Friday, 29 December 2017

Rapid Fire! "2008" Portuguese Army in 20mm (part 3) - Leopard 2A6 companies of BrigMec.

The GCA (Grupo de Carros de Combate) of the BrigMec can be considered done with these two Leopard 2A6 companies and the  M-88 Recovery Vehicle. In part one I've showed you the Leopard of the Co and the M-60 company. Maybe in the future I'll add a M-577 for the command and an Exploitation and Mortar platoons both in M-113.

These Portuguese  Leopard 2A6 started again (like the German ones of a few posts ago) as A5 versions from Fabbri Diecasts. I increased the lenght of the barrel in 17mm using plastic rod inside the tube. this time in order to desguise the joint I camouflaged the barrel by dipping it in PVA glue and then in Noch birch leaves while the PVA was wet. Like this the typical camouflage net is more or less represented and makes all vehicles unique.

A few more add ons are the stowage in the rear baskets and the number plates hanging from them. I left the camouflage pattern as it was and just dry brushed lightly the whole model. This is one of the few vehicles of the Portuguese army that will not be painted in the typical Olive Drab as its original paint is part of its protection.

But my favourite production of the lot was the M-88 Recovery vehicle. It is a complete conversion from a number of odd parts as I show you below.

Usual stowage and net to the rear.

I don't want to look pretentious but with a very cheap model and some old parts you can build this relatively rare model. Of course you can avoid all the trouble and order a nice one from S&S for instance!

The first series of 4D models from China are toys and far from the quality of their more recent series where they have the S-300 or the Topol. The models come in a small box with a nice artwork taken generally from 1/35th scale artwork boxes. In spite of saying they are 1/72nd scale models some are 1/90 (most of the WW2 models ) or 1/50 or so (like the M-113). Of the whole lot of 16 models I only used the T-72  that you can see here

the T-55 (maybe) and this M-88.

The top part of the model is not bad. Plenty of details are missing like the extra road wheels and other details are vague and incomplete.

The biggest problem are the toyish wheels and tracks: they are the same in most of the models and nothing to do in this case with the M-88 that shares the lower chassis with the M-60.

So the solution was to use an old ESCI M-60 I painted years ago for the Israelis (now I have my 1982 Israeli army in 1/87th scale) and use that part. The only change is that you need to cut about 6mm of the front lower chassis and replace it with a bit of styrene with the same inclination as the frontal arch of the M-88.

In the back part you need to raise the hooks a bit more.

When I glued things together some details like the spade holders and frontal rings were made of two component paste. The 4D model top part fits nicely in the lower part of the ESCI M-60 as you can see.  

Add some extra wheels to the side, a MG, a figure and its done. I placed the main hook in this flashy position just for style as it is ready to put down Saddam statue in Firdaus square! After priming this 2 euro Chinese 4D model you have something  much more valuable!

Next: Really don't know, maybe the missing PSC Churchills for the 6th Armoured Brigade, or some K-63 from S&S to my Iraqi, or some M-109 from Riich models, maybe some PzIII E for the RF! Blitzkrieg supplement or another Portuguese Mechanized battalion, or something else...


  1. Wow, Very Nice and cheap conversion.

    Bom ano de 2018, JP.

    keep on with your excellent work. Nice to see portuguese models.


  2. Depois de milhões de comentários de camones finalmente um verdadeiro guerreiro lusitano, para quem aliás estes posts são de dedicados, comenta o assunto. Está salva a patria! Bom ano, amigo.