Sherman V at Westkapelle, ca. 1947

Jakko

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#1
This is a repost of a thread I originally started on the Military Modelling forums, so some of you may have seen this already. I’ll recreate the posts I made then, without trying to consolidate them into fewer posts, though with a few small corrections. Hey, at least it’s good for my post count here :smiling3:

(Originally posted by me on the Military Modelling forums on 31/03/2018 19:38:22)

Now that my Churchill AVRE is ready for painting, I figure I can start on the next model without too much risk of never finishing the previous one. Let me begin by placing this one in a historical context too …

Here is a photo of two tanks in the village of Westkapelle, the Netherlands, taken circa 1946:


(photo by Neeltje Flipse-Roelse, via
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Those who’ve read my posts on the AVRE model may recognise the location by the house in the middle of the picture. Yes, this is just a short distance away from where the AVRE stood — it’s entirely hidden by the Sherman on the left in this photo. At present, this same site looks like this:


(source:
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Note the angle is different because Google Maps won’t let you see the street from the pavement for some odd reason … :smiling3: The tank on the right was located approximately where the covered outdoor seating area, in the middle of the photo, is now; the cyclist would be more or less passing the tank on the left in the 1940s photo.

How did those tanks end up there? Good question … On the morning of 1 November 1944, this happened on the beach a few hundred meters from where these photos were taken:


(source: unknown)

The tank on the right is the one on the left in the post-war photograph. (How can I tell this from a blurry picture? Too much staring at too many photos like these in recent weeks and thinking about what’s actually in them :smiling3: )

In all, two Sherman Mk. Vs, at least six Sherman Crab Mk. Is, and at least five Churchill Mk. IV AVREs were landed on the beach at Westkapelle, plus a multitude of Buffalo and Weasel amphibious vehicles, as well as more than two full Commandos — that’s not two guys, but two battalion-size units. Much of the armour bogged down on the beach, so that by the next day, three AVREs and two Shermans (both the non-Crabs) were all that was left operational. These were sent northeast, to the village of Domburg where German resistance was holding up the Commandos’ advance. Here is the tank that’s on the right in the first photo, likely in Domburg:


(source: unknown)

Other photos show that the other tank was a bit behind it, in front of the house with the two upper-floor windows, around the time this picture was taken.

And this is both of the Shermans in action, probably east of Domburg:


(source: unknown)

The tank in the middle is the one on the right of the first photo I posted, the tank on the right is, well, the other one, given that there were only two Sherman Vs. The men in the foreground are probably Belgians from No. 4 Troop, No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando.

According to Nigel Duncan in 79th Armoured Division: Hobo’s Funnies (Windsor: Profile Publications, 1972), just these two tanks fired about 1,400 rounds of HE and “a large amount of AP shot” in the course of a week’s worth of fighting …
 
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Jakko

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#2
(Originally posted by me on the Military Modelling forums on 31/03/2018 19:41:23)

After the fighting, the tanks seem to have been driven back to Westkapelle, where they were parked along the side of the Zuidstraat (that translates as “South Street” in English), the main street through the village, then as now. They were photographed multiple times before eventually being removed, probably around 1948. For example, here are two local women (in traditional dress) posing in front of one of them:



In 1947, the Royal Netherlands Army also sent photographers to record the tanks left in the village:


(source:
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This is apparently one Sgt. Bierhuis, Army photographer, posing by the other tank than the one in the previous photo. The NIMH’s caption wrongly states the tank as having belonged to the 52nd (Lowland) Division, probably because of the “52” arm of service marking it carried. In fact, all the Shermans in Westkapelle were from A Squadron, 1st Lothians and Border Horse, 79th Armoured Division.

Most people seeing photos like these assume that “Bramble” and “Cherry” are the tanks’ names, given how prominently those words are painted onto them. However, those are actually the codenames of the landing craft they were carried in, and the numbers refer to the same craft: LCT 650 was 6 “Cherry” and LCT 737 was 5 “Bramble”, and all of the Shermans carried in the craft had the same name and number painted on. The tank marked “6 Cherry” was actually named:—


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And that’s the one I intend to build, in the state it’s in in these photos.
 
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Jakko

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#3
(Originally posted by me on the Military Modelling forums on 31/03/2018 19:49:09)

Model photos will have to wait until I’ve gotten round to actually starting building, but I can share a picture already of what I’ve gathered to build this tank:



An Asuka Sherman V, AFV Club T48 tracks, Resicast deep-wading trunk (lower section only) and a Resicast engine. The plan is to build the kit with the engine deck open, since several photos of the tanks show them like that — like, for instance, the first one in the opening post of this thread — and to add rudimentary internals for the driver’s compartment, as the hatches to that will be left open as well.
 
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Jakko

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#4
(Originally posted by me on the Military Modelling forums on 02/04/2018 18:15:06)

Started on the model, with the hull because the engine has to go in it. The Asuka kit has a lower hull that assembles from separate panels, and since Resicast provides a replacement firewall and hull rear, I couldn’t add those for rigidity. Instead, I built the basic transmission housing and glued that to the hull to keep things square, and added the Asuka firewall without glue:



Once that had dried I could add the Resicast photo-etched floor and hull side detail panels. Unfortunately the side panels were warped, probably because half their thickness has been etched away over most of the surface area, to create raised detail. After carefully bending them as flat as I could get them, I still had to clamp them to the model, with a ruler between the clamps and the etched part to apply pressure over the whole panel:



With that done, the panel aligns well enough with the plastic hull side:

 
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Jakko

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#5
(Originally posted by me on the Military Modelling forums on 09/04/2018 19:55:32)

Progress is a little slow, but I’ve been working on the engine bay some more. The first thing I noticed is that the Resicast replacement rear plate is too narrow:



I’m guessing the master was made from an Asuka plastic part, and it’s shrunk as part of the resin casting process. The difference between the two is too noticeable on the model to be able to use the Resicast part, if you ask me:





That meant building the internal details on the rear plate myself, mainly using brass rod, copper wire, and some bits of plastic card and rod, plus the Resicast fire extinguisher nozzles of course:



I had already noticed in the photos of the real tank and the Tech Manual illustrations included in Resicast’s instruction sheet, that there seems to be more plumbing in the engine compartment than the engine set provides, and some of it runs in different directions than Resicast would have you put it. A little searching turned up a very good quality scan of US Army
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, courtesy of Google, which includes a better (larger) version of an illustration Resicast also provides:—



In addition, I’m not convinced that resin is the ideal medium to provide this pipework in, given that the parts are about half a millimetre thick. Copper wire to the rescue!





All the grey bits are of course Resicast parts, but the brown and red wires are different thicknesses of copper wire, which I salvaged from various electronics devices (hence the coloured varnish).

You may notice that I’ve put the plastic firewall in anyway, and the pipework I added ends before it gets there. This is because I realised that the radiator is so big that it blocks all view of the firewall when the forward part of the engine deck is in place. The fuel tanks visible in the photos above will also end up being invisible when the model is finished, but I had already glued them in place and they’re stuck too fast to remove without probably damaging the plastic sponson undersides they’re glued to :sad:
 
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Jakko

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#6
(Originally posted by me on the Military Modelling forums on 10/04/2018 18:49:13; this was originally a reply to a question by someone else, so it may come across as a little out of sequence with the previous)

There’s another photo of [one of these tanks] taken at probably the same time [as one shown earlier] being resupplied with 75-mm ammunition from an LVT (2), printed in 79th Armoured Division: Hobo’s Funnies that I mentioned earlier. A-ha, here it is:


(source:
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There are also more photos of the tanks with the Commandos, but the one that seems to usually get printed only shows “5 Bramble” in the background. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find any photos from that series online just now, but while looking for them, I did come across a scan of this photo that seems relevant to share here:


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That’s the same tank again, firing on German positions in Domburg.
 

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#7
(Originally posted by me on the Military Modelling forums on 10/04/2018 19:34:21)

Some more digging turned up the source of the pictures: the film taken by Norwegian Commando P.G. Jonson. It’s
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Shermans to be seen at 2:32, 4:07, 4:23, 4:45 and 6:37. Other vehicles in the film are LVTs, M29C Weasels, and Churchill AVREs, as well as footage of Hawker Typhoons attacking German positions toward the end.
 

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#8
(Originally posted by me on the Military Modelling forums on 11/04/2018 09:45:25)

Hooch on 11/04/2018 08:08:01 said:
Interesting that they were "named"/designated by their LVT.

So after they had completed their engineering work, they just left them for 3 or so years at a town after the war?
LCT, not LVT — it’s a difference of about 200 tonnes and a pair of tracks :smiling3: I also didn’t know this for a long time, but yes, for some reason the Shermans (including the Crabs) had the landing craft name and number, but the Churchill AVREs and armoured D7 bulldozers don’t seem to have, even though they were carried in the same four LCTs as the Shermans.

As for the tanks simply being abandoned: yes, that’s the impression I get from studying photographs. I know of one photo of a Crab in Westkapelle with what appear to be two of its crewmen sitting on the front, so taken during or just after the fighting, but this same Crab was left elsewhere in the village; the two Sherman Vs fought at Domburg, yet both ended up in Westkapelle again. My theory is that after the last Germans on Walcheren surrendered on 8 November 1944, the crews were ordered back to Westkapelle to ship out, but for some reason were told to leave their vehicles behind. This mainly because they were parked close together and fairly neatly by the sides of the street.

Unfortunately it would be hard to find eye witnesses (or statements) to support this idea, given that the village was pretty much entirely deserted after the British bombings of early and mid October. There were six or seven people in Westkapelle when the landings happened on 1 November (one of them a great-grandfather of mine), and I doubt there would have been many more a week later.
 
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Jakko

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#9
(Originally posted by me on the Military Modelling forums on 14/04/2018 18:22:17)

I’ve now started building the engine and suspension. Here’s the basic engine from the front:



And from the rear:



Unfortunately, this is the easy bit :smiling3: A central piece, five engine blocks and front and rear panels. Now all I need to add is the radiator plus all the parts for the pipework, plumbing, carburettors, and what have you that goes around the outside of this basic engine assembly. Oh, and figure out what I can add before painting, and what I’d best leave off until after.

As for the suspension, there’s not really all that much to do:



The bogies are fully articulated, and Asuka would have you cut little rectangles of a rubber sheet (provided in the kit) to go inside the bogie body (or “bracket” as the Sherman’s TM calls it) so that the whole thing actually springs. I don’t want that, but unfortunately the kit’s instructions don’t provide any alternatives. However, the box does include two of these sprues:



… without mentioning what they’re for at all. As the plates fit nicely into the space for the rubber sheet inside the bogie body, I concluded that that’s what they’re intended for. The difference between A, B, and C is the thickness: C is just a plate, B is the same plate with two 0.5 mm nodules on it, while on A the nodules are 1 mm thick. Strangely there are four As and four Bs on each sprue but only two Cs, and I felt that using only A or B+C was too low, while A+B didn’t fit. That left me with A+C, which just fit inside the bogie but required a clamp to keep the bogie together while the glue set. (As I only had four Cs for six bogies, I just shaved the nodules off two Bs for the remainder.)

Other than that, all I did was drill four holes on the front face of each bogie:



These represent the bolt holes for the return roller, since the bracket of that could go on either side — the bogie bodies were the exact same on the left and right sides of the real tank, just the direction of the skid on top and the side that the return roller was bolted onto differed. I drilled them by eye, but maybe I should make a template of some kind for future Shermans to make sure they’re all the same, as these six obviously aren’t if you look (too) closely.

The road wheels, incidentally, had a very awkward moulding seam running down the middle. I first tried scraping it off with a knife, but found that slight shrinkage of the wheel meant that I was scraping the edges down but not the seam. I therefore took the wheels to my father’s lathe and turned them down just enough to get rid of the seam.

I had to do the idler wheels by hand, as the solid ones don’t have a hole in them that I could put a bolt through to hold the wheel in the lathe. By the time I’d finished those my thumbs hurt enough from holding the wheels that I was glad I didn’t have to do the same with twelve roadwheels as well.
 
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Jakko

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#10
(Originally posted by me on the Military Modelling forums on 18/04/2018 18:15:13)

I figured it’d be best to paint the engine before adding most of the tubes (air intakes, exhausts, etc.) to it, and while the radiator is still separate. The question is: what colours would those be?
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has good photos of a restored engine, which is painted a kind of olive green/drab, with all the coolant and fuel pipes black and the exhaust pipes silver-grey. Lacking any better information, other than that the engine seems fairly dark in black and white photos, I decided to use the same scheme.



This is the engine painted Tamiya XF-62 olive drab, but I think it’s too dark. The light bits are parts I added after painting the basic engine block, most of which need to be the same colour as the rest of the engine. The radiator is simply matt black overall right now, but it needs some highlighting so the detail will hopefully be visible a little when it’s inside the tank. Much the same goes for the engine.

All the other plumbing that goes around it, I’ll add once the main body of the engine has the right colours and the radiator is glued to it, as I doubt it’ll be possible to get a brush in there when everything is in place.
 
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Steve Jones

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#11
Jakko
I am glad you managed to bring this one over from MM. Looking forward to seeing this one to the end. Good luck
Steve
 

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#12
(Originally posted by me on the Military Modelling forums on 18/04/2018 19:54:16)

Because the engine is taking so long, I’ve built the turret in the mean time.





It’s mostly straight from the box, with added tie-downs to the front sides from 0.5 mm plastic rod and the brackets for the rear stowage box from some plastic strip, as well as an extra antenna mount on the right rear that I made from a piece of photoetched fret. (I must add that I can’t be 100% sure the antenna base should be there because I don’t have any photos that show the right rear of the turret, but the other Sherman V in Westkapelle had it, and the two seem to be almost identical in their details, so I added it to the model.)

I looked through my pile of empty, or nearly so, frets for a section that was wide enough for the antenna base (left over from my Churchill AVRE), with a narrow bit coming off it. I cut a bit off, wider than the base, and then squared it up by making a shallow cut into it with a hobby knife along a steel ruler, then gripping the piece in flat-nosed pliers so that the cut I made was along the edge of the pliers, then using tweezers to wobble the free end up and down until metal fatigue snapped it off.

The bracket on the right side, for the smoke grenade launchers, is tricky to align because Asuka doesn’t give any moulded location holes or anything. The instructions include a good drawing of where it should go, but they leave it up to you to work out how to transfer that information to the model. I did it by putting the gun horizontal and drawing a pencil line on the turret side at the level of the middle of the barrel, which positions the bottom end of the bracket. I then added a vertical line just to the rear of the front of the commander’s hatch to locate the fore-and-aft position. That left the 30° angle the bracket should be fixed at. Luckily, this is easy with a ruler: I measured 10 mm up on the vertical line from the bottom of the bracket, then 5 mm to the rear, and marked that spot. A diagonal line through that point and the intersection of the vertical and horizontal lined then nicely gives the correct angle — or at least, correct enough for my standards :smiling3: (This is because a right-angled triangle in which one of the right-angled sides is twice as long as the other, has a 30° angle between the long and the diagonal sides.)

The hole in the commander’s hatch is because on the real tank, the periscope and its entire mounting appears to have been taken by (probably British) soldiers on a salvage mission — all the Shermans in Westkapelle are missing all their periscopes in most post-war photos, and have a big hole in the commander’s hatch like on the model.



This turned out to be easier to do than I had anticipated. I used a fine fret saw to cut inside the outer line of the periscope, then used a half-round file to remove the rest of the material to the line moulded into the hatch. It didn’t come out perfectly round, but you only see that if you’re looking very closely.
 
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Jakko

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#13
By now the interior is largely, but not quite, finished:



I made two principal mistakes here. The first is that I had expected to just stick in a transmission, some seats, driver’s handles, and be done. It turns out you can see an awful lot of the interior through those small hatches in the front roof, hence all the extra stuff — and there’s more to add, like the ammo bin behind the assistant driver’s seat, an ammo rack to the left of the driver, the shelf over the transmission, the ammo rack holder for the bow machine gun, the underside of the turret basket, and some more bits and pieces. The seats are built, but not attached because I don’t want them to get in the way for building and painting.

The second mistake was using an AFV Club M10 3-inch GMC for the interior parts, when that includes no more than the transmission and seats; apparently the Academy M10 has a much more complete interior, which would probably have saved me a fair amount of work on building the driver’s controls. (As I had to buy an M10 kit for these parts, I picked the wrong one to order.)

My advice: buy a resin interior set, like the one from Resicast or whatever other brands offer them, if you want to have a Sherman with the drivers’ hatches open.
 

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#17
I notice I’ve forgotten to explain what I’ve done to get to what’s in the photo, having gotten too absorbed in imparting wisdom about interior design :smiling3:

Like I said, the transmission is from AFV Club, as are the seats, though their supports aren’t, because in the M10 they were attached to parallelogram brackets bolted to the lower hull sides, while in the M4A4 they sat on top of pillars on the floor. Pretty much everything else than these parts is eyeballed rather than built to exact plans, because all I have to work from are photos from the M4A4’s tech manual (see above for a link), pictures of the Resicast interior set (to be found easily by googling for “M4A4 interior”) and photos of a real Sherman V under restoration on
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(this is part of a series on that site, which seems to start
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; I haven’t been able to find part 1). That last site, by the way, also solved some of the mysteries about the Resicast Multibank engine set: photos from it appear in Resicast’s instructions, and Resicast seems to have modelled much of the pipework after them — when in fact it’s clearly a partially disassembled engine bay. This accounts for the pipe just sort of hanging down on the left side wall, for example, as well as the missing lines between the fire extinguisher nozzles on the sides and those at the rear, and the missing pipe that comes off the fuel filter on the rear plate (compare the TM photo and my modified Asuka kit part with the Resicast one to see what I mean).

Anyway …

The transmission has had some thick plastic strip added to represent the flanges that are there on the three-part transmission but not on the one-piece ones; there should be bolt heads on either side but I don’t think I’ll add them because the flanges are far more obvious through the hatches than any bolts on them. But I might after all …

The floor on the driver’s side is a piece of plastic card embossed with a tread plate pattern that I bought at some point (no idea who made it), with pedals made from some bits of plastic card and strip, and control handles from steel florist wire glued into holes drilled into a short length of sprue. On the real tank these handles were flat strips with round grips, but because you’ll see the narrow side from the hatch, I felt I could get away with using wire, as that’ll hold its shape far better than plastic strip will when bent like this. The rear handle on the transmission (the parking brake lever) is 0.8 mm plastic rod with a knob made at the end by holding it near a flame, and glued to another short bit of sprue. The other handle, the gear shift, is a length of plastic strip with the top shaved down to a round cross-section and a thick disc with button added from plastic card punched out with a punch and die set. The seat pillars are again just lengths of sprue.

The escape hatch mechanism is also pretty simple: another couple pf punched discs in the middle, with some rod to represent the locking bars and a piece of strip for the handle. This hatch turns out to be remarkably visible through the driver’s hatch.

I had to build the drive shaft tunnel myself. I wanted to use the AFV Club part, but that’s horizontal when on the M4A4, the tunnel notably slopes upward. I measured it up in the section drawing in the Tech Manual (page 13, AKA page 21 in the PDF), and though that seems to have been based on a “short-hull” Sherman, it looks like they only shortened the engine, not the rest of the tank, so the drive shaft should be fairly accurate on it. This let me estimate the angle and cut plastic card to suit; the top is a piece of 6 mm tube. It ends halfway through the hull because the lower part of the turret basket will go over it, so the rest won’t be visible anyway. That’s what the transverse piece of card is for: to attach the basket floor to.

The instrument panel is just a piece of plastic card with more punched-out discs for the dials. I’ll probably add a few more smaller bits for the stuff like knobs and dials that were also on it. The little box next to it is an Italeri ammo box from the spares box, used because it’s more or less the right size. The stuff behind the driver’s seat is built from plastic card and doesn’t need to be highly detailed because it won’t be very visible. Something similar, but bigger, will end up behind the escape hatch to represent the ammo bin, but that can only go in after basic painting of the interior for reasons that will become apparent in a later post (I hope).

Finally, the braces in the sponsons consist of a piece of square rod running from floor to roof and some 1.5 mm plastic card with a hole cut in. After drawing the holes onto the plastic with a pencil, I punched out their corners and connected them with a knife before filing everything to clean up the hole. I then rounded the front edge, because on the real tank these were made of stamped steel, not solid pieces.
 

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#18
One of my biggest puzzles with this model was how to make the ammunition rack to the left of the driver. On the real tank this is a fairly simple affair made of steel strips to create a kind of very narrow set of shelves, with “wavy” strips of steel as support for the rounds in the rack. This photo from the restored Sherman I linked to above shows what I mean:


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The rack itself is easy enough to build from some plastic strip, but those supports gave me quite a bit of trouble before I found a good way to make them. Which I shall now share with you all:—

IMG_2710.jpg

Yes, I drilled them!

No, of course not. After looking at all kinds of materials I have around my hobby room, and finding nothing suitable, I eventually noticed that the slots in which the drills sit in this box, had the correct spacing for the rack I’d already built from plastic strip. The clear plastic cover from the box was easily removed, so that just left working out how to use the slots to bend material neatly. After a few attempts with various tools, I found that this worked well:

IMG_2711.jpg

A couple of cocktail sticks that I normally use to apply superglue with. These are big enough that they don’t drop all the way to the bottom of the slots, so I could use them to press each indentation to the same depth. I initially used two, as in the photo, but it soon turned out that three worked better: two could keep the strip in place while I pressed down on the third to make the next “wave” — using only two sticks, the strip tended to turn under the one left in place. Altogether it gives this result:

IMG_2712.jpg

The material is a 1 mm wide strip that I cut off some 0.2 mm aluminium sheet I obtained many years ago, that had been used for offset printing. (Printers discard the sheets when they’re done with them, but they make excellent material for scratchbuilding.)

Then all I needed to do was make four lengths and glue them into the rest of the ammo rack, to get this:

IMG_2713.jpg

By now the interior is complete as far as I’m concerned:

IMG_2720.jpg

IMG_2724.jpg

The ammo rack can be seen just in front of the brace on the left side of the tank. There should be a second one behind the brace, but it’s barely visible on the model so I left it out. There’s also a bit of diagonal strip fixing the rack to the bulkhead that isn’t there on the real tank, but because the rack otherwise only attached at two very small points at the bottom, I don’t want to run the risk of it coming loose or bending, so I added the strip where it’ll be invisible on the finished model.

The turret basket (a Games Workshop 40 mm wargames base, cut in half) is still loose, as is the ammo bin underneath it on the right-hand side of the drive shaft tunnel, both to ease painting. The bins on the right front are cut from resin waste, which is a very good material if you need blocky shapes. There should be an enclosed ammunition bin behind them, filling the space between the bins and the brace, but this particular tank was a command vehicle and had a radio in the hull instead. Unfortunately I’ve been unable to determine what type of radio that was, but it would most likely have been removed during or after the war, so I feel leaving the sponson there empty won’t be a major inaccuracy.
 

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#19
Above, I mentioned the ammo bin behind the co-driver’s seat. On the real tank, it looks like this:


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This is just about impossible to make in 1/35th scale in plastic. The front could probably be done well in photoetch, but from plastic … not with my modelling skills. Unfortunately, though, the holes in it turn out to be pretty visible through the driver’s hatch. So what do you do?

Cheat, is what:

Sherman ammo rack.png

I made the above in Adobe Illustrator (other vector drawing programs are available) to a size that would fit on the front of the plastic box I’d built to represent the ammo rack — that is, 17 mm wide and 10 mm high, though as already mentioned, I had to guess at dimensions.

The graphic itself is just a rectangle with a black stroke (outline) that’s outside the rectangle, with thirty circles on it that are filled with a black-to-white radial gradient whose centre is just below the centre of the circle. (Tip: draw only one circle, then copy it as many times as necessary to make a row, align the left- and right-most ones, and let the program space the rest between them; then group them into a row, copy the group downward as needed, and again auto-space them vertically.)

IMG_2727.jpg

That's the ammo bin with the printed-out image stuck onto the front, and here’s what it looks like through the model’s driver’s hatch:

IMG_2729.jpg

Now it’s mostly painted and only needs the seats installed (and the ammo rack and turret floor glued in place), the interior looks like this:

IMG_2731.jpg

IMG_2732.jpg

I intentionally tried to make it look pretty dirty and rusty, given that this model represents a tank that’s been sitting out in all weather with its hatches open for several years, and with some worn paint on edges where people would climb in and out of it or grab onto — children would have played in and on the tank, for one.
 

Jakko

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Jakko
#20
I’ve finally finished building the engine … I knew going in that it would probably be a bit of a struggle, given that it’s a fairly complex resin kit, and though I’ve built worse resin engines (*cough* AEF Designs M60 MBT engine *cough*), I’m fairly certain that nobody at Resicast has tried putting this engine into a Sherman. Once put together so that it fits, the impression I get is that it’s intended to be displayed outside a tank with an empty engine bay.

I had the engine and radiator painted in their basic colours with some weathering, shading, etc. That had the advantage that it shows very nicely the amount of material I had to remove to allow the engine to fit into the tank:

IMG_2734.jpg

From the top of the radiator, I had to remove the filler cap and part of the front to get it to fit under the bulge in the forward engine deck, and a bit at the right bottom so it would clear the extra pipes I put in on the sides of the engine bay — even though the radiator fit between those when it wasn’t attached to the engine yet.

At this point I thought I was there. Unfortunately, when I dry-fitted the air intake pipes with the carburettors, they lifted up the rear end of that same forward engine deck by about 2 mm. It turned out that they protruded above the level of the engine deck by a fair amount, and so did the rear end of the work platform on top of the engine, though not by as much. The only solution I found was this:

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I sawed off as much of the bottom of the engine and radiator as I could. The engine had a narrower, stepped area on the bottom, which I removed entirely, and the radiator is also missing everything that was below the lower coolant pipes. The only reason I didn’t take off more, is those same cooling pipes. All this is really fun to do with an engine that’s half built and has some fairly fragile parts glued in place … My advice to anyone else attempting to fit the engine inside a Sherman is to just build the basic engine and then see if it fits, before adding any of the detail parts.

Anyway, that solved the issue partially: the engine was now below the engine deck level, but the air intake pipes still protruded above it. This required a couple of different fixes. One was to reduce the height of the undersides of the two carburettors that sit directly onto the upper engines, which allowed all of the carburettors to drop. Another involved cutting away part of the undersides and insides of the thick pipes running over the radiator, as well as the bolts on the upper corners of the radiator. This still didn’t solve it completely, though, because the transverse pipe just fouled the work platform on top of the engine. Filling that down from the front allowed the pipe to sit a little lower, and the engine deck would now sit flush on the hull:

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And two views of the nearly complete engine, that’s just missing a few pieces that will be too tricky to paint if they’re attached to the engine:

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You can tell in the last picture that I had to do some surgery on the thick pipes at the front, as their ends used to be circular in cross-section :smiling3:
 
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