Australian Matilda II for the Pacific

Over the last couple of months, I have been building and painting a force of Australians for the local club's Bolt Action jaunt to World War 2's Pacific theatre this summer, and I've finally completed my only vehicle so far: a plastic Matilda II infantry tank from Warlord Games.   

As such - and as it's been a while since I did so - I thought I might share some pics...

I shan't dwell here on the construction - the kit went together okay - but the waterslide decals were certainly a little more awkawd than usual: especially those stripes which run the length of the hull! A pity they were yellow rather than red, but they will at least complement the yellow/green aesthetic of the accompanying infantry force!

What isn't quite so abundantly clear in these pics is that I experimented with gloss varnish for the lights, the goggle-lenses and some of the mud - especially that in the mud-chutes and clumped on the treads, as I wanted those bits to look a little fresher, and the New Guinean mud apparently played merry hell on the Matildas with its stickieness.

In the two pics below, you can see the process of clogging the tracks and chutes (I found an old pot of Citadel's brown and textured 'Stirland Mud'), with Vallejo Red Leather drybrushed over the top (and liberally elsewhere). 

Below that, you should be able to see the reflection from some of the glossed aspects. It works better in real life - I promise!   

What really doesn't across in these pics, sadly, is the goggles, which look far better in real life, and not just a dull grey!

As for the leafy base-mix in the treads and chutes, that was literally pressed in during the varnishing. It looks a bit much at the moment, but it complements the infantry bases, and much of it will surely drop off soon-ish. 

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