I have been doing more detail to the front panel (some of which is not installed yet, to be seen later), reinforcing the fiberglass transmission cover (front nose piece), and have been planning with cardboard and working on the upper hull some more, like the piece for the rear end. I found a 24″ Nylon ring at the plastics place, which will work perfectly for my turret ring, as well as the basis for the structure of the turret.
Here you can see how I am doing some of the seal between the upper and lower hull, with those 1×2’s. This one had to be cut at a precise angle to work out right:
Still working on the front piece of the upper hull, and the fiberglass nose piece (“transmission cover”). I added body filler (aka bondo) around the gunner hatches so they will look rounded like they were cast. I also am working on where the machine gun sticks out, called the “portal”. I will be implementing a ball-mount system for the machine gun to be rotated around. And finally (on the left), I am working on the antenna base. Early models of Sherman tanks had radio antennas mounted there, and when they relocated them, they didn’t change the casting, but rather just capped the antenna base. I am adding it strictly for looks. I am working on these details now, because it is easier to do now while the front plate is removable, and i can easily get to the back side of it.
And here is the antenna base. I made it via a bunch of circles cut out of plywood with 2 sizes of hole saws. Cut them at angles, then glued them together. Then coated with body filler, and sanded, more filler, more sanding, primer, sanding, and paint. I left some of the pitting and imperfections, since the real ones are cast steel, which has similar looking pits and divots.