The M47 tank is one of the oldest vehicles in my collection. I cannot remember not having them in my collection. I got my first Roco Minitanks in California in about 1963, and I am sure the M47 was purchased in the first few months of the start of my collection.
Since that time I have never missed an opportunity to buy one and now my collection has over 75 of the Roco and Cox and AHM M47 tanks. This one is typical. It is missing the turret hatch and turret and bow machine guns. The model has been painted at least four times, the main gun is droopy, the upper hull is poorly attached to the lower hull.
This is after a week soaking in paint remover. Using a plastic brush and the side of an X-Acto #11 blade I got the worst of the remaining paint off the model. I used a metal stylus to scrape between the engine deck grate and get more paint off.
I used sheet plastic to make about a dozen new turret hatches, but this tank did not get one of them. Perhaps you recognize the new addition? It's the cupola from a Roco M48 tank model. In the 1950s the US Army was concerned primarily about atomic war and most equipment was designed with that in mind. The M47 was an interim design and so there were many plans to upgrade it. Before it even entered production the US Army decided they would replace it with the M48 and so most of the new ideas were dropped, although many were implemented by foreign nations who operated M47 for decades, in many different upgrade packages. Iran is still updating them and using the M47.
The cupola design is very similar to that one on the M59 APC and M48 tank. It gives the commander the ability to stay under cover from artillery fire or radiation and still operate the machine gun.
It's a simple conversion, just cut a larger hole out where the existing hatch superstructure is located. A bit of plastic coated wire inserted into a hole drilled where the original bow machine was located fixed that missing bow gun problem. I sanded down the tip of the wire to make it mimic the shape of the original bow machine gun.
I trimmed down the front of the cupola to make it fit over the tank optic. This old cupola got the hinge cut off and the actual hatch glued in place. I think it looks better and the M48 hatch never looked good on the Roco Minitank. The machine gun barrel is a bit of wire. The original gun broke off in the late 1970s. Drill out a hole in the place where the machine gun belongs and glue in the wire gun. I used a drop of model glue in the hole and a drop of super glue on the wire. Then put a dab of gap filling super glue on the other end of the wire to simulate the flash hider.
Thanks for reading.
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Mike Bunkermeister Creek