Jerry and the M3

Forum for discussion relating to the M3 Lee nd Grant Medium Tank
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Jerry Carducci
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Jerry and the M3

Post by Jerry Carducci »

Hello all. This will be my first attempt at a brief article to cover some aspects of my M3 assembly.
I've been lurking about so to speak placing the odd comment here and there but few that are vehicle specific.

I have noted that there are quite a few very advanced, very capable builders, constructors and model engineers
on the site and I hope my own efforts will hold their own.

I purchased the M3 kit from another American modeler and he had done some minimal preliminary fittings and prining
but essentially the kit was still a kit. I'll begin with some things I've done.

Firstly I removed the primer that had been laid down as I was certain it would not be compatible with the coating system
I'd chosen which was Klasskote epoxy. First their grey primer followed by Olive drab green (#41). After a combination
of sand blast cleaning and solvent paint removal then clean solvent washing I was ready for other modifications and
painting of the suspension components.

Some changes I've made so far:
[*] For the transmission/differential housing I increased the countersink depth on the steel flanges so the count-sunk screw heads
would be below the surface of the flange. Hopefully this will allow the cover sections to mate more securely.

For the tow point mount holes I added a counter sink to allow the screw head to 'disappear' below the surface of the interior surface;
really only a cosmetic change- it appealed to my sense of mechanical tidiness.

Made new axles for the road wheels that I hope add more of a original look. Made with a proper step to use the OEM nuts and washers on the
inner side; the step being so tightening the assembly will not bend and compress the wheel bracket.[*]

The axles are a compromise, considering the the axles itself is an 8mm rod it doesn't allow for a small_er hex on the end so these are larger than I would
like and still maintain a small circular bearing area on the inner surface of the hexagonal section. There it is.

I've attached a few photos to illustrate

I believe that's it for now, I'll continue if there's interest.


Jerry
Attachments
Primed parts
Primed parts
Klasslkote OD green, it's it bit more shiny than I'd want however this is their 'satin' version; hard coating when fully cured.
Klasslkote OD green, it's it bit more shiny than I'd want however this is their 'satin' version; hard coating when fully cured.
New shaft fitting
New shaft fitting
New shaft
New shaft
Inner of one section of hosing to show flush screw for tow point
Inner of one section of hosing to show flush screw for tow point
Implemented deeper countersink; I use any flat edge to ensure screw head flush or below.
Implemented deeper countersink; I use any flat edge to ensure screw head flush or below.
Flange countersink
Flange countersink
Cleaned parts
Cleaned parts
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Robert E Morey
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Re: Jerry and the M3

Post by Robert E Morey »

Nice work Jerry. Glad you took the <deep> plunge into 1/6 tanks. Your M3 is looking good, I like the Klasscoat Olive drab - looks great.

There is no end to the bits and bobs you can modify and add on these kits.

Great to see another West Coast builder.
Best regards,
Bob

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Jerry Carducci
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Re: Jerry and the M3

Post by Jerry Carducci »

I've been making slow progress on my M3. Partly waiting for parts, screws, rivets, tools and splitting my time trying to tie up loose ends on my 1/10 scale Kaelble truck marathon project.

I'd decided early on in building the M3 that I didn't want to glue in the myriad of rivets. I wanted to compress them akin to the way rivets are implemented. Now I've done a fair amount of ersatz riveting over the years; some cosmetic to fill holes, some functional to actually bind parts together
such as several components of my foundry furnaces and the upper body panels of a 1/10 scale Hetzer. I'd say 90% of what I've done is flush riveting intended never to be seen in the finished product. 3 years ago I also began as a volunteer aboard the USS Hornet museum as a member of the aircraft restoration group: well guess how a lot of aircraft parts are fastened together! I learned about 'rivet squeezers' over there. So...

I decided that I would replace some of the kit's copper rivets with slightly longer ones so I could press them the way I wanted. Long story short I purchased 5/16" (~8mm) rivets to replace those intended for the thicker plates of the M3. I made a light chamfer (countersink) to the rear of the holes
so the compressed rivet would have good purchase and that was my sole prep. After discussing squeezer press options with a fellow Armortek and modelling enthusiast here in the colonies I decided upon an adjustable squeezer and squeezer die set appropriate to the task at hand. Once all of these bit were here at home, which was yesterday in the case of the longer copper rivets I let fly my new tool. After 15 minutes of work with the press I had both lower hull plates fully 'riveted'. I'm now trying to decide if I want to actually rivet the upper hull plates together with functional rivets where practical as I don't see a need to disassemble it once it's completed; my argument being if it were a cast hull disassembly wouldn't even be in question.

My original idea was that I'f file any excess rivet that was in the way on the reverse side but these compress so completely that minimal or no clean up is required; the photos shown are as they appeared after implementation.

Photos follow to document the day's rivet_O_rama...

Jerry
Attachments
riv10.jpg
riv8.jpg
riv7.jpg
riv5.jpg
riv4.jpg
riv3.jpg
riv2.jpg
riv1.jpg
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Chris Hall
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Re: Jerry and the M3

Post by Chris Hall »

Jerry -

Interesting stuff. Can you post up (or PM me) more information on your ‘rivet squeezer’ ? Like you I’m not a fan of glued rivets (with a Mark IV under my belt), and I’ve got both the M3 Lee and a Rolls-Royce Armoured Car to deal with ..... :D

Thanks, in hope,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

Derek Attree
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Re: Jerry and the M3

Post by Derek Attree »

Hi Jerry
I like the rivet squeezer too and info as to where it came from and can you change the anvils
to do other size rivets?

Regards

Derek
we must stop making stupid predictions

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Jerry Carducci
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Re: Jerry and the M3

Post by Jerry Carducci »

Derek Attree wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:16 pm
Hi Jerry
I like the rivet squeezer too and info as to where it came from and can you change the anvils
to do other size rivets?

Regards

Derek
Hello all. The tool I purchased is this one: https://aircraft-tool.com/shop/detail.aspx?id=5022-3B

What appealed to me is that it has an adjustable ram which will allow for different thicknesses of materials and it uses ( American) standard
interchangeable 3/16" squeezer dies which as you asked can be had for just about any type rivet. An example of a die set is here: https://aircraft-tool.com/shop/detail.aspx?id=SKT17

As I mentioned this particular tool was first selected by my modeling chum Ray Glover ( I believe in giving credit where due) however I'd experience with these things before through my volunteer work. We have a smaller, strictly hand- held unit aboard the ship and our die set is limited. I have in fact made two dies for rivets myself before I found suppliers for them. Hanson rivets where I purchased the longer 3/32 rivets also sells dies and I ordered a specific die for the rivets I used that conforms exactly to the specific rivet. At some point I'll post a photo of the die. There are two required- 'top and bottom' or 'front and rear' as you prefer- one that conforms to the rivet shape and the other which actually compresses the shank of the rivet.

I will resist telling my volunteer chums of this tool for as long as possible as it would have some utility on board and I fear it might just go 'poof'!

Happy riveting!
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Re: Jerry and the M3

Post by Derek Attree »

Hi Jerry
Thanks for the info.

Derek
we must stop making stupid predictions

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Jerry Carducci
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Re: Jerry and the M3

Post by Jerry Carducci »

I have recognized for some while that I have an odd sense of which details of a model matter to me. Some things which matter to others don't
trip my radar. For one thing anything that requires me to glue anything on a model just don't grab me. I do like the effect I've seen on others' work
but can never get past the fact that these details aren't really an integral part of the model.

Anyway I ramble. One of the aspects of the models, and this began when I started 1/10 scale are the fasteners. This was probably more pronounced in the smaller scale as appropriately sized fasteners couldn't be had by a quick trip to the hardware store. I was rather forced to purchase from model engineering companies. I became used to and later to insist on proportional hardware whenever and where ever I could manage it.

The M3 was no exception. The transmission housing is just such a prominent feature of this model I had to do something. Here what I have done so far.
I have implemented M3 stainless steel miniature hex bolts from MVD in Germany and steel M3 Castellated nuts from Jürgen Stehr. You actually have to look pretty close even in 1/6 scale but it does make me smile. Chalk it up to one of Jerry's eccentricities. Hopefully after having waited for a while one these (and other) items I will be able to forge ahead and make some noticable progress but I've also realized that I'm just slow - with the demanding schedule of a retireee....

Jerry
Attachments
casnut003.jpg
casnut002.jpg
casnut001.jpg
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Re: Jerry and the M3

Post by Jerry Carducci »

If I were in a race with a tortoise he'd be lapping me by now. I've always been slow at this hobby, well perhaps not for the first 6 months after I got my first larger scale tank so many decades ago. Where's the fire, right?

I'm still turning over in my mind how I want to actually finalize the construction of the upper hull; it's actually sitting with the major bits all connected and the basic lower hull is waiting for a change in the weather in order to paint. This and my other projects allowed me to consider the final drives and idler assemblies where two aspects had caught my eye. I wanted bolts to secure the cap for the idler and outer cover for the sprocket. I realized immediately that the configuration of the sprocket wouldn't allow the same solution as for the idler. I used SAE 0-80 steel hex heads for the idler and for the sprocket I
'fudged' it by using SAE 2-56 screws with recesses machined into the inner face of the cover and 2-56 hex nuts on the outside to secure them. I feel the effect of both of these is rather nice. tapping the 0-80 holes in the idler isn't the most enjoyable way to spend part of an afternoon but the result is worth it. I used a one size up tap drill as there's not a lot of stress here and the prospect of snapping a needle-like tap in these parts didn't appeal to me. So that coupled with some A9 cutting fluid (my go -to for aluminium work), frequent tap cleaning and the job was done.

Jerry
Attachments
idler03.JPG
sproc01.JPG
idler02.JPG
idler01.JPG
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Jerry Carducci
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Re: Jerry and the M3

Post by Jerry Carducci »

I've made some decent progress on my M3. I'd decided that I wanted to assemble the upper hull using as many actual rivets as possible.
I never plan to take the actual apart once it's together however I want to be able to remove the 'roof whenever needed for easier access
and be able to remove the entire upper in the even that I need to perform major service on the lower. With my smaller 1/10 scale models
I'm used to either cast or fixed uppers that can be removed as needed yet stay in place rigidly.

I purchased a variety of rivet lengths in both copper and aluminum from Hansen Rivets here in the states. So far I've done most every rivet as either a fully functional, structural rivet or a 'decorative' rivet but fastened as a rivet for all but I believe 12 button head screws but only becuase I decided not
to alter the casemate for the 75mm gun/ hull side of the front glacis bracket which attaches to the casemate. I also made my own 'mobile riveting tool
since it wasn't possible to use the above described rivet squeezer. In many cases I used a backing washer to give the inner peined shaft of the rivet proper purchase.

Where screws or bolts were used on the original vehicle of course I will maintain the proper screw or bolt for that position.

It was an interesting exercise to determine the proper order of parts assembly so as not to rivet myself into a corner. Manhandling the assembled upper
hull was also quite the challenge by myself. Happily everything seems to be aligned well enough and I stress tested the upper well enough to prove it's quite strong! I still need to perform a bit of body work to conceal some of the original kit fabrication tooling marks but this is trivial.

Not perfect but I'm happy with it.. Be kind... Looking forward to taking this out on my newly revised proving grounds, previous tests showed that the model is unkind to closely cropped weeds....

Waiting for other bits to arrive I think I'll set about working on the recoil and other mechanical components. somehow I managed to misplace the 16mm x1 barrel nut for the 37mm gun so I'm just going to make my own once I find my tap... Already looking ahead to decide which of the other Armortek kits purchased that I want to build out....

Jerry
Attachments
IMG_5521.jpg
64032883671__774DC29A-0FE2-439A-9E70-AE65E2885D43.jpg
64032882176__7540CBF6-44C2-471D-B612-95D203F61911.jpg
64032880843__42E44B8E-BD3F-49BD-A5E2-E534F856C248.jpg
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Robert E Morey
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Re: Jerry and the M3

Post by Robert E Morey »

Looking really good Jerry! Forge ahead!
Bob

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Chang
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Re: Jerry and the M3

Post by Chang »

Looks so good Jerry. Just wonder how many rivets are needed in one M3 tank ?
------------------------------------------------------------------
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Jerry Carducci
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Re: Jerry and the M3

Post by Jerry Carducci »

Chang wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:17 am
Looks so good Jerry. Just wonder how many rivets are needed in one M3 tank ?
When I purchased rivets from Hansen they sell them by the pound ( or fraction thereof) so I know for some of the smaller sizes there are many.
I purchased both copper and aluminium versions but the aluminium versions seemed to have a larger head ( I'm sure an optical illusion) and were decidedly a bit tougher to work.

I never counted all the rivets needed for the same reason I never used to look up at the top of a hill when bicycling or hiking: if I had seen how far I had to go I'd have instantly become tired and stopped then and there!

Jerry
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Jerry Carducci
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Re: Jerry and the M3

Post by Jerry Carducci »

Have made progress on the M3. I'm slow at the best of time but the more photos I examine, other build threads I read the more I say "I want that!"
But what I want even more is not to spend 5 years on one model!

I appreciate the nth level detail when I see it but seldom have the drive to execute it, plus if it entails gluing something I'd prefer not.
Still other things just bug me and I feel compelled to change them, to make the model 'mine'.

I spent entirely too much time on the rear stowage boxes, riveting the tiny hinges on to the basic boxes that I'd silver brazed to seal them up
plus making hasps for same. Seeing the the commanders cupola hatch wasn't what I wanted I made a new set of those parts. I'd vowed not
to make my own hinges for any of these things but spent more time modifying the kit supplied hinges than what I likely would have done had I made my own. I think I'll cast new ones 'down the road a piece' but for now the modified ones will serve. I modified the stock hinges to allow use of SAE 0-80 flat screws- I threaded the parts carefully so as not to need nuts that would take up space; need to fill original hole at the front top of cupola.

Riveted the filler caps part together, shaped and textured a bit with JB Weld ( a glue!) and plan to install retaining chains on the locking pins.

When riveting the upper hull together I replaced the aluminum bars intended for the upper hull sides and read plate where they connect to the roof with thick aluminium angle. I did this so I could make the roof detachable and yet rivet the angle pieces to the hull sides. Makes for a fairly robust structure.

I've now got all the bits lined up for this model, having just received the recoil parts so I'm hoping in a month this construction will be mostly complete.
After that I will need to decide which of my kits I should build next!

Jerry
Attachments
IMG_5570.jpg
IMG_5568.jpg
IMG_5566.jpg
IMG_5565.jpg
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Jerry Carducci
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Re: Jerry and the M3

Post by Jerry Carducci »

My friend has me planting flowers all over my front and back yard; I believe the number is now up to 25-26 additional plants and the attendant drip irrigation support to ensure they are properly and efficiently watered...! I've also planted three new fruit trees; two varieties of oranges and
a fig tree... She says 'over there', and a'digging I will go...

After digging, turn over earth, potting soil, watering fertilizing, more digging and all that, all day I turn to my tank projects to rest!

The M3 is it, I go into my shop fire up my favorite Baroque music streaming service and before I know it the day is done...

I'm nearing the end methinks. I'm trying my hand at some variations in building this out.
  • Brazing the front fender pieces together
    Brazing the brush guards together
    Modifying the lamp bases
    Making a sort of hasp for the side access hatches
    Making an approximation of the front glacis ProtectoScope
    Retaining chains for the filler cap pins.
There are other bits I'm working with as well, just little things that tug at me. The protectoscope thing is a stretch as I've not seen one close up
and there's nothing within a reasonable range any longer; I'm just making something up so as not to just have a large rectangular hole there
and a resin part just didn't grab me. My "Jerryscope' will actually move and close the aperture. I realized that if I ultimately hate the way it looks I
can try something else or get rid of it altogether at any time. It isn't a non- reversible thing.

After a few more of these pieces I'll fit the remaining special effects gear and take it out for a spin then it's to the painting station...

Jerry
Attachments
I'd hate to lose a pin..
I'd hate to lose a pin..
The particular steel that these parts are made from lent itself very well to silver-copper braze; it wet the metal as smooth as butter on a crumpet
The particular steel that these parts are made from lent itself very well to silver-copper braze; it wet the metal as smooth as butter on a crumpet
A pile of aluminum from machining the 'JerryScope'
A pile of aluminum from machining the 'JerryScope'
Extra holes- gone.
Extra holes- gone.
My crew will want to lock up their tank whenever they part in a shady neighborhood...
My crew will want to lock up their tank whenever they part in a shady neighborhood...
I feel the inside looks better that the outside of the JerryScope...
I feel the inside looks better that the outside of the JerryScope...
No prism yet in place in the scope...
No prism yet in place in the scope...
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