and Lower Hull
model Priests often were equipped with the solid spoke wheels, idlers, and sprockets.
The Italeri kit comes with spoked wheels, so I replaced them with the spare solid
spokes from the Academy Priest.
late Priest also had adopted the raised arm bogie units, which the Italeri kit
possesses. After the bogies were assembled, I addressed the seams with putty and
the sanding stick, added the necessary bolts (from LionMarc and Verlinden), and
opened the empty bolt holes on the bogie faces opposite the trailing arms. I added
casting numbers from Archer. Fixing these old Italeri suspensions takes time,
but any suspension, even Tasca's, requires some work to raise the level of accuracy.
had a pair of idlers and sprockets left over from an old Ft. Duquesne upgrade
set. They were designed as replacements for the Italeri Shermans, and thus were
a perfect fit for the axles.
late M7 was equipped with the "sharp-nose" differential cover that Italeri
provides. Based on the Priest at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, I added casting marks
to the bottom edge of the nose. I set the marks, taken from Archer Fine Transfer's
excellent Surface Details #7 on a thin piece of plastic to replicate the distinctive
raised area seen on the APG vehicle. Casting IDs and foundary symbols were stamped
into the large sand molds, so variations in pressure might produce outlines or
stronger impressions of the stamp. I used Mr. Surfacer to give some texture to
the nose, and detailed the fittings for the towing cables.
around to the back side, the rear hull upper plate is accurate, though you need
to drill the hole for the starter crank. The little square on the bottom center
of the plate should have a handle for adjusting the vent vanes, which I added
with wire after puttying the prominent ejector pin crater.
opted to use the kit's locking pins for the air cleaners rather than the Eduard
parts. One of the idler axles had a sink mark in it which I left to be covered
with a dab of mud.
provides a replacement for the large metal grill that hangs diagonally off the
upper rear plate, which was used to diffuse the dust-raising exhaust. I prefer
the thickness of the kit part, but there are two nasty pin marks on the outside
face. They're not that noticeable but if you build for competition you'll need
to eliminate them. One option is to try to fill in the depressions and reshape
the the crosspieces of the grill. The easier route is to remove the two attachment
arms that angle off the top of the piece and glue them back in place facing the
opposite direction. That allows you to use the other "pristine" side
to face the viewer. You need to remove the two arms carefully and squarely; if
you lose too much of the arms, the bottom of the grill will not reach the lower
attachment points on the back hull wall.
and Lower Hull
Upper Hull Exterior
Assembly, Painting, and Weathering