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By John Lester

This is the hovertank from John Larson Productions, which I found via Seargeant at Arms Models. It's a big sucker, weighing in at something like five pounds (due to the soild resin hull). Assembly and clean up were simple, which gave me energy to convert or modify parts.

First off was the gun, a huge howitzer tuge with manly muzzle brake and hefty gas extractor. I lopped that off and replaced with a more futuristic (to me, anyway) railgun made from square brass stock. The rear commander's hatch on the turret got a small "coolie hat" shape cast from some bottle top I found. It represents a sensor of some sort. The other hatch got a modified gun turret taken from the Tamiya 1/35 M60A2 kit. Antennas were made from steel wire and a spring I found on the ground in the Wal-Mart parking lot. The lights got brush guards made from brass wire and the intakes were covered with window screen, framed with strips of styrene.

I was going for a "Martian" paint scheme, which I decided looked like my old desert utilities (the "chocolate chip" pattern from the Gulf War) - except redder. The base color is some Krylon rust preventative, with alternating bands of Gunze "Red Madder" sprayed over. The chips are the bare resin, masked off with liquid mask, and accentuated with black shadows using a Sharpie marker. After a coat of clear flat, I added "wire" to the two spools on the back of the turret. Decals were from the spares box.

I'm not entirely happy with how the paint scheme turned out - too "chippy". After a contest judge remarked the model was "too glossy" (like how would he know? Maybe the tank is made from Gundanium, dang it!), I attacked it with Rustall - and what a difference that made in the finish. Now it looks beat to heck. I also added a gouge from a near miss.

All-in-all - a good model that was a blast to paint.

Image: Front view

Image: Another perspective

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