My first completely scratchbuilt model, about 23" long not including the overhang of the gun. The 1/9 scale was chosen because of the availability of some detail parts, but once construction was under way, their shape and level of detail was found to be inadequate, so they were replaced with scratchbuilt parts. This set the standard for the projects that would follow. I had also decided that as continued research revealed errors, the inaccurate parts would be replaced.
Construction is mainly styrene plastic with plexiglas used in some places for rigidity and strength. The prisms in the episcopes surrounding the commander's hatch were made from mirrored plexiglas and function as working periscopes. Many detail parts were cast in a variety of casting materials depending on the strength and number of reproductions required. The figure of the gunner was carved from blocks of Durham's Water Putty, the same material that made the convincing mud coating the wheels and tracks.
Construction of the model ended up taking over 12 years, but was completed the night before my departure to the International Plastic Modelers Society 1992 National Convention. It received several awards including the very first George Lee Judges' Grand Award (Best of Show).
Photos by John Meyer