Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Ebbles M8A3 Kirchner Main Battle Tank

As I promised last time, here's my review of the Ebbles 28mm scale M8A3 Kirchner Main Battle Tank. I don't usually include any figures in my photos of vehicles but this time I thought it would be useful to give you a sense of scale as this tank turned out to be a lot bigger than I envisaged. The figure is one of the Black Scorpion 30mm scale US Infantry figures that I recently painted. I have about three dozen of them, enough for a company.
The dimensions of the tank are 15cm long (6"), which does not include the added length of the cannon on the turret; 9cm wide (3.5") and 6cm tall (2.5"). Like the M11 MPUV that I reviewed last week, it comes in eight colour schemes - Factory Gray, Police Classic, UN White, Monotone Sand, Sand Gray, Olive Drab, NATO 3-Tone Verdant, and NATO 3-Tone Desert. I opted for Olive Drab for my colour scheme. Police Classic is unusual as it begs the question, what kind of a contemporary or near future police force uses Main Battle Tanks? Sorry, Mega City One Judges do not count!
The turret weaponry consists of a 155mm cannon, which comes in two halves - front and back. I've pinned the two halves together and pinned the whole cannon to the turret to give it extra strength and to help prevent it from snapping off. You have a choice of two co-axial weapons to place alongside the cannon - a 30mm autocannon or a heavy machine gun. I chose the autocannon purely for the extra firepower. The smoke launchers fitted to the front of the turret are optional but I wanted them on my tank. There is a further option for including a remote weapon mount, identical to those that I used with my Military M11 MPUVs. Somehow, I didn't think they'd look right on top of the tank turret so I omitted them.
The turret turns by the same method I used for the remote weapon mounts on the M11 MPUVs, i.e. with a pin. The turret and body are reinforced with layers of foamboard glued atop one another to give them a very solid feel and to prevent my pin from wobbling about. Nobody wants a wobbly pin!
The design of the tank is reminiscent of the M1 Abrams MBT currently being used by the US Army. It is similar but definitely not the same. It was an absolute joy to make as it is so unlike any other card vehicle I've made. This is one mean looking beast! You can download the PDF files for this model from the Ebbles website for just $5.00. You'll find it listed under the 2003 models section. I do have plans to use this in at least one ATZ scenario, although it won't be making an appearance this year. Next year, who knows?


  1. Did I hear someone mention Mega City One? Sure way to get my attention...

    This is one evil beast. I am just asking myself in what kind of ATZ scenario you intend to use it. You've got Soldiers, Tanks and one of the biggest painted zombie hordes on the net...sounds like Battle of Yonkers. The Website of Yonkers doesn't have anything about Zombies, I don't think they are well prepared.

    Whiteface / Oliver

    BTW, nice painting on the uniform! I really like the colour scheme.

  2. Oliver, I know from your profile on your own blog-site that you're a big fan of Judge Dredd. Well, I am too, having collected 2000AD from prog 1. If you want to go off topic anytime to chat about JD, please do.

    Recreating the Battle of Yonkers is something I've always wanted to do since I first read about it. In 28mm scale it would be impossible to do. You simply couldn't find a board big enough. But it should be possible to recreate a small part of the battle, and that's what I intend to do. Only it won't be set in Yonkers, it'll be set in Mayhem City.

    For my US Army soldiers I attempted to replicate the new digital pattern camouflage pattern that the US military have just issued to its troops. These photos don't show it at its best. I ought to take some separate photos so you can see the camo effects a lot better. A subject for a future post, methinks.

  3. Oh, I have wasted a lot of time searching through the internet for pictures of ACUPAT / MARPAT / MULTICAM and tutorials on how to paint them. Don't have anything that -
    1.) will work in 28mm.
    2.) uses GW colours.
    That's one reason why I wasn't that unhappy to stay away from the Haven scenarios this time - no need for painting military uniforms.

    If I hadn't already been fully equipped with lots of 28mm zombies, civilians and vehicles from the western hemisphere, World War Z would have prompted me to build a Russian Whitograd instead of Whiteville. That and a picture on the Lead Adventure Forum where somebody was building the city of Pripyat in 28mm...

    The German Last Line of Defense in World War Z is just about 20km away from my current location and if I recall correctly I am on the wrong side of the river Elbe ;o)

  4. I'll definitely do a review of my Black Scorpion US Army figures and let you know how I painted them. I only used GW paints on them despite Vallejo having a much better range of military colours. The big secret I found to painting the digital camo effects was to use an old brush with hardened paint-clogged bristles (we all have them!) and use that to stiple the camo colours onto a base coat. I just used trial and error on my paintjobs and I'm very happy with the results.

  5. Ho ho, I see someone is in for a hard day in Mayhem City. I guess with 500+ Zeds you have to up the hardware a bit, but I still think the Zeds are going to win out. One shot from that beast and you will have to paint another hundred Zeds for the attraction die! Bet you didn't think about that :)

  6. I have been thinking about it, actually. How many zombies do I start out with and how many do I keep in reserve for reinforcements? If I start out with about 40 humans in an urban area I'll need 40d6+40 zombies, which will mean 180 on average. With 300+ held in reserve, it could work. If not, I'm going to have to recycle the dead ones or get a helluva lot more zeds painted, LOL! Apparently explosions generate 12 possible zeds. I might have to up that number for the tank cannon!

  7. Old Brushes? Until last week I had only old brushes. Had to paint Mr. & Mrs. Whiteface with them. There was only one brush with a good point. This week I received a package with new brushes...and some more minis while I am at it.

  8. Great tanks, Bryan. Its getting so you can't even tell you made them from card. They look really good. I dont know if tanks fit into atz but I think you could probably easily create rules for it since you have such a good grasp on the rules.

  9. Oliver, don't throw your old brushes away. I find them useful for drybrushing bases and in the case of my modern US Army figures for stipling on camo effects. Glad to hear you got some new ones, though. Any nice new minis worth speaking of?

    Roger, as you probably know, there are no rules in ATZ for using tanks. I'm thinking of adapting the rules from 5150, THW's sci-fi game.

  10. Nothing that special. I purchased some minis from Mirliton. 3 undead just to have them, mad scientist for ATZ road encounters as Med Staff and a biker gang from Obelisk. It was supposed to be just a small order for brushes...

    I never throw brushes away (well, almost never). I use them for drybrushing, applying PVA, getting colour on my stencil for the road markings or stirring my coffee.

  11. I've just been looking at the Mirliton website as I've never ordered from them before. I was quite surprised to see that their 28mm scale Nightmares range is made up of very old Grenadier figures, most of which I already have. I already have the zombie sets and the mad sceintists. It's nice to see that these figures are still available. What a blast from the past!

  12. What a great game ATZ is. Here's the guy with 500+ Zeds already contemplating the need for recycling!
    The tank rules from Nuts! would do nicely, do you have Nuts!?

  13. Willy, I don't have Nuts! yet but it's only a matter of time before I get round to buying it. I'll certainly have it before I play the Battle for Mayhem City.

    You are spot on, ATZ is such a great game. I was just thinking that my 500+ zombies may not be enough for this scenario! Of course, you know what this means... buy more zombies! Is there no end to this madness?!

  14. A resounding NO! There is NO end to this madness, that is for sure. I still cannot believe I have managed to stay married for 18 years now. My Wife really must have a sense of humor.