Not sure where to put this, but here y’all go…
The M55’s dust cover is awful.
The M48 is really an M48A1. M48s had a different TC cupola and driver’s hatch. ILK has already issued an M48A1, though, so it will be interesting to see what they think is different from their previous release.
The only differences in the M48 kit are the .50 cal storage mount in front of the loader’s hatch and the bustle rack . I assume they provide the same hull parts with just a different turret upper half.
Hi everybody, hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.
Having corrected my Renwal M55 kit in pre-internet times over more than 20 years with the help of TM 9-2350-210-12, I feel entitled to join the “Chorus of the Disappointed by ILK’s M53 and M55” and point out a few more inaccuracies:
The “fan”(?) on the right rear corner of the turret roof (parts C38/39) seems to be unique to “Tiny Tim”, the subject of David Lueck’s M55 walkaround at primeportal - all other pictures show an antenna socket there.
Stiffener brace C85 on the outside of upper turret door B17 has 8 crescent holes of 4 different diameters, so it isn’t straight as seen from top or bottom, but deeper above the two large openings in the middle and going down to the outsides - see primeportal.
PE parts A29 are and look excellent representing hinges of the upper and lower rear door struts that come, however, as folded parts C14/15 and C30/71 - which is ok for closed doors of an empty turret, but still…
Speaking of PE parts, A16/21/22 and B3/4 are wrong because the “running boards” on the prototype are plain sheet metal, not tread plate.
Finally on the spade: part C68, the brace between the hinges, seems too low, and there are no eyes for the pintles A21 to hold the spade in its travel position and for the hook on the spade lifting cable that would emanate from sheave C72 with its end fastened in C50 - once again, see primeportal.
End of nitpick, and I hope the aftermarket will use its chances in 2024.
All the best for the New Year,
Couple of further observations on both these kits. All mentioned above, but with some more details.
First, the M48 isn’t an M48. It is an M48A1, sort of. It has mostly M48 features (smaller turret bustle rack, small sight on turret front, etc.), but the later M48A1 Cupola.
The M48 had the Chrysler-designed cupola with an external, remotely operated mount for the .50 cal. It was similar to the later Urdan cupola, but not the same.
The M55 looks pretty good overall with lots of details and some nice-looking PE. As noted above, the mantlet cover looks horrible. It looks way too thick, too smooth and too stiff.
The dust cover cant be that hard to redo with some thinly rolled two part green putty over some plasticard structure? Not a deal breaker, surely?
Agree the kit part looks awful though. Dear me, what were they thinking?
Definitely. Most pics I can find of M55s actually have no dust covers installed. So, you could just leave it off as well.
Dust cover on the M48 main gun is suspect too - the front part is the early loose canvas, but the bit between gun shield and turret face has the ribs and tightness of the later rubberised cover that should have the concertina front…
Agreed on the the appearance of the kit part, but as far back as on the T29/T30/T34 heavies the dust covers had accordion pleats stitched into the canvas that were somewhat self-standing. The kit looks like internal frames are fitted.
That’s not a sight, but half of the storage bracket for the cal. .50. The movable part of the cupola frame attached to it and a second bracket near the lift ring…
Nice reply. The TM is of interest. I’d there a ready source to obtain a copy? Pondering upgrading the Renwal kit. Tks.
“Pondering upgrading the Renwal kit.”
I strongly recommend to think twice before deciding to do that - here’s a partial view of what you’d be in for:
More determents can be had in my build report at Build report - US M55 203 mm Panzerhaubitze
As for the TM, I don’t know if it’s available online; I obtained a xerox copy from the Belgian Army Museum in 1983 and could scan details from it.
“Pondering upgrading the Renwal kit.”
Given the existence now of the ILK kits why would you even attempt anything but an OOB build of the Renwal? For the effort needed to bring the Renwal kit exterior up to the level of the ILK as it comes you could be half or three-quarters of the way to a good interior on the ILK.
I have bought the Renwal kit when it was reissued a few years ago, so luckily I didn’t invest too much. Even if the I Kit kit has it’s problems, maybe at least it’s closer to being 1:35 (Renwal is 1:32). So I would buy it if I’d see it where I can pick it up locally or not pay too much for shipping…
3D MicroCosmos has a 3D printed Chrysler cupola for the M48
Shipping from Greece is 10 days or so and this guy makes nice stuff.
If with “Madness” you were commenting on my M55 model, I fully agree. But for me, the fun in building models is proving to myself that I’m able to replicate the weirdest and most complicated gizmos in scale, movably whenever the prototype is. Which I then hate to make largely invisible by covering my work in paint - as I stated in the survey a few years ago, I’m a builder, not a painter.
And I fully agree with you, too, on the necessary work for making the Renwal exterior halfways correct - hey, Renwal’s military kits weren’t state of the kit art even back in 1960, as they were designed after the motto “Form follows Function”, pursuing a maximum ‘play value’, never mind resemblance to the prototype.
No, I thought it mad to even “ponder” upgrading the Renwal kit, as someone else mentioned, even more so now that the ILK is out.
I can see someone wanting to keep working with, say, a Tamiya T-55 they own rather than buying a Miniart kit, but there comes a point where one must accept the sunk cost of the kit they have and move on to something better and more enjoyable. If I’m bound and determined to spend 10 hours upgrading kit parts I’d rather spend it on making a good kit from 2017 look great than on making a 1957 kit look almost as good as a 1971 Tamiya kit.
but we modelers aren’t always the most logical and rational thinking.
Sometimes somethings get done “Just because it was possible”.
Sometimes we accept challenges and sometimes wisdom prevails and we walk
away from a “turd”
I am inexplicably attracted to the Renwal kit, but have to resist for all the reasons cited. I could adopt an ILK M55 if ever released, but would want parts for the engine and turret interior. Fortunately dreams cost little other than brain time and I have many other projects to pursue.
Tks all for the input!
I agree with Kurt. It is a poor investment of my time to try and bring the old kits up to standard. Modeling time is a very finite resource and I prefer to spend it building where I get the best completed kit for the smallest time investment. I typically buy the new kit and then donate the older one to IPMS Seattle for the sale table. Others may derive lots of enjoyment from turning that decades old kit into an excellent model; but I do it only when there is no other choice.