Basic detailing started ……
Began working on adding details to the turret starting with the most obvious stuff, Gun Mantlet, CITV station, Smoke grenade ammo lockers, CWS – Commanders Weapons Station (Cupola) and the GPS – Gunners Primary Sight.
As supplied this is inset too far back into the turret. The Leading edges should be visible when viewed from any side angle. I spaced out the mantlet to move it forward by fitting a scrap resin block to the turret. The gaps were filled and the top guide plate (which I couldn’t find reference photos for anyway) was removed. I scribed the characteristic plates into the side of the gun mantlet and fitted replacement strips to the top along with a new hinged debris cover. Still to add are the three lift/accessory mounting lugs and maybe lengthen the end portion of the gun barrel as it appears to be approx 3-5mm short.
Previously I had removed the characteristic CITV ( Commanders Independent Thermal Viewer ), which is only fitted to Army M1A2s and not the Marine M1A1 HAs and HCs. I fitted a plasticard cover and added PE brass nuts from the modelling stash box.
Smoke Grenade Ammo bins
On all pics I’ve checked the storage bins for the smoke grenade launchers (situated on the turret front sides) should be mounted lower so I cut them off. When I replace them I’ll add a few details and space them out from the hull slightly
GPS – Gunners Primary Sight
The armoured cover for the Hughs GPS-LOS (gunners primary sight – line of sight) is pretty basic as supplied. No doors are supplied and detail is basic. I added a new roof and sides so that I could model the gun sight doors open and added two square blocks to represent the armoured glass sight covers.
The Commanders Weapons Station or cupola is the biggest change I’ve made so far. I originally intended to fudge things by fitting the existing cupola and just adding the different M1A1 MG, but there are major visual difference to the shape and it kept nagging at me until I caved and decided to scratch it. While not 100% accurate I think the final result is closer to the correct M1A! CWS that under paint it should look ok. All parts are scrap styrene filed and shaped apart from the hatch, which is original but trimmed to fit the smaller cupola.
The pic below (from the web for discussion purposes only) shows the M1A1 CWS on the left and the later cupola and flexible 50cal mounting from the M1A2 on the right.
Finally a few shots showing where things are currently ………