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G.I. Combat’s THE HAUNTED TANK

Now to work on that impossible turret! Walt Simonson used a heavily modified Chaffee turret on his model, eliminating the flat sides and sharp edges that are visible in the tank in the comic. I used the T34 turret, simply cutting off the top (fig.18) and superglueing it to the turret deck that I’d molded and which was now trimmed to size. The biggest modification on this project is the installation of sheet styrene, starting at the front sides (fig.19-20) then moving on to the rear sides (fig.21-22) then the front and rear (fig. 23-24) covering up the T34 turret (fig.25-26) completely. You will notice that only the right hand rear turret plate is curved (fig.27) to fit against the circular vision cupola.

More latex molding had to be done to reproduce another part I needed from a different kit, these being the parts for the main gun mantlet and rear turret radio boxes. These masters (fig.28-29) were from my unbuilt Sherman Firefly kit, the parts again being cast using melted stick glue. I know the “Guide to the Haunted Tank” illustration states they are toolboxes but I couldn’t find an affordable Firefly turret toolbox on the market, so I just opted for casting two radio boxes and glued them together at the rear of the turret.

Another Jigsaw Tank trademark is Jeb Stuart’s commander cupola “pulpit ring”. I’m not really sure where Sam Glanzman got this design, but it’s one of the tank’s most unique and noticeable features throughout all of the comics. Mine was made by, again, using bent paperclips, starting with the four main arms sticking out (fig.30) from holes drilled around the vision cupola. The top ring was formed using a 25 cent coin (fig.31-32) as a bending template. I then used a penny (fig.33) to form the smaller inner ring. Once again the metal rings were attached using superglue and coated with diluted putty.

After gluing the trimmed mantlet into place (fig.34) it was now time to work on the main gun barrel. The tank in the comic has a 76.2mm gun that sports a post-WW2 smoke fume extractor, one of the reasons a lot of G.I. Combat readers think that Sam Glanzman patterned the Jigsaw on the M41 Walker Bulldog, and a lot of the tank’s configuration does look like one. Sam started drawing the Jigsaw at the time of the Vietnam War, and it is possible that the artist saw a lot of M41s in news pictures and footage during that time; just my own theory.

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