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spursn17

Tamiya Sherman Firefly 1/35

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Hi

 

After enjoying building my 223 Afrika Korp armoured car so much I've put the aircraft building on ice and dived straight into another AFV, a Tamiya/Tasca/Asuka Vc Firefly.

 

It's a nice kit to build and went together with no major drama, some minor trauma though as I broke a couple of small parts as the plastic seemed hard and brittle. As this kit comes with the Tamiya British infantry figures I decided that I would dive in at the deep end and build some with the tank, this will be my first figure building/painting in about 25 years!!!!

 

I thought that if I was including infantry then I'd better have some tank crew as well so I bought the Miniart British tank crew set, also some Hornet heads for both sets, and some Hornet hands. The detail on the Hornet stuff is great!

 

I am going to set it all on a small diorama base and have settled on having them all look like they're taking a break.

The driver is sitting on top of his hatch drinking a cup of tea (well, they are British) and talking to a standing infantryman, the cup was made from some old etch brass sprue. I also hollowed out his goggles to put lenses in later.

The squaddie sitting in the loaders hatch is either going to have a sandwich in his hand, or a cigarette, I'll decide which when I get further along.

The commander is talking to the infantry officer who is on the rear deck of the tank pointing at a map.

 

I had to alter most of the figures to get the posture I wanted, and also used Milliput for the first time in my modelling! The sitting figures had Milliput added to their backsides so as to lose the 'floating' effect that some figures have when just plonked on a model. The commander's torso was cut and tilted forward to make him lean towards the infantry officer, because of this the head now had to be tilted back and a new collar made for his tank suit. The infantry officer was originally a standing figure so he has been chopped the most to make him kneel and point at the map, I ended up gluing copper wire between the sections of body to get the pose I wanted.

 

Basic poses

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Some heads added, Not happy with this as the gunner/loader figure looks a bit 'King Richard III' with a hunched shoulder, I'll have to correct this

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Drinking tea, I like this!

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More updates soon hopefully!

Edited by spursn17

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Good start on the figures. Hornet Heads make a world of difference.

 

John.

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Not a Sherman fan but I love the Firefly,my first armour kit was the Matchbox Firefly.:drink::popcorn:

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Richard III

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Dehunched, now more Henry V!

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Heads all on now, just got to put the equipment on the infantrymen...

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...then it's paint time!

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Now primed (Halfords Matt black) and waiting for some colour. This is the first time I've used a black primer so we'll see how that pans out.

 

IMG_20161019_094049696

 

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Great looking build on the Firefly. Now the diorama elements are coming together, but might I offer a small critique? Something about the loader's right arm doesn't look right. I think that its the arms position relative to the angles of his back. rom the angle of the shoulders, it Looks like his arm should be positioned posteriorly, with palm down. With him leaning on his arm. it would be a nice little change, as it would make him look bemused about whatever the commander and the infantryman are discussing. "A tiger in those bushes? Bah!" As it is, it looks like his arm is broken. ThT said, if you give him a little sling, it might suddenly work. But then you'd have to do something with the other figures to incorporate them into his story. Maybe the infantryman is a medic handing over fresh gauze? I don't know. Just suggestions.

 

I like the body language interaction between the driver and infantry man in front. There's a little story being told here.

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SoftScience, I know what you mean as his pose has been bothering me as well, the intention was to have him just relaxing, having a fag (a cigarette to our US cousins, stop laughing at the back there and pay attention :D ), and listening to the commander and officer talking.

 

I think that I need to narrow the shoulder on that side, and to repose the arm. After looking at people sitting on the train to work I think that I have to move the hand to the top of the leg and move it further towards the knee, and also move the elbow out away from the body. The idea of the sling was good as the arm does  look 'wounded', but I thought a crew member with a damaged arm would be off of the tank and replaced pretty quickly!

This is probably why I only primed the tank and not the figures as there is more work to be done, I did say that I haven't done a figure for twenty years so keep the suggestions coming!

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Great job altering the figures with, for the most-part,  success. There's nothing worse than awkwardly posed figures... and I'm afraid that Tamiya are guilty of some of the worst. (Certainly in their older kits anyway) So, I think you're right to do what you're doing.

With reference to the loader, I think the problem is that his left shoulder is raised while his right is lowered (that is left and right as he appears to us) With shoulders 'slanted' as they are, I think it would look more natural if he had his left arm (as we look at him) raised.... so maybe he's scratching his head, making a 'that guy's mental' gesture, circling his index finger by his temple? Or maybe he's just pointing at something in the distance, or holding something up high-ish? Trying to place his hand on his thigh or knee just wouldn't look right.

Hope this helps and I shall be following with interest.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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Thanks Badder. I'm now thinking that he may end up eating a massive wad of a sandwich, that would get both hands up and may be easier to pose?

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On looking at 'Henry V' I decided that it was too out of shape to do anything with so out with the razor saw....

 

...and fitted a new torso. I'm trying to save the head as well.

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Now less 'Henry V' and more 'Charles I'.

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The new torso is a bit more natural now, I twisted it slightly to show him leaning towards the conversation taking place in front of him.

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Stay tuned....

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I'm now happy with the pose of 'Charles I' (the loader sitting on the turret) and just have to add Milliput to smooth out and fill the joints, I'll also add some to the underneath of the arm on the hatch to make better contact with it. I made a sandwich out of three layers of thin plastic card for his right hand, and roughly chopped one corner off to create a bite out of it. This looks a lot more natural to me now, but please comment if you think that I could improve it before I get some paint on the figures?

 

This week I can hopefully start laying some colour on the Firefly which is the part like best!

 

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First coat of paint on (Vallejo Russian Uniform green), it was a very light coat then I'll darken it with some grey or brown and give the lower surfaces another dusting on Thursday.

 

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Note the obligatory thumbprint on the side! :-D That'll disappear with another few coats of paint. I also forgot to glue the drivers hatch in the right position, that'll get done tomorrow.

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I chewed up the edges of the roadwheels by running them over 60 grit sanding discs, I'm pleased at how they look now the paint is on.

 

Edited by spursn17

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Great 'save' on the loader! Much, much better now. Well done. I'm wondering if he's eating a BLT or found an onion and stuffed it in a sandwich with half a tin of 'processed cheese' from the combat rations?

As for the thumb print, personally I'd rub it back a bit with some wet and dry before re-spraying, cos often the ridges of your print will show up through the new paint.

Keep up the good work!

 

Badder

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Already rubbed down and ready for the next coat mate 😉

 

As for the sandwich, got to be bully beef!

 

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Darkened up the Russian Uniform green with a few drops of the other three colours...

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...and sprayed the lower parts and sides of the hull, also random patches of the top and turret, especially the underneath of the barrel and under the mantlet.

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Although being knackered from night shifts I've managed to do a bit more this week, hit a bit of a wall though as I'm not happy with some of it.

 

First off I've but a base coat of Vallejo flat flesh on the face and hands of the figures, this paint brushes lovely, especially when thinned slightly. When it was dry I painted some off white for the eyes, I wasn't to careful about this as it'll need touching up afterwards anyway.

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Whilst the figures were drying I prepared the Firefly for the decals by putting a coat of gloss on it.

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I used a can of this from a pound shop and it went on really nice, it was scary waiting to see if it would react with the Vallejo though!

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While the gloss on the tank was drying I painted the eyeballs. Then touched them up and painted them again. Then remembered why I gave up with figures all those years ago!

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Fed up and calling the eyes done now, I'll see how they look after some shading and highlighting.

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Decals on the tank, but they were a right pain in the bum!

As I put them on I thought 'these are nice and thin for Tamiya decals', as I put them on nearly all of them broke apart. I eventually got all of the parts in place by floating them together on a pool of Klear. Looks OK now but I think that they must be Asuka decals and not the indestructible Tamiya ones.

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While they were drying I was experimenting with colour combinations for the crew's tank suits, not got it right yet though. Createx airbrush cleaner in the background is perfect for thinning Vallejo paints for brushing or spraying.

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Edited by spursn17
.

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Well, back to the spare room last night with two bottles of Henry Weston's finest to have another bash at the figures.

 

I used these colours first to lay down some basic shading.

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These look like a bit of a mess at the moment but I'm hoping that it'll come good at the end. Quite a lot of my modelling is based on hope!:D

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Some lighter coats applied over the top, I mostly used Flat Flesh and Light Flesh for this.

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I use a plastic egg box to mix the paint which worked out quite well, I had 1 segment with water (for washing the brush), and another with Createx AB cleaner (for thinner).

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I think that I'm done with the faces now. They're not perfect but I was after a grimy look rather than freshly scrubbed parade ground squaddie's. I may touch them up a bit after the uniforms have been painted, but I don't think that they're too bad for a first attempt in a long while.

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Last night the Sherman had a Vallejo matt coat applied

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While I still had a little time left the two infantry figures had a base coat of Vallejo British Uniform

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I'm still not happy with the eyes on the figures so I'm going to have another go at them, I'm determined to crack this!

 

Also, does anyone know what colour the gun cleaning rods on the Sherman should be?

Edited by spursn17

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Eyes modified, feeling like I'm reasonably happy with these now. Time to move on! I reckon that the two bottles of Henry Weston's Vintage Cider didn't help last time! :D

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After the eyes I brush painted the tyres on the roadwheels with Lifecolor Tire (Tyre), I really like using Lifecolor paint as it flows so well. I had previously roughed up the edges of the roadwheels by running them over a 60 grit sanding disc to make them look used, this made them a bit difficult to paint as I had to 'scrub' the paint in to get it in to the indentations.

30999619686_22c0593086_c.jpg

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Did a bit more painting on the figures, again I'm not that happy with it! When I look at some of the great figure painting on here I feel that mine look a little rough, I'll keep plugging away though.

 

Over a base coat of RLM02 I applied some US Olive Drab (I think) where the shadows should be.

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Then I darkened the base RLM02 with the US Drab and tried to blend the shadows. One of the problems that I had was that the Vallejo dried a lot darker than it was when brushed on wet.

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Lastly I brushed on some neat RLM02 as highlights. Not sure about them at the moment, I may have a rethink and try again, maybe I should try more cider this time! :D

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