New Project M41A3 ARVN Bulldog 1972

Well, for my next project I  have decided to tackle a Vietnam scene. Yesterday I saw this picture on Facebook and thought it was such a good idea for a small diorama.

The picture shows a ARVN M41A3 Walker Bulldog destroyed in 1972, doing a nose dive into a basement or hole around a destroyed building. I plan on adding a North Vietnamese Tanker looking over the destroyed vehicle and maybe another tanker going into the turret. I will also need to open the power train and engine area. That means scratch building a engine and transmission.

“Quite Shabby” Completed!!!!

After a few weeks of work I’m calling this diorama done. I really enjoyed working on this one and learned so many things. One of the biggest things I discovered was that I really enjoyed working with Bodi figures. Their details and sculpting are some of the best I have seen over the years. I highly recommend them.

One thing I wanted to talk about is when you are finished with your piece. Are you actually really finished? I highly suggest having someone you trust, be it a friend, family member or fellow model maker look at your work. Ask them the following questions. “Do the items on the diorama or the figure itself look real? Does the weathering make the vehicle, building, etc. look old, war ravaged, authentic? Is there anything you think I should add, take off, change etc.?” These people do not need to be war historians or model making experts. They can tell you if something, like a tank for example looks damaged or old enough, whereas we may not be able to discern that well enough, due to having too much person investment in the piece. I do this now with my wife. After finishing a piece, or what I perceive to be finished, I will often bring it to her to get her opinion. She is an artist and can look at my pieces with an eagle eye and creative background and tell if something needs more work done to it, or not. She knows her neurotic, perfectionist, model obsessed husband may have had such tunnel vision on a project, that even a minor detail may need tending to. I cannot tell you how many times I have taken what I thought was a finished piece back to my work bench to make tweaks to them, after she offered constructive suggestions. Just a few nights ago she suggested I add more weathering and dirt to one small panel, about 1/2” in size on the top of tank in “Quite Shabby,” as she said that one panel looked too new compared to the surrounding plastic. A good, discerning eye can make a big difference between a good piece and an amazing piece.

Even though this was a fun project, it’s time to move on to the next adventure. I have many exciting new things in the works and am looking forward to sharing them all with you in the coming months.

Quite Shabby Figure Complete

Over the weekend I finished painting my “Bodi British Officer” for my Quit Shabby diorama. I’m actually really happy on how he turned out and cant wait to get him placed next to the tank.

As for the  M13/40  tank sit’s complete except for the tracks. I have been waiting for some primer from Ammo that should arrive today or tomorrow , I hope. Once I have that I can paint the tracks and add dust. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, almost there!!

Next Idea For a Diorama “Good Morning For a Pull”

New Diorama idea!!!

I found this cool image of Royal Navy and British soldier in a Bren Carrier towing a German mine off a beach. This just screamed to be made into a diorama.

I will only have two figures, one a Royal Navy Officer and a British solder as his driver. The carrier is already on the work bench and the mine is on the way. Need to get back to my M13/40 before I can start the new one. see you all again soon.

“Quite Shabby” Update

Basic ground work complete and M13/40 done.added one British Tank Officer (Doug’s Original) has a second figure. I added the base coat and a wash for the skin tones a few days ago but will begin the flesh tone layers soon. The second figure from Bodi should be arriving on Thursday so that makes me happy.

I plan on painting and washing the base over the next few days. This will be followed by many thin wash’s of oil paints to get that dusty look. As for the M13/40, I will clean up all the glue marks and get some primmer on it today. Once complete I can see what I need to fix, always the fun part.

Quite Shabby

 Started a new 1/35 scale diorama for a  model show in the fall. Will be a knocked out M13/40 tank being examined by a British Officer (added a image of my inspiration below). Will be called this one “Quit Shabby “, tank  will be sitting half in and half out of a dried up ditch with the officer above it. The basic build of the tank is done but  I’m still waiting for the British Officer, but it’s getting there.

Starting my Rubicon LVT-2

I really like this little LVT. Rubicon has done a wonderful job on this kit and the detail is spot on. I have detailed a few things and will add a few more (bolt heads and add armor plate to front ) but I think this kit is great right out of the box.

Rubicon LVT-2 28mm

My LVT-2 from Rubicon arrived yesterday and I have to say that  I’m extremely happy with this kit. First, the detail on this small little LVT is better than most of the 1/35 scale kits I have built. Rubicon offers the option of building the early -2 or the latter -2(A) armored version. As I wanted a Tarawa version I stuck with the -2. I have started the basic construction of the kit and will post a few images tonight.

Because I cant build anything without doing any updating to a kit or research I spent a few hours last night and this morning looking at images of  LVT-2 on Tarawa. From the books I have read and videos I have seen, it’s my understanding that of the 100 LVT that were used at Tarawa 75 were older LVT-1 and only 25 were the newer -2. From the pictures I have (few posted above) the LVTs had armor added to the front of the driver position and side view ports. None of the machine guns had armored shields and most had .30 caliber machine guns, with a few having one .50 caliber machine gun on the front.  

As for the color of the LVTs in Tarawa most information points to a navy gray color. As the LVT was a navy product at this time I believe this to be correct.

Hitting The Beach

I have always wanted to build a diorama of a marine squad hitting the beach . Started one about six years ago in 1/35 scale but soon realized that it was going to be a bit to big. So after finding a Rubicon LVT-2 and Bolt Action Warlord Marine figures is 28mm I decided to try again. I spent the last few weeks reading a few books on Tarawa (Utmost Savagery and Tanks in Hell) for reference. Both of these books are interesting and truly worth the a read.

My plan is to have about 7 to 12 figures and a LVT hitting a beach with a palm log barrier and maybe a Japanese machine gun bunker. I started the first three figures this weekend and am almost finished with them. Last night I started figuring out poses for the next three. LVT should arrive soon and will update with a few more pictures.