Period: Flock Head and Eagle Eye
Dates: 1972 until c.1983
Cat No: 34710
Described by Palitoy: "The Action Man Scorpion Tank has real hatch openings for two Action Man soldiers. Moving tracks and revolving turret add real excitement to the armoured division". A most common and popular addition to the Action Man range produced for around ten years. Many have fond memories of this contemporary military hardware must-have and many survive today (albeit in varying states of condition). You would have had to wait two years until 1974 before a separate Action Man Tank Commander uniform was available, but worth the wait.
The Action Man Scorpion Tank featured a tough blow molded body, and a delicate hard plastic turret and exhaust detailing. The push-along light tank featured moving wheels and tracks, and rotating turret, elevating gun, and opening hatches.
The Scorpion came with a choice of alternative decals (replacements available here) - one for the Blues & Royals, one for the Life Guards. In reality most children stuck them all on as they fancied. Also included were Action Man Transport Command badges, 4 red lights and 4 amber lights (for front and rear of tank) and three pennants for the two aerials (one was spare). The aerials should have small caps on the ends (included for safety reasons). The pennants were intended to be orientated in this way: Blue uppermost when used in conjunction with the Blues & Royals badge. Red uppermost for use with the Lifeguards badge (thanks to Alan Dawson for this detail). Already affixed to the inside of the night sight housing is a black hexagonal paper sticker.
The exhaust pipe is often broken - the two pins holding it into the body break. Also delicate are the commander's hinged (top) and driver's swivel (below) tank hatches. The turret has retaining clips holding it on, and is easily removable.
The starlocks (axle caps) holding on the wheels vary throughout production - grey with a lip to the edge, black, grey and chrome domed (thanks to Samantha Wood for this observation).
The gun barrel is prone to not holding its elevated position. TIP: inside the turret, a small elastic band stretched across the two pins either side of the internal barrel cylinder provides enough friction to stop the gun drooping. The two groups of three smoke dischargers on the turret are often missing as is the thin 7.62mm machine gun protrusion.
It is an ideal vehicle for the Tank Commander. Some late versions (Transport Command) included black sprayed camouflage to the turret section only. There were two different kinds of tracks (and different shades of grey) fitted to the Scorpion over its production spell - early versions were fitted with small eyelet type pins joining the ends together, then in one piece without the need for pins.