Challenger 2 TES Megatron

Hi All,

It’s been a while since I’ve done a tank model, though I’ve wanted to build the RFM Megatron since I got it, when it first came out. My question is not about the model itself, rather, its about whether there are any photos of the real tank WITHOUT the barracuda camo netting. I haven’t found any. It seems a true waste to build all the detail into the model, only to cover most of it ups with that camo netting, but I also like to model things like they are in reality, hence my question, I’d like to think that somewhere there is a photo, hopefully more than one, of this tank without having almost every inch of it covered up. So that’s the first question.

Secondly, does anyone know of a 1/35 scale set of that barracuda netting? I’ve searched the 'net and found that just about anything that did appear to exist is now either out of production or out of stock. Am I missing something that is out there? Thanks in advance for answers.

Welcome to my world Curt, or rather the dichotomy of making a lovely detailed model then covering it all up in camouflage - which is what I tend to do. I don’t know about the details of Megatron (and I think the camouflage is fixed) but as I pursue a certain realism I often portray my models as I’ve seen them in the wild as it were. In addition to camouflage nets and foliage, I also tend to further obscure with dust or mud effects.

I think it just comes down to what you want; you may not have much choice in the case of Megatron as I say, I believe the camouflage is fixed. I’m sure others here will chime up with a more accurate response.

I’m afraid I can’t help re the Barracuda system as I model AFVs from an earlier timescale, but again, I’m sure others may be able to assist.

You might also want to do a bit of backdating (mainly different antenna setup on the turret) and do an Operation Telic vehicle. You might be able to find some photos of vehicles without the barracuda during the late stages of the Operation…


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Built-in picnic table! :slight_smile:

I agree…I’ve always thought it looked like a table!

@BootsDMS: You are correct, sir…as armor modelers, we do tend to cover up details with weathering, depending upon how extreme we choose to go. Based on the pictures CMOT, the barracuda camo netting really DOES look like it is permanently affixed, at least not just thrown on top of the tank.

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Not quite sure what you are trying to do with this Curt ?

Are you wanting to build a Cr2 TES or the Cr2 Megatron ?

Thats a TES in Iraq

And Nikos have shown images of Megatron - Nikos has done it without the barracuda and Darrens has it fitted.

Megatron is a Cr2 which is held by ATDU at Bovington as a test bed so you can see it with barracuda (Darren) or without (Nikos) it just depends what they are doing with it - The actual tank is also swapped out at different time periods so will see different VRNs from time to time. You will also see it with lots of different add on’s and configurations, depending on what they are doing at a particular time ??

@gtdeath: Thank you, sir, for at least some pictures I have not seen previously!! I can now model at least ONE tank that looks like the TES but without the camo netting in place. I’m fine with even just that one vehicle to make my tank look like something that was, at one time, inn existence.

Regarding Op Telic, I am only aware of the desertized, sand color tanks that had the canvas extensions below the side skirts to minimize dust. I LOVE that version of the Chally 2, and in fact, the 1/35 ‘desertized’ Tamiya kit was the very first model I built when I returned to the hobby about 15 years ago, as I thought it looked like a spacecraft!! I still have that tank, but looking back on it, my weathering, and the painting, too, were not very good at all. I did manage to squirrel away 2 more of those Tamiya kits, as yet unbuilt, with insane amounts of aftermarket photo etch and other items, that I really want to build at some point. Were any TES tanks actually used during Op Telic, without all the desert adornments?

Op Telic was the name given to the whole time frame from 2003 to the main withdrawal in 2009. So CR2 TES were deployed as my pic above. Not on the initial fight though.

Nikos’s images are of Megatron … not a standard Cr2 TES. Also, it does not have the turret armour packs fitted in all the shots, just the mounts.

Hi Johnny, I really didn’t have in mind any specific conflict or location, just any tank that was actually seen in the real world with all the details (antennas, etc.) that Rye Field put into their kit present on the tank, but without the barracuda camo netting. I appreciate the education on the variations of this tank platform. I’ve always liked the tank in the photo you posted, with the mixture of green and sand painted components. Maybe it’s worth covering up some of the details on the tops of the turret and hull to be able to show a tank in a combat environment.

@CMOT: Thanks for the great close up pictures of the tank with the camo netting in place! Great stuff!

Theres another one on Telic, with not so much barracuda fitted and a lot more tank visible. The issue will be that if you want to do one as a TES on deployment to Telic, they would of all probably had at least turret barracuda fiited… You could still do it with just partial fitting just on the turret top like that image there … nearly all the main gucci details are still visible.

you are really not hiding much detail with just the small amount on the turret, and you dont need as much either !!

How Challenger II started at Operation Telic:

How it ended:

By the way, does anyone know of a readily available aftermarket barrel for the Trumpeter kits? I need some of those.

I didn’t think they did one Niko’s ?.. may be wrong… I tried in vain to find one when I did my Cr2 Nomad a while ago…

@gtdeath: Wow, more great photos…thank you! The first 2 photos show the version that the Tamiya ‘desertized’ kit modeled. I had not been aware of how much things changed with the Challenger 2 over the time period…so I’ve gotten more of an education. Thank you!

Wish I could help you with your barrel question, but I don’t know of any. Sorry.

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@Johnnych01: Thank you for your added photos. You are correct that just covering the turret is not THAT much of an issue. I’m sure I could come up with some kind of way scratch build something that looks similar to the barracuda netting, for an area that small.

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There was a gradual evolution of Challenger additional armour in Iraq from the initial yellow desertised versions a la Tamiya kit into the green phase represented by the Trumpeter Enhanced armour:

. Early pics show that the sandskirts were retained until they fell off. There were subtle armour differences between the two types, but both used the same front ERA blocks, it was just the side additional armour blocks that varied. Later you see the change to the front hull armour of the RFM TES version and the table on the top of the turret, and the rectangular boxes on the sides at the hull front (often in sand paint). The same hull armour was used initially (you can tell by the large bolts at the corner of each block), but later these changed to those in the RFM kit. These are carried on the larger “bazooka” plates of the RFM kit so this was an additional change. Quite a few of these changes are visible in the pics in this thread.

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