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Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
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 Post subject: Re: Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
PostPosted: October 13th, 2017, 11:03 pm 
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LarryH57 wrote:
I'm looking forward to see it completed!


Thanks Larry I have been busy doing other things but I have managed to do some work on the Lee. I decided to add some bags which are 1/32 I found in my spares box. They needed tiding up but that didn't take long.

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Once painted they didn't look too bad.

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Now I have come to the part of the build that requires the decals, so I proceeded to apply the kit decals. I used Micro Set and Sol without any issues but after the first application of Micro Sol I noticed the decals didn't crinkle up as normal. I have had this happen before so I waited over night. The following day I noticed a few bubbles and loads of silvering. So I popped the bubbles with a pin a gently tapped the silvering also with the pin and then I reapplied the Micro Sol but I had the same result. I even applied a coat of Tamiya X20 Thinner to the decals and again with the same result. Then when I had a closer look and you could see that decals had not adhered to the surface plus they were brittle. So I put this down to the age of the decals and I came to the conclusion they were unusable. So I decided to remove the decals and I will make my own, I have made them before on a RC 1/16 Walker Bulldog upgrade I did a few years ago and its not hard.

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First you have to get the special paper and that depends on what printer you are going to use. I have tried making the decals on an inkjet and a colour laser. Out of the two I find the colour laser the best and quickest to use. The reason being if you decide to use an inkjet printer, once you have printed the decal sheet you have to give it a coat of varnish to seal in the ink before you can use the decal sheet. With a laser you don't and you can use it almost straight from the printer. The other reason is that because the laser doesn't require a coat of varnish the decal itself is a lot thinner. In the photo below "Predator Sam" & "Uncle Sam" were printed using a inkjet printer and they were given coat of varnish before being cut to size and applied.

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As you can see the decals are quite thick so I removed them and printed new ones using a laser printer instead. The photo's below are the laser printed ones.

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http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8516/8463 ... 594d_b.jpg

o I am going to use a colour laser printer. For a laser printer (as the same for an inkjet printer) there are two types of paper, clear or transparent and white. The reason for this is that your printer doesn't print white so if your new decal has white in it, you can either paint the area where the decal is going to be placed white and use the clear paper or use the white paper. The problem with using the white paper is that you have to be really good with a modelling knife if your decal is say white lettering, etc. This is the only real draw back as I can see. The "white stars" were printed on white paper and what I did was to draw the stars with a very thin black hairline as a cutting guide in the software I was using (an old version of CorelDraw). So as I cut out the star it destroyed the thin black line.

You can buy your paper on Ebay but I got mine from

http://www.homecrafts.co.uk/laser-water-slide-decal-paper-a4-white

http://www.homecrafts.co.uk/laser-water-slide-decal-paper-clear

They also sell the inkjet version. It costs £8.99 for ten A4 sheets but on your first order you get 20% discount with a code. What I do is cut the A4 in half and then you have twenty sheets of A5.

For the software I use CorelDraw but there are loads of free drawing apps available on the web or just use Windows Paint. The other thing you might require is the correct font which again can found in most cases free on the web.

Now I am ready to go. What I need for my tank is the serial number which isn't a problem because the one I am after is in black and I also need a stars & stripes. So for the serial number I will use a clear sheet of decal paper and for the stars & stripes I will need the white paper. I also measured up the original decals so to get the correct size. What I also do is to print off a test sheet on normal white paper to check the decal size, etc before I use the decal paper.

All you have to do now is print off the sheet.

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As to not waste the paper I have added one or two badges, etc that I might need on future builds and to practise on. At the minute I am not ready to apply the new decals as I have one or two things to do to my tank so I got my "Buster" out to give you a demo. I am going to use one of the "Killer" decals, so I cut it out as normal and placed it in the water. The water doesn't need to be warm as I used cold and it took less than 30 sec to slide off the backing sheet. I used some Micro Set and then applied the decal. The surface of my Buster isn't glossy at all and is more a matt finish.

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Then I removed the excess water and pushed out any bubbles with a soft brush and cotton bud. Then I applied the Micro Sol. As you can see from the photo below I added a bit too much Sol but it doesn't matter.

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The decal started crinkling almost straight away.

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And after ten minutes here is the result.

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Just to see what would happen I gave it another go with the Micro Sol.

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There is no silvering at all and thats on an uneven surface. So as I have said earlier I removed the old ones from the tank. It was only the transparent kit decals that needed replacing. The others were ok.

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I then resprayed the area again and made my decals on clear decal paper. I applied the home made decals using Microsol and Set.

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For the Stars & Stripes flag on the front of the hull I used white decal paper. As the sheet was A4 I added a few other things that I might use in future builds as with the transparent decal sheet.

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I cut out the flag with a knife.

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Then I applied as normal.

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The decals adhere extremely well. The film is very thin but for decals they are quite robust.

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The decals on the turret, the "L 3's" are from the kit and the rest are homemade.

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Then I gave everything a coat of Klear to seal.

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I have given the tank a few extra coats of Klear, then the next little job is the weathering. The look I am after is a tank that has been worked hard and worn, so a bit of chipping, rust. I gave the tank a quick going over of dry brushing using Vallejo Model Air Steel to pick up edges, bolts, etc, and then on to the washes. The washes I have used so far are Vallejo, Humbrol and AK.

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The first wash I used was Vallejo which was applied basically all over the tank and then I used Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and water to push the wash around. Using the thinner you have to be careful not to work it in too much in case its starts eating into the base coat. Thats why I gave the tank a few extra coats of Klear to protect the base coat, but if this happens I just stop and add a bit of water to dilute the thinner. The paint turns a pale grey colour as it sometimes picks up a bit of the primer coat but once dry the area it changes to a paler shade of the base coat adding to the effect. I find this wash gives a dirty, grimy and worn look.

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With that done I moved on to the decals and I added a touch of chipping. All I used was a fine brush and the base colour Olive Drab.

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As the eye is drawn to the decals due to their shape or colour I think the chipping of the decal adds to the worn effect plus its a good way of hiding damage. In this case the Stars & Stripes had a very thin white line on the outside edge of the top and bottom red stripe when I cut the flag from the homemade decal sheet but now it just looks worn.

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When doing chipping I try to keep it as nonuniform as possible.

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The next wash I used was the Humbrol for the Rust. As the Vallejo was an acrylic wash the Humbrol is an enamel wash and I find it easier to control. So using a find brush I add a drop on a hinge or bolt and let capillary action do the work. If I have added too much I use a larger brush to draw the wash down.

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After the rust I used the AK Kerosene wash to an oil feel on wheel hubs, fuel spills, etc.

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Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
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 Post subject: Re: Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
PostPosted: October 14th, 2017, 8:38 am 
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Lovely work Ian and some great methods to try on my own builds when I next tackle an armoured subject

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Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
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 Post subject: Re: Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
PostPosted: October 14th, 2017, 9:56 am 
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Great set of pics, really shows off the methods you describe.

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Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
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 Post subject: Re: Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
PostPosted: October 15th, 2017, 9:37 am 
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As always, a good narrative and excellent clear photographs Ian - just what a build thread should be really (mine rarely, if ever, live up to these standards :ha: ). This model is really coming to life now with the decals (kudos for the homemade ones) and superb weathering.

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Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
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 Post subject: Re: Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
PostPosted: October 15th, 2017, 9:40 am 
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Superb so far

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Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
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 Post subject: Re: Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
PostPosted: October 17th, 2017, 7:23 pm 
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Thanks for all the supports chaps. It might be an old kit but its a little gem. The only downside are the decals as the fit is spot on. All I need now is for Airfix to re-release their 1/32 Grant.

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Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
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 Post subject: Re: Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
PostPosted: October 18th, 2017, 7:44 am 
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Excellent work. It looks superb.

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Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
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PostPosted: October 18th, 2017, 10:24 pm 
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That really does look superb. This whole thread is a really great tutorial for us 'Non Tanky' types.
Can't wait to see it completed.

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Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
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 Post subject: Re: Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
PostPosted: October 22nd, 2017, 6:31 pm 
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Thanks Paddy & Ian. At the minute I am doing the vinyl tracks. Not one of my favourite jobs but I will post up an update shortly.

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Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
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 Post subject: Re: Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
PostPosted: October 24th, 2017, 1:09 pm 
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Now for the tracks. Doing Vinyl tracks are definitely not my favourite pastime but here we go. Normally I attach the tracks using CA glue but the problem I have is that I am allergic to the stuff so I would have to do it outside. As in was nighttime and a touch windy outside I thought I would try something different. I asked a few people if they Knew of any new types of glue for vinyl but no. The answers I was getting were the old methods, a hot screw driver tip or staples. So I asked my kids if I could borrow their stapler and I put two staples in each track and I test fitted to see what they looked like on the tank.

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I primed the tracks and I sprayed the track pads black. Then once dry I masked the pads with Tamiya masking tape. As with most things in life the width of the pads didn't correspond with the width of the tape. So first the tools.

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I measured the width required with a set of calipers. I then stuck a length of 18mm tape on an old CD case. Using a steel set square and modelling knife I squared off the edge of the tape with the CD case.

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Now I marked the tape with the calipers.

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Then using a modelling knife and set square I cut the tape to the required width.

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Its just a case of attaching the tape.

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I then sprayed the edges of the tracks with Vallejo Model Air Rust and removed the tape.

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And on the tank they went ensuring that the staples were hidden as best as possible under a track wheel.

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There was one small problem with the tracks and that was one was slightly longer then required so I would have to add a bit of sag to the track. I have looked at reference photo's and I didn't see much track sag but I had no choice. So I had to get out the CA glue anyway and wait for day light. I added drops of glue on the upper roller wheels and the lower track wheel. To keep the track shape while the CA glue cured I used wooden ice lolly sticks and cocktail sticks as wedges. With that done I started doing the weathering.

I gave the tank another coat of Klear mainly to seal the paint on the tracks. I used a black Vallejo wash on the rust coloured track links to bring out any detail and then Florymodels Sand wash all over the tracks and then wiped it off with a just damp towel and cotton bud. To bring out the track teeth, bolt heads, metal edges I used a graphite pencil. The other thing I did was to make a small crate out of scrap plastic and tin foil and I added a funnel from my spares box. I have still a bit to do but here are a few more photo's to show you how I am getting on.

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Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
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PostPosted: October 25th, 2017, 2:43 am 
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Most excellent work, sir.

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Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
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PostPosted: October 25th, 2017, 4:55 am 
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I had to have a good look to find the staples :grin: This is a nice rendition of this kit.

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Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
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PostPosted: October 26th, 2017, 5:58 pm 
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I guess the last thing to do is give it a coat of matt varnish? Your tracks look good BTW with that slight wash that gives the appearance of dust; you might want to give the wheels the same treatment.


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Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
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PostPosted: October 26th, 2017, 9:28 pm 
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Thanks Chaps

LarryH57 wrote:
I guess the last thing to do is give it a coat of matt varnish? Your tracks look good BTW with that slight wash that gives the appearance of dust; you might want to give the wheels the same treatment.


Larry I have the headlights to paint then I was going to spray some sand and concrete wash around the lower hull and wheels. But I might take your advice and just do the wheels and yes mate then its a coat of matt varnish to tone the finish down.

Also I forgot to mention that the kit tracks are actually wrong as the position of the track pads are in the wrong position. The track on the Airfix 1/32 Grant are nearer the mark. I had a look around for replacements but I couldn't find any, oh well never mind.

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Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
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 Post subject: Re: Revell 1/32 Lee Tank M3
PostPosted: October 28th, 2017, 9:49 pm 
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The last few things that need to be done are the lights to be painted, a bit more weathering, a coat of flat varnish and the antenna to make and attach. The lights were straight forward and were quickly done. Next I added Sand Florymodels Wash to my airbrush and thinned it with tap water. I then preceded to lightly spray the lower hull, tracks, etc. Once happy I gave the whole tank a coat of flat varnish to seal in the wash and flatten the shiny finish.

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To make the antenna I used a thin piece of copper wire rolled with a metal rule to flatten and straighten the wire. It was then cut to size and attached using CA glue then painted. Now the tank itself is finished and all I have to do is make the stand from wood. So here are a few more photo's of the finished tank minus stand.

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