The 640th, like most tank destroyer battalions were heavily equipped with scout vehicles. In addition to the M8 (see earlier post) the 640th had an abundance of M20 utility cars. The M20 was basically an M8 sans the turret and 37mm gun. In its place a low open topped cupola with a ring mount for an M2 heavy machine gun. A bazooka gave the M20 limited anti-armor capabilities. M20s were used primarily in the scouting role but were also used as command vehicles and ammunition carriers. Over 3,000 M20s were produced between 1943 and 1944 by Ford.
The Tamiya M20 kit is a logical follow-on to their excellent M8 kit. As with the M8 kit, prior to it’s release there were no up to date kits of the M20 in production. I tried to build this kit as much from the box as possible, though I did use a few leftover parts from the M8 photo etch set from Eduard. Other than a few tie-downs from Tiger Models those are the only aftermarket parts I used.
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.
Following this I treated the wheels and wheel wells with a sludge of mineral spirits mixed with ground pastel chalk. I applied the thick mixture so that when dry it would have the three dimensional feeling of caked-on mud.
I followed this with another wash of mineral spirits mixed with the same ground pastel chalk only this time much thinner so that when dry it would have the appearance of a coat of dust, not mud.
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 deep three dimensional effect.
The final weathering touch was a light dry brush with ground pastel chalk to bring out the fine detail.
I added some light stowage on the read engine deck in the form of a tarp and a fuel can.
The Tank Destroyer insignia are from the Archer Dry Transfers Tank Destroyer set. One photo of 640th M-20s on Guadalcanal shows them sporting the TD branch insignia on the bumper.