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.
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.
Next I applied a base coat of Vallejo Model Air #44, Light Grey Green thinned as above.
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.
Turret Star and Serial Number
Differential Cover Star
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.
Following this I painted the remaining accessories and details with various Vallejo Acrylic and Humbrol Metal Cote paints.
Air Recognition Panel and Tools
Headlights and Hull MG
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.
End Connectors With Rust
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.
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.
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.
Tracks and Pigments Applied
As a final touch I gave the tank commander a map and a pair of binoculars from the scrap box.
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.
- Easy Assembly
- Clear Instructions
- Provides Multiple Main Gun Choices
- Plastic – My Favorite Medium
- Excellent Detail
- Good Part Fit
- One Piece Tracks
- No Marking Guide
- Decals Slightly Thick
- Track “Identity Crisis”
- Lack of Extra Turret Ring