SMK


The SMK is an unusual design. It was a hold out design from the land-ship tank philosophy that was popular during the inter-war period of the 20s and 30s. It was armed with a 76.2mm L-11 in the main turret and a 45mm M1932 in the forward turret. It had a crew of seven. A single prototype was built and tested in combat against Finland during the "Winter War" (November 1939 - March 1940). During its combat debut, it was disabled by a mine on December 9th 1939. The SMK was abandoned by the crew and sat there for several months before being recovered by the Soviets. It was not rebuilt and later cut up for scrap in the 1950s.




The Takom kit is a straight forward build. There are not a lot of extras and not a lot of little parts. I deviated from the out of the box build by added the fender stowage boxes. The camo scheme I chose from the instructions is fictional so I decided to customize the build too. I did omit the kit tow ropes and replaced the anchor points with a small piece of PE and nut.

Cutting out and cleaning up the tracks was tedious work but they turned out pretty nice. I glued the tracks and wheels as subassemblies to make final assembly easier. I've had difficulty in the past with fixed tracks fitting over the kit wheels after paint and weathering have been applied. It was a little more work for touch up painting and weathering but they just snapped into place as one piece once fitted.



I tried to follow the kit supplied what-if camo scheme. It was provided as a five view color profile but none of the profiles matched and differed substantially from view to view. I used AK Real Paints for all the colors. The distressed paint effect was created with the hair spray technique following tips from an instructional video by Martin Kovac. Basically, apply the base color, a layer of hairspray, and then a mottled lighter version of the same color. Chip this with brushes and repeat for all the colors applied.

It resulted in a lot of layers.

Primer
Base Color
Hairspray
Mottled Color
Clear Coat
Camo Color
Hairspray
Mottled Color
Clear Coat

But no real loss in detail because I was working in such thin layers of paint.

 

Weathering was a multi stage process, first a dark wash then a filter. This was followed by additional washes to reinforce details. Next chipping was applied with a piece of foam and a small brush. I kept this to a minimum. Next certain edges were reinforced with additional applications of oil paints. Speckling was next applied to add additional micro-chips and marks. Dry pigments were applied, manipulated with a brush and set with fixer. The wheels and tracks were handled the same way just with more applied