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Armor/AFV: Braille Scale
1/72 and 1/76 Scale Armor and AFVs.
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Pink Tank
panorama
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Germany
Joined: January 18, 2013
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 08:47 AM UTC
„I wanna pink tank!“

Of cause no selfrespecting modeller would take this request – issued mockingly by my girl friend –. serious. But – very much to my surprise – it has been restated more sincere some more times ever since. That way this initial mock gradually turned into an idea and from an idea into a project.

OK, a pink tank. How to start?

Well, as always: looking for reverences.

This search left me with three pink tanks as potential models. All three have quite an interesting background so I will bore you a little bit with it:

Let´s start in Kiryat Shmona, a nothern town of Israel, better known as target for Hisbollah rockets due to it´s proximity to the lebanese border. Here a german born artist – Yigal Tumarkin – set up “The Big Chief”-Memorial in 1968 consisting of three ex-Syrian SU-100 tanks captured at the Golan heights during the Six Days War and painted them red, blue and yellow.



Since then the colours have faded quite a bit, particularly the red one, turning it into a light pink.





The second pink tank I came across is located at the entrance of the Military Museum of Lesany in the Czech Republik. It is an IS-2m and got there after quite a journey.



This tank originally topped the national monument, erected in July 1945, to commemorate the liberation of Praque by the Red Army. The monument was originally intended to represent Lt Goncharenko's T-34-85, the first Soviet tank to enter Prague in May 1945. But instead of Goncharenko's famous T-34, the actual monument unfortunatly bore the above mentioned IS-2m heavy tank and on top of that its turret mislabelled 23 (Goncharenko's tank had actually borne the tactical marking I-24). The original intention of the monument became more and more blurred by the further course of history as an ever growing number of Czech people looked at it as a representation of Soviet rule and suppression and the violent crushing of the 1968 Prague Spring uprising. In 1991, after the Velvet Revolution, the Czech art student David Černý and his friends painted the tank pink in a clandestine action and erected a huge finger in an obscene gesture on its turret roof. Černý was arrested and after an official protest by the Russian government, the tank was re-painted green. However, fifteen members of the newly elected parliament took advantage of their official immunity and re-painted the tank pink in protest against the arrest. The national monument status was eventually abolished, Černý was released, and the tank removed to be relocated to the Military museum Lešany where it greets visitors to this day. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monument_to_Soviet_tank_crews)


But it was a different tank I finally decided to build.
This is a Soviet T-34/85 located in London just a few minutes footwalk south of Tower Bridge.


(screen shot from google maps)

Originally brought to the UK from Czechoslovakia to be filmed in Richard III, it went then to a scrap metal dealer and finally to its current owner Russell Gray, a South London developer.
The story of its settlement on the street corner of Mandela Way No 1 is sometimes regarded as an urban myth as it's too good to be true:
It sits on a rough piece of land belonging to the above mentioned developer who wanted to build flats there. His planning permission was turned down and so he asked instead to build a tank. Assuming he meant septic tank, permission was granted and Mr. Gray placed a Soviet era T-34 on the land with the gun turret pointing towards the council offices that had turned his request down.



To accentuate his stance Mr. Gray named the tank 'Stompie', in memory of Stompie Moeketsi - an ANC activist killed by Winnie Mandela's bodyguards in 1988 after they suspected him of being an apartheid government informer. A not uncontroversial decision given that it is parked at Mandela Way No 1.
In 2002, Russell first allowed the tank to be painted. The American artist Aleksandra Mir then turned it a bright shade of pink camouflage.



http://www.hiddenwonders.co.uk)
http://www.aleksandramir.info/projects/pink-tank/
http://flickrhivemind.net/Tags/bermondsey,tank/Interesting

So this is the model after which I will model my model.


Okay. Enough prelude. Let´s start with the built.
The base is Dragons Braille T-34/85 (Kit No DML7269)




As you can see looking at the picture of the real thing, Stompie was a late T-34/85 (even participating in the crushing of the Prague Spring uprising) and features disc wheels. Hence I was happy to realise that MR-Modellbau offered just such wheels (MR 72070) in resin and ordered them.

Eduards PE-Set (22099) was taken to further detail the kit and Voyager contributed full workable metal tracks (PE72009). Yes, you read right: full workable metal tracks in Braille!

Detail, quality and fit of the Dragon kit excited me. Pieces fell together almost automatically. So I only had to think when and where to replace kit parts by PE- or scratch built-parts and which further modifications this particular version of the T-34 compared to Dragons required. The only kit item that did not convince me were the tracks. Their detail is very fine indeed but how you connect them without having to hide a piece of track lump in some mud, I do not know and all the models I saw figure this spot prominently.





MR Modellbau offers a full conversion kit for a late Sowjet or Czech production T-34/85 (MR-72047) but I would have used only the metal barrel and the exhaust stacks. Too little to invest more than 17 €. A request to MR-Modellbau to buy the exhaust stacks only is still pending, and pending, and pending…
So I used the kit parts, drilled out the exhaust and reshaped the outline. Thus coming a bit closer to the original.






Fenders were replaced by Edwards PE-parts. Problem were the front fenders for either the kits parts or Eduards fenders were of the round type. But I needed some with a kink. So some modification of the PE-parts were conducted to resemble that.








As you can see here, the spare tracks of the kit have not been mounted. Only the attachment points were added using 0,6 mm wire. All grab handles were replaced by self made ones. First I used 0,6 mm wire but that appeared too coarse so that I replaced them by some made from 0,4 mm wire.

Some effort went into the external fuel tanks. Originally equipped with three such tanks (two right, one left) Stompies actual configuration features only two (one left, one right). The openings of the tanks where the kits attachments are to be placed were filled.



All detail was sanded of. I found the rims of the tanks too thick and reconfigured them by wrapping an aluminum foil from a wine bottle around it.



The filler cap was scratched, PE-handles glued on and the tank positioned on top of the Eduard holders.









Those holders really add a new level of detail to the kit and are definitely worth the effort (and an effort they are!). The position of the rear light differs between kit and Stompie and was hence repositioned under the left tank.

The texture of the cast turret was simulated by stippling Mr. Surfacer 500 over the correlating surface of the turret (leaving the top out). A light sanding finished this step.



That much for now. To be continued.
Thanks for tuning in. All comments wellcome!
Happy modelling!
tread_geek
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 09:10 AM UTC
Greetings Michael,

Very nice to see you posting this detailed build in the Braille Forum. As for your intriguing story about pink tanks, it isn't that unusual. When I first saw this title I fully expected it to be about modern Russian tanks in Northern Russia and Siberia. A friend showed me a book of Russian publication that has an entire chapter on unusual paint schemes and camouflage. Among these are pink, light green, pale yellow, pale red and pale blue and even camouflaged versions using these colours. These are experimental schemes that supposedly work well in these frigid environments. I'll see if I can have him send me a few pictures from the book.

Your build appears to be progressing very well and I will be interested to see more progress.

Cheers,
Jan
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 09:26 AM UTC
Hi Jan,
that was one quick reply! Having quite some time for modelling right now, progress should be steady. I´ll keep you updated.

Michael

PS: just as a teaser for you as a Braille loving canadian: I started a Braille Leopard 2 A6M CAN with slat armour and - so my experiments work out to reproduce it - with Barracuda mats. When the above build will be completed I post some progress.
firstcircle
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 09:41 AM UTC
Michael, I did straight away think about that one in London, and its a great idea; I would like to know if you're intending to create a diorama like the last photo, with women and children? That would be something else, but even if you don't, I like the off the wall nature of this.
panorama
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 11:05 AM UTC
Hi Matthew,
I indeed plan a little diorama. The real estate the tank stands on more or less asks to be turned into one. So I scanned the whole area with google street view and have quite a good idea how it looks now.




(google street view screenshots)

That´s the rough layout of the little diorama. The rear walls will be replicated.


Maybe I will take some artistic freedom and add graffiti to the walls even if they were applied only later when the tank was not wearing the pink colour scheme any more.




Fence, sidewalk and foilage will comprise the rest of the base.
I´ll keep you updated.

Cheers
Michael
bronzey
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 01:28 PM UTC
Micheal

I have a wife with the same request! I have a display cabinet in our dinning room and im forever hearing complaints on how its full of greens and yellows, needs more colour, a nice pink would love lovely etc etc etc, to be honest I have got to the stage I switch off when this conversation starts up again.
personally I really like that pink camo,it looks the part if you ask me, will be watching your build with great interest!

Bronzey
Zhaezzy
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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 02:20 PM UTC
Looking forward to progress on this one. I am building an Israeli super Sherman i looking at references saw one that was sort of plopped in a playground a painted bright colors. I do want to see some of the experimental camo schemes too.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 12:54 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Micheal

I have a wife with the same request! I have a display cabinet in our dinning room and im forever hearing complaints on how its full of greens and yellows, needs more colour, a nice pink would love lovely etc etc etc, to be honest I have got to the stage I switch off when this conversation starts up again.
personally I really like that pink camo,it looks the part if you ask me, will be watching your build with great interest!

Bronzey



First of all: make an SAS Pink Panther Landrover
then you could take an old Tamiya Panther tank, paint it pink and call it a Pink Panther ;-)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_Panther_(character)
maybe even copy the cartoon figure ...
/ Robin
PanzerAlexander
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Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 09:36 PM UTC
He he good luck I've heard about this tank.

Good idea for a project.

P.A.
panorama
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Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 06:20 AM UTC
Thank you guys for your thoughts and comments.

Here is some progress.


Why do I do this? Workable tracks in Braille! Nuts! Crackers!
Is this really worth the effort? Well - judge youself:

Here is what you get from Voyager:




4 frets with 40 pieces of links each plus 20 guiding teeth. Lucky those who have Tamiyas PE-scissors – like me. This makes the work much easier. Or better to say: less miserable.






Next step: folding

take a piece from the heap and just bend it between your fingers. It is etched in a way that the eyelets on one side of the link will form automatically, even in a nice round shape. So there is actually no need to fold the eyelets over a 0,3 mm drill as I did at the beginning. Watch out that you do not bend the outside in!




Then align the edges with tweezers.



Squeeze the link tight.



Glue is not necessary. An 0,3 mm drill is then perfect to bend the clips into an eyelet shape on the second side.





Assembly.



Well this is straightforward and the easiest way for me was to do it with my plain fingers. This worked better than with a jig. When I squeeze the track and the new links between my fingers the eylets align perfectly.



Then insert the wire. I recommend to keep it curled as you can just turn it, thus altering the orientation of the tip with it. That is all it takes to push the wire forward till the end.



The wire: 80 cm of 0,3 mm steel wire are provided. This is hard to understand. The width of each link is about 6,8 mm. It takes 74 or 76 links for each track. That amounts to a bit more than 100 cm of wire required. So Voyager should have provided 120 cm instead of the 80 cm you get. A bit annoying.
The wire is actually not 0,3 mm in diameter but 0,25. This makes a rather loose fit and it has to be glued. Otherwise it tends to fall out. The wire is steel and should not be cut with your modelling pliers as it will ruin it for shure. Most of the pliers designed for steel wires do not cut straight at the egde but have staggered cutting edges. So you will have to pull back the wire a little bit, cut it and push it forward again to hide it completely. My recommendation is to use an 0,3 mm wire with a softer complexion, like brass or copper. These have a tight fit when inserted and can be cut with a plier that cuts at the edge. No pushing and pulling required.



Every second link receives it guiding tooth. Here I would have appreciated if those minuscle parts would have had only one attachment point to the fret instead of two.





A couple of hours later it looks like this:






Worth the effort?
You bet!

Happy modelling, Michael
panorama
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Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 06:28 AM UTC
PS: if any Voyager guy will read this, let me be clear: I LOVE those tracks!! They are just fabulous. But maybe you pick up the points to make a special product even better.
KoSprueOne
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Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 07:01 AM UTC
Very interesting model project.

Deciding to build and paint a complete diorama of it's current location, priceless!

Subscribed




PanzerAlexander
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Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 09:28 PM UTC
Hi Michael,

I always wanted to see how these PE tracks really look like.

Thank for sharing.

P.A.
panorama
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Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 - 11:30 PM UTC
Roadwheels

The Dragon kit contains roadwheels with spokes while the tank in London features those of the disc type. Luckily MR-Modellbau from Germany offers just such wheels in resin (MR-72070) as a replacement.

Annoyingly bubbles are quite an issue. Unfortunately not just on the inward facing side, but on the rubber rims and the outward facing side – particularly at the hub – too. Actually there was not a single wheel which did not require touch ups. Other companys show here a much higher standard.



Additionally at my set the holes to accommodate the axles on the inward facing half of the wheel were off center in about half of the wheels. I decided to fill all holes with styrene rods and drilled the holes anew.




Idler and traction wheels (or however they are called) from the kit were drilled out.




Testfit of all the stuff:







Only the lights and the protective cages are left to be built...




...as the first attempt did not turn out satisfactory.

,


That much for now. Thanks for tuning in.

Michael
panorama
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Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 11:27 PM UTC
A few steps at the diorama:

Some wires were shaped roughly into a tree.



The trunk was covered with airclay, the surface of the wires at the branches with white glue. Finally some finer branches and twigs were added using roots from a basil plant that did not survive my caretaking. Actually the plant was scavengend for its soil in the first place for that seems to make some good dark forest soil, when I stumbled over the roots and saved them too.




Some clipping and trimming brought it in shape. Stem and branches were then covered with wood repair kit to shape the bark. Unfortunatly I waited a bit too long and it settled already. Some sanding and scratching still produced an acceptable result. The bark was then coloured with acrylics. Now I considered it ready to receive the foilage:




This started with some insulation material from a worn out winter coat. Filter pads or the like might produce similar results. I streched the material thin and applied it with spray glue.




After colouring the fabric with enamel colours modelling foilage was fixed with hair spray.






Well, not too bad for my first tree but I should have listend to Lazlo, who recommended in his book to rarify the fabric before applying the foilage. I suppose this would have resulted in a less dense and thus more realistic treetop. So I haven´t made up my mind yet, whether to do an new one, modify this one a bit more ore just use it. I´ll see.

Thanks for following

PlasticGeezer
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Posted: Monday, November 18, 2013 - 02:16 AM UTC
Such a unique idea for a diorama. As far as those tracks: they look great, but you're a better man than I am. Photoetch gives me fits. I'm all thumbs.
panorama
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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 11:46 PM UTC
@ bronzey: you might ameliorate your sufferings by heeding the request and just build something with the desired colour scheme. As Jan and Robin pointed out: there seem to be no colour under this sun that has not been slashed on an armour plate. Concerning this project I am quite anxious how this concept will work and whether it will be appreciated or if I will see a pair of upward rolling eyes .

@ Daniel: I think I know the Sherman you mentioned. It is quite colourful and not just pink but with a fair amount of blue and other colours, located on a hill.

@ Alexander/KoSprueOne: happy to have you following this.

@ PlasticGeezer: well, your synonym allready point out your preferences . But anyway, those tracks are by no means a must and you can build a very decent model whith the provided ones indeed. Apart from that: maybe you just give it a try. Sometimes it is surprising what 10 thumbs can come up with



In the meantime I worked a bit on the fragment of the building and the brick wall.
The styrodur for the brick wall was covered by a thin layer of red air clay in which I cut the outlines of the bricks. This is something I will have to do with a bit more precision in the future. The tricky parts were the vertical lines which have been pressed into the clay with a short piece of PE brass.




After drying I coloured various bricks individually.




Lacking experience I chose some colours too bright and they did not blend nicely even after some washes. So this step was repeated with less intense colour variations.


This is the result after brick painting and applying some washes. The upper part of the wall was washed with a light brown colour to break the reddish tone of the clay. For the lower part I chose dark brown and black washes to imitate an older part of the wall on which the upper part was build later on. Finally plaster powder was smeared into the crevices and the lower part received some damage to the bricks.



This was followed by some more washes to break the very whiteish appearance of the mortar. At last some moss was simulated at the top and the bottom of the wall by applying AK interaktiv green slime and blend it with thinner.
So that’s the way my first wall looks right now. Some weathering still needs to be done to the top cover before I can call it done.






Thanks for following. Any feedback is wellcome.
Happy modelling

Michael
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 12:30 AM UTC
That wall looks nice :-)
Even if a bricklayer would say that it is incorrect ;-)
It doesn't matter in 1/72 scale so don't go changing anything. The pattern of bricks that you have used isn't a common pattern for walls since it doesn't provide any strength. I found some other pictures of the site and one of them was almost clear enough to show a pattern that consists of one layer showing the long side of the brick and the next layer showing the short end of the brick. The idea is to have two rows of bricks going "along" the wall and the next layer going "into" the wall to tie the first layer together, this is then repeated with alternate layers.
I think it looks as if the wall in the background is either
English bond or English cross bond (the difference is in how the "long" (strechers ??) bricks are positioned from row to row)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brickwork#Brickwork_with_courses_of_mixed_headers_and_stretchers
/ Robin
KoSprueOne
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 04:48 AM UTC
Good info but I agree, your wall looks great.
"...Finally plaster powder was smeared into the crevices …", I have to remember that one because it looks super realistic. The colors and weathering too.
Progress with the brass on the tank and the little trees. Moving right along




panorama
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 08:08 AM UTC
@ Robin: your comment is highly appreciated although looking at Wikipedia and seeing all the different brick laying pattern made my head spin. From now on I will look at brick walls differently. Thanks for the hint.

@ KoSprueOne: Thanks for the kind words. This technique is one of many super easy and simple and cheap tricks from Laszlo Adoba´s books: Let´s build a diorama. Here you see the one about terrain and vegetation in another blog of mine:
http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=203114&ord=&page=2
And I am quite shure, that there is a review here on Armorama.

I´ll keep you updated

Michael
spacewolfdad
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 09:47 AM UTC
Hi Michael,

Just found this thread, very interesting idea for a diorama and your build is progressing nicely, especially the PE tracks (brave man). I don't know if you realise that the graffiti on the wall is by the famous street artist 'Banksy' and is entitled 'Hiroshima'. I don't know if you mean to include it, but it would be an interesting addition.

All the best,

Paul
melonhead
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 11:07 AM UTC
someone actually did this tank recently and brought it to a model show in wausaw wisconsin a month ago. ill post a picture in a bit. he recreated it off of a picture that he had. at that time, it was all pink with graffiti covering it. very cool.

im sure it will be quite authentic. if so, i guarantee it will be something that turns head if you ever bring it to a show.
melonhead
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 11:58 AM UTC
here is the one that i had seen

RobinNilsson
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 07:55 PM UTC

Quoted Text

@ Robin: your comment is highly appreciated although looking at Wikipedia and seeing all the different brick laying pattern made my head spin. From now on I will look at brick walls differently. Thanks for the hint.

Michael



Hi Michael,
There is only one thing that all brick walls in the world have in common, if one runs into them head first they all feel the same ... ;-)
Your wall certainly looks like the real thing, VERY realistic with all the various mould and discolouring to give it "life".
BR / Robin
panorama
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 08:30 PM UTC
@Paul: Thanks for the hint to the artist. I did not know him before and had to google him. Some pretty cool stuff. Although one or the other not uncontroversial. As for the inclusion of the graffiti into the diorama: see below.

@Jesse: That´s a cool build indeed. Colours and graffiti look spot on and the little vignette emphazises it to it´s advantage. I am anxious to see whether my tank won´t be lost on the bigger diorama. I know of at least one more model of this particular tank that was published in a German modelling blog a while ago. But the one you showed is of a different – and much higher – quality!

@ Robin:
Quoted Text

There is only one thing that all brick walls in the world have in common, if one runs into them head first they all feel the same ...


yep!


Graffitis

In the meantime I send the pictures of the Graffitis to my brother who is a graphic designer and thus familiar with modifying JPEG-files. He extracted them and thus freed them from the surrounding background. Those files were then copied into CORAL DRAW. Some size adjustments later I printed them out.




Following the advise in some modelling blog they were printed on white paper first, then a piece of white decal sheet was placed on top of the picture and fixed with Sellotape. Then the same sheet of paper was reinserted into the printer and the picture printed again – this time onto the decal sheet. Finally the still water solluble ink was protected with a coat of Microscale Liquid Decal Film.




After being quite hesitant to do my first decals myself it was actually quite easy. Okay – they are not in place yet…

Now I only have to get the wall ready…