T36 40mm Gun Motor Carriage

T36 40mm Gun Motor Carriage



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T36 40mm Gun Motor Carriage

The T36 40mm Gun Motor Carriage was an unsuccessful attempt to mount a Bofors anti-aircraft gun on the chassis of the Medium Tank M3.

Work on the T36 began in December 1941. The 40mm gun was carried in a 2in thick cast armour, with an almost triangular profile when seen from the side (with the gun carried at the tip on the front and a vertical rear wall). The original intention was to give the gun a range of elevation from -10 to +80 degrees, but the turret roof stopped the back of the gun rising far enough for the barrel to reach -10, and limited it to -2. The roof also meant that the 4 round Bofors ammo clip couldn't be loaded below +10 degrees.

Fire control was to be provided by a T10 computer, with a three man crew. This would calculate the azimuth and elevation data for a target, which would then be entered into a T9 remote control system. Optics were provided by the T27 and T28 telescopes.

Early in 1942 the similar T26 75mm Gun Motor Carriage was cancelled after its 75mm gun proved to be unsuited for use as an anti-aircraft weapon. The pilot of the T36 was built using the hull and turret from the T26 prototype, and the second T36 used the chassis from the T26.

The two pilots were structurally complete by August 1942, but the fire control system wasn't ready until December. Tests could then begin, first at Aberdeen and then at Camp Davis, North Carolina.

A number of problems were uncovered during the tests. The driver's position was too small for most men, and Aberdeen recommended adding another 4.5in of head room. Ventilation in the turret was poor, and it was suggested that a forced ventilation system was needed. The shape of the turret also needed altering to allow loading at all elevations. Internal lights were needed in the turret. The Antiaircraft Board was unimpressed with the T36, in particular with the limited storage of 100 rounds, only enough for one minute of firing. In July 1943 the project was cancelled.


List of U.S. military vehicles by supply catalog designation

This is the Group G series List of U.S. military vehicles by (Ordnance) supply catalog designation,one of the alpha-numeric "Standard Nomenclature Lists" (SNL) that were part of the overall List of U.S. Army weapons by supply catalog designation, a Supply Catalog that was used by the U.S. Army Ordnance Department / Ordnance Corps as part of the Ordnance Provision System, from about the mid-1920s to about 1958.

In this, the Group G series numbers were designated to represent "Tank / Automotive materiel" – the various U.S. military vehicles and directly related materiel. These designations represent vehicles, modules, parts, and catalogs for supply and repair purposes. There can be numerous volumes, changes, and updates under each designation. The Group G list itself is also included, being numbered G-1.

Generally, the G-series codes tended to group together "families" of vehicles that were similar in terms of their engine, transmission, drive train, and chassis, but have external differences. The body style and function of the vehicles within the same G-number may vary greatly.


T36 40mm Gun Motor Carriage - History

Thank you John for these interesting pictures!

I have found some new information regarding the British Bofors production.

In 1939 the production was made by "one of the Royal Ordnance Factories" (which?) and the Nuffield Group. In 1940 six companies were organised as the "40 mm Mounting Group" which was chaired by Artur Stephens.

In June 1940 A. Reyrolle & Co Ltd got a contract for producing Bofors-gunmounts. This was however soon changed to the full assembly of the guns.

Guns and carriages were not made by Reyrolle but supplied from other factories. The production line took considerable time to set up and reached capacity by late 1941.

The production made by Reyrolle ceased in December 1943. By then Reyrolle had produced 1.580 Bofors guns.

Reyrolle also made "Kerrison Predictors" - unknown number.

Chrysler production of Bofors guns was made by 10 factories. Main assembly (?) by 1) Highland Park, 2) Plymouth and 3) Jefferson-Kercheval.

The most difficult part - breeches - were made by Jefferson-Kercheval reportedly also for Maribyrong in Australia.

Argentina got 6 Bofors guns before WW 2 prevented further deliveries from Sweden.

Here are some on parade. What type of trucks?

I believe you will find those are CMPs of which Argentine received a number after WWII. I think I have a better copy of that photo and will post it if I can find it.
Bill

Originally posted by Bill Murray
I believe you will find those are CMPs of which Argentine received a number after WWII. I think I have a better copy of that photo and will post it if I can find it.

Definitely CMPs - see http://www.oldcmp.net/aacvm.html for some survivors, one of which is very rare.

Here are some on parade. What type of trucks?

Originally posted by David_Hayward
Alex, I blew up the pic and it appears that it has the Chevrolet-style front and back radiator guard uprights rather than the Ford-style rear-mounted. What do you think?

Now I have learned that a Polish made carriage has wheels with eight holes and six bolts (is that the correct expression?). A Swedish made has also wheels with eight holes but only five bolts. The Hungarian made guns I am not sure of yet.

Thus this could be a Polish made gun.

Originally posted by Stellan Bojerud
A French "Alligator" with 40 mm Bofors gun.
Who knows more of this type of vehicle?

Landing Vehicle, Tracked Mark 4 or LVT 4, fitted with a 40-mm Bofors gun by the French. The "Alligator" (LVT 4) and "Crabe" (M29C Weasel) gave the French troops the much-needed mobility in French Indochina's rice paddies.

I couldn't get good enough definition on blow up but I'd bet that the tractor in the 1950 picture is a Ford LAAT. Definitive would be a good look at the front bumper for the winch fairlead, the hand crank support and the brush guard mounts. On the body look for the horizontal handles that open the lockers for tools and ammo.

Interesting to note that the spare is on the roof. CMP roofs aren't that solid. the weight of the air sentry hatches caused them to buckle, let alone 200 lbs of 11:00X20 tyre and rim!

Round roof hatch points to late production and, if we can get confirmation on the LAAT body, would be a relatively rare thing as not many LAATs got the hatches. I guess they figured that bird gunners would be doing air sentry with the Bofors not with a .303 girlie gun.


List of U.S. Army fire control and sighting material by supply catalog designation

This is a list of U.S. Army fire control, and sighting material by supply catalog designation, or Standard Nomenclature List group "F". The U.S. Army Ordnance Corps Supply Catalog used an alpha-numeric nomenclature system from about the mid-1920s to about 1958. These designations represent parts catalogs for supply and repair purposes. There can be numerous volumes, changes, and updates under each designation

1. F1 to F99
F99
F80
F88
F95 Predictor, Mine, M1916
F6 Aiming Circle, M1918 French
F9 Telescope B.C. M1915, and M1915A1
F84 Instrument, Azimuth M1910A1, M2 degrees
F82
F98 Clinometer, M1912, and M1912A1
F90 Telescope, Panoramic, M1918MIII Mils
F4 Rule, slide, M1917 – Parts and equipment
F75 Board deflection Gun, M1905, M1905MI, M1917
F76 Board, deflection, mortar, M1906
F81 Board, range correction, M1, and M1A1
F93 Kit repair optical, for harbor defense
F92 Telescope, Observation, M1908
F3 Items not authorized for general issue
F86 Mount, Telescope, M9, M13
F7 Instrument angle of sight, M1917
F96
F2 Major items, harbor defense, railway, and antiaircraft artillery sighting equipment, and fire-control instruments
F5 Items common to two or more group F products
F83
F12 Targets, testing small arms and field artillery – parts
F87 Quadrant Elevation, M1917
F1 Major items, small arms, automatic gun, trench mortar, and field artillery sighting equipment, and fire control instruments
F89
F85
F13 Gunners Quadrant, M1918.
F11 Setter Fuze, Bracket, M1916, M1916A1, M1916A2
F10 bore sight, small arms, and field artillery
F94
F8 Mount, telescope, M1 for 37mm gun carriage, M1 Telescope, M2 for 37mm gun carriage, M1 – Parts and equipment
F97
F91

3. 200 to 299
F214 Telescope, Panoramic, M12, M12A1, A2, A3, A5
V10 Telescope, M71C, M71D, M71G, M71K, M71N
V12 Telescope, M83C, M83D, M83F
F216 Mount Telescope, M25
V2 Periscope, M6
F205 Light Instrument, M2, M5, M9, M10, M12, M13, M16, M17, M18, M19, M23, M25, M26, M27, M28, M29, M30, M31, M32, M33
F204 Quadrant, Elevation, M1
F233 Board plotting, M5 for flash ranging
F231 Telescope elbow, M1, M1A1, M6, M17, M22, M34, and M58
F217 Periscope, M1
F230 Mount Telescope, M24A1, and Telescope M18. Ordnance QF 6 pounder
V5 Periscope, M13,B1, M14, A1, M17
V13 Telescope, M86F
F224 Mount Telescope, M26, M27, M28 M47? M52C, M52D, M54
V19 Periscope T38
F218
F223 Mount Telescope, M30
V16 Telescope M97
F232
F208 System remote control, M1, M5, and cable, M8
F212
F211 Setter Fuze, M13
F219 Compass, M2
F210 Binocular, M3, M8, M9, M13
F200 Kit, cable repair, M1, M2, M3, M5, and M7
F225 System remote control, M3, M4, and cable M9
F220 Light, Aiming post, M14
V1 Periscope, M4A1 with Telescope, M47A2
V6 Periscopes, M15, and M15A1
F235 Periscopes, telescopes for periscopes, and direct sighting telescopes for use in tanks.
V3 Periscope, M8A1, with Telescope, M39A2 for Howitzer Motor Carriage M8 also M9 periscope
V7 Periscopes, M16C, M16D, M16F, M16G, M16H
F215 Rule Slide M1
V11 Telescope, M76C, M76F, M76G
V15 Periscope, M20, -A1, A2, A3, and A3C
F226 Directors Trailer, M13 M14. and generator trailer, M7
F234 Mount Telescope, M35, and Telescope, M31
F201 Board spotting, M3, and M7?
V8 Telescope, M69C, M69F, and M69G
F227 generating unit, M5, M6
F209 Director Military, AA., M5, M5A1, and M5A2
V9 Telescope, M70C, M70D, M70F, M70R
F206 Kit, Instrument repair
F207 System remote control, M2, and cable, M1
F222 System, Data Transmission, M6
F213 Instrument Azimuth, M1918A1
V14 Telescope, M79E1
V18 Periscope, T25, T36
V4 Periscope, M10C, M10D, M10F, M10G, M10P
V17 Periscope M19, and T41, night vision for M60 tank
F203 Gun Data Computer, M1
F221 Setter Fuze, M10
F202 Voltage controller, M1
F266
F237 Table, Firing, Graphical M1 thru M20, M22, M38 to M51
F295 Mount Telescope, M64, T90, M72
F298 Finder range, M10
F273 Gun Data Computer, M8C, M8F, M8G, M8K, M8N, M9
F270
F244 System cable, M3
F249 Kit, Helium filling, M8 for height finders
F261 Mount Telescope, M50
F260
F254 Finder range, M7, M9, M9A1
F288 Setter Fuze, M19. 120 mm M1 gun
F236 Mount Telescope, M36. and Telescope M33
F291 Generating unit, M18
F284 Indicator, Powder Temperature, M12, M13, M14, M15
F262 Telescope elbow, M62, M62E2, M62A1C
F282
F271 Mount Telescope, M44
F257
F279 Clock tank, 8-day Elgin
F272 Kit, instrument repair
F256 Mount Telescope, M42
F265
F250 Trainer, Director, M8
F239
F247
F240
F274 Amplifier, torque M1
F246 Instrument spotting, M2
F280
F263 Mount Telescope, M40
F292 Mount Telescope, M45
F252 System Sighting, M7
F286 Sight, correctional, Mk. V Navy 40MM Gun
F275 Observation tower, M1
F277 System Remote control, M14
F241 System Sighting, M5, M6
F276 Sight Computing, M7, M7A1
F268 Binocular, M5
F299
F294 Mount Telescope, M55 T85. M56, M57, M70, M77
F289 Telescope, M73B1, M81, M82, M84
F251 Arms scale, M1906
F242 Mount, sight, M35, and sight reflex M18 Quadmount
F258 Transmitter azimuth, M5, and elevation M6
F248
F264 Binocular, M6
F285 Indicator Azimuth, M18, M19
F253 Mount Telescope, M43
F245 Setter Fuze, M14 wrench, M15, M16, M17, M21
F281 Quadrant Elevation, M9
F297
F259 Telescope, B.C. M65
F267
F283 Generating unit, M15, M15A1
F287 Indicator, Range, MK. 1. Navy
F293 Setter Fuze, M22, M23
F238 Binocular, M2, M7, M14, M15, M16, M17, Mark 21 Navy
F269
F243 Director Military, M9, M9B1, and M10
F278
F290 Generating unit M17
F296 Mount Telescope, M65, T94, M82
F255

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  • during World War II, replacing the M4 autocannon. List of U S Army weapons by supply catalog designation Kerrison Predictor Chamberlain, Peter 1975 Anti - aircraft
  • Bell P - 63 Kingcobra from 30 rounds to 58 rounds. List of U S Army weapons by supply catalog designation COW 37 mm gun: earlier British equivalent Nudelman - Suranov
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  • 1960 s to 1970 s Formerly used by the Viet Cong with clones made. The Angry Brigade 26th of July Movement List of U S Army weapons by supply catalog designation
  • weapons by supply catalog designation MG 131 machine gun, World War II 13 mm German aircraft - mounted gun List of individual weapons of the U S Armed Forces
  • partial listing of vehicle model numbers or M - numbers assigned by the U S Army Some of these designations are also used by other agencies, services, and nationalities
  • the white side, both the U S Army and civilians were customers of Colt. The Army carried Colt revolvers through the last of its Indian Wars. On the Indian
  • mechanical device used by the U S Army Coast Artillery Corps as part of their fire control system to track the observed course of a target typically a
  • in Texas. A U S Army psychiatrist, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, opened fire on fellow soldiers with a Five - seven pistol, killing 13 people and wounding 29
  • South Vietnam Vietnam Zaire Dieudonne Saive List of U S Army weapons by supply catalog designation SNL A - 6 M1917 Browning machine gun M2 Browning
  • calibres 44 S W American This new design, known as the Smith Wesson Model 3, was adopted by the US Army as the first cartridge - firing revolver in
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  • piece of sparking material to ignite the liquid or gaseous fuel. A wheellock firearm had the advantage that it can be instantly readied and fired even
  • heavy tank of World War II, operated from 1942 in Africa and Europe, usually in independent heavy - tank battalions. Its final designation was
  • is a list of notable accidents and incidents involving military aircraft grouped by the year in which the accident or incident occurred. Not all of the
  • request by General Willard G. Wyman, commander of the U S Continental Army Command CONARC to develop a 223 caliber 5.56 mm select - fire rifle weighing
  • that was operated from 1981 to 2011 by the U S National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA as part of the Space Shuttle program. Its official
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List of U.S. Army fire control and sighting material by supply catalog.

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Series 37: Maintenance Series 38: Supply Procedures Series 44: Antiaircraft U.S. Army Technical Manuals, commonly known as Army manuals, are part In the 1970s the Library of Congress ceased receipt of this material. list of those items that can be easily found in the catalog under their title,. Defense federal acquisition regulation A. Portable universal battery supply. The proponent of this publication is U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence In the method of fire element, the mortar s designated to fire in the Proper employment of sighting and fire control equipment ensures. MORTARS. The transfer of Army Correspondence Course Program material from U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School, page 8 Patriot Fire Control Enhanced Operator ​Maintainer Course MOS 14E appear listing all ACCP courses available for electronic enrollment Title: Military Aircraft Designation Symbols. GLOSSARY OF COMMON MILITARY TERMS. In other volumes of the series UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II, Warehouses, pipelines, inventories, parts catalogs.50 caliber Machine Gun Ammunition in Fabric Belts. 16 For names, locations, and wartime activities antiaircraft guns and carriages, fire control They also carried sighting and rang ​. 2010 Water System Engineers Report Draft City of Modesto. Browse the national stock number catalog by FSC category. Over 7 Additive Metal Materials FSC 9630 Aircraft Bombing Fire Control Components FSC 1280 Includes complete battery charging equipment, nonrotating power supplies, or the national formulary or covered by the united states adopted names usan.

List of U.S Army fire control and sighting material by supply catalog designation, List of US Army fire control and sighting material by supply catalog designation


Contents

  • F1 Major items, small arms, automatic gun, trench mortar, and field artillery sighting equipment, and fire control instruments
  • F2 Major items, harbor defense, railway, and antiaircraft artillery sighting equipment, and fire-control instruments
  • F3 Items not authorized for general issue
  • F4 Rule, slide, M1917 – Parts and equipment
  • F5 Items common to two or more group F products
  • F6 Aiming Circle, M1918 (French)
  • F7 Instrument angle of sight, M1917
  • F8 Mount, telescope, M1 (for 37mm gun carriage, M1) Telescope, M2 (for 37mm gun carriage, M1) – Parts and equipment
  • F9 Telescope B.C. M1915, and M1915A1
  • F10 bore sight, (small arms, and field artillery)
  • F11 Setter Fuze, Bracket, M1916, M1916A1, M1916A2
  • F12 Targets, testing (small arms and field artillery) – parts
  • F13 Gunners Quadrant, M1918. [1]
  • F14 Compass, lensatic, M1918 – Parts and equipment, 16 September 1927
  • F15 Machine gun clinometer M1917 Parts and equipment
  • F16 Sight, panoramic, machine gun, M1918 – Parts and equipment
  • F17 Device, aiming, mirror, M1918 – Parts and equipment, 23 November 1926
  • F18 Night lighting device, parts and equipment
  • F19 Board, deflection, M1
  • F20
  • F21 Kit, repair optical, for field artillery equipment
  • F22 Telescope, Panoramic, M1917M1 (Mils)
  • F23 Compass, Prismatic, M1918 [2]
  • F24 Sight Quadrant, M1918A1
  • F25 Range finder, 80-cm. base, M1914 Range finder, 80-cm. base, M1916 Range finder, 80-cm. base, M1917 Range finder, 80-cm. base, M1918 -Parts and equipment, 7 December 1926
  • F26 Finder range, 1-meter base,
  • F27 Sights, rocking-bar (all types) – Parts and equipment
  • F28 Sight, M1901 (French)
  • F29 Sight, M1916, for 75 mm Gun M1916 – Parts and equipment
  • F30 Sight, telescopic, 2.24-inch (6 Pdr.) tank gun, Mk.II (British) -Parts and equipment
  • F31 Sight, M1916, telescopic, 37mm gun, M1916 – Parts and equipment, 18 October 1926
  • F32 Sight Telescopic, M1918, M1918A2. (for 37-mm tank gun, and machine gun,) (M2 Light Tank?)
  • F33 Quadrant sight, M1916, for 37-mm Gun M1916
  • F34 Glass field, type EE. 6-power [3]
  • F35 Post aiming, M1
  • F36 Pocket watch, 7-Jewel, 15-Jewel, and stop watch Type B, class 15. and Wrist watch. [4]
  • F37 Clinometer, MK.1, (degrees) 3-inch, trench mortar
  • F38 Telescope, B. C. M1917B1, M1917B2, M1917B3, M1917B4 [5]
  • F39 Finder range,80-cm, base, M1918
  • F40 Level, testing – Parts and equipment
  • F41 Periscope, Battery Commanders, M1918
  • F42 Mount, telescope, M2 (for 75mm mortar carriage, M1) Telescope, elbow, M3 (for 75mm mortar carriage, M1) – Parts and equipment
  • F43 Sight, M1912, 2.95-inch mountain gun – Parts and equipment
  • F44 Altimeter, M1917, M1920.[6] ?
  • F45 Depression position finder, Lewis, M1907 – Parts and equipment
  • F46 Finder depression position (Swasey type AII) (Depression position finder)
  • F47 Periscope, rifle, M1918 – Parts
  • F48 Board rocket, M1918. (for signal rockets)
  • F49 Telescope, sighting, No. 4, Mk. III (British) Telescope, sighting, No.5, (British) – Parts and equipment
  • F50 Sight, M1917, for A.A. carriages (for 75m A.A. truck mount, M1917) – Parts and equipment
  • F51 System, sighting, A.A. M1 (for 3" A.A. gun mounts, M1917MI) – Parts and equipment
  • F52 Trainer coincidence, Type A
  • F53
  • F54
  • F55
  • F56 Indicator, wind component, M1
  • F57 Rule set forward, type B
  • F58 Instrument Observation M1. Telescope, M3?
  • F59 Board plotting and relocating, cloke, M1923. (Plotting board)
  • F60 Altimeters
  • F61
  • F62
  • F63
  • F64
  • F65
  • F66
  • F67
  • F68
  • F69 Firing tables, and trajectory charts
  • F70 Trainer Coincidence, type B
  • F71
  • F72
  • F73
  • F74 Eyeglasses, amber, M2. and eyeglasses, red M1. [7]
  • F75 Board deflection Gun, M1905, M1905MI, M1917
  • F76 Board, deflection, mortar, M1906
  • F80
  • F81 Board, range correction, M1, and M1A1
  • F82
  • F83
  • F84 Instrument, Azimuth M1910A1, M2 (degrees)
  • F85
  • F86 Mount, Telescope, M9, M13
  • F87 Quadrant Elevation, M1917
  • F88
  • F89
  • F90 Telescope, Panoramic, M1918MIII (Mils)
  • F91
  • F92 Telescope, Observation, M1908
  • F93 Kit repair optical, for harbor defense
  • F94
  • F95 Predictor, Mine, M1916
  • F96
  • F97
  • F98 Clinometer, M1912, and M1912A1
  • F99

Cookie Sewell's Armory - Armor Kit Reviews for 2017

Kit Review: Trumpeter 1/35 scale Kit No. 05547 Soviet T-10A Heavy Tank 580 parts (337 in grey styrene, 180 in brown styrene, 61 etched brass, 2 twisted copper wire) retail price US$80.00
Advantages: third version of the T-10 can be built as an A or a B due to nearly identical external appearance simpler single piece single link tracks
Disadvantages: nothing out of the ordinary noted
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for Soviet armor and Cold War fans
Date Reviewed: May 30, 2017
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After the war, research and development continued on this subject until test models became available in 1954. Both single axis and two axis (vertical/horizontal) were under development, and by 1956 the first single axis stabilizers were ready for installation. Both the T-54A and the T-10A appeared that year, as both of them had single axis stabilizers for their main guns.

The system installed in the T-10A was the PUOT-1 "Uragan" consisting of the TAEhN-2 stabilizer and a TPS-1 stabilized gunner's periscopic sight. This was determined to make the gun five to six times more accurate when firing on the move. It was also fitted with a TVN-1 IR driving light and viewer for the driver to use for night driving. Also fitted for the first time on a 122mm service gun was a bore evacuator, which had appeared in the West some years earlier but was now adopted for this tank and the T-54A and all future Soviet tanks.

But only 50 of these tanks were built before switching over to the T-10B of which 110 were built before changing over to the vastly improved T-10M. Many of the As were upgraded to B status by changing the stabilizer to the PUOT-2 "Grom" system along with a new generator providing double the power (3 kWt vice 1.5 kWt) based on the needs of the new system.

Later on many of the T-10A/B tanks were fitted with IR night sights and searchlights as well to bring them closer to T-10M status.

Nearly 50 years ago Tamiya came out with a kit of what was closest to a T-10A/B but called it a "JS-III/T-10" to cover all of the bases. Loaded with errors it was the only one around in styrene until both Meng and Trumpeter released kits of the T-10M. Now Trumpeter has followed up its T-10 kit with this kit of the T-10A (which also can represent the B with some work) to complete the basic family. (The main difference is a circular hatch on the engine deck of the B behind the left exhaust and intake grills.

I plead guilty to self promotion as I have a pre-release copy of the history of the T-10 tanks that was written by Jim Kinnear and myself and could use it to compare the kit to the original vehicle. First examination has it nearly spot on with the proper early T-10 hull, modified turret with persicopic sight and centrally positioned ventilator, and new roof with embedded loader's AAMG hip ring in a cupola over his position vice the swing-away IS-3/4 mount from the early T-10 tanks. Trumpeter has tweaked all three kits to match the prototypes and has done a nice job of it.

Like the others this kit is relatively simple by modern standards and uses "stick them together" single link tracks, one set of links for the left track and one for the right.

As with their other kits, it starts out with the lower hull (as do most tanks) and all of the suspension components are separate items. Six of the road wheel axles are fitted with shock absorbers and fluid reservoirs which is correct. Note that this kit actually uses the wheels from Trumpeter's IS-4M kit. As I am currently building the T-10 kit, I must say that this suspension clicks together with a precision not seen in some other Trumpeter kits and that is QUITE welcome by me!

One word of warning that I missed before: the tank uses "pin knocker" style tracks and as such they are different. The pins used to hold the tracks together on the original are fitted with tiny fasteners on the outside ends, and the large pin heads face inwards.T1 links are for the right side, T2 links are for the left. I put them all together and have to resort them now as penance. Note they are a tight fit and for assembly of sections I suggest filing down the hinge sides so they slide together.

The next steps cover the turret which in its case is simple. In this case the 12.7mm DShKM and the commander's cupolas are assembled first and fitted to the turret. In this kit the gun is new with the bore evacuator but makes use of the previous kit's two piece muzzle brake no turned barrel is offered. These tanks did not have a canvas cover over the mantelet so that is not a problem with this tank.

Construction of the hull is very straightforward and all of the weld lines are present, albeit some may wish to enhance them. The "cages" over the headlights are nicely done and should be simple to assemble and install. PE fender flaps are provided for the mud flaps at each corner.

Other minor details are missing but in most cases understandable. Apparently the early model T-10s did not have a "demand" system so the rear external fuel tanks (Y-21/22) are not "plumbed" into the tank. Missing is a metal strap hold-down at the rear of the tank about 50mm in scale forward of the rear edge.

This tank is fitted with the grillwork over the top of the exhaust openings (the smaller outer grills on the engine deck with covers PE-C2). Others are not but the grid pattern inside them is quite different so the PE parts should be used.

For those so interested many of the earlier tanks were later upgraded to take the twin 200 liter auxiliary fuel tanks if you have an old Trumpeter IS-3M kit those tanks and mounts are correct and can be used to fit to this kit vice the smoke canisters.

Technical advice and support was provided by Kirill Koksharkov from Chelyabinsk in the design and production of this kit

Only one finishing option is provided for a generic T-10 in protective green paint and no markings. A generic "number jungle" is included but while I have found T-10s with service markings so far I have not identified either As or Bs with markings.

Overall, while again a simple kit this is actually quite accurate and other than a lack of finishing options (as most of the photos are of test tanks there are not a lot of references out there!) it is a nice kit and completes the trio.

Sprue Layout:
A 16x4 IS-4 - Road wheels, road wheel arms, details
C 37x2 Return rollers, hand grabs, viewer heads, details
F 11 DShKM turret machine gun
G 22 Hull details, fender bins
H 13 Splash guards, unditching log, driver's hatch, details
L1 2 Fenders
K 3 D-25TS barrel and mantlet
S 60x2 Drivers, road wheel arms, shock absorbers, lower hull details
T 18x10 Single link tracks
W 5 Commander's cupola race and details
Y 20 Turret race, hatches, fuel cells, muzzle brake, turret details
? 1 Turret shell
? 1 Lower hull
? 1 Upper hull
? 2 Twisted copper wire
PE-B 30 Etched brass
PE-C 31 Etched brass

Review: Panda Model 1/35 scale Kurganets-25 APC

Kit Review: Panda Models 1/35 Scale Classical Scale Series Kit No. PH35024 Kurganets-25 BTR Object 693 805 parts (540 in brown styrene, 212 in tan styrene, 45 etched brass, 8 clear styrene) retail price US$59.95
Advantages: first kit of this new Russian light tracked chassis vehicle
Disadvantages: very busy tracks, still a prototype vehicle
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all modern Russian armor fans
Date Reviewed: May 14, 2017
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Starting in 2011 prototypes began to appear and in 2015 the vehicles were paraded at the annual Victory Day parade across Red Square in May. Kurganets-25 is produced by Kurganmashzavod, the same plant that built the BMP series of vehicles. Currently only two of the proposed family of vehicles have been built: Object 693, an armored personnel carrier with a 12.7mm machine gun turret, and Object 695, an IFV with the same turret used on the Bumerang VPK-7829 8 x 8 armored vehicle and also on the T-15 Armata BMPT vehicle.

Panda is now producing kits of these new vehicles and this one was released at the same time as their Bumerang IFV kit (PH35026) that kit shares its turret with the T-15 (PH35017).

The kit is neatly done and highly detailed and while no credit is given would appear to have received assistance from Kurganmashzavod. But like the Bumerang before it there is no interior and the rear ramp is molded in place, with only the access door left as a separate part. The driver's and commander's hatches are also separate.

Construction starts with the lower hull and suspension in the classic kit assembly order. The water jet drives are included but it will require leaving the covers in the open position (parts H15) if you wish to see any depth to them.

The tracks comprised 540 parts each link has a shoe, a pad and a center guide, but careful examination shows that these are designed to work. The kit does not say so but there are small pins on each shoe and the center guides clip between links so you can figure out that they may work if you are careful during assembly.

Most of the assembly after that is pretty straightforward and the main engine radiator intake grille is a neat pre-connected set of three etched grills that fold over the grill on the kit. The wave breaker (B13) apparently can only be attached in the stowed position.

The flotation assists/reactive armor arrays are formed out of eight parts, two of which are pins that are quite small.

The APC turret is very busy for a small assembly and needs a large number of PE mounts fitted to it for the apparently prolific smoke grenade launchers (there are what appear to be 12 tubes on the turret in single and double fittings) plus some sensors and electronic arrays. The antennas are, like those on all other new Russian vehicles, correct as they are specially designed for specific functions such as battlefield servers and connectivity and should not be replaced with wire or stretched sprue.

As with all of the other prototype vehicles, the only finishing directions are for overall new protective green (FS34102 equivalent) and the St. George star and ribbon logos on both sides of the hull.

Overall, given the prototypical nature of this vehicle, it is a nicely done kit and while the tracks look tedious they do appear to be nicely made.

Sprue Layout:
APC 35 APC variant turret and machine gun
B 20 Rear plate, access hatch, wave breaker, details
C 24 Side armor arrays, water jet drives, details
D 5 Supplemental details
GP 8 Clear styrene
H 63x2 Wheels, drivers, idlers, road wheel arms, suspension details
PE 45 Etched brass
T1 15x12 Track pads
T2 60x6 Track shoes, guide teeth
? 2 Upper and lower hull

Review: Hidden Door Productions 1/35 scale T52 MGMC Conversion Kit(2)

Kit Review: Hidden Door Productions 1/35 scale conversion kit The T52 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage Turret Kit (16 in 3D printed resin, 2 brass, 1 turned aluminum) price US$55.00 ([email protected])
Advantages: probably first and only kit of this particular conversion offered
Disadvantages: kit is for intermediate and advanced modelers with a parts box
Rating: Recommended
Recommendation: for all Sherman fans who want a truly different Sherman variant
Date Reviewed: May 14, 2017
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The most common US systems were the T28/M15 series halftracks with a combined 37mm/twin .50 caliber mount and the M13/14/16/17 ones with two or four .50 caliber machine guns. But these were all short ranged weapons and the longer reach and bigger punch of the Bofors 40mm gun was sought. While some M15s were converted to take a 40mm gun as "M15 Specials" it was not until the end of the war that the final solution - the M19 Twin 40mm Gun Carriage - was developed and placed in production.

Nevertheless a solution was sought on the M4 Medium Tank chassis. The Canadians worked on a quadruple 20mm gun mount on a Sherman chassis called the Skink, but the Americans worked on a single 40mm mount. Their first attempt. the T36, had a single 40mm gun in a fully armored turret but was apparently too bulky and slow for rapid target tracking.

The next attempt was the T52. Proposed by Firestone, it was a compact mounting with a 40mm gun and two crewmen inside a giant ball turret with a pair of .50 caliber machine guns on the sides of the truncated ball. This provided the ability for the turret to rapidly elevate and rotate to track and engage targets, but it had way too many drawbacks.

First off, the two crewmen, the sighting and training gear, the 40mm gun, and the ammunition for the two .50 machine guns were all stuffed in the very cramped space of the ball. The gunner (right side) had a difficult time of it to be sure, but the poor loader (left side) had to load the 40mm gun with its 4 round clips this was very difficult (recall that a four round clip is expended in two seconds with the 120 rpm Bofors) as it was hard to reach the feed guides and even so the vehicle could only carry 64 rounds of 40 mm - 32 seconds of ammunition. The project lasted from March 1943 to October 1944 when it was finally cancelled.

Hidden Door is a new company and this is their first offering. It is a 3D resin printed kit so it is expensive as are all current kits of that type but within the limits of others, so not really out of reach. But this means it requires the forming lines (about every 0.010" or 0.25mm) to be sanded off the ball itself.

The kit is for experienced models and requires some additional materials to be provided starting with the base kit and two .50 caliber machine guns of the builder's choice. This isn't a bad idea as many resin machine guns are warped or suffer other problems and today styrene kits are high quality and easily obtained.

The kit provides the ball and its turret race, mounting brackets, a 40mm gun and feed items, a turret floor, .50 caliber ammo box shelves, two seats and a lower hatch. The 40mm gun is a printed 3D resin part but a 40mm barrel from what appears to be Aber with brass flash hider and collar is provided in the kit. Detailed photo directions explain how to assemble the kit which is a bit of an exercise in patience and "remote assembly" - the parts have to be inserted into the ball the same way they were in real life. This is a challenge but as noted the tip of a sharp #11 blade should work well to position the parts inside the turret.

For reference the vehicle is described and has photos on Page 389 of the Hunnicutt "Sherman" book. Reference photos show the actual vehicle used one of the M4A2 test mules at APG (the most famous one was the spurious "Sherman Firefly" with the British turret on another M4A2 mule) with no markings but the early M3 type bogies with integral return roller mounts.

Overall this is a truly unique offering for the "Shermaholic" and a really different vehicle to have in your collection.

Thanks to Hidden Door Productions for the review sample.

Review: Glencoe 1/87 Thor IRBM with launcher

Kit Review: Glencoe 1/87 Scale Kit No. 08904 Thor 60 parts (18 in white styrene, 2 in light grey styrene, 40 in silver styrene) retail price US$29.95
Advantages: nice re-release of a kit that has not been seen in over 50 years well done missile
Disadvantages: phony launch base due to shared parts with another kit (see text)
Rating: Recommended
Recommendation: for all Soviet Cold War and "54" fans
Date Reviewed: April 30, 2017
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In the late 1950s people began to become enthusiastic about space flight and space development, and the fact that missiles and rockets were the coming thing. Disney produced several good cartoons (backed by the science of the day) of space travel, life on other planets, and even had a TWA sponsored commercial ride to the moon at Disneyland when it opened in 1955.

After the Soviets launched Sputnik in October 1957 and the US responded in kind with its Vanguard and Explorer satellites, the dam was broken and many model companies tried to get on board with kits of missiles and rockets. Lindberg, Revell, Strombecker, Hawk, and Monogram all released kits to meet the demand as well as a number of models based on theoretical designs. But nearly all of them were in bespoke scales such as Revell using 1/40 and 1/108 for its kits and the other companies using scales like 1/48 and smaller.

At that time Adams models was basically "siamesed" with Revell and produced a number of kits both on their own as well as with Revell as senior partner. But they were left out of the space kits and decided to jump in with their own kits. Using 1/87 - model railroaders' HO scale - they produced two nice kits of a USAF Thor intermediate range ballistic missile and a US Navy Vanguard satellite launcher. However, to maximize mold usage they shared the same launcher base for both kits - all they did was leave the gantry tower of the Vanguard kit off of the Thor base. (It says "White Sands" on the box lid but most launchers apparently took place at Cape Canaveral and not WSMR.)

But by the time they got their kits to market, people had moved on with the coming Mercury project with actual missiles and capsule designs and real space vehicles that would be used to send men into space. Added to that fact was the point that Vanguard was a one-off missile launcher and the Thor as an IRBM was seen to be obsolete nearly as soon as it was deployed, and all 60 missiles deployed to England were withdrawn by 1963. They were later used as base launch platforms for a number of satellite programs so in the end were not a waste.

I picked up the original kit when it came out from a dimestore in Mayville, New York for 98 cents. I was totally unaware of the politics behind it or what it did other than it just looked neat on its base. Fast forward 60 years and now Glencoe has re-released the kit with a nice new sheet of decals but nothing else changed. They even reused the original box top lithograph for the kit!

That is a bit unfortunate for the Adams kit was of one of the developmental prototypes and did not have the ablative nosecone of the operational missile - only a domed cap on the end of the warhead section. It also as noted shared the base of the Vanguard launcher which was wrong. The actual deployed launchers had a moveable steel "tent" that went over the missile in its horizontal storage position that moved away to permit the missile to be erected onto its launcher base after fueling. The only other launchers associated with Thor were pads 17A, 17B and 17C at Cape Canaveral. All of them have massive gantry structures and are on concrete bases with tunnels for exiting the rocket exhaust from a launch.

It also has four small fins which were only found on the developmental versions of the missile. Once in service, all 60 missiles were under joint US/UK control but were operated by the RAF in 20 squadrons of three missiles each. The nice touch here is that Glencoe does offer the correct RAF markings for a service bird, but no correct launcher base and no corrected warhead cap for the service missiles (as well as the fins).

The base they do provide is quite attractive and comes with four very nicely done figures to complement it - a USAF officer in blues, a technician with hard hat, and two missile launch preparation personnel with thermal protection suits, one standing and one kneeling.

The directions are the original ones from Adams using Revell's excellent layout of the day which labels every part and also flags the proper color for each item - no "monkey see monkey do" stick-here items with obscure references to a lengthy paint chart.

Overall this is a nice pickup for nostalgia - but anyone wanting to do an accurate service model of the Thor will need to get good references for scratchbuilding as well as a new nosecone.

Sprue Layout:
- 2 Missile airframe
- 1 Launch table
- 15 Figures, missile nosecone, engine, details, fins
- 6 Base frame, stair railings
- 7 Base frame, stair railings, crane
- 27 Base, main frames, piping, searchlights
- 2 Stairs

Review: Miniart 1/35 T-54-2 Soviet Medium Tank with Interior

Kit Review: Miniart 1/35 Scale Kit No. 37004 T-54-2 Soviet Medium Tank - Interior Kit 1,045 parts(938 in grey styrene, 84 etched brass, 23 clear styrene) retail price US$79.95
Advantages: very nicely done and extremely highly detailed kit of this developing Soviet postwar medium tank excellent details on parts
Disadvantages: still no transmission or radiator/fan assemblies
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Soviet Cold War and "54" fans
Date Reviewed: February 16, 2017
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It was also thought to be overweight at nearly 39 metric tons and had too high a ground pressure, as well as some faulty electrics and a very poor fire suppression systems (PPO). As a result production was halted in January 1949 for new modifications to be made and accepted for production. These included a new turret design where the front section was now thicker and came down to the top of the hull as well as had a very narrow opening for the main gun in its new "pig snout" mantlet the offset to that was the telescopic sight and coaxial machine gun now needed their own dedicated ports in the front of the turret.

There were only two major external changes to the design: one was the use of new flat 95 liter external fuel tanks with two of them located on the right fender at the rear. The other was the introduction of a wider OMSh cast steel track link which would then serve for 21 more years as the standard medium track of the Red Army. (The RMSh tracks designed for Article 167 and Article 172M - the T-72 - would replace them in 1973). Also added was a built-in cupola ring for the DShKM AA machine gun integral with the loader's hatch.

Production restarted late in 1949 and a total of 1,061 tanks were built before the next model, the definitive Model 1951, entered production in that year. Unlike the Model 1947 tanks, these were kept in service along with the Model 1951s and also were sold in small numbers to client states. As they were always subject to capital rebuilding, some may be seen in small armies today with later features such as "starfish" wheels and RMSh tracks as well as more external and auxiliary fuel tanks.

This is "Part 2" of the new Miniart full court press on postwar Soviet medium tanks and is the full equal of the previous T-44, T-44M and T-54 Model 1947 kits. While this one is the "With Interior" version, a non-interior kit of the T-54 Model 1949 is now listed for later release as No. 37012.

The factory and most Soviet armor historians refer to them by year of production, but NATO originally called them the T-54-1 (Model 1947), T-54-2 (Model 1949) and T-54-3 (Model 1951). That is where this kit got its name.

The kit does have a very complete interior from the bow to the rear of the engine, but once more there is no radiator, transmission, fan or oil cooler provided. The original has a flip-up rear deck and a flip-up radiator that permits access to the "guitara" transfer case, the transmission, fan drive, fan and oil cooler as well as other systems at the rear of the engine-transmission compartment.

The model is quite accurate for an original production Model 1949, and as compared with the previous Model 1947 kit (No. 37003) replaces 421 parts with 337 new mold parts specific to this kit. Both use the same etched brass and clear styrene parts.

Miniart provides very nice assembly and finishing manuals with their kits and this one is typical of their materials. Six full color finishing options form the end pieces and the assembly manual (directions) is in the center. A map of the 63 sprues in the kit (many are duplicates) makes finding parts a bit easier.

Assembly begins with the V-54 engine which is quite similar to the V-2-44 engine of its predecessor. No wiring or cabling is provided or shown and while easily doable will take a manual for the engine to match!

Next is the belly pan and torsion bars. The tank is a full production version so it has four lever-type shock absorbers that go on the 1st and 5th road wheel sets (early ones did not have them). Road wheel arms consist of either four or five parts each (based on whether or not they have a connector for the shock absorbers).

The driver's compartment starts with the skid control levers and shifter, which has an etched brass gate for all six speeds (5 forward and reverse). Cable runs are molded together for simplicity.

The tank has both interior and exterior side panels, some of which need holes drilled in them and are called out in the directions. The complete "stellazh" fuel tank/ammo rack for the front of the fighting compartment is included as well as all 20 rounds and safety locks. Additional rounds rack on the sides of the hull. The engine is fitted with a six-part air cleaner assembly during installation. Note that as the design of the hull changed so does the model, and Miniart notes the sides will have to be chamfered in some places to match the Model 1949's modified hull (they cut corners on the original to get the weight down from 39 to 36 metric tons.)

Road wheels look good and while they have mold lines on them are not as pronounced as those on the Takom T-54/55 kits. Wheels are one piece with separate hubs and bearings. Hull assembly is very straightforward here the rear deck vents are open with PE grilles under them but again there is nothing under them. Note that the directions indicate that 90 links are needed for each track run, so there are 10 leftovers.

All of the tanks (fuel and MDK smoke canisters) attach with etched brass straps and separate tie-down loops. Some may need to be annealed (heat treated) to make them more flexible however.

The turret has a full compliment of equipment to include five ready rounds and a radio set as well as various boxes for kit. New racks and fittings are provided in this kit to allow for the new turret design over the Model 1947.

During assembly the gun may be left moveable or more details added to it which fix it in elevation. These are clearly identified in the directions. Sights are very complete with the gunner's direct fire sight (telescopic) consisting of seven parts. All viewers are separate parts as well.

The DShKM now uses the cupola mount so part of the parts needed for the Model 1947 mount are dropped.

The rear of the turret may be fitted with the stowage tarp but also includes the foul weather hood for the driver (albeit folded, not opened up). Parts for one in the erected position is included though. Assembly takes 90 steps over 17 pages.

Finishing options for six tanks are included as are specific decal markings all are in 4BO protective green, and all are for the Soviet Army in the 1950s: Bort Number white 649 with diamond insignia Bort Number white 003 Bort Number white 332 Bort Number white 84 Bort Number white 534 and Bort Number white 415 with callouts for fuel, oil and ZIP painted on the respective bins and tanks.

Overall this is again a truly stunning kit and one which is mostly styrene and well laid out. As noted if you are not an interior fan an exterior only kit is coming later.

Sprue Layout:
A 46 Hull, torsion bar mounts, details
Ab 38 V-2 engine, mounts
B 53 Gun details, ammo rack, interior details
Ba 21 Gun barrel, interior side panels, glacis, details
C 36 Final drives, engine bay internal details
Ca 35 Mud guards, rear plate, radiator louvers, details
Cb 9 Rear vent frames, details
F 20 T-54 Mod 1949 Turret, turret deck, turret race, fenders, details
G 23 Driver-mechanic' compartment, SGMT machine gun
Gc 18 Turret ready racks, interior details
Gd 22 Fuel lines, details
Ge 21 Interior components, gun components
Gf 23 Interior details
H 6x7 5x 100mm rounds, guard
Hb 24 Engine block, mounts, details
Hd 8x4 Jounce stops, details
Hg 19x10 OMSh track links
Hj 2 x 4 Ammo cans
Hn 6x4 100mm round, ammo can, air tank, details
Ho 10x4 Road wheel arms, details
J 20 DShKM machine gun
Jb 14 Interior details
Jd 29 Turret exterior details
Je 23 Clear styrene
K 31x2 Idlers, interior details
Ka 10x2 ZIP bins
Kb 1x2 Tow cables (complete)
Kc 9x2 100mm round, torsion bar mount, road wheel arm mounts
Kd 17x2 Drivers, idlers, idler mounts
Ke 27x2 MDK smoke canisters, hull details
PEa 72 Etched brass
PEb 12 Etched brass

Review: Miniart 1/35 T-54-1 Soviet Medium Tank with Interior

Kit Review: Miniart 1/35 Scale Kit No. 37003 T-54-1 Soviet Medium Tank - Interior Kit 1,209 parts (1,102 in grey styrene, 84 etched brass, 23 clear styrene) retail price US$79.95
Advantages: Very nicely done and extremely highly detailed kit of this seminal Soviet postwar medium tank excellent details on parts
Disadvantages: still no transmission or radiator/fan assemblies
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Soviet Cold War and "54" fans
Date Reviewed: February 15, 2017
Full Review: Show

But the T-44 had a myriad of problems and it was not until the improved T-44A came out that the tank was seen as suitable for production. While some 1,250 were eventually built, one of the criticisms against it was that it was still armed with the 85mm ZiS-S-53 gun of the T-34-85 and SU-85 and not a leap forward. A second version was proposed, the T-44B now mounting a prototype 100mm D-10TK tank gun, but it was still based on the T-44 and not accepted.

Feeling he was on the right track, Morozov redesigned the T-44B and produced what became known as the T-54 Model 1945. But this tank still shared too much of its design with the T-44 and was rejected as well. An improved version, the T-54 Model 1946 followed, and while also rejected showed that Morozov was on the right track.

Following a series of "findings" by the well-known tank tester Kul'chitskiy the tank was now given a new track drive with a toothed drive wheel, a new lower hull with a shallower angle compared to the T-44 hull, new electronics and new systems and fire control. The new tank, the T-54 Model 1947, was approved for service on 23 June 1947 and entered production. 22 were built in 1947 and another 593 followed in 1948 for a total of 615 tanks. Production stopped due to many teething troubles with the new tank as well as findings by TsNII-48 (the central armor and ballistics lab for the USSR) that the turret suffered massive shot traps at the front and rear.

Over the years the tanks underwent capital rebuilding and while many systems were brought up to late model T-54 standards, the tanks generally were used in training regiments to teach T-54 crews how to operate the tank and its systems.

Miniart has gone to town with a new series of late war/post war Soviet tanks starting with their excellent T-44 and T-44M kits. Now they have branched into the T-54 family with T-54 Model 1947, T-54 Model 1949, T-54 Model 1951, and T-54B kits announced or released. Also these kits will come in both "Interior" versions as here or non-interior versions the non-interior kit of the T-54 Model 1947 is No. 37014.

The factory and most Soviet armor historians refer to them by year of production, but NATO originally called them the T-54-1 (Model 1947), T-54-2 (Model 1949) and T-54-3 (Model 1951). That is where this kit got its name.

The kit does have a very complete interior from the bow to the rear of the engine, but once more there is no radiator, transmission, fan or oil cooler provided. The original has a flip-up rear deck and a flip-up radiator that permits access to the "guitara" transfer case, the transmission, fan drive, fan and oil cooler as well as other systems at the rear of the engine-transmission compartment.

The model is quite accurate for an original production Model 1947 with narrow steel tracks, thin cylindrical external fuel tanks, MDK smoke canisters vice the later 200 liter auxiliary fuel tanks, and the original "wing" machine gun mounts. It has the early post mount for the 12.7mm DShKM machine gun and the tarp for motor pool storage. All hatches (save the aforementioned engine deck) may be posed open or closed.

Miniart has gone to great lengths to replicate as many of the details as faithfully as possible on this tank. Only four sprues carry over from the T-44M kit (total of 100 parts) as they are common - engine block and details, driver's compartment interior, engine deck hatches and new engine crankcase and details for the V-2-44 and V-54 engines.

Miniart provides very nice assembly and finishing manuals with their kits and this one is typical of their materials. Four full color finishing options form the end pieces and the assembly manual (directions) is in the center. A map of the 75 sprues in the kit (many are duplicates) makes finding parts a bit easier.

Assembly begins with the V-54 engine which is quite similar to the V-2-44 engine of its predecessor. No wiring or cabling is provided or shown and while easily doable will take a manual for the engine to match!

Next is the belly pan and torsion bars. The tank is a full production version so it has four lever-type shock absorbers that go on the 1st and 5th road wheel sets (early ones did not have them). Road wheel arms consist of either four or five parts each (based on whether or not they have a connector for the shock absorbers).

The driver's compartment starts with the skid control levers and shifter, which has an etched brass gate for all six speeds (5 forward and reverse). Cable runs are molded together for simplicity.

The tank has both interior and exterior side panels, some of which need holes drilled in them and are called out in the directions. The complete "stellazh" fuel tank/ammo rack for the front of the fighting compartment is included as well as all 20 rounds and safety locks. Additional rounds rack on the sides of the hull. The engine is fitted with a six-part air cleaner assembly during installation.

Road wheels look good and while they have mold lines on them are not as pronounced as those on the Takom T-54/55 kits. Wheels are one piece with separate hubs and bearings. Hull assembly is very straightforward but as noted the rear fording doors for the radiator air exhaust and fan are closed as there is nothing under them.

All of the tanks (fuel and MDK smoke canisters) attach with etched brass straps and separate tie-down loops. Also added at this time are the "wing" machine guns to the fenders (it was only later that they dropped the wing guns and went with one fixed gun next to the driver in his compartment).

The turret has a full compliment of equipment to include five ready rounds and a radio set as well as various boxes for kit.

During assembly the gun may be left moveable or more details added to it which fix it in elevation. These are clearly identified in the directions. Sights are very complete with the gunner's direct fire sight (telescopic) consisting of seven parts. All viewers are separate parts as well.

The DShKM mount is some 22 parts and fits on the usual rotating hip ring the Soviets used in that time frame (like on the IS-3 and IS-4). Last item to go into the turret is the SGMT coaxial machine gun of seven parts.

The rear of the turret may be fitted with the stowage tarp but also includes the foul weather hood for the driver (albeit folded, not opened up). Parts for one in the erected position is included though. Assembly takes 88 steps over 17 pages.

Finishing options for four tanks are included as are specific decal markings: Initial production batch Tank No. 6, UVZ, Nizhniy Tagil 1947 (4BO green with white 6 on glacis) Soviet Army, 1950s (4BO green, white split triangles, Bort Number 224) Soviet Army, 1950s, winter finish (4BO green with faded whitewash, while split triangles, Bort Number 226) Soviet Army 1950s, Optional Summer Camouflage for combat operations (4BO with brown and sand patches and bands, no markings).

Overall this is a truly stunning kit and one which (while daunting when you open the box!) is mostly styrene and well laid out. As noted if you are not an interior fan an exterior only kit is following this one.

Sprue Layout:
A 46 Hull, torsion bar mounts, details
Ab 38 V-2 engine, mounts
B 53 Gun details, ammo rack, interior details
Ba 21 Gun barrel, interior side panels, glacis, details
C 36 Final drives, engine bay internal details
Ca 35 Mud guards, rear plate, radiator louvers, details
D 52 Turret, turret deck and race, fenders, details
E 51 T-54 Mod 47 details -mantlet, hatches, turret roof, details
F 15x12 Track links
G 23 Driver-mechanic' compartment, SGMT machine gun
Ga 15 Engine deck details, hatches
Gb 18 Turret ready racks, interior details
Gf 23 Interior details
H 6x7 5x 100mm rounds, guard
Hb 24 Engine block, mounts, details
Hd 8x4 Jounce stops, details
Hc 10 Cupola, details
He 13x4 Exterior fuel tanks
Hi 2x2 12.7mm ammo can
Hk 7x10 "Spider" road wheels, torsion bar, hubs
Hn 6x4 100mm round, ammo can, air tank, details
Ho 10x4 Road wheel arms, details
J 20 DShKM machine gun
Ja 9 DshKM mount details
Jb 14 Interior details
Je 23 Clear styrene
K 31x2 Idlers, interior details
Kb 1x2 Tow cables (complete)
Kc 9x2 100mm round, torsion bar mount, road wheel arm mounts
Kd 17x2 Drivers, idlers, idler mounts
Ke 27x2 MDK smoke canisters, hull details
PEa 72 Etched brass
PEb 12 Etched brass

Review: Panda Hobby 1/35 scale Bumerang IFV - 2-in-1 Kit

Kit Review: Panda Hobby 1/35 scale Kit No. PH35026 Bumerang IFV Object K-17 - 2-in-1 2015/1016 ((sic)) 401 parts (335 in tan styrene, 50 etched brass, 8 black vinyl, 7 clear styrene, 1 length of twisted brass wire)
Advantages: First kit of this vehicle in this scale options for 2015 or 2016 parade versions
Disadvantages: no interior or interior details
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all modern Russian and wheeled armor fans
Date Reviewed: February 3, 2017
Full Review: Show

Soon afterward a decision was made to cut down on platforms and to make all future vehicles share as many components as possible. With the failure of the T-95 tank program, the new vehicle lines gelled into four lines: a heavy armored (tank) chassis as Project Armata a light armored chassis (BMP) as Kurganets-25 a wheeled vehicle chassis as Bumerang and a new airborne chassis which was to be based on the BMD-3. Starting in 2013 all of the vehicle began to show up in parades and at arms shows, with the Bumerang making its debut in 2015.

The Bumerang is the outgrowth of the BTR-80 and BTR-90 programs, and for the first time in a Russian wheeled APC it uses a front mounted engine and rear access for the assault team. Instead of a manned turret, it now uses an unmanned turret called Bumerang-BM fitted with a 30mm 2A42 automatic cannon, a 7.62mm PKT machine gun, and four "Kornet" ATGM missiles. Crew is 3 men with 9 men in the dismount assault team. Weight is 25 metric tons.

So far only prototypes have been shown, and as such nobody knows what the final configuration will reflect.

Panda has for once (!) made a fairly simple kit of the new wheeled APC, and for them 400 parts is a "simple" kit! Cleanly molded in tan plastic with slide molding where it makes sense, the kit is a no-nonsense and no-frills model with no interior or other detailing (very little has been shown due to the unmanned turret and its electronics).

While Panda insists that it is called "Object K-17" most Russian sources call it VPK-7829 which makes better sense due to the design numbers for wheeled APCs in Soviet and Russian service. (Internally so do the kit sprues!) Note that this version shares its turret with the T-15 Armata heavy BMP kit (PH35017) as well as the main components with the Bumerang APC kit (PH35025).

Panda still suffers from the AFV Club/Heller habit of making five parts where two will do, so expect some fussy assemblies. Assembly starts with the lower hull and the suspension. As there are only 50 PE parts, most are either large or repetitive such as the tie-down loops and hooks on the upper hull, a change for Panda kits.

As there is little to show on the upper hull, most of the assembly focuses on the suspension which is very complex and on the turret. One thing many Soviet armor fans will notice is that unlike past vehicles this one likes shock absorbers - 12 of them to be exact. According to the directions all are slightly different so pay attention when removing them from the sprues. Also note for your modeling pleasure it has eight-wheel steering so each wheel has a tierod assembly as well as driveline parts.

The first four steps cover the suspension and lower hull, and the next three the much less busy upper hull. The driver's hatch is a separate part but as noted there is no interior within his station. The same goes for the large dismount team hatches on the rear roof. It has a wave breaker but no mechanism seems to be provided for its extension. Waterjet drives are provided and are nicely done.

Note that the antennas on the vehicle represent the new generation of Russian communications and data systems and should NOT be replaced by stretched sprue or wire antennas.

There are some minor differences between the 2015 and 2016 versions ("1016" on the box art) each has different front fender panels, midships bin steps, and drivelines to the hydrojet drives.

The turret has nicely rendered twin-pod units of "Kornet" missiles with 14 parts to each one including a PE shroud. None of the turret hatches have optional positions but it does come with sight heads, a slide molded 2A42 gun, and three more antennas. The vehicle has a complete suite of IR/laser detector sensors on the hull and turret as well.

The tires are vinyl but nicely rendered with off-center seams to ease cleanup and are "Belshina" 16.00R20 size. (I assume Belshina means "Belarus Tires?")

Finishing gives but two (actually one) option: parade dress in FS34102 equivalent green with the St. George Medal striping and stars used on all parade vehicles in recent years.

Overall, considering the "green" nature of the vehicle Panda has done a very nice job of capturing it as it exists right now and all fans of new Russian armor may want to pick one up.

Sprue Layout:
35025 7 Clear
? 50 Etched brass
? 1 Twisted copper wire
35025B 64 Hull rear, fender corners, bins, details, hydrojet drives
35025C 102x2 Suspension, wheels, driveline
35017E 65 Turret, gun, missiles
? 2 Hull top and bottom
? 8 Vinyl tires


Medium Tank M3 Средний танк М3 Ли ( Грант )

Германский блитцкриг во Франции позволил американским генералам более-менее трезво оценить удручающее состояние своих танковых сил. Можно было констатировать, что на то время в Америке танковых сил практически не было, тактика применения немногих устаревших танков являлась архаичной, танкостроение прозябало на примитивном уровне, а конструкторская мысль не могла предложить ни одного достойного проекта среднего танка. Долгая экономия американского Конгресса на своей армии и политика изоляционизма приносили свои мрачные плоды. Чтобы срочно исправить опасное положение 30 июня 1940 была принята Американская Национальная Программа Вооружений, в которой в частности говорилось про необходимость выпустить 2000 средних танков в ближайшие 18 месяцев. К концу 1940 по плану полагалось выпускать 14,5 танков в день (8 машин для американских заказчиков и 6,5 для английских). Следующим важным этапом было учреждение в апреле 1941 Объединённого Комитета Танкового Планирования, который поднял норму выпуска до 1000 танков в месяц, а к июлю уже подумывали про 2000 машин. После встречи премьера Черчилля, президента Рузвельта и лорда Бивербрука запланированные цифры подскочили до 25,000 средних танков в 1942 и 45,000 танков в 1943. Впрочем, танковое реформаторство в Америке сходу упёрлось в отсутствие среднего танка, который следовало бы производить.

Вообще-то в США имелся новый средний танк, М2, стандартизированный в августе 1939. Однако, к тому времени, когда танк М2 был готов к запуску в серийное производство его 37мм пушка, считалась уже непозволительно слабой для машины своего класса. 5 июня 1940 Командующий Пехотными войсками Армии США выразил желание, чтобы средние танки вооружались теперь 75мм орудиями. Поэтому, в качестве временной меры, с ноября 1939 по август 1940 выпустили всего лишь 92 танка М2А1, которые тут же распределили между учебными и исследовательскими центрами. Слишком очевидной была слабость М2А1, который устарел не успев появиться.

13 июня 1940 Артиллерийский Департамент обнародовал новые требования для среднего танка. 11 июля 1940 танк был стандартизирован, как Medium Tank M3 (средний танк М3). Острая необходимость в танках заставила американцев стандартизировать и выдать заказ для производства задолго до появления готового дизайна машины.

Чтобы окончательно определить характеристики будущего среднего танка Командующий Танковыми Войсками генерал Чэффи 26 августа 1940 провёл на Абердинском полигоне встречу с представителями Артиллерийского Департамента и производственниками, входившими в Танковый Комитет. К слову Танковые Войска были учреждены всего полтора месяца назад, 10 июля 1940. В качестве возможного образца участникам встречи продемонстрировали деревянный макет корпуса танка с короткоствольным 75мм орудием Т6 в правом спонсоне. Это была переделка крайне неудачного зенитного орудия с низкой начальной скоростью снаряда. Адаптированное для танка оно получило обозначение Т7, но в сравнении со слабой 37мм пушкой танка М2А1 являлось заметным прогрессом. В ходе консультаций было окончательно принято решение, что современный средний танк должен вооружаться 75мм орудием. Катастрофическая ситуация с танками требовала быстрых решений, однако башни способной принять 75мм пушку у конструкторов не имелось. Исключительно ради выигрыша во времени американские военные согласились на не очень хороший вариант - установить 75мм орудие в спонсон танка, созданного на основе М2А1. Причём одним из главных требований нового проекта являлось максимальное техническое сходство новой машины с М2А1. Военные считали, что такая машина продержится в войсках не долго и послужит временной мерой до появления танка с 75мм пушкой в полноповоротной башне. По мнению военных предстояло выпустить около 360 танков М3, до того времени, когда конструкторы сумеют разработать новую башню. После этого производство М3 предполагалось приостановлено и перестроить для выпуска танка с 75мм орудием в башне. Все сошлись на этом решении.

Разработка новой машины была начата конструкторами из Абердина. Основой для проекта послужил прототип T5E2, который в свою очередь являлся прототипом T5 Phase III, переделанным в марте-мае 1939 в самоходное орудие с 75мм гаубицей М1А1 в правой передней части корпуса. Новый танк имел одинаковые с М2 подвеску и радиальный двигатель Wright R975 EC2, 400 л.с., но более широкий и длинный корпус. Катанную гомогенную броню нового танка М3 слегка увеличили и посадили на заклёпки, унаследованные от М2. Спонсон, башня и командирская башенка - литые. Внутри боевое отделение обклеивалось пористой резиной для защиты экипажа от мелких вторичных осколков и брызг окалины, которые могли возникнуть, когда снаряд не пробивал броню танка.

Двигатель находился сзади, а трансмиссия с синхронизатором и дифференциал спереди, под защитой трехсоставной бронекрышки, которая соединялась и крепилась к корпусу болтами. Трансмиссия находилось прямо под местом водителя, и соединялась с двигателем карданным валом. Под валом шли тяги управления двигателем. Коробка передачь Synchromesh имела 5 передних передачт и 1 заднюю, при следующих передаточных числах:

1-я передача - 7.56:1
2-я передача - 3.11:1
3-я передача - 1.78:1
4-я передача - 1.11:1
5-я передача - 0.73:1
задняя - 5.65:1

Ходовая часть состояли из трёх опорных тележек на борт и резино-металлической гусеницы. В тележке было два опорных обрезиненных катка на коромысле, которое крепилось к вертикальной пружине в сварной раме. Сверху на раме имелся ролик, поддерживавший гусеницу. Ведущие колёса с 13 зубьями находились спереди.

Электрическая система - 24 вольта постоянного напряжения. Имелось два генератора. Основной генератор работал за счёт отбора мощности от главного двигателя и обеспечивал 24 вольта, 50 ампер. Запасной генератор работал от запасного двигателя, производя 30 вольт, 50 ампер. Кроме того имелось две электробатареи по 12 вольт.

Слева от спонсона размещалась радиостанция SCR 508, а в командирских танках - радиостанция SCR 506 справа от спонсона, причём на ранних комдирских машинах могла стоять SCR 245. Для переговоров внутри танка использовался интерфонн на 5 станций с наушнкиами для каждого члена экипажа.

На случай пожара танк оснащался двумя стационарными 10-фунтовыми огнетушителями с двуокисью углерода и двумя переносными 4-фунтовыми огнетушителями.

Первый пилот М3 вооружался 75мм орудием Т7 длиной 84 дюйма, которое являлось модификацией 75мм орудия Т6. Т7 имело вертикальный полуавтоматический затвор и могло стрелять боеприпасами от заимствованного американцами французского орудия времён 1МВ - М1897. Начальная скорость снаряда Т7 достигала 1850 футов в секунду. Т7 стандартизировали, как 75мм орудие М2. Для баланса в передний части ствола М2 находился противовес, причём с самого начала планировалось заменить в будущем М2 на более длинное орудие, поэтому противовес добавили не к лафету, а именно к стволу. Позднее орудие М2 заменили на более длинное Т8, стандартизированное, как М3.

Литая башня размещалась слева сзади боевого отделения. Она вооружалась 37мм пушкой М6 и спаренным пулёмётом .30cal M1919A4. Башня имела ручно и гидравлический поворотный привод и делала полный поворот за 20 секунд. В начале серийного производства не всегда хватало пушек М6, поэтому вместо них иногда ставились 37мм М5. В командирской башенке имелся ещё один пулемёт .30cal. Оба танковых орудия - 37мм и 75мм оснащались гиростабилизатором в вертикальной плоскости. Кроме того, в гласисе устанавливались два жёстко закреплённых пулемёта .30cal, которыми управлял водитель. Боекомплект 75мм орудия составлял 65 выстрелов, 37мм пушки - 126 выстрелов, 4000 патронов для пулемётов, 20 магазинов для автоматов, 6 ручных гранат, 8 дымовых гранат, 12 сигнальных ракет.

Сначала экипаж насчитывал 7 человек: водитель - впереди, посередине боевого отделения радист - слева и немного сзади водителя наводчик 75мм орудия - справа заряжающий - справа от наводчика командир - в башенке, сзади наводчик - внизу башни, слева заряжающий - внизу, справа.

Экипаж мог забираться внутрь и покидать машину через две боковые двери (по одной на борт), люк сверху за 75мм орудием в спонсоне и через люк в командирской башенке.
Все танкисты имели хороший обзор: люк и смотровые отверстия водителя, 2 смотровые щели в командирской башенке, 2 перископа. В танке было 4 пистолетных амбразуры: одна возле водителя, по одной на каждой двери, одна сзади и одна слева башни.

Вес машины составил около 31 тонны.

Следует отметить, что создание приемлемого проекта среднего танка было только частью решения огромной проблемы налаживания массового танкостроения. Начало 2МВ Америка встретила не только без нормального среднего танка, но и без производственных мощностей способных его выпускать в больших количествах. В то время за выпуск американских танков отвечало одно-единственное маломощное государственное предприятие - Rock Island Arsenal. Естественно, что на него всерьёз рассчитывать не приходилось, поэтому требовалось срочно реформировать производственный потенциал страны. Ответственным за координацию американской промышленности и оборонных нужд являлся Вильям С. Кнудсен, член Консультативного Комитета по Национальной Обороны и президент Дженерал Моторс Корпорэйшн. Для наращивания производства было необходимо привлечь частных подрядчиков, однако здесь возникли серьёзные разногласия. Артиллерийский Департамент считал, что основные контракты должны получить предприятия тяжёлого машиностроения, которые до этого специализировались на выпуске локомотивов, крупных подъёмных кранов. Однако Кнудсен придерживался прямо противоположного взгляда. Он был убежден, что хотя предприятия тяжёлого машиностроения обладают достаточным потенциалом, специфика их производства заключается в сравнительно долгом и малосерийном выпуске изделий. В то же время недавно появившиеся Танковые Войска требовали срочных массовых поставок бронетехники. Исходя из этого, Кнудсен настаивал, что танкостроением должны заняться автомобилестроительные компании, которые привыкли выпускать продукцию быстро и массово. Он выдвинул предложение срочно построить в Мичигане специализированный танковый завод из расчета, что половину расходов берёт на себя Крайслер, а вторую половину - государство. Арсеналом должно было владеть государство, а управление им осу3ществлять Крайслер. Эта идея нашла понимание у властей и у президента корпорации Крайслер - Келлера. 15 августа 1940 Крайслер получил контракт на 1000 средних танков М2А1. В сентябре 1940 в городе Уоррен, к северу, недалеко от Детройта, на участке 100 кв.акров началось строительство нового завода. Первоначально здание имело площадь 1,380х500 футов и было спроектировано архитектором Альбертом Канном в стиле Модерн.

Тем временем Артиллерийский Департамент заключил контракты с двумя крупнейшими предприятиями тяжёлого машиностроения - American Locomotive Company на 685 танков и Baldwin Locomotive Company на 535 танков. Rock Island Arsenal постоянно обменивался с ними информацией, чтобы подрядчики могли сразу запустить производство, когда дизайн танка будет готов.

В ходе проектных работ над будущим танком М3, Rock Island Arsenal тесно сотрудничал с Крайслером, чтобы оборудование строящегося завода соответствовало технологии будущего танка. Кроме того, Rock Island Arsenal постоянно консультировался с другими подрядчиками. Кроме того, в июне 1940 в США прибыла Британская Танковая Комиссия во главе с Майклом Дивором. Англичане, потеряв значительную часть своих танковых сил во Франции были весьма заинтересованы в приобретении американских танков и охотно делились с разработчиками М3 своим боевым опытом.

В феврале 1941 проект танка был в целом готов, а завод в Мичигане почти достроен.

13 марта 1941 Rock Island Arsenal закончил первый пилот будущего танка, а 21 марта прототип доставили на Абердинский полигон. В апреле 1941 три фирмы-подрядчики закончили свои шаблонные пилоты танка М3 и они постепенно прибывали на полигон. В августе 1941 из Абердина один прототип отправили Танковым Войскам в Форт Бенинг и ещё два передали британцам. В Англию танки отгрузили 20 сентября 1941 по Лэнд Лизу. Примечательно, что в то время многие танки М3 поставляемые в Танковые Войска не имели 75мм орудий.
На основании отзывов англичан и своих военных в конструкции танка выявили ряд серьёзных недостатков.

Гидравлика Hycon в рулевой системе оказалась слишком ненадёжной. Первые М3 оснащались гидравлической системой Hycon, но уже 26 августа 1942 Detroit Tank Arsenal перешёл на полностью механическую схему. В феврале 1942 Артиллерийский Департамент рекомендовал всем производителям перейти на с гидравлики на механический вариант.

Испытания в Абердине констатировали сильную загазованность боевого отделения моноксидом углерода, при стрельбе с закрытыми люками. Чтобы решить проблему в танке установили новые вентиляторы: на крыше башни, на крыше слева от водителя, в люке над 75мм орудием. Вскоре вентилятор в люке над 75мм пушкой для удобства перенесли за люк.

Ещё одним недостатком являлась слабая подвеска VSS заимствованная у танка М2. Чтобы подвеска быстро не портилась, в ней усилили пружины. Поддерживающий ролик перенесли назад.

Баллистические тесты показали, что обе пушки могут быть заклинены вражеским огнём из стрелкового оружия. Конструкторы разработали дополнительные защитные щитки, которые впрочем, редко устанавливались.

Обнаружилось, что боковые двери слишком уязвимы обстрелу не только бронебойными, но и фугасными снарядами. Специалисты из Абердина рекомендовали убрать двери и проделать в полу эвакуационный люк. Люк в полу в правой задней части боевого отделения появился на поздних моделях танкв.

Зато силовой привод поворота башни и гиростабилизатор в вертикальной плоскости показали себя с самой лучшей стороны. При движении танка зигзагами на скорости 10 миль в час наводчик легко захватывал цели на расстоянии 200-700 ярдов в любом направлении. По итогам тестов Артиллерийский Департамент в июне 1941 рекомендовал стандартизировать стабилизаторы для 75мм и 37мм орудий. К ноябрю 1941 Detroit Tank Arsenal начал устанавливать стабилизаторы на серийных машинах, а уже с января это новшество должно было устанавливаться всем производителями М3.

На моторном отделении, по бокам поставили по ящику. Радиста убрали из экипажа, а его обязанности передали водителю. В июне 1942 Артиллерийский Комитет посоветовал отказаться от обоих неподвижных курсовых пулемётов водителя двух пулемётных станков и одного из двух пистолетов-пулемётов .45cal. Конструторвы согласились убрать только один курсовой пулемёт и один пулемётный станок. Позднее, во время серийного выпуска устранили на левой стороне пистолетные бойницы, но справа оставили.

Со временем у танкистов накопилось недовольство тем, что перископический прицел не обеспечивал достаточной меткости 75мм орудия. Вместо перископа поставили телескопический прицел.

К августу 1941, наконец, начался полномасштабный серийный выпуск танков М3 на трёх предприятиях. Rock Island Arsenal в выпуске М3 не участвовал. 28 августа 1940 производство среднего танка М2А1, предшественника М3 было окончательно свёрнуто.

В августе 1941 к производителям добавились Pressed Still и Pullman, получившие английский контракт на 501 и 500 танков М3 соответственно.

Всего, с августа 1941 по декабрь 1942 изготовили 6,258 средних танков М3.

Chrysler выпустил 3352 танков,
American Locomotive Company - 685,
Baldwin Locomotive Company - 1220,
Pressed Steel Car Company - 501
Pulman Standard Car Company - 500

Средняя стоимость танка серии М3 составляла 55,244 доллара.

танки М3, прошедшие приёмную комиссию
машина всего приянто первая приёмка последняя приёмка
средний танк М3 4.924 декабрь 1940 август 1941
средний танк М3А1 300 июнь 1941 август 1942
средний танк М3А2 12 январь 1942 июль 1942
средний танк М3А3 322 март 1942 март 1942
средний танк М3А4 109 июнь 1942 август 1942
средний танк М3А5 591 январь 1942 декабрь 1942
включая конверсии

Британцы, закупавшие танки серии М3 дали ему два названия в зависимости от британской или английской модификации машины:

М3 Грант (M3 Grant ) для британской модификации

М3 Ли (M3 Lee) - для американской версии.

В октябре 1941 в США стандартизировали новый средний танк М4, а М3 стал - "substituted standard" (заменённый стандарт). В апреле 1943 М3 был уже "limited standard" (ограниченный стандарт), а ещё через год, в апреле 1944 М3 признали устаревшим.

средний танк серии М3, на лафете М1 (орудия М2 и М3)
средний танк серии М4, на лафете М34 и М34 А1 (орудие М3)
штурмовой танк Т14, на лафете М34А1 (орудие М3)
огнемётный танк Т33 и танк с фонарём подсветки цели (Searchlight Tank) Т52, на модифицированном лафете М64 (орудие М6)

HVAP T45 Shot (APCR-T*)
868.68 м/с (орудия М3 и М6)

AP M72 Shot (AP-T)
588.264 м/с (орудие М2), 618.744 м/с (орудия М3 и М6)

HE M48 Shell (HE), Supercharge
574.548 м/с (орудие М2), 603.504 м/с (орудия М3 и М6)

HE M48 Shell (HE), Normal
448.056 м/с (орудие М2), 463.296 м/с (орудия М3 и М6)

HVAP T45 Shot (APCR-T*)
473 ft-tons

AP M72 Shot (AP-T)
360 ft-tons (орудие М2), 398 ft-tons (орудие М3 и М6)

HE M48 Shell (HE), Supercharge
362 ft-tons (орудие М2), 400 ft-tons (орудие М3 и М6)

AP M72 Shot (AP-T)
9 326.88 м (орудие М2), 9 738.36 м (орудие М3 и М6)

HE M48 Shell (HE), Supercharge
12 161.52 м (орудие М2), 12 801.6 м (орудие М3 и М6)

HE M48 Shell (HE), Normal
10 058.4 м (орудие М2), 10 424.16 м (орудие М3 и М6)

Модификации танка М3

Все поздние модели танков, вне зависимости от модификации имели более длинную 75мм пушку М3.

М3. Клепаный корпус, литая башня, боковые двери, радиальный двигатель Wright Continental R-975, 340л.с. Производился с апреля-августа 1941 по август 1942. Всего изготовлено 4,924 танка М3.
Detroit Tank Arsenal выпустил 3,242 танка М3
American Locomotive Company - 385
Baldwin Locomotive Company - 295
Pressed Steel - 501
Pulman - 500.
Некоторые машины из-за нехватки двигателей Continental оснащались дизельными двигателями Guiberson, а к названию модификации добавлялось "(Diesel)".

М3А1. Успешная служба литых башен заставила задуматься и о литом корпусе. Баллистические испытания показали удовлетворительные результаты для литой брони, хотя её приходилось делать толще для достижения прочности катанной гомогенной брони. Несколько больший вес литого корпуса полностью компенсировался более гладкой поверхностью и отсутствием столь нелюбимых танкистами заклёпок. В июне 1941 Артиллерийский Комитет санкционировал выпуск литой верхней части корпуса. Нижняя часть оставалась клёпаной. 9 октября 1941 эта версия танка получила наименование М3А1. Механика М3А1 идентична танку М3. Верхний люк в правой части крыши корпуса отличался. У литого корпуса люк находился на плоскости наклонённой назад, а петли крепления люка находились спереди. Чтобы люк было легче открывать, на более поздних машинах шарниры люка перенесли назад. Так же на поздних моделях не было боковых дверей, а в полу справа сзади добавлен эвакуационный люк. Пистолетную амбразуру на задней стенке боевого отделения убрали.

На поздних М3А1 добавили три вентилятора там, же где они были у М3, кроме правой части крыши корпуса. Поскольку люк на крыше корпуса сместили назад, то вентилятор поставили перед ним.

М3А1 производился American Locomotive Company в феврале-августе 1942. Выпущено 300 штук.

С 2 июля по 8 октября 1941 в Абердине прошли испытания дизельного двигателя Guberson T-1400-2 на танк серии М3А1. Этот танк отправили, как образец для производства, а вместо него продолжили испытания с другим М3А1. 30 апреля 1942 первый танк вернули в Абердин и испытывали до 23 июня 1942. Затем двигатель демонтировали и осмотрели. Хотя дальность хода танка возросла почти вдвое, Guberson T-1400-2 требовал частых ремонтов и показал себя ненадёжным. Абердин не рекомендовал использовать этот двигатель и предложил продолжить доработать его. Вышел указ, что от Guberson нужно отказаться, как только станут доступны другие двигатели. По этой причине American Locomotive Company выпустил только 28 М3А1 с Guberson T-1400-2. Эти машины имели в названии - "(Diesel)".

М3А2. Механика идентична М3. Весь корпус сварной, что соответствовало новому требованию Артиллерийского Департамента от сентября 1941. Баллистические тесты показали, что сварной корпус при немного меньшем весе обеспечивал лучшую защиту, чем клепанный. Даже когда снаряд не пробивал броню, внутрь танка опасно летели заклёпки. Сварной корпус стоил дешевле, а собирался быстрее. Baldwin Locomotive Company начал производство в январе 1942, но в марте, когда были выпущены 12 машин, был принят новый двигатель.

М3А3. Из-за того, что мотор с воздушным охлаждением Continental требовался не только танкостроению, но и авиации, наметилась нехватка двигателей для М3. В августе 1941 была предпринята успешная попытка установить в М3 блок из двух обычных автомобильных дизельных двигателей General Motors 6-71, 375л.с. Новая силовая установка получила название Model 6046. Каждый мотор в блоке работал независимо и мог при необходимости самостоятельно двигать танк. Новый двигатель занимал больше места, чем радиальный, поэтому, для защиты радиаторов, установленных сзади пришлось нарастить кормовую и боковую броню вниз до уровня гусениц, а задний лис наклонили на 10 градусов от вертикали. Задний цельный бронелист заменил двери доступа в моторное отделение. Поскольку теперь воздушный вентиляционный поток и выхлопные газы поднимали с земли много пыли, пришлось установить отражатели. Воздух для охлаждения поступал через два люка с жалюзи над моторным отделением. Больший размер нового двигателя заставил увеличить моторное отделение на 12 дюймов за счёт боевого отделения. Экономичность дизеля позволила уменьшить запас топлива до 148 галлонов при том, что запас хода увеличился приблизительно до 160 миль. Новый дизельный двигатель был испытан на танке М3 с серийным номером 28 с производства Detroit Tank Arsenal. В октябре 1941 поступило одобрение нового двигателя в качестве альтернативы Continental R-975. Дизельный двигатель резко понизил пожароопасность, которая была свойственна авиационному Continental R-975, работавшему на бензине с октановым числом 92.

Первоначально Артиллерийский Комитет стандартизировал танк с дизельным двигателем, как М3А3, но потом под это обозначение попадали только машины со сварным корпусом.

У танка сварной корпус. На поздних моделях боковые двери заварены или отсутствуют. Вес возрос до 28,600кг, максимальная скорость увеличилась до 29 миль/час (около 47 км/ч). С января по декабрь 1941 Baldwin Locomotive Company выпустил 322 танка.

М3А4. Обеспокоенный нехваткой двигателей Вильям Кнудсен поручил Chrysler разработать новый двигатель, производство которого можно будет быстро наладить, опираясь на существующие производственные мощности. 15 ноября 1941 первый пробный двигатель установили на М3. Это был Chrysler A-57 Multibank, мультиблок из пяти автомобильных 6-цилиндровых двигателей, соединённых в звездообразной конфигурации, с суммарной мощностью 425л.с. при 2850 оборотах в минуту. Чтобы вместить силовой мультиблок пришлось удлинить моторное отделение на 11 дюймов, при этом задние верхние бронелисты корпуса отодвинули назад на 15 дюймов. Весь мультиблок охлаждался одним радиатором сверху сзади моторного отделения. Два вертикальных топливных бака пришлось убрать, но взамен каждый из двух баков в спонсонах увеличили до 80 галлонов. Новый боле длинный корпус заставил перенести назад среднюю и заднюю тележки с опорными катками. Расстояние между ними увеличилось на 6 дюймов, а гусеницу удлинили с 79 до 83 траков. Вес танка возрос до 29,000кг. Боковых дверей не было, на крыше стояло три вентилятора, а поддерживающие ролики, которые раньше стояли посередине вверху рамы опорных тележек колесной пары - перенесли назад, за тележки.

В декабре 1941 Артиллерийский Комитет стандартизировал танк, как М3А4.

В феврале 1942 М3А4 доставили на Абердинский полигон для испытаний. После 42 часов работы на разных типах дорог, двигатель заменили уже на серийный и продолжили испытания. Всего до октября 1942 тестам подверглось три двигателя, а результаты испытаний влияли на изменения в серийных образцах.

В июне-августе 1942 Detroit Tank Arsenal выпустил 109 танков М3А4, после чего переключился на сборку средних танков М4А4. На новом танке это предприятие ставило двигатель мультиблок от М3А4.

М3А5. Идентичен модификации М3А3, но с клепаным корпусом, вместо сварного. Боковые двери были заварены или на более поздних машинах устранены. В январе-ноябре 1942 Baldwin Locomotive Company выпустила 591 танк.


Self-Propelled Mortar Carriers I

M21 81mm Mortar Carrier at tests

Half-track carriers were one of the most versatile designs of all armoured fighting vehicles to be used during the Second World War. The Japanese Army had this type of vehicle, as did the French Army, but it was the German and American armies which developed their half-track vehicles to serve in a whole range of roles, from mounting anti-tank guns and field guns to serving as carriers for mortars. One of the first types to be developed for the mechanised infantry battalions of the US Army was the M4, which entered service in October 1941. It carried an M1 81mm mortar in a fixed mounting to allow it to fire rearwards from the back of an M2 half-track vehicle. Unfortunately this layout was not favoured, probably because the carrying vehicle had to be manoeuvred into firing position instead of simply being driven forward to open fire on targets, like standard self-propelled guns such as the M7 ‘Priest’ with its 105mm gun. A modification was made so that the crew could dismount the mortar in order to fire it on a baseplate from prepared weapon pits. The modified mounting corrected the drawback and fitted the mortar to allow it to fire forward from within the vehicle. It was operated by a crew of six men and carried ninety-six rounds for the M1 mortar, which comprised mainly HE but with some smoke and illuminating bombs. Between late 1941 and December 1942, the White Motor Company of Cleveland, Ohio, produced 572 of these vehicles, which went on to serve in mainly the European theatre. The design weighed 7.75 tons, had an overall length of 19.72ft and could reach speeds up to 45mph on roads. It measured 6.43ft in width and 7.4ft in height and carried a .30in calibre machine gun for self-defence with 2,000 rounds of ammunition. Some vehicles were armed with the heavier .50in calibre machine gun, and the crew also had personal weapons.

Another variant was designated as the M4A1, and from May 1943 the White Motor Company built 600 of these vehicles. This was slightly larger and heavier weighing 8 tons but still carrying ninety-six rounds of ammunition for the M1 81mm mortar, which was mounted to fire forward. A crew of six operated the vehicle and weapons, which included a .30in calibre machine gun with 2,000 rounds mounted for self-defence. The M4A1 was 20.3ft overall in length, 7.44ft in height and 6.43ft in width. It could reach speeds of up to 45mph on roads. Together with its M4 counterpart, these mortar carrying vehicles served with armoured units such as the 2nd Armoured Division, nicknamed ‘Hell on Wheels’, from 1942 and later served across Europe after June 1944. Despite the successful development of these two types of mortar carrier, the Ordnance Department decided to re-evaluate the layout and develop a third type of mortar-carrying half-track based on a modified M3 half-track and conduct experiments with an 81mm mortar mounted to fire forward over the driver’s cab.

Field trials and firing tests proved this new layout to be superior to the M4 design in some respects, and in June 1943 it was standardised as the M21. The White Motor Company, with its experience in developing such vehicles, was awarded the contract to build the new design, and between January and March 1944 produced 110 units. Meanwhile, trials were continuing using an M4 half-track to mount a 4.2in (107mm) mortar for use with the chemical mortar battalions. Mobility and firing trials were conducted to assess the feasibility of this combination to lay smoke screens. The mounting was the same as that used on the 81mm mortar but the recoil forces of this heavier weapon proved too great for the vehicle’s chassis, the trials were suspended and the project dropped. Two other projects, known as T27 and the T27E1, using the M1 mortar mounted in the chassis of tanks, were examined, but these were terminated in April 1944. The T29 to mount an 81mm mortar into a converted chassis of an M5A3 light tank was another short-lived project which never got off the drawing board. The Ordnance Department then tried mounting the 4.2in mortar on the M3A1 half-track, and this proved much better. For some reason the design team appears to have reverted to mounting the mortar to fire rearward out of the vehicle and the configuration was designated T21. A change of design to mount the mortar to fire forward resulted in the designation T21E1, and even mounting the weapon into a the chassis of an M24 light tank was considered, but it was not pursued and the complete project was dropped shortly before the end of the war in Europe in 1945. Two other proposals for self-propelled mortar carriers were the T36 and T96 projects. The T36 suggested mounting a 155mm mortar in the chassis of an M4 Sherman tank and the T96 a 155mm mortar onto the chassis of the M37 gun carriage. They were good ideas but by the time these proposals were put forward the war was coming to an end and the projects were dropped.

The M4, M4A1 and M21 mortar carriers were based on the M2, M2A1 and M3 half-tracks respectively, of which some 60,000 of all types were built. They served in various roles, including self-propelled gun and anti-aircraft gun platform with quadruple-mounted .50in calibre heavy machine guns known as the M16. There were also communications vehicles in this range. The White Motor Company built the prototype of the M21 in early 1943 as the T-19 and, following successful trials, it was standardised in July the same year. It was accepted into service in January 1944 and among the units to receive the vehicles was the 54th Armoured Infantry Regiment of the 10th Armoured Division, which later saw heavy fighting during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. The M21 had a crew of six to operate the vehicle, mortar and the machine gun for self-defence, while frames on the side of the vehicle allowed mines to be carried which could be laid for defensive purposes in an emergency. The vehicle had a combat weight of 20,000lbs (almost 9 tons) with an overall length of almost 19ft 6in. The height was 7ft 5in and it was almost 7ft 5in at its widest point. The barrel of the M1 81mm mortar was supported with a bipod and a special baseplate mounting which allowed it to be fired from the rear of the vehicle. A total of ninety-seven rounds of ammunition were carried and included smoke, illuminating and high explosive rounds. A store of forty rounds of ammunition was kept in lockers either inside the hull where the crew could access it easily ready to use. A further fifty-six rounds were kept in storage lockers, twenty-eight rounds either side of the hull, which could be loaded into the rear of the vehicle to maintain levels of ammunition ready to fire. This arrangement was the same on the M4 and M4A1 vehicles. The mortar of the M21 could be traversed 30 degrees left and right for greater changes the vehicle had to be manoeuvred to face the direction of the target. The mortar could be fired at the rate of eighteen rounds per minute to engage targets at ranges of almost 3,300 yards with the high explosive rounds. The barrel could be elevated between 40 and 85 degrees to alter the range. The .50in calibre machine gun was fitted on a pedestal mount to the rear of the vehicle and a total of 400 rounds of ammunition were carried. From there the firer could traverse through 360 degrees to provide all-round fire support. The vehicle was only lightly armoured up to a maximum 13mm thickness.

The M21 was fitted with a White 160AX six-cylinder petrol engine which developed 147hp at 3,000rpm to give speeds of up to 45mph on roads. Fuel capacity was 60 gallons and this allowed an operational range of 200 miles on roads. The front wheels were operated by a standard steering wheel and the tracks were fitted with double sets of twin bogies as road wheels, larger ‘idler-type’ wheels at the front and rear of the track layout and only one return roller. The open top of the vehicle could be covered by a canvas tarpaulin during inclement weather and this could be thrown off quickly when going into action. Although only few in number, together with the more numerous M4 and M4A1 mortar carriers, the three designs provided excellent mobile fire support to infantry units wherever required. All three designs were equipped with radio sets to communicate and receive orders as to where to deploy if needed to fire against targets. Some units of the Free French Army were supplied with some fifty-two examples of the M21 self-propelled mortar vehicles, which were used during the European campaign.

One armoured unit, the 778th Tank Battalion, recorded of the mortar carriers attached to D Company in December 1944 that the fire support they provided was ‘instrumental on several occasions in assisting the advance of the infantry by placing fire on enemy gun positions and strongpoints that could not effectively be fire upon by other weapons’. The account continues by stating how ‘the two … mortar platoons, from advantageous positions on the west side of the Saar River placed harassing fire on the city of Bous, on the east side of the river. The platoon fired an average of 350 to 400 rounds per day into the city’. Continuing in their support of D Company, the mortar carriers fired from elevated positions at Bisten from where they suppressed German positions. Another armoured unit, the 746th Tank Battalion, was provided with fire support from mortar carriers and the unit recorded how these vehicles were able to ‘fire support to [cover] advance infantry elements in many instances when tank fire cannot be employed successfully’. This account continues by recording how self-propelled mortar carriers ‘were attached to an infantry regiment and further attached to one battalion and the assault company thereof. By following closely behind the advancing infantry, the mobile mortars lay down covering fires within their maximum range before displacing to the next bound. In some actions, the mortar carriers have backed down the axis of advance from one bound to another.’ Yet despite the mortar carrier’s effectiveness in supporting advances at very close quarters and keeping up with the advance, by the end of the war some officers in armoured units dismissed their usefulness. There were plans to develop the M21 vehicle to carry the larger 4.2in calibre mortar but it never entered service.

During its rearmament programme the German Army investigated the possibility of using half-tracked vehicles, and the way in which they could be developed into a variety of roles to support troops on the battlefield. By the time Poland was attacked, the German Army was equipped with several versatile designs of armoured half-tracked vehicles, mostly serving in the primary role of transporting troops on the battlefield and a secondary role as communications vehicles. Production of these designs continued so that several months later, when the blitzkrieg was launched against Western Europe in May 1940, the fleet of half-track vehicles was even larger. The two most widely-used types were the SdKfz 251 and the smaller SdKfz 250, which went on to prove itself to be no less versatile than its larger counterpart. In fact, by the end of the war in 1945 the SdKfz 250 had been developed into no fewer than twelve different configurations.

The German Army was quick to realise that light armoured half-track vehicles could be used on the battlefield as flexible workhorses. Of all the designs to enter service, it was the SdKfz 251 series, weighing 8.7 tons in its basic APC version and capable of carrying ten fully-equipped infantrymen as well as the driver and co-driver, which would prove invaluable in many campaigns, including North Africa. From the very beginning it complied with the requirements calling for an armoured vehicle capable of transporting infantrymen on the battlefield. Known as the Gepanzerter Mannschraftstran-portwagen (armoured personnel carrier) when it was first proposed in 1935, the vehicle quickly took shape and in 1938 the prototype was ready for field trials. It was produced by the companies of Hanomag and Bussing-Nag, which built the chassis and hulls respectively, and the vehicle was given the title of Mittlerer Schutzenpanzerwagen (medium infantry armoured vehicle) with the designation of SdKfz 251. The first vehicles were in service in 1939 and some were used during the campaign against Poland. Production was low at first, in fact only 348 were built in 1940, but there were enough numbers to be used during the campaign in the west in 1940. The SdKfz 251 was fitted with a Mayback HL42 TKRM six-cylinder water-cooled petrol engine which developed 100hp at 2,800rpm to give road speeds of up to 34mph, which was more than sufficient to keep up with the tanks in the armoured divisions.

The APC version was 19ft in length, 6ft 10in in width and 5ft 9in in height. The vehicle could cope with vertical obstacles up to 12in in height, cross ditches 6ft 6in in width and had an operational range of 200 miles on roads. Armour protection was between 6mm and 14mm, but the rear crew compartment where the infantry sat had no overhead protection, which exposed the troops to the elements and also the effects of shells exploding overhead. Two machine guns, either MG34 or MG42, were fitted to allow one to fire forwards from behind a small armoured shield and the weapon at the rear was fitted to a swivel mount to provide fire support for the infantry as they exited the vehicle. Being open-topped, the infantry could jump over the sides to leave the vehicle or exit through the double rear doors. The machine guns, for which 2,000 rounds of ammunition was carried, could be taken from the vehicle when the infantry deployed.

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The Vehicle

Based around a simple trio of wheels, the carriage is a simple affair. Two large diameter and wide wheels are at the front with a third, smaller diameter wheel at the rear to provide steering. Between these three wheels is a large rectangular platform on which a crew could operate and which narrowed towards the back where the platform met the steering wheel. In front of this platform was a large angular shield in the shape of a ‘V’ on its side, reaching almost as high as the top of the front wheels and through which a large firing loophole was provided for a forward-facing large calibre gun. With the shield in this position, it would provide complete protection for the men operating the vehicle. The vehicle was outlined in two forms. The first was a simple open-topped design with a single large cannon facing forwards and the second used a contained shelter for the men within a complete enclosure of armor.

Digitally cleaned plan view from Osborn’s patent application showing the rectangular platform and central position of the cannon. The two large wheels are denoted as ‘A’. Source: US Patent US698049

This second form was substantially wider than the first and carried up to 8 large caliber guns in the same manner as the first outline. The primary difference between the two schemes was the size and power, as the second vehicle clearly shows a space alongside the wheels in the front for motors. The use of 8 guns in the wider form of the vehicle was, however, merely indicating that the platform could be made any width as required to provide guns facing forwards. The wheels and body of the vehicle were to be made from the “best shot-proof steel known to the arts”. Thus, even in the initial roofless form, the wheels themselves provide protection for enemy fire for the men operating the carriage.

Further protection could be gained by parking the front of the vehicle against a wall, rampart, or earthen embankment to cover the lower half from return fire by the enemy.

Digitally cleaned plan view of Osborn’s extended version of the carriage with additional guns placed across the width. Note that this shows the enclosed structure from above. The 4 protrusions at the rear marked as ‘M’ were only to be used for the connection of animals to push the carriage if no engine or motor was used. Source: US Patent US698049


How Rail Guns Work

Gunpowder has long been the propellant of choice to launch a projectile from a weapon. But the fine gray powder does have three major limitations:

  • Gunpowder must be carried with the projectile, making the entire round heavier.
  • Ordnance based on black powder is volatile, and so difficult to handle and transport.
  • The muzzle velocity of projectiles propelled by gunpowder is generally limited to about 4,000 feet (about 1,219 meters) per second.

Is it possible to overcome these challenges? One solution is the electromagnetic rail gun, or rail gun for short. Using a magnetic field powered by electricity, a rail gun can accelerate a projectile up to 52,493 feet (16,000 meters) per second. And while current Navy guns have a maximum range of 12 miles, rail guns can hit a target 250 miles away in six minutes.

In this article, we'll discuss how rail guns work, how they can be used and the limitations of this technology.

Thanks to Sam Barros of PowerLabs for his assistance with this article. Sam, a Mechanical Engineering student at Michigan Technological University, has designed and built his own rail guns, coil guns and many other devices.


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