Friday, July 05, 2019

M106 Mortar Track

Kitbashing the Tamiya M106 mortar track with Academy's M113 ACAV.

Inspiration for the diorama.

Something like this.

Tamiya's M106A1 U.S. Armored S.P. Mortar.

Academy's M113A1 "Vietnam War".

Kitbashing. The Academy kit is a cleaned up copy of the Tamiya M113. This makes most of the parts interchangeable between the two kits. The Academy kit has the better detail, much better track, appropriate decals, and ACAV parts for a Vietnam War version. The Tamiya kit has the parts necessary for a mortar track.

Filling in the motorization holes.

Tamiya's M106 upper deck mated to the Academy hull. While relocating the Tamiya engine deck hinges to accommodate the Academy piece one got away and needed a replacement made of Styrene.

Adding nut and bolts to the engine deck hinges. Detailing the interior of the driver's hatch and adding it's driver's head crash pad.

The driver's periscopes are poorly formed and too tall. They were shaved down with a knife and the legs of the periscope guards shortened to their proper height.

Styrene rod with it's bottom sanded flat as the weld line behind the driver's position.

The commander's position mostly stock. A replacement for the M2 .50 cal Heavy Machine Gun barrel from Academy's U.S. Machine Gun set. Radio antennae from brass rod and styrene tubing. A brass handle and styrene lock half for the driver's hatch. .20 thou sheet styrene lip around mortar opening. Styrene rod straps for the inner face of the mortar hatches. Styrene rod bolt heads for the mortar hatches hinges.


Evergreen tubing for upper section of the mortar tube.

Left side hull detail. Brackets made from styrene, sheet and rod.

More detail for the .50 cal, commander's hatch and mortar hatch hinges.

Finished detailing the interior face of the driver's hatch.

Finished detailing the mounting brackets for the mortar's dismounted pieces.

Progress as of 7-12-19

 I'm not a fan of photo etch and absolutely hate resin. This is reflected in this build. Usually if I cannot make it myself I do not want it. An exception is wire screen. I cannot make it myself and photo etch poorly represents screen. Fortunately a few years ago I received samples of wire screen from Tomas Castano from his Cast 48 line of figures and accessories. Both are perfect for this project. Thank you again Tomas!

 I cut the steel screen with many light passes using a knife and straight edge.  Cutters were used for the softer copper screen.

Test fitted and now put away until after the vehicle is painted but before it is weathered.

An old unused window screen provides the material for a roll of cyclone fence.


Monday, September 14, 2015



"Daughter of Mars". A 1/20th scale vignette representing a Nitto S.F.3D. Prowler/Wave Snowman hybrid powered armor suit,
in a scratch-built structure with an original sculpt pilot. It is located in a micro G environment within the Martian moon Phobos.

A work-in-progress as well as additional finished photos can be found at -
Paul Keefe - My work: Nitto S.F.3D. Prowler/Wave S.A.F.S. "Snow Man" hybrid

"Die Obermenschen 1945" A prelude to FURY. More photos can be found at Paul Keefe - My work: FURY

Somewhere in the Multiverse.

"Bug Hunt'', Aliens vs Ma.K. in an alternate universe. A work-in-progress can be found at Paul Keefe - My work and Paul Keefe - My work: ALIEN vs Ma. K.

"Old Ironsides" 1/48th scale Tamiya M4. More photos can be found at  Paul Keefe : "Old Ironsides", Italy '44

"Der treue Husar" (The Faithful Hussar), Tamiya's 1/48th scale Jagdtiger. A WIP can be found at  Paul Keefe : Jagdtiger 331 - "The Faithful Hussar" - Kampfgruppe Göggler (3/Pz.Jg.Abt653) Germany 22 March 1945, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse.

"To The Last Round". A shadow box featuring a 1/20th scale Wave S.A.F.S. type R Racoon from Kow Yokoyama's Ma.K zbv3000 Maschinen Krieger series of powered armored suits, and a reworked female figure I had sculpted some twenty five years ago.
The ''Blue Max'' award is a resin casting made by ODG Studios.

A WIP can be found at  Paul Keefe : "To The Last Round"

"With Fate Against Them'' 1/35th scale Italeri M4 with kit bashed figures. Additional photos can be found at Paul Keefe : "The Butcher's Bill'', Clervaux Belgium, December 1944

"Tarawa" 1/32nd scale with modified Airfix figures and a plaster casting of a pillbox I had made for Farina Enterprises. Additional photos can be found at Paul Keefe : ''Tarawa''

"Steel Icebox" Tamiya's 1/48th scale KV I.

"Katz und Maus"
a heavily redesigned 1/20th Nitto SF3D Krote with scratch-built figure on a resin copy of a base I made for ODG Studios.

Paul Keefe : "The Hand That Betrayed Her" - 1/20th scale

  Paul Keefe : "Katz und Maus'' An excercise in recombinant recycling

  Paul Keefe : "The Hand That Betrayed Her" In-progress photos

"Incident at Verneuil" a DML half track with kit bashed figures (Masterbox, Tamiya, Hornet etc.). More photos and a WIP can be found at Paul Keefe : Incident at Verneuil - France 1944

"Seelow Heights" A 1/35th scale Tamiya T-34/85 with modified Master Box figures on a resin and expanded foam ground work base I had made for ODG Studios. It's wooden base designed to represent being cut from the lid of a Panzerfaust 100 ammo crate (see ammo crate lid on ground near the tank's bow machine gun). More photos and a WIP can be found at Paul Keefe : Seelow Heights 1945 - The Road to Berlin

"To Do or Die" 1/35th Italeri. Additional photos can be found at Paul Keefe : "To Do or Die"

"L.A. Resistance'' 1/32nd scale on a resin ground work base that I made for ODG Studios.

KV I ekranami, 1/48th scale Tamiya. Additional photos in an article on it's ground-work can be found at Paul Keefe : KV I ''ekranami'' Southern Russia 1941

"In Defense of the Homeland" 1/48th scale Tamiya KV I. Additional photos can be found at Paul Keefe : In Defense of the Homeland - Tamiya's 1/48th scale KV I in a scratch-built tractor shed.

"Kapitulieren?", a 1/48th scale Tamiya StuH42 with scratch-built figures. Additional photos can be found at Paul Keefe : "Kapitulieren?"

"Death of an Army", Tamiya's 1/48th scale Pz III ausf L. Additional photos can be found at Paul Keefe : "Death of an Army"

"T.A.C.C. Trooper (Titan Amphibious Cavalry Corps), 75mm original sculpture.

                              "Spaceborne", the first resin copy of a 150mm figure I sculpted.

"Retreat to the Elbe", a 1/35th scale Tamiya Jagdpanther with a resin copy of a Panzer crewman bust that I made for Farina Enterprises. The base is scratch-built. Additional photos and a video link can be found at Paul Keefe : "Retreat to the Elbe"

''Omega-Sektor", a heavily modified and detailed 1/20th scale Wave Gustav on a scratch-built future urban ruins ground work base. This battle takes place at Tempelhof Aerodrome in the early 1960's on a parallel Earth. This scene combines my love of armor and science fiction with the enjoyment of scratch-building destroyed structures.

Additional photos and a WIP can be found at Paul Keefe : "Die schwarze Witwe'' (The Black Widow)

"Kriegsmarine '45'', a 1/48th scale Tamiya Hetzer with modified Dartmoor crewmen. Additional photos can be found at Paul Keefe : "Kriegsmarine '45"

A 1/35th scale Tamiya Gamma Goat of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment circa 1980 on a resin copy of a groundwork base I had made for ODG Studios to produce. It's wooden base represents being cut from a 105mm ammunition crate as used by the Regiment's M60 MBTs.

"Cold Love on a Hot LZ". Leutnant Hitomi König, a shot down Hornisse pilot limping home through "No man's land" in her battered Panzer Kampf Anzug HO. She holds up her right arm in desperate defense as she shouts "Nicht schießen!" "Don't Shoot!". She has walked into an ambush.
A redetailed 1/20th scale Nitto SF3D PKA HO. I carved a female face from the male one provided. Additional photos in a WIP can be found at Paul Keefe : "Cold Love on a Hot LZ" - Nitto S.F.3.D P.K.A. HO Ma.K.

"Berlin Kaputt!" a multi scale shadow box featuring a Monogram 1/32nd scale StuG IV and a metal copy of a 1/35th scale Volkssturmman I had sculpted for Wilkinson Miniatures. I made this back in the mid 1990s.