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Sleepwalker

M3 Stuart (Late), Tamiya 1/35

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I have started this model quite some time back, just after its release. As all new Tamiya's issues fit is close to perfect with the decent amount of details. Model with show a tank from US Army 1st Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division during Tunisia campaign in February 1943. Camouflage - solid olive drab with yellow markings and of course desert effects.

As I mentioned model is very easy to assemble and this is how it looked after maybe two days of assembly before it landed to the storage box.

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Somehow its time has come and now I will finish it. First I replaced moulded on handles on the engine access doors with a wire, added some missing details and primed with finishing surfacer in black and white preshade pattern where undersides and overhangs got just a touch of white or remained black. This is how it looks now:

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Now it's time for Olive Drab and adding some finishing details.

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Nicely built...

 

Nice start on the paint, maybe you can try to darken the lower parts, and lighten the upper parts of the plates (instead of the middle parts of the plates). a bit of a black and white replication of the shadows.

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Normally I'm painting with plain grey surfacer, but this time I decided to try this approach. Lightning of the side panels I usually get by oil dots filters, as you said darker on lower surfaces and lighter tones on the upper. I'm expecting this preshading to give me a nice tonal variety, not sort of paint modulation effect.

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I think this is what I wanted to achieve - some discolourations and tonal variations of the Olive Drab (XF-62 used). Now, will come detail painting, adding some straps on the tools and ammo boxes, clear coat and decals. And then... all the fun with bringing it back to life.

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Edited by Sleepwalker

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Decaling went quite well. Initially, I intended to use Tamiya's Mark Fit Strong, but one small decal I tried didn't look convincing for me, so I switched to trusted Micro Sol/Set duo. I don't know how and when but two decals were misplaced a bit (top and right front of the turret). After expressing my feelings about it using high rate FPS. I corrected top decal by trimming it, but it didn't work for the side one. I need to repaint it now, but it shouldn't be an issue. Interesting is colour I will use - after testing all yellows I have, the best match was Tamiya's XF-4 yellow-green. Originally decals are pure yellow, but upon their application on the olive drab surface, they're gaining greenish tint.

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UPDATE:

I guess I can call it a quite successful recovery.🙃

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Edited by Sleepwalker

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Story continues. I have gloss coated decals with some sanding afterwards to flatten them down. Then I applied dark brown pinwash followed by satin clear coat. Here is a model after the ochre oil filter and before further processing. Next step will be some additional dot filtering with the balance set to grey/sand colours as the vehicle was used in Tunisia. then dust and dirt will come. Basically, I'm not planning any excessive chipping and rusting as the vehicle was rather short-lived being destroyed during a battle at Kasserine Pass. Besides what I read Olive Drab paint was really durable and what looks like paint chips, in fact, is free of dirt and dust base colour.

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Looks nice. 

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Here is my humble recreation of the effect of harsh conditions of Northern Africa battlefield. The model has been layered, sometimes caked with North Africa dust pigment. Especially brutally bottom of the hull and the top front has been treated. As a reference, I took photos of the Stuarts and other tanks during Kasserine Pass fighting. This will be followed by sand deposition around the raised tank features, some oily grim and fuel spots and leaks, dust streaks and whatever else will come to my mind or will be suggested by you. I'm not planning any chipping as original Olive Drab paint except fading was very durable, and my Stuart lifetime was quite short, as it has been destroyed during Kasserine Pass battle. In most of the cases what is taken as chipping are spots where dust and dirt have been wiped out and bare paint is visible. Tracks are not installed yet, as I need to add some oil leaks on the hull sides, but they are ready to mount being equally hardly treated by the dust.

And some photos:

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I consider it done unless you would have any more suggestions. In the near future, I will make a desert themed base.

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