Friday, 7 March 2014

Allied armoured vehicle Dustifications

The discovery of how to use VK technology by Allied forces did not mean an automatic change to new combat vehicle designs, even in the manufacturing powerhouse of the USA. Non US Allied countries especially the UK; Canada and Australia had been producing for years conventional tanks and armoured vehicles which supported their forces across the globe. Suddenly new Axis and SSU walkers started to appear on the battlefield and there was now an urgent need to upgrade conventional designs to enable them to continue fighting until VK advanced armoured units arrived.

There were numerous battlefield modifications made by the Allied mechanics, some were successful but many failed dismally. It was usually simple design modifications that worked the best. The Australians took their Bren Carriers and up-armoured them and added a quad 50 calibre machine gun (T2 D3). This was a simple modification as the Aussies had already started to mount 2 pound anti-tank guns on them and the chassis was not overloaded. These very fast machines were used to great affect against the invading Japanese units in the far north of Western Australia. Small platoons of 3-4 vehicles would use their speed, manoeuvrability and firepower to hit supply lines and infantry units in the open terrain.

Tamiya 1\48 kit converted to carry a quad 50 calibre MG turret.

The versatility of the Aussie Bren Gun Carrier design saw many factories in Canada, India and the United Kingdom continue to produce the versatile weapon platform. The addition of a VK enhanced engine and armour in June 1946 meant that heavier weapons could be carried and speed maintained or even enhanced (T3 D3). The new carriers were very popular with the Allied forces in North and Central Africa and were used in their old role as reconnaissance or fast attack vehicles. The VK enhanced vehicle was especially popular with the Australian, New Zealand and British SAS units hitting the long supply routes of Axis forces in Africa and the Japanese in the North of Australia.

Carrrier with converted Allied infantry from Tamiya.

The successful upgrading of the Bren Gun Carrier encouraged engineers to attempt the same thing with the thousands of M3 and M5 halftracks in the Allied arsenals. The new Allied walkers still needed direct support by infantry and the halftracks were the only armoured vehicle available in large numbers able to keep up with the fast moving walkers. The open topped vehicles were however very susceptible to indirect artillery and mortar fire and casualties amongst veteran infantry were overly high in barrages whilst the walkers remained virtually untouched. The most expedient upgrade was to enclose the open top in several inches of light but strong VK enhanced steel (T3 D4). This simple upgrade and the addition of numerous 30 and 50 calibre machine guns meant that the M3 and M5 halftracks continued to be seen in great numbers on most Allied battlefields. The halftracks were usually deployed in platoons of 4 with one being an upgraded platoon command vehicle with additional radios for battlefield command.

Command and squad M3conversions.

Squad M3 with lots of stowage beloved by Allied troops.

Jerry can panniers added from the brass range from Secret Weapon.

Allied command squad for Operation Babylon. I created the squads from Tamiya kits in uniforms more suited to the hot plains of Iraq. Basically they are equipped and set up as per the Dust Warfare rulebook. 



  1. The one thing about WWII is that most vehicles never stayed a single model so your Universal Carriers and M4 and M5 conversions should go perfect in the amalgamated WWII and Dust cannon.

    Great kit bashing,

  2. Cheers two more M3s and carriers to go.

  3. I like the idea that VK technology means lighter armour and better power plants for these vehicles - but boy it would have been noisy inside! Great conversions, as usual.

  4. Truly professional, Exactly what i was looking for. Will bookmark this blog for future posts.
    Armor Trader


  5. Where did you source the quad 50 mount?

  6. The quad 50 cal turret is from a die ast 1/43 M16 available on ebay, I bought 4.