Armor / RC

Building the M36B1 for RC Heng Long - Tamiya 1/16 scale

by Mario Covalski © Modeler Site

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The M36B1 was a mix of the M36 Jackson turret with its 90mm cannon, that would be used later in the Pershing, and a M4A3 Sherman chassis. This vehicle was in response to Americans to be able to face in better conditions the big German tanks during WWII. It was not a tank in the strict meaning of the word since it served as tank killer, however, in the pictures of that period, they can be seen as infantry support tanks. This article aims at sharing with you my experience building a 1/16 M36B1 R/C.


Building the M36B1

My liking for this armored vehicle started 20 years ago when I saw a picture in a FSM magazine of what apparently seemed to be a prototype.

When several years ago, I decided to build some 1/35 Sherman(s), the M36B1 was within my list.

My incursions into 1/35 scale went through ups and downs and finally I passed my projects on to a friend that made good use of some of those kits.

Now, building 1/16 RC models especially Shermans, the idea of the M36B1 came flooding back with more strength.

What do you need to build a M36B1? 

Obviously, the first you need, is a turret. Years ago, my friend Nick Aguilar, manufactured a resin one which sell as requested. He used to offer it with the aluminum barrel, but nowadays if you need a turret, you’ll get the resin set, but the barrel can be obtained by buying one from the Tamiya’s Pershing.


Comparing this turret with one in 1/35 scale, is really good, looks real as the mantlet texture. The interior, austerely detailed, barely shows the basic of the gun and the ammo racks. The resin set also supplies other necessary parts such as the travel lock…etc.

On the other hand, it’s necessary to have a Sherman M4A3 chassis, this involves a VVSS suspension. There are three Sherman(s) available (in the market) in this scale: the Tamiya M4/M51, the Mato Toys M4A1 and the Heng Long M4A3, the two last ones are more toys than serious models. You can't compare them to the Tamiya kits.

Heng Long picture

Tamiya picture

Best choice would be using a Tamiya Sherman, with its magnificent electronics and highly detailed parts, replacing its HVSS suspension with the metal VVSS one from Mato Toys, as I did with the Jumbo I built a few months ago.

However, this expensive option was out of my budget, so I decided to try with the new Heng Long M4A3.
I also used a Tamiya upper hull, just cause I had it, but you may go ahead straight with the HL’s.


Pictures will illustrate the work accomplished.
Here you can appreciate the HL chassis and the Tamiya upper hull with the sponsons removed, also the M36 turret on, to see how it looked and what I had to do to install it.

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