CPL Overby's Motor Pool


Ram II

Kit #: MP042 Preview by Stephen 'Tank Whisperer' Brezinski - sbrez1(at)comcast(dot)net
Edited by Al Magnus

The Canadian Ram tank I think of as a transition AFV between the M3 Lee/Grant Medium and the M4 Sherman tank. It even has small hull side doors like the M4 prototype. Though based on the M3 Medium, the Americans gave the Ram tank a designation M4A5 as in the M4 Sherman series but the M4A5 designation was not used much if at all. Ram tanks were largely used for training in Canada and Great Britain though Ram OP (Observation Post) tanks, and Ram Kangaroos saw service in Europe, 1944. The Ram chassis was also used for the Sexton self propelled 25-Pounders.

The suspension of the Ram is the early VVSS bogies of the M3 with return roller directly over the springs rather than trailing. Like the M3 Lee Medium the Ram, at least the initial ones, had a small machine gun turret, but mounted on the bow next to the driver. This mg turret appears to be the same cupola turret that was mounted atop the M3 Lee's cast steel 37-mm gun turret. The upper hull of the Ram was cast steel like the M3A1 and the M4A1 medium tanks

The lower hull, Continental radial engine, three-piece bolted differential cover (nose) is shared with both the M3 and the M4. Like the M4 it has its main gun mounted in a large turret. Ram I's were fitted with a 2-Pounder (40-mm) main gun with internal mantlet similar to that on the Valentine and Matilda II tanks; the Ram II has a 6-Pounder (57-mm) gun with exterior mantlet.

I understand that this kit was also offered by U. S. Commanders Series company when Ken Overby produced models for Commanders.

My kit came in a plastic bag with no box, but I do know of other kits from Ken having a box with a photo of the model on the outside. There we no kit assembly instructions with my kit but the conversion is pretty straight forward so with a little research assembly should be simple.

The picture to the left shows the 13 gray cast-resin kit parts. The small parts have fine flash that is easy to remove with a sharp blade. The parts look like they can be easily removed from the pour plugs with a razor saw and sharp blade. Casting quality is very good with few air bubbles.

At lower left is the one-piece hull with holes for the main turret and the small machinegun turret. It is interesting that the turret is offset to the right side. The handtools are molded into the hull and they are exceptionally done. Behind the driver's visor is the roof periscope common to British and to Soviet tanks (who copied them). On either side of the turret are small fire extinguishers. The ventilation grate atop the engine deck looks the same as on the M3 Medium, but is covered by an armored cover on the M4 and M4A1.

At lower right is a pore plug with the two headlights and the gun barrel; the tapered gun barrel reminds more like an American 75mm M3 gun rather than the 6-pounder (57mm) gun. A decent 6-Pounder barrel can be replicated with a section of aluminum or brass tube.

At upper right is the 6-sided cast turret with exterior mantlet for the 6-pounder gun. The Ram 1 has an internal mantlet similar to that on the Valentine and Matilda 2-pounder mantlet.

At top are gray and tan parts from the styrene M3 Lee kit from Hasegawa which this Ram kit was based on. There is a nice groove on the side of the Ram lower hull which mates with a ridge on the Hasegawa's M3 lower side making placement easy. The old, poor VVSS suspension from the Hasegawa M3 Lee or Grant kit is the weak part of the model. Some skillful detailing and corrections will help to make a better display model.


  • Grab handle above side hatches should be added made from wire.
  • We should use either T41 smooth, T51 or WE210 (a.k.a. "waffle" or "double-H" rubber block track available in resin from MR Models, and in soft plastic from Mirage Models. The Hasegawa track is a tad narrower than the Mirage and other M4 track, so you may have to acquire a new sprocket wheel too.
  • There could be a rectangular storage box on the rear of the turret for a training tank in serving in Britain. This storage box can be found as an extra in some Dragon and UM M4 Sherman kits.
  • The suspension could be upgraded by using Mirage Model's M3 VVSS suspension bogies and after market track or Model Trans' resin VVSS suspension upgrade.
  • Mr. Surfacer 500 can add some additional cast-like texture to the hull and turret.

Camouflage & Markings
Rams in training typically had white outline vehicle numbers, and had Brigade markings. See the references for more information. Vehicle camouflage colors appear to be OD and khaki colors, again, check good references.

Additional Ram tank variants also available from Cpl Overby's include: conversion kit MP058 Ram II OP with late VVSS bogies based on a Dragon M4 suspension, an armored observation post tank, and kit MP059 a Ram Badger flame thrower tank conversion for the ESCI/Italeri M4 kit. I understand that a Ram Kangaroo conversion kit will also be released by Cpl Overby's.

[1] AFV Weapons Profile No. 13, RAM AND SEXTON, by Chris Ellis and Peter Chamberlain. Profile Publications, England (1970) ASIN: B004LCOWY8
[2] Camouflage & Markings of Canadian Armored Vehicles in World War Two, Part 1, by Steve Guthrie and Barry Beldam, Armor Color Gallery #4, Model Centrum Progres, Warsaw, Poland ISBN: 973-83-60672-09 -9
Ram Tank (Wikipedia)
M4 Sherman Variants (Wikipedia)
Grizzly I Cruiser (Wikipedia)

Review sample purchased by the author.

Back to CPL Overby's Motor Pool Kit List Back to Home Page

Article Last Updated: 01 December 2012