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Tamiya 1/35th M1 Super Sherman - Uganda Style! Decals added 05/04/21


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How do chaps,

 

Following Ugandan independence from the UK in 1962, Israel provided Uganda with a number of M1 Super Sherman's. These were a mix of VVSS & HVSS types. When Idi Amin came to power following his coup in 1971, relations with Israel soon soured and he expelled some Israeli diplomats after he showed sympathy with the Arab states during the Yom Kippur war and provided some financial aid. Amin even said that he would 'retake the Golan Heights' The Ugandan Sherman's saw action in the war against Tanzania in the late 70's and it is not known how well they performed. There are not a lot of pictures of the Sherman in Ugandan service but I've managed to find a few colour shots from a French documentary that was made in 1974 about Idi Amin. The colour of the Sherman's appear to be a deep bronze green colour so that's the finish I will be going for. The Star Decals sheet states that the tanks were left in the original Israeli Olive Drab however. The tanks were supplied with 2 x 3inch smoke dischargers on each side of the turret, some spare track brackets and also a bracket on the gun mantlet for a search light. These will be scratch built (well at least I'll have a go) From the limited info on the web it would seem that the tanks were a bit of  a 'mish mash' of types. Mention is also made that the hull 30cal mg's were also removed but It's difficult to tell from the pictures I've seen. Site I'm using for reference - https://wwiiafterwwii.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/idi-amins-shermans/

 

Right onto the kit. This is the Tamiya M1 Super Sherman that was released back in 2011.

 

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Its a real mixed bag as the lower hull has a date stamp of 1987!

 

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The sprues from 2011.

 

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Upper hull is very nicely moulded and its also good to see sponson fillers in the kit! 

 

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And now onto the 'other' sprues. If I'm right in thinking these date back to the Tamiya M4A3 kit that was first released back in 1981!!! The wheels are hollow backed and have some real heavy seams on the tyres. 

 

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Made a start on the lower hull with the final drive. Tamiya really were lazy here by not tooling a new lower hull and FD for the kit. Gaps big enough to lose a small child in!

 

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The holes at the top were easy to fill as i just glued a plate of plasticard frim behind. The lower holes however were not accessible from the inside. After a bit of though I cut down a wooded coffee stirrer and pushed it through. Once in position I applied liberal amounts of Perfect Plastic Putty. Don't think the end result is too bad to be honest.

 

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Air filter thingies built up.

 

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Sponson fillers and exhausts in place.

 

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Engine decks on. These were a really nice fit.

 

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The rear hull air inlets had a great whacking ejector pin mark in them that wasn't easy to get at. Used some mesh to cover them. Looks a bit heavy but I can live with it!

 

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And in place.

 

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Rear plate built up and in place. The handle on the engine access door was cut off and replaced with a spare as it was moulded solid.

 

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Upper and lower hull fitted together.

 

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And that's where I've left it for the night. The build progress is quite quick as you can imagine with a Tamiya kit. I may have a look to see if I can adapt some Dragon wheels to fit the Tamiya bogies or I might just go crazy and use the kit wheels! 

 

More to follow soon and all comments welcome.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

🇺🇬

Edited by fatfingers
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Hi Steve. Hope you are well. Great choice of kit. I will watch this with interest. :popcorn:

Kind regards,

Stix

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1 minute ago, Robert Stuart said:

Looking good, and building quickly - you'll have this finished tomorrow?

Thanks Robert. 

 

I may get the build done in short order but the painting will totally depend on the weather. 

11 minutes ago, PlaStix said:

Hi Steve. Hope you are well. Great choice of kit. I will watch this with interest. :popcorn:

Kind regards,

Stix

Thanks Stix,

 

Im good thanks and hope you and Mrs Stix are too. Typical Tamiya - not a lot of parts and goes together well.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

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Good start and a cool choice Steve. Enjoyed the history of your subject as well :) 

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2 hours ago, SoftScience said:

Nice work with the mesh. I'm surprised Tamiya still doesn't cover these very essential Sherman components. 

 

What is your mesh from?

Thanks. I've had the mesh knocking around for years. I think it originally came from a splash guard the goes over a frying pan! 

 

1 hour ago, modelling minion said:

This is a great subject, perfect for this GB.

Nice progress so far too, you have made short work of the issues found through Tamiya having a lazy day.

 

Thanks. I was a bit miffed when i first daw the gaps. I do occasionally like to build something thats a bit left field! 

 

Regards,

 

Steve

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How do chaps,

 

Made a bit more progress with Mr Amin's battle wagon. After a bit of thought I decided to go with the kit supplied wheels. I can live with the hollow back of them to be honest. One thing that I didn't like though was that each one had a whacking great seam line on them. I would have been at them for ages with a blade and sanding stick.

 

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So I dug out my mini drill that very rarely gets used (mainly because I forget I have it) and mounted the wheel in the chuck with a flat ended screw that fit very nicely.

 

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And after a few spins against a sheet of 120 grit wet and dry we have a nicely scuffed tyre minus the seam line.

 

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All the wheels done.

 

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And the running gear made up and ready to fit.

 

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I also decided to add some bracing to the front fenders.

 

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Tools and other do dads fitted to the rear hull.

 

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My attention then turned to the turret. This is a bit of an odd moulding as it has cast texture in some parts and then in others it's smooth and recessed. Glued it together and then attacked it with a sanding stick. As you may be able to see - there is quite a pronounced 'underbite' at the rear of the turret below the MG stowage bracket. 

 

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Decided to add some Mr Surfacer 500 to add some texture back in after the sanding.

 

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I may give it a bit of knock back with a light sanding though. And here it is sat on the hull. Think the join at the rear still needs a bit more attention too. 

 

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And that's where things were left until the next session. Once the turret is sorted and finished, I'll then need to knock up a searchlight bracket for the mantlet, some track stowage brackets for the side of the turret and also some 3'' smoke discharges. Tis a shame that this kit doesn't have the mantlet dust cover as the few pictures I've seen of the Ugandan tanks show this fitted. I don't think my very limited scratch skills would stretch to doing one myself. I may just add some strip to the area to represent the mounting for it though. 

 

Thanks for dropping by and all comments and suggestions welcome.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

🇺🇬

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  • fatfingers changed the title to Tamiya 1/35th M1 Super Sherman - Uganda Style! update 28/02

Nice progress Steve and some inventive use of tools and techniques going on :thumbsup:  Perhaps some of the gang knows a good was to create the dust cover?

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Very nice, Steve. I know nothing about AFVs but I'm intrigued by this esoteric build :)

 

Martin

 

 

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A dust cover is easy peasy. You just need some epoxy putty. Milliput or Apoxiesculpt, kneadtite, any such will do.

 

Mix up a batch and roll it out flat. Do this on a surface dusted with talcum powder so the flattened putty doesnt stick.

 

Cut out a long rectangle, or several rectangles to go around the mantlet and then using a dull pointed tool (end of a brush, toothpick, etc.) sculpt any folds you want.

 

And done!

 

 

 

 

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I forgot to add that once you finish the canvas bit, you can use thin styrene rod or stretches sprue to fashion the framing by just wrapping that around the back end of the canvas and add little squares of styrene for the clips.

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4 hours ago, SoftScience said:

I forgot to add that once you finish the canvas bit, you can use thin styrene rod or stretches sprue to fashion the framing by just wrapping that around the back end of the canvas and add little squares of styrene for the clips.

Thanks @SoftScience

 

I'll give it a go! I might try with foil first as i don't have any apoxy putty to hand at the mo. If the foil option doesn't work out then it'll be a trip to the internet to hunt some down 👍

 

Regards,

 

Steve

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19 minutes ago, fatfingers said:

Thanks @SoftScience

 

I'll give it a go! I might try with foil first as i don't have any apoxy putty to hand at the mo. If the foil option doesn't work out then it'll be a trip to the internet to hunt some down 👍

 

Regards,

 

Steve

Foil might work if its not too "crumply". Wine bottle foil may be more effective. 


Another option is to spread a mix ofPVA , water, and acrylic paint (Vallejo works especially well for this) on a glass plate. When it dries, cut the shape of the pieces you want and peal them off the glass. Instant tarps/canvases. You can even add the paint color you want the final product to be in, and then just add shading. 

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Posted (edited)

How do chaps,

 

Encouraged by @SoftScience I decided to have a bash at making my own mantlet cover. This was made for some thick foil that was the lid for something or another. A strip was cut and then superglued to the top of the mantlet. Before I did this I had to cut the 2 lifting rings from each side of the mantlet.

 

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This strip proved to be a bit too narrow so a second strip was added on top to bring it a bit further back onto the turret roof. I used the Tamiya M4A3E8 Korean War kit that I built a while back for reference, Once I was happy with the foil I started on the retaining strip. Whilst probably not accurate I'm quite pleased with the end result.

 

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Smoke mortars were next. These were cut from some 3mm tube with the rear cut at an angle. The fronts were also reamed out with a scalpel blade to reduce the thickness. The brackets were made from some right angle plasicard. I know that they are not accurate but I wasn't sure on how to make them as shown in the reference pics I'm using so went with an easier method. Again I'm rather pleased on how they turned out. I also added the searchlight bracket to the mantlet at this point.

 

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I've now realised they're too long though so will look at cutting them back a bit on the next session. The gun barrel is from Def Model. The instructions for this say to drill out the kit muzzle brake and then fit this onto the end of the barrel. Thing was that if I did drill it out with a 3.2mm bit it would have left barely any plastic to attach to the end of the barrel. In the end I cut off the end of the barrel up to the muzzle brake collar and then super glued the brake in place, taking care to make sure I got it lined up correctly. 

 

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Still need to knock up a new aerial bracket for the hull top as these were positioned in front of the loaders hatch on the Ugandan tanks. Not sure if they did this or if it was an Israeli modification. Also need to add some spare track links to the turret side. I'm quite enjoying this scratch building lark! 

 

That's all for now and thanks for dropping by.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

🇺🇬

Edited by fatfingers
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  • fatfingers changed the title to Tamiya 1/35th M1 Super Sherman - Uganda Style! update 07/03

As I said before, Steve, I am not an AFV builder but this build is very interesting :). Nice work.

 

Martin

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Hi Steve. Hope you are keeping well. Fantastic progress and I do like the additions you are making. Lovely stuff!

Kind regards, 

Stix

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  • 2 weeks later...

How do chaps and many thanks for the comments. Much appreciated.

 

Managed to make a decent amount of progress over the past few days with the build. I've cut down the smoke mortars on the turret sides as they were too long and now I think they're too short, but hey ho! Also added various other greeblies to the turret in the shape of a scratch antenna bracket from a bit of brass and I also filled the holes for the search light and existing antenna socket. The spare tracks came in the kit and a rack was knocked up from plastic strip. I also snipped off the bow MG and drilled out the hole as some of the pics I've seen have the MG removed.

 

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Now time for some paint! First up was a coat of Tamiya Nato Black. This spayed lovely thinned with Self-Levelling Thinner.

 

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My mind then turned to shades of green. From the colour pics I've seen of the Ugandan tanks they appear to be almost dark satin Bronze Green in colour. I was wanting to use Tamiya for the main painting due to it still being a touch on the cool side in the shed. Opened a bottle of XF61 Dark Green and a bottle of XF13 Japanese Army Green to compare the two.

 

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After about 10 seconds of thought I went with the XF61. Again thinned with SLT.

 

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Added in a drop or 3 of the XF13 to lift the colour a bit. Not overly noticeable in the pics but it's there in real life. Quite like how the Mr Surfacer looks under a coat of paint too.

 

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Tools next and the metal is Tamiya Dark Iron and the handles are Vallejo Wood. 

 

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The mantlet cover is Mig Dark Earth brushed on. 

 

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The cover and tools were then given several coats of Games Workshop Agrax Earthshade. The splodge on the rear deck is from a spot of  Ultimate Airbrush Cleaner that dripped of the brush - note to self - don't have the pot with the brush cleaner behind the model! :doh: These will hopefully get covered up with the weathering. 

 

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And this is where I've left it. Tyres and periscope lenses to paint and tracks to sort, a bit of a gloss up for the decals and then it's time for some weathering. I used to work with a lovely lady from Uganda and we would have many an engaging and informative conversation about Amin and the country in general. When I first planned this build I asked her what colour Ugandan soil was. She was very intrigued as to why I asked this and after she had stopped laughing as to why I wanted to know she told me it was rather red in colour and quite 'clayey' Think I will use pastels for this as I have one that might just be spot on :hmmm:

 

More to follow soon and thanks for dropping by.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

🇺🇬

 

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  • fatfingers changed the title to Tamiya 1/35th M1 Super Sherman - Uganda Style! Now with added paint!

Hi Steve,

Just read through your thread.  I’ve been intrigued by these Shermans for a few years as we are involved with a children’s centre just outside Kampala.  I can confirm the soil is a red colour and very sticky when it’s wet and like concrete when packed down.  I’ll see if I can dig out some photos tomorrow that show it.

 

 

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Nice work Steve :speak_cool:

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  • fatfingers changed the title to Tamiya 1/35th M1 Super Sherman - Uganda Style! Decals added 05/04/21

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