M3 Lee ALCO Turret and Stowage Bin Set
Legend Productions 1:35 Set #LF1132
Review by Terry Ashley

Legends have released this additional replacement turret for the Academy M3 Lee (kit #13206) which is labeled as “ALCO turret” which is a misnomer as there wasn’t actually a foundry by that name, but that aside the resin turret is the same type as Academy included in their kit but with the left wall contours done correctly.

The set consists of 14 parts cast in a light cream resin of excellent quality with just the usual casting blocks to be removed and no other blemishes present, but the casting blocks on the turret are quite substantial and will require care as you have to remove these completely from the inside to take the Academy kit turret ring.

The turret is a hollow shell including the right rear vision port with separate gun mounting plate and cupola with separate lower bolted ring and two part top hatch to which you can add wire grab handles (not included).

The detail on the turret is nicely done with cast surface texture, nicely defined roof fittings and the subtle contour on the sidewall under the cupola much more in keeping with the real thing than the kit turret bulge. There is also a smaller bulge at the lower left “corner” not on the Academy turret but is included here and the turret matches photos of this type very well, see image below.

There are three large casting blocks to be removed from inside the turret shell as mentioned but if you are leaving the hatches closed these could be left alone and you can just glue the turret in pace on the turret race or fit the kit turret ring (part E24) if attaching to the Academy kit. If you use this turret with the Legends M3 Lee Detail Set (#LF1133) you need to cut off the two securing lugs from the kit turret ring to fit into the resin hull turret race.

Detail on the cupola is very good with nicely done vision ports and small casting numbers on the left side with the front machine gun mounting but there is no internal detail if you leave the top hatch open and is designed to be glued into the lower bolted cupola ring. The fit of the cupola hatches will require some minor sanding and trimming to fit and test fitting will determine what is needed but it was only minor in any case with the fit of the cupola to the turret being very snug.

At the front is the gun mounting plate with nice details included of cast texture, flush screws and small casting numbers (different from those on the Academy part) and the gun mounting is again designed to be glued into place in the mounting plate with you cutting off the kit 37mm gun at the appropriate place and gluing to the mounting. If you wanted to add the inside kit gun breech detail this would have to be modified to fit into the resin turret as no provision is made to accommodate these parts.

For this exercise I detailed the kit further by adding the Clipper Model M6 37mm barrel (set #B015) and the ABER .30cal barrel (set #35 L-54) for the co-axial machine gun and the Modelpoint .30cal barrel (set #35107) to the cupola to further improve things. Fitting these required some minor modifications to the respective gun mountings but nothing difficult if you are tackling a resin update in the first place.

The fit of the front gun mounting plate to the turret is very good and will basically hold in place without glue but the gun mounting needs a bit of trimming to fit neatly inside the mounting plate as it just didn’t want to sit evenly on my set.

There are no instructions included but things are very straightforward with the resin parts basically replacing the kit parts so you can use the kit instructions as a guide.

Also included in the set are two standard U.S. type M3 storage boxes to replace the British type in the kit and these are simply glued in place on the rear hull and there are also four .30cal machine gun barrels which are quite nice but obviously not as good as the metal barrels used.

This is a nicely detailed turret with the correct contours on the left side for this style turret and with the fit of parts quite good but any trimming is no more than you would expect for any resin set.

Adding the turret to the Academy kit will improve the look considerably or as mentioned you can use this turret with the Legends detail set for a different appearance and adding the metal barrels while your there adds more detail.

Highly recommended

Resin parts and detail images
Assembled turret with Clipper Model 37mm barrel and ABER co-axial .30cal barrel with Modelpoint .30cal barrel in the cupola LegendLegend
Turret wall contours and image of actual turret from the AF Visuals M3 Lee book

SHERMAN A History of the
American Medium Tank

R.P.Hunnicutt. Presidio Books
ISBN 0-89141-080-5
M3 Lee/Grant
Medium Tank 1941-45

Osprey New Vanguard
ISBN 1 84176 889 8
Medium Tank M3 to M3A5
General Lee/Grant

Tanks in Detail 4
by Terry J Gander.
AFVisual M3 Lee
Letterman Publications
By David Doyle
M3 Lee/Grant
in action
Squadron Signal Publicatrions
Armour series #2033
Classic AFV's No.2
Lee & Grant

An AIRFIX book
Allied & Axis No.10
M3 Lee Pt.1
Ampersand Publishing
Allied & Axis No.13
M3 Lee Pt.2
Ampersand Publishing
Allied & Axis No.14
M3 Lee Pt.3
Ampersand Publishing

ABER barrels are available from Airconnection
Clipper Model barrels are available from Rainbow Ten in Japan
Modelpoint barrels are available from ModelPoint

Thanks to Legends Productions for the review set.

Page created November 29, 2006

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