Upgrading the Heng Long Sherman M4A3

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Postby BlueWotsit57 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:09 am

Now I finally I have a working tank I am starting to think about future upgrades and so on. A few questions spring to mind already - no doubt lots more will occur :D

This version has the 6.0s circuit board and has BB facility and IR battle tanks option

Possible upgrades:

Tank tracks metal upgrade - researching online (ok most stocks are out at the present) there seem to be several types with varying prices. From previous investigations some say the plastic tracks are fine and the heavier metal ones reduce run time, others say metal all the way and run times not significantly changed. Can anyone clarify what would be a reasonable good value purchase.

Gear box metal upgrade - similar to above varying prices in addition to varying gear ratios - which gearing should I look for and what are the advantages. Ideally this would literally be a drop and install upgrade.

Can someone enlighten me as to pros and cons on the options out there and what to look for, and any other issues I might encounter with these upgrades

Another item I am loosely thinking about is the barrel on the Sherman and that I would like if not difficult to install a longer one. I don't think my current knowledge or expertise on tanks is up to a major upgrade and was wondering if there is any easy solution or because of the BB function it is not so easy

The final consideration now is upgrading the stock 1800mAh to a much larger one. I have several from my cars and boats which would suffice, my only concern is once when sailing an electric boat with a 5000mAh battery installed, things got a little bit hot inside and actually melted some of the components - smoke coming out of the boat in the middle of the lake being a good indicator something was wrong 8) 8)

thanks
Andrew
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Postby HERMAN BIX » Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:31 am

I run a 5000 battery in my Jagdtiger with no problems. And it’s really heavy.
I would go steel gearbox, so even if you do nothing else now, the gears can cope with metal running gear if you chose to get them later.
As for the barrel replacement, you can only go with what looks or feels right for you.
It’s your tank & you need to be happy with it.
I assume you have ships that require as much decision making with the same outcome in mind-what makes you happy and what is practical to achieve.
Shuffle up to the edge of the board & look down at the pool below, then feel the fear & do it anyway !!!!
Oh, and once you splash down , post pics when you can ;)
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Postby General Jumbo01 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:17 pm

There is no real need to go to steel gearbox until you move to metal tracks. L'd suggest you use the stock running gear until it breaks then replace both with metal. Hendlong's new standard steel gearboxes are far better than their older metal ones.

The barrel you have is the 105mm howitzer introduced later in WW2 and was used for destroying hard to bust items like pill boxes. You could fit either of the stock US 75 and 76mm barrels or fit the bigger 17 pounder UK gun when the Sherman Firefly model was introduced. There are a number of small mods to do to the tank itself but nothing difficult. All the upgrade parts are available on line (try Haya - UK importer). Fitting the barrel itself is just a swap once the turret is removed.

Otherwise, you have the latest mfu version so you can enjoy all that that offers.

Try googling Sherman images and Firefly too.
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Postby BlueWotsit57 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:18 pm

Thanks for the info guys

I think what was frustrating me with the barrel was originally I was going to model as no doubt many others have Fury - don't know why so many vendors sell this model as Fury when the barrel is definitely shorter than in the stills I have checked from the film

So is Fury really a Firefly ? - but then you say it was a UK gun but Fury was supposed to be American - film director license maybe 8)

In answer to Herman, ships are so much simpler to add things into both electronics and otherwise, especially my big Pilot Cutter sailboats as they are wind driven :D

regards
Andrew

ps excuse in future questions my referring to things by unusual names, I have a habit of forgetting what the real names of parts are so tend to describe them by what I see !!!!!
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Postby General Jumbo01 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:53 pm

No problem. The very same thing is often known by a different name in different RC hobbies.
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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:12 pm

BlueWotsit57 wrote:I think what was frustrating me with the barrel was originally I was going to model as no doubt many others have Fury - don't know why so many vendors sell this model as Fury when the barrel is definitely shorter than in the stills I have checked from the film

So is Fury really a Firefly ? - but then you say it was a UK gun but Fury was supposed to be American - film director license maybe 8)

Sadly a lot of sellers are using the "Fury" name when selling Sherman's which are anything but a Fury tank. It's either to make their product stand out, and cashing in on the name to raise sales.
The only similarity your tank has to the Fury is the American white stars (the Fury being a tank the Americans used), and the M4A3 style top hull.
The Fury classification is an M4A3E8 76, and yours is an M4A3 105.
Your tank has the Vertical Volute Spring Suspension, or VVSS for short, the Fury has Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension, or HVSS for short. Which then has wider tracks than your version. And gives the Fury the E8 in its classification.
Then comes the turret, your tank has the high bustle D78461 turret (Or a close enough copy), with the short 105 barrel. The Fury has a totally different turret design, the T23 turret from the T23 experimental tank that was scrapped. And this turret was needed as the 76mm gun needed more internal turret space.
As for the Firefly, that used a modified low bustle D50878 turret, with an extra radio box fitted to the rear. And this incorporated the British 17 pounder anti tank gun which was rotated onto its side, and had its recoil shortened to work within such a small space. This turret was fitted onto an M4A4 hull with the extended chassis, that had VVSS fitted.
Therefore, the Fury was basically an American tank mostly used by Americans, and the Firefly was a lend lease tank with British modifications. Mostly used by the British, and other aligned allies who were lucky enough to get their hands on them.
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Postby BlueWotsit57 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:51 pm

cheers Mick - brain overload for a while there and had to read a few times

Fortunately I don't fall into the category of worrying about every last dot and dash on models, 8) a hobby is about having fun for me as opposed to accuracy against an original item - as long as I enjoy myself thats the main thing

I'm just relieved this one is working unlike last weeks !!
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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:42 pm

That's what it's all about Andrew, being your level of enjoyment, no-one else's :thumbup:

I better add, there were two other versions of Firefly tanks, which were based around different hulls, but not the Heng Long version of hull.
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Postby PainlessWolf » Mon Apr 13, 2020 6:43 pm

Good Morning,
I run a 5000 mAh standard battery in 'Maxene' and have had no issues, heat or otherwise. The tank has been modded with all metal running gear and has no issue with mobility. That size battery keeps it going for a goodly amount of time. The Heng Long Sherman is one of the best runners that the company produces. With a little detailing, you will have something uniquely yours.
regards,
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Maxene on the move in rough country.jpg
Maxene on the move in rough country.jpg
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Postby Estnische » Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:49 pm

I'm going through similar processes with my M4A1. I've been repeatedly going back to the Sherman Minutia site to figure out what is what.

http://the.shadock.free.fr/sherman_minutia/index.html

You are right about the 105 barrel - it is irritating me no end. I ordered a Mato 75mm barrel (MT162) from ebay seller 'toucanhobby' - he also sells the IR version MT163.

Painless - did you metal running gear bolt straight on? Sometimes Mato running gear takes a bit of modding and I haven't got that far yet.
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Postby PainlessWolf » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:26 am

Good afternoon,
The road wheels ( which you can get from Taigen ready made now a days ) are made from stock HL wheels with a cover added to give them the late war heavy wheel appearance. The Bogies are stock HL with upgraded springs. Sprockets, idlers, and tracks are MATO metal. There was another Sherman build going on about the same time and that fellow added the metal MATO bogies and had to cut slots in the HL lower and epoxy them in place.
regards,
Painless
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Postby BlueWotsit57 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:26 am

Hi PainlessWolf

Thanks for that - I like your opening hatches - by doing this have you modified the location of the on/off switch so you can access it through them - would be much easier than lifting the tank each time

Can you fill the smoke generator from there also - I'm still not certain how I am supposed to add the oil to the tank for it


regards
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Postby General Jumbo01 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:17 am

On the Sherman l recall you add a small amount of smoke fluid down the exhaust outlet while tilting the tank forwards. The manual will confirm though.
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Postby BlueWotsit57 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:20 am

thank you - oh for an instruction manual totally in English would be so much easier to read :D :D
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Postby PainlessWolf » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:52 pm

Good Morning,
Yes, the light colored rubber plug cap shown in the above photo is the fill cap for the Smoker. I tried to set up the switches for max ease of access through those engine hatches on the rear deck.
regards,
Painless
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Postby BlueWotsit57 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:17 pm

You did a good job with the hatches - were the hinges easy to install for them ?
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Postby PainlessWolf » Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:00 pm

Good morning again,
Relatively so. The hard part was removing the excess and leaving the mounting posts intact so that the rear deck could continue to derive support from them once attached to the lower.
regards,
Painless
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Postby 761st » Sat May 14, 2022 11:30 am

Great job on the Sherman. Did you install the 75?
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