login   |    register
Armor/AFV: Early Armor
WWI and other early tanks and armored cars.
Hosted by Darren Baker
1/35 scale Takom Mk IV Male
mmarchioli
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: March 18, 2008
KitMaker: 173 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Monday, October 22, 2018 - 03:50 PM UTC
Hey guys Ė I wanted to share my current project with everyone. I started this a few months back for a WW I group build on another site, but I waited until I got through painting, to make sure that I was happy with the build before I posted anything. Since I am past paint, its time to post. First the start up photo;



Terrible photo I realize, if you could read any part of it you would see that I started back in June. The kit, following the theme, is the Takom Mark IV Hermaphrodite.



So a little history for those that donít know, The Mk I through Mk V tanks all came in two versions, a male version which had 6 pound naval guns and machine guns, or the female version which was armed with all machine guns. The side sponsons containing the armament were interchangeable and bolted on. The female tanks were intended to attack infantry positions and not engage in tank vs tank engagements. Germany ended up capturing a large number of British tanks which they used against their former owners and it became clear that the female tanks were basically defenseless against other tanks. To remedy this, a number of the female tanks had a male gun sponson fitted to one side. This new version was called a composite tank or more commonly a hermaphrodite (it was a less PC time in 1918). The problem with the Mk IV hermaphrodite depicted in this kit, is that only Mk V tanks were converted. Thereís no evidence that I can find of Mk IVs in this configuration. Fortunately, for the modeler Takom includes almost everything you need to make a male or a female in this kit. The only missing part is a 6 pounder gun barrel for the second gun. Since I decided to build a Mk IV male I purchased a set or Aires gun barrels to go with this kit. This set includes turned metal 6 pounder gun barrels and a set of turned brass Lewis guns as well.

Enough carrying on, lets get caught up. I chose a different assembly method then the kit instructions and I assembled all the pieces that make up the hull by attaching them to one of the side plates. This helped make sure everything was aligned and provided some rigidity to the assembly.



Next up, I modified the forward Lewis gun mount by adding a piece of plastic stock over the inside of the mount hole with a hole drilled in the center. This will allow me to slip the Lewis gun barrel in from the outside near the end. The kit gives you full guns but this wonít be seen and I was trying a avoid damaging the gun, or worse Ė knocking it into the body of the tank later.



I pretty much just followed the directions from here. Added pieces to the top;



completed the rear of the tank;



I did primer and paint the rear before adding the extra armor and bits because that was going to be difficult to paint around later. As you can see I went with an overall Green Moss color scheme using Ammo MIG paint.

Next up, the dreaded wheels. There are a lot of wheels for this kit, each one is made up of three separate pieces. These pictures are just for one side.



Both types assembled;



and the wheels, as well as the other parts for the interior, installed;



I struggled a little more getting this version put together as opposed to the MK I I was working on in the spring. Not sure what was different. I did all the work on the wheels for both sides at the same time to easy assembly later, and finally got it all together.



I finished adding all the detail parts to the hull and then moved onto the sponsons. I found the instructions for the MK IV male kit and printed a copy of the instructions for the sponson that was not supposed to be built with this kit, and then I assembled them both using the supplied parts. I intend to place the tank on a small display base with the doors open, so I did some basic finishing of the interior. First I painted everything in Ammo German interior ivory. I have no idea if this is correct, but I saw another build inline that used this color, so I followed suit.



Then I detail painted the guns, and added some dirt and mud to the interior. WW I battlefields were notoriously dirty places Iím sure that the crews tracked all sorts of mud into these beasts.



Iím not thrilled with the outcome, but its all a learning process for me at this point. It should be noted that I had to remove the mounting posts for the guns because they didnít fit properly. So I snipped off the post, aligned the gun with the opening and glued them to the base.

Then I just glued them into place, basically ending the major assembly.



After a coat of Tamiya primer, the tank was base coated in Green Moss, then post shaded with a darkened version of the base color along the rivet and panel lines, and a lightened version in the center of the different panels.





Next I made a lighter version of the green color and I highlighted all the raised details. Yes Ė thatís right, all the raised details, including all the rivets! I spent about a week doing it to try to keep from going insane. Its not as obvious in these pictures, but it turned out well.





Once I got to this point I started really getting nervous. Tank weathering is a skill I do not yet have a handle on and I typically ruin the model at this point. But I finally bit the bullet and got started. Be back in a second...
mmarchioli
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: March 18, 2008
KitMaker: 173 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Monday, October 22, 2018 - 03:51 PM UTC
With the paintwork finished, the weathering is up next. This is the part that scares me. Iím not good at weathering tanks, and this is typically where things stall out because I donít want to wreck a good build and end up with another shelf queen, which results in a shelf queen. Oh man Ė what a mess! Any way, moving onÖ

I plan to follow the system that was laid out by Adam Wilder in his series of YouTube videos. Iím not saying that his system is any better then anyone elseís, I just find it easy to follow and is similar enough to what I am trying to do that its easy to follow and apply what heís doing. Iíll modify the system as I go.

Once the paint was down, I sprayed the whole build with a gloss coat using future following my model airplane roots. Then I added a tank number from some spare decals I had in the stash, followed by a future coat to seal in the decals. After this cured for a couple days, I worked the pin wash. I used Wilder Deep Shadow Wash around all the rivets details and panel lines, etc. Much like the highlight painting, this was broken up over a few days to preserve my sanity. If I did it again, I may go with a lighter wash, as the Deep Shadow wash is very intense.





I am fairly happy with result though.

Next up, the paint chipping. I started by mixing a lightened version of the green by mixing the Moss Green with Flesh adding paint until I was happy with the resulting color. Next I ripped up a small piece of sponge and used it to map out the light green paint chips. Dab the sponge in the paint, dab most of the paint on a paper towel, then dab the surface of the tank. Once I was happy with this step, I used a brush to add and enhance more chips and scratches in the paintwork. Using the light green scratches, I followed up with more chips and scratches using the Ammo paint color Chipping Color, which is a dark metallic brown. This basically follows the Wilder method although I was a little more restrained, per my own tastes. I tried my best to be logical with the chipping, trying to tell a story with each little chip and scratch, focusing on the rear of the tank where the crew climbs on the tank, in the spud box where the track spuds are stored, the edges of the sponsons where things got hit as the tank is moving, and scratchesí on the sides from tree branches and things. I am pretty happy with how this all turned out. Here are the photos:











Here is a close up of the spud box. I am particularly happy with this result.



Next step is the exhaust. For this I went my own path. I brush painted the base coat with Lifecolor Base Rust, which brushes on really nice and smooth straight from the jar, and leaves a dead matt finish. Once that dried I basically sponge chipped the exhaust with the colors from the Ammo Rust set to get a variety of spots and color variations. Followed by a localized wash using Wilder Dark Rust Effects, some rust pigments mixed with some mineral spirits in a few choice areas and when I thought it looked good, the brushes and sponges were put down. Ok Ė then I added black smoke pigment to the end of the exhaust pipe.

What do you guys think?





And a close up of the muffler.




This catches us up to todayís progress. Not too many steps to go, I just might make it in time.

Thanks for looking, and honestly guys, I really want some honest critical feedback. It helps me improve.

Mike
flight_shark
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Italy
Joined: July 16, 2010
KitMaker: 186 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 06:55 PM UTC
Dear Mike,
you could add some filter on the surface. It could be a very interesting eye catching effect:
- add a clear acrilic coat on the model and let it dry for some days.
- Prepare a mix of White spirit and color oils (95% White spirit and 5% color oil).
- Spray a large area of the model with White spirit (or turpentine for this step only)
- make a wash with the a/m mix and remove tap some small areas with a paper tissue in order to have irregular patterns.
- let it dry for some days.
- repeat the process using a different mix (tan, dark or medium brown - your choice)
- after the model is completely dry about these filters, you can prepare a mix of very diluited acrilic paints with water and sponge the mix on some surfaces or angles.
- the key is the very subdue or light effect, one over another.
All the best
mmarchioli
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: March 18, 2008
KitMaker: 173 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 03:39 PM UTC
Interesting technique Maurizio. Unfortunately I am on a bit of a tight timeline on this build, but I am defiantly going to give that a try on a future build.

Mike
mmarchioli
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: March 18, 2008
KitMaker: 173 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, November 02, 2018 - 03:37 PM UTC
World War I battlefields were notoriously dirty and desolate places. Added to it, the British tanks with the tracks that encompassed the outside of the tank caused all sorts of dirt and mud to fall down the sides of the tanks. Despite their very slow top speed, these tanks got muddier then todayís high speed armored beasts. It was so bad in fact the British stopped wasting their time camouflaging the tanks as the got so dirty they naturally blended into the battlefield. This is the next step in my weathering adventure. Time to get dirty!!!!!

First step was to start off with a very lite dust layer as a base to all the dirt. I used Ammos Natural Effects North Africa Dust, heavily thinned and misted over the bottom and generally up the sides behind the gun sponsons.



Next up was pigments to simulate the dried mud, dirt and dust on the roof. Here I used the old school Mig pigments, European Dust and Dried Mud. These were blended and fixed in place using enamel thinner.



Continuing with the top, I added mud deposits to the spud box. For those that donít know the track spuds are basically track grousers with extensions that were bolted onto the tracks to provide better traction and flotation in the mud. When not on the tracks, the were stored on the Mark IV in the box at the rear of the roof. This area would no doubt be full of mud and dirt that was nocked off the spuds as they road along. For this area, I decided to use a new product. This was the Vantage Modeling Solutions (VMD) EU Brown Warm Tone Course pigments and used their Alkyd binders. I followed their video instructions and am very happy with the results.



For those of you tha havenít heard of VMS before, here is their web site. https://www.vms-supplies.com I recommend giving them a try. In the US I have been getting my stash from Michigan Toy Solider Company. https://www.michtoy.com Their customer service is amazing. In Europe its probably much easier to get VMS directly from their web site.

Next up is the mud on the sides. I saw a pretty good technique in the Weather Magazine for adding the mud to the sides of a Mk IV tank and decided to use it. I mixed up some modeling dirt with Ammo Nature Effects Earth in a very wet mixture and then I used the air pressure from my airbrush to basically splash the mud on the tank, building it up one splatter at a time. I then repeated the process with a mixture of dirt and AK Dark Mud. This created some variation in the dirt. I basically kept most of the dirt under the sponson level moving toward the front of the tank and then moved up the sides toward the back following reference photos I had of real tanks.





And I didnít forget the rear of the tankÖ



Next step was some dirt streaks from water and dirt that has run down the sides of the tank. I used Brown Mud Splatter from Adam Wilderís line of weathering products, basically painting streaks down the sides of the tank in random places. This ended up being a little lite but otherwise its ok.



The front of the tank looked too clean, so I added some dirt in the corners using the VMS pigments again. This time I used EU Light Dirt and EU Brown Earth Cold Tone again with the Akryl Standard fixer. This fixer has a 9 hour working time. Basically you dump on the pigments, add the fixer using capillary action, then hit it with a little heat from a hair dryer. Like a minute on medium heat worked fine for me. This dries everything and fixes it in place with a totally matt finish. Its totally locked into place, but if you want to make adjustments you have 9 hours before its irreversible. Pretty cool product.

This step basically finished the hull of the tank. Next up is the tracks. Takom supplied working individual links with this kit. These are the newer style single part link instead of the original multi piece links they had in the past. The links are in a bag by themselves already removed from the sprues. There is just a single blemish, probably where the plastic is injected into the mold, but this is right on the ridge of the track link, quick swipe from a sanding stick and its all gone. These just snap together to assemble the run. I painted mine in Ammo Track Primer before assembly. Something I learned from the Mk1 build, once assembled the links overlap making airbrushing a nightmare. Once painted, assembly took about 15 minutes per side.



Sorry the picture is so dark. I put some of the unpainted links in the front so you can see what they look like. Then I dirtied the links. Here they are with all the products I used.



And close up



Its interesting that the metallic shine I put on the ridge using AK dark steel pigment doesnít show up in the photos, its very prominent in real life. I let the tracks sit for a bit then installed the right side run. Itís a little loose, but not to bad overall.



The left side track will be added when we get to the base.

Thatís it for today. The tank is pretty much finished, just need to work the accessories and the base. Getting close.

Thanks for looking, and as always comments and questions are welcome!
Mike
Blaubar
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Joined: December 15, 2016
KitMaker: 261 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, November 02, 2018 - 08:12 PM UTC
Wow, nice explanations and detailed info along the way.
Thanks for sharing this! I like the dirt n mud effects that you have achieved.
/Stef
mmarchioli
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: March 18, 2008
KitMaker: 173 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 03, 2018 - 05:47 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Wow, nice explanations and detailed info along the way.
Thanks for sharing this! I like the dirt n mud effects that you have achieved.
/Stef



Thanks Stef. I feel there is some room for improvement, but for my first real attempt at this kind of weathering I am really pleased with the result.
Das_Abteilung
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United Kingdom
Joined: August 31, 2010
KitMaker: 365 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, November 04, 2018 - 12:03 AM UTC
This is extremely impressive work. I've been working on 3 MkIVs and this is making me think I may not bother finishing the 2 currently-unfinished ones! My Male fascine carrier in particular is not turning out as I wished. But that's modelling for you.............

Regarding Composites/Hermaphrodites these are a bit of a minefield. I believe you were correct that no MkIVs were built thus. Some were possibly converted post-war for tours of the UK. While not a MkIV, the Bovington MkII as an example was built as a Male, converted to a supply tank and then rebuilt as a Composite to tour the country before being converted again to a Female back at Bovington. Where it still resides, fitted with the only known remaining MkI Female sponson.

One thing that bothers me about WW1 heavy tanks is weathering. I think it is too often overdone. Mud, yes: they got smothered in it at some engagements. In other battles on more suitable firmer ground they essentially just got dusty.

But the extent of chipping and wear often depicted troubles me. In most battles these tanks barely moved a dozen miles, often less and maybe 20 at most. I doubt that many operational tanks exceeded 100 miles and 2 weeks in action in their entire lives. After each battle the survivors were withdrawn and refitted. Tanks were in the line for perhaps a few days and then behind the lines for weeks or even months, although that changed in the last 100 days after Amiens. They were often re-allocated between Companies where they frequently gained new numbers and names. There was repainting, both as colours changed from grey to green to brown and to keep an appropriate degree of "bull". Tank crews usually had little else to do out of action apart from care for their tanks. Training tanks would have seen harder use as new courses cycled through the training camps.

So I struggle to see how they would have got as chipped, scratched and paint-worn as is often depicted. Grease and oil would be commonplace as many parts such as track pins and rollers were greased and oil seals were very much in their infancy.

Their tracks were made of face-hardened plate which was a solid dark brown colour all the way through, same as the hull plating. It did not wear to silvery or graphite tones, but to a polished metallic brown.
mmarchioli
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: March 18, 2008
KitMaker: 173 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2018 - 12:57 PM UTC
Hey folks! Time for an update.

The focus this week was the base. The idea for the vignette is the tank has struck a small mine as it approached the German positions, The anti-personnel mine hasnít done much damage other then to the tracks which has disabled the tank. At some point the crew has abandoned the tank and retreated back to friendly lines.

I had already put together a base using some wood I had on hand and filled the inside with Styrofoam. I laid out where I planned to put some of the features, in this case a mine crater and the barbed wire fence.



Once I had this all laid out, I created the fence pickets. I built a jig following some instructions I found online and then used .5mm brass wire to make the pickets.



They turned out ok but next time Iíll anneal the brass before bending it or maybe use a different material. The pickets got painted in rusty tones using Mig Paints. Base coat is shadow rust followed by splattering with Old Rust and Dark Rust. They turned out very well, unfortunately the picture is very dark so its hard to see the variations in color.



Once the pickets were done the base was assembled and the tank wiat placed so the groundwork would serve as the glue to hold it to the base. The dirt is AKís Diorama Terrain Muddy Ground, the puddles came from AKís product called Ė Puddles. The pickets were installed and the barb wire strung through. This is a product from Hudson and Allen Studios. I thought it would look better as 3D barb wire, instead of traditional etched stuff, but in the end I think its out of scale. The grass are little stick on clumps from Scenic Express and the tree is a sage brush armature from the scenic factory. Leaves are from Ammo by Mig









Once I had the base set, I started on the stowage. Its hard to find WW1 specific equipment but fortunately most of the British equipment used in the very early part of WW2 was similar to their stuff from 1917. I ended up with 2 gallon fuel containers, Ammo boxes (on the left side of the picture) and some food ration boxes all from Panzer Art. The rolled up tarps came from the spares box. The brass gun barrel for the Vickers machine gun is for the forward firing position and is from Aber.



All the stowage was painted and weathered to match the vehicle. I had a hard time finding info on the colors of these things so I generally went with what made sense. The ration boxes were painted to mimic wood (not well) using oil paints. The ammo boxes were painted a light wood color under green. I used chipping fluid to put some scratches in paint. Followed this up with a dark wash and some dust using pigments.

The fuel cans, which typically were carried inside the tank when full and then placed up top once empty, were the one thing I did find some reference material on. Those produced by the War Office were generally gray-green. There were a lot of the cans though that remained in the original manufacturerís civilian colors. Panzer Art does have a set with civilian patterns but I only have the War Department versions. I painted mine in a custom gray green mixed with Vallejo paints and one in red and another in black. They received different amounts of chipping and washes to vary the finish and age of the cans. Then I added some fuel effects around the caps.

I also finished the sponson doors and the track spuds at this point. The track spuds were given a dried dirt effect using pigments. The doors were painted to match the tank.



Once the stowage was ready I added it to the roof of the tank. I ended up leaving a few things off once I started trying to add it all in and went with what looked right.



After that I did a few touch ups to the ground work and Iím ready to call it done.









Overall I am satisfied with the end result. The base is probably too tall for the overall composition and there are some other things I am not happy with, but Iíve learned some stuff for next time.

Thanks for following along. As always questions and comments are welcome!
Mike