Gents, I received an order to make the master-turret with nape cut, for Panzer Resin Models. But, first of all, let´s talk about this rare tank.
Tank AA, 20 mm Quad, Skink was a Canadian Self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon, developed in 1943-44, in response to a requirement from the Canadian Army Overseas. Due to a lack of threat from the German air force, the Skink was cancelled in 1944 after only a few had been built.
The development of a fully enclosed quadruple 20mm mounting on the chassis of the Grizzly tank (Canadian-built M4A1 Sherman tank) was approved by the Canadian Army Technical Development Board as Project 47 in March, 1943. In keeping with the tradition of giving Canadian armoured fighting vehicles animal names, the proposed tank was named after the Skink,Ontario's only lizard.
The Canadian Ministry of Munitions and Supply had the turret designed in-house by its Army Engineering Design Branch (AEDB) with help from the Inspection Board. The Waterloo Manufacturing Co. in Waterloo, Ontario, was given the task of building a preliminary wooden mock-up. This was completed on 18 September 1943. The construction of two welded armour pilot turrets was then authorized. The first pilot turret was demonstrated in mid-December. In January 1944 a pilot turret was successfully tested on a Grizzly chassis. Due to the challenges of welding a turret of such a complex shape from Rolled homogeneous armour plate, Dominion Foundries of Hamilton was contracted to produce a fully enclosed cast turret (the largest armour casting ever made in Canada).
Originaly it was planned to arm the Skink with four 20 mm Hispano-Suiza cannons and the first prototypes were so-armed. In January 1944, the 21st Army Group in Europe decided that only British 20 mm Polsten guns would be used (the Polsten was a simplified derivative of the Oerlikon cannon) by its units. This required a redesign of the turret, which was completed in April. This change delayed the project by 3 to 4 months, while 21 Army Group's reduction in the number of AA guns to be issued to its units led to a reduction in the number of Skink turrets which were required. This dwindled to zero in late July 1944, when 21 Army Group decided that as the German air force - the Luftwaffe - had been virtually eliminated over North West Europe, there was no longer a requirement for anti-aircraft tanks. The Skink contract was cancelled in mid-August and only three complete vehicles and eight turret kits were completed.
The Skink’s four 20 mm guns could fire 650 rounds per minute per gun. A modified Oilgear hydraulic traverse with two pumps could rotate the turret at up to 65 degress per second and - crucially for a quick response- - accelerate from rest to 60 degrees in 2 seconds. The guns’ elevation was also hydraulically assisted so the guns could move at up to 45 degress per second in an arc from -5 to +80. The gunner controlled both elevation and rotation with a joystick, and used a Mk.IX reflector sight. Initially it had been planned to build 300 Skink turrets for the Canadian and British armies.
One Skink was sent to Britain for evaluation and was then sent to Europe for field trials with the First Canadian Army.
From 6 February to 11 March 1945, the Skink visited all but one of the Canadian armoured regiments - from Nijmegen to the Cleve area - frequently engaging in actual combat. All units found it to be a valuable asset. However no enemy aircraft presented itself to the Skink's guns and its main function was to flush out stubborn pockets of enemy infantry and force their surrender. The remaining Skink pilots and the completed turrets went into long-term storage in Canada where, at some point, they were scrapped. Only some unfinished turret castings salvaged from the firing range survive.
|1st Canadian Army marking|
|Tank AA, 20mm Quad, Skink|
|Type||self propelled anti-aircraft gun|
|Place of origin||Canada|
|Weight||25.9 tonnes combat load|
|Armour||50 mm (glacis)|
|4 x 20 mm Polsten automatic cannons|
|Engine||Continental R975C1 radial engine, gasoline|
350 hp (253 kW) at 2,400 rpm
|Suspension||Vertical Volute spring Suspension (VVSS)|
|Ground clearance||43 cm|
|Fuel capacity||660 litres|
|Speed||38.5 km/h brief level|
|Skink AA tank - 3 views - notice the nape cut turret above right|
George Bradford drawing
|Skink with long nape|
|Skink with cut nape|
In the market there a conversion resin kit for the long nape Skink, by Panzer Resin Models
|PRM conversion kit - Skink long nape|
|PRM turret and parts|
|Skink in two versions|
|Skink turrets - front view|
|Skink turrets - side view|
|Skink turrets - rear view|
|The original casting marks in the real turret|
|Adding casting marks with modified Archer decals|
The turret casted:
|Skink late turret|
And using the Italeri´s Sherman M4A1 as host. The upper hull is PRM, from resin conversion kit.
Put claws in the turret...Using cooper wire to estabilize the guns...
Using surgical needles for gun tubes:
And the turret armed and dangerous...
The turret in the hull. The metal machine gun .30 is from RB Models.
|tracks and aerials (acupunture needles)|
|Skink with fenders|
Now, it´s primer time:
After historical research, I draw a profile...
...BUT THE MARKINGS ARE WRONG !!!!
Paul Roberts, in Armorama, warned me about this ...
This is the correct:
I'll correct the markings, soon ...
Reportedly the sole Skink sent to Britain for evaluation actually saw action. After being transshipped to Antwerp on 24 January 1945, it reached the Canadian forces a few miles south of Nijmegen, Holland, on 4 February, and entered combat in support of the 6th Canadian Armoured Regiment (CAR) north of Nijmegen bridge. In this action, the Skink saw combat, in the ground support role, during the Allied push into Germany, working with two Shermans and an Infantry platoon, in the second wave infantry mopping up role with devestating effect. In this action, the Skink firing several bursts into a building occupied by about 50 German's, 10 of whom were wounded by 20mm HEI-T fragments and the remainder quickly surrendered.
The final pics: (WITH WRONG MARKINGS, YET)
|Skink AA tank - late version|
|notice the raised nape|
The tank was ready, but with flaws...The markings and the tracks....The "raised nape" version shows the CDP (Canadian Dry Pin) tracks.
|Notice the raised nape of the turret and the CDP tracks.|
When I built this version, the CDP (Canadian Dry Pin) tracks did not exist in the market .... Today, there are CDP tracks from Panda Plastics and Friulmodels ....I chose the metal ones to correct my kit. But first, I had to disassemble my tank, yanking the tracks, drive wheels and markings ...
|The Skink after the ...ahn...surgery!!!!|
|The correct tracks: Canadian Dry pin tracks, from Friulmodels.|
|Tracks in place...Wow...Notice the space for spare tracks in the turret|
|Building the racks for spare tracks (turret)|
|The correct marks and the decals ready for application.|
Notice the white rectangles (below) for better contrast...
|The Skink with fenders repainted (left) together my other Skink|
|Decal time: First, white rectangles for better contrast of colors.|
|After the white rectangles dry, applied the transparent decals printed in full colors...|
|Skink of 1st Canadian Army, Elgin Regiment reporting for duty, Sir !!!!|
And the Girl with raised nape was repaired and ready:
|Skink AA tank from 1st Canadian Army, Elgin Regiment - Holland, 1945.|
|Skink AA tank from 1st Canadian Army, Elgin Regiment - rear view|
|Skink AA tank from 1st Canadian Army, Elgin Regiment - bird view|
|Two canadian Girls who hate German planes ....|
|Skinks with Canadian and American tracks - Notice the napes....|
|Skink AA tank with Kojak, for size comparison|
Well...the kit was repaired and upgraded ....
Bye for now, Tankers !!!!
Sorry for the mistake ...