Toys, Real vehicles, Planes, New pictures, Model timeline and Build log!
...and not forgetting...
WWII Allied Tanks.
|1/35 Centaur CS
As always when building models, not everything goes right. In this case the tracks disintegrated when I used paint thinner on them! I had not realized that Tamiya had changed the track material. I complained and Tamiya were nice enough to send me a new set. The trouble is, you have to use acrylic paints on these tracks, and I cannot get a flat enough finish - it just looks too "plastic". When I finally finished working in Las Vegas and got back to my "old" Centaur which had now spent many months if not years in a drawer, I found that one of the tracks had broken! Just fell apart sitting in the drawer! So, while I have a real soft-spot for Tamiya, and certainly appreciate the British subjects they have produced over the years, I really feel they should be including individual or link 'n' length tracks with their kits. End of lecture! So I eventually decided to splurge on a set of Modelkasten tracks.
|Centaur CS from Tamiya with their British Infantry on patrol set.||Aw! Now everybody smile for the camera!||Modelkasten tracks.||Uh-oh! Gotta improve those eyes!||I really like the "glomping" figures.||Approximate year of construction: 2006.|
|1/76 CHAR B1
Many were captured by the Germans who used them mainly for training. It was slow and somewhat awkward to use, however, with a small turret and large gun mounted low. Unfortunately it was also tied to an infantry doctrine and employed piecemeal. Approximate year of construction: 1997.
|The CHAR B1 tank used by France at the start of WWII.||It was actually much more heavily armored than the German tanks, and had heavier armament!||Also a Renault FT17 tank.||1/76 Soldats Francais|
|1/76 Churchill Mk I|
|Fujimi Churchill Mk I - built 1997||Note the exposed tracks and hull mounted cannon!||Nice early version of this tank, with echoes of WWI armor.||Photo-edit of early Churchills on maneuver|
|1/35 Churchill Mk IV AFV Club|
|AFV Club Churchill Mk IV||Used early track per desert photo ref.||Churchill cables From Eureka||Rear flap per photo ref||Trying for period photo finish on the faces - does that make any sense?|
|1/76 Churchill Mk VII|
|Airfix kit built in 1968!||Severe dusting up in order to hide the...||Severe track-rot! I was set to retire the model but I guess I'll keep it as an early example.|
|1/76 Churchill Crocodile|
|1/76 Airfix Churchill Crocodile. I replaced the gun! These old Airfix tanks all have skinny guns!||Don't have to convert any more - all in the box from Airfix!||Yes dammit, I remember the Airfix magazine conversion article.||Well I say 'all', but of course I added details. Why would you think differently?|
|1/76 Matchbox Comet.||Quite a nifty little tank||...but of course too little and too late to really affect the outcome of the war.||Check out the real Comet from Bovington in the real tanks section.||Approximate year of construction: 1998.|
|1/35 Crusader I tank|
|Italeri Crusader I tank||Finished as an early example.||Not quite convinced with the tracks.||Had to hand stub with brush after air-brushing as the surface was too smooth!||Constructed in 2008.|
|1/32 Crusader III|
|Airfix 1/32 British Crusader III in the western desert.||The Crusader was rushed into service and this was all too evident in its operational service.||It was fast, but mechanically unreliable.||Approximate year of construction: 1971.|
|1/76 Canadian Lee|
|Airfix M3 converted to Canadian Lee with mud chutes in 1970.||This simple conversion was detailed in an issue of Airfix magazine.||Fuel tanks came from the Airfix T34.|
|1/76 M3 Grant Medium tank|
|Airfix M3 Grant in the western desert. 1970.||This is an early model which is built OOB and lacks the side skirts which were installed for the desert.|
|1/35 M3 Grant.|
|Tamiya with sand bags and camoflage paint.||Note the canvas around the side-mounted gun. This is very common on desert tanks - to keep out sand, obviously!.||Other details include the side rails hung with bags, helmets etc||Approximate year of construction: 1997. Tracks replaced 2012 - Dragon DS tracks with proper end connectors.|
|Very late version of M3 Lee with side doors eliminated, later type bogies with trailing return roller arms and long barelled 75mm gun. The bits of Airfix M3 and M4 suspension were hanging around - leftovers from other projects so I went ahead and put the bits together. 1/76 scale of course. Tracks don't fit too well. (We ARE talking Airfix Sherman here, hopefully the last I ever build!) Note the early type track skids, added with bits of brass. Note also how I saved half of the Lee sprokects so that the Sherman sprocket halves go on the inside. All cool stuff to modelers although the end result here is only fair. Oh well! Can't win 'em all I guess.|
|Airfix conversion 2013.||Construction shot showing mixed suspension.|
|1/76 British Light Tank Mark IV B|
|1/76 scale Airfix (ex JB Models).||Added a searchlight to the turret.||More work than expected!||Built 2011.||Too much work for such a small model!|
|1/72 M3 Stuart.|
|1/72 Hasegewa kit built in 1997.||Modified to represent an M3 used by the British.|
|1/76 Sherman Fireflies|
|Airfix Sherman conversion to a VC Firefly armed with the British 17 pounder.||Airfix conversion originally built in 1969.||Rubber-block track was replaced with chevron track.||Revell (Matchbox) Firefly. Restoration and Matchbox built in 2007.|
|Armourfast M4 covered in Italian dust!||Well-used, in service look here.||Added lightguards, of course.||And lifting hooks, of course!||Added some air cleaners back up in there!||Approximate year of construction: 2004.|
|1/76 M4 Sherman.|
|Airfix kit somewhat accurized in 2001||Vision slits have been built up, lifting hooks and headlight guards added. The lifting hooks were made from stapler wire||The addition of spare tracks to supplement the frontal armor was very common on Shermans, as was the stowage on the rear deck|
|1/76 Fujimi M4 105 HVSS.
This has been in the stash for quite a while, so time to move it out! Note that the box says it is an M4_3, whereas in fact it is an M4. (This is ironic given that years before I created an M4_3 105 HVSS out of the Airfix M4 and a Minitanks M40 suspension.) The plastic in this kit was SO brittle! All small parts had to be replaced as they shattered upon removal from the sprue. I managed to crack the entire turret into 3 or 4 pieces. I stuck 'em back together, reinforced the inside with epoxy putty, used Squadron Signal green putty on the outside and smoothed it all back to niceness! By taking it one small step at a time the suspension came out nicely, and the (rather stiff!) tracks were gluable with plastic cement which held everything together!
|Cute little kit when done.||Classic white stars!||Small details had to be re-built.||Turret broke apart when building!|
|1/72 M4 hybrid on Okinawa.|
|A good conversion subject from the rare ESCI M4A3 variant.||Turret has the all round vision cupola fitted.||Note the over-painted star in a darker color.||I used plastic card on the sides and rear and filled the top gaps with putty to replicate the welded rear of this version.|
|1/35 Tasca Sherman Mk1 El Alamein
||Didn't like the first set of pictures so I took some new ones!
||1/35 Tasca Sherman MkI El Alamein
||Based on several famous pictures
||Lots of extra stowage
||Camo net on one side
||Kit includes very nice jerry cans so added some on the rear deck
||Aerial recognition on the turret top
|1/76 M4A1 of HQ company, 2nd Bn, 13th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Tunisia, February 1943.|
|Fujimi M4A1 kit with interesting camouflage.||Commanded by the battalian executive officer Maj. James Simmerman, which is how it got to be called "Major Jim".||The camouflage pattern on the real vehicle was created by mixing local mud and clay and applying with a broom!||Reference: The M4 Sherman at War, Steven J. Zaloga, Concord Publications 1994, p33. Built 2006.|
|1/76 M4A1 El Alamein|
|This is the Fujimi kit with early suspension from a Matchbox M7 Priest||Sideskirts cut down from a Hasegawa Sherman, AB figures commander and lotsa extra 'junk||Reference was the cover painting of an old Almark book on the Sherman, plus a photo found on the web that seemed to be the inspiration for the painting.||Approximate year of construction: 2007|
|1/72 M4A1 76|
|Revell 1/72 M4A1(76)W. This kit is only worthwhile if you are prepared to spend some time detailing and fixing.||It took quite a bit of work, including reshaping the turrret sides and mantlet, re-building the pistol port and adding all exterior details||- lights, guards, lifting hooks, tools. (Yup, no tools provided!)||Best part is suspension, but even there Revell only includes track guides on the 'length' part of the link and length tracks, leaving you to add that detail.||Darned tricky trying to match the original shape and just anther example of how annoying this kit was! Approximate year of construction: 2007.||I added a Cullin's hedgerow device on the front, AB crew figures and Revell soft-plastic US army figures to closely match a picture in the Squadron-Signal 'Sherman at War' book.|
|1/72 M4A1 Duplex Drive|
|1/72 M4A1 DD - converted from the ESCI M4A1 and done as a 'cutaway'.||Perfect use of this late model M4A1.||At least 20 were converted to DD configuration - the Slapton Sands DD tank is one example.||This late model M4A1 had the armour over the ammunition built into the casting.||This is the armour usually added as 'applique' to older Shermans|
|The Airfix Sherman rides again, this time as an early M4A2.||This has M3 suspension (from an Airfix Lee) and an enlarged turret||AB refueling figures.||Approximate year of construction: 2007.|
|Airfix M4 converted to M4A2 assigned to French unit, the 2e Division Blindee, 12e Regiment de Chasseurs d'Afrique.||Reference: The M4 Sherman at War, Steven J. Zaloga, Concord Publications 1994, pp20,21.||Approximate year of construction: 2002.|
||M4A2 Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoon), Naples, October, 1943. This is a modified Amourfast M4.
||All fittings added, of course.
||Stowage - always more stowage!
||Inspiration - a drawing by Kenneth M. Jones from 1970 Almarks publication on the Sherman.
|1/35 M4A2 Sherman.|
|Italeri British tank troops.
||All tool brackets re-made in brass.
||Attempting to show interior details. 'Padding' added around commander's opening.
|Building the M4A2 Sherman.|
|Transmission, driver's position on left.||Driver's area with paint.||Looking into the turret from below||Gun breach area||Brass sand shields|
|Interior build shots|
|Turret cage||View into turrret left.||View into turrret right.||Detailing hull rear||Detailing hull rear|
|1/72 M4A3 Late model up-armoured.|
|This tank was probably being prepared for the invasion of Japan||The tracks on the turret are not an exact match but the best I could do from the spares box||Not sure if 392nd Avenger was painted on the right side too but now I wish I had done it anyway!||Various parts added for this variant. Note the tracks!|
Inspiration. Pictured in a vehicle park in the Pacific.
|1/72 M4A3 Sherman with a T1E1 (Aunt Jemima) mine-roller.|
|This is a conversion based on a late-model M4A3 Sherman from Armourfast. 2007.||In winter camo with a T1E1 (Aunt Jemima) mine-roller from the Forces of Valor set.||Add some AB Figures, match it to a picture in the Squadron-Signal Sherman in Action book,||factor in a subdued sky curtesy of fires in Plumas County,||give it some baking-soda "snow" and a nice frame and voila!|
|1/72 Sherman with mine rollers.|
|Forces of Valor die cast model with original "Battling Bitch" slogan on the sides.||I included this here because I repainted. (Original was very dark.)|
|1/76 M4A3E2 "Jumbo" Assault tank.|
|This model was converted from the Airfix Sherman (1/76).||I made this years ago by cutting the shape of the top of the turret from a 1/76 plan, gluing it to the top of the Airfix turret and building up the sides with body putty!||Front and back were also built up and the tracks replaced to simulate the wider tracks installed on this vehicle to cope with the extra weight.||Approximate year of construction: 1970.|
|1/72 M4A3E2 Jumbo 76mm|
|This 'Jumbo' has been rearmed with a 76mm gun.||Extended end-connectors were fitted as standard.||Note the massive mantlet!||I always spot something in the photos that I missed! Do you see it?||Made from an Armourfast M4A3 with T23 turret.|
|1/72 M4A3 105.|
|I had a bunch of Armourfast's in the stash and wanted to move 'em all out.||Have to add the exhaust detail on these kits.||I gave this example the early cupola.||Side skirts from ECSI and dressed up with all the usual Sherman details!|
|1/72 M4A3 105 with T5E3 mine excavator.|
|Scratch built T5E3 mine excavator.||Based on a 1/72 Armourfast M4A3 105.||The unearthed mines were shunted to the sides for later disposal.||I gave this model the early cupola style.|
|1/76 M4A3 (105 mm) HVSS.|
|An Airfix Sherman conversion.||The M4A3's HVSS suspension was from a Roco Minitanks M40.||Approximate year of construction: 1969.|
|Finished as 'Classy Peg' in service in the Philippines||ESCI 1/72 M4A3||Figures mostly by AB.|
|1/72 Marine M4A3 on Okinawa.|
|Tan color with red random patches.||Nails were welded onto hatches. Tricky doing in 1/72!||Wooden armor, sandbags, wading tower||Real wood used for armor on an Armourfast M4A3.|
Inspiration from Concord publications.
|A late war uparmored M4A3 with the 76mm main gun.|
|Based on an Armourfast 1/72 late model M4A3, this tank features sandbags in front and plates on the sides and turret.||The .50 cal had a canvas cover, replicated here.||I'm assuming the plates added were metal.||Extended end connectors were fitted on the tracks.||A .30 cal was added to the turret||I replaced the kit barrel which looked far too skinny (this seems to be a common problem on small scale Sherman kits).|
|Hasegawa M4A3E8 Sherman with extra sandbag armor. 1999||Reference: The M4 Sherman at War, Steven J. Zaloga, Concord Publications 1994, p61.||This vehicle belonged to the 14th Armored Division, 1945.|
|Aurora 1/48 The building was wood covered with plaster and||This is an early attempt at a simple diorama. 1970|
D-Day 65th anniversary June 6 2009
|1/76 M4A4 Sherman DD with swimming screen erected.|
|This is a 1/76 Milicast resin kit.||I have wanted a DD for quite a number of years but I was always intimidated by all those struts and tubes and whatnot||Never seen a picture of a Sherman DD that also had canvas sealing the mantlet and MG, so this is a test subject.||Came out quite well but I did have to scratch build the propellers as Milicast had made them way too small.||The black marks on the outside of the screen represent Bostik, a tar-like sealant used to ensure watertightness where the inflation tubes were attached to the screen.|
|1/76 M4A4 Sherman DD (screen down)|
|M4A4 Sherman DD of the 13th/18th Hussars with swimming screen folded moving inland with infantry.||This is a 1/76 Milicast resin kit.||Figures are ESCI Britsh troops with helmet covers and extra backpacks to better match the reference.||(Ref: "Swimming Shermans", David Fletcher, Osprey Publishing 2006, p. 21)||Note the green and white checkered cloth hanging off the back.|
|1/76 Matilda Mk II|
|Airfix Matilda II tank in the western desert.||I think the only added detail was the mirror.||Dates from 1975!|
|1/72 Somua S35.|
|Heller kit.||Finally got me a Somua S35 built.||I ended up hand painting most of the markings!||They seemed to come out OK, better than the serial number on the front anyway.||I never did build that Raretanks vac-formed version all those years ago.|
|ESCI Valentine.||OOB build with an AB figures commander.||Approximate year of construction: 1996.|
|1/35 Valentine MkIII|
|1/35 Maquette||The kit is fairly accurate, though I a had to re-build the gun mantle which is not right at all.||Figure poses chosen to resemble reference picture.||Overhead view.||Compare with the reference picture.||Approximate year of construction: 2003.||From "The Great Book of Tanks" (Salamander), by David Miller.|
|Valentine MkIII on the workbench! A Valentine from Maquette, with crew being modified from the Tamiya British tank crew.||Bottom of turret basket.||View into turret to try and show added details.|
|1/35 Valentine Mk VIII|
|1/35 Maquette||Rough finish, achieved by stippling with a brush.||Built in 2006.||Fuel tank, originally from a Tamiya T34 but the mounting bracket was added.|