The publication of any images or informations related to nazism, fascism or any other totalitarian regimes must be understood as the reproduction of historical accuracy and not as apology to these regimes, leaders or symbols.
A publicação de qualquer imagem ou informação referentes ao nazismo, fascismo ou quaisquer outros regimes totalitários deve ser entendida como reprodução do rigor histórico e não como apologia a estes regimes, líderes ou símbolos.

Renault R-35 with T26 conical turret - Panzerkampfwagen 35R 731(f) mit T-26 turm - case report

       You guys know that I love the building of rare vehicles, but real ...Strolling through the internet, last year I found this photo on the Axis History Forum and Bingo ... Here I come! ...
      A Renault R-35 french light tank, with a conical turret T-26 russian tank, with german markings... Panzerkampfwagen 35R 731(f) mit T-26 turm... Wow!!!
Renault R-35 with T-26 turret
       To me, the photo was real, but then Photoshop exist, we no longer sure of anything. I asked in Missing Lynx what the colleagues thought about the image and the consensus was that the photo depicted a real vehicle, as was my opinion from the beginning. Well, this was the starting point for the collection kits to reproduce this project.
French light tank Renault R-35 
Russian light tank T26 
      The use of captured material was very common by the Germans, especially for secondary duties, such as tractors, ammo carriers, observation or airfields guarding... The Germans had and used many tanks R35 under combat conditions, after the surrender of France. It was  reliable and robust, with good supply of spare parts. ... Many vehicles R-35 were transformed  in destroyers, with a Czech 47mm gun , the Panzerjager 35R 731(f).
Renaults captureds in good conditions
Panzerjager 35R 731(f)- with Czech gun 47mm Pak(t) L/43.4
      In my interpretation, the Germans picked up a R-35 version tractor or ammo carrier (Munitionspanzer 35R 731 (f)) with no turret and put a T-26 turret in it for crew protection, using the tank as an armored observation vehicle.
Munitionspanzer 35R 731(f)

Munitionspanzer 35R 731(f) - russian front
       After this introduction, we will start the project. First, I "cleaned" the picture for best viewing:
Cleaned picture
       A drawing in three views is always important:

      After presenting the project, let the protagonists: I'll use an old Heller kit for the hull of the R-35 and a Mirage kit  of T26-C.
Kit Renault R35 Heller and T26 Mirage
        The Heller kit is good and honest, but the injection of Mirage's kit is a shame ... Look at the injection fault in the breech of the 45mm gun: awful!! ... I'll replace it with a metal gun from RB Models.
The RB Models metal gun. The arrow mark the cut location. 

       After the metal gun surgery, the T26 turret is taking shape..
T-26 conical turret

      I made an adjustment to allow for the rotation of the turret on the hull. In my opinion, in the original tank the turret should be welded ... Its function should not be firing, but just a "cover" to protect the inside of the hull exposed. The advantage of being mobile turret in the kit is to prevent fracture of the gun, when handling the model ...
Rotation device
Testing the turret in the upper-hull. Ok !!!
Turret in the upper-hull. 
The building continues...Suspension and turret:
Renault R-35 hull with suspensions
Turret with details...
         I change the front axle (plastic) by a metal one:
Using metal wire for the front axle...
Front axle ready for the drive sprockets
       Making the tracks sagging:
using wood sticks to force the track sagging

       Done !!!
The weight aspect of the tracks
The Girl is looking good...
        Almost done. Primer time:
I try to reproduce the real pic. No spare wheel in the rear....

No tools and accessories, like the real pic.
Now, it´s primer time. The hull:
Hull with primer
...And the turret:
Turret with primer
       Ups and downs imn the basic color: Panzer-Gray...The gloss aspect is the Future
Ups and Downs 
        German markings...No silvering (thanks, Future...)

renault R-35 with german colors...
           Wash :

Almost ready...
 In the last post of this blog, this captured girl  was ready to receive the final weathering...
R35 ready for weathering...
       Well, after publishing the building in Missing-Lynx, our colleague Zisis Tsagarakis ( Thanks, Zisis...) drew my attention to a small BIG detail: the turret that I used was wrong. The mantlet was from another model, like in the plant I drew ...
Notice the differences between the kit and the mantlet in the photo and drawing
             Putz ... Here's a detail that could not be left behind ... How I don't have this version of turret, the way was do a surgery:
Plastic surgery.....
Remaking the base of mantlet....
Plasticard time !!!
And the turret almost ready, after plastic surgery...
And the turret was corrected:
Again, ready for painting...
     And, finnaly (after the scare...), the French-Russian-German girl was done:
Renault R-35 with conical T-26 turret
Panzerkampfwagen 35R 731(f) mit T-26 turm
Renault R-35 with conical T-26 turret - right side
Renault R-35 with conical T-26 turret - left side
Renault R35 mit T26C-1939 turm - Beobachtung Tank 
Panzerkampfwagen 35R 731(f) mit T-26 turm

       Well, Gents ...
       Another project based on actual photo was ready ... It is very nice to have a unique model in our collection, even more when he receives help from colleagues around the world.  Cheers !!

M3A1 Lee CDL - T10 Leaflet - case report

      Let's know the M3A1 Lee - T10 Leaflet CDL:
M3A1 Lee - T10 Leaflet CDL
    Everyone knows the British Grant CDL, one of the Hobbart's Funnies from 79th Armoured Division:
Grant CDL
      But his American brother is a little less known. The British version used the chassis of M3 Grant. The American version used the chassis of the M3A1 Lee with cast hull.
M3A1 Lee - early
      The M3A1 Lee cast hull were only used in training by the United States and the only version of this hull that saw combat was just the version CDL. Similar to the English version, the turret with 37mm gun was removed and was installed a turret with a searchlight inside, keeping the 75mm gun on the hull, maintaining the main offensive capacity. In the American version, it used the hull M3A1 early and late, with heavy-duty suspension, like the M4 and the aft hatch of the hull with opening back, characteristic of the final versions of Lee hull cast. The hatch of side of the hull could be present or not.
T10 Leaflet - M3A1 Lee early (notice the side hull hatch in place)
        The American turret CDL was different in small details regarding to the British, such as replacement of the Besa machinegun by a .30 Browning, as well as the use of Americans periscopes.
T10 CDL - turret close-up
T10 CDL of 736th Tank Battalion
in Dragon Wagon
M3A1 T10 Leaflet CDL in Germany, 1945.
Notice the turret disguised with canvas and halftrack track.
T10 Leaflet on Dragon Wagon - Germany - 1945
      The Americans M3 Lee CDL were called Leaflet Tractor T10, in an attempt to disguise their true mission. All CDL tanks program was surrounded by much secrecy. The secret was so much that detracted from its use by the allied forces.
   The men who manned the tanks T10 CDL called their tanks as Gizmo Tank. Served in Medium Tank Battalions 701, 736, 738, 739, 740 and 748. In 1945 were used for illumination and distraction duties during the crossing of the Rhine.

 M3A1 CDL - T10 Leaflet tractor
Medium tank - CDL version
Place of origin      United States
Service history
WarsWorld War II
Production history
August 1941–December 1942
Number built                                                        
300 (M3A1 tank version)
27 t
5.64 m
2.72 m
3.12 m

up to 51 mm Steel
Main armament
Arc Light Weapon - Carbon Arc Spotlight  - 13.000.000 candles

Secondary armament
75 mm Gun M2/M3 in hull
46 rounds
 .30-06 Browning in turret
M1919A4 machine gun
1,200 rounds
Wright (Continental) R975 EC2
400 hp (300 kW)/340 hp (250 kW)
Synchromesh, 5 speeds forward, 1 reverse
vertical volute spring
Ground clearance
0.46 m
Fuel capacity
662 liters
Operational range
193 km
42 km/h (road)
26 km/h (off-road)
Steering system
Controlled differential

The kit:
      To the building of this kit, I'll use the excellent M3A1cast hull from Formations, which acquired with a colleague. The hull will be transformed in the late version, like the profile above, with the removal of the side hatches of the hull and the inversion of the roof hatch. The Formations hull is the early version.

 M3A1 Lee Formations hull - early - notice the side hull hatch
Roof hull hatch - Formations old manual indicated the hatch in late position in an early hull.
     The material manufactured by Formations is simply fantastic. For removing the side hatch of the hull, I sanded the region and the late version was ready.
     Notice the capped holes in the front hull for machine guns, that no had in late version. The hinges of the roof hatch are still there, in this photo ... but have been removed and rebuilt in its new position
Modified hull -  no side hatch - the hinges of the roof hatch will be modified...
      Although Formations recommend for this conversion kit  the Lee/Grant from Academy, I will use as "host" kit the old Tamiya Lee. I will use several parts for the project. The heavy duty suspension will be a scrap of an Italeri Sherman that I have in my"Bowl of Souls" ...
Lee Tamiya - the blue arrows point to parts I'll use
      The "Frankenleestein" is growing...
The Formations hull in the Tamiya's chassi. Notice the CDL turret with .30 browning by RB Models

M3A1 left side . No hull hatc - late version. Notice the Italeri HD bogies
      The kit with the first primer layer. Notice the "armour collar" that I did in the hull, to protect the joint hull-turret. This collar is typical of late versions ...
T10 cowith primer - The cargo chests are Tamiya
The gun armour was done with foilo from beer can...

T10 right side - Pistol port by Tamiya and HD bogie from Italeri (M4A1)
Tasca tracks (vinyl)
T1- rear view- notice the roof hatch, late characteristic
       I added ceiling fans and periscopes in the top of the hull. These parts was molded from a M4 Sherman hull and reproduced with dental acrylic.
T10 under construction - Notice the Shermie CDL in background (gloss green)

       The amazing Archer casting marks I always use after the primer.
Archer casting marks - very good option- setting with Future...
Casting marks in the rear's turret and hatch.
     Kit painted with Olive Drab, with tonal variations of this color. The Shermie is next, for size comparison. The glowing effect is the result of applying Future to avoid silvering on decals
CDL american tanks - oddballs
      TheLeaflet is already looking like a tank ...
T10 - left side

T10 - right side
      Decals applied. "Lightning" seemed like a good name for a "illuminator tank ".
T10 Lightning - an appropriate name...
T10 - almost ready...
         And side by side with his British brother, by St. George!!
T10 Leaflet and M3 Grant CDL
Same origin...
 And the build this CDL beast is over...
      The Formations hull is very, very good !!! The final pics:
T10 Leaflet tractor - M3A1 CDL Night-fighter tank - Germany, 1945.

T10 Leaflet tractor - M3A1 CDL - left side

T10 Leaflet tractor - M3A1 CDL - rear view

T10 Leaflet tractor - M3A1 CDL - right side

T10 Leaflet tractor - M3A1 CDL

M3A1 periscopes
M3A1  T10 Leaflet with Shermie CDL E tank

I hope you enjoyed it ... and up to the next project!!