Today I'll be sharing a review of a very unusual tank: the Tortoise. Today's model was brought to you by Jeff Trnka and Richard Humble. The 1:56 model can be purchased at Die Waffenkammer.
The A39 Tortoise was a tank destroyer that was developed by the British towards the end of World War 2. It was developed for the messy task of laying siege to heavily fortified areas and structures and relied on its armor rather than its speed. The tank never saw combat with only a few of them built as prototypes by the end of the war.
The vehicle was crewed by a total of 7: a commander, driver, main gunner, 2 loaders serviced the 32-pounder gun and infantry would have been kept at bay by 2 machine gunners. The gun was an adapted design taken from a 3.7 inch British anti-aircraft gun. The gun was capable of tanking out a German Panther tank at roughly 1,000 yards.
Protecting such a gun was no small task as the developers wanted to keep the gun and its crew safe during siege conditions. The armor on the Tortoise ranges from 1.3 inches on the top to 7-9 inches thick on the front and sides. The vehicle was 33 feet long by 13 feet wide and 9 feet tall. It weighed 78 tons.
The kit by Die Waffenkammer certainly wasn't that big but it did have heft. It's essentially a huge block of resin. It arrived neatly packed in a box with a note from Jeff. The entire kit is resin and my is the detail incredible on it. All of the pieces went together wonderfully. There was no warping to contend with and very little clean up was needed.
Here's a good judgment of the scale of the vehicle with it next to a Russian JS-3 and a ISU-152.
The Tortoise was a blast to paint. I painted it as a gift to a friend who's been running a British army against me for some time. I'm not sure how we'll run it in games, but I'm pretty sure we can create some house rules for it. I wanted to emulate a subtle camouflage scheme I've seen in some articles about British armored divisions pushing towards Berlin. I held off of weathering it too much, but I wanted to give the impression of it being in a wet environment at times and made sure to create plenty of rain/ grime streaks down the sides of the super structure. I used a variety of paints, pigments, filters and washes by Ammo by Mig.
This kit is fantastic. I loved building it and I especially loved painting it. The only drawback I could see for some people would be that there are not any rules available for it in Bolt Action, however that shouldn't be an issue for people who enjoy making house rules. The details and build quality is second to none especially considering it's for 1:56 scale. This kit is fantastic
If you enjoyed the review, feel free to leave a comment below as it really helps the site out. Additionally, if you'd like to pick up a Tortoise of your own, head on over to Die Waffenkammer or follow this link to the direct listing.
Until next time, have a great one.