WWI Female Tank
kit no: A02337
build time: November 2 2014 - November 2 2014

This weekend we had a 24 hour build. Part of that was a 12 hour build competition. The victim was the 1/76 scale Airfix British Mk I tank, the female version. I may not be a tank builder, but I like a challenge, since I never finished a kit in this little time. Still, with the new tool Airfix kits, it should be doable. And to make things more interesting, I decided to do a little diorama, first time doing that.

The kit:

Diorama accessories:

So first up, building the diorama, since I'm not sure how long the plaster actually needs to dry. The box says an
hour but you never know... So:

- masking the edges of the picture frame
- mixed the plaster with water and added a nice dollop of Tamiya brown paint
- mixed a second batch (the first wasn't enough) and added another brown color for variation
- smoothed out the plaster on the frame. Well, not so much smoothing as more making sure everything is covered
- and some sand*** and moss for show
- press down tracks in wet plaster to create tracks left by the tank

And then we end up with builder's prerogative: I opted to not go with the female version after all, since Airfix offers all components for both the male and the female version. So I went hermaphrodite: male's cannon on the left, female's machine guns on the right

And I drilled out the barrel of the cannon, since I could.

The model was preshaded with black, and then painted with something that's supposed to be a semblence of neutral brown. Phil was kind enough to let me know the paints Tamiya recommended, so I went with those (XF52, XF55; not sure which ratio) and then added some Field Green for good measure.

And then I hit the first real snag. My idea was to let the sand and moss sit on the plaster while it cured, and then seal them in with some clear. Too bad the airbrush simply blew it all off the plaster if I had actually tried... And so I had another idea: I mixed up some wood glue with a very very generous amount of water, and poored that all over the entire diorama. Almost upto a point where my little tank could be swimming in it. Then we simply later the water evaporate, and the wood glue will keep all the dirt and moss locked in place on the plaster. Worked like a charm. And although I lost my tracks, I think it came out for the better. Then we add the stem of a leave found outside as a lonely tree in no man's land, and my first diorama is done...

To see the effect of the woodglue/water mixture, compare these photo's with photo #5, which was taken before adding that mixture.

It looks nice, and I'm happy with it. Not bad for a first time, even if I do say so myself.

**** PS: it's not sand. I was looking for that, but never got that far - when I left the hall where we were building, I spotted one of those big ash trays on top of a garbage bin. I plundered the ashes and used that instead...