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lancfan

Three Airfix 1/76 scale Shermans

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HI Everyone,

For this build I am going to make the best that I can of the Airfix kit as three British Shermans, I will not use major aftermarket parts although I may use stowage etc to complete them, the decals will be made up from My decal box.

David.

Edited by lancfan

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In anticipation the start here is a group sprue shot of the four Shermans in my stash, I will certainly build one but if I can manage more than that I will do so, hence the busy picture.

sherman1-M.jpg

David.

Edited by lancfan

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The lower hulls of all four shermans have now been assembled. the Airfix turret has often been slated as being too small and the picture also shows two turrets, one before modification and one part complete.

sherman2-L.jpg

The first tank I will complete is a Sherman Kangeroo converted from a war-weary M4A2 of the 8th Army in Italy and is based on a published picture of one of these machines taken in April 1945.

The turret aperture has been machined away from the hull and a partial interior has been scratched up to reflect its new role.

The hull is seen here before weathering and fitting of the upper hull.

sherman3-L.jpg

David.

Edited by lancfan

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These sherman Kangeroos were in-the-field modifications using old, war-weary Shermans (perhaps they were donors for the NA75 Churchill but I have not found the connection in print yet)- the caption to the picture I am using states diesel engined M4A2 tanks but the Bison decal sheet includes an identified older M4 example in Olive Drab`but the anonymous and (visibly) unmarked unit in the picture I have found looks more interesting so have discarded the Bison example in favour of this unknown tank. The picture shows the tarpaulin folded fully back but I have used a little artistic licence to have it half covering the turret hole to form some degree of shade for the crew with the vehicle at rest under the Mediteranean sun.

The upper hull is now in place as is a new turret guard flange and applique armour has been fitted to the hull sides following what little detail is in the rather poor picture, also two pieces of crated stowage have been applied to the rear decking just aft of the turret ring.

sherman4-M.jpg

There appears to be a grab rail fitted centrally over the turret aperture which I have made from stretched sprue and a tarpaulin rain cover has in the picture just been made from crumpled and dampened brown envelope which has been carefully pressed into the kit detail with a paintbrush and is shown when left to dry naturally, now dry and with independant shape this has been sealed with varnish, removed and placed to one side until it is needed after the model has been painted.

sherman5-M.jpg

David.

Edited by lancfan

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The bogies, idlers and drive sprockets have been fitted and now the job of scratching the sprung track tensioners needs to be done, this is one of the most awkward ommissions from this kit and to do this properly and ensure that all six on every tank are identical I have made a jig in which the strips of plastic card can be placed to be relaxed under an hot tap and then re-frozen in cold water. The picture shows the tank after they had all been made up and fitted, to get them all as uniform as possible I carefully fitted each one in turn in two stages, waiting for the glue to dry before moving on to the next.

sherman6-M.jpg

This ponderous method left time on my hands so I made a start on the hull of the second sherman, an M4A1- here shown before shaping.

sherman7-M.jpg

This is the second hull after basic shaping and is here ready for filler.

sherman8-M.jpg

The second hull after filling and shaping, the top view before priming to show the filler and the lower view in grey to reveal the shape.

sherman9-XL.jpg

Edited by lancfan

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Both hulls together, the M4A1 has just acquired its bogies and the kangaroo has just been fitted with headlamps and guards from copper wire and is now ready for its basecoat of olive drab.

sherman10-L.jpg

David.

Edited by lancfan

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The Kangeroo freshly painted in faded Olive Drab, still wet and on the turntable.

sherman11-M.jpg

David.

Edited by lancfan

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When the Olive Drab had dried I then very lightly painted the model in the most likely colour used in Italy- Light Mud, Mike Starmer lists this as a White Ensign colour but as this is not easily obtained locally and is on this model merely two lightly brushed washes over the OD41 which were then lightly sprayed with water and left to naturally recede to represent a faded and worn vehicle I have mixed a temporary colour in two shades to the visual description using Revell Beige 89 and matt white, when I do get hold of the WEM colour I can repaint the model if neccessary. The model is pictured with the canvas cover loosely placed in position, as also is the crew figure, portraying a quiet moment with a mug of tea whilst his mate has gone over to the library truck to borrow a book.

sherman12-M.jpg

The model pictured from underneath still showing the original olive drab.

sherman13-M.jpg

David.

Edited by lancfan

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After checking out the picture a little closer I have added the front mudguards and a cargo bar as fitted to many tanks in this theatre. I have also increased the personal stowage to include the crews kit bags and have made a new tarpaulin, this gives it a much more interesting look and allows me to hang more external stowage. The Airfix tracks were the wrong type for the Kangeroo tank in the published picture and have been replaced by 1/72 scale Italeri tracks shortened to fit, they are here painted and in place. The model is now quite close to completion.

sherman14-M.jpg

David.

Edited by lancfan

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Hi Luigi, go to page one of this build thread and read my post of 11 june, all is explained. :)

David.

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The Kangeroo is nearly finished now, just waiting for the varnish to dry after the pastel weathering and the finished shots of my first Sherman can be posted to the gallery.

the picture below shows the M4A1 with the modified turret dry fitted in place.

sherman15-M.jpg

David.

Edited by lancfan

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My first finished Sherman. Based on a rather poor picture of one of a number of war-weary Shermans converted into Kangeroos in the field by the British Army in Italy. Some guesswork was neccessary and no marking are visible in the picture, the caption held no unit details either so nothing could be discovered as to what markings it would have carried.

sherman16-M.jpg

sherman17-M.jpg

 

David.

Edited by lancfan

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The M4A1 is now almost ready for paint, all that remains to be done are to make the plastic card sand skirts and paint the model before fitting the tracks and the skirts and finally apply the decals and weathering. My second model will then be finished.

sherman19-XL.jpg

David.

Edited by lancfan

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