October 05, 2016

Trench Runner Pat Hillard Attacks the Plastic Soldier Company (PSC) Late War British Armoured Division, Army Box - Part 2

Part 2:  Building the Shermans and the M5s
This is a review and build of the Plastic Soldier Company's 15mm plastic Late War British Armoured Division, Army Box. Product code PSC-AB15002. Here in part 2 I'll be building the vehicles included in the set. Using this box set you can build 11x Sherman M4A4's, 3x Sherman Fireflies and 4x M5 Halftracks.

The tank assembly instructions are very basic and it uses color codes to show you what hull to use for the M4 or the Firefly as well as what turret and gun mantel. There is an option to add dust shields if you desire. I did this on a few models just to have a variety of vehicles. I looked at a lot of late war pictures and very few of the Sherman's had these shields on them.

The M5A1 instructions give you a choice of assembly with the 50 caliber mg ring or with a pedestal mount. Many of the pictures I saw did not have either of these options on the vehicles. I added them for visual aesthetics on the table.

The combined M4/Firefly sprue. All of the components to build either vehicle are on the one sprue. I saved the extra parts in my bits bag for future projects.

The track assembly of the PSC kit. It is two track sections, the main bogie wheel section and the front drive wheel. There are right and left sides to the track assemblies and the tracks also need to go on in the correct orientation so that the pads are facing forward when they come off of the top of the tank. When looking at the front of the tank you should have the visible track pads facing down (think of an v or upside down u). If you look at the vehicles on the front of the box you will understand this much better.

A properly assembled right track section.

Using a sharpie marker I labeled the main assemblies are R and L and the track sections the same way. I left this sprue out as a reference as I built the track sections. This made it much easier to keep track of what goes where. The top and bottom track sections are very easy to distinguish from each other. I didn't think of marking them for this picture at the time.

Several track pair assembled. I found it was much easier to complete all of the tracks, them the turrets, then the hulls and assemble the parts into the finished vehicle. There were some small gaps on the track assemblies. I used Citadel Liquid Green Stuff to cover these imperfections. If they were still noticeable after painting I used weathering to help hide them.

I put an F on the Firefly hull and marked the turret, gun mantel and stowage boxes with a black marker again. The barrel is also marked but it did not come out in the picture. Based on the list that I chose I build only three Fireflies from the box.

The Firefly specific parts off of the sprue. The rear gun mantel is used on both versions but the outer mantel is different.

All of the parts (excluding the track set) to assemble a Firefly.

The completed Firefly model. Each sprue has extra track sections, a wheel and fuel can to add as stowage. I tried to add these to different places on each vehicle to show more variety.

These are the parts needed to assemble the M4A4 Sherman with a 75mm. This picture includes the dust shields/skirts for each side of the vehicle. The track set is not shown in this picture.

A completed M4A4. This is my 1IC for my unit, I added extra stowage that I had in my bits bin. I believe the tarps and cans on the back are from the Open Fire set, there is an extra box that I had also. For the 2IC i used some extra tarps, a backpack set from the half tracks and some extra fuel cans that I had.  The tanks took about 15 to 20 minutes each to assemble. I used Citadel Plastic Glue Thin for ass assembly.

This is the M5 half track sprue. It looks complicated but the assembly went very quickly. I believe it took approximately 10 to 15 minutes to assemble each vehicle.

The first step is assembling the main body of the half track. The chassis, right and left sides, hood, rear section and driver assembly are showed in this picture. I was going to paint the driver/co driver before assembly but they would have been ruined during primer and base coat application. They are very difficult to pain once assembled but there really wasn't another way to do it when using the airbrush.

The six pieces of the main chassis assembled.

The parts that make up the drive train and bumper of the vehicle. In the picture are two fuel cans, the front axle, the front bumper with winch option, front tires, rear frame and track sections. Note: the larger wheels are the front of the track when assembling. If your uncertain use the picture on the side of the box or from the web as a reference.

The mg ring, land mine racks for the sides, mg's, mg pedestal mount and stowage options for the vehicles.

Assembled half tracks. I decided to make two ring mounts and two pedestal mounts. I only put two gunners total in the finished vehicles. The half tracks went together very well and looked good when completed. I like the extra stowage options that are provided.

The completed models from the box set. I have a two vehicle HQ with three combat platoons and a motor platoon. Make sure that you have enough hatches in the open position if you want to add commanders to your vehicles. I have the 1IC open and one tank from each platoon.

In Part 3 I paint Shermans and the M5s


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