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Updating an Italeri M4A1


I was building a Nichimo M4A1 and needed to scrounge parts from this kit, so I went ahead and decided to build this one in conjunction. I purchased numerous “update” parts both to replace parts taken for the other kit and some to improve this kit as well. I don’t bother counting hours to see how long it takes to build a kit. I count them by months. Six is what it has taken; now you’ll see why.


The Lower Hull

I built the hull straight from the box, but replaced the suspension bogeys with the AFV VVSS set, minus the wheels. They only have detail on one side so they will become spares for stowage etc. I purchased Ft. Duquesne’s replacement wheel set and it is well worth every penny. The detail on them is great and very little cleanup was required on the set I received. However some of the axle holes needed to be re-drilled, but this was a minor inconvenience. I also thought the return skids on top of the AFV set were a little thick, so I cut them off and made new ones from brass sheet and added Grandt Line nuts. The bottom of the hull needed sanding to remove the mountings and the AFV bogeys and wheels were installed with little problems. I left off the drive sprockets and return rollers to install the indi-link tracks later. We were moving right along now.

Copyright ©2002 - Text and Photos by Lauren Blakley (chief). All Rights Reserved.

About the Author

About Lauren A. Blakley, ATC, U (Chief)

I started modelling when I was 6 and with a few short breaks here and there due to the Navy, I pretty much havn't stopped. Started with cars, ships, aircraft and then armor. Can't say which is my favorite. Spend most of my time in the navy in the Reconnaissance "Shadow War" business and am looking f...


A wonderful read and build there Chief!!! I love it! :-)
AUG 13, 2002 - 10:32 AM
Nice work Chief! And you solved a problem for me. I had a tail light drop off my Italeri M8.I don't even know when or where. Time to make a tarp to drape over the right rear fender. Thanks Chief
AUG 13, 2002 - 10:38 AM
Nice job Chief.
AUG 13, 2002 - 12:05 PM
Nice article, wonderful model! I like especially the weathering, it´s awesome! Toni
AUG 13, 2002 - 01:18 PM
Nice one Chief. I like the humor part especially about the bird. Is it a Parrot by chance?
AUG 13, 2002 - 07:38 PM
Nope, he is a nasty little parakeet and tries to bite me whenever I get close to his cage. I can whistle back and forth with him, but never get close to the cage.
AUG 13, 2002 - 09:58 PM
Chief--well done, very interesting aproach to completion. The AFV Rubber Chevron Track is really eye catching. Good job. DJ
AUG 13, 2002 - 10:14 PM
Chief - I like this one too. I especially love the big old chrome yellow codes from that time period. I'm doing my first M4 the same way... Gunnie
AUG 14, 2002 - 06:07 AM
Gunnie, If its anything like your previous work, It'll be a winner!!!!!!!!!!!
AUG 14, 2002 - 10:51 AM
Very good looking M4A1 Chief Isn't photo etch and indy links fun?
AUG 14, 2002 - 09:02 PM