M4A3 75mm Sherman from 6th Tank Battalion at Naha Airfield, Okinawa, April 1945

This M4A3 Sherman (build log) from the Company HQ, 6th Tank Battalion is rendered from a few reference photos of Shermans stationed around Naha Airfield after its capture in April 1945. The Battle of Okinawa was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific Theatre and many Shermans were knocked out by ferocious infantry that were no match in terms of mechanical prowess. Field modifications saw spare tracks and sandbags used as make-shift armor everywhere, as well as metal boards welded to the hull as a form of applique armor. The running gear were protected with metal beams, likely to discourage projectiles stuck into them. The rain and terrain made movement difficult which encouraged the use of duckbills on their T54E1 tracks, but in return mud was splashed at the rear of the hull often, with photos showing lightened hulls.

It was nice to see a colorized documentary of the battle of Okinawa and frame captures allowed me to properly render these tanks. The kit was Asuka’s M4A3 75mm “Cougar” with a number of modifications detailed in the build log. The tracks were from Bronco’s T54E1,T49 tracks and their duckbills. The USMC helmets were from Dragon 6272 kit, antenna base from Voyager, figures from Panzer Art. The tank was painted with Tamiya and LifeColor paints, rendered with Abt 502 oils and Ammo Mig mud splashes and heavy muds. Vallejo crushed grass paste was used on the metal beams, and the steppe base was partially done with a Model Scene mat.

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