I painted the
upper and lower hulls before joining together, it was either that or paint the
suspension first and mask off the tracks. The tracks have to be fitted before
attaching the upper hull.
The painted interior was masked off (a much easier job than masking the tracks) and the exterior was given an overall coat of olive drab (as above).
When dry, detail painting was done by brush for the roadwheel rubber sections, the tools (which were all attached prior to painting) and the track grousers.
The markings were added using Verlinden rub on stars and the model was given an overall coat of Matt varnish to seal the paint and markings and left to dry for 48 hours.
Next a wash of
diluted oil paint (Raw Umber and Black mix) was added. I use Humbrol thinner
to thin the oils as this is a very "soft" thinner and doesn't attack the
paintwork like some other types.
The wash was applied with a small brush only to the areas wanted and any excess is lifted off with a cotton bud or another small brush dampened with thinner. The wash can be used to add streaks and grime as well as highlighting the detail.
After the wash had dried
(about a day, due to the oil paint being so diluted it dries far quicker than
normal oil paint) I drybrushed the model with various earth colours to highlight
the detail and also to add additional dirt and streaks.
The mud accumulated around the lower hull and suspension was added using a mixture of Humbrol "Dark Earth" (#29) and "Plaster of Paris" with some Verlinden 'grass" added for good measure. This is applied liberally using a small brush with most of the bristles cut short. As it dries you add texture with the brush. Once dry additional Raw Umber wash was added and dry brushed after it had dried completely.
Remember to fill the areas between the rubber chevrons on the track but the highest point of the chevrons would be clean, unless you were modelling the vehicle coming straight out of a mud patch.
The storage and personal
gear is next and on the photographs I have seen of M35's they usually carry
a fair bit of gear externally.
The gear on the rear deck was from various accessory sets from Verlinden and Decal Star (I loved the rolled up blanket with the two baseball bats).
This was all painted and weathered before attaching with white glue. Remember to spend as much time painting and weathering this as you would the kit itself as a nicely painted model can be spoilt by poorly finished accessories. This gear was secured by thick thread to ensure it wasn't going anywhere. The tarp covering the bedrolls is from tissue soaked in diluted white glue. A small length of chain was added to the front towing point.
After all the gear has been attached the model was given a final light misty oversprey of earth colour, thicker in some areas to show dust buildup. Remember to attach all the extra equipment and storage before doing this as it gets covered in dust just as much as the vehicle does.
A quick word here on the decal sheet included in the kit. A number of markings are provided for British vehicles. These markings are for Tank Destroyer units and none of these apply to the M35. The same decal sheet is to be included in the AFV Club kit AF35s07 M10A1 to be release sometime in the future. I didn't use any of the kit decals preferring the rub on type and as the lower hull is covered in mud the unit markings on the front transmission can't be seen anyway.
The base the kit is photographed on is only temporary for the pictures, a more permanent home along with a crew will follow sometime down the track.
I enjoyed the modelling exercise of correcting the rear hull and adding other details on this kit to produce a model to "my liking", but some may prefer to get on an Internet news group and bitch and whine till the cows come home. OK so AFV Club stuffed up the rear deck, it's no reason not to build the kit. It's not the first and certainly won't be the last kit to have errors big or small.
To me that's what modelling is all about, building a model "you" like whatever the standard, not doing something because a rivet counter somewhere told you something was wrong which you couldn't see wrong in the first place and the average modeller has no intention of "fixing" anyway.
Nowadays we seem to want everything perfect and on a plate, but when a company gets close to giving this to us, we then bitch incessantly about the price of these kits.
Step back and smell the roses guys.
I certainly hope AFV Club do correct the rear hull arrangement before releasing their M10A1 or it won't be an M10A1 and we may have a legitimate reason to complain.
Overall this is a nice kit with no major fit problems and nice detail throughout, aside from the rear deck already covered in detail above.
Return to Part One - Construction.
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