Italeri / Warlord Games
Italian Tanks - Semoventi
M13/40, M14/41, M40, M41
The four vehicles that can be built are all based on the chassis of the Carro Armato M13/40. Collectively, about 3,000 vehicles were built by Ansaldo-Fossati based on this chassis, including the M15/42 (not available in this kit.). This series of tanks were the mainstay of the Italian Army during World War II.
For the first look review, click here:
Following the build instructions in order, steps 1 and 2 covers the wheel and track assembly. The road wheels are solid cast into the sides. To improve the look, I used a small drill bit and drilled out a center line so two wheels would be present rather than a single long roller.
Direct from the sprue on the left, modified part on the right.
I also drilled a center line in the idler wheels, which also had some serious ejection pin marks.
Once cleaned up and assembled, they came out not so bad.
Steps 3 and 4 cover the bottom hull assembly.
Step 5 is when you need to decide which of the four versions you will build. Version A has two sets of spare road wheels attached to the rear while the other three versions only have one pair. I chose Version A, the Carro Armato M13/40 because more of this tank were built than any of the other variants.
Steps 6 through 8 apply to other versions (as do many more which are skipped). Step 9 shows attachment of the fenders. Steps 11 and 12 cover the rear engine deck. Steps 13 and 14 cover the support superstructure for the turret.
I left off the spare wheels, tool rack and side steps for ease of painting and will attach them later.
There was a gap between the glacis and the superstucture which was filled by a card strip. This could have been avoided if I test fit the superstructure at the time the rear deck was glued on.
Steps 15 and 16 cover assembly of the turret, with an option for open or closed hatches. I found it a bit tricky to get all the side pieces aligned just right with both the top and bottom and to keep everything symmetrical with no gaps. Since a figure is provided, I assembled the turret with open hatches. Step 17 finishes the build with attachment of the turret, AA MG, figure and last detail parts. Again, I left off the spare wheels, side steps, tools, turret machine gun and figure for ease of painting.
Version A calls for the vehicle to be painted in FS 34159 flat gray green, the color of early war Italian tanks off the production line. The first tanks to arrive in North Africa were this color, as well as those remaining in Italy and those fighting in Greece. I have color photos of Italian artillery in this gray green that I took while visiting the Allied Landings Museum in Catania, Sicily. Using those for reference, I was able to mix a reasonably close shade of this color using Tamiya paints to air brush the base coat.
With all of the options on the decal sheet, I found some for a tank fighting in the Balkans rather than Africa and used those. After brushing Future on certain areas, I applied the appropriate decals using Micro Set and Micro Sol. Once dry, I gave them an overcoat of Future to seal them before applying final washes and weathering. The decals provided lay flat and show no edges.
Tracks were hand brushed with my usual mixture of black with a little gold mixed in. I find this replicates iron pretty well. The rest of the detail parts were added after basic painting, and all was weathered with acrylic washes and highlights. The figure was painted and glued in with a drop of CA to complete the model.
Conclusion: For wargaming, this kit builds into a sturdy piece suitable for action on any gaming table and has more than enough detail to satisfy the most discerning gamer. For fine scale builders, the track assemblies are molded basically in one piece; and by nature are very simple. I tried to make some modifications enhancing some of the running gear. but to fully detail this part of the model will require major surgery. That said, the build was enjoyable and fun. After all, that is what keeps this a hobby and not a chore.
Highly Recommended for all wargamers and all model builders except for those who need extremely fine detail in their builds.
Thanks goes out to Model Rectifier Corporation for this review kit.
Reviewed by James Spellmire, SoCal AMPS
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