I was going to break this up into two parts, but the rest of the assembly went so fast I decided on a combined post.
The tracks and suspension for the Rubicon Sherman consist of five parts; the tracks and outside suspension/bogies, three inner bogie assembly halves and an inner drive sprocket piece. The assembly of these was straight forward. I sanded the seam along the part of the tracks that would be visible, and then glued the inner parts to the outer track/suspension assembly. While I understand the need to simplify the suspension, especially for a wargaming model, the design did result in a visible seam in all of the bogies. I decided to not fill these as the difficulty of sanding them didn’t seem worth the effort. Also of note, the track pattern is greatly simplified as well. I believe that they are supposed to be the steel chevron type, but I am unsure.
I set the track assemblies aside and began working on the lower hull. The lower hull is split into two pieces, and Rubicon cleverly hid any visible seam by incorporating it into the engine doors and hiding it with the trailer hitch.
I like my wargaming models to have a little heft and wanted to add some weight to the hull. I affixed some Pinewood Derby Chassis Weights using CA glue.
I then attached the idler wheel assemblies.
The next step was attaching the differential cover to the lower front of the hull. I dry fitted this piece with the upper hull, and discovered it was going to take a little coaxing to fit correctly. I cemented it, strapped it down with some rubber bands and let it dry overnight.
Like the turret, the differential cover was a cast piece. I applied the same technique as I did with the turret to try and give it that texture.
The bulk of the upper hull is one piece that fit perfectly on to the lower hull.
The next steps called for attaching the rest of the upper hull parts – headlights, exhaust deflector, hull MG, etc. These parts went on without issue. During these steps I drilled out the front and rear hull lift hooks.
To finish off the kit I added the Culin hedgerow cutter and some stowage. The Culin device had some clear injector pin marks that I tried to fill with putty. I plan on covering up my poor work with some weathering.
As the kit did not include any stowage, I added some from the space parts bin.
As a final step, I made an air recognition panel using foil from a wine label (no shortage of this material at the Emmett Estate), some painter’s tape and thread. After I affixed it to the tank I brush painted it with matt medium to stiffen it up.
Next in Part IV I’ll begin painting and applying the markings.