Converting a Hasbro M8 Greyhound to an M20 Command Car

Discussion in 'Modelling' started by Smudger Jnr, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Hasbro M8 Greyhound Armoured Car Conversion to
    M20 Armoured Command Car.

    I acquired a Hasbro M8 Greyhound a couple of years ago and it was only when I came to measured it, that I found the dimensions were nor 1/6 scale, although it was made for G I Joe 1/6 scale figures.
    Having said that the overall impression of this Armoured car was good, but when you placed a figure in the open turret you could see that it was under scale.
    The model stayed untouched until recently, whilst reading a book on George Smith Patton, I saw that he occasionally used an M20 Armoured Command car, which is a Greyhound without the Turret and added superstructure armour.
    I thought that by converting my Greyhound into an M20, the result would be a more proportioned vehicle when using 1/6 figures.
    Conversion is all about compromises in sizes when dealing with this under scale vehicle, but I believe that I have achieved the look that I set out to achieve.
    I started off by removing the turret and cutting out the centre rectangular section of the decking.
    I then cut out cardboard templates until I was satisfied with the general shape of the superstructure and then produced Plasticard pieces, which were assembled with super-glue.
    The M20 was almost always fitted with a Skate Ring with .50 Cal M2 Browning and so I ordered a resin Skate ring and carriage kit from Armorpax.
    The ring, although correct in 1/6 scale, looks a little overscale, but when I fabricated the three supports from U plastic section it looks quite convincing.
    It took a lot of trial and error to get the ring into position, but when finally bolted in place looks very much like the original.
    I was unable to obtain 2 mm bolts locally and so I used 2mm cheese head screws and soldered a nut on the end, before cutting off the cheese head.
    Using 24 nuts and bolts, the ring and supports were bolted into position.
    The interior of the M20 had side bench seats and a small single seat in the centre of the rear and so I fabricated them from Plasticard and wooden strips.
    I constructed inside walls of plasticard along each side and printed out a couple of wireless sets to see how it looked.
    The Skate carriage just requires the 4 front wheels to be glued (last job) which will hold it in place on the ring and will be able to traverse like the original.
    Most Greyhounds were delivered with mine racks on each side between the front wheel and front of the two rear wheels.
    There were removed by many crews as it made them feel vulnerable, which is quite understandable. Later models were delivered with storage boxes fitted into the gap.
    I decided to remove the racks and made up to side bins from plasticard, gluing them in place.
    I just have to put a few more details on the bodywork and it will be ready for a grey primer coat, which will show up all the imperfections!
    I hope that you enjoy the work so far and here are a few photographs that I have taken up to now.

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  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Looks a fun project to do.

    :m8: (most suitable smiley I could find)
  3. Belgian Dave

    Belgian Dave Well-Known Member

    I stopped with 1/72-1/76 because there was not enough detail and it made my eyes go funny! Now im on 1/35, and I suppose the next step will be this 1/6!
    Looks good, how does a Barbie scale up to it?
  4. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    I will take a photograph of a 1/6 scale Crew member, standing inside the Skate ring with the .50 Cal to give you an idea.

  5. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    I just took these photographs in the Workshop in order that you can see the scale with a 12" 1/6 scale figure.

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    The large package is a Dragon 1/6 scale Sherman 105mm (with 75mm fitings optional) awaiting assembly. :)

  6. Belgian Dave

    Belgian Dave Well-Known Member

    Thanks Tom. Seeing your photos reminded me of a demonstration of R/C tanks at a model show that I saw. I guess they were 1/6 scale as well. I did'nt realise you could buy kits in such a scale, thought it was all scratchbuilt.

    I suppose its a matter of personal taste, but with such a large scale, it must be quite difficult to pick up on all the details. Thats something that is not noticable in 1/72-1/76, and is ok in 1/35, but in 1/6 I would imagine everything has to be there or you end up with it looking like an Action Man vehicle?

    I like the welding effect on the plasticard.
  7. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Thanks for your comments.

    Many 1/6 vehicles are Scratch built, or metal/plastic combinations produced by specialist firms for Radio Control (Expensive).

    However Dragon have been producing static 1/6 kits over the last few years and are good value for Money compared to other smaller scales.

    The weld beads are really quite easy to do. Just mix the two elements of the Milliput putty together and get it really soft and workable.

    You just then roll it into a very thin snake and apply it to the area that was welded.

    After laying it in Position tap it down lightly with finger pressure for adhesion to the plastic and then I personally use a 3mm Diameter wooden stick cut at a 45% angle to indent the weld.

    Extremely simple and effective and after drying out overnight is rock hard.

  8. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Tom, one of the things I have missed has been your excellent modelling shots!!! Well done.. :)
  9. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    When I purchased the Skate Ring kit and other related bits and pieces I also ordered a couple of US WW2 Tanker helmet kits, which are produced out of white metal.

    I have had a pause with the M8 conversion to put the helmets together.

    They are not quite finished as on the Close up photographs, the camera really Highlights any imperfections and I have to touch up a few places.

    I also have to purchase some Liquid glass (Clear hard Setting and also used as a glue), which will be added to the goggles for effect.

    I am pleased with the end product so far and I now have another two tankers for my collection.

    The last Photo shows the unpainted raw White metal finish, before primer and Olive Green finish.

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  10. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    You've been busy, I see :) Keep it up, lovely scratch-building work, a lost art nowadays :)
  11. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Thanks for the Kind comments.

    I managed to escape the house this morning and made a trip to a model shop in Charlottenburg, where I purchased the clear glue that I will use for the lenses.

    I also managed to get some 1/8" (3.2mm) half round plastic strips.

    I will remove the not so good wooden strengtheners that I cut and glued to the bins, then replace them with the plastic, which should look better.

  12. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Given that we had some better weather this week I have been able to get out and give the Greyhound a Grey undercoat using a car primer paint spray can.

    It still requires a Little rubbing down and a second coat but is looking OK at the Moment.

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  13. Belgian Dave

    Belgian Dave Well-Known Member

    Is that coffee stirrer sticks you have used for what looks like bench seating?
    I love looking for scratchbuilding materials, you can really find some good stuff if you think about it. On of my favorites is the pump action soap dispensers. You can get various sizes of plastic tube, a spring, metal ball, etc, from them.
  14. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    The seats were made from Hardwood strips that I have left over from an LGB Scale Wooden building that I scratchbuilt several years ago.

    The stips were glued onto a plasticard base with supports to glue to the sides.

    Should look better when the inside is painted.

    Yes I too am always on the lookout for bits that can be used in modelling.

    My Stuart Barrel was replaced by part of a Toilet brush handle, but the form was good and it turned out well!!

  15. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Today I gave the model another undercoat and added the .50 Cal saddle and Mount to the ring. The last 4 whitemetal rollers were glued into place (yet to be painted) and the saddle moves nicely around the ring as per the original.

    Another rub down and I will be ready for the Olive Drab :)

    A few photos of Progress.

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    The .50 Cal is a plastic M2 made by ZYToys.

    This means that the only real weight on the ring is the whitemetal MG swivel Mount, as the saddle is resin.

  16. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Not much modelling time lately, but yesterday I found time to mix four glasses of Olive Drab and sprayed the first Olive Undercoat.

    The Olive Drab turned out too Grey and so I will source some more authentic Olive Drab for the final coat, but I took four quarter photographs to give an idea.

    I Hand painted the front tyres, but I ran out of my Black supply :(

    I visited our local Karstadt store and found some Olive Drab Cotton fabric on sale at €3 a Metre so I now have a large supply to sew up into suitable sized Tarpaulin Sheets for hanging on Vehicles and Tanks.

    I am slowly getting there.

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  17. Neilie

    Neilie Member

    This is great modelling, Tom. In this scale, everything has to be spot-on and it is. Great work!!


  18. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Many thanks for the Kind comments.

    This relatively small Armoured car took 4 pots of airbrush paint for the Olive first coat, so I think the Dragon 105mm Sherman, which is my next Project, will require perhaps 10 pots or more for each coat!!

  19. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    The colour is fine, Tom, it is a Greyhound after all :lol:

    Piece of advice though, don't paint the tyres dead black, add a bit of dark brown and gray to break them up. Tyres are black only out of the press or when that salesman gives them some wash to make them look new ;)
  20. Belgian Dave

    Belgian Dave Well-Known Member

    I rather like Revell Anthracite Matt for tyres, and then give it some weathering. But that's for 1/76 or 1/35, possibly for such a large scale you need something else. Scale can do funny things with colour.

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