Thursday, November 14, 2013

'A bed of honour for six men'

The great 'games room clear out continues (although truth to tell, if you looked in the door you'd not see much difference yet). Anyway, I finally got to the last box of 'stuff' (one of those boxes of accumulated bits that had come from goodness knows where). There were some old Roco Minitanks which I gave away to fellow local 'gamer Ion Dowman, but in the box were these two Airfix M3 Grants. The 'hulks' looked like this.

I was going to give them away as I pondered what I could do with them, after all I don't game the western desert. Then I remembered that M3s were sent to Russia under the lend lease scheme.

So .. I started with some deconstruction. The track assemblies looked to have been assembled by a young child, so most of the bogies had to be sawn off and re-attached in straight lines.

I should have done more, but there are limits to my patience these days. I really wanted two of the Grant turrets with the cupola on top. I managed to find some bits in the spares box, but no gun assembly with which to complete the turret, so the second continues with the flatter turret more familiar in the desert setting. It'll do for now, although it really needs a new 37mm gun barrel.

The tracks are also a little too long, but I was in no mood to cut them off and re-glue (they's mostly been glued to the bogies with some tyrant glue that was never going to 'give up', and they are also a little brittle with age. I sensed a disaster brewing if I went too far.

Re-assembly completed, a couple of judicious coats of olive green, a wash, and some lining out and there are two M3s for service on the eastern front.

One problem though: having run our of Citadel Badab Black, I had to buy their Nuln Oil wash. Sadly it behaves differently to the older Badab Black. It goes on much thicker, despite being watered down. It also dries with a semi gloss. I much prefer the matt finish of the older Badab Black.

These are not tanks you'd take if you were a 'power 'gamer'. Their Spearhead statistics are mediocre at best, but they will add some nice visual variation to a Soviet armoured regiment.


  1. Diverse and interesting as always Robin.

  2. Very nice results Robin! Never underestimate the power of "a lick of paint."

  3. As a non-power gamer they're one of my favourites.. I'm a Desert gamer as well, 12mm now but back in the day I remember making this kit..... the two turret variations were for the US ("Lee" - with the MG cupola) and British ("Grant") version - I think Airifx did this so you could use the Lee in Pacific based games.. nice looking tank, and a good job on the recovery!