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Scratch 1/72 A-11 Matilda Mk I


Ron Bell
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This is project that has been on my "to do" list for a very long time, a 1/72 A-11 Matilda Mk I. I got a Cromwell kit of it about 25 years ago, but it was not very good being full of bubbles, warping and indistinct detail. It sat around for a long time, obviously, until I got up the gumption to scratch one. The Cromwell kit is 1/76, but I traced it's basic outline and by doing so added just enough to its dimensions to make it 1/72. The only kit part I used was the turret with all the detail removed and the mantlet re-worked. The road wheel assemblies are modified M-3 halftrack units, so are not completely correct, but look the part. I made one and had a buddy cast me a complete set. I've modified drive sprockets and idler wheels from the scrap box, but I'm still working on what to use as tracks. It's ready for it's coat of primer, which, I am sure, will reveal many mistakes that I will have to address. I'll keep you posted as I move along.

 

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They look like PE to me. You can get this rivet pattern from the water slide rivet decal sheets sold by Micro Mark. I think Archer also sells them.

 

Ron, you certainly tackle some off-the-path subjects. We can all learn from your careful photo logs of your efforts. Documenting the ideas that do not work can be more instructive than showing us what did work.

 

Ed

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Ed got it right. The rivets are from Micro Mark's rivet decal. Very useful product. You get two 8.5 X 11 inch sheets of a whole host of rivet patterns in lines, circles and various pitches (number of rivets per inch). In the center are lines that are useful as bars or I've even cut them across the grain to create a row of windows. There are also grid patterns that are good for grills/vent covers. They are tiny dots of some "stuff", probably resin, deposited on clear decal film. The entire sheet is one film, so you have to cut them apart, but it also enables you to combine them in alternate ways. One thing I've found is that they have a weak adhesive, so I supplement it by either floating them in diluted white glue or Future. However, they don't do well with uneven surfaces. I think they were around $12, but well worth it when it comes to Braille scale rivets, which are a pain.

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  • 2 months later...

Update after a long delay. Decided to do a scratch built turret. Used sheet plasitc, Miliput, rod and tube stock. Next are the tracks.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Got it done. Those are modified Revell Cromwell tracks. I spent a lot of time trying to get that fiddly looking suspension system with all it's spindly parts lined up while building, but when I went to install the tracks, there were still problems. Oh well. That's how you know it's "home made", right? As usual, the camera shows up several faults I need to correct. Small ones, but correctable.

 

For perspective, the model is about 3 inches long.

 

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Glitches? Maybe....but your probably your own worst critic. If I'd happened along just now and had only seen the finished product, I wouldn't guess it was almost entirely scratched since your work blends together so well. Also, those markings really give her some personality! Congrats Ron!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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What stunning magnificent work! All this time I was convinced this was a 1/35th scale scratchbuild; especially given the many incredible details on this. I'm almost convinced I'm still looking at a 1/35th scale model; part of me refuses to believe it is 1/72 scale. You are a true Master!!

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