Revell 1/40th scale M56 Scorpion mobile anti tank gun re-build /restoration

Purchased this old and badly made kit off e bay, I could have bought a new one, but even the re-pops go for silly money if they are mint and boxed and untouched/unmade.
Revell m56 mobile anti tank gun scrap model a smaller image.jpg

you're probably wondering why? well this is the only kit available of this crazy machine, don't think of it as a tank, it's a 90mm Anti tank gun with a light airportable mobile platform. Developed in the early 1960's & used operationally in Vietnam.
Revell m56 mobile anti tank gun scrap model b smaller image.jpg

one has to wonder if the Paratroops that landed during operation Market Garden, had the use of such a gun, could they have held off the Panzer troops for a little longer, all they had was the PIAT. a what if scenario, doubtful, as the operation was flawed in many ways.
This is the original box art for the gun.
Revell m56 mobile anto tank gun box art.jpg
 
here's a black and white news item about the M56 on the shooting range and being air deployed.

and Nick Moran demonstrating the vehicle in detail.
 
Getting a good look at the model it's filthy as if it's been stored away in the loft, and it probably has. It was a UK seller so It may well have been assembled by a youngster way back in the 1960's, so the paint may be what was available at the time, likely to be Enamel Airfix paint.
the Scorpion has landed e.png

the Scorpion has landed b.png

after a dusting off, it would appear that the model has only been partially painted.
dusted c.png
 
Nice! The Spanish Marines also had a company of the things during the 80s. I think they were the only other user.

Yeah, airborne armour at Arnhem is one of the great 'what-ifs', being ironically the only one of the one of the three Big Drops in NW Europe where airborne armour wasn't used.
 
the first step will be to take the model apart as carefully as possible and keep the breakages to a minimum, then strip the paint off back to bare plastic. Then reassemble bit by bit scratch building anything missing, like the folding loaders deck, or anything that is inaccurate that I can scratch build better from spare pe and styrene sheet.
dusted e.png

a test of scrap parts from the spares box in dot four brake fluid, as I hear it strips paint off plastic leaving the plastic unmarked.
dot four test.png
 
after half an hour the enamel paint strips off easily with an old toothbrush, the red car primer is hanging on. For now...
half hour in the four dot.png
 
the plastic that had the enamel paint on it has been in an hour and the paint swept off easily. a clean off and close up look and there is no softening of the plastic, no deformation or loss of fine detail.
paint stripped herc part a.jpg

even the cast on text is sharply defined.
paint strip test a.png

time to start the strip-down and drop the parts in the dot 4.
 
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Purchased this old and badly made kit off e bay, I could have bought a new one, but even the re-pops go for silly money if they are mint and boxed and untouched/unmade.
View attachment 652091
you're probably wondering why? well this is the only kit available of this crazy machine, don't think of it as a tank, it's a 90mm Anti tank gun with a light airportable mobile platform. Developed in the early 1960's & used operationally in Vietnam.
View attachment 652092
one has to wonder if the Paratroops that landed during operation Market Garden, had the use of such a gun, could they have held off the Panzer troops for a little longer, all they had was the PIAT. a what if scenario, doubtful, as the operation was flawed in many ways.
This is the original box art for the gun.
View attachment 652093
Actually used in South Vietnam by the 173rd Airborne Bde



 
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There were some 17 pounder AT guns at Arnhem. I believe one is still there.
there was a 17 pounder and a six pounder outside the Oosterbeek Museum.
Both guns had their wheel missing, come to think of it there was a lad from Liverpool on the battlefield tour with us.
atg at oosterbeek museum.png

the museum and the Oosterbeek monument postcard.
oosterbeek museum postcard.png

a monument made by local people from airbourne equipment left behind on the battlefields at Heelsum.
monument to airbourne at Heelsum.png
 
The parts spent several hours submerged in Dot 4 brake fluid to soften the paint.
model in the gloop a.png

the parts with the fluid drained off and washed in soapy water, dried then laid out ready for examination.
parts layout.png

the paint has mainly stripped off, but some remain in easily crumble off areas.
bonnet panel.png

The brush guard on the front lamps will be replaced with PE frame from the pe spares box
left side track guard behind lights.png
 
the drivers bulkhead has been badly paired up against the front, so that needs to be separated.
drivers bulkhead a.png

it's a bit of a mess, but it's flat and simple to remake in styrene sheet.
drivers bulkhead b.png

the instruments box is damaged, so I'm cutting that off to re-work it.
drivers bulkhead d.png

the instruments box flatted back, that will be faced and instruments re-made
drivers dash box a.png
 
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trial fit for the bulkhead in sheet styrene.
new drivers bulkhead cut out trial fit.png

slots cut for the pedals to come through from the linkages that would be in the compartment in front.
new drivers bulkhead cut out pedal slots.png
 

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