobby Upgrade IR emitter and receiver "apple" kit $50
MATO replacement Sherman lights and covers $40
DGS Military Hobby Stowage Kit items $40
Scratch built detailing everywhere! Brass fuel can holders, turret rail, side boxes, side fender struts, turret smoke throwers, tow hooks, turret weather cover and frame, IR cover, and on and on!
Custom Paint/Stencil/Weathering $200
TOTAL $1370
Then add Modeling skills, building and assembly 80 hours... priceless! LOL!
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