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135
Tasca Sherman III

finishing up! Final assembly included tacking the tracks down to the tops of the return rollers, idlers, and sprockets with a little liquid cement. (Thank goodness Tasca tracks can be glued!) I pushed some toothpicks in under the sponsons to wedge the track down until the glue had set overnight. Then I painted the inside of the headlight silver before adding a clear lens with a little Gator’s Grip glue around the rim. Normally I’d use good old PVA for this, but wanted to try out this “new” glue to see what it was like. I also added a Sten gun on the turret (from the old Italeri accessories set) and an “empty” periscope holder to the TC’s hatch. To do this I simply chopped the angled lens parts from one of the kit periscopes – the fact that it isn’t a hollow tin sheath cannot be seen from outside.

That left two key elements to match my prototype pics – graffiti and flowers. The graffiti was a challenge to replicate, so I started with a blown-up image and tried to work out what each line said. (Apologies if I copied anything offensive in Dutch!) Then, I worked on each separate area with artist’s pencils to get that mix of fresh and older marks layered up. I really ought to seal it with a matt coat…

The flowers required creativity. They are tulips (no surprise in the Netherlands!), so the form is easy enough – two sets of three petals to form the head, and two long leaves on the stem. I cut the petals as three-lobed “propellers” from yellow card, trying to make the inner set slightly smaller than the outer ones. A pencil, a knife, and an awl to punch a central hole were the only tools. I took some 0.019” brass wire, dipped one end in superglue to form a thickened “stopper”, and slid the petals on. After folding them up I added some Gator’s Grip glue, let them set a few minutes, squeezed them tight into a ball, and added more glue – the petals try to open up so several reshapings are needed before the glue sets. Then, I cut the stems to about a scale two feet, added two leaves from slivers of white paper (with more Gator’s Grip), and when dry I painted the stems a nice green (Humbrol 101). I know there is a firm selling paper tulip kits, but this was easy enough for even me…

Conclusion
So there we have it – a complete build of Tasca’s Sherman III. Sure, by choosing to model a photo I had to make some substitutions, but Tasca’s on-line parts department made that easy. For those wanting a more out-of-box build I did stumble across a picture of two British tanks loading up for D-Day, and they were the spitting image of the kit contents. And even with my rather odd choice of prototype I managed most of the alterations with the spares in the box – not bad! Some day I’ll get another to build truly OOTB.
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About the Author

About Tom Cromwell (barkingdigger)
FROM: ENGLAND - EAST ANGLIA, UNITED KINGDOM

A Yank living overseas on a long-term basis, I've been building tanks since the early '70s. I relish the challenges of older kits (remember when Tamiya was "new"?...) because I love to scratch-build.


Comments

Great work, Tom, thanks for sharing!
JUL 24, 2011 - 07:55 AM
Hi Tom, Cracking build with and excellent finish. Congrats you have a real gem here. Enjoyed the build story very infomrative. Al
JUL 24, 2011 - 08:04 AM
Good work on this one Tom with some intersting details added.
JUL 26, 2011 - 05:39 PM
Tom, congrats on another great one form you! the scribing on the sponsons is first class. Cheers! Stefan
JUL 31, 2011 - 12:12 AM
Tom, thanks for sharing your build with us. Outstanding your "assembly guide". Did I interpreted it correctly. You show a "re-furbished" SHERMAN III with cast DV hoods that was upgrade by the so-called "Blitz Program", i.e. applique armor, and M34A1 mantlet! Outstanding work! Cheers Hauke Krapf
AUG 05, 2011 - 09:02 AM
Hauke, Yes - it definitely looks to have been refurbished at some point. The applique armour, wide mantlet, and MG stowage brackets on the turret are late features, but the sun compass bracket tells me the turret was used in the Africa campaign. I have no other detail - just what can be seen in the three original photos. But then that's half the fun! Tom
AUG 06, 2011 - 05:39 AM
Very comprehensive review, Tom. Makes me wish I wasn't putting a stop to my WWII era. Maybe I'll try to fit one in as a "waiting for the glue to set and paint to dry" kit.
AUG 06, 2011 - 05:53 AM
Tom, That is artistry. What a wonderful job you did mate. Thank you for taking the time to walk us through. Cheers, Stu
SEP 11, 2011 - 02:10 AM