Friday, 20 April 2012

My First Sherman (awww)

Greetings all, as promised, here is a shiny new model!

I'm off on holiday next week so I gave myself a Friday afternoon treat and decided to do some armour modelling. This is an M4A1 Sherman in Canadian service. Your first job is to guess how big it is, expand the image and take a look then guess its size:

If you guessed very, very small then you are correct! The model is a Plastic Soldier Company 15mm Sherman from their excellent and ever expanding range of WW2 plastic vehicles (so, so happy they are bringing out M5 half tracks as the cost of the Battlefront ones are nasty). I love this range. The detail is as crisp as you can expect a 1:100 scale model to be. Certainly much better than the cast metal ones I've seen. Assembly is fairly straightforward (although watch out for the "handedness" of the tracks, they only go on one way and it is not immediately apparant which!) and the variety of turret, mantlet, glacis and gun options make having a varied look to a squadron a breeze. This is kinda important where Sherman tanks are concerned as their uniform green doesn't do much for visual interest.

My Sherman is part of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division, specifically 4th Brigade, 21st Regiment. This is indicated on the tank by the green rectangular mark with the yellow maple leaf (the 4th Division insignia) and the white 51 in the red square (paradoxically indicating the 21st, go figure). The black 30 in the yellow disc is actually a bridging mark indicating the weight of the vehicle (the Firefly varient of the Sherman has a 32) which was used by the MP's directing traffic to determine at a glance the weight of the vehicle and thus the maximum number that could cross a given bridge without it collapsing!

The stowage on the back is my first attempts at 1:100 scale scratch building and I have a long, long way to go! Hopefully by the end of the regiment I shall have it sorted! Painting wise, the Sherman is actually very straightforward. Basecoat in Russian Uniform Green, give it a glaze of a mix of R.U.G. and Black-Green ink with a dollop of glaze medium. Once this has dried, lightly drybrush the tank with a R.U.G. and Rotting Flesh mix. Tracks were picked out in Vallejo Track Primer (brilliant colour), washed in Badab Black and then the many, many decals were applied. These are from Dom's Decals available from Maelstrom Games and were a lifesaver. They really made the scale appearance of this vehicle as I couldn't have even attempted to freehand on the vehicle name let alone the service numbers!

Finally I attacked the sherman with a whole range of weathering products, Forgeworld weathering powders, AK Interactive rain streaks and fresh mud for the tracks and yet more powders to give this mud some bulk. I'm going to do a full look at these products when I've had a touch more practice, don't want to pretend I'm expert just yet. Still making rookie mistakes!

This Sherman was the first of the above army. It has been designed to be part of the Armoured divisions that relieved my Paras during Operation Market Garden. As you can see there is a long way to go! Thankfully, with the reletive cheapness of the Plastic Soldier Company tanks and the fact that I can paint one in about 4 hours it shouldn't be too much of a chore. Anyway, I've got a post set to go up next week (that is assuming that Mulder can be trusted to push the button) and I shall see you all week after next.



  1. Looks great! not sure about the canadians, but german crews soon learnt to target the shermans with the longer barrels... and in response to this crews would often paint the end of their barrels to try and hide the long cannon of the firefly. I think it would be a great spot to do some additional paint detailing!

  2. yup, the fireflys will have that lovely wibbly counter-shading on their barrels! Glad you like it Oink.