Jump to content

M41 Walker Bulldog-back to work!


Recommended Posts

I've been fascinated by tanks since I was just a little boy.   Big, loud and menacing beasts...the exact sort of things that appeal to little boys.   When I was elementary school-age, circa the late 1950s, early '60s, our hometown had a National Guard unit with a tank.   It was parked beside their building and I loved seeing it as we drove past.   I imagine it might've been an M47 or perhaps M48, heck maybe even an old M26.  Whatever it was, it was a marvel to me back then!  :D

 

I started building scale models as an adult around 1986 or '87.   And since then, I've only built two tank scale models.   I enjoyed building both, and actually did enter them in an Austin,Texas  model contest (still a "one time" experience for me), luckily placing both tanks in third place in their respective categories.    Beginner's luck I call it. ;)    

 

My two tanks

 

I hate masking aircraft canopies.   It's the part of the process I dread the most; the mere fact that there are no canopies to mask on a tank...well, that is a huge plus in the armor column for me!  Lately, I have become somewhat stalled on a Bf-109E build (yeah.  I came to the masking stage...) and thought I would take "the road less traveled" for a change.   And, now I'm having a ball going down that path!

 

I started Tamiya's ancient M41 Walker Bulldog in 1/35, of course.    I've only spent a handful of hours, spread out over a couple weeks, thus far, but I believe I'm getting close to laying on some final paint.    I've done a bit of scratch-building, adding some features that Tamiya chose to leave off.    I would like to show my progress here however, and thereby gain access to all the great info here at BM.

 

Well, the road wheels are painted and sealed, awaiting some weathering.   I also painted the rubber portion of the return rollers.

 

M41_roadwheels.JPG

 

M41_return_rollers.JPG

 

The odd bits and pieces have been added to the front and rear hulls:

 

M41_rear_detail.JPG

 

front_hooks.JPG

 

Most M41 Bulldogs featured a canvas mantlet cover that is bolted to the turret top and sides.   I've attempted to replicate this with tissue soaked in CVA.   I've seen photos of these covers that show some variation and of course, a lot of wear and tear.   I futzed around this for quite a while, making several attempts, finally calling it done (and good enuf!).   I tried to replicate the attachment parts with plastic rod and thin strips of aluminum.  After they are glued to the tank, I'd like to place a Grandt Line bolt-head on each "tab".   Heh, heh, that may be a bridge too far for my meager skills but I'm game to give it a try!

 

cover_3.JPG

 

cover_1.JPG

 

I've still got some small details to add around the cut-out for the gunner's sight, and of course some touch-up once the final paint goes on.  Here's how the attachment parts look, and a pic  with some practice paint on:

 

new_cover_mounts.JPG

 

cover_mount_painted.JPG

 

Tamiya left off the two lifting rings found on the glacis plate.   I've routed out a slot for some rings made from flattened copper wire.   I hope to set the rings in the slot with some thick CA.   The real rings were attached with six huge weld beads so I hope I can get close to that appearance. 

 

glacis_plate_ready_for_lift_rings.JPG

 

lift_rings.JPG

 

M41s have two storage boxes mounted on the sponsons but Tamiya failed to add the stiffening ribs stamped into the sides of the boxes.  I've tried to replicate that effect by gluing small strips if stretched-sprue to the sides.   The vertical ribs on the front boxes were oddly arrayed and that was difficult for me to recreate.  I believe they will look okay when finally "tweaked" though.  Port side before paint:

 

box_stiffeners_.JPG

 

Starboard too:

 

SB_box_stiffeners_before_paint.JPG

 

 

With some "practice paint":

 

painted_stiffeners_2.JPG

 

aux.muffler_and_ribs_painted.JPG

 

 

Also seen in the above pic is the auxiliary muffler for the tank generator.  Originally, these were mounted over the right-side rear main muffler but excessive heat in that location led to refitting the aux. muffler to the right front fender.   I'm building my Bulldog as a tank issued to the Army of Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). ARVN forces were the ones who used the M41 most in combat, seeing some success against soviet PT-76 and T54 tanks of the NVA.    I've seen ARVN Bulldogs with aux. mufflers in both locations; there are great diagrams of both mountings in the Squadron Walk Around book on the M41 and I chose the rear, original location to scratch build. 

 

I found an old, model car exhaust collector that worked well in replicating the muffler.   Some aluminum tubing provided the tail-pipe and plastic stock made the mounts, with furnace tape straps and clamps on the flexible pipe connecting it to the engine deck.   Here are some pics of the process:

 

auxillary_muffler.JPG

 

aux._muffler_port.JPG

 

aux.muffler_close_up.JPG

 

aux.muffler_rear.JPG

 

aux.muffler_from_front.JPG

 

And here's the muffler with some "practice paint":

 

aux.muffler_from_above.JPG

 

aux._muffler_good.JPG

 

I've been looking at several photos of ARVN Bulldogs for ideas and inspiration.  Here are a couple:

 

M41_with_US_advisor.jpeg

 

ARVN_M41s_.jpeg

 

In the above pic, I see a great idea for speeding up the build...just wrap the M2 in canvas! ;)

 

And a couple pics with the three main pieces assembled for a trial viewing thus far:

 

right_side_tank.JPG

 

IMG_9960left_side_tank.JPG

 

Hey everyone, thanks for staying with me so far!  I hope to have more progress to post soon, and I'm always happy to receive constructive criticism and advice.  I am pretty much still a novice armor builder and on my third try.   So, with that, adieu for now! :D

 

Links of interest:

 

https://mikesresearch.com/2019/03/24/m41-walker-bulldog/

 

https://www.historynet.com/m-41-walker-bulldog-tank/

 

https://man.fas.org/dod-101/sys/land/m41.htm

 

Edited by Gary Brantley
title changed
  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess my work isn't interesting enough, and compared to much of what I see here, it is quite crude too.    But I, like all the others here, posted it with the sincere hope that I would receive advice and support in my wish to become a better armour modeler.    And I can say that I have, and it as helped me already and I thank you for that!  Cheers! 🍺 

 

I would like to send thanks to @echen, @Geo1966, @Maddoxx77, @Bandsaw Steve@The Astrononeer@f matthews, @Terry1954 , @Longbow, @Corsairfoxfouruncle@Bertie Psmith, and @BerndM for their "likes" for my article!   I appreciate your reactions a lot! :worthy:

Edited by Gary Brantley
sending tags
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I like M41s. The NZ army operated these for many years and had a great tussock camouflage scheme. One day I might get round to modelling one. Just keep on keeping on and I’m sure you’ll draw a following.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Bandsaw Steve said:

Well, I like M41s. The NZ army operated these for many years and had a great tussock camouflage scheme. One day I might get round to modelling one. Just keep on keeping on and I’m sure you’ll draw a following.

 

Thanks for the encouragement Steve!  😃 The M41 always had sort of a "sporty" look about it, similar in that regard to the Panther.   Yes, I have read of their service in NZ; I need to look into that tussock scheme.  👍  I'll do a bit of research there.    And, I do appreciate the reply!  🍻

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are showing some great attention to detail! You know your way around this great tank providing good background info. I like to follow this project so i can learn some scratch building techniques. 

As i'm pretty new in the modeling world i don't have mich advice to offer. 

Sometimes it takes some time to get your topic noticed but all the people here are nice and provide great tips and trics when needed. 

Keep up the good work! 

 

Grtz from an old dutch "tankgunner" 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Gary Brantley said:

Greetings Maddoxx77, thank you so much for the reply, and for the generous comments!  🍺  Much appreciated here in central Texas!     May I ask which tanks you served on?   That's very cool! :coolio:

 

Cheers! 

Did my tours on the leopard A4 / A5 and A6.

Before that i served with the air mobile infantry. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Gary Brantley said:

I guess my work isn't interesting enough, and compared to much of what I see here, it is quite crude too.    But I, like all the others here, posted it with the sincere hope that I would receive advice and support in my wish to become a better armour modeler.     So far, that hasn't happened.   Apparently, my "approach" is wrong.    Sorry to intrude into your club. 🙂

 

I would like to send thanks to @echen, @Geo1966, @Maddoxx77, @Bandsaw Steve,and @The Astrononeer for their "likes" for my article!   I appreciate your reactions a lot! :worthy:

It's well deserved, that's some very precise work right there.

Edited by The Astrononeer
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always thought the Walker Bulldog was one of the best looking, sleekest tanks made.  I bought this kit in the 1970s and unfortunately it was the remote-controlled version.  I could never get that stuff to work.  When I saw your tissue-paper canvas, it took me back 45 years or so to the instruction sheet (I think it also suggested cellophane/scotch tape for that part).  

I still use that technique for tarps, etc. and it works for me still.  You nailed that and your extra detailing took what is an old, outdated kit and brought it up considerably detail-wise.

As for people not commenting, if you are in the US, a lot of folks here are in the UK or European time zones so often when I post, I hear crickets chirping.  I was initially a bit put off until I realized that some people here actually sleep on occasion.  😝

It’s a great group of people of all skill levels who aren’t judgy and are very pleasant.

Edited by f matthews
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, The Astrononeer said:

It's well deserved, that's some very precise work right there.

 

Thanks so much!  I appreciate that a lot sir! 🍻

 

52 minutes ago, f matthews said:

I always thought the Walker Bulldog was one of the best looking, sleekest tanks made.  I bought this kit in the 1970s and unfortunately it was the remote-controlled version.  I could never get that stuff to work.  When I saw your tissue-paper canvas, it took me back 45 years or so to the instruction sheet (I think it also suggested cellophane/scotch tape for that part).  

I still use that technique for tarps, etc. and it works for me still.  You nailed that and your extra detailing took what is an old, outdated kit and brought it up considerably detail-wise.

As for people not commenting, if you are in the US, a lot of folks here are in the UK or European time zones so often when I post, I hear crickets chirping.  I was initially a bit put off until I realized that sone people here actually sleep on occasion.  😝

It’s a great group of people of all skill levels who aren’t judgy and are very pleasant.

 

Thanks Mr. Matthews!  :worthy:  Much appreciated I assure you.  Yep, those instructions suggested cellophane and two different sizes of thread...aye yee!!  I just couldn't see that coming out for me.    I've been putzin' around with her a bit tonight, closed in the underside of the sponsons and assembled the hull.   

 

And I sure agree that the Walker Bulldog is a sleek beast.  Something about that long bustle maybe...baby got back! :coolio:

 

And,  I certainly agree that there so many great modelers here, and my aircraft builds have been pretty well received by the membership here.   I have learned a lot from the good folks in several forums here, and hope to continue that process!    I'm having a lot of fun with this tank! :D

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Gary Brantley said:

That is interesting!  👍 Have you bought models of either of those tanks?   I imagine that you would sure know your way around them! 😀

So far i didn't build any of these. Maybe in the future but for now i'm building ww2 armour and planes ( got a 1:32 spitfire i still need to finish ) i like the look of the "old" stuff better i guess. 😀

Maybe it's because of history. Also i do the like the Vietnam era stuff. Your Buldog is something on my wishlist. I did a M110 recently. 

Edited by Maddoxx77
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, Gary Brantley said:

I guess my work isn't interesting enough, and compared to much of what I see here, it is quite crude too.

We're all learning here. Maybe folk like me just don't want to lead you up the garden path with something that'll divert you from what looks like good progress with your build.

My efforts quite often go pear-shaped and I wouldn't want to point you in that direction.

Edited by echen
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Gary Brantley said:

I guess my work isn't interesting enough, and compared to much of what I see here, it is quite crude too.

Don't forget.. ..all the awesome builds we see here are made by people who had to learn too.... i find it sometimes intimidating to see builds full with PE, awesome paintjobs, scratchbuild parts etc...... but then i remember that all those guys had to learn their skills too so i imagine that their first couple of builds where not nearly as perfect as what's shown here now. 

 

Take me for example: i'm pretty good at weathering and chipping at this moment. But i can't seem to do a "clean" build. Always going too heavy, trying to do too much. So i have to learn to improve myself. By looking at all the builds here, reading all the WIP posts, i hope to better my skillsand maybe someday i will be as good as some of the awesome builders here. 

In the end i think it's about doing something that makes you happy and gives you energy. Don't let that depend on what others may or may not say about your builds.

Edited by Maddoxx77
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, echen said:

We're all learning here. Maybe folk like me just don't want to lead you up the garden path with something that'll divert you from what looks like good progress with your build.

My efforts quite often go pear-shaped and I wouldn't want to point you in that direction.

 

That's a good point echen, and one I had not considered either.   Thanks for pointing that out! 🍻

 

1 hour ago, Maddoxx77 said:

Don't forget.. ..all the awesome builds we see here are made by people who had to learn too.... i find it sometimes intimidating to see builds full with PE, awesome paintjobs, scratchbuild parts etc...... but then i remember that all those guys had to learn their skills too so i imagine that their first couple of builds where not nearly as perfect as what's shown here now. 

 

Take me for example: i'm pretty good at weathering and chipping at this moment. But i can't seem to do a "clean" build. Always going too heavy, trying to do too much. So i have to learn to improve myself. By looking at all the builds here, reading all the WIP posts, i hope to better my skillsand maybe someday i will be as good as some of the awesome builders here. 

In the end i think it's about doing something that makes you happy and gives you energy. Don't let that depend on what others may or may not say about your builds.

 

That is so true Maddoxx77!  👍 We all have to "pay our dues" as learn this hobby, or any other really.   This is only my third tank model, and I have a few others in my stash that I would love to see finished.    And at 69, I see a slow decline in vision, dexterity of hands, etc.   I guess I'm in a rush to get better. 😁   While I still can!   ;)

 

Your models do look really good to me, and I'd like to know more about your chipping technique.   I found it quite impressive.    But you are so right in saying this is about having fun and letting one's vision for a build "carry you away"!     But true as well, we all like confirmation of what we accomplish, and especially for novices, a few words of support or a couple sincere suggestions here and there, help immensely and encourage their attempts to improve!   😀 

Thanks for your wise words sir. 🍻

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

55 minutes ago, Gary Brantley said:

and I'd like to know more about your chipping technique.

I use the hairspray technique quite often. Using acrylic basecoats  then aplying 1 or 2 layers of hairspray. After that dries spray again with acrylic color coat. 

After sometime use a brush and some water and start "washing" the model in places where you want te chips to apear. The water activates the hairspray making the upper acrylic layer to come off showing the layers under the hairspray.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that info @Maddoxx77!   I appreciate the help! 🍺

 

I have made a bit of progress again.  The hollow underside of the sponsons just bugged me, so even though they are seldom seen, I decided to blank them off with a "bottom".  A couple nights ago, I cut some Evergreen sheet to fit and glued it to the undersides of each sponson.   Now, I feel much better! 😁

 

bottom.JPG

 

sponson_bottom.JPG

 

I had already broken one of the hinges for the commander's hatch, and I had taped the broken part, and the intact hinge, to the hatch cover to avoid losing anything.  When I got ready to install the hatch, yeah...I had lost the intact hinge.   Onward through the fog!  I laminated some Evergreen sheet to get the thickness I needed and scratch-built a new hinge.   Well, it did take two tries but I think it will work.

 

new_hinge.JPG

 

And after a little flat black preshading:

 

turret_right_shaded.JPG

 

I added the headlights, light guards and the added lifting rings on the glacis plate:

 

light_guards_and_glacis_rings.JPG

 

glacis_rings.JPG

 

A pic of each side, all assembled but before shading:

 

assembled_left.JPG

 

all_assembled_rightJPG.JPG

 

I don't think I preshaded anything on my other two tank builds, from 25 years ago.  Maybe it wasn't even being done back then?  At any rate, in the interest of trying something new,  I tried my hand at it today after getting everything assembled on the Bulldog.   I used some Testors square bottle enamel in flat black to give the recesses and crannies a little paint.  I may have been too timid with my attempts but it's a start!   Here are some pics of the tank after preshading:

 

topside_shaded.JPG

 

right_shaded.JPG

 

left_rear_shaded.JPG

 

left_from_front_shaded.JPG

 

glacis_shaded.JPG

 

engine_deck_shaded.JPG

 

front_shaded.JPG

 

sponson_bottom_painted.JPG

 

left_side_shaded.JPG

 

 

Well my friends, that's the little progress I've made up to now.  She's ready when I am for the final painting process.   I plan of using Humbrol's dark OD enamel, number 66 I believe.   The ARVN tanks were painted somewhat darker than US tanks and I hope that will be close for starters.   Thanks for your interest in the Dawg!  Have a great weekend everyone!

 

 

 

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Gary Brantley changed the title to M41 Walker Bulldog-updated pics

That looks really good! Your scratchbuilding skills are on point. Great pics.

I did some preshading on my Pzkfw4 and for my next build i think i'm going to use a smaller needle to get a sharper effect. 

That beeing sayd if you keep the toplayers thin enough it will give a real nice effect. 

Hope to see more progress soon. 

Keep up the good work Sir 👍👍👍

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/8/2022 at 9:14 PM, Maddoxx77 said:

That looks really good! Your scratchbuilding skills are on point. Great pics.

I did some preshading on my Pzkfw4 and for my next build i think i'm going to use a smaller needle to get a sharper effect. 

That beeing sayd if you keep the toplayers thin enough it will give a real nice effect. 

Hope to see more progress soon. 

Keep up the good work Sir 👍👍👍

 

Thanks so much Maddoxx77!   I've use an old Paasche Model H for all my airbrushing on every model built since 1988.    It's a single-action AB design dating back to the 1930s.    I have some nerve damage issues with my hands that make manipulating a double-action AB fairly difficult.   I do have a SOTAR 2020 that it capable of extremely fine work...just not by me yet. 😉    But, I should've tried it for that preshading.   Ah well, next time!   

 

I do see a few "uh ohs" here and there in looking over the pics.  I see I've missed the locating divots for the handholds in few spots.   Should've been more careful there.  😒

But hey, it's a tank, right?   We can't worry 'bout the small stuff!   Onward through the fog again!! 😁

 

Thanks to @echen , @The Astrononeer, @Terry1954 and @Maddoxx77 for your "likes" for the latest pics!  🍻

Edited by Gary Brantley
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Gary Brantley said:

I do see a few "uh ohs" here and there in looking over the pics.

I do this all the time, only spotting stuff that concerns me after I've published the image for the whole world to see.

In retrospect, though, it's an opportunity to demonstrate how I fix the things that concern me with my builds.

But maybe I'd be better to examine pics to hi-light areas of concern, fix them and then publish them? 🙂

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, echen said:

I do this all the time, only spotting stuff that concerns me after I've published the image for the whole world to see.

In retrospect, though, it's an opportunity to demonstrate how I fix the things that concern me with my builds.

But maybe I'd be better to examine pics to hi-light areas of concern, fix them and then publish them? 🙂

 

Been there, done that...many times.  ;)   Sometimes I correct the issues, but often I just move on.    I've found that when I "go back" and try to rectify errors, I'm usually sorry that I didn't, well, just move on.     So many models, so little time...🙂

As you rightly said echen,  maybe I should look more closely at the pics before they're published. :doh:

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As many have said, myself included, modeling is about the journey, getting to the end product, or not. 
Many here have been modeling for for decades, some of us not so much, and we all find difficulties with some items. 
 

The best way to learn, is to study what you like, and reference photos, and consider the process… How was the result achieved ? What process was used ? How can we replicate that look for what we have on hand ? Why has that B17’s Olive Drab turned purple ?

 

I too struggle with aircraft, there’s lots in the stash with only 1 finished in the last 3 years. 
Masking canopies… I hate it !! 
Stick your tape in the canopy, use a sharp pencil to edge in and mark where the frame is, pull off the tape and stick it to your cutting mat, cut to the pencil lines with a new, sharp blade, then lift and stick your tape back on the canopy. 
 

Trouble with eyesight ? Skip a kit and buy a cheap Opivisor from Amazon or the local hobby store…

 

Every single, well know figure painter uses an Opivisor… Bill Horan, Mike Blank, John Rosengrant, Roger Hurkmans, etc, etc, etc. 

As do many armor and aircraft modelers. 


We are all modelers here, here to help, and encourage…

 

We all get discouraged, at times, but the main thing is to have fun, keep learning, and enjoy the journey. 
It’s not about the amount of “Likes” you get, it’s about the learning curve, and making fun of all the Friends you make here, and the enjoyment of the hobby. 
 

Now… Head over to the M3/M4 Group build, jump in with both feet, and have some fun !!
 

ATB. 
 

Lee. 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Longbow said:

As many have said, myself included, modeling is about the journey, getting to the end product, or not. 
Many here have been modeling for for decades, some of us not so much, and we all find difficulties with some items. 
 

The best way to learn, is to study what you like, and reference photos, and consider the process… How was the result achieved ? What process was used ? How can we replicate that look for what we have on hand ? Why has that B17’s Olive Drab turned purple ?

 

I too struggle with aircraft, there’s lots in the stash with only 1 finished in the last 3 years. 
Masking canopies… I hate it !! 
Stick your tape in the canopy, use a sharp pencil to edge in and mark where the frame is, pull off the tape and stick it to your cutting mat, cut to the pencil lines with a new, sharp blade, then lift and stick your tape back on the canopy. 
 

Trouble with eyesight ? Skip a kit and buy a cheap Opivisor from Amazon or the local hobby store…

 

Every single, well know figure painter uses an Opivisor… Bill Horan, Mike Blank, John Rosengrant, Roger Hurkmans, etc, etc, etc. 

As do many armor and aircraft modelers. 


We are all modelers here, here to help, and encourage…

 

We all get discouraged, at times, but the main thing is to have fun, keep learning, and enjoy the journey. 
It’s not about the amount of “Likes” you get, it’s about the learning curve, and making fun of all the Friends you make here, and the enjoyment of the hobby. 
 

Now… Head over to the M3/M4 Group build, jump in with both feet, and have some fun !!
 

ATB. 
 

Lee. 

 

 

 

Lee, thanks for your wise comments above!    That is all so true.    Building aircraft models is what I've done since 1988 or so; my two excursions into armor (or, armour here at BM 😉 😃) were fun, and the tanks look okay for first efforts, but I really feel a bit out of my comfort zone in the painting and weathering process for armor.    There are so many masterful builders here, and elsewhere across the 'net, that it can get a bit intimidating to a novice.   Your encouragement and advice is much appreciated by this one.

 

Yep, an Optivisor is on my shopping list.   Many years ago, I had a neighbor, a contemporary of my mother, who was a gunsmith.   I have fond memories of him wearing his Optivisor, so often raised over his head!   I've been using a lighted magnifier lamp for years, and now find that I'm looking down through it for most of my work these days.  So yeah, I can definitely use that Optivisor's help. 

 

I have been having a lot of fun with this Bulldog.    Oddly, I don't feel the sort of stress that struggling with an airplane model sometimes brings.   I'm less concerned with things like filling seams, extreme precision, and yeah, masking those canopies.😀     The very "rough" nature of a tank gives me a lot more leeway to experiment and try new techniques, knowing there's always a way to "fix" errors and mistakes somewhere along the weathering stages. 

 

Thanks again for taking time to give your words of support and encouragement Lee!   It's the sort of thing I've come to expect, and love, about BritModeler.

And now, onward through the fog:D

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Gary Brantley changed the title to M41 Walker Bulldog-back to work!

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...