The 640th Tank Destroyer Battalion was established December 19, 1941 at Camp San Luis Obispo, CA. The 640th saw action in the Bismarck Archipelago, Eastern Mandates, Luzon and Mindanao. On Luzon the 640th conducted mounted patrols which penetrated behind enemy lines as much as 25 to 30 miles. Elements of the 640th raced ahead of the main body and secured key bridges and road junctions during the approach to Manila enabling US forces to cut off and surround large numbers of Japanese forces in the city.
Another 640th M-10 on Luzon in 1945
This is the first in a series of projects on the Vehicles of the 640th Tank Destroyer Battalion.
The AFV Club M-10 GMC is an excellent kit that has been around for a few years now. It has some very nice features but will benefit from a few aftermarket parts.
Another small aftermarket item I used to good advantage was some tie downs from Tiger Models. These little resin beauties are inexpensive and give eye popping detail way out of proportion to their cost an effort. Since these tie downs are so prominent and visible on the M-10 turret I thought it was worth the small effort.
I painted the base color using Tamiya XF-62 Olive Drab lightened to scale with XF-60 Dark Yellow. I then post shaded with straight Dark Yellow diluted to almost water consistency with isopropyl alcohol. I followed this with a wash of mineral spirits mixed with ground pastel chalk, also called “pigments” but I hate that term. Once this was fully dry I went over it with another wash of black artist oils cut with mineral spirits. This subdued the pastel wash and gave it a very pleasing three dimensional affect. The final weathering touch was a light dry brush with ground pastel chalk to bring out the fine detail.The stowage on the rear deck is mostly from the spares bin. The tarps are facial tissue wetted with white glue and painted with Tamiya acrylics. One photo I have of a 640th M-10 crew shows one clown wearing a Japanese Army fatigue cap and holding a Japanese rifle. I was a rabid souvenir collector in Iraq so I was excited to see a kindred spirit from my own unit. In honor of my fellow relic hunter I stuck several Japanese rifles, swords and a helmet in amongst the legitimate gear stowed on the rear deck.
The markings are a combination of Archer Dry Transfers and chopped up numbers and letters from various decal sheets in the spares bin. I had a devil of a time finding characters that spelled out “640TD”. In the end I had to settle for some letters and numbers whose size didn’t quite match. I’m still on the lookout for a better option but for now this is as good as it gets.