|KIT #:||BR 120/US 49|
|PRICE:||£5.50 for one tank|
|NOTES:||Aftermarket decals by I-94 and Command Decision|
The Tank: The
“Dozer” adaptation of the
kits come in a blister pack. The
The hull is finely cast with hardly any flaws, pin-holes or bubbles, details and equipment like tools and stores are moulded into the hull.
These are quite simple models, but more detailed than many “wargame types”. The idea of the combined track units saves a lot of fiddly building of suspension and wheels, but the downside is that painting is difficult: almost inevitably track and wheel colours are going to get on the “wrong” bits.
In this case I
combined two kits: the M4A3 dozer (US49) and an M4A4
I measured the
hull at 59mm long, which gives a scale of about 1:100 for the slightly longer
M4A4 hull. I did not measure other dimensions but the kit looks reasonably well
proportioned to me. I might add that the Battlefront
I washed all the parts in dishwashing liquid and left them to dry.
seem to imply that everything can just be glued together with superglue. No
doubt this is fine for wargaming, but I prefer to trim and fit the parts so that
they are correctly aligned. In the case of the
I painted the track units, working a very dark grey into the recessed detail with a brush. Then I painted the suspension units and wheels green and the tracks themselves a mixture of dirty brown and rusty brown colours.
(easily) find any detail photos of the dozer mechanism on a real M4 tank so,
Test fitting the dozer blade revealed that the blade is presumably designed by Battlefront to be glued onto the front tracks, unrealistic, but sturdy.
I cut the dozer arms and extended the piece at the suspension end with a piece of plastic. Then drilled a .5mm hole through the arms and the suspension mounting bracket. In this way the dozer blade could be mounted a millimetre or so in front of the front of the track. This way of making the extension avoids a weak butt-join in the arms, by making the join over the suspension bracket. The hydraulic ram was trimmed and angled by eye to support the blade just off the ground. The dozer looked much more realistic and was reasonably robust, even with only loosely fitted .5mm plastic rod pins securing the arms to the suspension brackets.
The rest of the parts: gun barrel with mantlet and two hatches were trimmed, lightly sanded, test-fitted and then glued on.
Photos do not show the cupola machine gun fitted in NZ service and so I left it off.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
By the late war
I painted on small patches of gloss varnish front and rear and on the hull sides. After that had dried I applied decals: square divisional markings and a square tactical marking on the hull sides. The decals were obtained from “I-94” who market a range of “15mm” and other wargame scale decals. They were not particularly good: they broke up easily, on the other hand they are probably better than hand painting.
I applied a white star decal from “Command Decision” to the top of the turret, this was very thick and needed to be cut to conform to the detail round the hatches.
I overpainted the decals with matt varnish and touched up the green paint.
Most of the photos I have show the Italian campaign to have either been muddy or dusty. I thought this would be a good excuse to dirty this model up. I put a dash of brown in a bottle of matt “Gunze Base Coat” varnish, thinned it right down, and then thinned it some more and daubed this over the tank with a big brush. I worked the colour into the crevices, around the tools and fittings on the tank, but used the brush to stop it puddling on the flat areas of the tank. I daubed it in the lower hull sides and suspension.
This is my second
attempt at an “acrylic wash”, the first try ruined a different
However, with that bad example to mind I tried to tone down the effect on the dozer and I think it came out reasonably well.
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