Yesterday was digging the garden, creating a new bed for a rhododendron and some azaleas. (The garden centre was a lot quieter than I had feared, thank goodness.) Having done that, there were enough Brownie Points acquired to drink beer, eat and join in the Virtual Wargames Club organised by Phil Olley. Great stuff.
This morning, I reviewed what was left of the Rubicon order.. and this was what I decided to go with. The Rubicon resin accessories for wading trunks and a bulldozer blade:
So my Marines are going to be getting support from a wading M4A2 dozer... I have seen classic pictures of wading Shermans in use as early as 1942, none equipped with a dozer blade, but I'm not going to let that stop me.
As with the M4A3E8 I cleaned up the headlight housings a little, and the grab handle of the gamers version of the .50 cal, drilled (some of) the lifting rings, but otherwise the kit was straightforward and went together beautifully.
Assembling the wading 'funnels' was simple and the parts fitted together pretty well. One thing I found was that the resin is quite soft, and it's tricky to get the pouring gates cut away cleanly. You might just be able to see it on one of the pictures.
After I looked at this picture I realised I hadn't drilled out the turret front lifting ring..fixed now. You may also be able to see traces of having to sand back the rear 'funnel' at the top. I am sure it will vanish under paint.
The dozer kit goes together very well, and unlike most resin I have worked with, was very clean of flash and showed minimal warping. The build sequence is important, and I made sure that the hydraulic assembly was attached to the transmission casing before attaching the blade. It was one of those operations where an extra pair of hands would be useful.. but it worked.
The pair together. The dozer will now get an undercoat, ready for the airbrush.
I also picked up some second hand Warlord 'animal casualties', which would appear to be compulsory for games set in France. They needed a bit of filling with Vallejo Plastic Putty, but are now ready for undercoat. I am debating with myself whether to put these on bases. It would protect them from handling, but might look a bit odd.
Oh, and the M4A2 comes with a spare turret, and a spare hull. The M4A3E8 has a spare track set. So if I scratched the hull box I could build an entire extra Sherman... So that's another project.
Guess what - that other project materialised. Quick knock up of a lower chassis plasticard box.. and Sherman no 3.
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