I have had the strawman of this blog post in my draft folder for a long time as I have stalled this part of the Swedish 1943 Invasion project until I sort out some decals etc. I have been working on the opposition though (here is a link to the last blog post on them). I do get the more than occasional question on what tanks to use for this project and what proxies are available. Therefore with an apology in advance for the tanks presented here being 80% complete lacking the final wash, drybrush, decal and weathering. The stripy painting will be subdued by this process – I promise and hope, but looks good at the right distance as it creates some depth. The final garage will be presented in a Part 2 together with some Swedish Armoured Cars, it may even contain a little mini campaign for what a Tanker in the What-if Swedish 1943 Invasion context.
More on this project in previous blogs here (links below):
I am doing this project in 15mm and have not explored what options exists in other scales.
In essence we need 4 different tanks for Sweden in WW2, here they are (the two first models would be available in an earlier war campaign, my focus is Summer 1943 when all these models are available/in service. Each links to the relevant Wikipedia page if you want to know more about them):
- Strv m/37 (available from the start of WW2)
- Strv m/38-39-40, generally known as the L-60 series (available from the start of WW2)
- Strv m/41 (available from Dec 1942)
- Strv m/42 (Available from April 1943)
Strv m/37 (available from the start of WW2) – This was the AH-IV Tankette the Swedish Army in the inter war years bought from the Czech company ČKD (Českomoravská Kolben-Daněk) company, it was produced under licence in Sweden.
The tankette was strongly modified, including the suppression of original driver’s machine gun, this variant was heavier and larger, than the AH-IV. On the turret, was placed two Swedish-made machine guns, the 8mm Ksp m/36 Strv and a commander cupola.
– Wikipedia entry “Stridsvagn m/37”
To achieve something looking similar to the Swedish version I had to do a rough conversion of a Battlefront / Flames of War model (how I did it is included in the Appendix below, with the code reference RO005) of the Romanian R1 Tankette. I just made one of these, but they came in pack of 3, so I may do a few more of them.
Strv m/38-39-40, generally known as the L-60 series (available from the start of WW2) – This was a Swedish tank developed in 1934, a few were exported and one of the versions is the Hungarian Toldi tank . My version is a 3D printed Toldi. They can be bought from Butlers Printed Models (BPM) in the UK – I got mine from a friend. They are a little bit of rough models, compared to other manufacturers. You could buy a Toldi in 15mm from Battlefront as well. I did no modification on these.
Strv m/41 (available from Dec 1942) – Licence built 38(t) a common early war tank used by the Germans. I got some Plastic Solider company (PSC) 38(t)s and did some minor but I think effectful modifications (included in the Appendix below).
Strv m/42 (Available from April 1943) – The mighty m/42 with a 75 mm L/34 gun. I bought one from Shapeways, it was bloody excellent. I think I will buy two more of this one (PV112B Stridsvagn m/42 (1/100) is the Shapeway reference, they cost £25 each – ouch!).
Appendix – conversions
This was a Swedish-built version of the Czechoslovakian CKD AH-IV Tankette, it was also sold to Romania. Battlefront does a model of this version (R1 Cavalry Light Tank Romanian, code RO005), however there are a lot of notable differences between the versions. The Green model in the picture below is the Battlefront model whilst the black and white photos are the actual Strv m/37.
- Machine Gun on the right-hand side (did not exist on the Swedish model, so I did not install it)
- The detail on top of the tracked wheels in front is different, there is a smaller box on the Swedish version (I reshaped this part – see below)
- The Swedish version had two MGs in the front, not one barrel (I re-did this part – see below)
- The Swedish version had a cupola in the hatch (I added one on my version – see below)
This is how I did the conversion, a quick job as usual looking for something impressionistic and that looks more like the Swedish than the Romanian versions.
I more or less used these as they came in the box from Plastic Solider Company, however I wanted to add some spare wheels, because it looks very iconic on the n/41 and also the hatch opened forward.
/ Hope that was of some interest.