1⁄35M1A2 On Patrol in Iraq
M1A2 Ė StowageOnce the tank was painted I began thinking about the stowage I wanted to add to the vehicle. After seeing photos of vehicles I wanted to replicate this look whilst still having a realistic amount of equipment on the vehicle. I used the Dragon MRE boxes, 50. Cal boxes and 40mm boxes to fill out the BRE before moving onto the soft stowage (img13). It was pointed out to me in the forums that the Legends Stryker set is of the old ALICE pattern which has been phased out, so I only used a couple of items from this set (img14). The rest of the bags were sourced from Real Models and the Legends Modern Backpack set (img15). The arrangement of the stowage went through a couple of revisions before I was happy with the positions. Iíd like to thank Gino (HeavyArty) for helping me with the stowage. I also added a few ammo containers and water bottles around the commander and loader, as well as a hat from a Dragon set I no longer remember the name of.
WeatheringWhen the stowage had been finalised I started the weathering on the tank. After seeing photos of vehicles with thick layers of dust covering all the horizontal surfaces I began to think how to replicate this effect. The first attempt involved oil paints, which didnít turn out as planned since the paints were far too yellow. In the end I opted to use MIG Pigments to replicate this effect. The pigments were added in layers and fixed with MIG Pigment fixer. The ďdustĒ was streaked around the hull and turret with a large soft brush to replicate how the wind and crew move the dust and sand around. The road wheels and tracks were weathered with MIG Pigments, plaster of Paris and water applied with an old stiff brush. This mixture was added in layers with different mixtures of pigments to replicate the build-up of mud layers on the running gear. The weathering was finished off with oil paints flicked on to the side skirts with an old tooth brush to replicate the mud splattered onto the skirts by the tracks.
CarAfter seeing a lot of photos of cars (again thanks to Gino) in Iraq, I wanted to add a typical Iraqi vehicle burnt out on the road side. I chose a 1/32 Arii Datsun Bluebird since it resembles a generic Middle Eastern car and the scale difference is negligible. The seats were detailed with stock plastic and the engine and firewall were scratch built with parts from the spares box (img17). Since there are plenty of tutorials on creating a rusty effect, Iím not going to go into detail oh how I painted the car. Suffice to say, Iím happy with the result and it wasnít that difficult to achieve (img18). The important thing to remember is that there are plenty of reference images showing burnt out cars which are very helpful when replicating this effect. The exterior of the car was painted with Tamiya Blue with a Clear Blue coat to replicate the metallic effect on modern cars (img19). The ash around the road wheels was made with MIG pigments, Graphite powder and charcoal.
FiguresAs there is a distinct lack of quality modern figures in plastic, I had to look for resin crew and infantry figures. After hearing excellent reviews about the Alpine range of figures, I bought their Modern AFV crew. However I ended up only using the one figure for the commander. The loader is from the Legends range, with an Alpine head. Both figures were painted with Tamiya Acrylics and were painted as if they were wearing desert DCUís. I decided to try HELO miniatures since their US infantry figures were exactly what I was looking for (img20). The figures were well sculpted but suffered from a few air bubbles especially around the face (img21). However they went together well and had few gaps. I chose to use Vallejo colours to recreate the digital camouflage pattern used by the US since the Vallejo range is excellent for brush painting. I used the Perspectives in Miniatures blog as a guide for painting the pattern. After a few attempts at matching colours I managed to paint a reasonable representation with only minimal damage to my eyesight. With the pattern finished, I painted the faces, hands and boots with a mixture of Vallejo and Tamiya acrylics.
BaseThe base is a simple piece of Styrofoam cut to size (img28). The road way was made from plaster poured onto the foam and sanded smooth. The edge of the road was made with plaster and MIG Pigments applied liberally to simulate dust and sand. The kerb was made from foam board with plastic card paving slabs (img29).
ConclusionSo this isnít the most accurate Abramís ever built, but it did give me a chance to experiment with a lot of new techniques that I had never previously tried. I couldíve kept going with the build, adding more and more details to the diorama, but there is a point where you just have to call it done and move on. Even so I have to say I am very impressed with the way this build turned out, and I am very thankful to everyone who helped me with the build.
Copyright ©2020 by Anirudh Arun. Images and/or videos also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of Armorama, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2011-04-11 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 38589