Eureka’s Sentinel Tank for Koala5
September 4, 2016 by catomighty
When I started planning and purchasing tanks for Senshado teams, I didn’t originally intend to build the minor schools that only appeared in reference material and not in the anime or manga. But then, I made the mistake of looking over their tournament rosters from the Gekkan Senshado magazine. The Koala Forest High School team had an interesting looking roster. And wait, there was an Australian-made tank, the Sentinel AC1? And wait, that proud Australian company Eureka makes a 15mm model? Could not resist ordering a pair from the friendly and helpful folks at Eureka USA.
It is a combination resin and metal tank. All parts needed minimal trimming and prep. There were just a few small air bubbles in the resin that needed filling with putty. Since the post and socket for holding the turret in place is a very shallow connection, I drilled holes and glued in 1mm x 2mm magnets in each half to hold hem securely during gaming.
In one turret, I drilled a hole from the bottom up to just under the commander’s hatch and glued another 1mm x 2mm magnet up there. Later on, I’ll make half-figures with magnets that can pop on top of tank hatches or into open ones to show un-buttoned crew. I drilled the hole until the top of the hatch started to bulge slightly from the tip of the drill pressing against it. Then pressed the bulge back down with the flat of an XActo blade.
Having discovered that the resin is very soft and plastic to work with, I opened up the hatch on the other turret. Carefully slicing all around the hatch, and then sliding the blade under it, I was able to remove both hatch pieces intact. Then drilled a hole into hatch opening and glued in a 1mm x 4mm magnet, and glued the hatch pieces into an open position.
Also drilled a 1/16′ hole down into the recess for the tank’s antenna, this will hold a brass wire with either a command flag or disabled flag during play.
Three other metal pieces attach to the upper structure. The gun mantlet just glues to the front of the turret. There is a metal rim that glues to the top back edge; that edge had to be scraped flat first. And there is an exceedingly phallic machine gun that glues to the front upper glacis; there is an indent which had to be drilled deeper to hold the stem of the gun.
Exceedingly phallic machine gun protuberance? Most folks put medium machine guns on their tanks. The Australians saw fit to use a heavy Vickers MG and put it in an armoured covering, I presume to help protect the big cooling sleeve around the barrel.
For this model, I opted to glue the metal treads in place before painting. Gluing them in first allowed me to fill in slight gaps behind the axle structures with Contour Putty and harden that up with Zap-a-Gap.
When I first glued the treads on, I carefully lined up the front ends so that the tread itself was just barely beyond the resin structure. After it was all assembled, then I noticed that the left tread was longer than the right and quite noticeably extending in the back! Whoops, little bit of a sculpting error there, but pretty easily corrected. I popped the left treads back off, shaved the ends of the treads as thin as I could, and recarved some separation lines between the links. This was still slightly longer than the right one, but re-glued them centered with the right so that each end over-extends by a very tiny amount and is not noticeable to my eye.
White resin doesn’t photograph too well. The models’ details will show up much better after they are painted. I have some Girls und Panzer reference books coming from Japan, these might include painting info for Koala Forest High School. So I am waiting for them to arrive before painting this team. Meahwhile, I’m just about done building their whole roster, the rest of the tanks are Zvezda plastic kits:
(2) Sentinel AC1
(2) Matilda Mk. II
(2) M3 Lee
(4) M3 Stuart
The Sentinel tank never saw combat in WW2, it was only used for training. But in the wonderful world of panzerfahren, it actually takes to the field. And thankfully Eureka has provided a fun little model to use =^,^=
Hmm will you convert an AC3 Thunderbolt in the future (since that seems to be on their roster)?
Very possibly. I’ll likely start painting their tanks soon. Tonight, I was just putting the finishing touches on St. Gloriana’s and finished detailing the mascots on Ooarai’s tanks.
The AC3 wasn’t on their tournament roster in the Gekkan Sensahdo article on the 63rd tournament. Is it mentioned somewhere in the text of the general article on Koala High School?
Sorry about the late reply, it is mentioned right above their roster in Gekkan Senshadou (next to their radar graph) that they have an AC III Thunderbolt but it was unavailable for the tournament.
Ah, good to know thanks. I shall meditate on adding the AC III.
I still haven’t begun detail painting on Koala yet. I’ve been working on other teams (and should catch up on blog entries for them). Since doing the initial assembly for Koala, I have made a few changes. Checking the Japanese text of the article against Tamiya model kits, discovered that the M3 medium tanks are (not surprisingly) Grants, so I picked up a couple of Grant turrets to swap onto these M3 hulls. And I have a pre-order in for the soon to be released PSC plastic M3 Honey light tanks to replace the Zvezda Stuarts.
Having looked at what information I could find on the Thunderbolt, that will be a relatively simple conversion of Eureka’s AC.I. Eureka USA didn’t have it in stock when I saw them at the Huzzah convention last weekend. So, I will get one the next time I’m placing a Eureka order.