Italian Armor for North Africa

Mark A. Morin

I have been really enjoying building armored forces for the tabletop war game What a Tanker©.  This, my latest group, rounds out my Panzer Army Africa forces with Royal Italian Army armor from 1940-1943.  This post will show these tanks and tank destroyers, as well as a German Panzer IVD that was left off from my last group that I previously detailed here.  These are all 15mm (1:100) tanks, which are very small (1-3″). 

My ultimate goal is to have an excellent game that I can run at conventions or club meetings.  I now have that, but will probably add some Marder III’s, M3 Grants/Lees, and M4 Shermans to be complete.  

I will share here both the Italian vehicles and the Panzer IVD – and some of their in progress photos.  Then, you will get a chance to view some eye candy shots!  Because I have been very busy seeking new employment (and it looks good on that front!), I was able to finish the tanks and run a couple of play tests before I could finish this post.  So there will be a few shots of the play tests I have been running with these tanks.  I also share the materials and research used at the end for those interested.  

Royal Italian Army Armor

The vehicles I assembled for the Italians make up about 2/3 of the list of the models in the What a Tanker© rule book.  I already had 5 Italian tanks from Wargame Models in Ohio that are very affordable (but not as nice as those from Battlefront Miniatures).  My current Italian Army consists of 12 vehicles:

  • 2 Fiat M13/40 tanks (both Wargame Models in Ohio)
  • 2 Fiat L6/40 tanks (both Wargame Models in Ohio)
  • 2 Fiat M14/41 tanks (one from Wargame Models in Ohio, one from Battlefront)
  • 4 Semovente 47/32 tank destroyers (both from Battlefront)
  • 1 Semovente Carro Comando M41 75/18 tank destroyer (from Battlefront)
  • 1 Semovente 75/18 tank destroyer (from Battlefront)

M14/41 Tank

This tank is basically the M13/40 with a better engine and slightly better armor.

I used a painting scheme that attempted to match the one example in the Bovington museum.

7 M14-41 after decalAfter applying decal and varnish, but before adding weathering powders.8 M14-41 with photo of actual tankThe completed M14/41 tank model next to one in the book.

Semovente 47/32

In the WaT rules, this vehicle is interesting.  It is small (tougher to hit), low profile (tougher to acquire), fast (can move every turn), and a tank destroyer (can aim easier).  It also is, like the Panzerjager I, open-topped, so never buttoned (and more vulnerable).  Each blister had two vehicles, and I bought two at the 50% off sale!

3 Semovente 47-32 primed and base coatedThe tiny tank destroyers primed and base coated.

Semovente 75-18

I had two of these, with one being a command model (carro comando), that had a range finder (called a goniometer).  I used a slightly different camouflage scheme with these and love the triangle vehicle marking decals that these got.  

6 Semovente 75-18 rear view after camo and decalsHey, matching licence plates!7 Semovente 75-18 with imageI used this color scheme, and went with the decals anyways.

Panzer IVD

My previous Panzer IVD did not make the last project group as it came with two left tracks.  Battlefront sent me a replacement, and I plan to use the defective one soon as a wreck project.

Italian Repainting

For my Wargame Model in Ohio tanks, I decided to give them a makeover with paint and decals so that they were less different than the newer Italian vehicles.  They are still not perfect, but I decided to stick with what I have done with them now.

2 Wargames Models of Ohio repaintedMy repaint of the other Italians

I hope you liked the in progress stuff above – and now…it’s Eye Candy time!

Eye Candy

1 M14-41 front shotFront view of M14/41.2 M14-41 rear shotLeft rear view of M14/413 M14-41 side shotRight side view of M14/41 on the road4 Semovente 47-32 convoyLittle Semovente 47/32’s in a convoy5 Semovente 47-32 front shotFront left view of Semovente 47/326 Semovente 47-32 rear shotRear right view of Semovente 47/327 Semovente 75-18 side shotSemovente 75/18 right side view.8 Semovente 75-18 right side shotLeft front view of Semovente 75/859 Semovente 75-18 rear shotRear view of the Semovente 75/18 tank destroyer10 Semovente 75-18 Carro commando rear shotIn comparison, here is the Semovente 75/18 Carro Comando version from the back11 Semovente 75-18 Carro commando right side shotSemovente 75/18 right side12 Semovente 75-18 Carro commando left side shotSemovente Carro Comando  75/18 right side.  Note the goniometer on the top in front of the crewman.14 Semovente 75-18sThe two versions of the Semovente 75/18’s together15 Pz IVD right sidePanzer IVD left side16 Pz IVD left sidePanzer IVD left side17 Pz IVD rear sideRear view of the Panzer IVD19 All Italian AFV'sItalian Group shot!

Lastly, I am thankful to Chris Rett, Ryan MacRae, Frank Ramsay, and Mike Morgan for helping me to start to play test the scenario and rules tweaks that I will use to make this work at HAVOC in April for up to 10-12 players.  Here’s a few shots!

1 Great StoriesAt Great Stories in Uxbridge, MA – Chris, Ryan, and Frank have fun.  The Brits made a comeback and won here under Chris’ command.3 Mike MorganMike Morgan maneuvers his Brits to a narrow victory at my house.3 Kill RingsOne of my innovations – Kill Ring Cards!

Thanks for looking – and I hope that you found this post interesting and fun.  As I add more tanks/tank destroyers, I will share them.  I also hope to add better pics from future games.

Please let me know your thoughts and feedback – as always – in the comments section!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS AND FLOCKING USED ON THIS TANK GROUP:

  1. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  2. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  3. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  4. Citadel “Imperium Primer”
  5. Battlefront “German Camo Orange Ochre”
  6. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  7. Vallejo Model Air “Base Grey”
  8. Army Painter Quickshade “Mid Brown” (wash)
  9. Battlefront “Dry Dust”
  10. Vallejo Model Air “German Green Brown”
  11. Battlefront “Monty Shade” (shade)
  12. Army Painter Quickshade “Strong Tone” (wash)
  13. Battlefront “Army Green”
  14. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  15. Battlefront “Panzer Gray”
  16. Vallejo “Neutral Grey”
  17. Vallejo Model Air “Green Brown”
  18. Vallejo Model Air “Light”
  19. Vallejo Model Air “Cam. Grey Green”
  20. Battlefront “Black”
  21. Battlefront “Battledress Brown”
  22. Vallejo Mecha Color “Light Rust Wash” (wash)
  23. DecoArt “White Pearl”
  24. Army Painter Quickshade “Light Tone” (wash)
  25. Battlefront “European Skin”
  26. Battlefront “Skin Shade” (shade)
  27. Vallejo “Dark Flesh”
  28. Vallejo “Dark Prussian Blue”
  29. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  30. Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
  31. Vallejo “Light Sienna” (pigment)
  32. Vallejo “Desert Dust” (pigment)
  33. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
  34. Gorilla Glue
  35. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Gloss Varnish”
  36. Microscale Micro-Set
  37. Microscale Micro-Sol
  38. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  39. 1/8″ rare earth neodymium magnets
  40. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  41. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  42. Aleene’s poster tack
  43. Sponges

Thanks for looking and for sharing your feedback!

ONCE MORE – ON MY RESEARCH MATERIALS

As for research materials, I used the same ones as I cited before – but for completeness here they are in case you are interested (you can find them on Amazon):

  • One by Jean Restayn:WWII Tank Encyclopaedia, 1939-45
  • One by the Smithsonian/DK: Tank: The Definitive Visual History of Armored Vehicles
  • One by Michael Green:Axis Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War (Images of War)
  • One by Robert Jackson:Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles Visual Encyclopedia

I would again easily recommend all of these books as really good resources for gamers and modelers.

from Mark A. Morin https://markamorin.com/2019/02/12/italian-armor-for-north-africa/
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from Tumblr http://harfordhawks.tumblr.com/post/182753786793
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4 thoughts on “Italian Armor for North Africa

  1. bucksurdu says:

    Great stuff, Mark. Do you have a spray booth to use your airbrush indoors in the winter?

  2. Yes, it’s got great LED lights and turntable. With Massachusetts weather, it’s a must, and airbrushing has expanded my hobby projects.

  3. bucksurdu says:

    Which one did you buy? Does it vent to outside or have a filter?

  4. This is probably the one I have: http://www.tcpglobal.com/MAS-B440DCLK.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMInqj13aW_4AIVB4FpCh1c2gjpEAQYASABEgI4ePD_BwE#.XGeBRRpOmhA

    I could vent it outside, but I don’t. I do put another filter loosely behind the exhaust fan with some degree of sealing and that catches everything. I also place gauze pads (pulled apart) across the inside so as tho extend the life of my filters, and vacuum my filters from time to time. I really don’t get any dust or fumes in the cellar from my airbrush, but I do wear a respirator when I use it just to be safe.

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