- Pretty standard stuff, apart from exchanging the kit’s plastic two part 75 mm L/40 barrel with a metal one from RB Model (#35B03).
The Sherman II (M4A1) “Direct Vision Type” means that it was “built with direct vision [slots] for driver/assistant” . One of the myriad of Sherman types used by the British , it first saw action at El Alamein in 1942 .
Tasca 1/35 kit . I was impressed with Tasca’s Sherman Firefly kit when I built that a couple of years ago. Looking at my British Army WW2 tank collection I decided that I was missing an earlier Sherman type. Specifically, I like the desert colour schemes so I opted for this North Africa theatre vehicle. This kit should be quick to build – it has a not too high part count and few photo etch pieces. So, it will serve as an “interlude” before a more involved project.
H45 “Hyacinth”, H Battalion, Ribécourt, France, November 1917.
Mk IV “Male” build (Tamiya) – Part 1:Introduction
Mk IV “Male” build (Tamiya) – Part 2:Assembly
Mk IV “Male” build (Tamiya) – Part 3:Painting
Mk IV “Male” build (Tamiya) – Part 4:Weathering (rust)
Mk IV “Male” build (Tamiya) – Part 5:Weathering (chipping)
Mk IV “Male” build (Tamiya) – Part 6:Weathering (wash)
Mk IV “Male” build (Tamiya) – Part 7:Weathering (streaks)
Mk IV “Male” build (Tamiya) – Part 8:Weathering (dust and mud)
Mk IV “Male” build (Tamiya) – Part 9:Weathering (metal and other effects)
- Dilute AK Interactive “Engine Oil” (AK084) was applied to certain prominent details, such as the track tensioning gear.
- Application of AK Interactive “Dark Steel” pigment (AK086) to the machine guns. I thought that the tracks would likely not be polished on the contact points in these muddy conditions.
- Tamiya soot powder was applied to the end of the guns and the exhaust.
- AK Interactive “Wet Effects Fluid” (AK079) was applied in certain places to suggest random wet stains.
- The wooden part of the unditching beam was treated with Winsor and Newton “Burnt Umber” oil paint, which was then mostly wiped off, to stain the wood and accentuate the grain. Various AK Interactive washes and streaking effects were applied to the metal part.
- The chains were treated with Blacken-It in order to give them a corroded look.
I started out by spraying a 1:1 mixture of Tamiya Acrylic XF-57 “Buff” and Tamiya Acrylic XF-52 “Flat Earth” in Tamiya X-20A thinner (10% paint mixture in thinner) on the tracks and lowest parts of the hull. This was mostly to “dampen down” any remaining solvents from the preceding washes and streaking effects, so as to give a better grip for pigments.
All the evidence points to the Western Front being particularly muddy at certain times and in certain places. Thus, I thought I would try to achieve more pronounced mud effects. Also, I have just recently seen the film Fury and in the midst of the chaos of battle I spotted how muddy their Sherman was and that was somewhat of an inspiration to me too! I first applied a “medium color” mix of pigments dry with a large brush, chiefly to the tracks, lower parts of the vertical sides and around select parts of the top of the vehicle. This was fixed with Tamiya X-20A thinner using a brush and relying upon capillary movement of the liquid to soak up the pigments. Next, a slurry of the same pigment mix and Tamiya thinner was selectively flicked onto the vehicle. Once dry, I hoped that this pigment mix would give the impression of the driest mud.
Next, I roughly repeated the process, but using a “dark colour” pigment mix. This time, as I wanted to build up a more substantial layer of fresher (darker colour) mud I used AK Interactive “Pigment Fixer” (AK048) in place of Tamiya thinner. This process took a few passes before I was happy with it. I tried to concentrate the darkest pigment on the tracks, lower parts of sides and parts of the top nearest to the tracks. The pigment fixer extended beyond the pigment in places, leaving a solvent front or “leading edge”. Ordinarily this would be an issue but in this case I reckoned it looked approximately like water or other liquid stains, so I left it as it was. Indeed, I used AK Interactive “Engine Oil” (AK084), diluted in white spirit, to apply more stain effects over the dried pigments.
Naturally, this would look even more pronounced on a green coloured tank. These Mk IVs tend to come in brown colours. Perhaps I will have to try it on a “Fury” tank – the M4A3E8.
The only thing missing I suppose is the very wettest, freshest mud. I have not attempted that here and will have to be tried another time.
This has been my most extensive use of pigments thus far. I like them more and more. Saying that, I will have to redo my mixes after this. In particular, the dark mix has traces of larger particles in it, which must have come from a less refined pigment jar than the others. I have my suspicions which one it is, so will no doubt be avoiding that vendor in the future!