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Osprey Modelling 13: Modelling US Army Tank Destroyers of World War II

by Steven J Zaloga

Published by Osprey Publishing Ltd, ISBN 1-84176-799-9, 82 pages.


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Here’s Steve Zaloga’s latest entry in the Modelling series, with both 1/35 and 1/72 subjects. There’s a four-page introduction to the history of tank destroyer and a further six pages dealing with kits and accessories, and then it’s on with the models.

First is a winter tank destroyer, the Academy M36 at Intermediate level. The hull is a fraction too narrow and too high, and the turret a bit small but Steve hasn’t tried to correct these (inappropriate anyway at this level). Instead he concentrates on some simple improvements and then describes producing a weathered whitewash finish using salt as a masking material. Simple but effective! This section takes up 19 pages, and includes not the expected “how to” photographs of several of Steve’s models but also tech manual illustrations of the real turret interior and a photo of the optional turret roof showing what needs to be done to correct it if you want to use it. He also gives us photographs comparing the AFV Club and Academy M10 turrets and a diagram showing how their top openings differ from the real thing, which will be handy for anyone scratchbuilding a replacement turret.

The next build is an Extratech 1/72 scale M10 at Advanced level. This has a host of added details and improvements and takes up 12 pages. Four wartime photos from NARA are included to show what the turret interior looked like.

A second Advanced build is the AFV Club M18 Hellcat, which Steve prefers to the Academy kit now that it turned aluminium gun barrel has replaced the original brass tube. Here he shows how to replace the kit’s engine deck rear grille and make the exhaust system which can be seen through it. He also makes the mantlet cover and canvas bag stowage from epoxy putty and shows how to make the turret crew with epoxy putty and DML figure parts. The 18 pages here include a method of making the lightguards from plastic rod and two photos of a restored turret interior as well as many showing the stages of figure building.

The final build is at Master level and deals in 15 pages with converting the AFV Club M18 into an M39 Armored Utility Vehicle. He shows how to make the new superstructure that replaces the turret, and provides 1/35 scale plans of the superstructure and crew compartment as well as photos of both and what amounts to a photographic guide to building them. He also replaces both engine deck grilles and installs the part of the engine that’s visible through the front grille (covered by the turret on the previous model) as well as the exhaust system.

Highly recommended!

John Prigent

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