Building the Formations 1/35 Chaffee (part 7)


Can you believe it?  It’s the final installment of the Chaffee project and only after a year (or so) hiatus.  I’ve got a whole new thingie planned, I thought it would be best to wrap this up first.


In the last chapter we saw the painting process a bit.  Here is where I paint.  I use all acrylic so that I don’t get the frying pan.  As I recall this model is painted a custom mix of Gunze Olive Drabs.  I was never really happy with the color.  The tank is a fresh replacement vehicle, so I kept the weathering down to a minimum.


Here is a close up of that wonderful paint…you can also see the “engine” as well.  I don’t really have a good record of the painting process, this will have to suffice: I pin washed over the Acrylic with Burnt Umber oil washes and put on a light coat of dust.  No filter, no post shading, no nuthin’.


I decided I needed some muck on the bottom.  This is before I knew what I was doing (!) so you see here that I am mixing MIG pigments with water, railroad ballast and artists gel medium.  The idea is the gel medium gives the muck some body.


I don’t do it this way anymore, it’s too ham-fisted.  It got the job done and its on the bottom.


Here is the Tasca .50 cal.  I added gun sights and firing levers.


Somehow during the building one of the road wheels got chipped.  It’s really hard to fix thin little breaks like this with putty or epoxy, it’s just too little.  I always save all the unused parts for such emergencies.  I used a file to thin away one of the unused kit wheels…


…the chip is cut out and blended into the broken part.




Here is the Formations antenna.  In most of the wartime photos you see the antenna lashed down, it’s located very close to the commander, no doubt it would get caught on stuff and whack him.  So the crew would secure it in some manner.  This ended being a very tricky part of the model, after it was built I ended up rebuilding the line because it sagged.  OK…Ok..uh, to show the flex on the mount I cut out the straight wire portion and bent the wire cast through it.  Then I created a new spring of thin solder.


Next I painted some thin paper from a shirt box silver…


…and wrapped a teeny tiny section with white glue around the center of the antenna to represent the section where the two parts are screwed together.  (Actually you will note on the photo below that the antenna has three sections, not two).

Here is the final antenna.  I had a lot of trouble making it look like there was tension on the line “pulling” the whip down.  This is my second attempt, only “passable” I’m afraid, but will have to do.  In the future I will soak the rope in glue and stiffen it before hand to make sure it stays arrow straight. Here you can also see the finished stowage and wine crate with crest.

On to the stowage.  I do not like resin stowage, it has a “cast” look to it that bothers me.  I use a method of creating stowage that Master Modeler Jim was kind enough to teach me.  What you see regarding this subject he has learned through trial and error and passed on to us.  There is some equipment on a fresh vehicle that gets left off over time, such as these things.  They are located on the rear deck on the battery access panels and are used to pull two ends of a newly installed track tight so you can put the pin in them.  I roughed out the shapes of the tools, as I would be wrapping a bag around them.  Here you can see the start of the two bags they are kept in.  The bag is made of two layers, the outer layer is that thin tissue paper used to in mens shirt boxes, I put an inner layer of one ply of paper towel.  The outer layer is folded over the inner and the edges are glued with white glue.  I find this doubled layer gives me some thickness for better looking folds.


There are two of these draw string bags.  It sounds crazy, but I thought I would see if I could make them…


…turned out not so crazy after all.


Here you see the painted bag, with the tool buck inside (it defines the shape when cinched).  I made a jig so I could cinch it down and paint it off the vehicle.


Here it is test fitted on the rear deck.  There are tie down cleats underneath it that will be used to secure it.  Once the vehicles entered service these items were removed.


I knew I wanted something unusual to lash on the rear deck, so I opted for a period wine box.  I found a nice french wine from the era online.  I reasoned the crate would be built from fresh wood stock.  I was thinking the crate would be open, showing a bottle and packing inside.  I decided to leave it all closed, it was too distracting.  Once the lid was on I roughed on the wine label crest with a very sharp brown colored pencil.


New vehicles also have a large tarp lashed to the rear right fender.  Here are some experiments, none of them worked…

…back to MMJ’s method.  Again, two layers, the outer folded and glued over the inner with white glue.




Folding…see how the inner puffy layer gives it body so the fold look right.


And more folding…


….Try to make it look interesting, not too uniform..


Ready to paint.  You can crinkle it and poke it with stuff to sculpt wrinkles.  Once painted the shape is set.


Next I needed buckles to use with the straps to hold it in place.  I did not have any PE type on hand, so decided to attempt to make my own.  To do this I took a piece of plastic and scribed the voids that would be the buckles.  I then put some vaseline on the “mold” and poured a thin layer of resin on top.  Buckle shaped portions are removed…


…and sanded thin using double-stick tape…


… Here is a finished part in a paper strap.


Using this method the folded tarp is attached to the fender.


The tools are attached in the same manner.  Note the tools have carved wood handles.


And there you have it…a finished model (the finished pics of the model are in Modeler Ro’s gallery).  Of course I had high hopes it would win all sorts of honors and I would get a ticker tape parade…   Instead I learned that the few short hours of contest display shouldn’t suck the enjoyment out of the hundred or so hours I spent building it.  I am happy with it, and that’s what matters.  Hope you enjoyed it and On To The Next One!