M4A3E8 Sherman ”Easy Eight”

  • 22 posts
  • Last reply 4 months, 1 week ago
  • Korean War, M4A3E8
Viewing 1 - 15 of 22 posts
  • Colin Gomez said 7 months, 3 weeks ago:

    As an armor contribution to the Forgotten War GB, I will be completing a build I began some time ago. I may try to do a diorama as well (a first for me). The model is the TASCA M4A3E8 Sherman, re-boxed by D-Corporation out of Korea (and much cheaper than the TASCA version!).

    The box art is atrocious and off-putting and I was tempted to download and print a less embarrassing pic to tape over top, but I have better things to do with my time.

    As you can see, I have assembled most of the hull and details and painted the wheels and rollers prior to assembly. I will paint and partly weather the lower and upper hull before adding the wheels and tracks. I have a couple of different sets of aftermarket tracks plus link and length from the kit (pics to show later). I haven’t decided which to use yet. At this point I would appreciate some advice from armor builders on the clear cupola for the commander’s position.

    Should I paint the back of the “glass” “vision blocks” in white/pale green or maybe even black to simulate periscopes, build periscopes behind or just leave it clear? Pics of the real thing show seem to show a different scope (?) for each window or maybe just clear armored glass but I’ve never seen this done on a model.

    I may do this in a diorama with my Pershing “Margaret.”

    I was kind of intrigued by something Louis passed on about how Shermans could go where the Pershing could not. Sounds like the set up for a diorama. In this case, I would probably use the pictured Bison decals to do a US M4. As an alternative, I was thinking about doing a Canadian Sherman of Lord Strathcona’s Horse. I kind of doubt these would have served alongside US Pershings anywhere so that might rule out a diorama.

    By the way, this project went on hold because I lost part of the RB productions muzzle break during renovation work on the house. I recently hit upon the idea of using the kit’s plastic muzzle brake with the metal barrel as shown – works well in the end (maybe even more accurate than the RB metal muzzle brake.)

    Comments and suggestions welcome.

  • Louis Gardner said 7 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Hello Colin, @coling
    I really like what you have done so far, and thank you very much for posting up some armor. I have two American tanks that I will most likely post articles on, and like yours, mine have both been started. One is a Dragon / DML M-26 Pershing, and the other is the Tamiya “Easy 8” from the Korean War. Both are 1/35 scale.

    As far as painting the vision blocks:
    I have painted the inside of mine using a mixture of Tamiya clear green and clear blue. I mixed a little of each together, added some “Future” in the mix and brushed it on the inside of the clear to give it an appearance of being armored glass. The inside of the Commander’s Cupola would have been painted white, but the inside of all the hatches would have been some shade of dark green. On our tanks, the Commander’s hatch had a rubber pad to protect your head in the event it was not locked in the open position and it accidentally closed on you. This does happen on occasion………. I had a “newbie” loader once break all 4 fingers in his hand when the hatch closed by itself on his fingers. Ouch !!!

    These rubber pads on our tanks were either a shade of dark green, (most often), and occasionally black. I’m certain the ones used inside the Sherman’s and Pershings would have been colored the same.

    There were several US Armored units in the Korean War that operated both the M-4A3E8 and the M-26 Pershing, both at the same time. So your diorama is still a possibility. I’ll do some digging to see which ones they were and get back to you. My Dad served in the 6th Medium tank battalion for a little while, and the 31st RCT Tank Company, also for a while. I am positive there were other units he served in. He said they were often assigned on a temporary basis to other units as needed. I am still trying to find out what other tank units he served with. His records were burned up in the St. Louis fire……………..

    The modified muzzle break looks great by the way…….

    Thanks again for joining up, and I look forward to seeing your next installment.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 7 months, 2 weeks ago:

    That’s a great entry, Colin @coling!
    Due to all these great armor jobs here, I have become an armor-thinking guy and, who knows, soon an armor-building guy!

  • Colin Gomez said 7 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Hi Spiros,
    Thanks for your support. I hope you try armor. I like to do armor modelling sometimes because it provides a relief from fine work on interiors and clear parts. There is a whole other challenge in weathering and stowage, especially in as much as there are many expensive weathering products that are apparently “essential” for some armor aficionados at modelling competitions and certain on-line forums ( I mean “filters,” and other media to give a supposedly realistic finish). I don’t build for competitions and I am not so convinced by the look filters provide. so I go a more old fashioned route with oil paints, weathering powders. pastels and pre/post shading with airbrushing. Tanks are fascinating historically significant machines so I am happy to have some on my shelves. Do you know this Canadian-made documentary series that used to run on the history channel called Greatest Tank Battles? I find it provides some inspiration for model building. The CGI is rather basic and the tone of the narration is sometimes a bit melodramatic at times but I like the interviews with veterans and historians and the period film footage. I even like some of the CGI recreations of battles. Even if they are a bit crude, animation-wise they give you a way of visualizing tank combat that is otherwise hard to picture. Here is a link to the Korean War episode on Youtube:

  • Colin Gomez said 7 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Hey Louis,

    Thank you very much for your detailed reply! You have gotten me over one mental block on the Sherman build. I like your solution for painting the vision blocks and will follow it.

    I was just reading about the fate of the 31st RCT at the Chosin reservoir on Wikipedia. It was clearly an absolutely horrific experience. I think you said that your dad didn’t talk much about his experiences and one could easily imagine why.

    Do you know this TV series that I linked above in my reply to Spiros?

    Here is the only photo I could find of a Sherman and a Pershing side by side in Korea. There are two other pics on-line with Pershings and Marine M4s armed with 105mm guns operating together. This may be a similar shot but it looks like an Easy Eight to me. What do you think?

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  • Louis Gardner said 7 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Hey Colin, @coling
    Yes I have seen this TV series before. I have several CD copies as they were available for purchase shortly after the first episodes came out. This is a great TV series, and I still try to watch the re run episodes when they are on air. It’s very similar to the “Dogfight” series that came out around the same time.

    As far as the picture you show with the Pershing and a Sherman. Yes it is an “Easy 8”. You can tell that by looking at the tracks and road wheels. It has a squared center guide and the older Sherman’s had a thinner track without center guides. The guides were part of the end connectors on the tracks.
    The Pershing in your photo is a USMC tank, and it’s quite possible the Sherman is too. The Marine Corps operated a Company of Flame Thrower tanks in Korea. They were used in the capture of Seoul right after the Inchon landing. In fact, this picture you posted could very well have been taken there in the battle for Seoul.

    But it could also be a US Army Sherman………..

    Dad told me that his Army unit often supported the Marines as they advanced through the city. He told me once about how he actually picked up a wounded Marine who had been shot and was laying there, bleeding to death in the street. They drove their tank over the top of him, straddling his body with the tracks. They dropped the escape hatch located in the belly of the tank, and pulled forward a little more. Then they pulled him up into their tank, and drove him away to an aid station where he was treated immediately. Years later my Dad met the Marine again. Ironically his older brother worked at the Boat Works where my Dad was employed at the time. Turns out it is indeed a small world. The Marine remembered my Dad’s voice. If you ever met my Dad you would understand why…… After Korea, he became a Drill Sgt., where he could use his “voice” all he wanted to.

    The 31st RCT was decimated. From what I have read about their encounters with the Chinese, by the time the survivors reached the Port of Hungnam, they were down to something like 385 “able bodied” men. Some of these men could have been wounded……….all this meant was they could still walk and shoot a weapon. Only years later when Dad finally started opening up to me about some of his experiences in Korea did I finally start to understand what he went through, and how lucky he was to have survived the ordeal.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 7 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Hi Colin @coling!
    Traditional weathering techniques are my approach too, maybe because, apart from the good result, keep things simple as well.
    Thanks for the link, I will definitely give it a run!
    Louis @lgardner, once more I was amazed reading your story, my friend!

  • Colin Gomez said 5 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Hi Guys. I can’t believe it has been 2 months since my last update on this build. I have been busy with the MiG-15 (see above post) in this GB as well as four other armor projects soon to be documented in the Military Vehicles WW II GB (Tiger I, Panther, King Tiger and Sherman Firefly). I got on a bit of a roll doing intricate track assemblies after my T-72 and forged ahead on all of these other tanks that had been shelf queens for far too long. The M4A3E8 is another example of finally taking on the tracks to get over a build hump.

    I actually tried several options including a link by link version with pins from a company called Kaizen. In spite of the claims on the box these did NOT fit the TASCA/D-Corporation Easy Eight I have, being at least a millimeter a half too wide. They were also going to drive me crazy to assemble link by link. I also looked at Academy Super Sherman rubber band tracks from my spares box but these were also too wide. I finally went with the kit tracks, which I originally thought would be too flimsy when I first looked at them. In fact they are quite sturdy when assembled and are built up from a nice combo of flexible rubber and solid styrene track plates and guide horns.

    I say “nice” for the overall accuracy and sturdiness of the final result but, in fact, they are a bear to assemble. Each side has two lengths of rubber requiring you to glue on a total of 156 tiny squares of plastic in perfect alignment using super glue. That’s 312 squares total for both sides! Each guide horn on the flip side is also a separate piece so that’s additional 78 pieces to attach on each side. I tried using epoxy at first because I thought its slower drying time would allow me to tweak the alignment of parts as I went more easily. Turns out epoxy dries hard quite quickly and liquid super glue was better. Anyway, you can see that I have got all the plates attached on one side but no guide horns glued on yet. I fitted the road wheels at each corner of the tank as well as the idler and drive wheels.

    This let me test fit the track and check its length. It turns out the fit is perfect with good track tension. So finally I figure that once the tracks are done, I will make rapid progress on this build. Major assembly is done with only pioneer tools and some lights and periscopes to attach. The undersides and all wheel assemblies have been pre-painted in Tamiya OD and the rubber on the road wheels has also been painted. I may still do a Korean War diorama with this one including my M-26 Pershing. I finally found a picture of the Easy Eight and Pershing together in the same battle space – something that eluded me earlier.

    To sum up, I hope this build journal will be of some help to those struggling with link by link track builds – perseverance and careful test fitting is the key. Comments welcome.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 5 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Hi Colin @coling!
    Man, have you been busy? All this work for the trucks!
    It pays off, though, as your Sherman comes along beautifully!

  • Erik Gjørup said 5 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Sounds like the tracks are good value in parts terms!

  • Colin Gomez said 4 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Thanks for dropping by on this build, Spiros. Yes I have been busy. I hope to complete some projects soon.

    Thanks for your comment, Erik. Yes, ha ha, the tracks are good dollar value for the parts – kind of like a complex jigsaw puzzle if that is what a modeler is going for.

    Here is an update on the tracks. They are now installed to check alignment of small parts. I think they look OK and are authentic enough looking before painting and weathering. I was concerned about the stiff styrene plates over the stretchy rubber track but they seem to line up well under tension.

    The track tension also looks good tom me and guide horns line up well.

    I had to glue the moving parts of the front and rear bogies together to keep the suspension from folding up under tension. I left the middle section flexible, though. What do you think? Comments welcome.

  • Louis Gardner said 4 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Colin, @coling
    This is a great update. I just happened to notice your last post too. That’s a very good picture you found, with the Pershing in front of the Sherman’s. By chance do you have any information about the picture ??? Such as where or when it was taken ??? Or what unit is was in the photo ?? I’m very interested as my Dad served in both types of tanks while he served in Korea. Not all Army units had both types in service together at the same time.

    It looks like you have been very busy with building the tracks. They look very good too. You have the track tension perfect. I also spotted the two Tigers in the background. You have excellent taste with armor subjects.

    As soon as I wrap up a few kits that have to get completed by a self imposed deadline, I will finish my 1/35 scale Pershing and Easy 8 Sherman builds,………………… so your Sherman will have some company.

    Thanks for posting the updates, and I’m happy to see you have mastered adding notes to your pictures. It is like icing on the cake. 🙂

  • Colin Gomez said 4 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Hi Louis. Thanks for your comment and encouragement. I have an exact quote from the website explaining the picture as follows: “The photo…is dated September 25, 1950, and shows a mixed column of M26s and Shermans of the 2nd ID’s 72nd Heavy Tank Battalion fording the Hwang-Gang River in Korea”. The website with the pic is an excellent one for Korean War armor. It has many more good references on the subject. Here is the link:

    http://the.shadock.free.fr/sherman_minutia/manufacturer/m4a376w/m4a3_76w2.html

    Looking forward to seeing your armor builds. Like me, you have quite a bit going on in Group Builds right now.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 4 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Hi Colin @coling!
    This is such a great update and those tracks look amazing: all your efforts produced an excellent result.
    Great to see comments on your pics, makes your presentations even more appealing!

  • Erik Gjørup said 4 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Looking very realistic these XL jigsaw puzzletracks of yours Colin. I have a few Tamiya 1/48 thingies in my stash that I may get to one day, and they usually include some sort of weight, some even with the entire lower part cast in metal. The only belted things I have build so far is a kettenrad, and on those small ones the tracks are firmly cast with the inner wheels, making it all too easy. Keep this build on track!

Viewing 1 - 15 of 22 posts