1/35 Tamiya M60A1 USMC MBT with Reactive Armor: Desert Warrior
The M60 series although outdated is still my favorite tank of all time. I think it just looks like a MBT and to me represents an outstanding war machine of the cold-war era. It has that heavy, rough, and tough look that represents USMC Armor at its finest. When I 1st saw the box art on this Tamiya kit I knew I needed to build it.
The build is typical Tamiya armor from that period. It is easy and straight forward to build with no real surprises. IMHO it is the perfect blend of “ease of build” vs. “detail level”. It can be built to represent an M60a1 out of the box but I needed to add a few extra details to sharpen it a bit, and some changes I made were just based on my preferences. So, I felt the commanders cupola needed some work and extra detail especially if keeping the hatch open. So I purchased a resin after-market kit to improve on base kit and add some detail to interior section of the Assembly. The other change was to the road wheels. There is nothing wrong with the included road wheels but I preferred the wheels which had a spoked look. These where the “cast iron” road wheels found on many USMC M60’s which fought in desert storm. They just look cooler to me sort of like putting mags on a muscle car.
The rest of the build focused on my favorite part in the process. Painting and weathering. I used all acrylic paints for base finish including a line of desert sand colored paints from Vallejo, and AK interactive. After the base painting I always include a good amount of dry-brushing using lighter shades of base mix. Dry brushing to me is still the easiest way to add a base weathering layer without relying on fancy products and techniques. Finally came the enamel washes with some oils and pastel powders, nothing fancy. Chipping is mostly done using a dark German chocolate brown acrylic paint applied mostly with a sponge.
One interesting note when looking at the attached photos. Modelers spend a lot of time and indulge in a tremendous amount of research when it comes to finding a perfect base color to match actual vehicles. They often spend more time with the actual blending process once they locate the exact color. I am including myself in this group. But it all changes with the lighting and background. This is demonstrated in my pictures. They were taken at 2 different times in 2 different locations. Each location results in a completely different tone and warmth. The base color appears to change completely dependent on lighting used. So lesson learned is I dont need to be so obsessive when it comes to color research and color matching.
17 additional images. Click to enlarge.