Monday, October 31, 2011

PSC Shermans and Paint Storage Rack - Sentinel 15mm coming soon

All -

Update with pictures!

This past week, I received my paint storage rack from the UK and I purchased, assembled, primed and basecoated 5 Shermans from the Plastic Soldier Company.  I will review the buildings from Sentinel in a later post.  Here are my quick reviews:

Paint Storage Racks

Based on a suggestion on the WWPD forum, I ordered a paint rack that is specifically designed for Vallejo paints.  It would appear that the units are custom build on MDF using laser cutting.  They are also built to order because you could still smell the burn from the laser on the wood.

Here are a few pictures -

This is what you get when you receive the package.  The directions are simple and fairly easy to follow.  The nuts and bolts used to build the racks are rather clever.  You insert a bolt into the wood and the nut cannot spin, so it locks the bolt in place when you screw it in.  The picture is fuzzy, but hopefully you get the idea.

Half way through the build and it looks like this -

Final assembly and putting in the paints. 

I am very happy with the racks.  But I will say that they are a bit of a splurge.  With shipping and the exchange rate from pounds to dollars, they come it at over $50.  Nice, but not a requirement.  It does look good!

Plastic Soldier Company Shermans

I really have resisted plastic.  But listening to others talk about the benefits, I thought I would try out a box.  I grabbed the American Sherman box that lets you build the 76mm and the 75mm version.  To all the purists out there, yes it is the hull of the 76mm.  Anyway, you get 5 tanks for around 1/2 the price of BF.  But you get the turrets for both!  So you can switch as needed, effectively giving you two vehicles.  There is a caveat.  You only get enough hatches to build one turret.  What I did was go to the "bits" pile and grab some spare BF hatches.  I used white putty to fill in a hatch opening and put the BF hatch cover on top.  I will let you judge, but I am very pleased with the results.  I also added 2 pennies to each hull in a cheap attempt to add some weight.  It works, but I think you would get better results with the lead you can get for pine cars (think Boy Scouts).  The plastic is pink, which is a little strange.  The detail is fantastic.  Assembly was a little slow on the first tank because I was trying to figure it all out.  But after building one all the way through, I was able to knock the other 4 out in about the same time.

Let's talk abotu the pain - tracks.  I knew this going in and I will say that once I got the hang of it, I was very pleased with the tracks.  They are not as bad as what I have heard said about the T-34 models.

I really like these models and it does expand the use of my Shermans.  Plus I am guessing that we will see a full 76mm Tank Company in the upcoming Bulge books, so I can add vehicles quickly.  My only comment to BF would be to ask them to sell extra turrets.  I still like resin and if BF offered the turrets, it might make a difference.  But I am very happy with the results.

Here are the pictures:

One Sherman with both turrets.  You can see the BF hatch cover on the right turret.

I made this picture a little bigger, so you can see what I did.  I used White Stuff putty to fill the hole and put the BF hatch on top.  The scale is a little off (BF seems to be closer to 18mm than 15mm), but it works.  After priming, it blends in perfectly.

Here is the turret after priming.

For comparison, here are a few side by sides with a BF Sherman -
75mm turret above

76mm turret above

The tracks are pretty good.  Remember that I am looking at the model from 5 inches away.  After the prime and base coats, the seam blends in nicely.  Oh, the gloss from the glue disappears too!

I am very happy with the models.  I am thinking of starting Soviets (Red Bear!!) and PSC would be the way to go in creating that horde of T-34s.  Plus you get the turrets for 76 and 85 versions, so it allows for great flexibility.  I am a fan!

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