An old Roco Minitanks catalog from about 1970 has a organizational chart that shows a Reconnaissance Unit from 1968. I have slightly modified that organization by back dating some of the vehicles to about 1958. The one above is the Roco M47 main battle tank. It serves as the Platoon Commanders vehicle. It is an upgraded M47 tank, with M48 tank commanders cupola from a Roco tank. The Army looked at several upgrades to the M47 but replaced them with the M48 instead. This was a real planned upgrade but never implemented.
This is the M41 Walker Bulldog tank, there are two in the unit Tank Platoon. A very nice Roco vehicle.
There is an M59 armored personnel carrier by Roskopf. It has been updated to the late production version by adding a Roco M48 tank commanders cupola. It contains an infantry squad.
In real life the Army considered converting the M59 into a mortar carrier with either an 81mm, 155mm, or 4.2 inch mortar. They only made the 4.2 inch mortar version. However I decided that an 81mm mortar would be better suited to a reconnaissance unit. They could drop a lot of smoke rounds very quickly to allow them to escape if needed. So I modified the M59 into the M84 mortar carrier. I added the folding roof hatches and have a dis-mountable 81mm mortar from the Roco M3 halftrack kit. I mounted the mortar on a bit of plastic to make it more durable for handling. Most photos of the M59 series in service seem to show two fuel cans on the rear and tools on the other side of the ramp. These were left over from my Paul Heiser Sherman tank project a few weeks ago.
The unit shown in the catalog has four M114 but since this is an earlier version of the unit I resorted to the M38 Jeep. I made two with canopies.
This Jeep got a new Roco .30 caliber machine gun.
This one got the deluxe package with three radios, two antennas, and a wire cutter.
Here is the unit all together before primer painting and regular painting. What I like about it is that there are infantry, armor, artillery, reconnaissance all in the same small package.
Here is an overhead view showing the plastic sheet I put in the beds of the Jeeps, for some reason Roco made them with several holes in the floor and the axle is visible. You can see the M84 roof hatches in white. All of these vehicles were in a sad state of repair when I first started this project and now they are all upgraded at least a little bit.
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Mike Bunkermeister Creek