Old Tanks, New Uses

In recent weeks I have blogged about several ways to get more out of your HO scale vehicle collection.  Building an SdKfz 234 mortar carrier, or building an S120S out of a Boley Abrams and Roco M60 series tank.  Today I am going to show you a use for some of the older Roco with minimal historic combat experience.

Roco made the M47 medium tank way back in the 1960s.  It's been around for a long time.  Many people purchased them because it is a good looking tank.  They often appear in used collections.  But in real life they only served a short period of time in the US Army and quickly were shipped overseas to Allied nations to be replaced in US service by the M48 series.

Of course, you can use these for armies other than the US Army, but even there you run into a problem. Most of them got new engines and new guns in foreign service.  The old 90mm gun was just not good enough against newer Soviet tank designs.

So I put mine to work repelling not foreign invasions, but alien invasions!  These out of this world figures are attacking a sleepy American town somewhere in the 1950s.  Heroclix is a line of nominally 28mm figures that represent various comic book type heroes and villains.  The game is updated frequently and old figures go out of style.

Searching my local gaming store, hobby shop, eBay, and comic book stores, I found that the older figures typically go for between ten cents and a dollar each.  I decided to base my alien invaders on a Skrull army.  The Skrull are a humanoid race from another planet with green skin and pointed ears.  Their uniforms are a purple and plum color combination and their weapons are black.

Shown here with an Imex Korean War US Army solider, you can see the Skrull is a little bigger.  I think alien invaders should be larger.  I replaced their Heroclix bases with a sheet of styrene plastic, painted glossy black.  I noticed there are a lot of Heroclix figures that have pointed ears, and similar colors to the Skrulls.  So I did not limit myself to Skrulls as such.  I got an variety of different figures and painted them in the Skrull colors.

There are several advantages to adding a science fiction army to your wargame collection.  You can use vehicles that don't get into combat much.  Your enemy army can be organized anyway you want them to be put together.  The invaders don't have to cost very much.  You can make use of all sorts of army toys from the dollar store to give them support vehicles, and transport.

There is also no time limit on alien invaders.  I like to use 1950's era US Army equipment because there were many movies from then depicted aliens and giant monsters.  There is no reason to think that aliens could not have attacked during the American Civil War, or attacked the Soviet Union, or any other time.  Being fictional your alien armies can invade at any time, in any place!

You also get to use your existing buildings, civilians, and scenery.  So all you need to buy is your enemy army.

Here are Korean War era US Army troops with late 1950's tanks and Jeeps.  It makes for interesting combinations of troops and equipment.

So for your next project, considering going out of this world!

Bunker Talk

Mike Bunkermeister Creek



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