Sand on Iwo Jima

i am building M4A3 Davy Jones Sherman on Iwo Jima. So, at initial landings, they embarked on black volcanic sand (as one picture portray that).

After two weeks, this tank was knocked out, and the surface seems not to be black volcanic sand, but rather conventional earth.
Is my guess correct? For the weathering purposes, black sand on metallic tracks would be achievable, but i can’t distinguish how would such sand appear on other tank surfaces, hence i’d rather use conventional weathering with skills i posses.
Thanks in advance

A google search (Iwo Jima volcanic sand) found lots of contemporary photos of Marines collecting sand from Iwo Jima as souvenirs.
I did not post any because the lighting etc resulted in a variety of tones.

I have seen images from the beaches. I am puzzled about the inland of Iwo Jima, and the photo of knocked out Davy Jones (and Tokyo express for that matter) shows a lighter surface. The moves i believe that were filmed on Iwo Jima (letters from Iwo Jima and Flags of our fathers) also shows different types of soil

Just an educated guess here but it would seem to me that off the beaches where there is more abundant vegetation, trees, etc. there would be conventional soil. While the islands were formed from volcanic activity, tiny particles of dirt and soil carried by the winds over time built up inland thus allowing greenery to grow. Depending on the age of the islands and the prevailing winds there would be more or less vegetation.

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A little geology, if I may; Iwo Jima, an almost entirely volcanic island, consists of Motoyama, a broad volcanic cone at the north and Mt. Suribachi at the south, with an isthmus between. Motoyama is largely light-gray-buff volcanic tuff. A thick andesitic lava flow under Suribachi, exposed in several places, is overlain by a thick deposit of cinder and scoria. The isthmus is underlain by more than 200 feet of loose black volcanic ash and fine cinder derived from Suribachi. It is this material that composes the beaches.
These iron-rich rocks weather under the tropical sun and rain, eventually turning into a lateritic soil. A major component of this soil is the mineral limonite, a mixture of various hydrated iron oxides / hydroxides of varying composition. We know these compounds by their more common pigment names, such as yellow and red ochres, various shades of umber and siennas. In other words, the same pigments we normally use to simulate dirt and dust.


Having a minor geology, I will say. nice answer. 5 points to Gryffindor.


Here’s a photo of the island today. Taken from Suribachi looking across the isthmus towards the Northeast. See how the soil colors change inland away from the beaches. Of course after all the pre invasion bombardment, nearly all of the vegetation would have been blasted away.


Thanks everyone for those answers! i will use conventional earth tones, along with some grey/black pigment to add the touch. This was very helpful for me!

Just a short view on tne turret of the mentioned tank i am working on!


Love the spike work.

I would use a bust of Pinhead as a turret…would save you tons of time! :rofl: