Beutepanzers

This month my FLGS is starting an Eastern Front campaign for Bolt Action. I decided to loosely base my force on the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen. Most of the vehicles in their OOB were repurposed captured equipment, so I chose an FAI Russian armored car and a Flammpanzer B2(f) – a converted French Char B1 bis – for my list. Both of these kits are from Warlord.


2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


28mm US Infantry/Airborne

So this is a decent way to wrap up the year – I now have no unpainted 28mm US infantry, crew, guns or vehicles. That doesn’t mean I’m actually finished. I’d like to add in some additional vehicles, but it’s still a good personal milestone. Here’s the tally: 2 guns, 9 vehicles, 180 infantry/crew.


28mm WWII Odds and Ends

Tonight I put the finishing touches on a few lingering partial assemblies; an Artizan Pak38, a French civilian truck from Warlord and an eBob Miniatures Opel Blitz. All were straightforward builds and paint jobs. Not much else to report so following a short narrative, here’s a short gallery.


Status Markers

A while ago I purchased these 30mm outside diameter/25mm inside diameter colored plastic rings to use for status markers for 28mm miniatures. The majority of my singly based 28mm miniatures are on round 25mm bases with steel bottoms. With this in mind I took 30mm bases, attached self adhesive magnetic sheet to the tops, and then glued the rings on. This ended up working well as the magnetic attraction is enough that the markers won’t fall off when the minis are moved, yet they are still easy to disconnect without fouling up the basing. Hopefully I’ll never need more than ten as I cannot recall where I purchased them…


Rubicon Sherman Build Part IV – Finishing

Recently Fall hit and the humidity dropped considerably, so I was able to get out the airbrush and finish up the Rubicon Sherman.

I began by brush priming the metal parts with Gunze Sangyo Mr. Metal Primer. I then primed the entire model with AK Interactive Grey Primer, shot straight from the bottle through an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS  at ~18 psi. The AK Interactive primer is, by far, my favorite. It binds, coats and levels better than any other primer, acrylic or otherwise, that I’ve used.

Rubicon Sherman Primed

Primed Rubicon (Right) and JTFM (Left) Shermans

Once dry I pre-shaded the model with Vallejo Model Air #43, Olive Drab, thinned at 3 parts paint to one part Liquitex Airbrush Medium, one part Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and one part Vallejo Satin Varnish shot at ~15 psi. In hindsight, I probably could have gone with a darker shade here.

Rubicon Sherman Pre-Shading

Pre-Shading

Next I applied a base coat of Vallejo Model Air #44, Light Grey Green thinned as above.

Rubicon Sherman Base Coat

Base Coat

After the base colors had set completely I applied the markings. The turret stars are from Archer Fine Transfers, the differential dashed circle star is from I-94 Enterprises and the serial numbers are from the kit sheet. I then brush painted over the turret stars with Vallejo Model Color #889, US Olive Drab.

Rubicaon Sherman Markings 1

Turret Star and Serial Number

Rubicon Sherman Markings 2

Differential Cover Star

Rubicon Sherman Markings 3

Overpainted Turret Star

Post-markings I added some shadows using a thin wash of MIG Productions 502 Abteilung Wash Brown oil paint. This was followed by highlighting with some light dry-brushing of Vallejo Panzer Aces #322, US Tanker Highlight.

Rubicon Sherman Shadows 2

Shadow Wash

Rubicon Sherman Highlights

Dry-brushed Highlights

Following this I painted the remaining accessories and details with various Vallejo Acrylic and Humbrol Metal Cote paints.

Rubicon Sherman Details 1

Air Recognition Panel and Tools

Rubicon Sherman Details 2

Rear Stowage

Rubicon Sherman Details 3

Headlights and Hull MG

Rubicon Sherman Details 4

Turret Stowage

Rubicon Sherman Details 5

Tank Commander

I then started working on the tracks, bogie wheels and return rollers. The bogies and return rollers were painted with Vallejo Panzer Aces #306, Dark Rubber, given a wash of acrylic black, and lightly dry-brushed with Vallejo Panzer Aces #305, Light Rubber. The tracks were painted with Vallejo Panzer Aces #304, Track Primer given a wash of acrylic black, and lightly dry-brushed with Vallejo Panzer Aces #305, Light Rubber. Earlier on in the build I had mentioned that I believed the tracks we’re supposed to be the steel chevron type, but because of the ambiguity I chose the easier route, for me, and painted them as rubber. The track end connectors were given a wash of True-Earth Burnt Rust R. Once this was dry I painted the raised details of the end connectors with Humbrol Metal Cote Aluminum. These metal cote paints dry to a matt black and then can be buffed. I used my finger and a micro-brush to gently buff the end connectors.

Rubicon Sherman Tracks 1

End Connectors With Rust

Rubicon Sherman Tracks 2

End Connectors Post-Buffing

Once the tracks were complete I started weathering the kit. In trying to keep it moderate, I started with an overall thin wash of MIG Productions 502 Abteilung Light Mud and then added some subtle vertical streaking with MIG Productions 502 Abteilung Engine Grease. I then added some staining around the filler caps with AK Interactive Fuel Stains.

Rubicon Sherman Fuel Stains

Fuel Stains

After the oils and enamels were dry I started to weather the lower hull using a product that was new to me – Mud-in-a-Pot from Reality in Scale. Mud-in-a-Pot is an acrylic based textured mud that can be used straight from the jar. I used a lighter shade on the majority of the lower hull, and used the darkest shade closer in towards the running gear. I really like this product, but need to spend some more time with it to fully realize its potential.

Rubicon Sherman Weathering 1

Mud-in-a-Pot

Then when the “mud’ had dried (exceptionally hard by the way) I attached the tracks to the lower hull. This was followed by a light application of some MIG Pigments to harmonize the mud colors.

Rubicon Sherman Weathering 2

Tracks and Pigments Applied

As a final touch I gave the tank commander a map and a pair of binoculars from the scrap box.

Rubicon Sherman Turret Details

Turret Details

To finish the kit off, I sprayed the entire model with AK Interactive Matt Varnish. Here are a few photos of the finished kit, and some pics alongside a JTFM Sherman that I built in parallel.

To summarize, the Rubicon Sherman is an excellent kit that was a really fun build. If you’re looking for Shermans to add to your arsenal, I highly recommend this model. I will certainly be checking out their other offerings in the near future.

Pros

  • Easy Assembly
  • Clear Instructions
  • Provides Multiple Main Gun Choices
  • Plastic – My Favorite Medium
  • Excellent Detail
  • Good Part Fit
  • One Piece Tracks

Cons

  • No Marking Guide
  • Decals Slightly Thick
  • Track “Identity Crisis”
  • Lack of Extra Turret Ring

Rubicon Sherman Build Part III – Final Assembly

I was going to break this up into two parts, but the rest of the assembly went so fast I decided on a combined post.

The tracks and suspension for the Rubicon Sherman consist of five parts; the tracks and outside suspension/bogies, three inner bogie assembly halves and an inner drive sprocket piece. The assembly of these was straight forward. I sanded the seam along the part of the tracks that would be visible, and then glued the inner parts to the outer track/suspension assembly. While I understand the need to simplify the suspension, especially for a wargaming model, the design did result in a visible seam in all of the bogies. I decided to not fill these as the difficulty of sanding them didn’t seem worth the effort. Also of note, the track pattern is greatly simplified as well. I believe that they are supposed to be the steel chevron type, but I am unsure.

Rubicon Sherman Tracks 1

Outer Track Assembly

Rubicon Sherman Tracks 2

Tread Pattern

Rubicon Sherman Tracks 3

Track and Suspension Parts

Rubicon Sherman Tracks 4

Bogie Seams

I set the track assemblies aside and began working on the lower hull. The lower hull is split into two pieces, and Rubicon cleverly hid any visible seam by incorporating it into the engine doors and hiding it with the trailer hitch.

Rubicon Sherman Lower Hull 1

The Lower Hull

Rubicon Sherman Lower Hull 2

Engine Doors and Trailer Hitch

I like my wargaming models to have a little heft and wanted to add some weight to the hull. I affixed some Pinewood Derby Chassis Weights using CA glue.

Rubicon Sherman Lower Hull 4

Lower Hull Weights

I then attached the idler wheel assemblies.

Rubicon Sherman Lower Hull 3

Idler Wheel Assembly

The next step was attaching the differential cover to the lower front of the hull. I dry fitted this piece with the upper hull, and discovered it was going to take a little coaxing to fit correctly. I cemented it, strapped it down with some rubber bands and let it dry overnight.

Rubicon Sherman Lower Hull 5

Differential Cover

Like the turret, the differential cover was a cast piece. I applied the same technique as I did with the turret to try and give it that texture.

Rubicon Sherman Lower Hull 6

Differential Cover Texture

The bulk of the upper hull is one piece that fit perfectly on to the lower hull.

Rubicon Sherman Upper Hull 1

Upper Hull

The next steps called for attaching the rest of the upper hull parts – headlights, exhaust deflector, hull MG, etc. These parts went on without issue. During these steps I drilled out the front and rear hull lift hooks.

Rubicon Sherman Upper Hull 2

Front Lift Hooks

To finish off the kit I added the Culin hedgerow cutter and some stowage. The Culin device had some clear injector pin marks that I tried to fill with putty. I plan on covering up my poor work with some weathering.

Rubicon Sherman Details 1

Injector Pin Marks

Rubicon Sherman Details 3

Culin Device Attached

As the kit did not include any stowage, I added some from the space parts bin.

Rubicon Sherman Details 2

Stowage

As a final step, I made an air recognition panel using foil from a wine label (no shortage of this material at the Emmett Estate), some painter’s tape and thread. After I affixed it to the tank I brush painted it with matt medium to stiffen it up.

Rubicon Sherman Details 4

Air Recognition Panel

Rubicon Sherman Details 5

Panel Attached

Next in Part IV I’ll begin painting and applying the markings.


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