US Half-tracks

Some photos Piers Brand posted earlier today on his Frontline WW2 Wargaming Facebook page, of US half-tracks (and various other vehicles) in North Africa, prompted me to print this little guy, a pair of models of M3 half-tracks, published on Thingiverse by a chap called WindhamGraves. I printed them mainly because I have an idea for how to paint on impromptu mud camo, and I want to see how it turns out.

One model is designed and optimised for FDM printing, while the other is for resin. The resin model (the white one, the third of the photos) is less trouble to get to an initial modelling stage as it's a single-piece print, whereas the FDM model  prints as parts of a kit that need to be assembled. Neither of them come with any crew figures, so I'll have to source some elsewhere.

FDM printed kit parts, still on the printer platen
FDM kit assembled
Resin print

In spite of the lower level of surface detail that FDM is capable of, I really prefer it for this model, perhaps because I'm just not very good at resin printing. Maybe it's the resin I'm using, maybe it's my machine settings, or maybe a combination of both, but I find that my resin prints tend not to be very dimensionally reliable, and I tend to get quite a bit of warping of components.

The FDM kit model has no locating lugs or sockets, so it has to be assembled pretty much by eye. It also has no instructions, so a bit of thought is required before charging ahead, to identify all the components and figure out what attaches where.

I'm not sure how sturdy the FDM kit will be in play, as it's all glued together with CA glue — not notoriously strong against shear forces. Unfortunately I know of no solvent for PLA filament that isn't ferociously toxic, so I can't weld everything together.

Both models are going to need a huge amount of stowage.

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