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Marco1965

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About Marco1965

  • Birthday 01/25/1965

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    United States
  • Interests
    Latin American Airplanes, diverse others.

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  1. The logs that the Sherman crews tied to the sides of their tanks are one of the most attractive aspects to me. After checking the resin and plastic options available in internet, well I thought why not trying with the real thing, there must be branches in the garden with the correct width and aspect, and indeed, there are! I chose the ones closer to the ones seen in the reference pictures, cut to the correct size, and soaked them in gloss varnish to seal them. Mother nature provides the correct texture and color! Then I tied the logs together using Humbrol thread for shipmodels, and then tied them to the tank´s hull. The thread tips still have to be glued to the surfaces so that they are not "floating" over the hull. I will not glue the logs to the hull, they are hanging nicely from the threads. Marco
  2. It is so exciting to find more details to add to the Cologne Sherman. One thing that I didn't know about, was that bright colored sheets for aerial identification were carried on the engine deck of these Shermans, bright red, bright yellow, white, and "my" Sherman was no exception, as clearly seen in the reference pictures. Thanks for the collaboration from several friends, I managed to find the size of the colored sheet and could replicate it with kleenex treated with white glue and painted bright red. it looks the part! I painted it bright red because that is the only reference the I have, but could have been other color. Apart from that, I corrected some issues with the empty track racks. And started assembling and painting the figures that will be in and around my Sherman. I got one Soga Infantryman, a set of heads from Alpine, and a couple figures from Tamiya. A Tamiya figure with an Alpine head transpant will be the tank commander (less lower limbs, don't need them), and the other Tamiya will be the almost completely hidden loader. Alpine head transplant done, no more legs either. I always paint the heads/faces first, in this case I used mostly MiG acrylics. The awful loader will be almost hidden, with the helmet on, so I was not willingly to sacrifice another Alpine head for this one. The Soga head is a beauty, paint falls in place almost by itself, highly recommended. And started working on the diorama layout. If you have read about the Cologne Tank Duel, you´ll know that this Sherman was rolling direct to the Cologne Cathedral, when a mountain of debris blocked its way in Komödienstrasse. It stopped, moved to the side to allow for space for the bulldozer that would open the road, when suddenly BLAM!!! BLAM!!!, two hits from a Panther tank knocked the Sherman out of combat. What I am trying to replicate is the moment when the Sherman reached the road blockade, and moved to the side of the street, basically surrounded by debris. marco
  3. Thanks, Silenoz. I have not decided yet, but I think it will be the two-tone one, I have a taste for "standard" looks, nothing so fancy. marco
  4. Other parts of the rotor hub had to be scratchbuilt to better match the scale. And antennas and footsteps were scratchbuilt using thing wire. Compared to the kit's parts, the appearance is much better. Notice that the pilot's figures have been painted and glued in place. Footsteps are work in process, they are much more complicated than the part provided in the kit. marco
  5. I wanted to finish the diverse accessories found on the Sherman, like bags, sleeping bags, food boxes, etc. I selected some from the ones I have in stock, as most would end up covered under canvas, I did not put that much attention painting them. Mostly resin accessories and couple cardboard boxes. And some additional things up front. And then... canvas. Made with Kleenex, soaked in diluted white glue, painted. It covers everything according to references. Still missing is the colored canvas that was used as ID from the air, will be bright red. And the machinegun is gone as well, it was covered in canvas as well. By the way, I am in the process of scratchbuilding the antenna base, not provided in the kit. Halfways, the antenna is not in place yet, just a wire to keep me from losing the base. marco
  6. After having installed the upper segment of the tracks, I encountered one of the most frustrating issues: upon completing the track, the final track needed to be like 2/3 of a track... Anyway, everything was already glued in pace, correct sag (or lack or sag, it is a Sherman), correct location of the tracks, segments around the wheels, etc. and didn´t want to see my tracks with a crooked segment, no way. So... as 2/3 are needed, filed one track to 2/3 width and inserted it in place. Done, both sides the same. I glued the links of the shorter segments in place, sanding them short until they fit properly. Painted, weathered, and voilá, issue fixed. The debris in the streets of Cologne will provide the final touches disguising the culprit shorter track segment. Then I had to backpedal because I had made a mistake assembling the 0.50" MG travel supports at the back of the turret. I followed Dragon´s instructions for an M4A1 76mm WITH ventilator at the back of the turret, but I converted it to an M4A1 76mm without ventilator, which requires changing the MG supports as well. I performed some minor surgery detaching and reattaching the supports and the result is now proper for the early M4A1 76mm. Most of the MG and supports will be covered with canvas in the end, therefore I did not really bother adding details to the MG. And completed the commander and loader´s hatches. It had bothered me all the time not having changed since the beginning the loader´s hatch external handle, represented as a simple plastic tab, well I ended up changing it. Some might notice that the loader´s hatches are barely open and might say that those hatches in the early M4A1 76mm were either closed or open at a 90° angle. But... I am assembling my Sherman with the loader actually pushing the hatches open with his head and arm, exactly as seen in a picture of another Sherman in Cologne, same time. Nice detail from Dragon providing periscopes and visors in clear plastic, saves me the pain of discussing the color of those. And finally started looking for the logs that "my" Sherman carried on each side. I managed to find the proper branches, many more than what I needed, no painting required, ready to use, "0" cost, no shipping. On the picture below mi first tries, collected branches from different bushes, and I selected the one being held with the tweezers as the correct one. Got all the others that I need already, immersed them in flat coat for several minutes, and they are now ready to get tied on each side of the tank. I am really enjoying this part of the assembly (after the mess with the tracks!). marco
  7. Some additional things that I did today to the Puma. The rotor hub as provided in the kit, looks massive, too much. I trimmed the base until the shape of the shaft was all that remained. The rotor hub simulates the 4 balance arms with thick rods, I cut them to replace them with thin wire. I trimmed the base until a resemblance of the shaft was all that remained. The rotor hub simulates the 4 balance arms with thick rods, I cut them to replace them with thin wire. I bored open small holes at the base of the balance arms, thin wire will be inserted and glued in these holes afterwards. And additional 4 holes were opened in the rotor base, to allow for the wires from the rotor head to be inserted and provide some structural strength. I drilled open a nole in the middle of the shaft for another wire as well, that will fit into the rotor head. Another evident omission are the turbine exhausts on each side of the fuselage. These were issued with straw, proper caliber, cuting and trimming according to references. marco
  8. In my "vast" experience of 2 tanks (I assembled couple more but that was decades ago, soft plastic tracks), the first one had link-length track (Panther, Takom), which I enjoyed quite much, very easy, and it had the templates to assemble the tracks with the correct shape. And the links would basically snap together, non-functional, but easy to assemble. On the other hand, with this one, well, it is sort of "let´s be creative" type. There is no way of putting the tracks and links together without actually gluing them, nor a decent pin to keep the parts in place to at least manipulate the parts while testing. Neither is a template provided to guide you about the correct shape. Having said that, you are right Vytautas, the big win is having the option of positioning them on irregular ground or simulating the sag (but Shermans don´t have sag, or mostly don´t have sag). So, why not buying a functional link by link, metal, superduper state of the art track... well because I think that the link by link looks good if correctly assembled, and I want to exchange some money for patience., and I like challenges. Marco
  9. Now I understand your point, John, thank you. For this time, as all tht area will be covered in canvas, I'll pass issuing this detail, but keeping it in mind for future projects. Marco
  10. Between bigger projects, I like to assemble once in a while one of these 1/144 kits. I have had this SA330 Puma in my stash for years already, I think it was the first 1/144 kit that I bought, time to give it a try. Finely molded, has a representation of the interior appropriate for the scale, including cockpit with controls, instrument panel, etc. I have still not decided whether to represent the Tigermeet option as shown on the box, or the more standard two'green camo version included as option, too. I will add crew converting some Preiser figures (1/160 scale). Tiny kit, definitely. i assembled the interior an painted following instructions. Gled it in place without issues, everything OOB. A dry-fit of the figures, they still need some modifications to resemble pilots and crew. i like the details for the scale. So far, Revell has not disappointed me with these nice tiny kits. marco
  11. I added the tools at the back (none of them will be visible after I put the canvas cover). Glued the tow cable in place, nice that Dragon provides it in authentic metalic color, no need to paint it, as in other brands. Idler wheels should be metal, not painted, the right one is done, they´ll need retouch later. PE parts for the tow cable supports are really nice! Applied a wash of artist oils diluted in mineral spirits, around 50-50 of light yellow and white. Then some rubbing with AK Splash mud and thick mud, finally applying flat varnish. Some effects like the stains of fuel and rust were added using either artist oils or pigments. The wash gives the impression of fine dust accumulated in recesses. I went on painting and weathering the tracks, first Anthracit, then Burnt umber, some rust, rubbing AK Splash mud, yellow-white-grey pastels, and sealing flat. Some retouches were necessary afterwards with anthracit in areas where the color was deteriorated due to rubbing. The Sherman I am representing, circulated mostly on streets, so mud is limited to a thin layer around the suspension and tracks, no thick mud. I assembled the link-by-link tracks in 4 long segments and 6 short ones. . Gluing the track segments in place was easier said than done. Nothing really difficult with the long upper segments, the difficult part was matching the front end to the track around the sprocket wheels. After some sanding, trimming and a lot of pressure, the track was glued in place around the sprocket wheels. And I hope that was the most difficult part of gluing the tracks in place, completing the lower segments and smaller ones looks easier, we´ll see. Marco
  12. And yet another question... The HMS Exeter carried several row boats and a couple motorboats at the moment of the Battle of the River Plate. The Trumpeter kit provides 2 very small row boats, 4 small ones, 3 large and 2 very large row boards, plus a motorboat with enclosed cabin (seen in both pictures below). Missing is a motorboat seen in pictures after the battle, that has a light color (white?) cabin cover (seen in both pictures below, to the left in the pictures). But anyway, my question is, any clue of the colors? From what I see, the row boats might have been light gray on the outside, same color as the ship, and on the inside, well my best guess would be light gray or wooden floor and wooden color benches. Regarding the covered boat (left in the pictures) I guess it would be Light Gray hull, and what seems to be a light colored canvas cover, I suppose that it could be a lighter gray, almost white. The motorboat to the right, that one is quite interesting, as the color seems to be natural wood, with a dull-colored hull below the waterline. Clearer on this picture, the motorboat to the left, showing the light-colored cover, notice the shape of the hull, nothing is provided in the kit to simulate that one, a pity. Was this the original color or was it retouched to cover damage after the battle, who knows. And the motorboat to the right, that is a good start to issue an all-natural wood boat, sort of admiral´s pinnace, with dark gray hull under waterline? Very interesting subject. Any idea of what kind of boats were these? Any color reference pictures, restored antiques? (btw, notice the much lighter color of the torpedo tubes, not only after the battle, they show that lighter shade in most pictures). Marco
  13. Adding some more bits and pieces. The boat platforms are extremely fragile PE, if you made a mistake bending anything, there is not a second try, parts break. They look very nice at the end, though! One of the boat platform and PE ladder in place. And this platform is giving me trouble, it is already glued in place, but the issue is that on the left side of it, there is a connection to a ladder running down on the side of the funnel. Only thing, a liferaft is on the way. There was no indication for not installing the raft, and it is impossible to remove it now without damaging the funnel. The kit provides this part in PE, but Eduard´s is more complete. And the anchors in place, will benefit later of some dirt-rust effects (as will the hull) Marco
  14. These link-by- link tracks are not for the faint of heart... I assembled the straight and the rounded segments using Tamiya Liquid cement. For the curved segments, I shaped them around the wheels as I went on adding tracks. I´ll assemble as many segments as possible before painting and weathering and install them last on the Sherman. And I corrected a detail that I simply forgot to add before: the metal railing that goes on the lower rim around the hull, where the sandskirts should have been attached (the skirts were not used on this type of Sherman, but the rails remained). I should have scratch built them and glued in place before painting, but well, did not. I issued each rail with thin plastic sheet, bored open the screw holes, painted them and glued in place. After retouching, applied gloss coat to start weathering. Thank God was it possible to add this detail without damaging previous work. Marco
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