Thursday, August 25, 2011
Fiat Ansaldo M13/40
I remember seeing this kit in the local hobby shop as a child, and thinking how cool it was to have kangaroo markings on a tank, so when I got the Italeri re-release of the old ESCI M13/40, I wanted to build it up as one of the Italian tanks captured by the Aussies. Here is the near completed result:
The kit was built almost OOB, except I replaced the tow hooks with some bent wire, and drilled out the headlamps so I can eventually add some clear lenses. The instructions for installing the pioneer tools was not particularly clear, so I ended up putting one of the brackets in the wrong position. The diagram for installing the tools is better in the instructions for the ESCI/Italeri Semovente 75/18, so I'll probably move the offending bracket to the proper position later on.
I decided on the sand color scheme, because that's how I remembered the kit, but there is some controversy as to what color these tanks actually were. A number of the captured tanks look to be a dark color (Italian green?) in period photographs, and in one case, it almost looks as if the sand colored paint was removed from the tank.
The last bit to finish up the model is to find an Aussie tank commander. I think I have some British tankers somewhere, so one of those will probably do.
Italeri also makes a quick build kit that has two M13/40's for about the same price as the ex-ESCI kit. Some of the details of the quick build kit seem simplified, and the commander's hatch in the turret is molded shut, but it looks to be a decent kit. I'll have to pick up a box sometime in the future.
Moving to diecast models, we have the M13/40 from Altaya. This is one of the nicer Altaya models, with hollowed out barrel, and good overall detail.
One odd thing was that the tank was screwed into the base with tamperproof screws - why?
Luckily, I recently received a TP3 head screwdriver that I purchased from Amazon for a mere 99¢.
The two models are almost identical in size, but the positioning of the hull is a little different, with the Altaya model being a hair shorter, and the hull sitting more forward with respect to the fenders compared to the Italeri model. I also noticed that the Italeri turret is higher than the Altaya turret.