Questions about Grants versus Lees as well as Italian tanks
I have a few desert-themed projects sharing time on my workbench at the moment, so I picked up a copy of FSM’s Desert War Modeling ( DMW) special issue to help with painting and weathering. Three of my projects include the Tamiya M3 Lee, the Tamiya Italian M13/40 Carro Armato, and the Trumpeter Canadian LAV III, so the content of DWM was on the money. Gary Majchrzak’s recycling of the M3 Lee kit, “Forgotten casualty,” is inspired modeling, but his claim that the M3 Grant was simply an M3 Lee with the commander’s cupola removed does not pass muster. The M3 Grant turret included heavier armor and a turret bustle to accommodate radios as well as the absence of the commander’s cupola. His model may represent an M3 Lee in British service (if such a thing happened), but it is definitely not an M3 Grant. Bill Morin suggests in “Correcting a Carro Armato” that the hull of the 2008 Tamiya M13/40 retains the inaccuracies of the original kit. Based on my review of source material and the layout of the Royal Model Conversion Set that he used in his build, I can see no inaccuracies in the Tamiya kit’s hull layout. It would be helpful for him to have elaborated this point.
- Paul Clarry
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Ed.: You raise a couple of good points, Paul. It is true that the shorthand used to differentiate the Lee and Grant was off base. The Grant had a completely different turret than the Lee. That’s on me for not catching the error. However, as the wartime photo above shows, the British deployed Lees along with Grants during the North African campaign. It’s easy to get into the weeds when it comes to discussing the inaccuracies of kits, such as Tamiya’s M13/40. But my research indicates the full-length fenders are incorrect for M13/40 represented by the rest of the kit’s parts. The fender should end at the start of the superstructure as represented by the Royal Models parts Bill added to his model. There are also questions about the overall dimensions that indicate it may be too large overall.
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