Friday, 29 June 2012

Shell Hole Scenic's M40 Nimrod - Part 1

Hungarian Nimrod AA Gun
As mentioned in my first post about the Shell Hole Scenic’s Hungarian Nimrod AA tank model I am more impressed with this product than I was with their awful T20. My main criticism of white metal models thus far has been about poor fitting and the surface pitting.

Left: A lovely shot of the Hungarian Nimrod. Source: WWII in Colour

But this model seems to fare better on both accounts. Additionally the level of detailing is quite nice, with additional smaller parts provided to make - what I assess to be - a fairly passable looking Hungarian Nimrod...

Before I start, however, here’s just a quick note on the name of this AFV. I am using ‘Nimrod’ as handy means of identifying this vehicle even though that isn’t technically correct (in respect to my interest in the Finnish variant).

Left: The major components in the Shellhole Scenic's M40 Nimrod. Naturally I was a bit suspicious of one-piece tracks, but while the track pattern isn't great overall this sin't a bad effort.

The Hungarian version of this Swedish design was called the Nimrod and many modellers are familiar with this name so I use Nimrod to easily denote a 'family' of AA vehicles based on the original Swedish design. The Finnish and Swedish versions were not known as the Nimrod, I just use the name as a convenient and catchy title!

Historical designations:
Swedish: Luftvärnskanonvagn L-62 Anti II tank
Hungarian: 40M Nimród
Finnish: Landsverk Anti II AA-tank

There are a few little issues with this kit from my point of view. First of all I think Shell Hole's dimensions are a little out regarding the height of the turret deck, it should be a little taller and the space between the hull and the deck (the bit where the turret sits) is too shallow.

Left: The 'minor' components in this kit. These are very nicely done, I particular like the checker-plate floor and the radio.

This is most noticeable when you consider the second of my problems - the Finnish vehicle does actually differ slightly from the Hungarian version. So, with the hull being too short you can’t add the rear mounted tool set or stowage baskets because there just isn’t enough room.

Above: The bit what goes 'bang'! The 36M 40mm Bofors gun, and very
nice it is too. Well done Shell Hole.

The Finnish 'Nimrod'
The Landsverk Anti II AA-tank (to give it it's correct title) differs slightly from the Hungarian AA tank, this  is probably due to the fact that the Finns simply bought the Swedish tank 'as is' whereas the Hungarians produced their own licensed version and fitted it out to their own requirements.

Above:  This side view, aside from highlighting the amount of Milliput filler I've had to use, shows one of the issues with this model. Look at the rear engine deck - now compare this to the black and white photo I've included at the top of this post. Notice that on the real Nimrod there was room to fit tools above the rear storage box, on the model there is little room at all.

Most noticeable differences affect the turret, the hull front (nose) and rear of the hull around the exhausts (as the Hungarians used a locally manufactured engine instead of the Swedish Scania)

The Finnish version of the tank had a different front hull access panel cover, so you will have to shave off the Hungarian one and you won’t need the extra part that Shell Hole provide here either. While at the rear I’m afraid that the lovely Hungarian exhaust system will have to be replaced with a simpler single exhaust unit.

Left: I've had to shave back Shell Hole's detail on the front of the hull. Part of this was due to some minor pitting but mostly this was done to convert the Hungarian Nimrod into a Finnish variant.

Really good reference photos of what the Finnish version looks like can be found at the web site, while comparative Hungarian Nimrod shots can be found William A. Kirk Jr's 'Tanks!' web site.

The turret is a major issue which I will tackle in its own post as it will demand full scratch rebuild. The front hull and rear hull issues are minor tweaks and are easily achieved with some plasticard bits and Milliput!

Left: Here you see that I have glued a blank panel of plasticard over Shell Hole's rear hull area ready to add my Finnish exhaust. It's a real shame I have to do this as they really did a nice job of the Hungarian exhaust system. The Finnish version is a simple single pipe unit which I will make out of a plastic rod and some brass wire. Again Milliput has filled in the small gaps between the hull and the track units.

Pitting and fit
I will mention that there was some surface pitting, which is annoying as I found smoothing out white metal accurately a bit fiddly (for a novice). But there was also one major crater on the left rear of the hull which demanded filling.

Above: Ahhh, the joys of white metal! Unfortunately some of the nice
rivet detail is lost in the pitting. You can also see the small Hungarian
front hull panel which must be removed to make the Finnish variant.

Fit of the tracks to the hull was also a bit vague and a bit of filing and filling was demanded. But, I think this is something that is inherent in white metal models, where original mouldings are more apt to become damaged or worn with use (?).

Above: A good shot of the rear engine deck which shows how short it
is compared to the real thing, there should be a lot more space between
the top of that storage box and the engine deck. No room for the tools
I'm afraid. Additionally, you will notice the big crater I had to fill next to
the storage box.

Generally, though, I thought the Shell Hole model was not bad and in some areas (the turret in particular) they have done a very nice job.

NEXT: The Finnish turret scratch build...Eeek!

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