Battlefront 1/100 scale M10 Tank Destroyer

KIT #: US102
PRICE: £5.50
DECALS: none with the kit
REVIEWER: Jeff Simpson
NOTES: Resin and metal wargaming model


 I am sure the American M-10 has been seen, in other scales, on MM before, I have no doubt that Wikipedia would be a good place to search. The salient point is that the open-topped “tank destroyer” was a concept that did not work particularly well in action.

The Army: the New Zealand army was one of the smaller of the Allied forces. I like to model their equipment because they had a huge variety of different types.

The New Zealanders fought in Italy in WW2. In June 1944 the M10 was issued to anti-tank artillery units, who found they suddenly needed to train as drivers and mechanics. As it happens there was little opportunity to engage with German tanks, and the M10s were mostly used to provide indirect fire support to the infantry.

A little known footnote to the end of the war in Europe is the confrontation between Allied forces and Jugoslav partisans in the Trieste area. New Zealanders took the brunt of this, for several weeks after the Nazi surrender in May 1945. In one incident an M10 was guarding the Trieste waterfront and it was peppered with bullets from a sub-machine gun. The commander took the 0.5” Browning machine gun out of its canvas cover and unleashed a bust of fire in the general direction of the sniper. He had the satisfaction of blowing out several windows, needless to say the sniper did not trouble them again that evening. 


The M10 was widely used by British and US Forces. There was an up-gunned version using the 17pdr gun and the US had a version with a completely different turret and 90mm gun called an M36.


15mm or 1/100 scale is a common wargame scale and an enormous range of soldiers and equipment from Ancient History to the present day is represented in kit form from many different manufacturers. Most of these are metal cast “kits” with only a few parts, but there are also some resins. For a collector 1/100 scale is a reasonable compromise between detail and storage space requirements.

Battlefront are made in New Zealand. Battlefront make a wide range of 15mm kits. The kits are marketed as part of a comprehensive set of wargame rules called “Flames of War”.  They have a good website  primarily encouraging people to play the wargames, but also showing how to make the kits and build and photograph dioramas. The kits are sold in two forms: in army packs or individually. Since I am not a gamer I prefer to buy different individual kits.

Three or four years ago the kits were (and probably still are) widely available in Australia and New Zealand and online wargame shops. They are also stocked (2009) in the UK by the Hobbycraft chain of “craft shops”.

The single kit comes in a plastic blister pack, with the parts protected by a chunk of foam plastic. There are only a few parts: a resin hull and separate turret with mantlet, two white metal track units, gun barrel and machine gun.

I measured the hull at 61 mm long, which gives a scale of about 1: 97, which is within tolerance for a “15mm” kit. I did not measure other dimensions but the kit looks too tall to me and I filed the tracks and turret to reduce the overall height to look more reasonable.


These models do not usually require a lot of cleaning up: the resin is well cast with hardly any flaws, ditto the metal parts. A little bit of filler is required, I used white Milliput, which was smoothed with fine sandpaper when set. In the case of the M10 the track units are quite a tight fit into the recess in the hull, I filed the tops of tracks to get the correct sit of hull, whish I judged by eye.

I filed the bottom of turret to reduce height slightly, again judged by eye.

The tracks and gun barrel were fixed with superglue.

Instead of using the provided machine gun I made up a shape out of plasticard and cast it in plaster, this was then carved to look like a canvas wrapped gun.


The lower hull and tracks and suspension were painted a mixture of browns to try to give a rusty/ dirty/ used look.

By the late war period, the New Zealand Army colours were overall green. I assume it would have been similar to British Army green. I mixed up what looked to me to be a reasonable sort of green, using Testors Matt Medium Green acrylic as a starting point, with a dash or two of brown. No doubt there are experts around who could advise on the exact colour mix details, if the paint was actually mixed to specification. This was thinned and brush applied to the upper hull, turret and the outer parts of the suspension. The interior of the turret was painted a darker shade, with seats and ammunition details picked out in a browner shade.

I painted on small patches of gloss varnish front and rear and on the turret sides. After that had dried I applied decals: square divisional markings and a diamond shaped tactical marking on the turret sides. The decals were obtained from “command decision” who market a range of “15mm” and other wargame scale decals. I overpainted the decals with matt varnish.

The wrapped machine gun was painted brown and then a wash of green was applied to give a faded canvas look.


The kit is nicely detailed and is a fairly quick build, requiring a little bit of modelling skill and judgement to make it “look right”.


Plowman J and M Thomas, Kiwi Armour 1: 4th New Zealand Armoured Brigade in Italy, 2000, published by J Plowman, ISBN 0-473-06534-7 pages 30/1/2

Plowman J, Rampant Dragons – New Zealanders in Armour in WW2, 2002, published by Kiwi Armour, ISBN 0-95823550-1-5

Bellona Military Vehicle Prints No. 9, 1969.

 Jeff Simpson

June 2009

Kit courtesy of my wallet

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