Fiat Carro Armato L 6/40

I was really excited when Tamiya partnered with Italeri and released the L6 kit. It had many of the things I love in armor kits; an unusual subject, an interior, link and length tracks, a photo etch fret and lots of rivets. The hefty price tag aside, I wasn’t disappointed. The kit is, like most Italeri offerings nicely engineered. The detail is on the clunky side but still represents the feel of the real thing. The kit went together well, that is until I dropped the turret mantlet. As I pushed back my chair to rescue the part from the carpet monster I rolled over it and smashed it to smithereens. Luckily a good friend in Japan was kind enough to order the part for me from Tamiya and in a week or two I was back in business. Whew!

I built the kit for the most part stock box, the only exception being some K&S brass screen over the engine compartment firewall. It was just too easy to see into the empty engine compartment through the open side hatch. The interior is pretty sparse and amounts to a “through the hatch” interior set, but still, it’s nicer than nothing. Model Victoria offers a full resin interior but with the kit already running $65 I really didn’t want to load on another $100.

I painted the tank with Tamiya acrylics. I mixed XF-59 Desert Yellow and XF-60 Dark Yellow for the base coat and post shaded with the above mix diluted with XF-57 Buff. I chipped and scuffed the paint with an artist’s pencil and then blended all with a wash of straight black artist oils thinned with mineral spirits. The final touch was a dusting with pastels.

The base is a 79 cent Wal Mart picture frame. The ground work is wood putty. This is the first time I’ve used wood putty and I was very pleased. As it dried it only cracked in a couple small places that were easily filled. I covered the base with talcum powder to keep the putty from sticking to the model when I imprinted the tracks. The rocks are courtesy of my tomato garden. The destroyed building is plaster cast in a simple mold I build from Evergreen sheet plastic. The reinforcing rods in the wall are made from lead solder.

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