Work in Progress

Airfix 1/76 Matilda Tank

Posted by huib on 25 Sep 2018, 21:28

The Matilda tank was the best tank the British could field in the start of World War II. Numbers of the Matilda were limited in the battle of France in the spring of 1940, but the Matilda came into it's right in the early Desert War, were its superb armour made it almost invulnerable for its Italian and German opponents, and its small 2-pounder gun was sufficient to deal with most enemy tanks at normal combat distances. Here is were it deserved it's nickname 'Queen of the Desert'. From the second half of 1941 the Matilda was gradually replaced by its successor, the Valentine tank.

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The kit

This is another nice old Airfix kit, first issued in 1973 in a so-called plastic blisterpack. My box is re-issue from 1997, but still with the old original box-art:

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And what's in the box?

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Well, not so much. A few small sprues. It was quite a small tank, and Airfix did not succeed to fill it's standard size box with it.

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Typical old Airfix: some sloppy looking sprues, roughly broken from the central injection point. But the kit is complete and undamaged. A bit of flash, some sink holes and some ejector pin marks, so some cleaning up is needed. But that is what you expect with these old kits. And of course the old and horrible plastic band tracks. But I do not expect too many [problems with these as they will be largely hidden under armour.

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A small decalsheet for one desert version in the interesting Caunter camouflage scheme.

There are not a lot of decent reviews of tis kit, but it appears to be a reasonable accurate model.

So, let's start!
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 25 Sep 2018, 21:40

Wheels

With most tank kits I start with the hull. But with the Matilda the tracks are incorporated in the armour, so I have to adapt my normal work order and start with the wheels, followed by some painting and the tracks.

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The wheels and tracks are squeezed between these four side wall. Some ejector pin marks have to be removed and some sink marks filled. In the process of sanding I unfortunately lost some rivet detail.

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A lot of very tiny wheels with casting seams. A lot of fiddly work to clean them up a bit. But it doesn't have to be pefect, as hardly anything can be seen of the wheels in the end. Also the ejector pin marks you can see on this picture will end up on the inside of the miodel, and are left as they are.

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All wheels are glued to the back wall. The front wall is clamped to it without glue, so the wheels will be fixed in exactly the right position. when the glue has dried I will give the wheels a bit of paint.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Wiking on 25 Sep 2018, 22:19

Up to your first post.
Seems to get a standard. Huge box with lost looking parts in it.
I get the Airfix Gazelle on ebay. When I get the small box I was surprise about it.
But all parts are in. And I like the more small handy box size much more.

Nice start.
I like if these hardened steel monsters are fixed together by wooden clamps. :mrgreen:
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Wiking  Germany
 
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Posted by huib on 26 Sep 2018, 19:05

Thanks Wiking!

Turret

While the paint on the wheels is drying, I started work on the turret. Building it was not difficult. And I added some extra details based on reference pictures.

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This is what it is looking like now. The white thing on the left is a tube for storing maps, which many British tanks had attached to the outside of the turret. The antenna mount received extra detail. including a wire. (The antenna will be added at the last moment). On the right side of the turret a double smoke grenade projector, that received some ignition wires.

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On the left side of the turret I mounted a standard issue rack for tarps, made from small size staples and a bit of evergreen. The searchlight was also standard issue with early Matilda's. I glued the hatches in the open position, to enliven the model. Before that I sanded them a bit thinner and added some interior detail, including a periscope for the commander.

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I think the turret is finished now (sometimes I discover some new details I missed before.) The gun is a 2 punder (40mm). I drilled out the barrel with a 0,5mm drill, which is close to scale in 1/76. A good thing of the Airfix provided machinegun is that it is so good on scale that it is impossible to drill out. Most machine guns in this scale are much too thick, but not this one.

In the meantime my paint has dried, so I can continue with the tracks
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Wiking on 26 Sep 2018, 19:47

Very nice addition to the turret.
:yeah:

huib wrote:
The white thing on the left is a tube for storing maps, which many British tanks had attached to the outside of the turret.

Oh, was complete new to me. Thank`s for that info.
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Wiking  Germany
 
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Posted by zulu`s 1000`s of em on 26 Sep 2018, 22:01

Well done, I loved this kit as a child, I built a few of them, I remember breaking the gun barrel on everyone of them while playing with them, I wonder does anyone make a metal replacement main gun ?
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Posted by huib on 27 Sep 2018, 16:32

Thank you guys!

Tracks and hull

To continue with the hull:

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Hull sides painted ......

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....and glued together.

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The tracks painted. They were originally a silver colour. I started with painting them dark grey and subsequently drybrushed them with five different colours to create a nice patina.

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It is remarkable that these tracks have quite nice detail on the inside. You hardly see that with plastic band tracks. But this old Airfix kit proves that it can be done.

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I connected the track ends by the old fashioned melting technique, supported bij a bit of CA glue. Mostly this is sufficient., but with the first attempt to stretch the track around the wheels the connection broke. I didn't hesitate for a second and applied the other oldfashioned technique: I slammed a staple through the trackends to hold them firmly together. That is not an isue with the Matilda as half of the track is hidden under armour.

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The tracks neatly in position. The staple is clearly visible, but not for long.

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The hull is assembled. Now for some detailing.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 28 Sep 2018, 17:00

Detailing the hull

I continued with finishing the hull and adding detail.

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An extra tool on the hull side, clamps to hold the sparetracks in place made from beer tin aluminium, a rear view mirror, and links for the towing eyes.

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The long range fuel tank is detailed with handlebars, a filler cap and a fuel hose. The exhaust pipes are taped. And I added some tail lights.

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Ready for paint!
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Wiking on 28 Sep 2018, 19:33

It is nice that you wrap around the thinner plastic parts.
Autumn has arrived with cold nights.
:mrgreen:
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Wiking  Germany
 
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Posted by huib on 29 Sep 2018, 21:44

Painting

And now for some camouflage. I've chosen for the good old beautiful Caunter Scheme.

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First the whole vehicle in Humbrol 121, a light sand colour.

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Then the medium colour of this three tone camouflage: Revell 45 light olive.

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And finally the darkest colour: Revell 42. On such a small vehicle full of detail it is almost impossible to mask straight lines. So I used the strips of tape more as a guideline than as a true mask. The result was that a lot of touch ups were needed after removal of the tape. It didn't get very straigth everywere, but I hope that some weathering will hide that in the end.

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Camouflage ready.

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And from the other side.

Now to continue with painting some details and decals.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Londoncopper on 29 Sep 2018, 23:10

Looking good, l am enjoying this thread and look forward to seeing the finished vehicle.
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Posted by huib on 30 Sep 2018, 20:11

Thanks, Londoncopper!

Decals and glosscote

Some new steps made with the Airfix Matilda: I painted the details. like the tools and exhaust. Then I covered the modell in two cotes of gloss and applied the decals. These were secured under another layer of gloss.

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Very colorful, these British desert markings on the Caunter scheme.

And now to continue with some weathering.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Beano Boy on 01 Oct 2018, 05:22

Fantastic Conversion Work. :thumbup:

I can remember purchasing the AIRFIX 1/76 Scale version . BB
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Beano Boy  England
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Posted by huib on 01 Oct 2018, 16:01

Thanks, Beano!

Weathering

And now the challenge is to change that ugly shiny toy into a well battered desert tankl

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First a heavy filter of diluted oil paint. Lot's of white and a bit of yellow ochre.

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Not bad. It gives a nice dusty look, and it's toning down the camouflage colours.

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After that a point wash with dark brown oil paint. Here it's deliberately spilled in all the nooks and crannies....

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....and the excess wiped away.

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Then some drybrushing with the two lightest camouflage colours and plain white to highlight the details and create more nuanced colours.

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The intermediate result after drybrushing.

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Weathering is finalised with some chipping with a graphite pencil. Some grease and fuel leaks are imitated using oil paint. Everything sealed with two layers of matte varnish.

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Almost ready. Only a bit of stowage and some details to add. Visible on this pic already two tarps stowed away in the turret rack.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Wiking on 01 Oct 2018, 17:27

I like your old worn out rusty tank. Look fantastic !
Scream for a base and some figures.

Modeller build things from a flat plate in to something 3D new.
Work on it so hard that it look damaged, old , worn out.
And as more old, ugly and used it look as more proud we are about it.
:eh:

Is that normal ?
:mrgreen:
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Wiking  Germany
 
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Posted by FredG on 01 Oct 2018, 18:10

I would think that normal is a term alien to all members hereof.

And quite rightly so :-D
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Posted by huib on 02 Oct 2018, 15:47

The last details

And now for Matilda's 'finishing touch'.

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This picture inspired me for some stowage on the Matilda. I tried to imitate what I could see on the picture.

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A towcable from copperwire and iron wire, two boxes from Evergreen scrap, two dufflebags from Milliput, and a rolled tarp from paper tissue.

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The same bits and pieces after painting and weathering.

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The antenna with two pennants made from paper tissue and diluted white glue.

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A tank commander from the Hät British Tank Riders set.

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Some paint and weathering on this bloke.

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Everything assembled.

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The elegant lady from behind.

Final pictures soon!
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Dad's Army on 02 Oct 2018, 16:59

:yeah: Fantastic work Huib!!!
I wish I had your skils, maybe you should give a workshop at FIGZ :mrgreen:
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Dad's Army  Netherlands

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Posted by huib on 05 Oct 2018, 17:47

Thank you, Remco!

Final pictures in the gallery: http://bennosfiguresforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=22002
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huib  Netherlands
 
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