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M51 Isherman. DML or Tamiya?
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: December 31, 2016
KitMaker: 136 posts
Armorama: 95 posts
Posted: Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 12:30 PM UTC
Hey guys and thanks in advance for reading! At any rate, today at a show, I bought the DML M51 Isherman, kit # 3529, this is the version with separate link tracks. I also have in da' stash the Tamiya M52, #35323. I am going to go with Fruils either way, so the question is, which is the better kit? Which would YOU rather build, and why?
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Washington, United States
Joined: August 09, 2002
KitMaker: 1,742 posts
Armorama: 1,658 posts
Posted: Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 12:44 PM UTC
Tamiya. I believe they did a better job on this kit. With Dragon it is feast or famine. I think Tamiya did a better job. I don't have an aftermarket barrel with this kit. I don't remember if it wasn't made or I just couldn't find one at the time. I also got the Legend IDF M51 detailing set, great set!
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: October 14, 2013
KitMaker: 318 posts
Armorama: 313 posts
Posted: Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 01:56 PM UTC
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Wien, Austria
Joined: March 09, 2016
KitMaker: 2,408 posts
Armorama: 2,300 posts
Posted: Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 06:46 PM UTC
The Tamiya kit depicts a genuine early version used during the Six Day War, whilst Dragonís offfering seems to be a mixture of early and late batches.
Besides, the Tamiya kit is from 2011, Dragonís #3529 dates back to 1997. Enough said...
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 11, 2016
KitMaker: 1,792 posts
Armorama: 1,186 posts
Posted: Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 07:16 PM UTC
I've got both of these kits, actually I have the Tamiya kit with the added Aber photoetch. I was disappointed with the quality of the Dragon kit. I was part way thru building the Dragon kit when I shelved it, thinking of replacing the turret with a verlinden M51 turret I have from a previous build that was destroyed in a house fire. The Dragon kit has soft moldings and details and required a lot of cleanup. The Tamiya kit, which is waiting in the wings, has crisper features, more and better details and I can see that it will be a typical Tamiya kit, well engineered and should be a treat to build. In fact I have the Academy 1373 M51 on its way to the paint booth, just waiting for a paint order, and it was a better build than the Dragon.
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Attica, Greece / Ελλάδα
Joined: June 12, 2015
KitMaker: 921 posts
Armorama: 919 posts
Posted: Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 08:25 PM UTC
If you just want to do an IDF Sherman go for the Tamiya kit.

If you want to do a specific period or even vehicle you might need the Dragon kit #3539 (3529 with extras/updates) and the Accurate Armor upgrade set. You can get the Accurate Armor upgrade set for 3529 but you might need some extras too.

You might also want to reconsider the Friul tracks since they are supplied with the center guides as separate parts and are difficult to align and glue straight. Check for other aftermarket options as well.

If you need more info or reference Dr Manasherob's books (Sabinga Martin Publications) are a must have.

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Arizona, United States
Joined: October 14, 2011
KitMaker: 55 posts
Armorama: 41 posts
Posted: Monday, June 25, 2018 - 10:35 AM UTC
Lets see...
I have the older DML kit from years ago and at the time it was ok...just ok. The DML premium kit is a rebox of the older kit with pe, metal barrel, and one-piece tracks and is really only good for a 73ish tank. Its also a pita to build and is soft and over textured. I have 4 Tamiya ones I have done- 1 just ootb, 1 as a Degem Alef (which is an easy conversion, 1 Degem Beth I just need to finish weathering, and 1 Degem Gimmel built with both M-51 kit and new M4A3E8. About the only things I use the DML kits for is the pe and water cans if I can find the kit cheap.

Just my two cents
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United Kingdom
Joined: August 31, 2010
KitMaker: 365 posts
Armorama: 351 posts
Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - 11:04 AM UTC
MR Modellbau have an aluminium M51 barrel, but without muzzle brake. An RB Model Russian D-10T barrel for an SU-100 is just about the right length and taper too, and is both cheaper and easier to get.

I must say I like the Academy M51: all of my current M51 stash projects except one use this kit. I do have one of the later Dragon issue but I'm thinking of swapping that out for a Tamiya. Or I might use it as the basis of an HVSS M32B1 cross-kit with Italeri. I got it reasonably cheap before I'd read the reviews: unwise. My kit has mis-matched upper and lower hulls: welded lower with square sponsons. I read somewhere that they're all like this.