M3 Academy opinions?

Has anybody seen the newly reproduced M3 by Academy yet? It is supposed to have quite a bit of interior detail from the photos of it in the new ad on the back cover of this months issue of FSM. jim

Reply to
jimbol51
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I got one last month, head and shoulders above the old Tamiya M3 Lee. I hear the experts have picked at it, but it looks good.

Reply to
RobG

Looks good in the box but since I'm not an expert I'll refer you to these links for better info. The only "big problem" seems to be that the bogies are too tall, which means tracks and running gear may not fit/look quite right when added to the hull. There are the usual issues with angles being slightly off on the upper hull but doubt most of us will... A. See them. B. Be able or willing to do much about them.

Two companies already have fixes for the bogies.

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Curt

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Curt

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Reply to
jimbol51

On Nov 4, 12:53 am, "jimbol51" wrote:

Short answer--it's a huge improvement. It's actually an M3 Lee, whereas the Tamiya kit combines an M3 engine deck with an M3A3 tailplate. It has correct roadwheels (Tamiya's has six spokes instead of five). Its upper hull is the correct height (Tamiya's is too tall). The tracks actually have end connectors that connect the track blocks, whereas Tamiya's track has end connectors centered on the track blocks, connecting nothing. Academy has included the beginnings of an excellent interior, though you might want to include the Eduard interior set of you plan to open all the hatches. Now the downside. The bogie assemblies are too tall because Academy wanted to reuse their Sherman kit springs, which are too big for a Lee. Formations and Legend now offer resin replacements, or you could saw the bogies apart and fix them individually. The two stowage boxes on the rear deck are both undersized, and the Eduard exterior kit fails to correct this. Not difficult to make replacements, but it's a nuisance. The original exhausts are included, but US tanks in North Africa replaced the elbow pipes leading up under the tailplate with a pair of simple fishtail exhaust pipes (see Steve Zaloga's build on Missing lInks to see these corrections). The kit offers the short or long 75mm gun, but no muzzle counterweight for the short gun with stabilizer. The turret has a pronounced, squarish bulge under the cupola, which was correct for one factory's output, but it's rather too flat and prominent, so a bit of sanding is in order. And Academy didn't quite get the shape of the faceted armor plates on the upper hull, but short of using Legend's replacement upper hull, there is no easy fix, and this defect isn't all that obvious. Gerald Owens

Reply to
Gerald Owens

Gerald Owens wrote: : : turret has a pronounced, squarish bulge under the cupola, which was : correct for one factory's output, but it's rather too flat and : prominent, so a bit of sanding is in order. And Academy didn't quite : get the shape of the faceted armor plates on the upper hull, but short : of using Legend's replacement upper hull, there is no easy fix, : And did Legend get the fix right? :-) Anyway, for $80, I think I can live with the slightly off facets of the plates.

Bruce

Reply to
Bruce Burden

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