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135
Normandy Surprise: July 1944

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The US Sherman kit was a real no-brainer: the Tasca M4A1 (late) with hedgerow cutter. I added the Bronco workable tracks instead of the kit "rubber band" tracks, and some Legend stowage. The kit figure was pretty bad, so I improved him with some Hornet hands and head.

The US figures were from three sets: DML's "US Army Tank Riders 1944-45," "US Armored Infantry," and "Allied Force ETO 1944". Scratch-built slings and some from the kits Gen 2 PE frets helped, along with a few Hornet hands.

The Panther A (late) is a Dragon kit. It's a super build, but I couldn't resist adding the following:

1. Voyager photo etch set
2. Griffon Model storage tube for gun cleaning rod
3. JBModels.eu brass radio antenna
4. JBModels.eu turned aluminum barrel & brass muzzle brake
5. Archer Fine Transfers German crosses & numerals
6. Friulmodelismo white metal tracks
7. Multiple MIG washes, oils & pigments, along with commercial oil paints
8. Cavalier Zimmerit applied
9. Additional Zimmerit supplemented with Milliput putty & Zimmerit tool
10. A pair of Verlinden cooling fans (mostly invisible, but dictated by those infernal IPMS rules).

The figures are taken from the following Dragon sets:

1. "Hohenstaufen Division Normandy 1944"
2. "Verfügungstruppe" (wrong time period, but adapted with late war weapons)
3. "Panzer Crew LAH Division Russia 1944"
4. "Kampfgruppe Von Luch Normandy 1944"
5. "Eastern Ambush 1944" (wrong theater, but again, adapted for Normandy 1944).

Various Hornet hands and heads supplemented those on the kits that were inferior. The shoulder boards and cap markings are from Archer Fine Transfers. The SS camouflage is in three variants, and is from Shinsengumi decals. While some texture is lost, I can't imagine painting this sort of detail.
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About the Author

About Bill Cross (bill_c)
FROM: NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.


Comments

There was a request for photos showing the full diorama so y'all could see how the parts fit together. Well, here you go:
JUL 23, 2012 - 10:45 AM
Hi Bill, Nice one you should add these in as a page two. These give a nice overall view of what's going on. Cheers Al
JUL 24, 2012 - 12:39 AM
Dio looks great Bill, impressive work. Gary
JUL 24, 2012 - 01:20 AM
Thanks, Al, your praise means a lot. I think that's a good idea, and if the Features guys want the extra pix, I have them. Thanks, Gary. I hope to add some ivy on the walls and a roadside crucifix before perhaps donating it to a local museum.
JUL 24, 2012 - 03:00 AM
Bill, I particularly like the third photo up from your post above, and if you squint your eyes a bit it can easily end up looking like this: Agree more ivy would be a nice touch.
JUL 25, 2012 - 08:53 AM
Wow, Matt, that looks GREAT. The Features guys should make that the lead photo, LOL!
JUL 25, 2012 - 09:11 AM
WOW BILL that looks awesome!! Its like a beautiful girl and your favourite meal in one awesome!
FEB 26, 2014 - 07:35 AM
Thanks, Max!
FEB 26, 2014 - 07:45 AM
Love it! what a great Dio, really like the story, show's how confusing war really is. I think maybe the germans have the upper hand, mind you the Sherman is ready to go, how long does it take to crank up a Panther? Again Great Dio, very dynamic original and inspraional. Thanks for showing it again Bill, missed it 1st time around Cheers Geraint
SEP 07, 2014 - 07:55 AM
Thanks, Geraint!
SEP 07, 2014 - 10:21 AM