It was at this time I could start with the model’s build up. For further research I utilized the Squadron signal M3 Lee/Grant walk around book, along with various images that were found on the internet. Another surprising excellent reference for the M3 Lee was the old film Sahara with Humphrey Bogart. Along with my own Aberdeen walk around I had most of the gaps and blind spots covered. Since I knew beforehand that this model was going to require lots and lots of rivets I first tried to obtain metal domed rivet heads from my fastener sources, when I was unable to acquire the size and shape of rivets that I needed for this build I decided to fabricate my own and to cast them in resin. This way I can have as many of the correct size rivet heads for this build that I need without having to run out, or run over budget. From my research I found that the M3 used two sizes of rivets for its construction. After doing some calculations I found that in 1/6th scale the two sizes that worked the best was 5/32nd and the larger 11/54th. The first area that I started with was the tank’s bottom hull. The bottom Hull has all of its rivet, panel, and rigidity bulges present. All details were fabricated out of styrene and lengths of PVC.I then moved onward to the sponsons and side hull. Unlike the M4 Sherman where all of these panels are welded, on the M3 they are riveted and need the support of a large length of Angle iron that runs along the sponson from rear to front. For the support Plastruct ¼ angle was used along with my resin rivets.
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