Tamiya M3 Grant - ISM - Shelf of Doom GB 2014

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Martin Page
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Re: ISM - Shelf of Doom GB 2014

Post by Martin Page » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:06 am

Put it all together and this is how it all looked at the end of the day, one shot at the bench and then two outside. Happy with the progress so far but getting the fear about the tri-tone camo. I consider myself handy with an airbrush but have never freehanded a camo so what to do, get some plastic card and practice or carry on with the single colour as I think it's looking pretty good as it is. I really like the idea of the camo scheme but worrying about messing it up, not defeated and this weekend will do some test, if I get a result I will crack on but need to see how I fare before taking the plunge. So this is it as she stands on my bench today, another week of work to deal with before I get to have another go...

Thanks for looking...

Cheers
Martin

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Martin Page
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Re: ISM - Shelf of Doom GB 2014

Post by Martin Page » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:08 am

Somethings adrift!!!! Time to reach for the book of words...

The camo dilemma continues! Really have to say the box art and instructions with the tri-camo scheme had me sold, it looks great but on further inspection this isn't a camo scheme she would have worn! Basically with the M3 Grant (British Pattern Turret) we find ourselves in El Alamein 1942-43 fighting with Monty and the second battle. The British Forces in Northern Africa had just received delivery of M3 Grants, 300 Shermans and 3 prototype Churchill tanks and the camo scheme would have been Desert Yellow or Light Stone base with Dark Olive Green Disruptive. I have dug deep into Google and here are my findings, must admit very interesting and hopefully informative.

Item One, rather nice collection of Shermans but if you look to the right of the photo we see our subject, the M3 Grant:

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Even though a black and white photo its pretty obvious to see we are working only with two colours, the next picture closer up of the Sherman reveals something else, take note of the lower hull right at the bottom between the tracks a third colour for the mix:

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This is white and only appears on the underside of the hull and the uderside of the main gun barrel. On delivery and after maintenance all vehicles would be returned back to the unit in the latest GO (General Orders) Paint Schemes and at this time it was the Sand, Olive Green and White. The pattern noted in the kit instructions is also incorrect for this period and although sprayed at source some field modifications also come into play, they did have mobile teams with spray equipment but also the long handled brush would feature. The Sherman pic above is definitely the Disruptive pattern of that period and matches all of my findings although very crudely applied. Take this next picture, the disruptive was definitely applied by a spray gun but also shows running of the paint a pretty rough and rushed job.

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As everything short supply of paint called for alternatives and according to the GO of the time if Dark Olive Green was unavailable then Dark Brown, Slate Grey and Black could be used as an alternative, maybe it's here the confusion unfolds. So all this taken in what am I going to do with the M3? :scratch::

Well to be honest I'm not feeling the green and what with my excitement about the three tone brown original scheme I think I am going to opt for the Dark Brown replacement, bit more confidence in spraying it and also similar sort of feel to the original design in mind. Here are a couple more images I found which may be of some interest and to prove that in the field the troops did actually use what they had to hand, check this out and I'm pretty sure that the scheme in the Tank Museum derived from this...

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If I can also refer back to the picture of Monty riding the M3 and take note of the roughness of the finish, it was also common when painting the Light Stone base colour they would sprinkle actual desert sand over the wet paint, think this is quite well illustrated here...

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So panic over and one day wiser, good compromise I think what with easing my airbrush fears and most of all, it will be historically correct. I will share some more information and the actual pattern itself when I come to spray it although I think it will be a little tidier than the field job shown above...

Thanks for looking and I hope I haven't bored you to tears...

Cheers
Martin

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Martin Page
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Re: ISM - Shelf of Doom GB 2014

Post by Martin Page » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:09 am

Bit of an M3 Frenzy this week in he research department and I have actually now found an example of the tri-tone camo pattern. Reaching for the encyclopedia of tanks I found this example but unfortunately it's an unknown unit from the 8th Army and only a side profile.

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I have read the up on the battle of El Alamein and had a quick flick through a book on the 8th Army and have come to the decision that I will be doing my M3 Grant in this scheme. It works with the General Orders of the day and the disruptive brown used was almost a black colour so this is now what I am shooting for.

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Thoroughly recommend the using the Osprey books for reference and very good insight on how the M3 project unfolded in production. Don't get me wrong, I am no rivet counter but have passion for all things WW2 and love researching the subject. So, today's project will be to hit the shed and brush up the airbrushing skills, yesterday I primed up some plastic card ready for the testing. Will have to mix the brown myself from the Tamiya paints I have as like I said this brown colour is nearly black. I'll see how I get on this morning and maybe if I am lucky with turn my attention to the stowage as I would like to have this in place before I start the pigments. Once the camo scheme is done I will be adding a filter and then some chipping and highlights, I will fit the stowage before the pigments. Next weekend is Euro Militaire and I will be on the hunt for some figures to complete the project, will try my best not to totally destroy he wallet, last years adventure was rather costly. If anyone is in the area and able to attend I totally recommend this show as the Armour and figure work is second to none. I will try and take a few shots and post them on my thread of some of the outstanding work. Still a long way to go on the build but happy with the progress so far hopefully I wont mess things up with the camo scheme.

Thanks for looking and until the next update...

Cheers
Martin

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Martin Page
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Re: ISM - Shelf of Doom GB 2014

Post by Martin Page » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:09 am

Such a good Sunday, few beers, war film and some shed time, just perfect... Had a try at the freehand airbrushing but not there yet, time to break out the faithful white tack worms. To be honest a half heartened attempt but in the end spent the time and hopefully got it right. So this is how the main body stands at the end of play today... *Note the camo pattern does not follow the profile, I am sticking to the General order of the day.

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Quite happy with the result but still lots to do, filters chipping, pigments etc, etc... But, a good base to start with.

The turret hasn't had much show yet but this is still standing in a pot at primer stage with some pre-shading.

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I have assembled the tank commander but he still need a little work, seem lines and a bit of filling but you get the drift, think he's going to look all good sitting up top. Still need to sort out the head gear and radio or maybe I should just stick a pint in his had...

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Martin Page
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Re: ISM - Shelf of Doom GB 2014

Post by Martin Page » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:10 am

Made good progress today and have letf it for now to all dry, will have a look mid week to see how we fair. Made a start on the stowage, not much but a start. Sand bags on the front and a canvas roll which will be fitted to the side, lots more in the bag to do but it's a start... The sandbags have only had a first coat but the canvas rolls have had a sepia wash, trying to vary the sand/buff colours to add depth and the straps will be picked out in another colour. These will also have a pigment dusting once fitted to the hull...

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Thanks for looking...

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Martin Page
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Re: ISM - Shelf of Doom GB 2014

Post by Martin Page » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:10 am

Find myself this morning (at work) scratching my head about the tank commander... :think:

As the M3 will be ladened with stowage would the tank commander be wearing a tin hat? Maybe he should have a beret or nothing on his head at all, something else to look out for at Euro Militaire, some alternative heads.

Would love to do these chaps running up the sides but if it was an attack then the vehicle wouldn't be loaded with stowage...

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I quite like the look of these though from Dragon, these are from the Italy campaign though but with a bit of painting I'm sure I could get away with it, well, the guys in shorts at least. This would also support the tank commanders get up.

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Or go totally the opposite way and go for something like this, god help me with the camel!!!!! :crazy:

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As usual I seem to find myself way ahead of myself but surely, that's part of the fun. Perhaps keep mulling this over until Saturday and then see what's on offer, take it from there...

Will keep you posted.

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Martin Page
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Re: ISM - Shelf of Doom GB 2014

Post by Martin Page » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:11 am

Another weekend passes and it's back to work this morning. Not much to report on he M3 today as most of the weekend was taken up by Euromilitaire and some re-organising in the shed, I needed to have a re-shuffle and get a little more organised so not really much time at the bench. Euromilitaire on Saturday was awesome, once again I was astounded by the quality of the work and so tempted by the traders and the wealth of needful things that were on offer. Along with Telford this for me is one of the best shows of the year and thoroughly recommend it but be prepared and save up some cash as so much on offer other than the latest kits. My shopping list this year was minimal but did manage to go over budget… As always!

So first off lets have a look at what I bought and the small M3 update. My hoard consisted of a box of figures, I did opt for the Dragon set mentioned before (I know these are from Sicily but sure the ones in shorts with a bit of modification will fit the bill nicely), a set of WWII tank commanders heads, couple of vallejo paints and a bottle of Extra Thin for the store cupboard.

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I also love 120mm figures, never made one mind and not sure I have the skills to do it justice but I seem to be compiling a small collection, maybe one day but until then they stay in the stash. No surprise for me then to walk away from the show with another in the shape of the Eighth Army…

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The tank commander heads are from Hornet and are superbly detailed, I have opted for the the jolly looking chap in the middle to replace the current one I have on the tank commander. The figure body has the headphone wires moulded up to the neck, I will be continuing them up to the headset later on in the project.

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Bit of work with the side cutters, the Dremel and the new look commander now sits like this. Quite looking forward to painting him up, excellent detail and recommend having a look at the range. You'll be able to get these from Historex and if your at Telford, keep your eyes pealed as they will be about.

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Martin Page
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Re: ISM - Shelf of Doom GB 2014

Post by Martin Page » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:12 am

OK, I did promise a few pics from Euro Militaire so just for the eye candy here are a few builds that caught my eye, none of mine I hasten add… Brilliant source of inspiration but honestly, I must try harder… The figures are just outstanding!

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Something for everyone I hope...

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Martin Page
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Re: ISM - Shelf of Doom GB 2014

Post by Martin Page » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:13 am

Right, A good afternoon in the shed but to be honest a very much "what ever" kind of session, I'm sure you'll know these days. Everything I picked up just seemed too much of an effort but all the same, progress was made, even though random. The turret is on!!!! But, slightly brighter than the hull, not to worry to much as we could refer to this as modulation but to be honest once the dust has been applied it'll all look right, it's not that far out...

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So had enough of that so turned my attention to some figure work, four out of the six figures assembled. They still need webbing attached and rifles etc, bit of filling and of course paint and then we're in business. They look a little plastic right now but that's because they are, time will tell...

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Again after an hour or so this too lost my attention and I found myself in the world of what to do next... Bored... Although a pleasure to be in the shed not quite in the right frame of mind however, this can't go back to the shelf of doom as this is being watch by you good folk so the pressure is on, finish the dam model for............. sake..! So what to do

Here I am at my bench wthl a whole bunch of bits...

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But if we stick it all together, you kind of see the end result. Must admit I haven't done everything in the correct order but with a bit of jiggery-pokery think we are going to be in good shape... Just have to put that Normandy Bocage Panzer IV out of my head for now...

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So that was today and hopefully tomorrow renewed enthusiasm, time for a smoke and run the dogs, rather a nice evening...
Couple of things to note, turret hatches will be painted interior white and all the stowage will be lashed down correctly, this was just positioned for the camera and not in it's final location, you know how it goes... So much to do, chipping, weathering, more ground work, stowage, figures... this is turning into a big build, but all the same very much enjoying it...

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Martin Page
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Re: ISM - Shelf of Doom GB 2014

Post by Martin Page » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:14 am

Stumbled across this photo during my research...

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Look at Monty, now look at the MB box art, very nice...

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Another rather nice shot, just for the record on he last few days of the desert conflict and finally the Germans were in retreat, it pored with rain and the dust bowl desert battle field turned into a complete quagmire...

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And of course the boys, bit of reference for the figures...

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