Welcome To My US Tank Crewman Page.

This page is about my tank crewman I have made, the figure is based on the Guffy character from the film The Battle Of The Bulge. I have had the nude figure of Big Joe (Telly Savalas) sitting around in my spares box for a while now, and I never seemed to have the time to make this kitbash.

So when I received the two 1/6th bottles of wine from the MDFC forum, I decided it was now time to make the figure up. The uniform on the figure came mainly from spares I got from the DML Josh Ackerman figure, this was the jacket, shirt, goggles and overall trousers. The boots came from Newline and are the US two buckle type.

The picture below left is of the basic headsculpt, which I have given a pastel wash to bring out the detail and add some depth to the creases in the face. This I did three times as I was not happy with them, once I had wiped the dried pastel chalk off. The third wash was done with a slightly more watery wash, to make the colour lighter.

Once that had dried and I was happy with it, I then used Model Colour acrylic paint numbered 540 Matt Medium, to take away the glossy look that came through the washes. I also then used some Model Color Transparent Red acrylic paint, heavily thinned with water to add a red colour to the headsculpt.


This figure was a bit of experiment with me and the Matt Medium paint, as usually I use the Dullcote paint. But for this figure I decided to use just water based paints, and I actually find them a lot better to use and are a lot more forgiving if I go wrong.

The other pictures above are of the tank crew helmet that came with the Josh Ackerman figure, this is a very nice piece but I was not happy with the plastic look to it. So I repainted the top part with Revell enamel paint numbered Matt 46, and the side ear flaps were repainted with Revell enamel paint numbered Matt 116. The tan edges of the ear flaps have not been repainted, but I am going to use some Model Colour acrylic paint numbered 540 Matt Medium to get rid of the glossy look to these. Finally, I gave it a drybrush with some grout, to make it looked weathered and lose the new look it had from the re-painting.


The only thing I have left to do with the figure, is add some sergeant stripes and fix him on a base so he can examine his 'merchandise'.


The sergeant stripes below were printed out onto cotton paper sheets from an image I have, they were then cut out from the sheet. To cover the white edges of the patch, I found for this image repainting it with Model Colour 142 US Field Drab acrylic paint, re-coloured not only the edges but the whole patch to make it look better. The images below are of the patch's after painting and left to dry, as the backing paper is easier to remove this way. The other image is of the patch applied to the arm of the jacket, because of the thin cotton paper I used, the patch sits very nicely on the arm.


Making the patch is a matter of a lot of trial and error, as all I have used is the full size image I found on the internet, and then by using Microsoft Word. It is just a case of resizing it, until it looks correct. I don't claim to be an expert at this, but for my figures it is a lot easier to make these myself rather than buying the patches. The image below right is a screenshot I have taken of one of my films, I use these to get the sizes and positioning right for the patches.

In the U.K. I get my cotton printer paper from here - Cotton Printer Paper , and I always run a rough copy off of the image sheets on normal printer paper first, at normal settings to check for the image sizes. Once I am happy with them, I then select the highest printer settings and feed in the cotton paper and wait.

Note: Please see the Instructions and How To Use information on how to use these cotton sheets.

The above images are of the PVA treatment that I have given to the uniform, because one thing I do like about these large scale figures. Is how I can set the folds and creases in the clothing, this was something that I was never able to do with the 1:35th scale figures. And I have found that the stiffness in the fabrics when they have dried, gives me a good base to use the pastel chalks on.

This update shows the uniform once it has dried off and I have given the uniform a light dusting over of pastel chalks. The sergeant stripes I made have come out very well and to me are more in scale than the DML one's I was going to use. And because they are printed on the cotton paper they are both thinner, plus they take the pastel chalk a lot better as well and make them look very subdued on the sleeve.


The picture on the right above is of the base I am going to pose this figure on, and I have already put the plaster mix onto the base and made the footprints to show the weight of the figure. As this is going to be another snow covered base, I decided to make this one at the same time as my Ardennes diorama. Because that way I am hoping that I will be able to cover both of them at the same time with the Snow material, which will allow me to finish off these two figures.


For this update I have finally made up the headset wiring for the helmet, as this is the main thing that was missing from the hat. I got hold of the headset from the DML Horst Lerner figure loose and tried to fit the smaller headphones under the jeep cap and the tankers helmet.


But I found that although it fitted I could not get the helmet on as well, so I cut out the side parts of the helmet to make two holes. I then glued a small flat piece of plastic on the inside, cut off the wiring from the ear pieces of the headset and glued the ends in place through the holes onto the plastic pieces.


Once that had dried I cut off the three pronged connector at the other end of the wire, and made my own single pin plug up from sprue and glued it onto the wire end. Once all of that was dry I then painted the wiring and plugs with black paint.

Adding the Snow

This base was finished at the same time I did my Ardennes figure base, because I thought that there is no point in doing each one separately. So I might as well get them both out of the way at the same time.


To apply the Snow material I was told to paint on a coat of watered down PVA, and then use a shaker or sieve to sprinkle the Snow onto the base. This I did making sure that I kept as much of the water mix off the base edges as I could, once I had covered the groundwork with the Snow. I then tipped it up slightly on it's edge to remove any excess material, this I then saved and put back into the bag.


Any spots that I had missed were covered by dripping the water mix onto the groundwork, and then pinching some material between my fingers and sprinkled it onto the wet patch. The next step I was told about to do with this, was to get a sprayer something like the bottles the gardeners use to spray feed onto plants. Mix up a very weak mixture of PVA glue and water, shake well and set it to a fine mist setting.


Note: Then spray the whole base gently at arm's length, I aimed the spray so that it would go past it and the water mix would drop onto the base. The whole point of doing this is to gently dampen the Snow material not soak it.


This was then set aside to dry ( I am not sure how long it takes so I am leaving it overnight) and the result that has now happened is that the Snow material has started to 'fluff' up, and it does actually look like very fine snow. Also I have found that taking my time to smooth all of the lines and brushmarks out of the plaster mix when I was sculpting it, has had the added benefit of making it all look like smoother deeper snow.

Many thanks to Terry for helping me and sharing some of his Snow material with me.


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