Sunday, 16 December 2018

Rapid Fire! - Able Archer rules, '2008' Portuguese Army in 20mm (part 7) - Companhia de Engenharia de Combate Pesada (CEngCombPes) of the BrigMec

In spite of being a Company and having 170 men, this company boast almost 70 vehicles of very different types like the eternal M-113, Bridging vehicles, Caterpillars of different shapes, CEV's, etc. And here the problem start as you have to choose from 30 different vehicles the 3 or 4 you should use for an RF!/Able Archer company sized unit . 

I included another M-113 and an extra company of infantry as these are most likely one of the types to see more combat. The M-113 is a BPM 1/72 model as we can now ask BPM to resize their model from 1/76th scale to 1/72nd scale. This scale is particularly useful in this unit as both M-60 based vehicles are 1/72nd scale also. 

The M-60 AVLB is based on the Esci vehicle with a scratch built bridge. 

Several different materials were used but more on that to the end of this post. 

The M728 CEV (Combat Engineer Vehicle) arrived to this company in 2000 giving a much better ability to perform many typical engineer tasks and also doing it under fire. 

The built up of this model was a bit complicated but the end result is quite gratifying. 

Finally, I used a 1/72nd Caterpillar toy I found in a gift shop. Cut some extras and glued others and it looks  a lot to the Cat 938GC used by the EngCombPes.

The M728 is based on the Esci M60, on this case on an extra Israeli Blazer version I had around. I just used the chassis and turret leaving aside the reactive armour and other details. 

The towing structure, here on the rest mode behind the turret, is made from the sprues of the model itself. Other details of the towing system are made of Evergreen plastic card. The turret Mg was replaced by a piece of needle with a commander from Preiser. The 165mm mortar is just a piece of the original gun based on its thickest part. The towing hook is cord with its ends made in plastic and GreenStuff. The M9 Dozer Blade was made from an extra hard foam that I've been unable to find any longer recently. This hard foam glues extremely well with superglue and is very helpful in modelling. 

As I use plenty of different materials I always let flow a bit of superglue in all glued parts. Like this you can have a sturdy model that can really be moved. In my case not throughout the table but throughout my shelves!

The origin of this M60 AVLB is another Esci Blazer. This time you don't need obviously to build the turret but you have to spend some time measuring the bridge size and its supports. 

Again the frontal bridge support is made of that extra hard foam I talked to you about and the bridge is just blue Roofmate (extruded polystyrene) available for the construction business. 

The armature around the Roofmate is made out of heavy duty card. A final touch before painting is to apply wood glue in all visible Roofmate as it can be eaten by the spray primer. 

The Caterpillar is a toy as you can see. I just took out some parts and made it slightly shorter in lenght and added an Esci US Modern figure with GreenStuff arms. 

More work on the M113 though. The M113 from the EngCombPes came from the Netherlands with some extra equipment and some changes to the original: the front plate is raised and helps to hold a number of fume launchers; instead of Brownings there were MG3 mounted in a home made ring and several tool boxes were attached to the structure. 

A picture of the real thing. 

Next: the last of the Gettysburg Divisions, Anderson Division, the Army of Northern Virginia. 


  1. Wonderful conversion work there. I really like what you have done.



  2. Thanks Pete. These models exist in kit form but are very expensive and I used some old kits as base so these were two times rewarding.