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The Void Has Been Filled

21 July, 2009

Back at the end of March, I began building an MRC-Tamiya 1/35 Infantry Tank Mark II Matilda II.  I, unfortunately, found a moulding error in the styrene casting of the turret.  Rather than write to MRC-Tamiya, I decided to search on line for a way to ‘fill a void’ and, of course, found some very interesting results.  All of which led to this post.  I promised that, when said tank was completed, I would post a photo of it on my blog.  Here it is:

Infantry Tank Mark II Matilda II

It represents an Infantry Tank Mk II Matilda II of the Malta Defense Squadron in 1941 and 1942.  Malta is a very rocky island with lots of built up areas.  The British figured that most of the combat would be in the towns, so the vehicles were given an urban ‘rock wall’ camouflage pattern.

The model is, by today’s standards, primitive.  The moulding detail is mushy, the edges are not crisp, and many details are mere suggestions.  But it is a fun build.

I used hand-brushed Tamiya paints for the camo, Windsor and Newton watercolour paints for the weathering, and natural dirt for the debris from the mud lots.  A void was a whole in the styrene plastic about 3/8 of an inch across located on the left side of the turret where the turret lift ring is located.  I filled it with gap-filling cyanoacrylate, sanded to shape.  Then I coated it with white glue and, as it got tacky, I pressed fine sandpaper into it to match the rough texture of the turret.  Near as I can make out, I got it right.

Anyway, I know this isn’t a political, religious, recipeist, atheist, humorous, or other ‘normal’ post for this blog, but since I mentioned it earlier, what the hell, right?

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6 comments

  1. Petty nice job!

    I’m doing a JS 3 and an M 26 Pershing, and my main efforts right now are finishing rigging the USS Kearsarge (the one that sank the CSS Alabama)and a YAK 25 Flashlight.

    Lots of sanding and filling on the Flashlight, plus there are ‘glue issues’ given the plastic.

    Some of my neighbors in Germany told me about fighting against the Matilda. They said that the 88 would penetrate the turret but it wouldn’t go out the other side, so the crew would wind up as sushi rather than maybe just one or two of the crew as casualties.

    I was told that the crews would dog the hatches, all be killed, and the only thing that could get into the tank was rodents and flies until a recovery team with torches came along.

    If you hate your job, theirs must have been … well…


  2. Sarge: One reason I don’t do much with ships is the rigging and the railing. And, so far, knock wood, I haven’t had any problems with glue (though I do use about five different glues, so not sure if I’ve actually had problems and didn’t notice, or just have been lucky).

    When I delivered papers, there were two WWII vets on my route. One was an Army Air Force Ace (5.83 victories) and the other a Brit who had served in North Africa. He served in Honeys, Matildas and Grants. He liked the Honey (M2 Stuart) because the tracks never came off. He liked the Matilda because nothing could hurt it and it moved slow enough that it was hard to get in trouble. He loved the Grant because it was comfortable, roomy, and, with the hull-mounted 75, they could stand off and lob shells. He never had a tank brew up on him, but he did lose one eye and part of his cheek while cooking bully beef on a gasoline stove next to his tank. He told me that he saw the remains of tanks (and the remains in tanks) too many times to count and the first time (postwar) that he actually went to sleep sober and/or without sleeping pills was about 1970.


  3. I crewed M113’s (got my second major wounding driving one of those) and had two M48A3’s blown out from under me when I was in the “mech”. Very lucky with the 48s.

    Have you ever seen the movie Sahara with Bogart?

    They give a good look at the engine at one point and it is, indeed, a radial. I never paid attention to that, but I saw the movie a few months ago and heard it. I knew some had radials (even some M4s) but that was the first time I ever saw how the were mounted.

    PTSD is something you can learn to cope with but you never recover from it. I don’t care what the shrinks say.

    I’m doing fine mostly, my oldest son is doing alright (mostly nighmares) but my daughter-in-law is worried about my youngest. He was in Falujah. He was a medic. No drinking or violence, but there are signs that cause her concern. The deepest sadness, she says. He doesn’t sleep. Been there, he’s got good folks to get him through it like I did.


  4. Sarge: M113s. I think my cookware is made out of the same stuff: face hardened aluminum. Well, they were meant as trucks, not AFVs, so it is understandable how comparatively week they were. The 48s had a good reputation from what I’ve heard.

    I think the M4 Shermans used at least five different engines, including the flat-mounted radial. It worked. I think I’ve seen the movie, but it was years ago. I really need to join Netflix to get all those old movies.

    As for the PTSD, even though I’ve never gotten an official diagnosis, that would certainly explain still having nightmares from my time at ground zero after September 11. Sometimes I just have to have some alone time, and (((Wife))) understands. Not happy with the change, but she understands. She helps.


  5. Just got my Squadron Mail order catalogue, and right on the front is a Matilda.

    A friend got one of the new kits, says that the quality is appreciably better than the older kit.

    Remember when Tamiya was relatively inexpensive and really miles ahead of most in terms of quality?

    Bogie in SAHARA with Lulubelle the M3! There was a cowboy picture in the 1850s that actually used the same plot and dialogue, right to the word. Something about Apache Wells, same thing, just moved to the wild west.

    I watch old movies for the cars and equipment, and sometimes you get a look at some very unusual things. I recently saw one that showed navy enlisted pilots. There was one of the stars who was portraying one, and here and there you could see some guys in the background, a chief and two petty officers who were probably the real thing as the movie was filmed aboard the Saratoga.


  6. good post, ilike your article…



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