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Building the M8 "Greyhound"

Using the Tamiya kit w/Eduard Photo Etch detail set

 

By Juho Ala-Jaaski

 

HISTORY

Development of the M8 started in 1942 with three rival designs, with Ford's entry being accepted for production in 1942. The M8 was first intended for anti-tank duties, but by the time it entered service the 37mm main gun had already proven inadequate against the Panzer IV, Panther and Tiger I etc.. However in the Pacific it was more than a match for Japanese poorly armored and armed tanks it faced.

The M8 had a Hercules JXD rear-mounted, water-cooled engine capable of generating 110HP at 3.000rpm. It had a five-speed transmission with four forward and one reverse gears providing a maximum speed of 88km/h on good roads, with a range of 563km. This proved to be slightly overestimated and regular speeds in poor roads was actually more like 30-40km/h!

Armor ranged from 19mm to 32mm thick, which wasn't enough to protect the crew from tank guns, but it was able to survive a 20mm hit. Armament consisted of one .50cal M2 machine gun on top of the turret, later mounted on a ring mount to allow more movement, one .30cal MG shooting through the gun mantlet, and the main gun being a 37mm M6 with 80 rounds maximum being carried internally with the vehicle. The amount of ammunition carried for the two machine guns varied. The Greyhound (nickname the British gave it) proved to be very popular and reliable, and was to serve well after the conflict with the French army, and many other armies around the world. 8523 M8s were produced between 1943 and 1945.

THE KIT:

The M8 is one of Tamiya's latest releases, and is an absolutely fantastic kit with a partial interior and great exterior detailing also. This article mainly concentrates on detailing the kit even further.

Molded in olive drab plastic, the kit has minimal ejector pin marks, and very fine detailing including some casting marks on the turret and some very fine weld marks. Decals are provided for four versions including one French and three US vehicles. String is provided for the tow cable and poly caps hold the wheels securely in place.

INTERIOR:

The kit comes with a partial interior including a separate floor to allow good detail on both sides, an engine fire wall, a radio, stowage bins, a fire extinguisher, driver and co-driver seats, simple steering apparatus, instrument panel, and shifting levers.

The only aspect of the kit I had some gripes with was the interior actually: The floor has some faint ejector pin marks, which needed sanding. I added a 37mm ammo box from the Eduard set, along with a hand brake, a transmission box top, some rifle mounts for the walls, brake and gas pedals, and the very nice Eduard instrument panel with a film negative instrument dials, and some box latches and a fire extinguisher holder.

The interior was painted white with black radio, green boxes, brown leather seats(the instructions would have you paint these black!), gun metal gas and brake pedals, and a black steering wheel. The interior was weathered with a black wash to bring out detail, and some dry brushing.

I accidentally painted the upper hull interior white also although it was supposed to be olive drab, oh well!

I also added the Eduard periscope shutters to the sides on the driver and co-driver's head compartments.

TURRET INTERIOR:

The turret comes in two pieces with separate gun mantlet and rear hatch. I replaced the Tamiya ammo holders with the items supplied in the Eduard set by first assembling the one on the side, then I glued the turret halves together, let them settle, and then added the rear ammo holder. After this was done I started working on the turret fighting compartment and traversing parts replacing kit parts and adding new ones as I went from the Eduard set.

I encountered no fit problems here, and after everything was together (I left the main gun and the turret seat holder frame separate until after painting) I painted the sub assemblies with the turret sides (inside) olive drab, main gun olive drab with black details and the .30cal MG ammo belt supplied in the Eduard set brass with black ammo, with the machine gun itself being gun metal.

The turret was painted white with a black wash, and all the framework below that was painted olive drab, with leather seats and drybrushed aluminum gunner's foot rests.

All the traversing gear was painted olive drab also.

The kit "ammo" was added onto the ammo racks.

RUNNING GEAR:

The running gear and suspension components were assembled according to the instructions. A nice touch is the one-piece suspension allowing all wheels to touch the ground. Be careful assembling the wheels as they are easily assembled inside out! And no, I don't admit of being guilty of doing that!

The lower hull components had some annoying mold lines that were cleaned up by scraping with a sharp knife or with sandpaper.

The wheels were first attached with regular modelling cement, with CA added to the joints later to make sure they won't pop off.

I had already attached the hull halves together and cleaned up the seams, so all I had to do now was to add the fenders.

I left the exhaust pipe off until painting was complete, and painted it brown with silver drybrushing followed by a black wash to make it appear "burned".

THE EXTERIOR:

The exterior is really nice, but can be made even better with the Eduard set. I added all the parts I could before painting, which includes everything but the tools, and landmines. I also replaced all the other kit parts with the replacements supplied in the Eduard set except for the turret hand rails and the land mine racks which I felt were good enough in the kit. A nice touch are the stowage mounting straps Eduard provides for the engine deck, and of course the head light brush guards.

The exterior was painted with olive drab, after which the tools were added with the Eduard tie down straps and mounts.

The tools were painted with gun metal for the "metal" portions, and brown for the "wooden" portion.

I left the tow cable off until after all painting was completed and added it with the rest of the accessories I was going to add.

I used the string provided for the tow cable with the kit supplied ends. I did cut a small wedge on the ends to make them fit on the tow eyelets. The antennas were made from fishing line as it is stronger than stretched sprue and is easier to make it "sag" slightly.

THE .50cal MACHINE GUN:

The kit supplied .50cal for the turret top is very good straight out of the box, but I detailed it with the Eduard parts, including a new cooling jacket, sights, ammo box holder, mount attachment, and handles which I made using the Eduard mount with brass rod handles cut to the appropriate length.

The MG was painted gun metal with a black wash and green ammo box and brown handles.

To finish it off, I drilled out the barrel, and added the Eduard ammo belt with 3/4 of the "ammo" cut off to simulate a partly empty ammo belt coming out of the machine gun.

The MG was finally attached to it's ring mount with CA, but only after everything else was in place. The result is a VERY detailed .50cal! I'm sorry this article doesn't include a detail shot of it. I had one but it didn't turn out too well.

ACCESSORIES AND WEATHERING

I chose to model the M8 named "Colbert" as I liked the yellow side numbers, and the big stars, so at this point I coated the areas the decals would go to with clear gloss. I applied the decals using the Micro scale system. I had to cut the rear deck star a lot to get it to conform, but I eventually got it on properly. A little touch up with white paint, and Voila!

The model was weathered by dabbing on some mud-colored paint to simulate mud splashes and final weathering was done with green pastel chalk. But first I added backpacks to the sides of the turret, 3 helmets hanging from the antenna mount, 2 shovels, bedrolls, tow cable, and a bazooka on the right side fender top.

The figure was assembled and then painted with Tamiya acrylics, with a black wash and brown drybrushing.

The base is a simple piece of cardboard with cellulcay and railroad "carpet" to simulate sand. The sides are wood veneer and the plants came from my back yard. The base was painted with Tamiya paints, again with a black wash and a lot of toning and dry brushing. I also glued some pebbles, and railroad "grass" on it.

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Air Intelligence
1999 Modelers'
Reference Guides

1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00

Please add $3.20 Postage in the US.

TacAir Publications

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Albuquerque NM
87199-0933
USA
(505) 881-9621

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