Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Mud Spattering a Tank Model

The pictures are of a Tamiya Cromwell kit from Tamiya, modelled and painted by Tom Willoughby.

Note that Tom has improved the kit by adding seperately purchased crew, gun barrels and grills.

This very nice model illustrates a point about real tanks: they get very, very dirty and the crud sticks and dries brick-hard. Tom tell me that no one who has ever had to clean a tank will underestimate the crud factor.

The mud spatter in an environment like Northern Europe is actually a mix of mud and ground up vegetation - in some parts of the world they still make housing bricks out of the same material.

Tom makes his own using the following formula: ground florists foam, white glue, Polly-S dirt paint, rail road grass, some cut up longer railroad grass and water thinned to desired consistency.

He advises spreading it liberally on the running gear and letting it dry like you would apply a wash dries like a wash. The aim is to get clumps like real mud.

The Cromwell was Britain's last cruiser (cavalry) tank. It was designed in 1941 to replace the Crusader and was extremely fast and manoeuvrable. It served in armoured reconnaissance regiments. It was the main battle tank of the 7th Armoured Division (the desert rats), Ist Polish Armoured Division and the Czech Armoured Brigade in NW Europe in '44. The last variant of the Cromwell, called a Comet, had a variant of the the superb British 17pdr fitted. The 17pdr was the best allied anti-tank gun of WWII. It was also retrofitted to British Shermans, the variant being known as the Firefly.

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