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John Tapsell

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About John Tapsell

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  1. John Tapsell

    British Sherman

    Just be wary - the Star Decals set claims that Cassius (no.52) was an A Sqn vehicle but that isn't so. It's a C Sqn vehicle (and Star provide the correct circular tac marking for C Sqn). ERY numbered their tanks starting with No.1 Troop, A Sqn , then B and C Sqns in sequence and finally the HQ Sqn (highest numbers) - thus Spitfire is the second tank in No.1 Troop. In ERY, the Firefly was the second tank in each Troop - so the A Sqn Fireflies were numbered 2, 6, 10 and 14. 13/18 Hussars numbered their tanks starting with the HQ Sqn and with '10' as the first number ('Balaclava', Lt Col. Harrup's command tank) and then A, B and C Sqns in sequence. In 13/18 Hussars, the Firefly was the fourth tank in each Troop so in C Sqn on D-Day, their Fireflies were 63, 67, 71 and 75. There were small gaps in the numbering sequences betwen the last tank in each Sqn and the first tank in the next Sqn The Tamiya Sherman is a poor choice for a number of reasons - the front end is characteristic of an M4A4, the engine deck is incorrect for an A2 and the back end plate of the upper hull should be almost vertical on an A2. The Dragon or Asuka/Tasca kits are a better option for those reasons. Because you are portraying a specific vehicle, you need to check what the specific manufacturing features were (27th Armd Brigade may have used the Sherman III but their vehicles were a right mix of early, mid and late production examples). A quick study of the image below (from a previous Michael Kenny thread on ML) suggests that Cassius is probably a later production vehicle with either welded or cast hoods (can't quite tell myself) and a welded aerial base (very simple straight walls rather than the 'mushroom' casting on the Tamiya kit). Note the mix of spoked and solid roadwheels plus the ealier 'fancy' sprocket style - all-metal tracks too. Finally - note that Cassius is fitted with a turret stowage bin at the rear. Regards, John
  2. John Tapsell

    British Sherman

    'British Shermans' are something of a complex story because we used several of the Sherman variants. However, in the case of the decals you have, 27th Armoured Brigade used the Sherman III (M4A2) primarily and their Fireflys were all Sherman Vc (M4A4). The 'senior' battalion (13/18 Hussars) had red turret numbers. The 'second senior' battalion (Staffordshire Yeomanry) didn't use turret numbers at all - instead they had large names along the hull sides in yellow outline letters. The 'junior' battalion (East Riding Yeomany) used turret numbers and the assumption is that they were blue (because that was the normal colour used for tactical markings by a junior battalion in a brigade). This is 'Spitfire' being reversed onto an LCT a couple of days before D-Day -
  3. No-one offers aftermarket bar armour for the Airfix Warrior and without a fair amount of backdating work, it would be difficult to complete the vehicle as anything other than the configuration provided in the kit. By going for the TES(H) configuration, Airfix restricted the options available because it's a signicant upgrade over previous versions - logical choice for Airfix as the kit was primarily designed as a supporting piece for their Operation Herrick helicopter kits (as were the other Op Herrick vehicles) and not as a stand-alone vehicle range. Like most 1/48 armour kits, the Airfix Warrior is very poorly served with aftermarket options. Photo-etch would work for the bar armour but so would 3d printing as it's a relatively simple profile to replicate. The armour blocks on the side of the kit are shorter than earlier uparmoured Warriors so you can't just leave off the bar armour. An earlier iteration of the bar armour was fitted to Warriors that still had the longer hull panels. The rear-mounted air-con and electronic suites would also need to go, as would the cabling to plugs them into the roof (the sockets for the wiring are actually periscope mounts so you need to find/build suitable replacements). The belly armour plate will also need to go and be replaced with a plainer panel as do some of the other parts. You could leave all the additional armour off (bar armour, side armour and belly plate) and do a standard vehicle but even then there's a fair bit of work to be done to reinstate the earlier periscope and hatch details. The driver's hatch has multiple perscopes fitted which is rarer on earlier vehicles not on active duty. That said, I've seen photos of range safety Warriors at BATUS with this style of driver's hatch (if you fancy a bright red Warrior). I've looked at backdating it myself which is why I've mentioned all of the above. I even made a start but haven't got very far with it. John
  4. At some point in 1943, the British ordered a further 252 M3 hulls from the USA specifically for conversion to CDLs. As I understand it they were re-manufactured hulls rather than new hulls and may or may not have been supplied with turrets. I have some information of the census numbers of tanks going through the CDL conversion process but it is fragmented and very incomplete. The interesting thing is that the data clearly defines hulls as either Lees or Grants. Regards, John
  5. The box art for the IBG Crusader II kit shows a later Crusader Mk I (the IBG Crusader I box art shows an early production Mk I). I don't know whether you can build a Crusader II from the kit without comparing the parts. The markings may be correct for the kit in the box but it may be that the kit is really a Mk I rather than a Mk II. 1/72 isn't my scale but I'm building a series of Crusaders in 1/48 scale so I've been researching the differences. Regards, John
  6. John Tapsell


    At the present time, Telford is still very much on the calendar. We don't need to make any strategic decisions about it until around August and are planning on that basis. We might have to run a different format of show, depending on what restrictions might still be in place, but we can accommodate that if it becomes necessary. I appreciate that doesn't help visitors (particularly those from overseas) with their forward planning, but at this point in the year it is simply too early to be sure what the situation will be in 7 months time. Regards, John
  7. The Star T-55 sets cover a mix of T-55s with anti-radiation armour and some without (the new Tamiya kit doesn't have the anti-rad armour) so you need to be careful which options you go for. That said, the Star sheets are still a decent resource for a wide range of more generic markings options so worth the investment John
  8. The kit was originally released by Esci as a Paratroop Landrover in the 1970s. Short answer is 'yes'
  9. Starter for 10... https://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1920&bih=925&ei=UUWhXtjKI5CuUo26m5gC&q=Modern+JGSDF+Equipment&oq=Modern+JGSDF+Equipment&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQDFDUDVjUDWCKJmgAcAB4AIABWogBWpIBATGYAQCgAQKgAQGqAQtnd3Mtd2l6LWltZw&sclient=img&ved=0ahUKEwiYt-DfhP7oAhUQlxQKHQ3dBiMQ4dUDCAY
  10. The online hobby retailers are experiencing major increases in demand - in one case I'm aware of, they are receiving the same number of orders per day as they would normally expect to receive per week. Add that to the need to ensure staff are operating safely and it is inevitable that there will be significant delays in orders reaching you. eModels for example are currently predicting anything up to a 30 day turn-around (I know because I placed an order with them over the weekend).
  11. Italeri did a 'Modern Weapons Set' - at least it was 'modern' back in the 1980s when it was released (SLR/FN Rifles and Sterling SMGs). They also did a Modern Support Weapons set that included a Milan ATGW Tamiya's old British Stretcher Party set (also included in their Rover 7 Ambulance kit) contains no weapons but has some pouches and backpacks (not necessarily accurate) to go with the figures. One of the Trumpeter Japanese armoured six-wheel armoured car kits (Type 87?) contains a figure sprue that includes a Carl Gustav. Accurate Armour offer a range of rersin accessory sets including 120mm ammunition, small arms ammo boxes, packs and plastic 5 gallon water cans. You can of course use British/German-style WWII Jerrycans (if you hide the stamped ID badges) - again, Italeri did a great set in the 1970s/80s and other manufacturers have been other sets released since. The more recent Tamiya accessory sets (Allied and German) have good 'cans in the them too. Some of the many Dragon/DML weapons sets included SLRs, SMGs, GPMGs and LMGs. Apart from the Accurate Armour stuff, pretty much all of the above is out of production but can be picked up from second hand kit dealers if you keep an eye open for them. John
  12. MIMIC was an early form of electronic/magnetic mine disruptor if I recall correctly. Certainly it's purpose was related to mines in some way. I remember when we visited 32 AER in late 1991, one of the Chieftain AVREs still had it fitted and we were asked not to photograph that vehicle. Again, from memory, we were told that the Chieftains were used to carry fascines and the Centurions were more for towing the Giant Viper systems (mounted on double-axle heavy girder bridge(?) dolleys) rather than the usual single axle GV trailers. The applique armour/ERA on the Centurion glacis area definitely prevented the fascine cradles being fitted.
  13. From what I can recall it was a largely infantry campaign and involved few (if any) armoured units. There would have been some armoured car recce units from the Infantry Divisions involved. There were also some cavalry units involved but at the time these were actually 'lorried infantry' and had long traded their horses in for trucks (most went on to convert to full armoured units later in the war). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syria–Lebanon_campaign_order_of_battle It might also be worth doing some Google searching on 'Operation Exporter'. Regards, John
  14. John Tapsell

    Perth show.

    I have a somewhat different perspective. Whilst I personally am fit and healthy and would be unlikely to suffer any long term effects from the virus, how would I feel if I passed it on to someone with an underlying health condition who then suffered far than I did and was perhaps left with permanent problems (or worse)? That's a real possibility for me as my partner has asthma and I will not knowingly do anything to increase the risk to her. Equally, I work with at least two people who have had cancer and whose immune system is not as strong as mine. You seem to be advocating that I should ignore their welfare because I'll be OK - are you serious about that?
  15. Not wishing to state the obvious, but are you sure it's not just the RMP Crest on a white square? John
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