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Building the M50 in 1/16 scale is a project I have had in mind for many years, and after the M51s (from the article published in May 2012) I felt the need to continue with this one. In this article, I’ll share with the reader my experience in building the M50 RC 1/16 from a Tamiya M4 -105mm with HVSS suspension.
Choosing the version
In March 1956, the IDF’s armored forces received the first M50 tank straight from the assembly line, they came to replace the old M4A1E8, it was the M50 Mk1. Basically, most of them were built from the M4, M4A1 chassis, etc fully restored, with radial engine, turret modified called M50, was armed with the French high-velocity 75 mm gun CN 75-50 with VVSS suspension.
For this article I used as reference the book Lioness & Lion of the Line, Vol.1. by Dr. Robert Manasherob, as well as pictures found on the Internet. It’s possible to see that there were so many versions of M50 Mk.1 impossible to imagine, combining any Sherman chassis bought in Europe, USA or captured, with the new M50 turret modified starting from a M4 turret.
With the arrival of the M51 project in the early 60’s, the Israelis used to upgrade all of their M50s converting them to HVSS with new engine deck that had been suitably modified for the Cummins diesel engine. It was called M50 Mk2 which is the subject of this article.
Although the Tamiya kit supplies HVSS suspension, I like it versus the VVSS, so my project should be a Mk.2, besides of being more showy since it had side stowage boxes, more cans…etc.
The 1/16 M50 is born
The project started with a Tamiya kit which supplies a 47º welded hull. This was not the hull I desired, though, there were M50s with it. Once again my friend, Nick Aguilar helped me. Last year, he had cast a resin 57º M4 with parallel access hatches representing an early M4A34.
If you don’t have another hull, you may use the Tamiya’s; in fact in the Israeli Armour Museum at Latrun, there is a M50 with HVSS suspension and 47º welded hull similar to the Tamiya release.
On the other hand the turret should be entirely remodeled to be converted into a M50, adding the rear counterweight, new mantlet, gun muzzle brake and lift mechanism. In order to make it more showy, I chose to place an early split hatch commander’s cupola.
Summing up, my M50 would have the following features:
57º welded hull with parallel hatches for the driver and gunner.
Turret type is split commander’s hatch.
Engine deck corresponding to the Cummins V8 diesel
To make it easier the understanding of the conversion of the Tamiya M4 kit into the M50, I concentrated myself in the work done leaving minor details to the reader’s interpretation. This is not a model to copy “exactly as it is”, there are parts that were created with a few artistic licenses I took up to facilitate or just in order to make a modification.
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