1/76 Airfix M4A2 Sherman

Gallery Article by Mack Main on Apr 9 2021



I got the idea of making a model of a target range tank when I saw an M4 (or what was left of it) at the Nationaal Militair Museum in Soesterberg. This was common sight at NATO ranges in the 1950’s and there is probably a few still out there.  Although I had no experience in making realistic rust or battle damage, I wanted to sacrifice the Tamiya M41. Thankfully common sense prevailed and I figured a small scale Sherman would be an ideal test subject. 

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I used the vulnerable Airfix kit for this project. With the molds dating back to 1961 and with a cost of less than $10CDN, I wouldn’t be too upset if it turned out like crap. Assembly was straightforward and quick as you can imagine, as I used less than half of the parts. Once glued together the fun part began. To replicate the damage from various caliber weapons, I heated the tips of different sized nails and tacks and pressed those into the hull and turret. I read that most target range tanks were filled with concrete, hence the lack of “exit wounds”. I then primed the tank with Tamiya Red Oxide (first time using this, can’t get enough of it!). For the rust itself I combined Tamiya Flat Earth, Hull Red and Orange and applied that mess with a stiff brush, blending it with a cotton swab and my thumb. There is a bit too much orange in my rust mix and it shows, although it is less apparent in person. Of course the camera picks it up and you all get to see it in all its orange glory!

Once finished I noticed a few errors on my part, most noticeably the tranny cover seam and a few injector marks on the lower hull. There are a few other mistakes, but due to the small scale I feel they aren’t that noticeable. Too excited to play with the rust I suppose!

Mack Main

Photos and text © by Mack Main