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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Italian M11/39 by Game Models


I ordered some of these ages ago and finally decided to put paint to resin. I know I sound like a broken record but the same things apply here: It's Game Models. That is to say it is not up to Battlefront Miniatures' standards, but when price factors in, it compares very favorably (Plus all GameModels stuff is done by one guy). This is a tank I don't expect to see a lot of table time since it's in direct competition with its successor the M13/40 on the force orgs, and frankly- to play a 1750 point game I have to use every available expensive platoon to even get there with early war Italians! Nevertheless, these things are very cool looking so I'd like to try and make sure they get some spotlight time.

The models themselves are passable- the resin is somewhat pitted and detail clarity is rough. The details ARE, however, exaggerated which works at 15mm. Furthermore side by side with Battlefront M13s they are dead on scale wise. In all, I'm glad the brunt of my Italian armor forces are Battlefront minis, but for some of the more weird vehicles like this little frankenstein- Game Models is acceptable.

8/14 Ms.


The M11/39 was developed as a "Breakthrough Tank" (Carro di Rottura). The design of the M11/39 was influenced by the British Vickers 6-Ton. This influence is reflected particularly in the track and suspension design. One innovative aspect of the design was the placement of the final reduction gears inside the front-mounted drive sprockets, eliminating the need for enlarged final drive housings in the bow armour.

The M11/39's career was cut short due to several weaknesses of its design. The most important was the placement of the main 37 mm armament in the hull. The 37 mm gun was in a fixed position with traverse restricted to 15° to port or starboard. The only other armament was the dual 8 mm machine guns in a rotating turret. While only one man operated the machine guns, the turret was small with manual controls.

The concept was to use the main gun against heavy targets and defend the tank against all-round threats with the turret armament. The layout was similar to the American Grant/Lee tanks, still to come in 1939. The original intent was to place the 37/L40 mm armament in the turret, but there was insufficient space. A redesign of the M11/39, in order to mount the main gun in the turret, was commenced, finally resulting in the development of the M13/40. In the meantime an order for 100 M11s was placed.

In addition to the poor gun positioning, the M11/39 had other shortcomings: its endurance and performance were both poor, it was relatively slow, its mechanical reliability was very poor, and its 30 mm maximum riveted steel armour, designed to withstand only 20 mm fire, was vulnerable to British 2-pounder guns at any range at which the M11/39s main gun was useful.

All M11/39s were designed to carry a radio, but none of the production vehicles were so fitted. The M11/39 hull design, with modifications, was used in the development of the more successful Fiat M13/40.


Equipment and Notes
 37/40 gun
Fully Tracked
Twin MG, Slow Tank, Unreliable
Hull Mounted.

It's a bit difficult to figure out exactly where these guys fit in in Flames of War.  Clearly they're good at anti infantry work- but so are the far cheaper tankettes.  They're only so-so at Anti Tank work- far outclassed by the M13/40.  The Italians don't have all that many options in Burning Empires to play with as is, and so getting a viable force with these is actually somewhat difficult when you choose them over the M13/40s (at least for me with my modest Italian collection).  But I am a sucker for cool looking vehicles and these guys definitely fit the bill!

Between Battlefront a Battlefront Semovente 75 and M14/41

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