Jump to content

Matilda and I – a relationship rekindled.

Recommended Posts

When I was young (I'm sure there must have been a time) I wasn't fussed about tanks. They pretty much all looked the same to me.

And then I met Matilda. Airfix Matilda, to give her full name, and it was love at first sight. :x

Back in the 70's, when I saw her across the room for the first time, she was wearing something daringly see-through.


She looked great to me so I excitedly took her home. Over the years her style has changed, now she wears something a lot more boxy.



She's a girl of many parts, although when we met again for the first time she was completely in pieces, so I set myself the task of putting her together. It's not as if there are instructions for this sort of thing. Oh look, there is.


I intend to go for the age-old technique of 'stick it all together as fast as possible' and then see if I can be bothered to paint it, which served me so well with my relationship with Matilda when I was a kid – the urgency of youth. Having said that I'm still just as eager to get my tools out – rarely miss an opportunity. :smile:

As I finished my latest scratch-build (but not yet painted) a couple of days ago, I've dying to get started on this one only for the day to arrive and no time to do anything – typical. :sad:

  • Like 3
  • Haha 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Gorby said:

I saw her first - keep you hands off! :fish:

Ive heard about a Matilda from Coventry and i suggest you keep your hands off her too 🤪

  • Haha 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

My Airfix Matilda is decorously laid in a cardboard box, not flaunting herself like a flagrant Jezebel! 😛 

Good luck Mark! 

  • Haha 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

And I'm off – which probably explains the smell (Yes I know I've done that joke before, but most of you are probably struggling to remember breakfast, so worth another punt).

My first impression is that Matilda is still a looker, but she definitely seemed more flash back in the old days. Yesterday I finally got the chance to get stuck in and fiddle with some bits.

I know the tanky bods will be screaming 'NOOOO' at the screen because of my impetuousness of ignoring the painting till the end. Don't care! There must be something about this particular build – I just want to rush ahead and stick stuff together. I'm not in a painty mood at the mo. As Ms Gorby will attest, I'm not good at haste. There will be disasters ahead.

One step at a time:

Matilda has definitely put a bit of weight on since last we met. But there again I'm no longer the racing-snake I used to be.






Step 5 was my first (of many) screw ups. The drive sprockets shouldn't be glued so make sure you don't squirt any liquid when you're joining the male and female parts. I realised my mistake immediately so pulled them off before the union was fully cemented.


As with may females – the footwear situation was a bit of a nightmare. The instruction thingy numbers the recommended build sequence and me being me, I completely ignored it for the first track - which didn't make things easy. I found that gluing the start of the track to the drive sprocket helped as it stopped the bloody thing falling off every five seconds and as the sprocket isn't fixed, it allows you to position the tracks when you connect the final link – but only if you're careful not to glue the track to any of the other wheels. Also, the tracks are quite a tight fit, so ensuring a tight fit on the drive sprocket helps.





As I don't know diddly-squat about this subject, I didn't really know what I could augment or enhance beyond what nature intended, I found it quite liberating. Having said that, I assumed these bits should be improved with holes. Complete waste of time as it turns out - the painstakingly nice neat holes are totally hidden in a later step.





Not east getting Matilda's tight top on…


Ended up needing braces to stop there being a gap.



Being a gentleman, I won't be discussing her exhaust.



Why is female clothing so complicated?



Looks simple, but was a really bugger to do. The cable (cunningly disguised as cord) needs to be glued to the end bit. This is were a proper modeller would have scratched the whole thing, but I'm in 'can't be arsed to do that' mode. I considered using super glue, but I'd really like those tweezers not to be permanently stuck to Matilda. I used G-S Hypo Cement which worked okay. I only left the tweezers on for less than a minute to make it easier to prise them loose. For the other three I used a different method – a bit of thread knotted around to hold it in place, which came off dead easy when it was dry.


Admittedly this isn't the greatest photo. I was feeling too lazy to get off my rear end and the only stuff I could find within reach was invisible thread. I wonder why it doesn't show up well in the photo? It's a mystery.



This is one of the few things I'll leave off to paint separately.



If you don't mention that her bum looks big in that, I won't.



There was a very brief, Mayfly type thought that went though my head of “how the hell am I going to paint the running gear and tracks if I stick the skirt on” - before the thought expired in a puff of indifference.



Surgical supports so there isn't any unsightly bulges in the skirt area.



So that's the majority of two enjoyable days messing around with Matilda, striping her frames bare.

Very satisfying. :smiling:


  • Like 4

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Gorby said:

As Ms Gorby will attest, I'm not good at haste.

Not being hasty is an Entish quality.  
Mark is a shepherd of the trees! 

And if there is a Mrs. Gorby, that means the Ents must have found the Entwives at long last! YAAAY!! 

Great start, Mark

I too try to build as much as possible before painting 
Makes sense to me. 

Edited by Walrus
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

looks good to me Mark, 

with armour (when i don't throw the bloody thing at the wall because of individual tracks that WONT STAY BLOODY STUCK AND WHY CANT EVERY THING HAVE RUBBER BAND TRACKS?????????????????) 


sorry about that, i usually paint most of it when its together 

  • Haha 6

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the mood for lov… erm… sticking bits of plastic together.



Step 16 is a weird one. It just involves pumping a load holds in the turret… from the inside out, which doesn't make access easy.



Then I realised that three of the most difficult to reach ones are only for the non-deserty 'C' version. Damn, where's the bloody filler...



Glueing the up and downy bit of the gun mount to the non-up and downy bit (I know there's a name for it, but it's store in the part of my brain that isn't currently working) wasn't easy as there isn't much space between the 'glue here' part and 'DON'T GLUE HERE' part. More by luck than judgement, I managed it.



Tis merely a scratch.



God there's a lot of crap hanging of the turret! Minimalist they aren't. How the hell am I going to mask this?



DONE! (Other than a few bits to stick on after it's painted – the sport commentator on the top isn't stuck in yet.)



I'm not in the mood for painting today (I haven't been for quite some time for some reason) so hopefully I'll just rattle-can prime it.

  • Like 5

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to work on the kit-face.

Hope I didn't need these bits.



I made a small addition to the body so that I could hold it easily.



Got the rattle-can primer on yesterday, but there's so many different angles and nookes and crannies that inevitably some small bits got missed. It's no wonder no tank has passed the sound barrier with this lack of attention to streamlining!



The day started with me still not in the mood for slapping on the war-paint but had a stiff word with myself and fired up the airbrush.

XF-56 on the tracks first, then a half-arsed stab at masking before the yellowy colour went on. After taking vast numbers of seconds to choose which paint I was going to use, I found I was DANGEROUSLY low on XF-57!!!! :shock:

Should I swap to the second nearest Tamiya colour or should I risk all, take my life in my hands and see if I could manage with the dregs in the jar – oh the jeopardy (don't mock me, this is the nearest my life gets to drama). :/

I decided to be brave and go for XF-57!!!!

Will this end in disaster? Will I rue the day I was born? Will anyone give a damn?


Needn't have worried, there was more than enough.

More masking….

I looked at the masking that I need to do on the turret and emitted a faint whimper before using masking liquid. I've used more masking liquid on my last two tanks than in the previous four years of doing aircraft.

Even although I'm a bit green (a tinge XF-5ish) as far as AFV's are concerned, I'm still aware of the shockingly horrific global scandal that is the case of the 'Caunter scheme BLUE'!!!!!! Not on my watch (which has a black face and silver hands – no blue at all). After exhaustive research (10 mins on Google images) I assembled the paint I'd need for the EXACT colour match (for 'exact' read 'nearest Tamiya colour as I can't be arsed to do any mixing'). Don't forget that I suffer from severe if not terminal case of colour indifference (I'll be handing the collection tin round later) meaning that I'm seriously allergic to any threads arguing about the correct colours of things that they probably didn't stress half as much about at the time. I really can't give a monkey's.

Back in the day, my Matilda was a little bit blue but now she has left her sordid past behind and I'm using XF-14 this time instead as that was the closest I could fine to silver-grey. Although the sandy colour went on fine, the XF-14 looked a tiny bit pebble-dashed. Fortunately (!?) the skin on my hands is like fine sandpaper which worked a treat of smoothing the surface. Don't need to worry about skin oils - my skins too dry.



Even more bloody masking before the final colour went on. For the slate grey I went for XF-22. Half an hour later I'm excitedly (maybe I really should get out more) pulling off the tape and then ten minutes of frankly, disturbingly satisfying peeling the scab liquid mask off.




I'll need to give Matilda a bit of a touch-up tomorrow, but well pleased with my days 'work'. :smile:

  • Like 4

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

As predicted, today was touching-up Matilda. I did some painting as well.

Rather than paint the exhaust Tamiya rust red, I did it in Metallic grey first…


then used a rusty Mig to rustyfie it.



It doesn't look like I've done much, but it's taken a sod of a long time to do it. This is the current state of play:



I've attached the last bits now. The 'cables' need super gluing in a couple of places to make them look like they were lying like cables rather than string.

And this is the cast of thousan… er, paints that made all of this possible. Take a bow - but make sure your lids on first.



I did consider giving the whole lot a mist coat of something sandy coloured, but then I thought, naaa can't be bothered.

Next up: Making Matilda a dirty girl.

  • Like 4

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Day of the Decalling Disaster (this isn't a particularly good medium for sound effects, so you'll need to play some dramatic music in your head at this point).


It may be because I rarely use decals, I completely forgot that should be the next step.

Although I do have the Micro Sol twins, I'm not their biggest fan by a long way. That's why I usually use the Pledge/Future/whatever decalling method. It didn't work on the stripy bits as you can see – they wouldn't conform at all:



Tamiya's decals should state the tog rating so that you can choose which weapon you are going to use to beat them into submission.

The ones on the turret weren't as bad as there isn't much in the way of surface detail under them. But they're so thick they look like a blanket.



They had to go.

I had considered spraying them initially. I didn't because I was feeling lazy. No way out of it now. Great, two of my favourite (not) colours to spray.

I masked up the areas and sprayed it…. Any guesses?


It may seem bizarre to do the red first, but I figured it would make the masking easier. And it did.



Admittedly I have sprayed it on a little thick – I'm never convinced it's covering well enough until the mask come off. Definitely better than the duff decals.



Other than sealing the few decals that were acceptable, that's the pathetic result of today. :sad:

  • Like 4

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Mad Steve said:

Thats looking great gorbs 😬👍

Thanks matiepoos.

The other decals were fine, but as you can see the flag ones were a steaming pile of poo - much too bloody thick.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...