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Army_Air_Force

My Daughter's Airfix D-Day Battlefront Diorama - with Additions

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The afternoon was almost over, so we put the tank in a box out of the way for the decals to fully harden and moved on.

 

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So in the last few minutes of the afternoon, she started butting out parts of the bombed out house.

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm surprised the tank isn't in the MLP armoured division markings.

I'm probably teaching my granny to suck eggs here but when you get to the figure painting we used to paint the figures with a coat of diluted PVA  glue  as a primer & undercoat.

Edited by spaddad

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Yes, I've seen a number of threads about undercoating the rubbery figures and how acrylics work better than enamels, so we've got a little experimenting to get the best results. 

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Stephen,

A nice result on the Sherman.

'What a gal!'

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20 hours ago, Army_Air_Force said:

Once both turret stars and both registrations were added, the star on the top of the turret was applied. It was a little more tricky being partially under the commander's hatch.

 

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A little Microsol was added to the decals to help them sit down and after that dried, Kevin the Commander and Dave the Driver came to check on the progress. Both were pleased with their new ride!

 

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Great , loved every picture and got a shock to see her wielding a scalpel ,brilliant.

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We had a little time spare this morning, so gave the Sherman a couple of washes. The first was a black wash all over. We used the Airfix acrylics, diluted with car screen wash. It was then force dried with a hair dryer. 

 

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Next came an earth brown wash over the suspension units, wheels and front of the tank. When you ride around in a Sherman on a dusty day, you soon realise how much dust and dirt is thrown forwards from the front of the track as it goes around the sprocket. This immediately blows back in your face!

 

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The tracks were given an earth wash too, but we'll add some clumps of mud later, once they are fitted.

 

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We're both rather pleased with the way the weathering has come out. It's not far away now. Tracks, mud, hatches, logs, crew and possibly an aerial, although that might wait until the final assembly of the diorama.

 

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Wednesday is my daughter's modelling day, so I did a little preparation while she was at school to allow things to move a little faster once she was home. The twigs that we collected on the way home from school a few weeks ago were cut to length and the ends chamfered to simulate being axed. They were then glued together in sets of three so they had time to dry.

 

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Kevin and Dave were painted, also so they would be dry for late afternoon. Dave also had the base drilled and a piece of wire glued in. The wire formed a handle to allow him to be fed in theough the hole in the hull and then positioned in his driver's hatch. Kevin's backside and thighs were trimmed into a groove to allow him to sit better over the turret hatch rim.

 

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The first job my daughter did tonight was to start assembling the bombed out house, so parts could start drying while we worked on the Sherman. After that, she turned to the logs, now glued into one piece. We used cotton to represent rope to tie the logs on to the tank. She tied one knot at the top of the stack, adding a tiny drop of PVA glue to hold the first knot. Both ends of each set of logs was roped. They were all left to dry.

 

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The rubber tracks were flipped inside out and taped down to a piece of wood for joining. The hot knife method was used for joining them.

 

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The holes for the sprckets were too small to allow the sprocket to fit, so I gave her a needle file to slowly open up the holes, test fitting as she went.

 

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Once both sides were a snug fit and the paint was cleaned from the hull and sprocket, I gave her some tube glue to brush onto the mounting points. We then fitted the sprocket into the track, which was already looped over the rest of the wheels, and slotted the sprocket into its hole.

 

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With the tracks attached, the logs were next. One piece of the cotton thread was wrapped around a couple more times and then glued on the back, before the logs were then glued to the side of the hull. Both sides were done and weighted down while they dried.

 

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While they were drying, Kevin was glued to the top of the turret.

 

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As mentioned earlier, the house was started first this afternoon. We hopped on and off the house, leaving each wall to dry a while before coming back to add the next one.

 

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I had a couple of metal 'V' blocks which made it a little easier for my daughter to position and hold the parts while she ran the solvent glue into the joints with a brush.

 

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With all the walls assembled, the floor was glued in. The roof was cut from the sprue and cleaned up, but left off for now to allow easier painting of both the floor and roof parts. 

 

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With a bit of heat from a hair dryer, the logs were dry enough for a few quick pictures. The cotton thread still needs cutting to a suitable length, so for now was just draped over the hull.

 

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Time to see the bigger picture. My daughter is very pleased with how it is all looking. She should be pleased, she's doing a fantastic job - still with lots of guidance and a couple of extra hands from me here and there, but in general, mostly her own work.

 

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The tracks on the Sherman are a fraction on the long side. To help to keep them in place, the last job of the day was to add some PVA glue to the lower track and wheels. The tank was then weighted down to keep the wheels in contact with the track while the glue dried.

 

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ACE!!

 

Your daughter puts me to shame- I’mhopeless at Armour modelling.

 

Well done, her.  And well done you, to encourage her.

 

Jonny

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Been really enjoying this build, takes me back to making similar models as a child, although I had a bit less guidance. There's also a definite charm to seeing these Airfix models made, even if they are unrefined by today's standards.

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Another build session after school today. We got the ropes cut down and glued in place and after that, Dave the driver was installed. The wire used to install Dave would be trimmed once the glue had a hold. The front hatches were added next.

 

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Back on the house, we wanted wood beams and terracotta tiles on the roof. Because of the layers and order of detail in the roof, the inside and outside would be painted in different orders. On the inside, my daughter painted the red tiles first, allowing the joists to be added after. On the outside of the roof, the whole area was painted timber coloured first, and the tile colour added after. Red and dark earth were mixed to give a toned down colour for the tiles.

 

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The loft floor was painted a brown for the first shade of the timber planks. The outside of the walls came next, being painted a base colour for the stone finish. 

 

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Some of the small wooden crates were also painted. The copper wire on Dave was trimmed allowing the turret to fit, but it won't be glued until the final layout of the diorama is decided. By the time the house walls had two coats and the roof painted, it was 5:30 and time for food.

 

d_day060.jpg

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Both Dave the driver and Kevin the commander are very pleased with their new ride. Both are eyeing up the Airfix Jeep box out of shot and are wondering who will be driving that!

 

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We plan to find a nice country lane somewhere which will make an appropriate background for a photoshoot once the whole diorama is complete. For now, this printed backdrop will have to do.

 

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Nice work Steve, glad to see you're introducing her to real Airfix kits & not those stupid Lego like things.  We cut our modelling teeth on these old kits so lack of detail, parts etc shouldn't be seen as a drawback, in fact I think really old Airfix such as the old MiG 15, Sea Hawk, original Skyhawk, original Typhoon etc released at £3 or £4 a shot are a much more useful way to introduce youngsters to the hobby.

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13 hours ago, spaddad said:

Nice work Steve, glad to see you're introducing her to real Airfix kits ........

 

From an early age!! Her first kit was a Red Arrows Hawk, started a few weeks before her 4th Birthday. Low parts count and simple kits make things easier, but at least she has my experience to guide her. When I started ( about the same age ), my dad knew as much as me, so we blundered on just following the instructions and working it out as we went. These days of course, we know the instructions are just a guide and many things need to be made and painted in a different order to make a good model. However, as I mentioned in the Airfix thread, kids don't care about dockyard rivets, raised panel lines, needing filler and parts fit. For me, I just wanted to put something together that looked like the planes in my Commando comics and imagination did the rest.

 

Apart from the fact she likes making things, I'm using modelling to try and teach her patience, that not everything in this computer world comes 10 seconds after you press a button. Some things take time to do and the rewards are often greater than that for the push button generation of instant satisfaction.

 

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Since then, she built the Spitfire PR1G diorama. 

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and "Snoopy verses the Red Baron"

 

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and B-17

 

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Edited by Army_Air_Force

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Used this Sherman in a large  D-Day Diorama many years for local air cadet unit. As i recall the tracks weren't long enough to go all the way round as it were. Hope the kit has been updated since then.

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