Sunday, 28 December 2014

1/56 WWII US M4A3 Sherman

Analog Painting Challenge - 1/56 WWII US M4A3 Sherman (18 Points)

Another post from the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge! This time around, I decided those US Airborne figures needed some Armoured support!

I've painted an M4A3 Sherman, in 1/56 scale - by Warlord Games, from their Bolt Action line. I'd bought three of these kits from a Canadian seller, who was getting out of 28mm figures, and concentrating on 1/72 scale products. It wasn't until the Challenge, that I'd sat down to look at the kits. Turns out, two of the kits have casting/missing bits problems I have to contact Warlord about, but they're very good about putting these sorts of problems right, so I have no worries about that.

I still used the portable photo booth for these pics, but I took out the fluorescent "twirly" bulbs, and put in good, old incandescent bulbs! Switched my camera back to the previous settings, and those pics look much better. I still need more "fill" light from the front, but learning the ways of the photo booth takes some time too...

The model was pretty straight-forward to assemble. I put most of the components together, and then, being as it's a resin kit, gave it a scrub with dish soap (washing up liquid, for

our friends across the pond!), and left the elements to dry overnight.

Unlike most people's complaints about resin models, the "track" pieces on this kit were straight enough, that I had no problems with assembly. There's a good number of "fiddly bits" though! The Headlight assemblies on the front of the tank almost drove me to have a "Roman Shield Decal" moment, a la Curt! I soldiered on though, and finally got all the little bits sorted (my big, old "meat hook" fingers don't work so well with "fiddly bits" any more...)

I drilled out the Antenna mount, and used a bristle from a cheap, Dollar Store (Pound Store?) nylon paint brush. They work really well! --and one 3" brush will give you virtually a lifetime of antennas and radio aerials! I've used them previously, on my Flames of War Canadians, and they look great! Just a dab of superglue and you're done - they're nice and bendy, so no need to worry about breaking like stretched sprue, and no impaling your hands like with metal wire antennas.

I did have one rather significant problem with these kits though. I think Warlord has since changed the policy, but these kits did not come with any decals! (Arg!) Fortunately, I was able to do a "work-around!" I printed out some 8mm and 9mm Stars at work (I do Graphic Arts, so this was easy enough to whip up). When I got home, I put clear tape on the front and back of the Star images (for strength and stability), and proceeded to cut out the insides of the images and make my own stencils!

I don't think I'm going to do this for the other kits, but it did turn out OK. I had to go in with a thin brush, and clean up the lines a bit just to "neat" things up. I don't know if this counts for "Extra Credit" or not Curt - what do you think? --an extra 5 pts maybe? Your call, of course. (Curt was nice enough to give me 3 extra points for the stencil work!)

And just to close off my post, a "scale" shot with the Airborne Bazooka team from my last post. In this shot, the figures don't look too bad against a 1/56 scale tank. Personally though, I think I'd rather 1/48 scale was the more "de facto" size for use with 28mm models. These 1/56 scale models do look just a little small compared to the figures. The Sherman here, almost looks like some odd, "Stuart" variant next to this Airborne team!

Thanks for looking!

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