Monday, June 1, 2015

15mm M47 Patton Tanks - Scratchbuild!

M-47 Pattons supporting Jordanian infantry in Jenin.

One tank that I found sadly missing from the Fate of a Nation book was the Jordanian M47 Patton Tanks. These tanks made up the 12th Independent Tank Regiment that fought against the Israeli's around Jenin north of Jerusalem. The survivors also fought with the 40th Armored Brigade in the area, combining M47 and M48 Pattons!

The only company I know that make a 15mm M47 tank is Quality Casting miniatures and I was concerned that they would be far smaller than the BF M48 Pattons I use. So late last year I thought, YOLO! I will sculpt my own M47 tanks. I have been modifying 15mm miniatures for years, I thought I can probably make a tank from scratch... I managed to make a rough turret out of greenstuff before being overwhelmed by how much work it would be, as I don't have a lot of experience casting resin. Also the hull was something I was worried about making as my plan was to modify a BF M26 tank. But all this work was shelved with just the rough turret thrown into my box of bits.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I posted my modified Saladin Armored Cars, I mentioned wishing there was a M47 Patton miniature. One of the readers, Conrad, mentioned that he was working on making his own M47's. He was working on a great M47 tank hull using various different kits, Roskopf, Roco and BF. They looked great! That got me fired up to get back to work on my own shelved project.

Greenstuff and platicard, the the too large Roco M-47 in the back.

On a M26 hull, with a Roco 1/87th scale patton in the back.

Pre casting the turret.

I used greenstuff and plasticard to shape the turret, and brass rod for the barrel. I made the first version with no dust cover over the mantlet, and no fuel can on the back or rails on the side of the turret. I then cast it and added all of those things to the second version and cast it as well. I was really happy with how they turned out!
First Casts.

With some greenstuff patches.

Brass rod for the .50 cal mount.

M47 turret on the M48 hull.

Forgot the coaxial MG.

My resin casting was a little rusty as I had to fill in a lot of air bubbles with greenstuff.

Version II with the dust cover, rails and fuel cans.

Left the commanders hatch open to add a figure.

Casts of the second version of the turret.

With the turrets done I wanted to stick with Conrad's combination hull, but was running into trouble finding a Roskopf/RMM miniature. So I went back to my old plan of modifying a BF M26 kit for the M47 hull, not ideal but I know myself and wanted to make sure I didn't lose interest again. Conrad's hull looks much better than mine.

Slight modifications to the M26 Patton, mainly the exhaust.

Removed the bulge on the front upper hull.

These are certainly not accurate by any fine scale modelers standard but they do look great on the tabletop and are the right size to go with the other Battlefront miniature I have in my Jordanian army. 

None of this would have happened if someone hadn't read the blog and shared their excitement for this period of military history and their own projects.

M47 Pattons with their little Saladin friend.

Platoon one

Pattons and a duster AA in the background.

M47 and M48 Patton tanks.

Version one of the turret.

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