Friday, 19 August 2016

WiP: Sherman Horde! 1st Polish Armoured WiP

Hi folks,

So with the German Heer force tidied off for now I decided it was time to swing back to painting Allied Armour.

I had purchased a load of 2nd hand Sherman V's (M4A4's) over the last few months from a couple of different sources. Most were 'painted' and all were the Open Fire old style Shermans. These models are a pain to build, and have not been built well. I ended up taking some of them back to constituent bits in order to try and get some useful models out of them. After stripping, cleaning up, etc. I ended up with 18 useable tanks. Thankfully I only need 16 for the list and have the correct quota of Firefly's. However, these rebuilt tanks still needed work.

Pictures of the collection post rebuilding hulls and before me stripping crap off the others. 

So, a lot of badly placed stowage removed, squinty and badly placed gun barrels removed and replaced, and then a load of plastic putty used to try and fill in some of the gaps.

Some of the hulls were so badly damaged/built that I had to look to using something to cover the damage. I had thought of using camo netting, but in the end went with sandbags. A little against the look of the rest of the force, which I'll talk about in a bit. 

Once the basic cleanup and fixing was done, I moved onto stowage.

Looking at pictures of the Poles in Normandy, their tanks were pretty neat and tidy looking. One comment that stood out to me was that the Poles were apparently renowned for the tidiness of the stowage on their tanks and vehicles. I tried to replicate this look throughout the force - being a bit less random and a bit more structured with my placement of stowage, while still trying to have a little variety. I used the Peter Pig track links a lot, a mix of running gear wheels and a lot of Battlefront Sherman Stowage (I think from some of the box sets?).

I also had to replace a lot of turret hatches, as they were squinty...! The hatches were not square with the sides of the turret. Holes were drilled for radio aerials. .50 cals had to be added to the command vehicles, as the pictures I had of Poles show the command vehicles seemed to have turret MG's - I used some PSC bits I had left in order to make the guns look a bit more interesting. Blanket bins/radio boxes have been added to the rear of all turrets. Stowage added to the rear deck. All commanders were removed (to be replaced with better models later). Clipped down large canvas rolls from the plastic kits have been added to the rear of all the tanks as all the Polish Shermans seemed to have the Firefly style storage bin at the rear of the tank.

The whole lot looks like this:

On top of these 18 Sherman V's, I have 3 x Sherman I's and a Sherman IC Firefly to finish off my 144RAC force. Plus 3 x Sherman II's I have spare - may as well paint them, tempted to make one of these into a Sherman I Hybrid for the missing HQ tank in my 144RAC list. Plus a single Sherman V that I am building as a arty spotter tank. That is 26 Shermans... I may be a while!

The plan is to spray most of these with the Soviet Green spray I have, then drybrush them up with Russian Uniform. The 144RAC tanks I will probably hand paint just to keep the style of the other tanks in the army. I may also mix up some of the floor polish/ink solution I have been meaning to try instead of army painter dip.

Lots to do - and I have Crusader AA tanks and a Sherman ARV mk 1 to do as well! Not to mention 16 Cromwells... Oh dear!


  1. Looking forward to seeing progress. I am just finishing off my own Poles.

    1. Thanks Leigh! What scale are yours at? Got a link to any pics?

  2. Impressive, very very impressive!

    1. Thanks Phil - hopefully I can get them finished in an equally impressive time! At the moment it feels like this might be it for the rest of the year!

  3. Hi James,
    I bet those Shermans will look a treat once you have done with them. The old 'Open Fire' Shermans were quick to build but did often leave gaps that needed to be filled, and right where they showed the most! Still, stowage, spare wheels and sandbags can work wonders. You mention floor polish/ ink, would this be the 'Magic Wash' using 'Klear' floor polish? If so it's excellent. Only place I can find the stuff now though is on Amazon, have been keeping my eyes out in the supermarkets but can't find it.

    Your blog, together with the House of Hengist is really pulling me back to Flames of War, Bolt Action is losing it's appeal slightly, fun but historically just way off the mark :(

    All the best, and I still have those Germans sitting in the box, I'm rubbish at getting things done! I look forward to seeing the Shermans finished and based.

    1. Hi Lee - Yep, 'magic wash'! I've got some of the Floor Polish, having picked it up from Amazon a few months ago (and what funny looks I got from Amy for that particular purchase!). I've still to mix some up, but I am planning to use a mix of Army painter soft and dark tone ink.

      Have you thought about using Flames of War rules with your 28mm vehicles and figures? Just ignore coherency for them and you should be fine. Treat single men as single bases in FoW (so a Squad at 28mm becomes like a platoon at 15mm). Failing that, for the 28mm stuff I would recommend looking at the Battlegroup rules. Glad your being inspired though! No worries about the Germans - the Poles are going to take me a while!


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