"LULUBELLE" in Scale and 3D

Building the classic M3 Lee tank in 1/35 scale and in 3D

Gallery Article by Konley Kelley on Nov 28 2011

One of my favorite war movies is the classic film SAHARA (1943) starring the legendary Humphrey Bogart.  It is the story of the crew of a U.S. M3 Lee medium tank fighting in North Africa early in WW2.  Bogey is Sgt. Joe Gunn.  He affectionately calls his tank “Lulubelle” and her name is painted on the side of his tank.  While in retreat, they pick up British serviceman at a smashed aid station and other stragglers including an Italian prisoner and German fighter pilot (after Bogey skillfully shoots down his plane down). 

I don’t want to give away more of the movie, but Bogey and his group make a heroic stand at some ancient ruins defending a well against hundreds of thirsty German soldiers. 

It is an awesome flick and I decided I would make “Lulubelle” in scale and 3D. 

I bought the Academy 1:35 M-3 Lee tank kit at the Squadron Open House (Man, am I lucky to live in Carrollton, Texas!).  The kit is great and has a full interior. 


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I got in more practice weathering. The film is in B&W so I made my best guess at the pennant colors on “Lulubelle’s” antennae. 

I used the finished scale model kit as a reference to build a 3D model. You can see the wireframe/texture map in a ˝ and ˝ pose. Of all my 3D models, “Lulubelle” is one of my most pristine i.e., the shapes/texture maps fit perfectly. I’m excited about how this 3D turned out. I learn so much every time I take-on a new project.

I love connecting my 3D models in scenes. In this rendering, “Lulubelle” has an unwelcome visit from my old 3D Stuka.

Finally, I couldn’t resist making some figures for the scale “Lulubelle.” I don’t know where I found this guy but he makes a pretty good Bogey. Do you think Bogey will share a smoke and swig of his canteen with the General (smile)?

For more scale and 3D models, check out my website at www.shortfuse3d.com

Steve – thanks for launching the new ARC Armor site. I’ll keep posting!

Konley Kelley

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Photos and text © by Konley Kelley