Wouldn’t it be cool to dress up your electric unicycle in a unique paint scheme? The Veteran Sherman EUC is named after the venerated M4 Sherman Tank, which served the Allied Forces during WWII. The M4 Sherman was known for its versatility, durability, and easy maintenance. Whether the Leaperkim Electric Unicycle, the Veteran Sherman lives up to all of these attributes is debatable–Though I think it does comparably well against other performance EUCs!
In this article, I share the beautiful WW2 themed custom work that Andrew Letch performed on a Veteran Sherman electric unicycle.
Quick Notes: What is a Veteran Sherman Electric Unicycle (EUC)?
The Veteran Sherman electric unicycle, or also known as the “Sherman”, “The Shermantor”, or more as its most recent iteration, the “Shermax“, is a high-powered, long-range, on or off-road capable electric unicycle that is manufactured by Leaperkim.
The Sherman is unique in its compact form factor, yet high battery capacity (3,600 Wh) and powerful, torque-y hub motor (2,800W). It gained a spectacular reputation as one of the most capable electric unicycles on the market, spawning a mainstream EUC following.
It is no surprise that the community created an entire ecosystem of upgrades and customizations to personalize their Sherman’s. This is where Andrew Letch comes into play.
The “M4 Sherman Project”: A Custom EUC Paint Job
The M4 Sherman Tank was first introduced in 1941 and served as the main battle tank of the United States Army during WWII. The tank was recognized for its dependability, longevity, and simplicity of maintenance. The M4 Sherman was also produced in large numbers, with over 50,000 tanks produced during the War between 1942-1945 (source).
The M4 Sherman Tank saw action in all theaters of WWII and was a key player in the Allied victory. The M4 Sherman is an icon of American engineering and manufacturing.
Andrew Letch, an EUC enthusiast and avid Veteran Sherman rider (who has had his share of unfortunate accidents, like me, but maybe more seriously), decided to pay homage to this workhorse military vehicle with a custom paint job on a Veteran Sherman electric unicycle.
Broken, But Not Crushed: A Bent Wheel Rim Starts the Journey
After a broken rim, burnt out control board, among other issues, Andrew Letch embarked on a project that ended up with something quite unique, spectacular even, that even he didn’t imagine would turn out so well…or maybe he did.
To make a long story short, Andrew had to perform a complete surgery on a defunct Veteran Sherman. Fortunately, a full disassembly is exactly what he needed to embark on his “M4” Sherman project.
Given how simple the Veteran Sherman is to work on, it is one of the most popular platforms for customizations.
Read on to see a brief overview of how Andrew customized the Veteran Sherman EUC, and how it all turned out!
A Quick Tutorial on Custom Painting Your Electric Unicycle
With all the parts full disassembled, Andrew turned to painting the major components: the roll bar, head and tail light casing, the outer plastic shell (around the batteries), and upper control panel (e.g., the housing over and around the control board).
For best results, he used Army Painter Army Green Spray Paint, a high quality acrylic paint that has a matte finish.
For the roll bar, the tail light and other steel bits, he used Silver Hammered Paint from Krylon. This is a durable paint that can stand up to nicks and scratches.
To avoid over spray, Andrew used blue painter’s tape to mask off areas he didn’t want to color.
Using the same masking method, he also painted the tail light so the red illumination would still be clearly visible, but now with a unique design to focus the viewer’s attention.
While the roll bar cage is off the electric unicycle, Andrew sprayed all the exterior shell Army Green.
He made particularly sure to avoid spraying the charge ports with any paint. Any paint over your battery charging ports would be problematic (of course!).
Avoid Painting Over Electronic Components
Notice that he removed the batteries as well, to ensure that none of the spray concealed or covered any of the motor wires or labels on the interior components. A clean paint job makes future maintenance easier.
Stencils, Decals, and Other Accessory Details
With silver/steel spiked Clark pedals, the entire base coat was coming together. Notice that Andrew also painted over the frame of the control panel (the LCD screen), which gave it a focused look. A bit retro-futuristic, if you ask me!
Before adding the streaking grime, the rust effect, Andrew used a Cricut machine (e.g., a stencil maker) to create the iconic US Allied Forces star logo. If I understood correctly, Andrew either created a stencil using this machine or a vinyl/paper cutout which he glued to the EUC panel.
Stenciled text using the classic WWII font of the day also added to aesthetic and realism of the custom work.
Of course, the benefit of using a Cricut is that you can adjust the size of whatever stencil or cutout you want. For those who’d rather use a stick or decal, you can try searching Etsy for these cool logos and icons.
Weathering and Rust Effects Add Realism
For realism, Andrew used AK Interactive Rust Streak paint. This is an easy to use enamel-based hobby medium that simulates realistic rust effects on painted surfaces.
This was the perfect finishing touch for the M4 Sherman project! The streaks of rust look like they’re coming from all the joints, edges, and raised surfaces – just as you would expect to see on a battle-born military vehicle.
To properly use enamel based hobby paint products, you will likely need a solvent, like mineral spirits to clean up any mess or to thin the color as you apply it to the EUC painted surface.
Use a Varnish Sealant to Protect the Paint Job
To protect the hard work, a suitable clear coat, like those for cars or other kinds of conventional automobiles help protect paint job. For this project, however, instead of a glossy finish, a super matte sealant is required to sell the military effect!
There are many products that could help with this, including Army Painter Anti-Shine Finish. For hobbyists in scale modeling, there are a lot of other products to help even out and protect a paint job. Check out this article for other recommended matte clear coat finishes.
After all the work was completed, it was time to take some pictures and share the results with family, friends, and followers. Andrew Letch composited some images of his Veteran Sherman against other digital images. Amazing.
This is the kind of project that definitely catches people’s attention when they see it out on the street. I’m sure you’ve had people ask about your EUC before, but this will take it to a whole new level!
If you decide to undertake a project like this, or have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments or directly to Andrew Letch. His work is truly amazing and he’s always happy to help out or answer any questions.
So, what do you think? Want to give this a try? I think it’s a great way to put your own personal spin on an EUC and to really make it your own. As always, be safe, have fun, and happy riding!