Friday, 28 September 2012

Sherman Progress

Well I managed to complete most of building of my Sherman this week.  I am pleased with the results so far; however, I am yet to stumble in to the "bear trap" of adding the etched brass details. I fear the headlight guards might have defeated me already but I’ll have another go before resorting to the plastic ones. The brass tie down for the pioneer tools will get replaced with lead foil for added malleability.

I have opted to place a couple of figure on it to give the feel of an operational vehicle.  Furthermore, I’d like to portray the commander’s hatch unbuttoned which would be logical since the commander is standing on the rear deck looking off at something in the distance. As a result I might need to add third figure peeking out, mainly to disguise the fact there is no interior to the vehicle. A little more playing about to get the figure positions just right might be in order. 

On the cards for this weekend is to sort out some stowage, which may require a bit of scratch building since I will need to replicate the stowage box attached to the back of the turret seen in the reference image which the Sherman is loosely based on.  Stowage is always problematic for me, I struggle to get it looking natural at the best of times.   

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Holy Moly Shermans are Complecated

Well it’s been some time since I’ve managed to write a post. What with holidays, getting back to work and general sloth on my part the blog has been somewhat neglected.  

My latest project is now beginning to take shape so I thought I’d take the opportunity of a rainy Sunday afternoon to write a brief update.

Although the North Irish Horse (NIH) where known for their use of Churchill tanks of various marks during the Second World War in the North African and Italian Campaigns, they also had a smattering of Sherman tanks in their inventory.

For a while now a Sherman M4A1 DV has been languishing in my stash. Earlier this month I rediscovered a picture of one of the NIH Sherman’s from the Recce Troop in a reference work. I felt it might be an interesting project to have a go at.

The first job was change the suspension sets for the later VVS versions which I took from an Academy kit.  Then I added some extra armour on the hull sides.

According to the NIH war diary they received a shipment of Shermans in the early part of 1944 prior to their assault in the Hitler Line in May of the same year.  The entry does not specify anything more than Sherman, which I gives the modeller a certain amount of latitude. Nevertheless, as far as I am aware the British Army in Italy seen to of had a range of different Shermans marks at their disposal including some Sherman I veterans from the North African Campaign.  The reference photo that inspired me was taken during offensive actions in January 1945.  Rather than modelling a specific vehicle I am opting for representing an generic Recce Troop vehicle during the summer months of 1944.  

Even after a superficial study of Shermans one thing become quickly apparent, they are damn confusing. No two tanks seem to look the same there are a range of different configurations not only between marks but also within them. Its enough to leave me bewildered. As a result I have taken some artistic licence. I trust the Sherman aficionados amongst you will forgive me for this.