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AFV M40 Big Shot
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Texas, United States
Joined: May 02, 2006
KitMaker: 5,425 posts
Armorama: 4,659 posts
Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2008 - 03:43 PM UTC
Michael Walsh (airborne1) provides a Built Review of the 1/35 AFV Club M40 Big Shot 155mm Gun Motor Carriage.

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

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British Columbia, Canada
Joined: July 28, 2005
KitMaker: 602 posts
Armorama: 469 posts
Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2008 - 05:35 PM UTC
well done...great build!

figures are a nice touch
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Kobenhavn, Denmark
Joined: July 20, 2006
KitMaker: 9,989 posts
Armorama: 4,648 posts
Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2008 - 07:23 PM UTC
Good job on this one.

The figures really adds scale to this monster. Sort of the US version of the Geschutzwagen Tiger 17cm although I know the US gun is slightly smaller.

Thanks for the review.
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Michigan, United States
Joined: October 28, 2002
KitMaker: 4,013 posts
Armorama: 3,940 posts
Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2008 - 07:33 PM UTC
"Sort of the US version of the Geschutzwagen Tiger 17cm"

One main difference is that the M40 was a successful weapons system.
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Aarhus, Denmark
Joined: July 18, 2003
KitMaker: 3,377 posts
Armorama: 1,088 posts
Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2008 - 08:19 PM UTC
Nice build - i have one in my stash somewhere ... the figures are a very nice touch.

I read that it besides being a fine piece of mobil artillery, it allso performed well as a direct fire bunker buster - and that it was aimed either by looking trough the barrel or over the barrel and fired at close distance - I would guess it was wery unplesant being in the recieving end ... but it might have been the m12 that gave birth to that story, being used a lot more than the m40 in the ETO.

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England - North East, United Kingdom
Joined: September 24, 2007
KitMaker: 312 posts
Armorama: 278 posts
Posted: Monday, January 21, 2008 - 09:05 AM UTC

sorry about the above, my cat has just walked over the key board, great looking model, the tracks really set it off, mine didnt fit either.

well done,
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 15, 2006
KitMaker: 895 posts
Armorama: 778 posts
Posted: Monday, January 21, 2008 - 11:54 AM UTC

Thanks for the comments .

I hope the review helps anyone wishing to build such a nicely detailed model .

Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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Budapest, Hungary
Joined: February 01, 2005
KitMaker: 2,330 posts
Armorama: 1,677 posts
Posted: Monday, January 21, 2008 - 12:38 PM UTC
I'm at the weathering part. It's a real nice build you have there. Would you please say a few words about the painting/weathering?
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Indiana, United States
Joined: June 10, 2005
KitMaker: 6,188 posts
Armorama: 5,960 posts
Posted: Monday, January 21, 2008 - 01:21 PM UTC
Really nice looking! Learned something new ... didn't know that the M40 had a lengthened chassis. Thought it used the standard M4 Sherman chassis with the HVSS.
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Georgia, United States
Joined: May 24, 2006
KitMaker: 2,106 posts
Armorama: 1,116 posts
Posted: Monday, January 21, 2008 - 02:00 PM UTC
nice review. Ive been looking at building one of these. Im wondering...is there an AM barrel to correct the kit one? just for us lazy guys
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 15, 2006
KitMaker: 895 posts
Armorama: 778 posts
Posted: Monday, January 21, 2008 - 02:07 PM UTC
Hi Andras,

I did have the weathering info as well as the breakdown on the figures in the build review
but it was modified for the page .

I'll resubmit the weathering text in the thread today .


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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 15, 2006
KitMaker: 895 posts
Armorama: 778 posts
Posted: Monday, January 21, 2008 - 09:26 PM UTC

Here is the other info to help for building

The track

As mentioned I dropped the vinyl track and picked up a nice set of Fruil track .
There was at least 8 to 9 links spare for each side .This would give you the extras to mount on the front of the hull if you so wish to do so .
My last 3 models I have used Fruil track and find it very hard to go pass the casting quality .As the sample images indicate
The 2 lengths of wire supplied in the box is more than ample to put the track together .
I drilled the inside of each track out with a fine drill bit due to the wire not feeding through on the first couple of links. This is a very time consuming process but the final appearance speaks for itself.

The tracks had been super glued in intervals and when the glue was dry I used a flat pair of pliers to cut the excess wire off
I left about 5mm out of the last 3-4 links so I could work out if I needed more or less links.
A50/50 mixture of Humbrol primer was then airbrushed onto the tracks

The crew
Figures had been converted from a mixture of spares from the Tamiya Dragon Wagon , Royal models torso and Warrior/Hornet head conversions.
The crew from the tamiya dragon wagon fitted perfectly on the seats.

The 2 figures in the back of the fighting compartment had been converted warrior heads.
I dremmelled the warrior heads out of the helmets so I could use the Hornet heads to set the right facial expressions. The co driver had a warrior head on top of a plastic torso from the Tamiya Dragon wagon .The warrior and Hornet heads are finely cast and well detailed and I find it hard to go away from these 2 brands .The heads had all been drilled out at the base of the neck with a fine drill bit .I then cut a small section off the end of a toothpick and pushed the resin head tight onto the toothpick. This allowed me to paint the resin head and helps ease the painting process .All the heads had been painted separately with a base coat of Humbrol flesh.24 hours is given to allow the enamel to dry on the resin when I start with using Windsor and Newton oil paints .
The colours used are cadium yellow,white, crimson red, yellow ochre, burnt sienna and fine amount of pink.

The colours are brushed on very similar to the Verlinden way. The steps are identical but in this scale I drop the burnt umber. The process of applying the oils was done with a fine 00 dry brush and I removed any excess oil and wiped clean on a cloth.

The wash that I use is a combination of flat black enamel and burnt umber thinned down in Migs’s thinners. 502 Abteilung colourless turpentine. This was applied around the eyes nose, ears.
I use a very small amount on a 00 paintbrush by tapping a little on some excess paper or cloth trying not to get too much thinner on the face. This dries the flesh tone on the face and there is no transparency .
The heads had been left to dry for 24 hours and then I went back and applied a bit of white and burnt sienna and blended in .The heads then got placed to the side .and I continued on with painting the remaining torso’s and bodies to fit in the back of the gun bay platform .
All the figures had been painted with humbrol enamels .To paint the figures I do the same process with the heads .I drill out one of the feet with a fine drill bit and use a trimmed toothpick into the foot.
This is done for ease of handling the figure
A wash of black enamel and burnt umber is applied with a small 00 paintbrush in all the recesses of the bodies .This was to give depth, scale and create a realistic appearance.
After the face was painted I added some fine wire to the driver with the fine wire painted with Humbrol black enamel paint

Painting and Weathering

All the sub assembly components had been laid out and painted individually.
As per the example image .There is a lot more ease in painting although the sub components will take longer to paint I find the components can be detailed better.

A coat of Humbrol enamel primer No 1 was airbrushed on all the etch screens, track holders,metal barrel and Fruil tracks.

I started airbrushing the lower hull and gun assembly with Tamiya Olive drab.
The lower hull was the airbrushed again with Tamiya red brown .This then gave me the opportunity to post shade with Tamiya desert yellow and buff to get the final appearance.

My next colour was a thinned down Modelmaster olive drab over the whole model. The individual components like the cupolas wheels, hatches and sub components had been painted separately.
I didn’t want to try pre-shade the panels on the upper hull because I knew that the weathering process would remove the colour.
In between each paint application I clean out the airbrush out with turpentine or water depending on the paint used. A variation of 100-200kpa is used to airbrush the whole model including sub assemblies, near 5 hours to do.

Testors dullcote was thinned in a glass bottle before pouring into the airbrush .I cannot recall the percentage variation because I use an eye dropper to mix the thinners with the paint .This method helps immensely .This reduces any shine on your model when you mix too much thinners with flat clear .

After the track was primed a coat of Tamiya Red brown was applied .The tracks then ended up with a coat of flat clear .This is to preserve and the seal the paint against the washes applied at a later time once the track is on the model.
The pioneer tools had been left off and painted separately with Humbrol metalcote and
Humbrol matt 186 .
The cupolas had been painted on the inside with Tamiya clear green.
Both the cupolas and tail lights received Mr Gunzy Maskol before the painting process.
The seats received had been painted Humbrol No 83 to give a faded out canvas seat appearance.

The bogies had been painted originally with Tamiya Nato black but changed later to Humbrol panzer grey No 67 I find this colour gives a real impression of rubber out in the field.
I left the model sit for over a day to allow the flat clear to dry.
Now the best part .Getting down and dirty!! .

Example colours and products to use

1/Ensure your model had been flat cleared to seal the paint.

2/ drop the pigment into the glass bottle with the aid of a N0 9 brush.

3/ fill the glass bottle with the 502 Abteilung odourless turpentine
just above the pigment with a little extra to work with .

4/ dipp the fine brush in the pigment and break down with extra turpintine in the bottle apply small amounts.
Note : the pigment is applied wet(dark) so use sparingly and build up over
each application .

Once the pigment is dried use a brush to wipe away any excess or use the thinner straight out of the bottle and use the 00 brush to break the pigment down .

5/Apply a small amount on with a 00 brush around recesses of your model.It is the easiest and best free flowing turpentine to work with and you should get the same result like this .

Yeah, this is the part I like which steps the model up .Trying to create realism and depth in a subject.
502 Abteilung odourless turpentine and Mig’s thinners. The pigment was dropped into a glass bottle with the thinner dropped into the bottle with an eyedropper. I use this because the bottles are small and you would go through quite a lot .The eye dropper can measure how much you use plus there is no spillage.

At this stage I went all over the model with a 00 paintbrush applying small amounts around the recessed sections of the upper hull and running gear, as well as the tracks. I found when doing my Dragon Wagon the pigment can change the paint scheme dramatically so with this application you control the weathering and does not damage your paint.
The wash goes on dark and will dry light. This is where the pigment comes out to give a realistic appearance where the pigment accumulates in the recesses like dirt.
The best part about the pigment is if you use too much you can brush it back or go over it with straight odourless thinners and you start again. Perfect

Pigment as well as Rustall had been applied with a 00 paintbrush on the tread plate including the inside of the fighting compartment. This was to simulate the dust and dirt accumulating in the recesses when it comes off the boots. Once I was happy with the grimy look so to speak I then used a small amount of Mr Gunzy chrome silver, burnt umber and raw sienna to highlight the edges of the tread plate.
This application was also used around the spade area
Highlighting with Humbrol metalcote 27004,burnt umber and raw sienna oil paint around the spade .
This colour mixture was also used all over the model with a fine brush slightly dry as to not leave any excess paint on the model.

It was at this time I applied the decals for the Courageous Confederate.
I airbrushed Testors gloss coat in the areas as indicated in the Instructions and left dry for an hour or more. This is the only real criticism .I use one standard process for all my models over the last 15-20 years .I start with warm water in a bowl then leave the decal in the water and within a few seconds its ready to be applied onto the model with small amount of MR Mark softener . It was at this stage once the decals got into the water the decal totally broke apart. I started with a decal star on the drive casing which ripped by the smallest amount of pressure with a 00 paintbrush This had to be replaced with a star from an old Italerie GMC decal sheet I had for over 10 years. Cut the star out and applied to the model. Perfect, not a problem for a 12 year old decal
There had also been problems with the decal not removing from the backing paper as per the sample image.

Please,” take very special attention to applying the kit decals for this model “
It took near 3 hours to do all the decals which really should have been just under an hour.

I then airbrushed Testors dullcote over the decals and set dry.

Coming into the final stages of the weathering process I just got my hands on some of the new Lifecolour acrylic paints and was very keen to try the dust 1 and 2 which comes in the rust and dust pack of 6 bottles .
With the lifecolour paint Dust No 2 mixed in a 50/50 ratio with water the air pressure was reduced down on the filter /regulator and sprayed in a misting effect like it just come upon a dusty road and the dust was feathering on the side from the tracks.
I then went through the same application and airbrushed the Lifecolour Dust No1 and all I can say is they are highly recommended.

At this stage I then test fitted and glued all the figures, cupolas and hatches into position.
The gun assembly had been painted and weathered separately and was now ready to be glued into the fighting compartment .Once in position the top travel lock was glued in place ready for the final weathering stage.

The clear covers for the head lights had been modified from dragon head light lenses and they too had been glued into position at this time.
The stowage on the front hull and pioneer tools had been glued into position.
In the final stage I went around the lower hull with a small amount of cream and white pastel chalk mixed together and applied with a No 9 paintbrush and lightly brushed the pastel along the track and lower hull.

Thats it .I hope it all helps
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: March 30, 2004
KitMaker: 938 posts
Armorama: 416 posts
Posted: Monday, January 21, 2008 - 09:58 PM UTC
Believe it or not, I actually had a chance to buy TWO of these-The real thing, mind you,not a scale replica- from a scrap dealer in Binghampton NY in 1985.
For-get this: $1000.00 USD.
yes, that's ONE Thousand dollars.
(Minus Engines, but what the hell...)

Bought a '76 Chevy Blazer instead.


Shoot me, Shoot me now...
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Colorado, United States
Joined: January 20, 2005
KitMaker: 7,025 posts
Armorama: 5,930 posts
Posted: Monday, January 21, 2008 - 10:04 PM UTC
Very nicely done. I see you also filled in the gap above the transmission housing, which several modelers who have posted pics somehow missed.
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Oklahoma, United States
Joined: March 01, 2002
KitMaker: 6,042 posts
Armorama: 4,347 posts
Posted: Monday, January 21, 2008 - 11:27 PM UTC
Nice Build indeed.

Good job on the whole thing.

And to the $1000.00 M-40 lost person are you still kicking yourself.