Meng 1:35 A39 Tortoise superheavy tank, with a twist, started 2016

Jakko

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About five years ago, I bought Meng’s A39 Tortoise kit.

EA498998-ACBB-4438-8B91-43F4E95E94E0.jpeg

This is one that really existed, a British superheavy tank, though it went no further than six prototypes built after the Second World War was over, one of which survives at Bovington:

1568px-Bovington_146_Tortoise_1.jpg (Wikipedia)

I got as far as assembling the running gear onto the lower hull (minus tracks) and doing some work on the upper hull and machine-gun turret, such as removing moulding seams and restoring/applying more cast texture with putty.

ADE667C2-9179-44D2-B88B-61516145BB18.jpeg2DBECC37-4C7C-4DCE-B0E1-A9EFED7596CD.jpeg

Then it stalled in favour of other models …

As you may notice, though, the model isn’t quite the same as the Bovington tank. This is because when I was looking over the kit and wondering how exactly I was going to build it, I decided to make a Tortoise Mk. 2 out of it — which is entirely fictitious, of course, making it a “what if the Tortoise had been adopted and updated in the 1950s”-model. This is why I filled the hole for the Besa bow machine gun and replaced the Besas in the machine-gun turret by M1919 Browning barrels from AFV Club Centurion kits. I’m still debating which other modifications might have been made, which probably requires a little more research into when exactly Centurion got upgraded with certain features like a spotlight, external fuel tank etc.

I’m going to finish my M29C Weasel first, though, so don’t expect much or any work on this model just yet :smiling3:
 
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Jim R

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Hi Jakko
Very interesting, as are all your models. I'll wait for the start and follow along. Tortoise doesn't really seem a very intimidating name for a super heavy tank. Doesn't really have the hint of threat that say 'King Tiger' has :smiling:
Jim
 

Tim Marlow

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One change would be that they’d make it using armoured plate. The Bovvy one is in mild steel LOL….and apparently a single prototype Mosquito aircraft was fitted with that monster of a gun! I would expect the gun mantelet to be designed using experience gained from that seen on the Tiger II or Jagdtiger..
 

Jakko

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Very interesting, as are all your models.
I’m glad someone else thinks so too :smiling3:

Tortoise doesn't really seem a very intimidating name for a super heavy tank. Doesn't really have the hint of threat that say 'King Tiger' has :smiling:
I suppose it was inspired by its speed and armour? Not sure, but it seems likely.

One change would be that they’d make it using armoured plate.
Maybe I should face-harden the plastic, then, for accuracy? Heat it up in the kitchen oven then dunk it in a sink full of water?

I would expect the gun mantelet to be designed using experience gained from that seen on the Tiger II or Jagdtiger..
Oh, good thought, not one I had had. My idea is to either saw off the barrel and put a 120 mm (like Conqueror or M103) in, or add a fume extractor to the barrel. But either depends on when those were introduced in the real world, and until when I think Tortoise could believably have remained in service.
 

Jakko

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Because Centurion had that already by the time its Besa was swapped for a Browning. I don’t think it would make sense to arm a tank like Tortoise with the same gun, as I see it as taking up the niche Conqueror was built for: taking on heavy enemy tanks at longer ranges. For which, perhaps, the 32-pounder would work just as well. A fume extractor on it would make it clear (to those in the know) that this isn’t intended to be a WWII tank, though.
 

Tim Marlow

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Good point, though it was originally designed as a bunker buster wasn’t it?
 

papa 695

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Nice one Jakko, it looks like a good start. Just pulled up my seat to see this get finished.
 

Bobthestug

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Thats a lump Jakko, fancy pushing that!!
 

Jakko

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it was originally designed as a bunker buster wasn’t it?
Essentially, yes. My fictional backstory (as it is) here is kind of that that the Tortoise got re-purposed as a heavy-tank–killer, since in a 1950s war, there wouldn’t be a bunker line to fight through but there would be IS-3 tanks on the other side. The limited traverse of the main gun wouldn’t be much of a problem if it can stand off at a distance (like Conqueror was intended to do) while its thick armour would allow it to do so from a relatively exposed position. Or so you could rationalise a decision to keep it in service, anyway :smiling3:

it looks like a good start.
It really is closer to the start than the finish, though. I haven’t fitted any of the details other than on the machine-gun turret, for example.

Thats a lump Jakko, fancy pushing that!!
I suspect you’d need another one :smiling3:
 
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