“Where are we?”
by Brian Cavet
The idea for this Operation Cobra diorama came from a picture I saw in one of the Concord Publications books on the Sherman. It showed a 6th armored division tank racing through a French town in August, 1944 after the breakout at Normandy.
This Sherman was an early production M4, with the welded hull. The Tamiya 1/35 kit with the newly tooled upper hull and turret made for a nice kit. The newer type tracks were also very good, eliminating the need for an after market link-by-link set.
The basic kit was built up using Eduard photo etch, Verlindens early Sherman interior, and an aluminum barrel from Jordi Rubio.
Tamiya XF-62 was used to paint the tank adding Yellow to lighten the base color for fading. It was washed several times to add depth. Drybushing followed with various shades of light green to off white. For the final drybrush, I used enamel paint.
All of the figures are from Verlinden and Wariors, except for the infantry sergeant holding the coffee cup. He is a Royal Models figure.
I did swap out a few of the heads with ones from Hornet. I also added weapon slings and chin straps from lead foil. All figures were painted with Testors and Humbrol in various shades of green and brown. (Mainly Testors Olive Drab, Military Brown, Field Drab, Dark Tan, and Khaki Drab. Humbrol numbers 116,117, and 72 were also used.)
I cheated a little on the faces: I’m not much on flesh tones. I base coat them with Humbrol Flesh followed by a wash of flesh with brown mixed in for shadows.
Then I go back and added some highlight to the high spots like the cheeks, forehead, and nose.
The lips were done by adding a little red to the flesh color. For the 5’oclock shadow, I mixed in a little Blue into the Flesh. I then thinned it out and added it over jaw area.
The base is a Verlinden kit that comes with all the pieces molded on except the building which is two plaster parts easy to assemble and ready to paint. I added some detail to the building, floor remnants and window frames. Also the light pole and wire rigging. Some signs from Custom Dioramics were put on the building as a final touch. To fill up an empty spot I added the MG42 and the ammo cans. I cut up brass rod for the spent shell casings.
Photos by Jeff Junker