Hammer's Slammers: Model vehicle conversions - part 1

The CEV "Walrus" takes shape: CLICK here to go to the finished vehicle
Barrels and turrets
About the easiest conversions to make are turret swaps. Both GZG and Marbeth make a large range of vehicle turrets in various shapes and sizes, some of which are available separately. The same can also be said of gun barrels. It's worth contacting both manufacturers at a show or by phone and obtaining a copy of their respective catalogues.

One should also consider looking further afield for items. Hobby Bounties Ltd (01438 310141) are one of a rather few importers of 1/48th scale AFV kits. The kits seem to be exclusively Japanese in origin and range from rather recognisable WW2 King Tigers to more modern - and sometimes usefully obscure - vehicles. The turret on the Hammer's Slammers 20cm artillery piece is from a 1/48th 'Le Clerc' (modern French battle tank) for example. This needed very little work except for a shorter, howitzer style gun from the GZG range.

The Slammers "Hog" showing the additional turret and ammunition conveyer belt added on at the rear:  CLICK here to go to the finished vehicle

The Le Clerc turret had a pin from a substantial piece of brass rod inserted into a drilled hole on its underside. This hole went through the styrene model kit turret floor into a large blob of epoxy filler squished into the turret before final assembly to give some 'foundation' to the brass rod. Prior to fitting this turret to the tank body (a standard Blower Tank hull from GZG), the hole was filled in on the model where the lug for the turret normally sits. This was filled flush with epoxy putty. When set, a hole was drilled in the filler for the turret's pin for a rotating turret.

Barrels should be similarly fixed into position. If a gun barrel is long enough, or has a locating lug - as on the standard barrel on the Blower Tank - then drill into the turret and glue the barrel itself into the resin. This also works well if you are making your own gun barrels: for this use brass or aluminium tubing - available from good model shops. This tubing comes in a variety of diameters which are close enough to each other in gauge to fit snugly, one inside the other. These tubes can then be 'telescope' together to make suitably tapering gun barrels.

More complex conversions: Combat Engineering Vehicle and a Combat Recovery Vehicle.
Drake mentions in his books that these are based on tank and Combat Car chassis'. The CRV is designed for pulling Combat Car sized vehicles onto a trailer (not featured) and has a towing hook and a crane and winch drum lifted from a cheap, die-cast toy lorry. It has the combat compartment half filled in and access increased by removing the rear door with a razor saw.
The finished recoverey vehicle with crane from a toy truck:  CLICK here to go to the finished vehicle
The CEV is based on a tank chassis and has a small laser turret for engineering usage, rather than the standard, large, power-gun armed turret that the tank usually comes with. This smaller turret is also from the GZG range. It has a larger crane (also from a die-cast, toy) and a dozer blade (from a similar source). This last item was, unfortunately, not manufactured in hard styrene by in a slightly softer polythene. Prior to the model being primed, this was treated to a going over with wire wool and two coats of PVA glue to give a better key for the paint. Ladders on these vehicles were generally from the EMA catalogue. The dozer blade and crane are from a toy truck, the two turrets are from GZG:  CLICK here to go to the finished vehicle
Also added were some further vehicles all based on the Combat Car hull. Undoubtedly the easiest was the turreted Combat Car: this had the rear deck smoothed and enclosed with a piece of 3mm plastic card. This was then drilled to accept a turret selected from the GZG range but with an extended main barrel (using brass tubing).

Similar to this was the Vulcan air defence weapon with the same chassis production but with a turret from Marbeth.

More complex was a self propelled tank killer using side screens made from mesh, a gun from the GZG 'Rommel' (SF2530) with a gun shield from plastic card.

Lastly we needed a truck. This involved cutting the back off of the Combat Car and fitting a flat bed, the surface of which was covered in vacuum formed plastic with a "checker-plate" non slip finish (EMA), of the sort seen on trucks and other vehicles. This had a gun and splinter shield fitted for self defence and some stowage - in the shape of crates and oil drums - from the GZG range.
The Combat Car body has been cut down and the flat bed rear built using brass wire and mesh. Note extra fan on nose and tarpaulin made from foil: CLICK here to go to the finished vehicle
Full 'Kit bash'
In another of Drake's books - Forlorn Hope - he mentions a large, slab sided blower tank made by Henschel of Terra. This was the only entirely 'kit bashed' vehicle built for the game. The turret is from a 1/48th scale Israeli Merkava, imported by Hobby Bounties, with a barrel and secondary armament from the Marbeth catalogue, and a scratch built bustle. The hull is a 1/35th scale Soviet BMP by Dragon, with more accessories by Marbeth and GZG.
Close up of the 'kit bashed' tank. Gun barrels and point defence 'pods' are by Marbeth
Photography and site development by John Treadaway.
Click here for Modelling, Conversions - part 2, Conversions - part 3, Painting & Finishing, Scenery, Game aid Technology, Game rules, Figures