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Sikh Infantry Tank Riders and PT-76 Crew
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My PT-76 model was inspired by photographs from the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war where the PT-76 was often used to transport infantry. I decided to use Sikh infantry as this would give the finished model a stronger Indian look than regular infantry. I based my Sikh tank riders on Preiser’s Russian Tank Rider sets 72523 and 72525, as the figures poses needed less modification to fit on the PT-76 turret. I selected seven figures from the two sets with the most suitable poses to fit around the turret. One seated figure was taken from the Preiser Modern US Tank Crew 72530 bringing the number of figures to eight. These figures were positioned on the tank to see where they fitted best and once I was happy with the arrangement I took a photo to record the positions. All of the uniform and equipment detail was removed from the figures and new Sikh heads were attached using brass pins. The arms came from the Preiser Russian Tank Rider sets as these were close to the positions needed and only required minor modifications. The Russian jack boots were replaced with boots from Plastic Soldiers Late War British Infantry set. All these components were merged and blended together with Milliput, which was also used to create the new uniforms of shirt collars, pullovers and trousers tucked into boots. The webbing straps and belts were made from plastic card with the pouches taken from the Plastic Soldiers British Infantry figures. I scratch built the Lance Corporals SMG and modified a Bren gun from the IBG Universal Carrier kit. The SLR rifles were white metal castings and the bayonets were scratch built from plastic card. The figures were primed and finished off using Humbrol enamel colours. You may have noticed that I started with eight figures and finished with six. As the project progressed it became clear that two of the figures weren’t really working and looking awkward in their positions, so I thought it best to drop them from the scene.