Monday, September 11, 2023

M47 Roco Minitanks Project Update and Projections

 Today is September 11, 2023.  Note the time this blog was published in 9:11 am.  I have done that every day for over 10 years as a commemoration of the events of 9/11 and as a reminder that free nations need to be ever vigilant because we never know when disaster may strike.

This tank was in rough shape.  It had three layers of old paint to be removed.  The turret rotation pin was hanging by a thread, and the upper hull pin hole was about four times too large.  I will reglue this pin and reinforce it with a tube used as a sleeve to strengthen the bond between the pin and the turret  roof.

The underside of the M47 upper hull as a depression in it where the flat space is for the turret to ride on.  The center of this depression is where the turret pin sticks through the upper hull.  Since for some unknown reason this tank had a giant hole in the middle, I plated it over with a 2mm thick piece of plastic sheet from the spares box.  I keep nearly every speck of plastic sheet that I have left over from using sheet styrene for just such problems.  And the other advantage is that I don't have to ruin a whole sheet of plastic just to get this little bit for this problem.

Before gluing up the hole, I traced the circumference of the hole on another piece of scrap plastic using a red marker.  Then I cut the plastic bit to size and glued it into the hole.  The red dot in the center is where I will drill a hole for the turret pin.  Note the bow machine gun has broken off also and it will be repaired soon also.  

I have been purchasing Roco, and other M47 HO scale tanks since the 1960s and I have enough for a battalion now.  Some of them came on railroad flat cars and don't have the original lower hull, there are no holes for the little wheels and the turret hatches are molded on.  A few of them are even labelled with cast on markings as COX Hong Kong and some are not labelled.

They were purchased both new and used, some were very tired models with thick paint coats, broken machine guns, broken turret pins, missing turret machine guns, missing hatches and missing main guns and even one with a mis-molded front fender.

All of them should be returned to service by the first of next year.  My goal is a full battalion of 54 tanks, with fresh olive drab paint jobs.  I am using Rust-Oleum Deep Forest Green as my olive drab, I think it has a good mix of green and gray to make that Cold War pre-camouflage paint the US Army used for about 30 years.

I have not decided on what turret top machine gun I will use, I am not sure I have enough of the original type to use those, or if I will use something else.  There are several other decisions to make but they won't be made until I have a final count on how many are able to be returned to service.  I may be missing a couple turrets and I am not sure I have enough main guns either.  I know I am likely going to have to cast a few resin turret hatches to replace missing parts.


Legion4 said...

Love those M47s !

Mike Bunkermeister Creek said...

The M47 is a perfect tank for combat against giant ants, giant insects of any kind, or giant lizards, or even space aliens.
Thanks for reading.