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Revell Sherman Calliope

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Well I said I'd join so now after a short hiatus after the rush of the Falklands Scorpion, I'm ready to have a go at my first Sherman since the Airfix one I built when I was a child back in the 70s!

I picked this up in ModelZone a while ago as it was on sale half price... I felt it would have been rude not to buy this kit for a tenner! So here is the box:


and here is the obligatory sprue shot:


Just for once, I'm not going to complicate things by adding lots of extra accessories or customising it - this will be built Out of the Box. OMG how will I cope? I'm sure I'll manage some way to make life difficult for myself, its just the way I work!

Now I am a total novice as far as Shermans go so please be tolerant with my mistakes :) For starters, how accurate is this model from the box? From what I've gathered in the minimal research I've done is that there were not many of these conversions made and were all used by the US Army. So is there anything else I need to know before embarking upon this expedition into unfamiliar territory that is WWII US Armour?

One thing that would be useful to know as I start out is how badly knocked about and weathered did these things get?

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First off when building a tank is of course is the road wheels:


Now I have a question - those "spring" like things on the top of each assembly - is it s spring and what colour shoudl it be? I've painted them olive drab for now but I couldn't see if they should be another colour - well apart from "mud and dirt"!

Next is the base of the hull with the roadwheels attached and olive drabbed...


and finally for this update, the upper hull has been primed and then given a coat of hull red


as I think I'm going to use this as an opportunity to try out the hairspray technique to chip the hull paint and show the base primer underneath. So I ask our Sherman experts - does that seem reasonable in this sort of Sherman?

I must say I'm enjoying this build as its quite uncomplicated as I'm not having to worry about PE or scratch built extras!

Rocket tubes, turret and other parts have also been primed in advance so now its a trip to Sainsburys to get some cheap hairspray :)

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Here we are a bit further along, tracks painted, partly weathered and added.


The rust on the links si still a bit bright and fresh, but that will get weathered down when I get onto the full model weathering stage later...

I've been adding the details to the front, putting together the rocket tubes (very fiddly to get right) and I've decided to put a driver in the front left hatch so to this end I've robbed my Tamiya US Field Maintenance Yard of the US soldier in the helmet


(please excuse the crappy photo - the flash washes out his face if I use it so this was done using a longer exposure and the auto focus wouldn't focus on the figure only on the background behind him!)

which is giving me an idea for the title of this build... The Laughing Tanker...

Edited by Kallisti
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Been a bit of a slow week with lots of little bits of progress, such as adding bits to the hull and applying some weathering to the front tracks


This was done party through a minor cock up. I decided to put some lead shot in the front of the hull to give it some real weight as it had a habit or riding up on the front suspension because the tracks are so rigid. So I poured some slightly thinned PVA glue over the lead shot in the front only to discover about 15 minutes later that it had founds some small gaps in the front hull and seeped out into the tracks... So while clearing this up I realised it was a perfect opportunity to add some mud to the front tracks as there was already PVA glue there to fix it...

To try to fix the track problem I did take the off earlier in the week and leave them for abotu 3 days clamped to get a decent bend in them for when the went over the drive sprocket and return rollers. I will still need to add some glue to the upper return rollers to fix the tracks onto them as they should be. Overall though, the weight does seem to have helped.

In the meantime, work continued on the Laughing Tanker:


(Click here to see a larger version)

I really must get a new camera, getting a decent picture of him is incredibly difficult! I've used oil paints on his face which were much easier to use for such fine detailed work than acrylics.

Additionally, started collecting up some stowage for the hull and turret, mostly from the Tamiya Allied Vehicles Accessory Set:


Finally, the rocket tube assembly continues, but I haven't got a photo as its a bit boring at this stage. It will get more interesting once the tubes are in the frame and it comes to the wiring which I hope to add extra detail with some fuse wire.

Edited by Kallisti
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Looking very nice. :) I've just been doing a bit of face painting myself (a German tanker, not my own!), and it's very difficult to photograph, innit?

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Lots of progress to report...

Turret built, tools painted and attached and weathering begun.

The first stage of weathering was to mix some dark dirt and mud brown washes from Flory models and use that in various layers over the model. Then came the final part of the hairspray technique. This involved wetting small patches of the olive drab that has been painted over the hairspray, leaving it for a minute or two then very gently scraping some of the OD paint off. The water penetrates through the OD layer to the hairspray layer and dissolved it so that the paint comes off leaving the hull red from below.

Well I sorta messed up a bit in that I sprayed the hairspray directly over the hull red layer without protecting the hull red. This means that in some instances when I scraped, both the Olive Drab and the Hull red layers came off, leaving the grey primer below. However, this doens't look totally bad, it gives another texture and works out rather wll in the places where it happened.

So here are the photos:




I still need to weather the tools a little bit more, then add the stowage and then the rocket tubes. Speaking of which I havn't got much further than before. I've been enjoying building the Sherman too much to bother with the rockets up to now :)

I'm going to make a very simple little base and at some point I'm going to need to find something that the Laughing Tanker is laughing about! The crushed MPs motorbike idea still appeals :)

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I am pleased to say that this arrived today:


I did take a look at the Min Art set but that was goign for £25 whereas this was £4!!

I had knocked together a bit of a base yesterday:


but I think it might be a bit too small to do this vignette, so I may need to repurpose that base for something else later and do another one slightly larger...

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Had a fun little build this evening...


This is a Tamiya kit from 1976 - its moulded into the sprue and it shows! There are moulding lines everywhere, but its a fun little build. It still needs weathering but I think it looks quite good already!

I'm hacking about the figures - the standing up one has had his epaulettes and strings removed and I've taken the arms from the driver and modified it so it looks like he's shaking his fist in disgust. He still needs painted but that is for later.

Tomorrow I want to try to finish the rocket launchers...

Edited by Kallisti
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Well been a busy weekend - lots of rain which was a good excuse not to do anything outside :)

So since I diecided to make the vignette, it needs a larger base, so to this end, I broke out the polystyrene packing and air dough plus some claycrete mixed with artist acrylic paint...


which looks remarkably unpalatable, and rather messy to put together! However, with a bit of rock ballast, grass flock of varying types, some static grass and a scratch built tree, it ends up looking like this...


I sadly didn't take any photos of making the tree, but I used the technique from Richard Windrow's Terrain Modelling book which twisted wires for the armature, with a layer of Tetrion over the wire, painted with artist acrylics, then dressed with Woodland Scenics light green foliage, which is a sort of hairy green flock mat which you rip into pieces to glue to the branches.

So now we have the base, what about what is going on it? Well lets check out the motorbike and its owner...


Of course I'll give you three guesses why the MP is shaking his fist...

More to follow...

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Well I think I am going to call this one finished!

Rockets added and stowage. Pinched some bits from a resin set I got last year that included French-style provisions, including a crate of wine! More mud added and everything placed appropriately on the base...

The Laughing Tanker!





Edit: Oh bugger just realised I forgot the decals!!!

Edit 2: Decals now applied and undergoing weathering. Will post updated photos tomorrow once the daylight returns!!

Edited by Kallisti
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So here are a selection of the final photos, best 4 posted in the gallery...







This was a hugely fun build, much simpler than some of my more recent creations so it was a nice refreshing change, readying me for some more complicated builds to come (particularly the next!).

Thanks to Mike and Mish for running this STGB!

Edited by Kallisti
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