The AFV Club M-36 kit has a couple of major problems, with the largest being the wrong engine configuration. AFV took a shortcut and used the same hull as for its M-10 kits. This means it builds a diesel, not gasser that it should be. This problem is not addressed in the Eduard kit, but can be solved with a bit of relatively simple surgery and some parts from an M4A3 kit. There are several possible routes to this end, with a good example given on the Perth Military Modelling Site, here.
The Eduard M-36 Jackson exterior kit includes two large frets of parts to dress up the AFV Club kit.
To those who have used other Eduard kits for other U.S. vehicles, including the Sherman series, many of the parts will be familiar. These include headlight and taillight guards, .a 50-caliber machine gun detail set, machine gun brackets and spare barrel holder, spare-track-link holders, periscope guards, tool brackets, tie-down straps and tie-downs. LOTS of tie-downs – I counted at least 65 and you need them all.
The addition of all these parts will dress up your model, but a few other PE pieces really add to the M-36’s exterior detail.
First are the grouser racks – the large, rectangular racks made of angle iron that dominate each side of the M-10/M-36 hull. Limitations of injection molding make kit racks too thick and without the bolt holes that hold the grousers in place. On most vehicles, the grousers are missing, so the holes are rather prominent. Though they have some long and somewhat difficult folds, the Eduard grouser racks look good when assembled. Don’t expect to add AFV Club grousers to them, however, as the entire PE rack is about .25 in. longer than the kit part.
The second big “fix” in the Eduard set is the pair of PE fenders. Use the basic shape of the kit finders as a guide when bending the PE fenders, then cut off the kit fenders from the hull. Note that AFV did not fix the joint problem on the lower bevel of the right side of the upper hull. Shave and sand the details off on both sides after you have removed the kit fenders. Also, you may want to carefully shave off the kit hinge details and add them to the PE fenders. The PE hinges just look a little too flat when completed.
Another nice touch is the hull fire extinguisher handle assembly just to the left rear of the hull ring. The PE replaces the surround and the handles, making the assembly much more to scale. Make sure to paint the handles red.
This is more than a mere “stick on” PE set. You will need to cut and shave parts, remove small detail from many parts like tools, and grind or drill a few holes. Also, fill locator holes on the kit and use photo references to determine the correct placement of tools and other hull accessories.
I’ll categorize this PE set as “moderate” in both complexity and level of detail. To do this open-topped vehicle justice, you really need to also use the Eduard M-36 Jackson interior set. Recommended.
My Thanks to Eduard
for the review sample.
“SHERMAN: A History of the American Medium Tank,” R.P.Hunnicutt., Presidio Books
“U.S. Tank Destroyers in Combat 1941-1945,” Steven J. Zaloga, Concord Publications
“U.S. Tank Destroyers of World War Two,” Steven J. Zaloga, Tanks Illustrated No. 19
“U.S. Tank Destroyers in Action,” Squadron Signal Publications