Thursday, December 11, 2014

Time out: Tamiya 1:48 scale M4 Sherman Medium Tank (early production) - part 2

And the wait was over.. 

It was a frustrating experience heading to the hobby shop and there's nothing on the paint shelves.
Took nearly a month for the new stocks to arrive and I wasted no time in procuring the XF-1 Flat Black paint to finish the M4 Sherman's tank tracks and wheels.
This is a real tough cookie because my finishing was really sloppy. I forgot to add some thinner to the paint to get a smooth coating.
For the tank tracks, I purchased the Tamiya TS-6 Matt Black paint. This one works like magic to give the plastic track links an even coating.

The Matt Black spray can
Tamiya's weathering master: for that professional finish!

Dry-brushing is a technique to give your model kit that worn-out look. In modelling terms, it's "weathering".
Tamiya produces a couple of sets for weathering finishes and I must say that I am very impressed with the results.
I comes with a set of three colours and an applicator.

The Tamiya weathering master
After I sprayed the tracks and built the suspension and wheels for the tank, I worked on touching up the glued areas with the Olive Drab paint.
Now, the best part was applying the weathering finish in the undercarriage. It's so simple, the job was done within minutes. 
You can even add mud and sand on the tracked wheels to give it a realistic finish. But, unfortunately, the weathering sets were not available.

First stage in applying the weathering master on the kit
The undercarriage
Applying weathering on the tracks

Achieving that "worn" look
Working like a man possessed.. 

The undercarriage was a tough stage in assembling the tank.
I am not aiming for a perfect finish, but rather completing my task after a long wait. It took nearly a month for the paints to arrive and when I got hold of it, I worked on the tracks and painted the wheels. 
It was a mess, but having the parts weathered, kind of concealed the obvious fault on this kit.
I worked on assembling the small parts on the exterior of the hull like the lights and and tools on the tank.
Rather than painting it, I used the Titanium colour to weather the steel tools and the finished parts were kinda appealing to my eyes.

Weathering applied on the suspension, wheels and track

The kit, nearing completion with decals applied on the hull
And the final results.. 

Well, I must say at I am pretty pleased with the kit I had finished.
This is a far cry from the ones I did more than 20 years ago.
I am proud of my achievement in putting together the 1:48 kit with the least amount of obvious defects. 
The TS spray paint cans did wonder in giving an even coat on the tank. For RM28 a pop, my investment paid off. 
I touched-up the tank by painting it with a brush and a trip to my aunt Lorraine's home in Setapak retrieved my old hobby kits as well as all the useful tools that came with it.

My humble effort: "Hurricane"
Now that I kinda found the hang of it building plastic model kits, there are a couple of projects that I would like to work on.
This hobby keeps my mind sharp, hand-eye coordination in place.
Since there at least a few good 1:35 kits out there, I am looking forward to build a few more M4 Shermans! 
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