We can’t abtein ourselves so we assemble and paint the 8 Allied tanks present in the Open Fire starter set.
I had a set opened for quite some time. It sat alone near the big pile of kits and miniatures that are waiting cleaning, assembly and painting. Realizing i will never have time to do it all in one go i opted to work in steps, measuring the time each one took.
Here are the pieces required. There are 4 sprues with 3 Sherman V and 1 Sherman Firefly. In the Open Fire box there are 2 sets of 4 sprues so in total there are 6 Sherman V and 2 Sherman Firefly.
The material is pretty rough and tough unfortunately. It cuts hard and is hard to clean (to reduce the cutting lines and the flash). The good side of that is though that the body of the tank has only 4 pieces: 2 tracks, lower hull and upper hull. The not so good side is that for all 6 of the Sherman V it seems the pieces are not cast the right way and they leave extremely visible holes between them. Even on their site and in their tutorials Battlefront recommends filling the gaps with modeling cement (so at least they admit they are guilty). Weirdly the Sherman Firefly does not have this problem.
Getting over that the body of the tank is extremely easy to assemble. The only detail that needs to be added is the front machine gun.
Next is the turret which is also very simple. The gun is made out of 3 pieces and the turret also has 3 pieces, 2 of which are the closing hatch and the heavy machine gun.
A big plus is the fact that each tank comes with 2 rare earth magnets to be glued inside special holes in both the turret and the body of the tank.
This makes the turret move extremely freely at 360 degrees being also easy to remove from the tank.
There are also allot of customizing options by adding various track pieces, ammo creates and equipment crates. I chose to mount up all the tracks on the tanks (figuring they would always have spares with them) and at least 2 boxes of equipment on the side of the tank or at the back, near the engine. You can see the result here:
Total assembly time for all 8 tanks: 2 hours.
Next is the painting part. I chose to use the tried and tested method of working on the whole section at once, doing one step at a time for all of the tanks (so basecoating all, then the tracks for all, etc).
I started by basecoating with Vallejo 70896 German Dark Green.
After the paint dried i heavy drybrushed with Vallejo 70886 Green Grey. This diluted the initial green and took it towards a greyish green more pleasant to the eye (even if not exactly historical).
Next is painting the tracks black. i chose 70862 Black Grey. I also painted the roadwheels and the machineguns with the same color. As a last step i also painted the equipments that i added to the hull black (preparing for their next step). When the paint was dry i drybrushed 70863 Gunmetal Grey on the exterior of the tracks, taking care not to touch but the external side of them. The idea is to give the illusion that on the exterior the metal is still visible unlike the main usage (and used) area. Gunmetal Grey is also applied to the tools attached on the tank (numbering 3).
Finally i used Vallejo 310 Old Wood for a drybrush of the equipment boxes. Given they were initially black the mix was quite successful, simulating the creases of the covers. And with this we are done (except the painting of the commanders that sit in the turrets). Time to paint all 8 tanks: 2 hours.