About 2000 Fiat-Ansaldo M 13/40 medium tanks were produced from 1940 through to 1943 and fought in Greece, North Africa and the Italian campaign with captured examples being used in low numbers by the Australian 2/6th Cavalry Regiment and the 6th Royal Tank Regiment until taken overcome by lack of spares, fuel and attrition.
Original tanks lacked radios and crews received little training before the type was committed to action where it was badly handled by the Western Desert Allied Forces. It’s best features were the 47mm gun and it’s relatively long endurance range, however the riveted armour and lack of power/low speed limited it’s battle effectiveness.
Nevertheless M 13/40 vehicles could still be found at the end of the Italian campaign and into the post-war period as training vehicles in lieu of modern armour as the Italian Army re-equipped.
Got a few finished pics to post over the next day or so and here’s the first of them – the 1/48th Super Pershing Tamiya conversion. Pretty happy with how it finished up, damn difficult to photograph though with that bloody great gun! 🙂
And a bit of spiel, Tamiya base kit, Blackdog stowage, scratch built gun and armour package. The stowage was nestled down onto the back deck (a pet hate is “floating” resin stowage) using the Dremel and a layer of greeenstuff. The amour plate was guesstimated using ref pics of both the real thing and other models and the gun was made using a piece of sprue, trimmed to length and with a tapered breech end piece and the original Tamiya muzzle brake at the business end. Finished as usual mostly with GW acrylics over an enamel primer base. The big star on the turret is handpainted and the rest of the markings (ficticous) are from the Tamiya kit.
It’s now on it’s way to it’s new home and should make an appearance in a tournament game of Bolt Action over Easter weekend.
A few pictures I find interesting showing a little of the stresses, strains and hardships of war and the men who endured – a tiny view of the human side if you will. And something different from my usual focus of hardware and vehicles ….
The pictures were chosen for several reasons, some are classics such as the British Paras in Arnhem advancing towards the camera through a destroyed ruin and others add in some interesting details such as the pile of spent cartridge belts by the Middlesex Vickers team, the short lived use of the US Leopard camo uniform in Normandy and the bedroll slung under the gun cleaning tube on the Panther to name a few.
What always there, well to me anyway, is an underlying feeling of tension, of things to come, even in the pictures of relative calm like those epic dudes from T Patrol LRDG or the Normandy Commando sniper team waiting to move out …
Anyway I have tons more in my stash and hope to add to this series sometime ….
(all from open web sources and included only for discussion)
ps The pictures open into a gallery and each can also be viewed “full” size from there ..
Some progress from the last few days, a bunch of stuff is almost at the final weathering stage. Not much to say, shaded mostly with oils (using some WnN oils that are about due for replacement being about 30years old) and the usual GW acrylics.
Also managed to get some decals on – firstly splashed some Humbrol satin varnish onto the areas where the decals were going. Then wet the area with some Microscale Micro-sol and poked them into place. To be fair the Warlord decals are surprisingly good quality with a thin backing and almost no silvering. After patting them dry they got a coat of Microscale Micro-set ….
After decaling I tried out some new matt varnish on the M13/40 and the two Warlord 251/1Cs – rattlecan Tamiya Flat Clear. Pretty pleased with the result to be honest, I’d say a little more matt and slightly better coverage (dulling of the satin varnished decal areas) than the Dullcoat I normally use.
The start of our Special Forces venture which will hopefully include some new units to add to this one as well as eventually USN Devgru (SEALs), SAS and FSB/Spetnaz.
And some background;
The 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D), popularly known as Delta Force, is the U.S. Army special operations unit tasked with such missions as hostage rescue and counterterrorism, direct action and reconnaissance against high-value targets. It’s the US Army counterpart to the possibly better known United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (or DEVGRU), also often referred to as SEAL Team Six.
Formed in 1977 under command of an ex Green Beret Officer Charlie Beckwith, it’s exact composition and strength is classified although some known sections include;
A Squadron (Assault)
B Squadron (Assault)
C Squadron (Assault)
D Squadron (Assault)
E Squadron (Aviation)
G Squadron (Advanced force operations, Reconnaissance and Surveillance)
Combat Support Troop (Contains WMD Experts, Breachers, and other specialists)
And some refs (from open web sources and included for discussion purposes only)
As it says on the tin, a little more progress with the base colours on the Warlord British and some more detailed finishing shading on the Arnhem Warlord 251/1C. All shading so far is using oils over the acrylic base paint and camouflage.
Taliban Infantry from Empress, while aimed at more modern Afghanistan conflicts they are equally useful for the period back to and including the Soviet Afghanistan War of 1979 – 1989.
A little background might be of interest …..
Talk Afghanistan and the common thought is “Taliban” insurgents as the opposition forces. This however is a simplification of the long running real life situation. Officially the Taliban are an Islamic Fundamentalist political movement which Allied coalition forces removed from power in October 2001. The primary driver for this being the destruction of Al-Qaeda organisation who were using Afghanistan as a training base and safe haven under shelter from the Taliban.
Since then the term Taliban has been broadly used to describe those forces fighting the coalition and the Afghan National Government forces attempting to reunify the country. Those forces however come from many and varied backgrounds. Some are hardcore Taliban fighters, some are Narco criminals whose poppy and opium production (a major export of Afghanistan) has been disrupted by the fighting, others are Jihadist opportunists, suspected agitators from nearby countries and even disgruntled farmers and tribal cabals who have lost family in the conflict.
And as usual a few ref pics …. (from open web sources included for discussion only)