Hello, I’m Alexander. Today’s build log will be a (fictional) allied Sherman tank from World War II in 1/35th scale.
The main objective of this build was to kitbash as many kits and accessories possible to further develop my building techniques. Additionally, I was inspired to create such a kitbashed model from all the magazines containing heavily modified kits in many of their articles. The only way to truly get to the same level as those builders is to practice. Overall, I had tons of fun mashing the components together. Without further ado let’s begin!
See the build video:
Previously I have already built a few Shermans; thus, I had accumulated a large collection of spare components. All of the kits were acquired at my local AMPS model show, and links to the products can be found a little farther down the article. The base kit used was Italeri’s M4A1Sherman, also with components from Dragon’s Firefly IC Hybrid Hall, and Tamiya’s US Medium M4 Sherman kits were used. The Sherman Early Low Bustle Turrets Set from Legend Productions was used, containing a resin cast turret and aluminum gun barrel. Tracks were from Panda Plastics, who bought and now own RHPS, (WE 210 Rubber Double) and I have a quick review/guide of the tracks from a few years ago.
Additional stowage was from Tamiya’s Allied Vehicle Accessory Pack and Formations’ Sherman IC Firefly Stowage Boxes. The crew are from the US Howitzer M8 Motor Gun Carriage from Tamiya I built a few years ago.
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Tamiya M4 Sherman (US/CAN):
Tamiya Allied Vehicle Accessories (US/CAN):
Tamiya M8 Howitzer (US/CAN):
Italeri M4A1 Sherman (US/CAN):
Assembly began with the aftermarket turret set, which required slight modification to the turret ring by taking the old turret from the kit and replacing the resin one with it. Otherwise the turret was pretty straightforward to build, with periscopes added from a Formations kit to the open hatches, as well as the turret mounted machine gun. At first, I attempted using a hobby miter saw, but then switched to using a rotating cutting tool for the speed advantage for the rest of the conversions. Then the rest of the hull and running gear where assembled.
The roadwheels were swapped with Tamiya’s as I liked the open spoke design and the components had less of a seamline. By leaving the spring component out of the running gear assembly, it was easy to adjust the M3 Lee style suspension. The tracks were a joy to assemble as they just required a friction fit without any glue. Since no glue was used, the tracks remained fully workable. The running gear was glued solid before paint; however, the model was placed on the base first to ensure that the suspension was in the correct position. One tip I learned very recently from one of my clubs local members is that on Sherman tanks the track links are pulled very tightly into the dry sprocket which is due to the relatively tight tension put the Sherman tracks we’re under – there should be no gap between the connector pieces and the teeth of the sprocket.
Again, the rotary tool was used to swap the lower glacis plates on the front and rear with Dragon’s due to the superior texture. Additionally, the two crew member busts were painted and glued in as they would be difficult to access later. The commander had his shoulder modified to look more natural in the Sherman turret. It may also be a good reminder to paint the interior of your tank black so anyone looking closely doesn’t see an eyesore. The rule used by my local judges states that if a hatch is open the interior is judged unless a crew member is in the space.
After assembly, the stowage was placed on the model and rearranged until a satisfying aesthetic was achieved. I always try to have a variety of soft and hard storage to vary the texture and colour to bring more visual interest to the model. Care must be taken to ensure but the storage would be plausible in real life – items must be strapped down and not be in the way of any motion such as blocking turret rotation. Additionally, the pioneer tools were also added and real tree branches/twigs where cut to size to be added as extra protection. When happy, the stowage was glued and secured using a braided string.
With everything glued down, the sandbags on the front hull where sculpted from Tamiya’s two-part epoxy putty. I was impressed with the result for my first attempt at sculpting sandbags. In future builds I think I will put more effort into texturing the bags, having the tided ends visible, and possibly have ether torn or leaking bags as well. One thing is that I really liked and was totally accidental was a slight bending to the light guards when sculpting the bags – this makes the bags appear to have a considerable amount mass.
At this point the model was primed black, Followed by an undercoat of US Olive Drab, then a generous highlight of Olive Drab, and a final highlight with Light Grey Green. This was all done using an airbrush and Vallejo paints, specifically the US olive drab paint set. After airbrushing, all that was additionally done was picking out the details with a brush, masking and painting the markings, along with a little bit of weathering focused around the running gear. The bulk of the weathering was chipping, rust on the tracks, mud, grime on the muzzle and where the fuel caps are. Then the logs were secured to the hull and touched up with some paint.
Voila, here is the completed tank. Thank you for your support, if you would like to learn more about the base below the Sherman click the link below: