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Posted (edited)

Hi peeps,

This is just a place-holder for an upcoming winter diorama featuring my entry for the M3-M4 STGB, Tamiya's 1/35th M4A3E8 Easy Eight.

 

I am starting this thread now because my 'FACE OFF' Sherman is nearing completion... AT LAST.

I'd got it to a stage where I could call it 'Finished'  for entry into the GB Gallery, but always intended to carry on with it afterwards. It's taken more time than I had thought, mostly because I've been building/painting models every day for well over a year and a half now and after the GB I needed to slow things right down!

(Oh, I still have the figures to do, but there's no hurry for those.)

 

 

 

For those who didn't follow the GB, my Sherman was inspired by a Sherman that was active in the Bastogne region during the Battle of the Bulge and photographed in January. The Sherman had extra armour added to the glacis - in fact it had almost an entire donor glacis bolted and welded over its own. It also had armour added to the turret cheeks. There were also signs of it having once been whitewashed, but the whitewash had been.... er... washed off.

 

My Sherman depicts the Easy Eight in an earlier state, with full, but heavily worn and dirtied winter camo at the onset of warmer weather and the start of the thaw.

 

The diorama will depict the Sherman at a 'pit stop'. Snow will feature heavily, but so will mud and puddles as the thaw was quite rapid. I did consider using a mostly scratchbuilt ruined house as a scenic piece.... which I originally made for my 'Ever Evolving Diorama'... but it may be too large for the size of base I envisaged. I may up the size of the dio if I can't get it to look right on the base I have now.

 

 

Anyway, I have a bit more work to do on the Sherman, so I'll say 'I hope to see you here soon'.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

 

 

Just to whet your appetites, here's the 'nearly finished' Sherman (sans figures, aerial, kit bag on the glacis and two guard plates on the front fenders) ......in a scale winter setting.......

Edited by Badder

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Posted (edited)

KqutvhQ.jpg

 

hdJ70Y2.jpg

 

 

 

suwSgHV.jpg

 

7JrK0l6.jpg

 

xspcgtP.jpg

 

So, looking at these photos I need to adjust the colour of the mud under the transmission housing.

 

TFL

Badder

 

 

 

Edited by Badder

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That's some gorgeous work!

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Just now, RichO said:

That's some gorgeous work!

Thank very much Rich,

It's a messy beast, probably not to everyone's taste, but I wanted to practice 'muddying up' and a Sherman was the ideal candidate. BTW, this is the 3rd AFV I've winterized, and I think the most successful in respect of the 'heavily weathered whitewash' look. I used AK Interactive Heavy Chipping Fluid - the second time I've done so - and again it has proven itself excellent. My first effort relied on varnishes and rubbing back the whitewash with water, but while that was also quite effective the varnishes were nowhere near as 'strong' as the chipping fluid and sometimes the varnishes came off and the underlying paints were badly affected. Here, I've had no such problem. The instructions say to use enamels over the chipping fluid, but I used acrylics and the effects are quite nice I think... the crazing especially so.

 

I'm really looking forward to plonking this Sherman in a snow and mud setting. It will be a challenge!

 

Rearguards,

Badder

 

 

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Hi Badder. Hope you are well. I'm looking forward to following this project when it gets underway. Your Sherman looks great outside in the sunlight. Hope you have a good weekend.

Kind regards,

Stix

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@PlaStix

 

1. Wife's car got shunted by a white van driver and was very nearly written off. Cost of repairs will be almost the value of the car, but van driver's insurance company agreed to pay out.

2. I got told off by my diabetes nurse and now have to attend docs once a week to get my insulin regime sorted out.

 

BUT WORST OF ALL

3. My original Aztek airbrush finally packed up for good. I took the thing apart - by that I mean I broke it apart - to see if the internal mechanisms were damaged/worn/dislocated, but they were all okay, if not rather dirty. Sadly, no amount of cleaning and reassembly resolved the issues. I surmise that the old worn needle and needle unit were the problem ... too worn and damaged to work properly any more.

 

So this weekend I'm going to undertake a 140 mile round trip to an airbrush stockist (There's no way I'm purchasing an expensive airbrush over the net without having given one a test-run)

 

And then I can crack on and get this WIP up and running!

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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I said in a WIP somewhere that I no longer glue a tank's lower and upper hull together if there is no need.... relying instead on the pins and nylon bushes to do the job. This means that I can separate them if needs be. And that need was there with my Easy Eight.

ra85kSd.jpg

 

I had given the tracks a slopping with mud and grass, and ran over the treads with a graphite stick, but both effects have suffered with subsequent handling, so I took the tank apart and re-did the graphite on the tracks front and rear. The mud I will re-do when the Sherman is placed in the dio.  I also took the opportunity to retrieve a helmet and a kit bag from inside, and paint the forward-inner black. I know it's supposed to be white but once the figures are in place I would prefer that the interior be in 'deep shadow' and invisible.

 

 

I've also made yet another version of the bag hanging from the gun travel lock... the largest and final one I shall make. I'm very happy with how this one has turned out. Again, I used cig rolling papers to make the tublar bag ,stuffed it with 'quick drying clay and used a bit of thin CA top and bottom to hold everything together. I really don't know how they can call it clay. It's more like very soft chewing gum which dries like spongy polystyrene.

BZrcFWt.jpg

The creases in the bag turned out rather nice I think. BTW the 'rope' has since been tied up around the gun lock.

 

lzfUyrY.jpg

 

And that rescued helmet went here:

EtDg4kI.jpgDamned cat hairs! A new airbrush will blow all the rubbish off.

 

TFL

Badder

 

 

 

 

 

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Your situation sounds a bit like mine.  I have to drive for hours to get to a decent hobby shop.  But only in emergencies, everything else is on line.

As for your nurse giving you a hard time.  If it's sugar, you need to stop that.  We need a diorama master around here.  No more messing up.

And your airbrush.  I'm with you on that idea, that there are some items I just do not purchase on line.  

 

The creases look outstanding!  The tank looks great and the tracks.  Great job.

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looked at each picture and disapointed to find that it didnt move!!!!!

 

bloomin' realistic

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7 hours ago, RichO said:

Your situation sounds a bit like mine.  I have to drive for hours to get to a decent hobby shop.  But only in emergencies, everything else is on line.

As for your nurse giving you a hard time.  If it's sugar, you need to stop that.  We need a diorama master around here.  No more messing up. 

And your airbrush.  I'm with you on that idea, that there are some items I just do not purchase on line.  

 

The creases look outstanding!  The tank looks great and the tracks.  Great job.

Hi Rich,

Silly me didn't check that the airbrush stockist was open over the weekend!

It wasn't!

Less sillyly, I DID check before setting off! Now I will have to go on Tuesday.

 

As for my diabetes, I'm now on a new insulin regime which seems to be working. It's a bit scary for me to be so close to 'normal sugar levels' though. My body was running at high blood sugar for so long I was used to it, so at normal levels I feel like I'm flying as high as a kite. The one or two hypos I've had are very unpleasant so I'm dreading an accidental overdose of inuslin!

 

Thanks for appreciating my Sherman. It is the best model I've made to date, although of course there's a few things I'm not totally happy with! That's how we improve though, isn't it? Never happy with everything!

The creases on the big kit bags are a bit hit and miss, hence several attempts, but I've got the general method sussed.

 

Work will commence on this diorama tomorrow.

 

I hope you are well,

Rearguards,

Badder

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5 hours ago, SA80A2AR said:

looked at each picture and disapointed to find that it didnt move!!!!!

 

bloomin' realistic

Thanks SA80A2AR,

The Sherman is now finished and the final photos are no available to view in the RFI forum. 'Face off' (page 3)

The photos there are MUCH better and are lacking in dust, fluff and cat hairs.

 

IF you are viewing the photos on a laptop, you could always impart a sense of movement by zooming out slighly and scrolling Right to Left, or Left to Right, across the screen. If you are viewing on a mobile, you could always strap it to a handy cat and get it to run across the room.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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Terrible trouble with tinternet/laptop today: taking up all of my time that could have been spent on this diorama! I've FINALLY gotten ONE photo uploaded, after 6hrs of solid trying!

Grrrrr.

Ended up uninstalling various new browsers and reverting to just one older one, and that seems to have done the job. (for now, anyway)

 

 

So, I've been messing about with board sizes and possible layouts, using some or all of my scratchbuilt 'ruined village house' as a backdrop.

Here's the largest size I'm wanting to go to, base-wise, with the building taking up the back 1/3rd  of the base.

CJsWFel.jpg

 

The Sherman, won't be placed as shown above. It's just there for scale.

I mention scale because there is a problem with the building in that it was made from casts taken from MiniArt's 'Ruined Village House' and like all MiniArt buildings, it was slightly overscale in regards of height. I did adjust the door height back in the day, but was not fussy enough to change the ceiling/upper floor heights. Now I have the opportunity to maybe adjust those heights, lowering the 1st floor and thereby giving me more room to better model the remains of the upper floor and roof.

 

So, my intention (for now) is to work on the building, playing around with the floor plans and getting the structure believable. I can see I'm going to have some major restructuring to do with some of the walls, but if I don't use this building now, I probably never will!

 

I've considered the option of dropping down to a half-size base and using just a smaller section of this building, making the Sherman the main focus of the diorama... and that is something that hasn't been ruled out. We shall see how things go....

 

TFL

Badder,

Hopefully the proud owner of a new airbrush tomorrow.

 

 

 

CJsWFel.jpg

 

ps, it took SO long to get this image uploaded today, I'm making the most of it!

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Posted (edited)

A view of the inner side of the building.

Wall sections from the original MiniArt kit show bare stonework where the floor beams and joists would have fitted. I fitted my own in these spaces, allowing for floor boards/skirting boards above them and ceilings below. As it turns out I think MiniArt placed the ceiling 3ft too high (in scale) This will all be rectified.

 

05KG5sf.jpg

 

The smaller base with a smaller section of building:

rqX9gSf.jpg

 

 

CrPn3Yo.jpg

 

 

 

TFL

Badder

Edited by Badder

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I am always in awe of people able to make dio's.I wish I had the aptetude....Your model and the base looks awesome mate.

 

Regards:

Shaun

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I am now the proud owner of a Harder and Steenbeck Evolution CRplus Two in One Airbrush after a trip to Everythingairbrush. The guys there were very helpful and also have great taste in music!   \M/

 

1 hour ago, the South African said:

I am always in awe of people able to make dio's.I wish I had the aptetude....Your model and the base looks awesome mate.

 

Regards:

Shaun

Thanks Shaun,

The building I'm using was meant to feature in a winter diorama with a StuG IV, but I changed my mind as the StuG was dwarfed by it. The whole theme of the diorama changed, a new building was made and the StuG was consigned to the shelf. That diorama then became my 'Ever Evolving Diorama' diorama, which is currently on hold while I crack on with this one. So it's nice to have the bones of a building to start off with, and nice to have it feature in a winter diorama as originally intended.

 

I am especially looking forward to modelling the collapsed floors and roof!

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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Posted (edited)

No progress yesterday as I played around with my new airbrush instead. A huge jump up from my ancient and now deceased Aztek,  the Harder and Steenbeck Evolution CRplus has beautiful chrome plating on all the metal parts, PTFE bushes, and a nice weighty feel.  I spent a while disassembling and reassembling it just to familiarise myself with the parts and how they all fit together and interact. It was all made to a very high standard. I have the 2 in 1 airbrush with both small and large sets of cups and needles. I was very pleased with everything, until I decided to bite the bullet and blow some acrylic ink through it.

The paint cups had lids on them, with tiny holes in the centre. A very small diagram showed someone dripping paint into the cup with a pipette. It looked like they were dripping it into the tiny hole in the lid. Really ??????? My old Aztek cups had lids, and even smaller holes. One simply removed the lids with a twist and pull and filled the cups with paint. Perhaps one switched the airbrush on and let it suck air into the cup through the hole in the lid, I thought. Hmmmmm. It seemed silly to me. but I ask to be forgiven. In my defence, I I HAD noticed the knurled circumferences to the 'lids' and HAD tried to unscrew them at the disassembly stage, but I just couldn't do it. They were fixed solid. In fact, I came to the conclusion that they were not lids as such, and were integral to the cups themselves, the knurling just there to aid the unscrewing of the entire cup unit.

I refused to try dripping paint into the tiny hole then, and decided that paint was poured into the cups from the bottom - unscrewing the cups, inverting them, filling them with paint then refitting them to the airbrush. To prevent things getting awfully messy, it was required to invert the airbrush during the refitting. Again, all a bit silly, but it seemed that was the way it had to be done. 

And so I blew some ink through it and had a play around. 

Then I had to clean it.

I disassembled those parts that needed to be cleaned. How do I clean out the cups though, I thought. Remove cup. Rinse out, poke inside with a cotton bud and clean the insides, Again a bit awkward. Stupid. Give it one more go unscrewing the 'lid'. Nope. Solid as a rock. And then I PULLED on the lid, and hey presto it came off!

 

Good grief! Talk about precision engineering and an airtight fit! The lids fit so perfectly into the cups that it's IMPOSSIBLE to twist them around by finger pressure alone. They have to be pulled out. If it weren't for the tiny air holes in the lids, I doubt they'd come out at all.

 

Anyhooooooooooo......

No airbrushing today, but work has commenced on the building.

I think I've figured out what I'm going to do.

 

I've decided to extend the building to improve its layout (something I had considered doing when it was going to be a part of my 'Ever Evolving Diorama' but then gave up on when the theme of the dio changed) Obviously, I will have to make new walls, or 'repair' some of the damaged ones. I will also drop the first floor level down a couple of centimetres. I now plan to show a half collapsed roof, with a section of the building still basically in tact and being used as a shelter and store for fuel and ammo etc.

 

First job: to drop the 1st floor level.

 

Here's the interior of one gable wall with a wooden beam fitted where MiniArt would have you fit it. As you can see, this makes the ground floor room rather high when compared to a 1/35th figure, even though he be headless. Be aware that this interior wall is a worked plaster cast of the original kit wall.  I'd already lowered the height of the doorway as MiniArt would have it 10ft high in scale!

7gR9Vn2.jpg

 

And where the new floor level will be:

A5n9UsR.jpg

 

Sanding away the plaster all around the walls to create a new recess for the floor beams to fit into (only roughly for now - a spirit level will be required to check the levels properly)

Rqqynrm.jpg

 

 

The extension will be at right angles to the main building, a section extending to the right of the chimney, making the building 'L' shaped. This means I will have to use the larger of the bases.

hpzHMJv.jpg

 

 

Now, having settled on the larger base, I'm going to have a fair bit of building and not much in the way of an actual vehicle.... so, do I add another Sherman?

May be. But I can definitely add one of these.

Tpu7HnH.jpg

 

 

TFL

Badder

Edited by Badder

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Nice building Badder, your definitely getting your money's worth in regards to those moulds. The jeep will be a nice addition, what about a half track or a Duce and a half For Infantry support ?

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On 6/6/2018 at 9:28 PM, Ozzy said:

Nice building Badder, your definitely getting your money's worth in regards to those moulds. The jeep will be a nice addition, what about a half track or a Duce and a half For Infantry support ?

Hi Ozzy and thanks,

Yeah, I knew making moulds was a wise move! The extension shouldn't be too hard to make once I decide its layout.

For now though, I'm midway through making the Jeep. Having already constructed and painted the chassis, bodywork and sub-assemblies such as the seats, I'm now applying decals. Once that's done I will insert the seating, fix chassis to body, fix the bonnet in place, construct and paint the tyres and all of the accessories and add them. I'm going for a Jeep from the 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion Reconnaissance Company No22 which - very usefully - was present in Belgium Jan 45. It would be nice if it was in the Bastogne region, just like the Sherman, but I haven't checked tinternet yet. If not, it'll just have to do!

 

I'd love to add another vehicle but I'm a bit limited for room.  I'd have to have it parked quite close to the Sherman, and I think the best option in that case would be to have another Sherman!

 

Rearguards,

Badder 

 

 

 

 

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I know what you mean about space, I have a similar dilemma when deciding the compasition of my dioaramas.

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Hi Badder. Hope you are well. Glad you've managed to get yourself a new airbrush and I hope you have managed to get it working to your satifaction. (If not you could always use those brush type thingies!! :winkgrin:) I am always fascinated to see how you projects develop and this looks like it's off to a cracking start.

Kind regards,

Stix 

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On 6/11/2018 at 5:12 PM, PlaStix said:

Hi Badder. Hope you are well. Glad you've managed to get yourself a new airbrush and I hope you have managed to get it working to your satifaction. (If not you could always use those brush type thingies!! :winkgrin:) I am always fascinated to see how you projects develop and this looks like it's off to a cracking start.

Kind regards,

Stix 

Hi Stix, 

I got a telling off from my consultant, so I've REALLY got to get my blood sugar under control OR ELSE! So far, the new insulin regime seems to be working, so touch wood, things should get better.

 

As for the new airbrush, it's certainly a beauty. My old Aztek was double-action, but the air and paint flow were basically either full on, half on, or off. This new one is hyper-sensitive in comparison so everything needs to be just right with regards to air pressure, paint consistency and trigger action. I've only used it on the Jeep so far, and had a few 'splattery' incidents at the base-coat stages. Luckily I've been able to clean most of that up, either with water or wet and dry paper. Anyway, the thing is going to be splattered with mud in places, so anything I've missed will end up looking like mud splatter once it's been dry-brushed. 

 

The Jeep is nearly finished, with just some detail painting of the reflectors, rear lights etc and the stowage to paint and add. I'll post it in the R FI section when it's done, but also here beside the Sherman, just to show how blooming small the Jeep is!

 

And talking of scale, the building above was, as you know, an extension of one of MiniArt's typically over-scale buildings. I am thinking now, that actually, I SHOULD fit THREE floors in the space of their two! The problem with that though, is the upper floor window on their gable wall.... it will require raising or lowering a little bit. I'm wondering if I can simply cut around it, remove it, and drop it down 30mm or so, and then make a smaller window higher up - more of an attic window. More work, but I think that's probably the way to go. 

 

Watch this space!

Rearguards,

Badder

 

 

On 6/8/2018 at 10:00 PM, Ozzy said:

I know what you mean about space, I have a similar dilemma when deciding the compasition of my dioaramas.

Hi Ozzy, I think composition is 9/10ths of a successful diorama! My building is a bit large for the given size of base - leaving me less room for the AFVs/figures, but it may turn out that it LOOKS okay when it's finished!

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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On 13/06/2018 at 15:30, Badder said:

Hi Stix, 

I got a telling off from my consultant, so I've REALLY got to get my blood sugar under control OR ELSE! So far, the new insulin regime seems to be working, so touch wood, things should get better.

 

As for the new airbrush, it's certainly a beauty. My old Aztek was double-action, but the air and paint flow were basically either full on, half on, or off. This new one is hyper-sensitive in comparison so everything needs to be just right with regards to air pressure, paint consistency and trigger action. I've only used it on the Jeep so far, and had a few 'splattery' incidents at the base-coat stages. Luckily I've been able to clean most of that up, either with water or wet and dry paper. Anyway, the thing is going to be splattered with mud in places, so anything I've missed will end up looking like mud splatter once it's been dry-brushed. 

 

The Jeep is nearly finished, with just some detail painting of the reflectors, rear lights etc and the stowage to paint and add. I'll post it in the R FI section when it's done, but also here beside the Sherman, just to show how blooming small the Jeep is!

 

And talking of scale, the building above was, as you know, an extension of one of MiniArt's typically over-scale buildings. I am thinking now, that actually, I SHOULD fit THREE floors in the space of their two! The problem with that though, is the upper floor window on their gable wall.... it will require raising or lowering a little bit. I'm wondering if I can simply cut around it, remove it, and drop it down 30mm or so, and then make a smaller window higher up - more of an attic window. More work, but I think that's probably the way to go. 

 

Watch this space!

Rearguards,

Badder

Hi Badder. Glad you think you are doing better with your new insulin regime. I was going to say I'd keep my fingers crossed for you but it's going to make it too hard to make kits! I know that sounds selfish but I like making kits too much -  I'll just wish you all the best!! I'm pleased you have found a good airbrush - and it seems to be working well. I just went to check again for your photos of the jeep but they weren't there yet. You may need to swap to Flickr - I use it and, apart from a occasional hiccups at their end, it usually works pretty well. It is free at the moment although they were taken over by Smug Mug a while back so there will probably be a charge for the service soon.

I will be interested to see what you do with the building.

Kind regards,

Stix

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Just now, PlaStix said:

Hi Badder. Glad you think you are doing better with your new insulin regime. I was going to say I'd keep my fingers crossed for you but it's going to make it too hard to make kits! I know that sounds selfish but I like making kits too much -  I'll just wish you all the best!! I'm pleased you have found a good airbrush - and it seems to be working well. I just went to check again for your photos of the jeep but they weren't there yet. You may need to swap to Flickr - I use it and, apart from a occasional hiccups at their end, it usually works pretty well. It is free at the moment although they were taken over by Smug Mug a while back so there will probably be a charge for the service soon.

I will be interested to see what you do with the building.

Kind regards,

Stix

Hi Stix,

I needed some stick from docs,, and writing stuff about my mistake inuslin regime here .in public,. is just another method of making me to get my bottom in gear!

So far, I've done very well, with my blood sugar levels down into single figures for the most part of each day. Previously I was usually in the mid to high teens! If I can keep this up (which is actually quite a chore) I could be lengthening my life expectancy!

 

Anyway, that aside, I've been trying to post pics from Imgur, and succeeded with just 2. Not sure if it's Imgur, my laptop or BM, but for some reason the direct links aren't working most of the time. I've resorted to trying all kinds of links, with no success. I will try again later after I boot my laptop. Physically boot it, with my boot!

 

Hope you and the better half are well,

Rearguards,

Badder

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Still farting about with the old building, trying to figure out how best to convert it for use in this diorama.

There are a couple of issues to consider.

 

Firstly, it's too tall for a two storey building... so I could convert it to 3 storeys (or at least 2 storeys and a large attic) That will require some work, plus the addition of an extension - otherwise the building will look odd AND  staircases won't be easy to fit in. This would obviously increase the footprint of the building and decrease the space I have for the vehicles and snowy scenery. In fact the building would take up nearly half of the entire base. And I'm not particularly happy with that thought.

 

Secondly, whether 2 storeys or 3, extended or not, the building is actually a bit too tall for the base I think. And it has that stupid asymmetrical shape, with one side wall being higher than the other and the roof ridge being off centre. Again the fault of MiniArt, who thought they were being quirky and clever, but weren't.

I could chop down the higher side wall, remodel the gable wall and reposition the roof ridge so that the building is symmetrical. I'd still have to build an extension, but the overall height of the building would be lower, so it wouldn't look to be such a bulky part of the dio.

 

Or I could forget about the old building and start from scratch...... hmmmmmm

Or, I could forget about THIS diorama and convert my Ever Evolving Diorama into a winter one, and place the Sherman, Jeep and maybe some other vehicles in THAT one instead?

 

THOUGHTS?

 

Badder.

Edited by Badder

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Hi Badder. Well, despite it being a chore, I'm glad you are making progress healthwise. Shame the same can't be said about Imgur.

As I mentioned in your RFI post - your Jeep looks stunningly superb and will certainly go well alongside your Sherman.

First off - stick with this idea - rather than starting to change an already well evolved diorama. (You'd probably have to take all those individual leaves off the trees, etc. if it's a winter scene!!!!)

Secondly - if the height is really bothering you that much - most of us wouldn't have even thought about it if you hadn't mentioned it - you could - rather than spend too much time on it - reduce the height of most of it and have it as though it's much more heavily damaged. Do it so the rubble/broken floorboards, etc. from it are still in place around the bottom of the walls and covering up some of the features you are concerned about. There have been some very convincing models of recently damaged buildings and, in some ways, they are more impressive than those where the broken walls are surrounded by just the odd brick or two. I'm sure you are the modeller to pull off a well damaged building scene. Just my :2c:.

Kind regards,

Stix

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