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Two troops of Irish Guards Shermans… yes in 28mm

27 Mar
Two troops of Irish Guards Shermans… yes in 28mm

Those who saw the ongoing coverage of my adventures during the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge will know, that I narrowly missed adding some eight Shermans to my total. I finally managed to sit down on Tuesday (well I wanted to have some time off painting after the mad rush towards the end and there were social events as well) and finished them. so here they are!

Now you all know (at least I hope so ;-)) that my infantry is based on the South Lancs. So a some time in February I decided to tackle my Shermans (which I had built some 5+ years ago) and was in for a surprise. They were supported by 27th Armoured Brigade which was useless for my needs. Now they operated mainly Duplex Drive Shermans and no Firefly. Another problem with them was, that they got disbanded and their men and tanks got distributed to other units in the summer of 1944, so there was not much mileage to be had from them. So I looked for another unit and one that would give me mileage. So an obvious choice seemed to be the Guards Armoured Division. They saw their fair share of fighting all through the war and obviously there is their big role in Market Garden. And Market Garden also dictated my choice of sub-unit since these are the Irish Guards. Why… well they were in lead when the tanks started rolling so they seemed like a natural choice. Also this will mean, that I will have a unit from all four countries that make up the United Kingdom in my British WWII forces in the end.

Shermans lined up in bocage field

Shermans lined up in bocage field

But this also gave me some problems. The Irish Guards actually used Sherman V models (aka M4A4) while these are M4 models. As I said, I build these more than half a decade ago and stuffed them with stowage, so I was in no mood to go and get myself different models really, so these will have to do and I hope I can be forgiven! The other problem was decals. I thought I had enough for two troops of Shermans, but I did not, so some had to be ordered. Easy enough since Dom´s Decals had almost all I needed. [If you need some for your 1:48th or 1:56th scale British tanks go and drop by Dom´s online shop since he has a nice selection that is getting far too little love from customers as far as I know!] Why almost… well the Guards used to fill their tactical markings in black. After some eMailing around, I found someone to do me custom blue tactical markings filled with black. Why blue? Blue is the color for the junior regiment in a Division, which the Irish Guards were. In this case I picked the triangle to show that these tanks belong to A Squadron. While I found no photographic evidence, that the Irish Guards painted the tank number into the markings like some units did, I still did so (freehand) to make sure the tanks could be distinguished on the tabletop.

So on to the models itself. All are 1:48th scale Tamiya models, with the exception of the troops leader for 1 troop, which is a Hobby Boss. They all come with a wide selection of stowage from at least three different aftermarket companies, Tamiya, Hobby Boss and some scratch build. The stowage boxes on the tanks are from Chieftain models. Initially I scratch build them from plasticard, but I was able to talk Crouchie from Chieftain into giving me eight separate boxes. Those who know how long Chieftain has been out of business will know how long these tanks have been sitting around, waiting to be painted! The tankers are by Warlord.

1 Troops comes mostly with additional improvised armor in shape of Sherman tracks welded to the hull and turrets, as can be seen on some contemporary photos. Most of these are by Tamiya as well. I send the good people at Tamiya Germany an eMail asking for a separate sprue of tracks, which they send me. Although it turned out, at a hilarious price. I think I could have gotten almost a complete kit off eBay for that price. :-/

Sherman (Troop 1, Troop leader , front)

Sherman (Troop 1, Troop leader , front)

Sherman (Troop 1, Troop leader , rear)

Sherman (Troop 1, Troop leader , rear)

Sherman (Troop 1, Tank a , front)

Sherman (Troop 1, Tank a , front)

Sherman (Troop 1, Tank a , rear)

Sherman (Troop 1, Tank a , rear)

Sherman (Troop 1, Tank b , front)

Sherman (Troop 1, Tank b , front)

Sherman (Troop 1, Tank b , rear)

Sherman (Troop 1, Tank b , rear)

The Firefly got a scratch build stowage rack in the rear. I am really in love with that piece. Especially since it makes the tank appear much larger, so it looks like a real beast on the table!

Sherman Firefly (Troop 1, Tank c , front)

Sherman Firefly (Troop 1, Tank c , front)

Sherman Firefly (Troop 1, Tank c , rear)

Sherman Firefly (Troop 1, Tank c , rear)

Now 2 Troop does without the extra track links for protection. The only extra protection is the hessian tape netting on the troop leaders turret. For ages I had planned to use paper punch outs from my comb binding machine. I glued those on last week and frankly was quiet unhappy with the results. But since time was running out on the Challenge I painted them up anyway and would probably even have kept them. But after time had run out, I decided to go back to it. I glued gauze dyed green over the whole mess, cut some punch outs in half, soaked them in white glue, placed them on the netting, gave them another coat of white glue and painted them. And now I am even happy with it all! So a good thing I ran out of time!

Sherman (Troop 2, Tank b , rear)

Sherman (Troop 2, Tank b , rear)

Sherman (Troop 2, Troop leader , rear)

Sherman (Troop 2, Troop leader , rear)

Sherman (Troop 2, Tank a , front)

Sherman (Troop 2, Tank a , front)

Sherman (Troop 2, Tank a , rear)

Sherman (Troop 2, Tank a , rear)

Sherman (Troop 2, Tank b , front)

Sherman (Troop 2, Tank b , front)

Sherman (Troop 2, Tank b , rear)

Sherman (Troop 2, Tank b , rear)

Sherman Firefly (Troop 2, Tank c , front)

Sherman Firefly (Troop 2, Tank c , front)

Sherman Firefly (Troop 2, Tank c , rear)

Sherman Firefly (Troop 2, Tank c , rear)

Sherman Firefly crew

Sherman Firefly crew

And now to leave you with two “aerial” photos to show all the stowage.

Sherman troops (top view, front)

Sherman troops (top view, front)

Sherman troops (top view, rear)

Sherman troops (top view, rear)

 

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18 responses to “Two troops of Irish Guards Shermans… yes in 28mm

  1. Dean

    March 27, 2014 at 14:31

    Impressive work as always, Burkhard. Excellent additional details on all the tanks – the camo netting is very cool. I’m looking forward to seeing them on the table. Best, Dean

     
    • Burkhard

      March 27, 2014 at 16:23

      Thank you Dean! We will have a WWII game next week, but since I have skipped my British Riflemen so far, I guess it will either feature Americans or Russians!

       
  2. darthbrom

    March 27, 2014 at 22:50

    Very nice work! I really dig the worn look with the stowage, it gives them a nice field worn lived in look.

     
    • Burkhard

      March 27, 2014 at 23:08

      Thank you! Just the appearance I wanted!

       
  3. Phil

    March 29, 2014 at 09:00

    Very nice work, great details on the tanks!

     
  4. Michael

    March 31, 2014 at 12:23

    Brilliant work B. So many things to like here, such as your scratch built cammo netting and the light paint on the barrel to disguise the Firefly. Amazing, Looking forward to seeing them on the table.

     
    • Burkhard

      April 1, 2014 at 07:26

      Thanks Micheal!

      It was just those things that made them fun to do. And I am looking forward to their first outing as well. We played a game yesterday (report coming up), but since the British Riflemen are not done yet it was Russians vs. Germans. 😦

       
  5. vonpeterhimself

    April 1, 2014 at 11:22

    Quite the unveiling Burkhard. The heavy machinery works have obviously been working overtime! The variety on display is very impressive.

    Salute
    von Peter himself

     
    • Burkhard

      April 1, 2014 at 19:39

      Thanks a lot vP. But I have to admit I really really enjoyed doing these, so even though it was a huge number, it was still great to do them!

       
  6. Curt

    April 2, 2014 at 19:42

    Wow, very impressive! They look fabulous with the additional stowage, tracks, etc. You’re right, that would have been a LOT of points! 🙂

     
    • Curt

      April 2, 2014 at 19:44

      …especially like the hessian netting!

       
      • Burkhard

        April 2, 2014 at 19:59

        Thank you, Curt. Glad you like them, after they became my almost last entry. Shame about the points, but I shall simply plan better for the next instalment. At least it saved you from posting 20 photos so close to the end! 😉

         
        • Curt

          April 15, 2014 at 19:22

          Indeed! (Much appreciated) 🙂

           
  7. roemersworkshop

    April 16, 2014 at 08:43

    Considering the size of the tanks I cannot imagine how much of a pain it must have been to paint the crew. You did well!

    Can you share what kind of camera you use to photograph the models at such closeups?

     
    • Burkhard

      April 16, 2014 at 10:15

      Thank you Roemer!

      Actually after painting 28mm for over a decade and virtually nothing but Napoleonics for over two years, these seemed like a piece of cake.

      Regarding the camera. I used a Canon EOS 40D with an EFS 17-85 lens and a UV-Filter mounted on a tripod. The real trick is the exposure time. I set the shutter to 22 which is the longest you can set it, too. Indoors with artificial light (I recommend daylight bulbs) this can give you and exposure time of around 30 seconds. The longer the exposure time, The more detail you get in depth and this makes the minis look so detailed. This requires you to use a tripod and a remote, because the slightest shaking of the camera will ruin your photo.
      I have mounted a number of daylight lamps in my game room to allow for better in-game photos. I always use that set-up when taking photos and no light booth. Since the lamps are roughly a meter away from the mini this is not required as the light gets defuse enough, but with some of the photos I need to lighten them up with photoshop to get a realistic light level.
      One word on Canon cameras. The X00D series are for the max market and while cheaper do not give you the quality. The 😄 series are professional cameras with a real high quality (and price tag). I once tired taking photos of my minis with a 7D and failed miserably, since the quality was too high (as strange as it sounds). So in my opinion the X0D series are the best for this. As semiprofessional cameras they provide enough quality. These days (and if I had the money right now) I would probably go for a 70D. The older cameras are set up for single image stabilizer in the lenses, while the 70D is set up for a twin stabilizer, which will give you even better and crisper photos. That being said… it costs you over 1000 Euro while an older 40D or 50D can be had for half the price.

       

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