Saturday, 10 August 2013
Rapid Fire! M-3 GMC 75mm TD in Tunisia 1943
The problem continued : what to do with the kits JF and JMM gave me. After having read already something about the Tunisian 1943 campaign is easily noticeable the importance of the US Tank Destroyer battalions equipped with M-6 37mm GMC and M-3 75mm GMC.
Not counting the already built ones, you can see here for NW 43-45 campaigns...
... and some other for a british motor battalion, I still had a total of 11 M-3 HT to be built or painted, both my own as well as from last friend's gifts.
Discounting three each for a 2nd British motor battalion (to go along my new 22nd armoured brigade) and a US mechanised infantry battalion for Tunisia that left five surplus M-3, the right number for a US Rapid Fire TD battalion 1943.
Let's use them then: you need Evergreen plastic card, plate, tubing and rod, 15 artillery figures and some nice plans of the AFV itself. If you don't want to bother too much look in the web for the Griffon 1/35th scale model and you will have detailed photos from all conceivable angles.
This is the general idea. You pick a Matchbox or an Airfix M-3 and build a protective shield for the old 75mm 1897 US French copy.
At the back you need two large stowage boxes that I just cut from thick styrene.
The ones in the 1st row with a top white wall of styrene are Matchbox (originally with the 4x12,7 AA) gun, the others at the back are Airfix.
The interior was very simplified as the crew will cover most of the detail.
The gun itself was made of three layers of rod and tubing. The rings around the tube are open sections of tubing made to fit the slimmer main tube.
Some of the HT's had no front roller which had to be made from petrol drums of unknown origin.
The artillery crew are 20mm Irregular Miniatures from their excelent Really Useful Range.
And here they are already painted. Two M-3 Lee took the lift of spray and brush but more on these later on.
A few back packs made out of Green Stuff were placed around the crew box.
As you can see the crew covers most of the interior detail something I learned from the late Dave Howitt of Brittania Miniatures.
At El Guettar the 601stTD battalion lost 21 of it's own TD's but destroyed about 30 panzers.
The two Lee were transformed from Hasegawa 1/72nd scale Grants. They were also offers one from JF and another from JMM and still sported the desert jerboa. The problem was the turret for which I used some 1/76th Airfix Lee turret, left overs from my desert Grants. A simple Evergreen mantlet and the original Hasegawa gun were added and it's done.
Curiously enough the 1/76th turret fits nicely to the 1/72nd hull.