Monday, June 10, 2024

Building Lee Tanks

I have built several of these tanks and so I have a good idea on how to build them efficiently. 
My Makin Island tank company plan requires 19 tank models.  I opened the packages of the tanks and inspected and sorted all the parts.  They will use the short barrel 75mm cannon with the counter-weight on the end.  Reviresco includes three choices for main guns, including the short barrel without the counter-weight and long barrel gun.  The 37mm gun has the counterweight, and Reviresco kit includes the 37mm with and without the counter-weight.  Each of the tanks have three ventilators, and two tank track boxes; these are optional parts in the kits. 
Each tank had two identical but mirror image storage boxes mounted on the left and right rear corners.  Reviresco gives several different storage boxes and it took a while to sort them.
I purchased these models over a period of perhaps 20 years, and some degradation of the mold has taken place over that time, but overall the model parts are very clean.  What flash there was mostly was on the tracks.  It was easily cleaned off.  I save old, dull, X-Acto #11 blades in a special "Used" storage box.  While they are too dull to cleanly cut plastic, they work just fine to cut soft metal.  I used the used blades to cut only a few pieces and then they go into the trash.
I put two Lee tanks in each of my little plastic trays to keep the parts straight.  I mostly sorted them, trimmed the flash from parts, and then glued them together sequentially.  That way I gained experience on each part as I did the work, so that by the last tank I was really good at trimming the flash or placing the glue.
The models were built mostly according to the instructions with no significant variation. 


Roger said...

That an impressive number of tanks you are building at once.
I guess it will take some time to paint them all as well?

Mike Bunkermeister Creek said...

Thank you Roger. I am building a company of 17 tanks as a build up towards building a full battalion all at once, 53 tanks.
I paint after I build, I know most people paint and then build but not me.
Thanks for reading and commenting.

Legion4 said...

Always liked the Lee/Grant, albeit it had its issues. The UK in the CBI was still using them '44-'45. Those are some great looking models. That company does good work.

Of course, today the Lee would may have to renamed if it was still in service !! As would the M3/M5 Stuart and M36 Jackson !!!! 🤩😎

Mike Bunkermeister Creek said...

Mr 4, not in my collection they would not be!

The Lee series was never intended for anything but training. Back in the days of drawing blueprints by hand it took forever to get ready to make the Sherman. The Lee was supposed to give the Army the chance to practice with a 75mm gun. The British and USSR were so desperate for tanks they were willing to put them into combat. The US used then in North Africa and Makin only because they did not have the time or shipping space to get their Sherman replacements before they were needed in battle.