cautious by nature, I guess, so I put off delicate or irreversible
construction (sealing off areas that might need additional work)
as long as possible. Event still, the microscopic photo-etched U-shaped
hasps for latching the side doors closed did not survive the mating
of the upper and lower hulls after painting.
turret and basket were glued together only when I was certain the
turret wouldn't rise above the deck because the basket was too long.
tracks were carefully wrapped around the suspension one final time.
Because the rear idler mounts had to be cobbled together and positioned
in correspondence to the mounting plates on the bottom corners of
the rear hull, the rear idler is positioned a tad lower as you look
at it from the side.
Tamiya kit has fender pieces that extend a bit under the upper hull.
Verlinden provides sponsons that extend only to the overhanging
firewall. This leaves the back third open to the underside of the
hull. I glued some supports on the inside walls of the hull, and
after mating the upper and lower hulls, I glued these filler pieces
in place. This left several opens seams and some unevenness on the
underside of the sponsons. I took my thinnest sheet of Plastruct
and cut and painted strips to cover the surfaces.
tank was heavily weathered with WWII Productions powders mixed with
vinegar into a milky wash. This gave me some very interesting patterns
when it dried and actually made the weathering very durable. In
a few places, though, where the wash had pooled and dried, the surface
got glossy. This was toned down with a simple dusting of the powder.
the look I was going for, but it completely obliterated the subtle
registration numbers on the hull sides! And it really toned down
the yellow markings.
I enjoyed the challenge of fixing up this kit the best I could,
learned some new skills, and I'm very pleased with the result. I'm
sure I'll enjoy building the Academy kit when it comes out, and
even the ABM version if I can find one at a decent price. But this
project will be the special one.
and Research Notes
The Suspension and Tracks
The Lower Hull Exterior
The Lower Hull Interior
The Upper Hull Exterior
The Upper Hull Interior
Painting and Decals
Diorama (coming soon)