Thursday, April 20

Egg-zactly what the doctor ordered – Andy builds World War Toons Sherman & Tiger from Meng Models

Meng recently teamed up with Studio Roqovan to bring out a range of new “tiny” scale tanks that star in a video game called “ World War Toons.” Andy has made these two in a cool little build guide for us. Let's see how to approach these in a way that would make any “real” scale model green with envy...
World War Toons Sherman & Tiger
Manufacturer – Meng Models
Kit Number – WWT-001 (Tiger) & WWT-002 (Sherman)
Scale - Non
Price - Tiger – around £10, $12, €12, ¥1300
Sherman – around £6, $7, €7, ¥800
available from Hobbylink Japan
Product Link On the Meng Website

Early last year, I built one of Meng's then new cartoon planes from their 'Meng Kids' range and had a lot of fun doing it. At the time, I mentioned that I'd love to see some armour models produced in a similar style. Well, it looks like Meng were listening*, as they've now released these cool little kits to tie in with the first person shooter game World War Toons produced by Studio Roqovan.
I've not played the game, but I have built the tanks, so let's see just what Meng have created here
* Disclaimer; Meng doesn't actually listen to me. Even my cat doesn't listen to me.

First things first; if you think that modelling should be a serious and sober activity, only to be undertaken with a look of grim determination on your face, then these kits probably aren't for you. If, however, you think that the words 'modelling' and 'fun' can be uttered in the same sentence, then you'll probably enjoy them.

What you actually get in each sturdy little end opening box are three sprues of snap-together parts to produce a cartoon, super-deform, chibi, call-them-what-you-will versions of the iconic Sherman M4 and Tiger I.
The parts themselves, while obviously simplified, are actually very detailed, with clean sharp moulding, and no flash or other issues. The designs aren't meant to be hyper accurate (the Sherman only has two road wheels on each side), but Meng has captured the essence of the originals in cartoon form brilliantly.

Sherman M4A1 Sprues
Tiger I Sprues
The Tiger also has a separate moulding for the upper hull
Both tanks come with a pair of traditional rubber band style tracks, and Meng has already glued the ends together, so they're ready to use. Of the two, the Tiger tracks are a little more detailed, with the Sherman ones looking quite simplified and basic, but they're both perfectly fine for this style of kit.
Lastly, both kits come with a well printed and easy to follow instruction guide, and a small, but well printed decal sheet. It's nice to see the decals included, as the earlier Meng Kids aircraft kits only came with stickers.
Once the parts are off the sprues, these kits will literally just snap together, and you could have both fully built up in about half an hour. The quality of the fit is excellent, and if these will be used by kids to play with, they're easily robust enough for that.

Of course, I won't be playing with them (yeah, right!), so I've added a few extra little details here and there.

The handle on the Sherman's rear engine hatch was replaced with copper wire, and a few extra bolts added.
One of the few obvious details missing on the Sherman is the row of bolts across the top of the transmission cover. The plate was added from plasticard, with the bolts coming from a Meng detail set.
Other additions were a few weld beads made from Milliput, and some Gunze dissolved putty stippled onto the hull and turret to add a cast texture. The last thing I added was a 1/48 turned brass barrel for the bow machine gun from RB Barrels. The kit part was a bit simplified, and I'd got the brass one knocking about, so why not use it.

The Tiger was built pretty much straight from the box, as there wasn't much that I thought needed adding. Meng has moulded the mud guards and fenders with a few ding and dents in place, but I added a few more anyway. Likewise, the exhaust covers were given a few dents, and the top edges were thinned to look more like sheet metal.
The finished thing looks even better than the Sherman to me. It's certainly quite a bit bigger than the Sherman, which no doubt accounts for the Tiger costing a little more.
I kept the painting steps pretty simple for both of these, as the cartoon designs give then enough character without over doing it with elaborate paint jobs. The Sherman was base coated in Gunze Olive Drab, then given some subtle highlighting by adding Gunze Radome and Tamiya Clear Orange into the base colour.
For the Tiger, I used AMMO Dunkelgelb as the base colour, with a little white added for the highlighting.
With the detail painting done, I added the decals, and you might have thought that, with a kit like this, the decals wouldn't be up to much. To be honest, I kind of expected that myself, but in fact, they went down perfectly, almost melting themselves to the surface and genuinely looking painted on. They do however have a tendency to fold over on themselves as you're applying them, at which point it's almost impossible to unfold them again. I lost one like this, and nearly lost another but, as long as you're careful when sliding them off the backing paper, you should get them on okay.
For weathering, the Sherman had a dark pin wash followed by various earth and dust-coloured enamel washes. A bit of paint chipping was also added in a paler green. The lower hull was painted with a layer of acrylic resin followed by a sprinkling of earth pigments. The resin fixes the pigments firmly in place but leaves a very realistic, crusty look.
The Tiger got a lot more chipping, mainly around the dings and dents on the fenders, exhaust covers and turret stowage bin. That was followed by some general grime and staining, again done with enamel washes.
Like the Sherman, the Tiger's lower hull had some texturing with pigments fixed with an acrylic resin. A few dark earth washes were then added to vary the tone a little.
The Sherman's tracks were given a quick spray with an earth colour, some pigment work, then simply popped onto the wheels. The Tiger needed a little extra work, as the rubber band tracks don't give a very realistic drape over the road wheels. To fix this the upper tracks were glued to the top of the road wheels with an epoxy adhesive, and scrunched up paper towels were pushed between the tracks and fenders until the glue had dried.
And that's both kits done and dusted. In all, they were both built, painted and weathered in just a few days, and they were huge fun along the way. If you want to try the lighter side of modelling, these are ideal subjects, and there are more on the way, with a Porsche turret King Tiger and a Soviet KV-2 coming soon. Hopefully, at some point, Meng will release some matching figures to go with them too.
And just in case Meng do actually listen to me, get a Star Wars licence, and do the same thing with that. Let's  see... I want a chibi X-Wing, Y-Wing, TIE... a Millennium Falcon of course... Definitely an AT-AT... maybe a Speederbike... well, you get the idea, Meng.
...And lastly, a little double walk around for you, first the Sherman.
...And then the Tiger I...
..And now together!
Andy Moore

To get one of these cool little tanks check out the Meng Models Website for distributors of your choice...
Andy's cat emailed in to ask why are you even reading this review, also that he doesn't know what he is on about...