M47 M, Artesh, 1st brigade, 77th infantry division, Mashhad, Iran, 2012

Hi there!

Here comes an oldie but goldie: A M47 M tank still in active service with the Iranian Army in 2012. The Artesh (aka Iranian Army) uses the M47 M no longer as main line battle tank, but has them relegated to antitank duties in infantry divisions. With some homegrown improvements of questional value. We shall see.

Kit is Takoms M-47 E/M. Nice kit, should be wellknown. A shake-and-bake type kit, to be honest. Well done, Takom!

First pics:

Turret, base colour, some ERA bricks for the “improvements”.

Shake-and-bake… The modernized variant festures the powerplant of the M60, hence the higher engine deck.

Here had to be added a bit of strip styrene:

Sealed with primer:


  • dutik

This is a build I’ve started some time ago, so we are going through past stages at the moment. The beginning of the paintjob:

Body color is Olive drab shine as recommended by the instructions.
The blotches are brushpainted using a dark brown. Brushpainting allows for a slightly worn look right from the beginning. Not to mention that the Iranian soldiers did a sloppy paintjob too.

You may see the line of ERA blocks along the side boxes. These are the only ERA boxes at the whole tank… I don’t know what this “improvement” is good for, but they did it - and so I did it too.

And th wheels. Lot of wheels of course. At least there is an airbrush mask available that speeds this task up:

More to come. Enjoy!

  • dutik

That’s a long time in service for those old machines! The paint-job is looking good- quite rough and ready just as you described.

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The wheels had been painted now too:

A photo of the real thing and a number of filters and washes. We are ready for wheatering:

After applying a number of filters in various areas I did chipping with spoges, painting flat and deep scratches as well as a lot of detail painting, highlighting of the edges and more of this kind of micropainting.


  • dutik

That’s coming along nicely :+1:t2:

But your tank photo is actually a M60A3, not a M47.

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You are quite right. And it’s not an Iranian tank, but it features the same type of undercarriage. Thats the to me important thing here. It is a good help to get the idea where to apply dirt and dust and how much of it.


  • dutik

Looks very nice!

And I like the camopattern, looks cards with stains used by psychiatrists, the Rorschach test… :rofl:

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Nice job so far. The camo pattern is quite interesting as it is usual, at least to me.

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Thank you all for watching and comments! You are welcome!

More wheatering and detail painting:

If you watch closely you will see tat the removable engine paneels feature a different hue than the overall engine deck. This is what you achieve using filters: same base color, but a different look of different areas. I’ve also added much less chipping and scratches there - this part of the tank is mostly hidden under the turret bustle so less exposed to wear and tear by soldiers boots or stowage loads. During engine maintenance they are also kept off - so the major paint defects are concentrated on the fixed parts of the deck.
Visible is also the browish pin wash around the boltheads, f. e. at the rear mudguards, as well as the higlighting of all hard edges. Each color by a correspondenting lighter color, i.e. an off white and a yellowish light brown. You can achieve this by simple drybrushing. I did so too in the past but nowadays I prefer real painting with a small brush for more controlled results.

Enough words, just more photos:

The turret shows some faiding with oil paints. Applied this to the hull too. Just as written in the how-to books: Add dots of a very small quantity of oil paint here and there (just the sheer tip of a wooden toothpick is enough per dot), then gently brush it downwards with a wide soft brush soaked in a proper thinner for oil paints. Turpentine (odorless is highly recommended here), white spirit, enamel thinner, each of this will do it. Doing this on horizontal surfaces is much more tricky (I still have no shake-and-bake technique here - just patience).

And with tools painted:

You may see the empty spot at the stowage bin where a fuel can holder is missing. I am still lacking a set of painted fuel canisters while writing these lines :thinking:

All the same has been applied at the lower hull. No overall chipping and scratching here - this will be hidden by the running gear, tracks and a cover of dust. Added some streaking with washes and filters.

That’s it for today. Mud and dust shall be the next step.


  • dutik

Yes, the running gear introduced on the T26 Pershings was the standard US medium tank/MBT suspension, with slight variations of return rollers and tensioning idlers until the final M60A3.

Great updates on this build! I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

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Journey onward: Adding pigments, dust, mud. First attempt:

Err, yes. Not what I’ve intended. To much pigments plus pigment fixer and we’ve got watermarks.

We make no mistakes, we have happy accidents, following Bob Ross. So: Wow, interesting effect! Made a note for later modlling projects. Was a great idea to try it first at a less visible area. And then I#ve added more pigments, but not too much at a time.

Much better now. Around hull, turret, running gear:

Brushed a bit off here and there, added a bit more and or another kind of pigment in places just to catch the look of a tank in a mostly dry and dusty environment. At least how it looks in my imagination. Never been in Iran personally, but a fellow modeller was and told me about his overall impressions of that place country.

More to come

  • dutik

Many of the battles in the Iran Iraq War were fought in the swampy Shatt Al Arab border areas. So mud on the tank hull and suspension is not out of place at all.
Yours looks really good so far! You sure nailed the look that they can get in field usage.

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You are quite right, there are a lot of marshy areas in Iran, especially along the seacoast and the the large rivers. Our fellow here is from the other side of Iran, the Razavi Khorazan province, whis bordering to Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. Mashhad has an elevation of 1.000 meters above sea level and a cold semi-arid climate. There is a bit of rain and even occasionally snow in winter. So I keep my M47 more on the dusty and dity side with some occasionally aqquired mud and not so much on the muddy side like the tanks in the southern Iranian provinces or the M60 in the woods above. At least I try to achieve this look.

Well, for this project I have searched the internet a lot for photos from Khorazan province. There are some travelers blogs crossing this area (byciclysts :grinning: ) as well as some stuff from Iranians official tourist agency :iran: in English. Very nice if you don’t speak Farsi. Not to forget the trusty Arkenstone blog with the photos of the real tank up there in Iran.

BTW, there are a lot of modellers in the US armed forces. They will always help you if you have questions about the look of some remote areas; the colour of the soil or the beach, the vegetation, the wheater and other non-classified aspects. At least if you ask about a country where US forces operate. Same goes for modellers from other places all over the world. It’s an amazing community!


  • dutik

Haha, I also follow Mr. Ross’ sage advice :smiley:!

Looks like you got the mistake cleared up and looking good now.

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Exhaust stains at the rear grilles mady of black soot pigments:

Turret finished:

As well as the whole hull:

And the wheels. Also started the assembling and painting of the tracks:

Right track ready and in position:

When things going smooth you are walking straight into an ambush. Desaster incoming! Stay tuned -


Up to the left track:

Takom provides a pair of templates (right and left side) to build up the whole trackrun. Great idea, indeed! But the instructions do NOT mention that it is expected to space the links away as far as possible. I’ve glued them to a tight fit and - Bummer! - the left track was too short. Just 3-5 millimeters, but a gap is a gap… :sob:

What to do now?

Man the boats?
Ask the Old Guard to marsh straight into Wellingtons center to shatter the British lines?
Sell the firstborn to the devil?

Decisions, decisions… :thinking:

We ask a mad scientist to forge a Frankenstein link!


We’ve got the track closed! Hurray! Last task was to create a new set of end connectors to finish it.

Well, it’s not the best track ever but at least a complete track. That’s it so far. Now I have to build and paint the jerrycan racks for the turret an the AA MG. It’s not a M2 - the Iranians use here a Dshka. Time to dig for Miniarts Soviet MGs set.


  • dutik

Nice action on that track!!

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Maybe one of these blokes went to “Persia” after WW2 as an tank camo advisor?

Hey, if it breaks up the vehicle profile, then it is effective.

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Sorry, I am a bit late. It took me some time to build up the DshkM. Well, it is a true Miniart kit with all it’s peculiarities: Overengineered for maximum details, tons of smallest IM parts to be cut off from the sprues without breaking them apart (the use of a resin saw is highly recommended!), then the task to clean off the parts without tweezerlaunching them into orbit and finally to get them glued into the correct place and correct aligned too. Not to forget that the instructions leave a lot to be desired. It is indespensable to study images of the real thing to get it right. Oh, and then there is a bunch of soft PE parts that have to be cut off, cleaned and glued in place too… My advice: If you can spend the money just buy a 3d printed DshkM, or a resin cast one. It saves you from a lot of frustration. Penalty: There are only ready-to-use DshkMs with a crank available, while Artesh used a simple non-cranked pintle-mounted variety for this M47… Now you know why I had to go the hard way :sunglasses:


Next step: Painting the whole assembly to bring it onto the turret roof.


  • dutik

Congrats, it’s a DshkM :iran:

Now we have only left over the Jerry can holders to the left and right of the turret bustle.


  • dutik