Tuesday 11 June 2013

M48 Battle King Refurbishment.

In between purchasing toys and planning my Goose Green game, I have managed to clean up and paint another tank to add to my Haradi forces. I've also painted up some other stuff, but they can wait for another post.

A bright metallic green is perhaps not the best colour for a MBT.
Some of you might remember a previous post about some Battle Kings that my lovely wife bought me. The King Tiger has since found a good home with Archduke Piccolo (click here for his blog), the SPG is getting a few last minute touch ups, the Hawk launcher has been played with, while the M-48 has been repainted!

Less green, more sand.

The view from the other side.

Close up on the tank commander.
I also have added again to my collection of Battle Kings, with the purchase of a rather nice  K-103 Chieftain.  This one is one of the later releases of the toy, as it has a more sensible paint job (the first releases were also in metallic green, and the running gear is all in olive green.  The tank commander is also luckily in one piece, as normally in play worn examples the head is often missing.

Chieftain and Sherman. Both with their factory paint jobs which were greatly improved from the first release of Battle Kings. 

Another view of same. I do like the paint job!

The chieftain came with a encrustation of something resin-like on the front.

The Sherman tank commander figure has been cut level with the  hatch rim.

 The Sherman I acquired back in October last year as part of a large purchase of diecasts (click here for details), but had been since then on the disposals list. Now since it has a paint job similar to the chieftain, I have decided that I can use it for a second, or even third line, Haradi unit. Of course, I may just change my mind again entirely. Still no rush, and better yet, no wrong answer!


  1. Very very nice repaint job Brian!

    1. Grey primer, Vallejo 70819 "Iraqui Sand", and a GW brown wash deserve the bulk of the credit!

  2. That looks great, wish I could find the couple I had as a kid now:)

    1. Yeah, I have a few things that I wished I had kept as a kid too!The playworn ones pop up on Trade Me every now and then, plus heaps are always on E-Bay, but the UK shipping costs can be quite high!

  3. Great stuff! What a transformation!

    1. Thanks Nick! I think it looks so good because the metallic green looks so wrong!

  4. That Chieftain is doing a passable impersonation of one of the Chieftains of BATUS or Wainwright in Canada! The were sand/olive.


    1. Hmmm.. I wonder if that was deliberate on matchbox's part? It is a good paint scheme - I am very tempted to keep it!

  5. I like your repaint. What plans for the decapitated tank commander? Model a hatch?

    1. I don't know Sean. A hatch is certainly one possibilty, but I am tempted to install a new commander.

  6. Hi Brian -
    Heads for tank commanders might be got from some infantry figures, I guess. The King Tiger tank commander, Lt. Roland von Kaputkopf, will probably obtain his cranial transplant from a DAK man.

    I do like the refurbished paint job, Brian. Was it simply a paint over; an undercoat applied over the 'here-I-am' green; or did you strip the original paint off first?

    All this arm twisting I'm getting about doing something in the moderns line is wearing down the resistance a bit, such that I actually have a small all-arms force in mind - something about Brigade strength. It's called the Pan-Arabian Legion (PAL - working title), a battalion or two of infantry (some armoured, some motorised), a company of MBTs, a company of LRVs (or maybe a self-contained Recce Group), and a support group comprising Arty, AA, and AT weaponry.

    Equipment undecised. I was thinking vaguely French, with AMX30 MBTs, but I'd need to know they could foot it with other, contemporaneous, types.

    Whether I do follow up on this will depend on how I progress with all my other projects. That has not lately been promising.

    It was not helped by my picking up 100 'Army Men' type soldiery from Farmers in Northlands for 8 bucks (packs of 25 for $1.99, 13 green and 12 tan). These were the same design as the blueish-green fellows I bought at Countdown a year or so ago. The Jono's World project is very much alive. Damned if I can find any arty, though. Have to make it, I reckon.


    1. I also want to know what you did to the tank! (and where I can get hold of this sort of stuff)

      Great stuff Brian! the tank looks brilliant! and if your wondering why I am commenting on Ion's comment its so I can actively encourage him to do some moderns... which I shall now proceed to do...

      DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!.
      The French would be a marvellous choice! the UAE uses the French Lecrec, so it highly possible that they'd have sold some tanks to an Arab nation. especially if it were a former French colony. could be very interesting indeed. Also your T-34's (if you have any) could make an appearance as they were kept for very long periods of time, famously they were used in the 1990's in the Yugoslav conflict.

      if your wondering about equipment and arms just follow your nose to begin with, many modern armies have equipment from varied nations especially those that are none to wealthy. in Oronegro's case I went for US equipment for the infantry with a mix of European equipment elsewhere. there's still a chance I may give some British stuff, for a bit of unneeded patriotism on my part and to mix things up a bit.

      Naturally though, you might want to ask Brian a bit more about desert moderns (good thing this comment is here then) as I know little about that. though I may expand to include them... Oronegro may soon grow in physical size and there is a chance it may soon get a colony of its own... somewhere you may not expect, but it will help build the story.

      anyway just my advise... and my attempt to convince you to experiment with some modern stuff.

    2. Ok, what I did first was to first clean and degrease the tank - using warm soapy water and an old toothbrush. I then rinsed the tank to get rid of any soap residue. The tank was then dried by the logburner. Once it was fully dried a couple of days later, I gave it a spray coat of Dulux spray primer. I then drybushed it with sand coloured paint, painted the commander, and gave it a brown wash. I then painted the tools on the side

    3. Ion, on your building up a moderns force, it sounds good. We should have a yarn about it soon.

      And as to your haul of Army Men - well done on the new additions!

    4. Gowan, all the tanks above were purchased on Trade Me. Part of the trick for hunting for stuff though is knowing what is out there to look for, and what is a good price for it. Some of the battle King stuff on Trade Me is massively overpriced (even as collector's items), or is simply not suitable for 1/72 gaming.

      As to your advice on building a moderns force, two key things to bear in mind are the timeframe the army is going to be operating in. An army for the 1970s is going to be a very different beast from that operating in the 2010's. Some items simply will have worn out. In the 2010s it is very unlikely that any WW2 era tanks will still be usable as anything other than bunkers due to the difficulty in maintaining them.

      The second consideration is how suitable will the force be for gaming with others. If solo gaming this isn't an issue, but if you are building a force to fit into an existing campaign with other players then it is major consideration. If the force is too weak then it won't be fun to play - if too powerful then it won't be fun to play against!

      What the force is consists of is fairly easy to figure out if it is a real world force, or part of an existing campaign, as both of these will provide a background for why something is there.

      Of course playing in someone elses background can be quite limiting - as they might not want you to have particular items in your force, but that's the price you pay for playing in someone else's backyard. Their imagi-nation - their rules and conditions apply. in theory, the trade off is that the background is interesting, engaging and entertaining enough that you are happy to accept their restrictions.

    5. If I do anything like this, it would have to be one of two ways: my own moderns gig, in which case I'll need two armies; or as part of someone else's, such as your Harad thing, Brian.

      Were I to choose the latter (supposing you were agreeable in the first place) then I would be more than happy to accept whatever restrictions you deemed appropriate. I wonder if I could have a chopper-borne contingent...?


    6. Brian what would you say a good price would be?

      anyway my main concern is how to possibly get stuff on the cheap. which outweighs pretty much every thing else. so if they are quite expensive I guess I'll make do with other stuff.

      I guess also the thing about equipment is not only time but type of nation some slightly wealthier nations may be able to produce their own spare parts for some older things and even add upgrades (Poland did that for old Soviet era tanks)

      but I guess really its down to what you want to add in, so long as its not ahead of its time I guess. anyway off to read your new post.

    7. A good price is one you are happy to pay :), and that can vary from person to person, and budget to budget.

      I would expect to pay around NZ $5 to $15 for a used play worn Battle King. If you buy bulk groups, you will spend more, but the unit cost will go down.

      While you can pay up to NZ$50 for ones in much better condition, I would only do so if you are collecting them. Many of the ones that are up currently at the NZ $20+ mark simply aren't worth it.

      If you are prepared to pay NZ$20 for a diecast you are better off ordering back issues of the Combat Tank Collection. Most stationary/bookseller places should let you order individual magazines from them.

      Your points about wealthier nations being able to afford better equipment and having a better arms industry was covered by my remarks over a nations (real or imagined) background being able to determine what will be in a nations ToE.

      Of course, the advantage of an imagi-nation is that you can create the background that provides the reason why Grustak has both BMP-1s and M113s in its army. Even fudging dates things were invented is possible if it's your campaign.

    8. thanks for the information. prices I see can vary quite a bit. being new to this hobby in comparison to the rest of you I still need to learn quite a few things about costs so the information really is appreciated.

      anyway many thanks.

  7. I rather liked the metallic green! Perhaps you could have (yet) another faction in that colour?

    1. Only if I could track down enough first release Battle King M-48s, Chieftains and Weasel Armoured cars with reasonable existing paintwork!

      Unfortunately they are thin on the ground here so the odds of me finding enough to field a playable force are a little low!

      I do plan I being somewhat more colourful with the next technical clan I do up though!