I found inspiration to do another M3 Lee for the Sgt. Prouty Santa Claus vignette. Earlier I tried to do the scene with the Takom M3 Lee Late, got pretty far with it but the kit really left a lot to be desired and the project was suspended.
The MiniArt M3 Lee Late (35214) has been around for a while, and is the best Lee on the market to date. For this Late variant it was offered with no interior.
The photo was such a lovely one that I felt obliged to do one for the holidays. The vehicle “Buccaneer” is depicted visiting an orphanage at Perham Down, English on 5th Dec 1942. This is the original B&W, and later colorized.
There are engravings on the kit surfaces so that the placement of PE is precise, but not so for many of the mounting brackets which will require you to position them carefully. The mounting brackets themselves are probably the not-so-great part of the kit, with oversized weld joints at the ends, and it’s a bit difficult to form it into shape for the belts to pass through. I should’ve used the Voyager handle set for this as it was better in both ways. The belts themselves are ok, but the Alliance Model Work’s version with buckets passing through the belts would look better even. MJ Miniatures has tie downs with molded brackets which I eventually remembered I bought, and used them on the axe, the mattock handle and the tow cable eyes, after some struggle with getting the PE version of the tie down on the crowbar. However MJ doesn’t have the double bracketed one for the shovel handle and crank, which appeared in Ammo’s 3D printed set for the Sherman. So I still had to mess with the PE belts, which after annealing worked ok.
I underestimated how much work was required to do the figures. Anyway I started with the Santa, modifying a Masterbox PTO soldier which had the closest pose I could find. I went on to tweak the pose, lump Apoxy sculpt on him to bulk up a costume, and created lining and long beard for him.
I’d say this project was perhaps too ambitious given my current skill level with figures, the scene live and breath with it and while I thought the regular commander on top was done nicely with the Tamiya crew figure, the modified Santa needed more finesse, the orphans definitely needed more love. I really wanted to finish this by Christmas however. The finished gallery is in another post.