M551 Sheridan Armored Reconnaissance / Airborne Assault Vehicle
"Hard Core 7"

Jaguar Models #JA63903
Copyright 2001, 2011 & 2015 Jim Lewis/GunTruck Studios
All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Page Two
Awards & Honors

I had to come up with the standard Turret Bustle Rack for the Sheridan - as there was none included in the Jaguar Models kit. Unfortunately, the Academy kit only includes an example of the field-modified Rack done up by the 11th ACR in Vietnam, and doesn't include a standard Rack either - nothing to pilfer there as well. Can you believe neither kit has the standard rack?

I've never seen a photo of "Hard Core 7" from the rear flanks, so I'm hoping that it doesn't have an unusual field modified Rack fitted. I made my Bustle Rack frame using .050-inch rosin core solder, bending and shaping it by eye into something I felt approximated the Rack appropriately. For the floor of the rack I used a bit of brass micro-mesh from Scale Scenics. It is a bit fine, but I think it looks okay for the intended purpose. I wasn't concerned with 100% dimensionally accurate parts as much as I wanted to just model the basic equipment - so that I could later fill it up with Crew gear and stowage.

Lastly, I decided to keep the Shield in front of the Commander's Hatch because I had already modeled it - I didn't want to take it off because I like the way it looks. My miniature won't completely match the photo of "Hard Core 7" from 2/69, so forgive me for a little creative license.

As trying as it turned out to be getting the Suspension Arms, Road Wheels and Tracks to agree to work together - I decided to cut my losses and glue as much in place before any priming and painting commenced. I'd rather spend extra time picking out paint details by hand than trying to coax unruly parts into position after painting and finishing commenced. This model is really heavy, but once everything setup, it is suprisingly tough and withstood a lot of handling and years sitting in a plastic storage bin waiting for me to get back to it.

I primed my miniature with Tamiya Acrylic XF-1 Flat Black, with and overspray of the base color coat being Polly Scale Acrylic #F505370 Olive Drab. This color has a nice brownish darkness to it that I hope will finish out nicely in the end.

The Jaguar Models resin kit was clean and there was no need to give it a soapy bath to remove mold agents - something I've never had to do with AFV related resin products so far. With the color coats going on, the beauty of Jaguar Models' castings became apparant quickly, and I got excited about the project again.

Evidenced by the type of Smoke Grenade Launchers and Bilge Pump Exhausts on the rear panel, the Jaguar Models Sheridan kit exhibits later production features and I pretty much left little details alone. I added the side panels for the Headlight Guards and the Trim Strip from Eduard's photoetch detail set. I was going to also add the slotted Bilge Pump Exhaust covers from the Eduard set to my miniature too, until I learned that the late production vehicle covers do not have slots.

I picked out the Road Wheel Rubber by hand with Vallejo Game Color #51 Black, mixed with a drop or two of Ammonia to keep the paint from drying too fast, and flowing easier. This reminded me why I prefer to airbrush Road Wheels, as it took a good amount of time to handpaint them. Did you know the lip around the Road Wheel Rims isn't perfectly round? I didn't until I began handpainting...

Since I changed my mind over the years between starting and re-starting this project, some details had to be added or changed mid-stream. I added the band around the Gun Barrel / Launcher seen on some of these vehicles in Vietnam circa 1969 using a 18mm length of .010-inch lead foil. This band was welded around the Gun Barrel / Launcher to cover up the mounting holes for the earlier bore evacuator tube. Seemingly typical for this miniature project, locating the Band demonstrated Academy's decals for "Hard Core 7" to be too large to fit properly - so I'd be doing my own in the end anyway. The photos show the acrylic paste I used for the welds around the Band before it dried and was lightly sanded back down.

Modeling "Hard Core 7", I also felt compelled to come up with the anti-RPG screen rigged up by the crew on the front of the vehicle as it appeared in a photo taken in February, 1969. I don't know how long it remained there, but it is unusual to be sure. The only thing holding me back was how ugly it makes the "Rhino" (a nickname of the Sheridan) looks. Before messing around with that, I fitted a Jerry Can Holder to the Turret using a photoetched Accurate Armour part - though the Jerry Can can be attached to the Turret in a different manner. I just love Accurate Armour Jerry Can Holders and I wanted to see how it looked in place. Ultimately, I decided not to use it on the final miniature.

I used Evergreen #291 1.5mm Angle styrene stock for the two uprights, and Evergreen #124 .05 x 2.0mm styrene strip for the crossbar and a couple of Grandt Line bolts to complete the anti-RPG Frame. It is difficult to see in the photo, but I assumed the uprights were welded to the corners of the upper hull. I can't really make out how the cyclone fencing is attached to the anti-RPG Frame, however, so I winged-it again.

Painted and retouched, the additions blend in well with the previous parts. Again, looking at the painted Jaguar Models Sheridan keeps me interested in progressing towards completing the model. It captures the stance and look of the "Rhino" well.

One of the things I held off on was coming up with something to do about the large cutouts on the lower hull. The Sheridan's I've seen in virtually every photo that you can see underneath the sponsons show these areas plated over, and the only mention I could find in the Technical Manuals that I have describe the Crew having to use a chisel to remove these plates when servicing the Bilge Pumps fore and aft on the vehicle. I do not know for sure, but I suspect these areas might be filled with styrofoam like sections of the upper hull for flotation purposes. Perhaps it was removed at a later time.

I wish I had accomplished this detail feature when I set out putting the model together in the first place, and not having to do it now after the Road Wheels are fixed into place.

All content Copyright 1998 - 2018 Jim Lewis, guntruck.com, guntruck.us, guntruck.org, guntruck.net and GunTruck Studios.
All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Contact GTS

Next Page
Previous Page