I started Revell 1/72 M4A1 Sherman as a quick project during my holiday. After getting home from my holiday i got the sherman on the bench at home and i decided to add some extra’s. When i got closer to the finishline i got the idea of building a little Diorama for the Sherman. Here’s a short of the build of the Sherman and diorama.
Altough Revell says on the box that the kit is an M4A1 Sherman the box actually contains a M4A1(76)W Sherman. Where the 76 stands for the more powerfull 76mm gun and the W stands for wet storage. There are some visable differences between regular Sherman’s and one with wet storage. For example the Shermans with wet storage dont have the characteristic welded on armour plates. On regular shermans these plates protect the ammunition storage. On wet storage Shermans the ammunition is stored in a container with liquids arround the ammunition to reduce firehazard in case of a hit. As a result les armour was need for the protection of the ammunition. More information about Sherman variants is widely available on the internet. For example on Wikipedia.
The start of the build was straight forward. Firstly i cut the parts from the sprue, cleaned them up. Secondly i glued all of them togheter. The overal fit was pretty good only a couple of small modifications where needed. I drilled out the barrel for the 76mm gun and .50 caliber machinegun.
After finishing the assembly of my Sherman i gave it a black primer coat. Before i started painting i looked at some reference pictures on the internet. I came to the conclusions that most Shermans in combat got a lot of stowage attached to them. So i decided to make some stowage for my Sherman aswell. Most of the stowage i made with some Greenputty. I rolled some tarps, made some backpacks and standbags. Also some jerrycans and ammunition boxes from my left over stash where added.
Time for some Painting
First i painted the basecolor on with my airbrush for this i used Mr. Hobby H78 Olive Drab 2. After letting the basecolor dry i masked the camoflage patern with the help of some posterbuddies. Then i sprayed the second camoflage color Mr. Hobby H12 Flat Black. Once dry the details where painted by hand. I tried adding some more detail to the stowage by adding some shadows and highlights. For this i lightend and darkend the basecolor a bit.
The last steps for the Sherman was to add the decals and weather it a bit for this i used some Ammo Mig Filters, washes and pigments. As i havent build a lot of armour kits yet my experiance in weathering them isnt that big. After watching some tutorials on Youtube and reading a bit about it i gave it a try and i must say i am pretty happy how it all turned out.
Adding some figures
I wanted to make a little scene of the Sherman during its time in Normandy. So as mentioned before i decided to make a little diorama of the Sherman. I decided to make a scene of the Sherman driving over a dirt road, with a hedgerow on one side and a field on the other. To make the whole scene come to life a bit more i decided to add some figures. I got myself a nice commander figure from AGN modelworks, its a verry nice and detailed figure. I painted the figure by hand as a tank commander of the U.S. 2nd Armoured division. As armour hardly travel alone in combat i got some infantry figures to place in the field and behind the Sherman. These where also painted by hand.
Building the diorama
First I placed the Sherman on top of some styrofoam, so i could cut it to the appropriate size. Secondly some balsa wood planks where glued to the side and i carved ditches on to the sides of the dirt road. After wich i covered the whole base with AK Terrains “dry grounds” accrylic textures. lastly while the base was still wet i sprinkled some rocks and such over the base so it would look a bit more intresting.
This finished most of the base construction. In other words time to get my airbrush out. I used different brown shades to add dept and color to the scene. After finishing all the painting it was time to add some grass. I diluted some white glue with water and brushed it on the places where i wanted grass. while the glue was still wet i applied the static grass was with a home made applicator.
Now it was time for me to make the hedgerow. I started off with some twigs i found in my yard. I glued seafoam branches to the twigs to give it more of a denser bush look. After letting that all properly dry i got some sprayglue and sprayed the bushes with it. I took out some aftermarket vegetation and sprinkeld it of the bushes. Lastly i glued them to the base. I blended the whole base togeheter by dusting some Ammo Mig weathering powders over it.
The final result
I am really happy how my Revell 1/72 M4A1 Sherman diorama turned out. I started this build as a simple holiday kit but in the end it became a bit more then that. Altough i changed my plans a couple of times during the build the whole proces was fun and educational as a learned some intresting new techniques. I already have some idea’s in my mind for some future vehicle builds.