Tuesday, November 28

Preview: AFV Club releases the 35th scale M15 "SPECIAL" 40mm CGMC...

The modification to place a 40mm Bofors gun on an M3 to create the M15 "Special" is the latest  kit from AFV club in their 35th scale halftrack series. We look today at the new feature list & photos of the completed kit from AFV's model makers in our preview...

AFV Club releases the 35th scale M15 "SPECIAL" 40mm CGMC...

From AFV Club
1/35th scale
Kit No# AF35325
The Subject: The 40mm M15 "SPECIAL" CGMC
The Army had experimented with mounting a M1 37mm antitank gun to an early M2 halftrack soon after Pearl Harbor, but the recoil actually damaged the vehicle, and the project was abandoned. However, it was revived as the T28, which mounted the 37mm on a larger, more robust M3 halftrack. Crews complained that they lacked any sort of protection to the side (to accommodate the gun, the sides of the standard halftrack were removed), and the heavy triple-mount guns tended to break down the chassis. This was rectified in the standard production version, the M15A1 Gun Motor Carriage (GMC), which added an armored box for the crew, and replaced the water-cooled .50s with lighter and more efficient air-cooled M2HBs.

This is the field modification that was done in Australia during WW2. Using a standard M3 halftrack
The M15 would serve for the rest of the war as the standard US Army AAA vehicle, supplemented by the M16 GMC with quad .50 caliber machine guns. Initially, these vehicles were only supplied to armored divisions and independent AAA batteries, but by 1944, they could be found with nearly any frontline unit. With the Luftwaffe nearly gone by late 1944, most M15s were used in antipersonnel roles. In the Pacific, they were also used in the Philippines and Okinawa, both against kamikaze attacks and against Japanese troops. So well-liked was the M15 that it would remain in service through the Korean War, though once more it was used more in the antipersonnel role rather than against Communist aircraft. The M15 was withdrawn from service after Korea; a few ended up with friendly nations. A number were converted to M15 Specials, which replaced the 37mm with the more common (and faster-firing) Bofors 40mm. The M15 Special is recognizable by the longer, flared barrel of the 40mm. 
M15 "Specials" were field modifications done exclusively in the Pacific; these equipped a few battalions in the Philippines. During the Korean War, several M15A1s and even M3 halftracks were hurriedly converted to M15 Specials, since by 1950 37mm ammunition was hard to find (the US Army had retired the 37mm at the end of World War II). Bofors were fairly easy to find and ammunition was plentiful, so these Specials were rushed to the frontline. By the end of the war, the Specials were almost all scrapped, as the M42 Duster was replacing earlier AAA vehicles, though a few survived in Japanese service into the 1960s.

The new kit from  AFV Club
AFV Club's new M15 "SPECIAL" 40mm CGMC (209th AAA Battalion in Philippines Combination Gun Motor Carriage) is seen below built up by the in-house modellers on the staff. The features of the kit are:
A new tooling gun loading platform and fighting compartment & gun sights included..
All doors can assemble opened or closed.
A highly detailed engine & trailer winch with chain.
The armor compartment is produced in ultra-thin plastic - eliminating the need for photo-etch.
Detailed interior of driving compartment. An accurately reproduced chassis & suspension systems based on thorough study of actual vehicle.
A metal gun barrel included with the gun carriage can be built in firing / transit position.
Marking Choices: Authentic markings for the M15 that served in the for U.S. 209th AAA battalion in the Philippines are included.

You can find out more about this kit when it comes online on the AFV Club Website