One of the first models I built after starting Bolt Action, was the American Sherman tank. Let’s take a look:
I am a modeler at heart and thus passed on the 5 piece Warlord version that was available. I also find that the 1/56 scale of the Bolt Action vehicles is too small and doesn’t mesh with the 1/28 infantry models. So I picked up a 1/48 Sherman M4 with 75 mm gun from Hobby Boss on Ebay. It’s a serious model with lots of sprues and hours of building fun.
This Sherman, the M4 75mm is an early variant of many different versions to come during the war. The one in the kit is the ‘welded’ hull variant, there was also a ‘cast’ hull variant, which had a much more rounder look.
I can’t use an airbrush in my house, so I knew I had to do some super dry stippling. I primed the kit white and then, holding the model upside down, primed black, so the bottom was shadowy and dark, but the top stayed white. Then primed with Tamily Olive Drab, all the way green. After that some brown wash and lots of pushing paint with an old brush, like stippling but harder and very dry and going lighter in the middle part of each section. After that the usual weathering and adding some dirt wash to the bottom part of the tank,
I could not find real life references to the ‘hell with it’ marking, but I liked it so I did put it on, risking that this particular vehicle never saw action in Italy with the 92nd.
Here’s an action shot of black troops, taking cover behind a M4. Part of the fun of this game is finding historical reference material, it really gives a lot of depth to the hobby.
This photo would actually be a great diorama. I love how the soldiers strapped their gear to the back of the vehicle, things that would be fairly easy to model. It looks like the tank in the photo has the 75mm gun, just like the model does. It’s the lightest armament of the all Shermans.
You can also see the extra armor plates on the side, which were put on places where ammo was stored inside the tank. There were lots of fires in the beginning with ammo exploding after being hit, so the plates gave extra protection.
The cupolas up front have extra, angled armor as well, since the upright original design made it a target for anti tank weapons. Sloping the armor increased rate of survival.
My friend SC John, who is expert on many things WW2 related, told me that many tank crews removed big stars from the tanks, because they could be used by enemies as a target. As you can see in the WW2 photo, that Sherman also doesn’t have any markings besides a number and a name. I did decide to add the top star, since airplanes could see the tank was an ally.
It’s been great learning while building and this will be the joy of this hobby diversion and the blog. Anyone with pointers or more info is welcome to leave a comment! And if you haven’t tried Bolt Action, go do it! It’s really a great game. If you want to get inspired go to this incredible facebook forum: Bolt Action