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Campaigns: One of our tanks...
This is the campaign group for One of our tanks...
Hosted by Richard S.
OOT: M4A3 'Cool Studs, Inc. #4' - Finishing
GunTruck
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Posted: Wednesday, January 05, 2005 - 02:54 PM UTC
Here's in-progress pictures of my second entry into the One of Our Tanks is Better than Ten of Yours! Campaign. I'm feeling good that this one is gonna come in before the deadline in February.

Chad's idea got me off my duff and motivated me to finish a subject I've been researching for a couple of years now. I'm putting it all together for a future Feature Article for the site now.

This is a miniature representation of "Cool Studs, Inc. #4" as it appeared on VE Day in 1945. "Cool Studs" was one of several famous tanks that fought in the 761st Medium Tank Battalion (Colored) in the ETO. I intend to model several vehicles from this unit during 2005.

"Cool Studs, Inc. #4" was a M4A3 76(W) and there is one beautiful photo of it near VE Day in Austria that I used to model it. All the tank's features and equipment is visible in the photo. It wasn't very fancy or unusual - but the crew was quite remarkable - a testimony to the entire unit. There is a color plate of it in Concord's M4 Sherman at War - but shown wearing Black over OD camo. There were indeed Shermans in the Black Panthers that were seen in this scheme, but it does not appear "#4" wore this scheme. I would have loved to do this one in a scheme as if befits their unit's nickname - but I'll have to pick a different Sherman to do that on...

My base model is the old Tamiya M4A3 - which is still a good kit - just calling for some refinements during assembly. I spent a good deal of time reworking the basic kit. I did a lot of things to this model and it was a real scavenger hunt to gather all the items necessary to pull it together.

It is nearly ready for painting - I just have a couple of smaller details pertinent to "Cool Studs, Inc. #4" to attach to the miniature beforehand. I apologize for the yucky background color. The Tamiya kit plastic color, coupled with the creamy Legend Productions resin Turret played havoc with my camera. This funny colored background worked best...





See what you did Chad!

Gunnie
ShermiesRule
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Posted: Wednesday, January 05, 2005 - 03:02 PM UTC
Very cool! I liked the turned barrel
andy007
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Posted: Wednesday, January 05, 2005 - 09:23 PM UTC
Jim looking good,
The M4A3 76 is my favourite Sherman. If this one turns out anything like your M4A1 it will be a masterpiece
generalzod
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Posted: Thursday, January 06, 2005 - 03:05 AM UTC
Jim
Looks great so far Did you use a Formations Models idler wheel? Also,the spare tracks in the rear holders Are they modified from the smooth rubber blocks type?

I assume you are making your own markings? How do you go about doing that? I do have an inkjet printer
GunTruck
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Posted: Thursday, January 06, 2005 - 04:16 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Jim
Looks great so far Did you use a Formations Models idler wheel? Also,the spare tracks in the rear holders Are they modified from the smooth rubber blocks type?

I assume you are making your own markings? How do you go about doing that? I do have an inkjet printer



Yes - those are Formations' Idler Wheels - detail front and backside. I had to use Academy's poly-vinyl track runs from the M12 155mm GMC kit because "Cool Studs, Inc. #4" was equipped with the T-49 links. I didn't have any spare T-49 three-bar cleat track links in my spare bin - and Academy doesn't give you spares. Didn't know where to get any quickly, so I modified Italeri's T-51 spare links instead and built-up the Aber Holders around them.

Yes, I'm doing my own markings. I draw the logo(s) I need freehand, and then scan them into my computer. I reduce and cleanup the image - and then print them out with my inkjet printer. I'm going to do this while the paint dries...

Gunnie
thebear
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Posted: Thursday, January 06, 2005 - 06:45 AM UTC
Jim ...Nice work so far ..How is that Legend turret ? I was thinking about getting one from CMD myself,what do you think... You got lots of time to finish this one up in time for the deadline ..now just don't sleep for a month and you'll be fine ..lol

Rick
GunTruck
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Posted: Thursday, January 06, 2005 - 07:25 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Jim ...Nice work so far ..How is that Legend turret ? I was thinking about getting one from CMD myself,what do you think... You got lots of time to finish this one up in time for the deadline ..now just don't sleep for a month and you'll be fine ..lol

Rick



Rick - the Legend Turret isn't bad at all. The worse experience I had was cutting away the pour gate on the bottom of the Turret casting. Legend used this funky resin that gassed a horrible petroleum-like smell during the sawing. I coulda done without that! The resin barrel was warped beyond usability too. I went with Jordi Rubio instead. Lastly, the Mantlet does not have a positive locator on the Turret. This makes setting the gun barrel in place with the right overhang measurement - as well as getting the Mantlet into position properly a bit of a challenge.

The Commander's Cupola was cast out of round in my example - only fitting properly in one position. I sanded and rounded it a bit to work in most other positions - but this was kinda a surprise. No Antenna Mount is provided in the Legend set - but Formations Models came to the rescue here.

I've never had a CMD product before - and would have liked to have one for this model. I've read great things about CMD. I'm inclined to recommend the CMD product based on the reviews over my experience with my Legend Productions item.

Gunnie
thebear
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Posted: Thursday, January 06, 2005 - 07:37 AM UTC
Yep !! I think I'll stick with my first idea too..lol! Thanks

Rick
generalzod
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Posted: Thursday, January 06, 2005 - 07:58 AM UTC
CMD makes some great T-23 turrets I used one on my M4A1E8 The mantlets are movable unlike the other resin maker turrets
It also has a gun travel lock and all the turret pieces including the stowage pieces for the .50 cal.

The only downside is a two piece muzzle brake I'll go ahead and do a review on the turret for the site
GunTruck
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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 06:06 AM UTC




Update: I've begun painting my last entry for this Campaign - and am hopeful I'll get it in under the wire. At this stage, "Cool Studs #4" is going to get painted, weathered and marked all at the same time. The hardest part here is going to be adding AFV Club duckbill extenders to the tracks. It took some twisting and rough-handling to get Academy's vinyl tracks on the model after painting and weathering - calling for me to go back and add the AFV Club extenders afterwards. Part of the weathering had to occur beforehand.

I'm planning on getting the two figures modified to better represent African Americans and done for mounting on the model by the Campaign close - before attempting any stowage.

Hope you like - this one has been a lot of fun! Makes we want to give a Firefly or Jumbo a go next...

Gunnie

Gunnie
DaveCox
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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 06:22 AM UTC
Looks really good Gunnie. I like the 'spattered mud' effect - I must be more adventurous in trying these effects myself.
I think that the weld seams are a little too prominent, but that's just my opinion.
ShermiesRule
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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 07:12 AM UTC
Woohoo another Shermie!! I've been itching to build another but for the last few weeks I've been "loading up crew gear" on the dozens of Shermies I build over the summer. My next Shermie won't even be a shooting tank but an M32 for MSG.
MMcLean
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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 08:41 AM UTC
Looking good Gunnie. Would you mind posting the photo of the tank in Austria. Ive never seen this picture and its not in the 761st book that I have.

Thanks

Matt
andy007
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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 09:00 AM UTC
Hi Jim,
Looking very good I also like the mud effect you have acheived.
I would be interested in seeing the photo of the tank in Austria too Thank you.

thebear
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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 09:17 AM UTC
Jim it's looking awesome as usual...the only thing I can think to say is to push down the tracks at the top of the sprockets as your track is floating a bit...I'm sure it is already done by the time you read this ... Excellent job and can't wait to see those decals and the finished kit ...Keep those pictures coming.

Rick
GunTruck
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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 10:39 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Looking good Gunnie. Would you mind posting the photo of the tank in Austria. Ive never seen this picture and its not in the 761st book that I have.

Thanks

Matt



Okay - this is a copyrighted image - it may not be reproduced in any form...



Rick - Naturally! I'm still building the model - but the tracks do rest on the skids properly today... :-)

Gunnie
generalzod
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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 11:02 AM UTC
Great looking Sherman Jim Hopefully the duckbills will go on well
Hollowpoint
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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 01:15 PM UTC

Quoted Text

The hardest part here is going to be adding AFV Club duckbill extenders to the tracks. It took some twisting and rough-handling to get Academy's vinyl tracks on the model after painting and weathering - calling for me to go back and add the AFV Club extenders afterwards.



Getting the tracks on was that difficult? The drive sprokets on those Tamiya Sherms are held on with poly caps. You should be able to slide them on and off without too much difficulty.

I normally add tracks after weathering, too. I pull off the drive sprockets, put the track round the rest of the suspension, then work the teeth of the driver into the track and slip it back on the axle.

Good luck getting those duckbills on and matching the weathering on the tracks!

Great subject for a model, BTW. There is a color plate of this tank in Concord's The Sherman at War (2).

GunTruck
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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 01:39 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Great subject for a model, BTW. There is a color plate of this tank in Concord's The Sherman at War (2)



Yes - I was saving mentioning this - I'm writing a Feature up for the site on this tank and its crew. The Concord plate shows "#4" in a Black/OD camo scheme. I really wanted to do one like that - but - I do not believe "#4" wore a camo scheme. The photo is compelling to support a camo scheme, but I think it is rain streaking dirt and dust that creates this illusion.

Add to the mystery - there are photos of Black/OD camoed Shermans in the 761st Black Panthers too. Just not this one...

Gunnie
MMcLean
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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 02:06 PM UTC
Thanks for posting the picture Gunnie.


Matt
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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 02:36 PM UTC

Quoted Text

The photo is compelling to support a camo scheme, but I think it is rain streaking dirt and dust that creates this illusion


I don't know Jim, the more I study the pic it appears as if there might be two colors there. Especially near the rear above the idler, it seems to me that it may be camoed. Then again it could be just my eyes seeing what they want to see knowing that other pics, like the ones in the Concord book, show these tanks with the OD and black scheme.
Regardless it's looking good. I'm working on one of these right now for a club build, my first Sherman in about 25 years. I'm enjoying it, so much so I already have a couple more in the planning stages.

Cheers,
Mike
Hollowpoint
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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 02:45 PM UTC
Camo or rain streaks???

Tough call.

If it were mine, I think I'd trust Steve Zaloga ... You might want to ask him over on ML.
andy007
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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 09:12 PM UTC
hmmmmmmmm interesting. Thanks for posting the pics Jim,
I think there may be a second colour there but it has been deeply effected by the elements.
GunTruck
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Posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - 05:26 AM UTC
Nope - I'm sticking with my convictions here...

I've stared at this photo for years, literally. I do suspect that "#2" and possibly "#3" might have wore camo based on photos of other tanks in the unit that were also painted up as such at the time these two tanks named "Cool Studs" were in service, but I feel "#4" was a fresh vehicle introduced near the end of the unit's drive across Germany and into Austria. My feeling is based on the crew member's description of their drive and when/where major combat actions took place, and battles where the prior "Cool Studs" tanks were severly damaged and knocked out of service.

I do still find the idea of the camo on a Black Panther tank more appealing, but decided to go with my gut feeling here. This is the fun of modeling a popular subject. There is no "official" mention of the 761st applying the camo scheme on any of their tanks - though photos show there were some done this way. I just don't feel that "#4" at the time of VE Day was painted this way.

Gunnie
MMcLean
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Posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - 05:37 AM UTC
Jim,

Where did you get this photo. Is it a book or online somewhere. Ive wanted to do a Sherman from this unit for a while.


Thanks


Matt