Author Topic: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3 Finished  (Read 1279 times)

Offline Steve Blazo

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SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3 Finished
« on: November 16, 2020, 10:11:14 PM »
With a door prize from a local hobby show, SLB HI will attempt to convert a terrible (so glad I did not pay for it !!) Dragon Black Label M103A1 into a M103A3. My thinking is that in 1965 when the M60 was being upgraded, the Marines decided to upgrade the M103 to keep the heavy fire power in the Marine tank brigades. To keep commonality, the upgrades used the M60 components - the engine and transmission, fire control with laser range finder.  First deployed to Da Nang Air base just in time to see action during the TET offensive in 1968.

First big step was to get the turret position closer to the actual vehicle. I cut the driver’s hatch and turret ring off, built up the front and reattached







the bow turned out ok –



with fenders -







beefed up the running gear –







the infantry phone box –




« Last Edit: January 04, 2021, 09:09:57 PM by Steve Blazo »
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Online Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2020, 01:17:20 AM »
Either I am reading your mind or you were reading mine.  I had some very similar ideas for the M103 and really glad to see you taking point on this as it had me a bit stumped.  I thought both version of the DML Dragon M103 came with parts (engine decks) for both versions?  Will be following your progress with much interest!  :smiley:
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline Steve Blazo

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2020, 03:27:11 AM »
Warped minds think alike ….   :-\

 The M03A1 does have some parts for the A2 that could have been used for the A3. Since I had a Tamiya M60A3 in the stash, and it has its own issues, I looked at pictures and then chose the better of the 2 kits for details, thus gray and beige mix. That's why the running gear is from the M60, the M103 kit gear looked to thin and flimsy. I have only done the hull so far, from what I read and see the turret has its own set of issues. Tried the M60 commanders turret but it covered one of the radio antenna pots, I have a M113 ACAV commanders turret, but it might be to tall, maybe just a shield. Smoke dischargers - maybe. New turret basket for sure, closer to the M60 style. IFR search light for sure.

Any and all advise and comments welcome.
As I walk through the valley of death,
I have no fear, because I am the meanest mother*ucker in the whole valley.
- Gen. George S. Patton

Online buzzbomb

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2020, 05:32:17 AM »
First up, the cut and shunt was terrific the end transition is seamless, so well done.

Tried the M60 commanders turret but it covered one of the radio antenna pots

Bahhh ! Moving an antenna mount is small change for a totally cool look  ;)

You do know that when this is completed, there is somebody, somewhere who will be looking through all their books to find this version
This all makes so much sense.


Online Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2020, 06:10:06 AM »
Warped minds think alike ….   :-\

 The M03A1 does have some parts for the A2 that could have been used for the A3. Since I had a Tamiya M60A3 in the stash, and it has its own issues, I looked at pictures and then chose the better of the 2 kits for details, thus gray and beige mix. That's why the running gear is from the M60, the M103 kit gear looked to thin and flimsy. I have only done the hull so far, from what I read and see the turret has its own set of issues. Tried the M60 commanders turret but it covered one of the radio antenna pots, I have a M113 ACAV commanders turret, but it might be to tall, maybe just a shield. Smoke dischargers - maybe. New turret basket for sure, closer to the M60 style. IFR search light for sure.

Any and all advise and comments welcome.
Not kidding about the turret being tall.  The original commanders cupola might work with the ACAV shields and maybe the add-on armor side shields.  Another option, dare I suggest it is to take a look at the cupola from the M551 with the armor shields or without if it looks too cluttered. 

When you titled this M103A3 I was thinking you might have opted for the forward wedge shape of the M60 series grafted to the M103 hull.  Of course that means a lot of extra work for not much benefit.  Of course you can still opt for an M9 Bulldozer Blade Kit on the front...

So M103A3 TTS with all of the RISE, RISE Passive upgrades? 
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline Steve Blazo

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2020, 09:57:55 PM »
Work on correcting the main gun mantlet.



Note barrel extension to add to length





Not worried about seams, just shape, the dust cover will cover



With dust cover frame



With dust cover and search light



Other details








As I walk through the valley of death,
I have no fear, because I am the meanest mother*ucker in the whole valley.
- Gen. George S. Patton

Offline Steve Blazo

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2020, 10:00:51 PM »
Ready for paint, need to add loaders hatch lock and commanders gun sight on top.
Went with the M60 commanders turret because after research, the antenna behind is at a 20 deg angle and will clear.




















Will prime white and use a black-green for pre shade.
Any advice on the correct green for USMC tanks 1965 – 1970 would be great help. I use Tamiya paint.

Thanks for looking, and as always all comments welcome.
As I walk through the valley of death,
I have no fear, because I am the meanest mother*ucker in the whole valley.
- Gen. George S. Patton

Online Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2020, 03:30:11 AM »
WoW!  Looking very menacing and capable.  Like it and makes me think of the old RPG Twilight 2000 (T2K) with all what-if features.
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline tankmodeler

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2020, 04:03:16 AM »
Started essentially the same thing for the Korean War II campaign a couple years ago. Still unfinished, of course...

The thread is here:

http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=7825.msg143025#msg143025

But the end build was looking like the photos below. I went a slightly different way and posited that, given the 105mm M69 actually had better penetration than the 120mm the US swapped the 120 out for the later 105. They also wanted to retain a heavily armoured tank for overwatch in Korea, so they created a sort of "stillbrew" armour upgrade package of applique for the turret and hull.

The model currently has a coat of paint on it and stowage it the turret basket, but I dropped the turret at one point (Bugger!) and the basket supports broke and I lost interest. I'll get back to it at some point. I still really like the concept.

Online buzzbomb

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2020, 04:48:44 AM »
Steve, that is a treat to look at.
All the details very well done and thought through.
Construction is A+ work

Love it

Offline finsrin

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2020, 08:09:15 AM »
M103 upgrades are right on and cool   8)

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2020, 02:12:14 PM »
A bit of kitbash-scratchbuild never hurt anyone*, hey Steve! ;D

Love the work! 8)




[*: Physically, anyway. ;)]
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Offline ChernayaAkula

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2020, 08:39:55 AM »
Very cool, this!  :smiley:

Also thanks for takin' one for the team getting Dragon's M103 up to par, because surely Trumpeter or TAKOM will drop a decent M103 the minute yours is done.  :icon_meditation: Thanks, man! 
Cheers,
Moritz

"The appropriate response to reality is to go insane!"

Offline Steve Blazo

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2020, 09:39:27 PM »
Base color-






With decals and wash –











Stowage and weathering next…
As I walk through the valley of death,
I have no fear, because I am the meanest mother*ucker in the whole valley.
- Gen. George S. Patton

Offline LemonJello

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3 with paint, decals and wash
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2020, 10:08:30 PM »
Oh, that is nice.  What green did you use?

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3 with paint, decals and wash
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2020, 10:22:42 PM »
Yep! Very, very good, Steve! 8) :smiley:


Mind you, a figure to give it scale would help. ;)
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Steve Blazo

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3 with paint, decals and wash
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2020, 11:16:34 PM »
Oh, that is nice.  What green did you use?

A  mix of Tamiya black green(30%) and deep green 2(70%). Its darker than I was trying for, wanted a little more green. I have seen pictures of armor in Vietnam that looked almost black, but I think they were Army vehicles.
As I walk through the valley of death,
I have no fear, because I am the meanest mother*ucker in the whole valley.
- Gen. George S. Patton

Online buzzbomb

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3 with paint, decals and wash
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2020, 05:19:21 AM »
So much to like, it all works
Excellent work :smiley: :smiley:

Online Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3 with paint, decals and wash
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2020, 06:00:49 AM »
Excellent work Mr. B! 
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline finsrin

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3 with paint, decals and wash
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2020, 08:02:26 AM »
So much to like, it all works
Excellent work :smiley: :smiley:

That says it for me too.  :-*

Color mix is sooo good, looks perfecto  :smiley:

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3 with paint, decals and wash
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2020, 08:34:34 PM »
I built one for the RAAC earlier this year.  I found that the wheel arms kept coming off, no matter how much glue I used.  I wasn't willing to work on the turret position and made it as per the kit OOB. 

Offline ChernayaAkula

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3 with paint, decals and wash
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2021, 08:23:19 AM »
Going by the emblem on the searchlight cover, this is a United Space Marines Corps' M103, right? Just needs a "PURGE THE XENOS!" decal down the barrel.  ;D
Cheers,
Moritz

"The appropriate response to reality is to go insane!"

Offline Steve Blazo

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3 with paint, decals and wash
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2021, 09:07:08 PM »
Going by the emblem on the searchlight cover, this is a United Space Marines Corps' M103, right? Just needs a "PURGE THE XENOS!" decal down the barrel.  ;D

Good catch, it was the only skull I had that would fit, I figured it was close enough to a dead head.....    Really wanted a skull and cross bones, but no such luck
As I walk through the valley of death,
I have no fear, because I am the meanest mother*ucker in the whole valley.
- Gen. George S. Patton

Offline Steve Blazo

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3 Finished
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2021, 09:09:22 PM »
In the words of Xander Cage    “ I want all of that in(on) that…….”



So …



















Noticed a paint issue on the water can next to the spare road wheel, will have to fix.
Just need to add the gloss coat to the vision blocks and its done.

Thank you for looking and all the comments.
As I walk through the valley of death,
I have no fear, because I am the meanest mother*ucker in the whole valley.
- Gen. George S. Patton

Offline Volkodav

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Re: SLB Heavy Industries - M103A3 Finished
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2021, 09:47:31 PM »
Wow!