Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

WWII Project - Another Sherman Part IV

This is the current progress on the Rubicon M4A3 76 Sherman. I have been working on this while paint drys on the M4A1 76. It certainly won't be going to ReaperCon with me, but it will be a nice project to come back to. I might take it along just as a side project to work on at the con. So much is working with enamel paints though which definitely leaves and interesting odor beyond.

This time I primed with the Badger Olive Drab Primer which went on quite nicely.

Then started the shading with the Ammo paints. I'm not sure I'm liking they way a couple of the colors are going on though. They almost feel to thin, in particularly the Olive Drab Base.

Monday, August 27, 2018

ReaperCon Projects - The Sherman Part IV

Sometimes life just conspires against you. While work has progressed on the competition Sherman, I'm not sure its going to make it. I have a couple of fall back pieces but this is the one I really wanted to enter. We shall see. The good news is that the Rubicon decals are much better than Company B and will definitely hold up through the weathering process. Its a bit farther along in the process now which you won't see in the few photographs I managed to take.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

WWII Project - Another Sherman Part III

I continued on with the Rubicon M4A3 76. I basically built the rest of the tank in less than an hour. The hull detail is nice and crisp and the VVSS suspension is nicely done and integral with the tracks. The complaint I have here is that on the front of the tracks you can see the metal grousers, but they were not molded on the rear portion of the track. Not quite sure what I want to do about that. Most gamers wouldn't notice it but from a modeling standpoint it really stands out like a sore thumb.

I finished the hull and track assembly but didn't glue them to each other. I learned my lesson (again) on while painting the Trenchworx M4A1, painting the tracks while its mounted to the hull is not easy. I know this before I did it but I did it anyway. So I will keep the M4A3 tracks off till everything has been painted.

The lower hull, a considerable improvement in design from the lower hull of the PzKfw IVH's hull.

Upper hull, the molded detail is excellent, the headlights could be sharper and maybe a bit more delicate.

The tracks with the VVSS suspension, fully detailed on both sides!

The upper and lower hull have been glued together the tracks are just tacked in place for the moment.

My new favorite clipper. Much easier to maneuver around the sprues than the Army Painter of GW clippers. These are designed to clip delicate parts without breaking them. I first saw these on a model railroad site for $40 bucks, they were considerably cheaper from micro mart.

Monday, August 20, 2018

WWII Project - Another Sherman Part II

I sat down to paint and couldn't find the reference book I needed or the technique book I had been working from (I found them later on sitting on top of a rollway set of drawers that all my pigments and enamels are kept in). So in order to get something done I broke out the Rubicon M4A3 Sherman and started on that. First off there are two choices of machine guns, the gamer version and the modeler version. I opted for the modeler version. It is definitely less "beefy" than the gamer version and definitely smaller than the Trenchworx version.

During this session I managed to complete the turret. I decided to build the M4A3 with the T23 turret (two large hatches). It went together quite easily at this point. I grabbed the Trenchworx T23 turret from the M4A1 to compare and they are quite similar. I find the resin Trenchworx T23 turret to have much sharper details and I think I like their .50 cal MG much better. However, the two turrets are different. The Trenchworx version has lifting lugs on the sides towards the back while the Rubicon version lacks these. The Rubicon version has the rack for the MG on the back though. So kind of a toss up at this point.
This .50 cal MG seems almost delicate

The completed Rubicon T23 Turret

And matched up against the Trenchworx T23 turret

This is a better comparison shot, here you can see that the turrets are almost identical in size, but the Rubicon lacks some sharpness in detail, especially on the interior side of the commander's hatch.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


My wife and I had tickets for the Broncos vs Vikings on Saturday night. While the Broncos got crushed (didn't break my heart since I'm a Packers fan) we had a good time. Our last two visits we sat way up in the stands (seriously, like four rows from the top for the Packers vs Broncos game last year) so this time we opted for something a little closer to the field. Its amazing how your perspective of the game changes.

Section 135, Row 38, Seats 15 and 16

The horse statues outside the stadium

Monday, August 13, 2018

WWII Project - Another Sherman

A shipment from Rubicon Models arrived over the weekend. Another addition to the Sherman collection. If you have kept up with the posts on my Reaper Con Sherman entry I have been having issues with the Company B decals. I really ordered this one to snag the decal set as they are not yet available separately from Rubicon.

I am quite impressed with this kit though, it is one of the most current and its a very complete model. You can build either the M4A3 76mm or the M4A3E8 or "Easy Eight" version also armed with the 76mm gun but in this case with the a muzzle break. That means that there are a whole host of extra parts with this one. Two turrets (but unfortunately only one turret base so there is no way to make use of both of them), two 76mm guns (one with and one without the muzzle break, and a 75mm gun would have been a nice option as well)and two full sets of suspension components. There are even crewman with this one, although I'm not terribly impressed with them, they definitely lack a bit of animation. There are a few stowage components but not in any serious quantity so if you want to deck it out you will need to find a couple of other sources for those. Rubicon makes an Allied Stowage "kit" but it still doesn't provide enough options or that gypsy look that many US tanks tended to have.

Value Gear Model Building Details has some sets that they claim can be mixed with 1/48th and 1/56th scale vehicles. Debris of War has sets that are specifically designed for 1/56th scale and I find those intriguing. I'll think about getting something after the bank account has recovered from the latest round of house renovation.

The bonus side is that the kit actually came with two sets of decals so I can use them on the Trenchworx M4A1 and still have a full set for this M4A3! I'm seriously thinking about whether I can build this one fast enough to enter it as well.

Rubicon really does a great job with their instructions.

Monday, August 6, 2018

ReaperCon Projects - The Sherman Part III

More work was completed on the M4A1 76mm Sherman. It was time for the wash stage and a certain amount of cleanup that goes with it. This is a brown wash designed for a green base coated vehicle, i think its the AK one. Quite frankly I forgot to take a look at the bottle, it could also be from Ammo.

I figured that I would just go ahead and wash over the big stars which would pretty much completely remove them from the surface. I'll go back after these steps and reapply decals. The other issue I'm having is still on the driver's side of the tank. I have really messed up a section of the upper hull and I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do about it. I might try some steel wool and see what if I can change the finish enough to at least fix it. 

I applied the brown wash over the entire vehicle and then, using thinner, I slowly cleaned up the major surfaces leaving the wash, primarily, in the various nooks and crannies. It looked pretty good at the end of the session and I have gone in and started a little detail painting.

Just get it on there! I probably could have been a lot neater with this application and saved myself a lot of work

First pass at cleaning up the wash, looking pretty good and the tones added by the oils are starting to come back through.

Happy enough at this point to start a little detail painting
Of course on this side that spot is really showing up, I need to contemplate what to do here, I'm not going to strip down the whole vehicle at this point. I might strip this section, mask it off and reapply with the airbrush.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

ReaperCon Projects - Small Steps II

I had the opportunity to get a little more work in on the M4A1 last night. I started with the oil process to add more tones to the vehicle. This is simply add spots of oil colors and streaking them down the sides of the vehicle. If the streaks are to evident you simple keep streaking them down with the mineral spirits. Its an interesting process but I made a huge mistake on the right side, and this shows the quality difference between the I-94 decals and the Company B decals. I accidentally drag a brush full of mineral spirits across the Company B star and it started to disintegrate, you can see the effects in the picture. The I-94 decal held up just fine, no ill effects.

Now I have some things to fix, as something is cockeyed with the paint on the left side. Not quite sure what I'm going to do about that but at this point I just need to continue forward.

The evening's paint selection

The initial streaking and the disintegrating Company B decal

To many green dots and to concentrated on the center and the driver's side

Ruined the star on the turret as well, both sides, but you can see how the streaking adds different tones to the surface

The palete at the end of the evening