Model Armour

WOMBAT 120mm AT Gun Carrier
  
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Chris Smith joins in with his conversion of the old Revell Landrover!




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Berlin WomBat

Conversion of Revell’s Landrover 109 kit using the Firing Lines WomBAT kit


WomBAT, what’s that?

The L2 BAT (Battalion Anti-Tank) Recoilless Gun entered service with the British Army in the 1950s. It had a heavy armoured shield similar to that used by the war time 17 pounder Anti-tank guns which meant it was cumbersome to move around the battlefield.

The L4 MoBAT   attempted to solve that problem by removing the shield but it still weighed in at 770kgs which meant it needed to be towed. The L6 WomBAT was the final development of the British recoilless Anti-tank guns and replaced the heavy carriage mount with a simplified, lightweight mount. This was issued to the Airborne Forces and the Royal Marines as their primary anti tank weapon until the introduction of guided missiles such as Milan.

The WomBAT fired a 120mm High Explosive Squash Head round out to a range of 2,000 meters and by using a 0.5” spotting rifle was almost guaranteed a first round hit. The WomBAT was also issued to the three Infantry battalions of the Berlin Infantry Brigade remaining in service there until after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disbandment of the Brigade in the early 1990s. The guns were mounted on specially converted Landrover Series IIIs.

 

 

The build

This build was split into two parts, the WomBAT and the Landrover. The WomBAT and conversion set for the Revell Landrover kit, which is hard to find as it has been discontinued, comes from Firing Lines and is made up of white metal and PE. The casting of the parts was good and the instructions were laid out with both diagrams for the positioning of the parts and a descriptive text.

 

 

001

 

 

The WomBAT

This is broken down into two major assemblies, the barrel with the venturi and spotting rifle and the carriage. First the carriage was assembled, then the barrel with the venturi and it’s locking mechanism and firing needle. The two were then mated up. As the gun was going to go in the back of the converted Landrover the front leg of the carriage was fixed to the under side of the barrel in the transport position. The spotting rifle was placed on top and the electrical wire from the firing button on the carriage to the ignition needle at the venturi was added along with a conduit on the side of the barrel from lead and copper wire.

 

 

002

 

 

 

The Landrover

The chassis was built up using a mixture of kit parts and white metal pieces. The radiator grill was replaced with PE.

 

 

003

 

 


004

 

 

 

To fix a gap between the front bulkhead and the wings small strips of styrene sheet were cut to shape and slipped in between. The windscreen was replaced with PE and clear plastic sheet. The seats were originally one piece so I scratch built a frame and cut the cushions into a seat and back.

 

 

005

 

 

 

The gear lever, hi-lo ratio selector and foot pedals were all replaced by white metal or PE as was the windscreen. At the rear a cover was added for the winch housing used to pull the gun onto the back of the vehicle as was the winch hook. On top of this cover went the ammunition bins which hold six rounds. A plate with the wheel clamps went onto the load bay.

 

 

006

 

 

 

A barrel clamp was normally fitted in the Vee formed by the ammunition bins but I fitted it directly to the barrel so it could be painted without the gun being on the vehicle.

 

 

007

 

 

 

Painting and weathering

The model was primed using an automotive primer and the underside of the vehicle given a coat of Games Workshop Chaos Black.

 

 

008

 

 

 

Both the gun and Landrover were base coated in Lifecolor Green and a camouflage pattern added with a brush using Lifecolor black.

 

 

 

009

 

 

 

Details were hand painted before a coat of floor polish went on to seal the paint and provide a surface for the decals to adhere to. There were no matching decals in the donor kit so I made some using generic markings included on Echelon’s Challenger 1s in the Balkans set. Berlin Brigade vehicles were paid for from the Berlin City budget so they had unique registrations with the letter code always beginning with X.

 

 

 

010

 

 

 

011

 

 

 

Pigments were used to add a layer of mud to the areas used by the crew and to the running gear. Camouflage netting was made from gauze, white glue and dried herbs raided from the kitchen cupboard. The herbs were painted a dark green to tone them down.

 

 

 

012

 

 

 

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The Base

The base is made by two members of the ModelArmour community. It was firstly primed, and then brush painted with different tones of grey. A dark umber was added over a layer of floor polish and then a layer of matt varnish.

 

 

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