Now that the physical work has been done, it’s to paint my M10c!
At the end of a week of short on-and-off painting sessions, the hull can be assembled, though I still need to pick out head/ tail lights, tools etc. And I’ve slapped the tracks on, but that’s a minor episode by itself.
One of the things I learnt from my Sherman Firefly is that the bogie wheels are a pain to paint. So I did thing differently this time round:
I heartily recommend this approach, as it’s much easier to handle the parts and to paint the tires. However, there’s a caveat that needs attention… I’ll come back to that shortly.
Aside from the bogies and tracks, the M10c is a semi-open structure and as such some of the interior can be seen. Tamiya thoughtfully included some stuff but generally speaking the detail is a bit lacking, as can be seen in this in progress shot:
Not much to write home about. The side tubes are ammunition storage; I’m not too sure about how M10c store the 17 pdr ammunition below, but left it in place. Also, Tamiya painting guide has the inside hull painted in white (which is sensible, since it’s brighter), though the turret interior is usually exterior hull colour (which again makes sense since this is an open-topped vehicle). I have seen museum M10c with a olive drab interior, but decided to go with white just to have some contrasty element.
The fighting compartment tidied up. As you can see, not much to it.
With the upper hull in place, the amount of detail you can see is immediately restricted. Not much room to see anything.
And when you slap on the turret, you can’t see ANYTHING… which is just as well.
Anyhow, subsequent to this, I started to put the upper and lower hull together. That’s where things start to go horribly wrong:
- I started off the mis-adventure by screwing the two hull halves together before I assembled the tracks properly. You’d think I learnt from the error quickly, but I did this TWICE. It was annoying.
- My sponson covers are a little bit low and as such jammed the tracks up. I had to cut away locator lugs in order to pass the tracks through, and so the track positioning became quite hit-and-miss. This is on top of the usual Sherman Track Shenanigans, so that was annoying.
- On top of that, because I assembled the bogies separately after painting, I had a lot of difficulties getting the fit right. Could be bent parts during transport, or thick paint, but I ended up having to cut and sand parts down. Not only that, it ended up that some of the bogies were misaligned and the tracks got badly thrown off, and I had to break one to re-glue to align the tracks properly.
- Then I glued a track on backwards, but thankfully I realised that quickly. Wasn’t too bad to fix. Just one more “what can still go wrong on this??!?”
- Then after I screwed the hulls together for a THIRD time, I realised the upper hull was slanted. For some reason, the hulls were close enough to screw in, but there was something lifting one side of the hull up, ending with a tilted hull. So unscrewed the hulls for the FOURTH time, and sanded down the sides of the sponson covers. Again. This time, it finally fitted right.
I’m actually quite amazed the paint work took the abuse I threw at it so well. Anyways, hull assembled, hopefully next week we can sort out the detailing and move on to the turret.