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clive_t posted a topic in Work in Progress - ArmourHi all, my first WIP venture having strayed out of the Aircraft bit of this forum (albeit temporarily, I am sure). Having been inspired by @DaveJL's most excellent WIP thread (here) and of course the RFI (here) I thought I would take this opportunity to dip a toe outside my modelling comfort zone (ie doing planes, badly) and undertake a small (hopefully doable in the time I have) vignette involving a British M3 Grant tank of the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment around September 1942, during the Battle of Alam Halfa in North Africa. Here's the sum total of my progress so far: I managed to extricate the box from its place on the stash shelf without breaking my neck! Why Academy? Well, no specific reason other than I had read reviews of other kit makers (Tamiya etc) and on balance the positive comments on the Academy kit outweighed the negatives by possibly a greater margin than its rivals. The other 'plus' for me was that this particular boxing included figures for the 5-man crew. Why this tank in this regiment in this battle at this time? Well, this will be very much a personal journey for me, on which I will elaborate further in due course. I hope to get as much extra detail on the model as I can, and to that end I see that there are some PE add-ons which might or might not be worth the investment. I invite anyone on here who has had experience with such things to feel free to chip in with any comments that might help me decide. I have already determined that the rubber tracks supplied with the kit leave rather a lot to be desired, not the least of reasons being that they are not 'double-I' footprint typical of this tank at this time. I have found an online shop in Germany that sells link sets, but the cost of those including postage is likely to be in the region of 50 Euro. Nevertheless it's something I have to seriously consider getting. Of course, if anyone should happen to know of a cheaper source, I am all ears (or eyes, even). So, there in a nutshell is why this thread is starting, hopefully the modelling activity will start soon!
clive_t posted a topic in Work In Progress - DioramasHi all, not sure if it's normal to have 3 separate threads on the go for one subject, but I'll give it a go anyway and worry about the fallout if any after Indeed, this is the 3rd part of my project to show a 3RTR M3 Grant 'at leaguer' on the evening of 1st September 1942, during the Battle of Alam Halfa. Having never made a diorama base ever at all, I have relied heavily on other threads shared here, as well as You-Tube clips to show me the way. This thread, then, is my own journey of discovery, with all its pitfalls and set-backs; hopefully someone will find it of interest. For some background I am trying to build a diorama of this particular day during this battle, as in the course of my familiy history research some years ago I learned that my father had taken part in it as a driver with the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, and been wounded in action. The 1st September this year will mark the 75th anniversary of that event, something I felt I had to recognise, hence this diorama. The tank and figures WIPs are described separately: tank WIP here and figures WIP here, should you be sufficiently curious to wish to take a look. So, the diorama base - a photo frame 10 x 8 - not sure if it's too big for the whole thing, but I am going with it anyway. Glass removed and safely set aside for some future purpose yet to be determined . The edges were built up to the desired profile with thin fibre-board, some packaging remnant from something I've long-since forgotten. The basic topology was then built up with expanded polystyrene shaped with a sharp knife, and glued in with plenty of PVA. Cocktail sticks were used to persuade the more reluctant pieces to lie flat as requested: In the time-honoured way, I decided to use Das air-drying clay - mainly because I had it readily to hand: I spread this over the polystyrene, with some water to get the Das to flow a bit more freely: Now for the sand. I read in another thread on here, that someone recommended 'Chinchilla dust' - no, I hadn't ever heard of it either. But I figured £3.50 for a big bag of the stuff from my local pet store was worth a punt, and indeed it has a very convincing sandy look. However, from my research of the geographical aspects of the battle told me that the area was rather stony as well as sandy, with some sparse vegetation. With that in mind, I mixed in a handful or so of fake coal - the kind beloved of railway modellers: With the Das still wet from being laid down, I liberally sprinkled this mixture over the top of it, from about 12 inches up, then gave it a bit of a press down. Tapping the framework to shift the loose material left me with this: That's as far as I got with it today, but I have to say to my hopelessly inexperienced eye it looks pretty good. Hope this is of interest to someone!