SCOTT GUAY - TAKOM M3 LEE EARLY as "LULUBELLE''

  The kit.

The kit.

The Movie

  Engine compartment door cutout in progress.

Engine compartment door cutout in progress.

  Engine fit check.

Engine fit check.

  Mr. Surfacer 500 stippled on the transmission cover and final drive assemblies.

Mr. Surfacer 500 stippled on the transmission cover and final drive assemblies.

  M3 Lee actual, transmission cover - look closely, there are weld joints on the flange sections. Also notice the top bolt band is a molded piece, not separate as in the kit.

M3 Lee actual, transmission cover - look closely, there are weld joints on the flange sections. Also notice the top bolt band is a molded piece, not separate as in the kit.

 Rear doors opening completed; rear plate attached.

Rear doors opening completed; rear plate attached.

 Rear doors modified.

Rear doors modified.

  Rear doors with additional armor.

Rear doors with additional armor.

  Bogie assembly, easier to cleanup after assembly.

Bogie assembly, easier to cleanup after assembly.

  Bogie assembly showing correct position of spring arms (outward).

Bogie assembly showing correct position of spring arms (outward).

The Pepper Pot exhausts on the Takom Lee is wrong for tanks shipped overseas, they were removed due to they heated up the rear deck like a stove, which was of course not great for vehicle crews. For a vehicle shipped and in use for North Africa had the M4 style exhaust and square air cleaners (pic 1 m3leerear2). Next pic shows Lulubelle which had the quick fix for the Pepper box exhaust ( It was noted that these were training vehicles), last pic was Steve Zaloga's M3 LuluBelle build. So if we build N.Africa Lee's/Grants we need to use the M4 style Exhaust and Air cleaners. good thing is, if you look at the pic 1 they just covered the exhaust hole, instead of replacing the rear panel.

  Air cleaners and exhausts mock-up.

Air cleaners and exhausts mock-up.

   Bogies attached.

 Bogies attached.

  Superstructure construction done separate from hull.

Superstructure construction done separate from hull.

  I found it better to work a small section at a time, especially on the multi angle pieces.

I found it better to work a small section at a time, especially on the multi angle pieces.

  Only a slight gap on the front glacia.

Only a slight gap on the front glacia.

  Fitment to the lower hull.

Fitment to the lower hull.

  Aafter a bit of sanding on the lower hull, my fit against the trans cover became tighter.

Aafter a bit of sanding on the lower hull, my fit against the trans cover became tighter.

  When constructing the upper hull, I cut back the alignment tabs a bit, to allow movement for better fitment.

When constructing the upper hull, I cut back the alignment tabs a bit, to allow movement for better fitment.

  "LULUBELLE"" gets her sponson gun -  notced out RB L31 barrel to fit the Takom.

"LULUBELLE"" gets her sponson gun -  notced out RB L31 barrel to fit the Takom.

  Side view.

Side view.

  Frontal view.

Frontal view.

  Track assembly in progress.

Track assembly in progress.

  A little work on the sprocket needs to be done so shoes fit snug in teeth.

A little work on the sprocket needs to be done so shoes fit snug in teeth.

  When assembling, spacing is critical, I used a piece of .5mm styrene to space the shoes. If you don't, you can easily lose a shoe length, as seen in other builds.

When assembling, spacing is critical, I used a piece of .5mm styrene to space the shoes. If you don't, you can easily lose a shoe length, as seen in other builds.

  One side of track complete using the prescribed number of shoes as per the directions. 

One side of track complete using the prescribed number of shoes as per the directions. 

  Dragon DS track fitment test.

Dragon DS track fitment test.

   Lulu has all her guns .30 cal MGs are Aber.    Track Epilogue: The Takom track split apart (too tight). After doing some research, there were 79 track shoes on the actual vehicle (no matter what type - T-48, T-49 T-51). I counted the kit track shoes - 78, there are extra shoes in the kit. Just need to figure where and what type of shoe to use either on the sprocket or Idler, or a straight shoe for the correction.    I tried to add a link, it makes the track way too long. Going to Plan "B" (like my M4A1 Kasserine build) I'll just cut the Idler and move it forward a tad. 

 Lulu has all her guns .30 cal MGs are Aber.

Track Epilogue: The Takom track split apart (too tight). After doing some research, there were 79 track shoes on the actual vehicle (no matter what type - T-48, T-49 T-51). I counted the kit track shoes - 78, there are extra shoes in the kit. Just need to figure where and what type of shoe to use either on the sprocket or Idler, or a straight shoe for the correction.  I tried to add a link, it makes the track way too long. Going to Plan "B" (like my M4A1 Kasserine build) I'll just cut the Idler and move it forward a tad. 

  Track gap closeup.

Track gap closeup.

   Antenna mount is from Armorscale.

 Antenna mount is from Armorscale.

  Sponson boxes are from the Legends kit.

Sponson boxes are from the Legends kit.

  Relocating the exhaust to line up with the exhaust ports.

Relocating the exhaust to line up with the exhaust ports.

   Finished scratch-building the air cleaner mounts.

 Finished scratch-building the air cleaner mounts.

  Engine detail visible through air intake.

Engine detail visible through air intake.

  Tail light wiring added. Also added bolt detail holding air cleaner.

Tail light wiring added. Also added bolt detail holding air cleaner.

  Left air cleaner finished.

Left air cleaner finished.

  Engine deck PE.

Engine deck PE.

  Built the cleat box from the Academy Lee PE set.

Built the cleat box from the Academy Lee PE set.

  Air cleaners and exhausts completed.

Air cleaners and exhausts completed.

  Cut off the idler arms, glued them to styrene stock the same thickness as my micro saw.

Cut off the idler arms, glued them to styrene stock the same thickness as my micro saw.

   Idlers sanded down.

 Idlers sanded down.

  Tracks installed.

Tracks installed.

  Starting to look like a tank.

Starting to look like a tank.

  Painting begins - Tamiya flat Black Green, Yellow & White used for pre-shading.

Painting begins - Tamiya flat Black Green, Yellow & White used for pre-shading.

  Painting begins. Pic #2.

Painting begins. Pic #2.

  Painting begins. Pic #3.

Painting begins. Pic #3.

  Painting begins. Pic #4.

Painting begins. Pic #4.

  Tamiya Buff, OD Green & Yellow Green mixture.

Tamiya Buff, OD Green & Yellow Green mixture.

  Tamiya Buff, OD Green & Yellow Green mixture. Pic # 2.

Tamiya Buff, OD Green & Yellow Green mixture. Pic # 2.

  Tamiya Buff, OD Green & Yellow Green mixture. Pic #3.

Tamiya Buff, OD Green & Yellow Green mixture. Pic #3.

  Panels highlighted.

Panels highlighted.

  LULUBELLE decals applied, first attempt.

LULUBELLE decals applied, first attempt.

  LULUBELLE decals applied, first attempt. Pic #2.

LULUBELLE decals applied, first attempt. Pic #2.

  LULUBELLE decals applied, first attempt. Pic #3.

LULUBELLE decals applied, first attempt. Pic #3.

  LULUBELLE decals applied, first attempt. Pic #4.

LULUBELLE decals applied, first attempt. Pic #4.

  Weathering. Pic #1.

Weathering. Pic #1.

  Weathering. Pic #2.

Weathering. Pic #2.

  Weathering. Pic #3.

Weathering. Pic #3.

  Weathering. Pic #4.

Weathering. Pic #4.

  The TC makes an appearance.

The TC makes an appearance.

IMG_0667.JPG

Changed out white stars to yellow. Finished creating figures and added pennants. 

IMG_0671.JPG

Changed out white stars to yellow. Finished creating figures and added pennants. Pic # 2.

IMG_0666.JPG

Changed out white stars to yellow. Finished creating figures and added pennants. Pic # 3.

IMG_0670.JPG

Changed out white stars to yellow. Finished creating figures and added pennants. Pic # 4.

  LULUBELLE on base. Pic # 1.

LULUBELLE on base. Pic # 1.

  LULUBELLE on base. Pic # 2.

LULUBELLE on base. Pic # 2.

  LULUBELLE on base. Pic # 3.

LULUBELLE on base. Pic # 3.

  LULUBELLE on base. Pic # 4.

LULUBELLE on base. Pic # 4.

  LULUBELLE on base. Pic # 5.

LULUBELLE on base. Pic # 5.

  LULUBELLE on base. Pic # 6.

LULUBELLE on base. Pic # 6.

  LULUBELLE on base. Pic # 7.

LULUBELLE on base. Pic # 7.