3-inch Gun Motor Carriage M10 TD, Ardennes 1944

The 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage M10 Tank Destroyer, known simply as the M10, was the American response to the tank fight against the Panzer divisions during World War II. Designed in 1942 on the basis of the U.S. doctrine for tank destroyers, it was the most popular weapon of this type among Allied armies in continental Europe during the entire conflict. British, Canadian, French and Polish, as well as Americans made extensive use of it to arm their mechanized anti-tank battalions. Based on a chassis of a M4A2 Sherman diesel engine, it included a special hull with inclined armor and an open turret that emplaced a 3-inch -76mm- anti-tank gun.

During the Battle of the Bulge at the end of 1944, the M10 was in an inferior position to the big cats of the Panzerwaffe and in the process of being replaced by the 90mm gun M36 Jackson. Even so, with the help of some smaller, agile and faster M18 Hellcats (3-in Gun Motor Carriage M18 Hellcat), they did their job and made their contribution to stop the German offensive.

3-inch Gun Motor Carriage M10 TD in 1/72 scale

Our M10 GMC model is from the Ukrainian brand UM Models at 1/72 scale, with a metal crew of Steel 72 and customized stowage mainly with green putty and various pieces from here and there.

The model is assembled as it comes from the factory. In my opinion, it is an excellent kit but it is more oriented to modelers than wargamers, due to its high number of pieces, some of them with certain complexity of assembly that will test your nerves and patience. Specifically, the chains are the ones that include loose links, and the big screws that secured the extra shielding plates in the hull and the turret also have to be glued one by one and no references that help in the assembly! However, the decals are of very poor quality, normal in this brand, and they break when placed. It is recommended to use other kits or some special sets dedicated to the American army brands such as Techmod or Microscale Decals.

Here next to the Hat M10. This is a recommended model for wargamers who doesn’t care about wasting time in assembling models.

M10 de UM models y M10 de Hat

M10 de UM models y M10 de Hat

Some comparisons of the M10 from UM with the M36 Jackson, also from UM Models and M18 Hellcat from the Romanian resin brand Wespe, all of them from 1/72.

M10, M36 Jackson & M18 Hellcat

M10, M36 Jackson & M18 Hellcat

Stowing the M10 TD 

The American armored fighting vehicles, unlike the German models, did not usually have external boxes to carry the crew’s personal equipment. In principle, these traveled inside the vehicles, but in view of the need to transport an increasing amount of ammunition, they were taken outside and fastened directly to the turret and chassis. In the case of the car chases, it is very common to see images of these full of equipment, resembling more a caravan of nomads than a military vehicle. In my opinion and going back to the 1/72 scale model, the detailing of the stowage is a very fun and entertaining part. For this, I mix all kinds of scale pieces, from small ammunition boxes, different types of bags, blankets and canvases, gasoline cans… all kinds of material: metal, resins and plastic. I also use pieces made in green putty, some molded for the occasion and others reproduced with Instant Mould or Oyumaru, the plastic clay that in an easy and fast way allows to take out a homemade mold for small pieces.

M10 con filtros de envejecimiento

The crew of the 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage

For the crew, I have chosen a bag of American car commanders of the Spanish brand Steel 72 – steel72.com – , the last adventure of Juan A. Gómez Baautista, in my opinion one of the great miniature sculptors at present, who is launching very interesting things on the market and whose figures are among my favorites. From the bag of four miniatures I have chosen three of them to place inside the wide open turret of the M10. I have turned the arms of two of them a little bit so that they are better fitted inside the cabin. This operation must be done with care to avoid breaking the metal, due to the excellent quality of the alloy used in Steel 72. The third figure I have changed a little and I have become the loader of the gun, replacing the intercom in the hand, by a 76mm projectile.

Detalle derecha tripulación M10

Tripulación en fase de pintura

Torreta con un tripulante

Torreta con dos tripulantes

Torreta con los tres tripulantes

Torreta con los tres tripulantes desde antras

The 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage M10 TD in campaign

Another part of this that amuses me is the aging process of the models. Surely the Anglo-American afvs never deteriorated too much because when they broke down they were quickly replaced by having large stocks of vehicles available. This was not the case in the German army, whose maintenance companies worked miracles to recover vehicles damaged by mechanical failure or enemy fire. Having said that, I don’t mind exaggerating the aging of my models, for me it is more important to have fun and enjoy this hobby, even if I have to take some historical licenses to do so. Even so, the atmospheric conditions during the Battle of the Bulge were quite harsh, rainstorms during the first phase that muddied the lousy Belgian road network, and snow during the final phase. This means that the vehicles involved also suffered from this winter weather.

To carry out the weathering, I have used the resources that I generally apply to my models:

  1. Edge highlight with lights and rust
  2. Streaking grime and rainmarks
  3. Pigments

Envejecimiento del M10

Envejecimiento del M10

Envejecimiento del M10

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