project started out as a simple little correction/conversion effort
and quickly degenerated into a "project from hell". I had a few old
ESCI 1/72 M12 155mm GMC sitting around, and thought I'd do one along
with the associated M30 ammo carrier. I had remembered the ESCI M12
as being basically a decent kit, so I thought the correction effort
would be fairly easy.
The ESCI Sherman suspension are pretty bad by today's standards so I
intended to use a Dragon Sherman suspension from the outset. I
happened to use a couple of Dragon M4A4 kits as I had bought them
for the turrets anyway. This meant shortening the hull, which proved
to be one of the least of my problems.
ESCI kit ended up being a pig from a dimensional standpoint, and I
had to incorporate a lot of little corrections just to get it into
the ball-park. In addition, it is fairly crude by today's standards
which meant a lot of detail work. The M30 conversion was actually
fairly straight-forward once the hull corrections were done. I used
an old Fujimi 1/76 M30 kit for some of the ammo stowage. Most of the
"soft" stowage is from the Goffy line.
The vignette base was made from blue house insulation. I decided to
depict a generic "B-Werke" style Siegfried line bunker in the
background. This was my first effort using blue foam, and I really
like it's handling characteristics. It is light, easy to cut, and
easy to glue using 5-minute epoxy (not styrene glue!!!). I also
found that Elmer's acrylic wood putty is a good coating material to
smooth out any rough spots and to make simple ground/concrete
texture. The figure is from the Caliber 72 line.