Saturday, 28 April 2012

M60A1 with ERA

The M60A1 is a tank introduced in December 1960 and is a decendant of the M46 Pershing tank; The first allied heavy tank. It features the same type of round hull and turret design. It's armoured with a 105 smoothbore gunbarrel and is still in use by many countries in the world. One of it's most noticeble features is a kind of 2nd turret for the commander. There are basically 4 variants of the MBT version of the M60:
  • The M60A1: The first version, this one is quite primitive it can't aim at a target and drive at the same time for example.
  • The M60A2 starship: A version of the M60 a radically different turret armed with 152mm gun. This gun is also able to shoot guided missiles.
  • M60A3 with better electronics.
  • M60 20th century: Verions of the M60 with upgraded armor and electronics. The Sabre is an example.
The M60A1 with ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor)

The M60A2 'Starship'

The M60 Phoenix, an upgrade by the King Abdullah II Design & Developement bureau.

One of the ways to make a tank more armored is by adding extra armor. An example of this is Explosive Reactive Armor. The idea is that, when a shell hits the tank, an externally fitted plate is fired by an explosive in the direction of the shell deflecting it. This is also done for the M60A1 and Revell has made a model of this particulair version (no. 03168). This model is not in production at the moment but the version with a D9 dozerblade (no. 03175)is however. The ERA version is availible from ACE Corporation (Revell's Japan brand)at the moment.

The model has about 200 parts which all fit flawlessly. The underside of the hull has a typical round shape and is made out of several parts. the only minor point are some markings molded on the side for the grabhandels only present on the A3 version. The detail is outstanding, this is simply one of the best kits on the market today. On to the pictures of the model, I painted mine in a desertcolor (Revell aqua color 36116/RAL 1024 'sandy yellow' with a wash of 36182 Dark earth) As always, click on a picture to see a larger version.
Highly recommended. Some parts might be small and difficult to assemble if this is one the first models you make but these parts can hardly be seen.

Some new releases from Revell

Revell released a few armor models a few days ago, namely:
  • The Merkava III (no. 03134)
  • The Warrior MCV (no.03128)
  • The FAMO & Mörser18/Kannone18 set which can be build for example as in this previous post.
Both the Merkava III and Warrior MCV are also availible from 'ACE corporation' or 'ACE co.'. This is a 'import rights avoiding' brand of revell for selling in Asia and Japan. The warrior released under this brand is version with add-on armor. Availible from, for example, Hobbylink Japan.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Tech tip IV - Light tinted sand recipe

The use of 'pigments' or 'pastels' to simulate mud and sand on tanks is seen more and more on models. (the difference between pigments and pastels is that the later is more secured to the model after application) Companies suchs as MiG and CMK produce a variaty of pigments with colors like 'european mud', 'light sand' etc. We already used pastels to simulate soot. The fact that these pastels are very matt when they dry and can be applied in thin layers also make these pigments ideal to simulate sand.

But what if you can't purchase the specific pigments or pastelscolors you need? In that case you have to mix to get the right color. We take a look at how we make a light tinted type of sand seen a lot in European training grounds. Vehicles driving around on these terrains look like this quite fast:

I usually looked at the color of the ground, mixed pastels to get that color, applied it on the model and found out it looked too dark. The reason for this is that the layer of dust on real vehicels is very thin which makes the sand look lighter. The secret of producing this with pastels is by adding a lot of white. Usually 1/3 up to 1/2 of the mixture should be white pastel. The results look like this with a mixture of about 3/8 white, 1/4 yellow and 3/8 oker colored pastels:

Remember, the pastels are applied with water and can be reworked as long they are wet or moist. Once dry they form a layer weel fixed to the model surface. Reapplying water does dissolve this layer however. So you can always get rid of the pastels applied.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Mk.IV - Archfather of all tanks

Time for a new blogentry after a while (it was very busy at work). This time the blog is about a real classic - The Mk. IV 'male' tank from WWI. This tank is often seen as the first real tank.

Introduced in August 1916 as a weapon to break the stallmate of trenches, machine guns and rough terrain the Mk.I 'tank' was employed by the british army in WWI. The purpose of this 'landship' was to help infantry cross over trenches, provide protection against (machine) guns and enforce breaktrough's against fortifications. The codename under which this machine was developed was 'tank' and this is the name for vehicles used for the purposes described as above untill today. The Mk.I tank truly is the 'archfather' of all tanks and the model has seen several improvement leading up to 7 different versions known as Mk.I to Mk.VII. The weapon can be considered quite a succes although it didn't bring the swift victory hoped for by the british. Two 'genders' of Mk.I to Mk.VII can be distinguihed; The 'male' and the 'female' models. The difference is that the male models are equiped with 2 6-pdr cannons where the female models are armed with machine guns only. The female models where the most numerous since the main opponent was enemy infantry. The main difference between the Mk. I and Mk.IV where fundamental mechanical improvements, thicker armor and an externally fitted fuel tank to improve crew safety.
The Mk. VI tank in the Bovinton tank museum. A replica of this very tank will be used in the movie 'Warhorse'. the Bovington tank museum also aquired this replica.

On to the plastic kit, the Mk.IV variant 'male' by Emhar (no. EM 5001).

This kit consists out of 37 parts and is suitable for the very beginner. The fit of the parts is simpley good and the instructions are most of the time clear. There are three small issues, the first is that it is unclear what the upside of the 'box' on the rear of the tank is. I wasn't able to find photo's of the real tank to help me here. The second issue is that partnumbers 29 and 30 (front parts of the 'rails' over the top of the tank) are mixed up in the drawing, note of this when building the moel. The last issue are the backs of the sponses (turrets on the side of the tank) These are a little to high and must be cut or sanded off slightely.

These are, however, all minor issues and the model build into a real classic. The countless rivets make this model ideal to practise washes and react well to weathering. Other unique features are the fact that the model has no wheels (they are completely hidden under the tracks) but two turrets (or sponses) in the side of the tank. The tracks are made of gluable plastic which is a real must since the must fit tightly to the hull.

I painted my example as this Mk.V in the bovington tank museum. I'm pretty sure there where Mk.IV's in this color as well:
The Mk. V in the Bovington tank museum, the main difference between the Mk.IV and mk.V on the outside was the second or rear 'box' on top of the tank. On the Mk.V it is a large thing while on the Mk.IV it was no more then a hatch.

On to the pictures of the build model:

On to and of a large pile:

This model has some unique features and is easy to build. I can recommend it every tank and/or history enthousiast with or without experiance in model building. The only diffecult part is the rails on top which can also be left off. Emher also produces 3 other WWI era tanks:
  • EM 5002 Mk.IV 'Female tank'
  • EM 5003 A7V Sturm panzer
  • EM 5004 Whipped Medium tank