German Army M41 Light Tank c.1963

I showed a couple of images of this some while back; it was a repeat-offender on display at the recent Avon modelling show, and as I’ve been tardy in putting it all away, I thought I’d take the opportunity to furnish a few more pictures.

I made it back in 2016 and it is the Tamiya basic kit, with an AFV Club suspension fix, including their flexible track.

Mods included ribbing on the hull stowage boxes (stretched sprue), an auxiliary generator (solder for the tube and scrap), a decent Commander’s MG and tripod – on the turret rear – from an accessory set, possibly Academy, jerricans probably from same, finished off with the excellent Valkyrie figures crew, depicted as of its time in the early development of the Federal German Army. Cabling on the headsets came from fuse-wire.

The mantlet cover was my first foray into making one from Milliput and I just about got where I wanted to be.

As I wanted to display the model as on exercise, I added etched leaves camouflage from, I think, Eduard. These take a bit of work in order so they do not appear as 2-dimensional; lots of twisting and glueing required, then some thickening up of the branches with something like Mr Dissolved Putty seems to help, but I don’t always get it right. I’ve managed an effect however, and feel it does capture the look of vehicles on exercise.

Hopefully, of some interest to the Cold War aficianados.


Looks great. I really like how the rubber from the tracks left marks on the street. You should tell us how you did that.

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You’re absolutely right Ken; mind you, the images make it look a bit stark and that’s because I blew off the dust to display it, but that also removed some pastel effects I’d put down to subdue it all. Anyway, I simply use a conventional desk-type rubber stamp ink pad - black obviously. I utilise a spare piece of track, experiment on a piece of paper, and sometimes do this to take off any excess, then just press onto whatever I’ve used as a road surface. Once matted down it seems to work.

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Wow, simple but effective. Thanks.

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Beautiful model! I especially like the tanker’s overalls, as I had to wear them …

Now I don’t know about 1963, but the M41 of Armored Reconnaissance Battalion 7 they put me on in 1965 looked slightly different:
German lights (the law demanding that position lights be no more than 400mm/16in inboard from the widest part of a vehicle) had been installed, the turret had two MG columns on the roof and three stowage points whose purpose we never learned, the loader’s hatch was countersunk into the roof (can you imagine opening it from the inside after a rainfall?), and smoke dischargers had been added over good parts of the Iron Crosses. On the other hand, we never had, let alone carried, a tripod for the Ma Deuce.
My model also is Tamiya with AFV Club running gear, the mantlet cover fabric is thin silk.

I hope this isn’t regarded as taking over your thread - just showing memories of my youth.


Thanks Peter - both for the input and the pics of your excellent model. Mine I feel, is set a little earlier that is prior to the German-specific modifications such as lighting and smoke dischargers. Whether or not 1963 is accurate for that I must admit I do not really know.

I took a lot of my references from, as I so often do when modelling Bundeswehr subjects, the excellent Tankograd series:

“Die Anfangsjahre des Heeres 1956-1966” provided me with what looked like the tripod assembly on the turret rear, but it is quite a poor picture (page 30).

“Die Panzer M41 und M47 in der Bundeswehr” provided me with further pictures and no small inspiration, specifically pages 11 and 14 (the latter again depicting a tripod); both images were bedecked in camouflage branches and that prompted my modelling efforts. It is hard to tell from these images whether or not any numbers were applied to the turret sides; I probably should have applied some!

I only quote these references for general interest – and to extoll the series – not to sound defensive I hope(!)

‘Love your model and the exquisite detail; always great to see Bundeswehr vehicles from this time, what I refer to as the Gelboliv time. Thanks for your comments and contribution.

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@BootsDMS, “repeat offender” Brian? :face_with_hand_over_mouth: I like it! very nicely done.

@PzAufkl, Peter, that’s some mighty fine work there as well! I love the idea of thin silk for canvas dust mantlet covers! It would also give a proper texture in scale. Did you use the sort of silk used on R/C aircraft?

to both of you… inspirational! I’ve thought about doing both a US Army and Bundeswehr M41 from that era… always the modeling ideas and plans… never enough time… :wink:


The silk came from a lady’s blouse that my wife had discarded because it had worn thin.


Both M41’s look pretty good, but one issue with the 1963 one - the Gun travel Lock is pointing the wrong way - should curve inboard, not outboard



At least they are down. Not sticking up like someone threw a handful of viagra in the gas tank and a sexy red convertible just drove by. You’d think after 60 some odd years Tamiya would fix the frickin directions.


Nice work, both. I went with the other ex adversary. 13th Tank Battalion, JGSDF. 1980s. Actually, most of theirs were ex- Bundeswehr rigs. They were reworked back to US spec. Kit is the original Skybow one, afore they got gobbled up by AFV Club. Decals are Asuka(?). Paint is Tamiya JGSDF OD.


Thanks Malcolm - good call;I cannot believe I got it wrong, and worse, haven’t noticed over the intervening years. Aaaargh!

I may try and fix; the trouble is the model is secured to the base, and the component firmly glued. We’ll see.

Thanks again.

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Nice work Timothy, nice work.

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Outstanding job Brian. I love the finish and especially the weathering you have applied to the vehicle. It’s very realistic and reminds me of that light dust I used to see in Germany. The base is excellent too and it’s just how I remember many roads while stationed there. The tank crew look great as well, Valkyrie make excellent figures and really adds a tremendously to the overall project. I’ve always loved the look you have achieved with Cold War subjects and their bases.

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Well, thanks Richard, very much ('could kick myself over the gun crutch though!).

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I wouldn’t worry about that, probably isn’t too hard to fix. Easy for me to say!

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