This time around, I decided those US Airborne figures needed some Armoured support!
I've painted an M4A3 Sherman, in 1/56 scale - by Warlord Games, from their Bolt Action line. I'd bought three of these kits from a Canadian seller, who was getting out of 28mm figures, and concentrating on 1/72 scale products. It wasn't until the Challenge, that I'd sat down to look at the kits. Turns out, two of the kits have casting/missing bits problems I have to contact Warlord about, but they're very good about putting these sorts of problems right, so I have no worries about that.
I still used the portable photo booth for these pics, but I took out the fluorecent "twirly" bulbs, and put in good, old incandescent bulbs! Switched my camera back to the previous settings, and those pics look much better. I still need more "fill" light from the front, but learning the ways of the photo booth takes some time too...
The model was pretty straight-forward to assemble. I put most of the components together, and then, being as it's a resin kit, gave it a scrub with dish soap (washing up liquid, for our friends across the pond!), and left the elements to dry overnight.
Unlike most people's complaints about resin models, the "track" pieces on this kit were straight enough, that I had no problems with assembly. There's a good number of "fiddly bits" though! The Headlight assemblies on the front of the tank almost drove me to have a "Roman Shield Decal" moment, a la Curt! I soldiered on though, and finally got all the little bits sorted (my big, old "meat hook" fingers don't work so well with "fiddly bits" any more...)
I drilled out the Antenna mount, and used a bristle from a cheap, Dollar Store (Pound Store?) nylon paint brush. They work really well! One 3" brush will give you virtually a lifetime of antennas and radio aerials! I've used them previously, on my Flames of War Canadians, and they look great! Just a dab of superglue and you're done - they're nice and bendy, so no need to worry about breaking like stretched sprue, and no impaling your hands like with metal wire antennas.
I did have one rather significant problem with these kits though. I think Warlord has since changed the policy, but these kits did not come with any decals! (Arg!) Fortunately, I was able to do a "work-around!" I printed out some 8mm and 9mm Stars at work (I do Graphic Arts, so this was easy enough to whip up). When I got home, I put clear tape on the front and back of the Star images (for strength and stability), and proceeded to cut out the insides of the images and make my own stencils!
I don't think I'm going to do this for the other kits, but it did turn out OK. I had to go in with a thin brush, and clean up the lines a bit just to "neat" things up. I don't know if this counts for "Extra Credit" or not Curt - what do you think? --an extra 5 pts maybe? Your call, of course.
And just to close off my post, a "scale" shot with the Airborne Bazooka team from my last post. In this shot, the figures don't look too bad against a 1/56 scale tank. Personally though, I think I'd rather 1/48 scale was the more "de facto" size for use with 28mm models. These 1/56 scale models do look just a little small compared to the figures. The Sherman here, almost looks like some odd, "Stuart" variant next to this Airborne team!
Thanks for looking!
From Curt:That is a great looking Sherman, Kev! Like Dux's spears, I really like your shop broom bristle solution to radio aerials - a good tip! Also like you, I wish manufacturers would include a decal sheet for their vehicles as a standard. I know the Sherman was used by several nations but a couple sheets wouldn't break the bank would it? I guess they're trying to keep their cost margins as tight as possible in a highly competitive market. And don't get me going on 1/56 being the 'official' scale of 28mm figures. By and large I find the scale simply too small. I wish they would have gone with 1/50 as it has a sense of mass without being as potentially overscaled as 1/48 (though as you say, many 1/48 models work fine).
I'll meet you halfway with your excellent star stencils and aerial add-on, so 18 points total. Again, nice work Kevin!