Monday, April 13, 2015

FOW M51 Isherman Variants!

When battlefront announced that they were moving into the Six Days War time period I was ecstatic. Mainly because I wanted them to make great new models for the time period, and the one I was most excited about was the M51 Isherman!

Sure enough, the miniatures were great, bbbbuuuuttttt... I am a fool for variety and the BF model was only a single variant of the M51 with the M1A1 hull, and there are several variations of both the M50 and M51, mostly in the hull. So why not just well enough alone, and be happy that I now have great M51 models? The simple answer is I have a problem, and so I began to customize my M51's.

Just to tell on myself, these are only half of my M51's, I have twelve...

These are six of my modified shermans.

Some are minor modifications.
Some are more intensive.

My company commander on the right front.

I have painted most of my Sherman's with air recognition strips.

As with all my tanks, I've added lots of extra stowage.

 The simplest and easiest modification is removing the tracks on the side of the turret. Not all of the M51 Isherman's had the tracks stowed on the side of the turret. Below is an image of the historical version and then the custom miniature.

A M51 on the right with no, tracks on the side of the turret.

I just sanded off the tracks from two of my M51's.

Then placed the marking there, as from the picture.

The other, which takes a little more time is replacing the M4A1 Sherman hull with the M4A3 Hull from the Easy Eight miniature. This required  removing the travel lock on the front of the tank and adding a larger travel lock for the barrel on the back deck. I also added stowage boxes and fuel cans on the side of the tank. The engine decks were also slightly different, but I just cover the easy eight decks with stowage, the lazy way out.

A M51 with the M4A1 hull on right, and an M51 with the M4A3 hull on left.

An M51 with the sloped M4A3 style front plate.
I re-purposed two of my old Easy Eights on the right as variant in the pictures above.
I then added stowage boxes and fuel cans on the side.

These models just add variety, and that is my jam!
The last is covering the individual tracks on the side of the turret, with a cloth square that has the numbers and markings on it. I have read tank commanders would use these in case their command tank was disabled or knocked out, they could easily move their markings to a new vehicle.

A M51 with cloth markings on the turret sides, and the flat front hull.
A simple one, I just sanded the tracks a little and added a greenstuff square.
These are just a few things I've done to better represent the mis-matched nature of most Israeli vehicles of the time and to add some differences to my dozen M51 Shermans!

My commander is not modified, but I really like how it turned out.

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