Roskopf BTR-152 Armoured Personnel Carrier mounting a scratch-built .50 cal. Browning M2 machine gun. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and their Lebanese allies used captured combat vehicles like this one and simply re-armed them with their own western weapons.
- 1 mm Styrene Sheet (Receiver)
- 0.5 mm Styrene Sheet (Feed)
- 2 mm Styrene Tubing (Control Grips)
- 1 mm Styrene Tubing (Barrel Support)
- 0.5 mm Piano Wire (Barrel, Pintle Post, and Retracting Slide Handle)
- 1.5 × 2 mm Styrene Rod (Sights, Ammo Box)
This scratch-built .50 cal. Browning M2 machine gun consists of ten parts, which are easy to cut and assemble. The work is fun and quickly accomplished, if dozens of machine guns are built in assembly line fashion. To do so, cut twelve or 24 receivers from styrene sheet, as well as the corresponding number of barrels from piano wire, drill holes into the receiver front plate and glue all barrels into place. Next, prepare the required number of barrel supports, slide one over each barrel and secure them to the receiver front plate with plastic cement. Continue this process with one new part at a time, and you will end up with dozens of fine .50 cal. Browning M2 machine guns to arm your model vehicles.
.50 cal. Browning M2 Machine Gun Parts in 1:87 Scale
|1.) Receiver||7 mm||1 mm (0.4 mm)||1.6 mm|
|2.) Barrel||13 mm||0.5 mm Ø (0.3 mm Ø)||—|
|3.) Barrel Support||3 mm||1 mm Ø (0.4 mm Ø)||—|
|4.) Pintel Post||6 mm||0.5 mm Ø (0.4 mm Ø)||—|
|5.) Control Grips||—||2 mm Ø (0.9 mm Ø)||1.6 mm|
|6.) Retracting Slide Handle||2 mm||0.5 mm Ø (0.4 mm Ø)||—|
|7.) Rear Sight||1.7 mm||0.4 mm||1.5 mm|
|8.) Front Sight||0.4 mm||0.4 mm||1.5 mm|
|9.) Feed, right-hand||1.5 mm||0.5 mm||0.5 mm|
|10.) Feed, left-hand, with M2A1 ammo box||3.5 mm||1.8 mm||2.2 mm|
A true 1:87 scale model of the .50 cal. Browning M2 machine gun, using a 0.4 mm wide receiver and 0.3 mm barrel, tends to be too fragile for our wargaming purposes, which is why we chose to build a more robust model using a 1 mm receiver and 0.5 mm barrel instead. The measurements of this variant are close to the .50 cal. Browning M2 machine gun offered by ROCO. Use the measurements in brackets above, if you would like to build the more accurate 1:87 scale model, in which case the barrel of your .50 cal. Browning M2 machine gun may consist of a single hair taken from a paint brush or 0.3 mm piano wire.
Assembling the .50 cal. Browning M2 Machine Gun
- Receiver (7 × 1 × 1.6 mm), cut from 1 mm styrene sheet; using a 0.5 mm drill bit, make a hole in the front face of the receiver to accept the barrel. On the underside of the receiver, 2 mm from the front edge, make a hole for the pintle post, and in the middle of the right-hand side of the receiver, near the receiver cover, drill a 0.5 mm hole for the retracting slide handle.
- Barrel (0.5 mm Ø piano wire), cut a 13 mm section, file the muzzle flat, superglue the barrel into the receiver, and check alignment while the glue is setting. Note: the overall length of the machine gun, receiver with control grips and barrel attached, should be 19 mm.
- Barrel support (1 mm Ø styrene tubing), cut a 3 mm section, file the ends flat, thread onto the barrel, and glue to the receiver front.
- Pintel post (0.5 mm Ø piano wire), cut a 4 mm section, and superglue into the hole underneath the receiver.
- Control grips (2 mm Ø styrene tubing), cut a 1.6 mm section, split into two half-pipes, and glue one half-pipe to the rear of the receiver.
- Retracting slide handle (0.5 mm Ø piano wire), cut a 2 mm section and superglue it into the hole in the center of the right-hand side of the receiver.
- Rear sight (1.7 × 0.4 × 1.5 mm), cut from 1.5 × 2 mm styrene rod, and glue to the top of the receiver immediately in front of the control handles.
- Front sight (0.4 × 0.4 × 1.5 mm), cut from 1.5 × 2 mm styrene rod, and glue to the top of the receiver immediately behind the barrel support.
- Feed, right (1.5 × 0.5 × 0.5 mm), cut from 0.5 mm styrene sheet, and glue to the right-hand side of the receiver 1 mm from the front face, and near the receiver cover.
- Ammo Box M2 (3.6 × 1.8 × 2.2 mm) or M2A1 (3.5 × 1.8 × 2.2 mm), made of 1.5 × 2 mm styrene rod glued in position at the left-hand receiver.
To arm tanks and APCs, drill a 0.5 mm hole at the correct spot on the turret or roof top to accept the pintle post. The BTR-152 pictured above has a pintle mount made of a short length of styrene tubing and glued to the armoured roof.