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The Great LSM Twins Group Build ends July 3, 2024 ×

M5 Stuart & M4 Sherman


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As I stated before, the M551 was a commission piece for the 73rd Cav Regiment, who trace their lineage back through Korea to the 756th Tank Battalion from WWII. Their first major action was in Cassino, so I depicted that here. Since the unit was made up of 3 companies of Shermans and one scout company of Stuarts, I figured I needed to depict both. A city street in Cassino seemed a good place to show them both working in conjunction.




I titled it "Shortcut At Cassino". As you can see, both vehicles are buttoned up. There's two reasons for this. Primarily, I was in a time crunch and didn't have the time or proper figures, (I'm pretty anal about my figures), secondly, I've learned from experience that in a hostile urban environment, tankers would rather stay buttoned up than present a nice downward shot into the vehicle for a sniper. Besides, how else would the Sherman keep the bricks out of the turret?




Here's a frontal view of the M5 as it creeps down the street. Just for fun I numbered it the same as the M551 Sheridan so the CSM would get a kick out of it.




Here's an overhead of the M4. All the loose bricks are scratchbuilt using plaster of paris. I taped 4 pieces of cardboard to a piece of scrap plywood, leveled out enough material to fill my cardboard "frame", then measured the size of the bricks in the commercially cast building and scribed the lines into the plaster once it dried. Then I tapped them free with a wooden dowel, so as not to damage the brick faces, but to bust them up just enough. The beam was made from some scrap balsa. To put them on the hull, I dipped the bricks in white glue, held them with a pair of tweezers at the upper floor level, and dropped them. This gave a nice hap-hazard look.


Next time I'll post my Vietnam diorama. Thanks for looking! :)

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Thanks for all the kind words! I enjoy the diorama process, but as I stated in my post under "General Discussion", it's burnt me out a little. I've been doing it for so long, that it's hard for me to realize that it's ok to build the HK B-17 without a 4ft x 4ft simulated apron and an army of figures maintaining it!


I don't build much on commission anymore. Too many demands that take the fun out of it. Plus, it's hard to explain why a diorama of a "toy" would cost so much. The Sheridan was a great example of that. The kit is passable, but aftermarket is a must have, otherwise it's wrong. The tracks are inexcusable, and at the time, only Fruil made AM tracks for the Sheridan. Now add the little stuff, like MREs, ammo cans, decals, paint and don't forget time and skill.  


Fyi-this Cassino diorama took almost 200 hours to build, and I didn't start until I had everything I'd need. Nor did I count the time it took to plan. Figure if I only charged $2 per hour, that's still over $400 in labor alone. Since it was for a friend, and would be on display in a Regimental history room, I only charged them $200.

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