ModellTrans Superpershing Conversion (Trumpeter Superpershing M26E4)

 

This is one of the tanks I learned about in World of Tanks… it looks strange with the added armor, and it’s somewhat of a black sheep in the game-  a perfect subject to model in other words. It’s disliked because even for a premium tank -a tank you  buy for money- it is not really good. Premium tanks, in general, should be slightly worse than their equal tier counterparts, since the game is supposed to be free to play, not pay to win; they are for credit earning, and crew training mostly. However, some are great (IS-6, Tpye59), some earn incredibly well, but not very good (JagdPanther88), while some are lemons (like the Super Pershing is supposed to be).  The speed is abysmal, the spaced armor is less and less effective, as more and more high-powered guns are introduced, and the gun- which in real life was in par with the Tiger II’s 88- is mediocre at best. Overall it’s not a good tank, but I use it a lot, because it does earn credits.

Anyway; HobbyBoss is producing a 1/35 version, and ModellTrans has a conversion for the 1/72 market. Since lately I’m focusing on the braille scale models, I got the conversion. It’s OK, but not stellar. I found a couple of casting errors, bubbles, and some prominent missing features. One of the hatches from the turret is missing; and ModellTrans did not provide extra track links for the turret side mounts. This is annoying because I could not find any aftermarket tracks for this tank. I used a Tiger hatch to cover up the commander’s cupola, which is absolutely incorrect, but was the right size. The original hatch opened up in the middle, and had a periscope built in; I just could not be bothered trying to scratchbuild one. My laziness, I know, but there are projects you are willing to pour time and effort into, and there are projects in which you are not.

Modeltrans offering

The conversion is very straightforward. It uses Trumpeters T26E4 as a base kit, so you get the long gun, and the chassis; you only need to add the turret and the hull armor. There is nothing to fix the massive resin turret onto the hull (it does not fit into the turret ring), so I used a lot of epoxy glue to attach it securely.

I should have scratch-built the Jerrycan holders attached to the hull, which are very prominent in-game, but in this scale they were just too thin for me to even attempt fashioning them using Evergreen strips.

Getting to the first layer

I decided to go for the in-game camo I use; it’s a nice, three colored pattern, and looks unique- just like the tank itself.

The model was sprayed with a Tamiya sand colored spraycan as a base layer.

 

 

I then used a brush to try to apply the second color: green. The results were horrible.

I cried a bit, then the model was put into storage until the compressor and airbrush I had ordered online arrived.

Used a little tan to fad away the horror. (I also noticed the gap between the turret and the counterweight, which was promptly filled in, and the spraying step was repeated.)

It was not necessary to completely remove the remains of the failed attempt; they were to serve as a nice pre-shade for the actual green. I used BlueTac to mask the yellow areas, and then sprayed a thin, and very much lightened green color on top. I did not want big contrast between the three colors, so I used tan to “tie” them together. Tan is good to lighten up colors, anyway; in this case it was the base color.

Another round of masking, and the brown-tan mixture was sprayed on.

Removing the mask is always a bit stressful. I was worried about the results, but the pattern came out nicely; not much retouching was needed. The non-uniform coverage of the green and brown actually looks nice; it looks like faded paint.

I used Citadel yellow (not sure which shade exactly) to paint the demarcation lines between the colors. I chose this paint because it has a very good coverage, and yellow is a difficult color to paint evenly. It is difficult even with airbrush, but it gets worse when you are doing it by hand. Truth be told I could have started masking and spraying, but just the thought made me break out in cold sweat. I opted for the riskier but less labor-intensive solution: thin brush, steady hands. Not the best work I’ve ever done (it’s a bit uneven), but the alternative would have been much worse: insanity.

After the camo was done, I did quite a lot of layers of filters. Yellow, brown, green, and blue  oil paints were used in a very thin mixture. For the first layer or two I did not see any difference; but it does blend everything together after a couple of more applications. I painted the periscopes green (using the Warhammer method), did some pin washes with burnt umber, and with some black on the engine grilles, added rust and some exhaust residues onto and around the exhaust pipe, some dust with pigments, and some dried mud onto the lower chassis/mudgards. As usual, some soft pencil was used on the edges to give the model a metallic look. I didn’t add paint chips and other wear and tear because I wanted to show a relatively new vehicle; there was only one Super Pershing on the front with this setup, and it was not in action for very long, anyway. If it’s any consolidation, I’m in the process of really, really muddy up a Tas heavy tank, and a Tas tank destroyer, so there will be some heavily used vehicles featured here soon(ish).

One of the extra armor “cheeks” (the left one on the picture below) had a bubble in it, so it essentially had a little hole in it; I decided to make it into a battle damage, rather than attempting to fill it in (I’m lazy as we have established already). I added some metallic color around, and made it look like the paint was burned a bit by the impact.

Overall, the results are OK. The conversion is not perfect, the base kit is really nice, and the build is not difficult. Once it comes out of storage (I’m in the middle of a move right now) I think I’ll work on the dust and mud a bit more, because it looks a bit coarse, and also add some realistic surface to the base it was mounted on.

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