M10 Lend-Lease USSR – Academy 13521 1/35

This kit is the courtesy of Armorama.com which I did a build review for. Since this was a sample I felt I could try techniques on it, particularly the lacquer chipping with olive drab I learned from TankArt 2. Olive drab is really hard to get right in the sense of making it interesting.

So I messed with this quite a bit. The chipping works quite well and I was getting the hang of it, still overdid it at some spots in the turret. But I think one of the lessons I’m learning is that in order for the whole layering idea to work, you need to apply techniques anticipating the effect of future layers. The tank looks kinda ugly after the chipping but it wouldn’t look the same after.

I experimented with it until I got sick of painting olive drab. Some parts I did well and some I didn’t, particularly some of the lightened areas was a bit puzzling. I also managed to swap my bogies by mistake when I submited my finished to Armorama. Fortunately I was able to pry the bogies out pretty easily.

I could’ve just done the tank, but then I wouldn’t be tell it is USSR since I decided not to put Soviets markings on – the references didn’t have them. So putting in the tank crew would be a good idea. I always wanted to do figures well, but after my initial trials I didn’t do a good job of it, and seeing Tank Art as, well, having no figures, I stopped doing figures for a while (even though I kept buying them). Anyway this time I have 4 Master Box figures from the kit (there were 5 but the driver is a little pointless) so I decided to learn. Of course the sculpts matters a lot in how figures look, the Masterbox figures were decent but not spectacular. In the end out of the 4 the last two I got them to look pretty good, so I think I’ve managed to improve using this opportunity.

I still didn’t do a good job with blond; after applying a good creamy white/yellow color I did a brown wash and now it looks a bit orangey. Ah well. Also the T49 tracks wouldn’t take on grousers but I couldn’t pull them off without also breaking the rack – mind you, they couldn’t stay on the rack properly in the first place, so it’s ironic that they’re so hard to remove.

I added some tarps on the turret but otherwise, like most Russian tanks, they weren’t seen with a ton of stowage.

To be honest I think I did much better than I expected for this kit. I didn’t think much of the Academy kit, nor did I think I could do something I’m happy with for the figures, wasn’t doing well in olive drab either. But with what comes of it and stuff I’ve learned along the way, it’s been more fun than I imagined.

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