Monday, 19 August 2013

Rapid Fire! 20mm Tunisia 1943 - US Mechanised Infantry Battalion

Just a few more models for Tunisia 1943 before a few days out. These are some M-3 HT and a few 37mm A/T guns.

Once again there is a mix of old material of mine not yet built and painted and some offerings by JMM and JF. 

This is the classic Hasegawa M-4A1 mortar carrier turned into an M-3 by carving out the winch and mounting an Evergreen unditching roller.
Crew are different scales Revell, Matchbox, Airfix and Irregular Miniatures all happily living together.

This one is a resin Milicast M-3 with added metal sand bags. The winch was also replaced by the roller.

The Italeri M-3 with a crewman with a Valiant british body and American head, looking curious at the camera, Robert de Niro style asking "are you talking to me?...".

The 37mm guns are Hasegawa and Fujimi with Irregular Miniatures crews.

This is the final idea. The infantry is Airfix, Atlantic, Esci and Revell. I have six such battalions, with 6 extra figures (15 total) per company to make Omaha beach D-Day assault companies.

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.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Rapid Fire! 20mm U.S armour in Tunisia 1943

What to do with that sea of plastic armour that JF and JMM gave me?

Normandy ? Ardennes? No, too crowded by now...

Besides most of the kits are Esci and Hasegawa (also some  Fujimi, Matchbox and Airfix) with  that tendency for mid-war period of the older plastic brands...

Tunisia 1943 emerged as the most obvious solution. For the Americans I only had built three M3 Lee fully finished and  based but always wanted to know more about Sidi Bou Zid, Kasserine pass and El Guettar. This was a good way to do it.

After doing some German vehicles you can see in some of the last posts, lets move to the U.S 1st Armored Division. 

One of the most interesting aspects of modelling this division is the yellow markings on their vehicles. It gives these vehicles a unique look and the rest of the markings are also visually appealing. 

Sherman M4 and M4A1. The 13th Armored regiment had big yellow numbers painted on the hull and small black numbers inside the turret star.

 I didn't change the M4 VVS suspension into the M3 bogies as the VVSS were also used as replacements after the initial  heavy casualties, as this photo shows. Then this suspension became famous for many more Sherman types. The only big change was the mantlet that was reduced to the smaller initial version (M34 gun mount).

M3 Lee: besides the yellow markings they sported large white numbers in the front hull.

I placed the counterweight at the end of the 75mm barrel as many had so in the Tunisian TOW.

M3 Stuart: these ones had three red stripes inside the turret star.

This Matchbox Stuart has a crewman from Hasegawa and another one from Skytrex.

Soft skin vehicles: all are Esci.

Dodge WC51 carrying an heavy MG and M3A1 White for command.

GMC M6 37mm with crews from Esci and Hasegawa.

Germans ahead!! Lets get back to Fort Dick, sorry, Dix!...

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Pineapple Miniatures, 1/32nd scale, Batalhão Académico 1809

Last figures from the painting station:

The Batalhão Académico was formed from students of the Coimbra University and distinguished it self on the conquest of the fort of Santa Catarina in Figueira da Foz and the combat of Pombal during the 1st and 2nd Napoleonic invasions.

The Batalhão was formed of 6 infantry companies, one company of cavalry and another group of artillery. I don't know nothing both on this unit cavalry and artillery uniforms. Any help?