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Mark P Hartig
36 articles

Italeri M-4A1 and Tamiya Cromwell

February 23, 2022 · in Armor · · 14 · 1.3K

This is another older project from 2018. For me, a very large diorama, much bigger than I usually like to do, it took a long time to finish up.

The old Italeri Sherman is still a good kit. This one was improved with stippled on and lightly sanded putty for some texture as Italeri molds it slick and smooth. Other improvements are AFV Club tracks, RB gun barrel, and an Academy M-2.

The Tammy Cromwell is OOB as it needed no extras, it was a wonderful kit that I enjoyed working with.

The building is a MiniArt vaccuform and was weathered with oils.

Horse drawn wagons are from MiniArt, weathered with oils and Bragdon's powders. The load of firewood is a donation from the problematic bush at the end of my driveway that refuses to take a shape no matter how much I prune it.

Figures are a mix of Tamiya and Masterbox

Groundwork is Celluclay with driveway gravel, and vegitation is a mix of a MIG grass mat and different size self adhesive tufts from, I think, the Army Painter.

This took, it seemed, forever to do which is one reason why I tend to keep my dioramas small. It started out as a couple of kits and a formless concept which grew and I ended up eliminating a fair amount of items I'd intended to include to keep it manageable. Sometimes "Hey, that's a good idea" can be dangerous.

Reader reactions:
6  Awesome

13 additional images. Click to enlarge.

14 responses

  1. Very nice dio. I don't have the patience for this.

  2. Hello Mark, @markh
    This looks very good ! You have captured the way that tanks get dirty in a very realistic manner. I served as crewman (all 4 positions) in both the M-60 series, and in the last few months of my time in the US Army in the M-1A1, which was brand spanking new at the time. These things get filthy SO fast, and you have mastered this look perfectly.

    We tankers also tend to hang all sorts of things in the bustle rack. These guys in WW2 and Korea didn't have the luxury that we did with having a bustle rack mounted on the rear of the turret. They had to rely on the side sponson boxes, (which we did too). What is really odd, is the tanks tend to vibrate causing anything that isn't secured to eventually fall off. I think this is caused by the tracks, and how one side can hit the ground a fraction of a second before the track on the other side of the tank does, which can set up harmonic vibrations. This vibration could also be caused by how the track blocks make contact with the sprockets, as the vehicle is moving along at a high speed.

    We recently trimmed up our Crepe Myrtle shrubs, and I saved some of the stalks to use in a similar manner as you have done with the fire wood, but it will likely end up as additional armor on a Sherman like what is seen on "Fury".

    For some time I have been wanting to build a German Panther tank (my all time favorite) and use the late war circular disc camouflage patterns. Your remarkable diorama is taking this urge up a notch or two.

    I definitely checked the "like" button. This is an incredible build, and I can bet it took you a lot of time to complete. Thanks for sharing this with us. 🙂

    • Thank you sir for me dirt was easy to figure out once I realized all I had to do was look at my old Toyota pickup after a trip through the woods or over the prairie. Look and do, it's just that easy

  3. Fantastic diorama, Mark @markh
    So many details are shown in this amazing work you did.
    The tools, the drums, the people watching, all is great to look at.

    • Thanks JB the legendary Shep Paine advised diorama builders to never leave a spot in your project that did not have something to look at. I tried to follow this advice here and was quite surprised when, in mock up, the extra items mentioned earlier made it unnaturally crowded and detracted from the whole thing. This is one of my better attempts at balance which is harder to achieve than you'd think

  4. A beautiful diorama, Mark!
    The huge amount of work required is pretty obvious, the result is really superlative! Congratulations, Sir!
    Keep them coming!

  5. Looks great, Mark. Love the detail in the of the hardest parts to make look natural in a dio.

  6. Wow! That's a really nice lil' dio Mark. ? Both tanks look great, along with the crew members, and I enjoyed all the lovely details you've added here. Very well done for sure! ?

  7. Well done, Mark!

  8. Amazing looking Mark. Well worth the effort you put into it and a real legacy piece

  9. Many thanks gents

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