Introduction: Sherman Vs Tiger Tank

Here is a little diorama I was planning to make for a while. I wanted to replicate the Sherman Vs Tiger scene from the movie Fury, but I ended up changing it a bit. I opted for a side shot rather than from the back and I added a turret explosion to add more light to the diorama. I am not a tank expert so it is possible that I am not using the correct version of the Sherman or the Tiger, but it still makes for a cool looking diorama.


Here is what I used to complete this project:

  1. 3D Printer (to print the Tanks)
  2. A 10" X 8" Raised Board
  3. 2 X 26mm 3V LED Filament ( I acquired them from AliExpress)
  4. 1 130mm 3V Flexible LED Filament ( I acquired them from AliExpress)
  5. Paint and Paint brushes
  6. Glue, I used mod podge, crazy glue and hot glue
  7. spackle
  8. Packaging foam
  9. cotton
  10. terrain grass or moss
  11. failed 3d prints and other parts to spruce up the terrain
  12. electrical wires ( I took them old parts)
  13. 9V Battery
  14. On/Off switch
  15. Metal wire (or anything that hold its shape after shaping it)
  16. Imagination

Step 1: 3D Printing

I have downloaded the tanks STL files from Thinggieverse many years ago so I don't remember who I got them from, but m_bergman has some very good designs.

My 3D printer was not able to print the barrels properly, they came out very ugly, so I cut them and replaced them with a wood dowel on the Sherman and sprues on the Tiger.

The dimensions of the Sherman are 8.5X4X4 CM or 3.3X1.6X1.5 inches and the Tiger 9X5.5X5.5 CM or 3.5X2.1X2.1 inches.

They took about 6 hours each to print, I made sure to print them with support. I cleaned the support material and sanded the tanks, then I replaced the ugly barrels.

Next step is to paint them.

Step 2: Painting and Weathering

The base color for the Sherman is Olive drab and Grey for the Tiger, and weathered them using watered down brown so they look dirty. Since the Tiger will be mostly covered by the explosion, I decided to put more details on the Sherman:

  1. Added the US star to the front from a decal that I already had.
  2. Created logs from the handles of a paper bag, straightened them and painted brown. I added them to the side of the tank.
  3. Created a rope from a green spool that I have, covered it in glue to maintain its shape, waited for it to dry. Then I painted it and glued it on top of the engine in the back.
  4. And the last addition was a rolled out tarp that I created by rolling tissue paper and thread, then cover them with glue to stiffen then painted them. I added it behind the turret.

I covered both tanks with a clear coat to protect the paint.

Step 3: Terrain Building

  • I used a 10X8 raised board.
  • The tanks will be on opposite corners of the terrain, sideways to each other.
  • There will be small hills on the two other corners to add depth.

I placed the tanks in their respective positions, drew their outline lightly with a pencil and Drilled a hole in the middle where the tiger will be to pass the electric wires under the board.

I cut two pieces of packaging foams (different sizes) and glued then using hot glue. Then I covered the whole terrain in spackle. I used two different consistencies of spackle, the first layer is thick, to avoid right angles and to create curved transitions from the hill to the flat surface, followed with a fluid layer that I spread with a brush to smooth the terrain and remove jagged edges. When it dried, I covered all the terrain with mod podge.

Step 4: Terrain Painting

  1. I painted the terrain burnt umber brown 2 coats.
  2. Then I mixed red with the burnt umber brown and painted a very light coat on random places to create contrast in the color.
  3. Then I mixed white with the burnt umber brown and dry brushed to highlight the raised areas.
  4. I added rocks on the hills, painted them dark grey and highlighted them with light grey. The rocks held in place with white glue and watered down white glue.
  5. I added sand to one side of the terrain and to the slopes of the hills. The sand held in place with white glue and watered down white glue.
  6. I added vegetation in the form of moss pretending to be grass, to add a different color to the board. The moss held in place with white glue and watered down white glue.
  7. I added a couple of barrels, an unexploded bomb, and a broken tower ( failed 3D print from another project).
  8. Once everything dried up, I covered it with a clear coat.

Step 5: The Electrical Part

This is the fun part:

  1. I drilled a hole in the side of the Tiger where the Sherman supposedly penetrated it, and at the bottom where the turret should be. These holes will serve to pass the electrical wires to the other side of the board to connect with the battery and the switch.
  2. I glued the tanks to their final positions.
  3. I used a metal wire to create a bridge between the Sherman's barrel and Tiger's side. The two LED filaments will rest on this wire. if you have an insulted wire, it would be better, I didn't so I made sure that all my electrical connections are properly covered.
  4. I created a circle with another metal wire to make a skeleton where the Tiger's turret will sit during the explosion and where the flexible filament will also attach to.
  5. Connect the filaments as shown in the diagram above, I used 3X 3V filaments, so a 9 volt battery will work well with them. The negative end of the filament connect straight to the battery, while the positive end is interrupted by the switch.
  6. Once you have a positive test, cover the filaments and electrical wires with cotton. I fluffed the cotton first, kept it thin around the LEDs and thicker where around the cables. You can put glue to prevent them from moving, I did not. The final thing left to do is to put the Tiger's turret in its place over the cotton.

Step 6: End Result

I hope you enjoyed it.

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