the interior is complicated because there are few photos of the interior Priest
in action and naturally, none of the contemporary photos of museum pieces (that
I came across, at least) have their Priests completely outfitted. They just haveall,
most of, or some ofthe empty brackets. Likewise, the technical manual photos
also only show the empty brackets. One also needs to differentiate photos of M7B1
or later Priests, as well as those in British and Israeli service. However, TM9-731E
provides a list of stowage and special tools and general indications where these
items were located. So I tried to match up these standard issue items and empty
fittings in the photos.
though this is an open-topped vehicle, it's difficult to see much detail in the
driver's compartment (and even less on the right side) without direct lighting.
Nonetheless, the space can use some detailing to add more visual interest and
housing cover is presented as a flat slab. I added a pair of scratch built steering
brake covers and the steering brake shaft that lies horizontally across the cover,
and some wiring. The drive shaft does not extend from the transmission to underneath
the deck, but it can't be seen once the model is completed. I ran some wiring
through the area as seen in photos.
the right side of the transmission of the late Priest was some sort of locker
on which a spare jerry can could be stowed.
the front wall, the kit provides a prominent storage box for the panoramic telescope
case and smaller one to the left of it for the protectoscope. The TM says a binocular
was kept on the left front plate, so I placed the Eduard piece to the left of
the large box. Other details to add include a small shelf under the abbreviated
roof, in which maps and manuals were kept; various bolts and fittings around the
driver's door that secured the removeable windshield; a compass to the right of
the door (scratchbuilt); and anywhere from one to three flashlights on the right
wall stub (I pulled one from the spares box).
on this wall is a fitting to hold
something. I wasn't able to determine what
was supposed to go there, and filled it with a canteen in my Academy Priests.
But since this Priest was to be set in winter, I left it empty, presuming the
canteen would be someplace less susceptible to freezing.
biggest challenge in this area of the Priest was trying to figure out how the
heck to create the long bolted flanges on the edges of the wall stubs that butt
against the howitzer shield. These are very distinctive features of the Priest
that are missing from both the Italeri and Academy kits, and from most finished
models no matter how well detailed. Viewed from above, they are shaped something
like a question mark, which I tried to create with some lead foil. The foil, however,
would easily lose its shape while I tried to work with it to determine the correct
placement so as to not be too close to the howitzer shield. I finally decided
to use some strips of flat and half round plastic, to which I added rows of bolts
from Precision Scale. The results are quite satisfactory for me.
TM stowage list indicates a first aid box was situated on a bracket located on
the left wall near the front above the weapon holders. I added a spare box left
over from the AFV Club M10 that I used as the donor kit for my M36B1.
the left sponson, the kit includes the correct instrument panel for the mid to
late Priest, which can be improved with the Eduard set. There are two featureless
boxes, in which spare .45 clips and possibly hand grenades were stowed. The tech
manuals show a couple different sizes of boxes, some appearing to possibly having
handles that would suggest drawers. The Eduard set offers latches, perhaps based
on a revised box style. Without a definitive image, I put my faith in the photo
etch and made some Plasticard covers to suggest bins.
final note about the front sponsons: The lower hull is taken from Italeri's M4A1
Sherman, and the sponsons require separate extension pieces for the Priest. If
you use photo etch fenders, you'll want to cut off the plastic before gluing the
pieces in place. Positioning the pieces closer toward the differential case will
create gaps on the outer sides where the sponsons meet the hull. I used some thin
strips of Evergreen plastic to fill these gaps.
and Lower Hull
Upper Hull Exterior
Assembly, Painting, and Weathering