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John Tapsell

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  1. The Bronco Jeeps are spectacularly detailed and fiddly to build but really nice when done. Personally, I think the basic Italeri Jeep kit is still a very nice one despite being 40-ish years old (I'll go out on a limb and say that the 1970s were Italeri's golden age and a good number of their kits from that era will stand proudly against some of the best of what has been released in the last 10 years). Their Commando Jeep is pretty good and the Vickers K guns not bad. The newer Tamiya Jeep (not their original release from the 70s) is definitely a better engineered option and would be my first choice. I would modify the Tamiya kit to the Para specification and graft the Italeri parts onto it. I would be wary of the Legends conversion - past experience of their products suggests that whilst very well cast and detailed, they don't always worry as much about historical accuracy (hardly the only aftermarket company to fall into that category). Contemporary period photos are your friend - find them, study them and understand what details were universal and what features varied from vehicle to vehicle. Learn how they were stowed and what they carried rather than relying on what box art, other models and aftermarket sets might have you believe. Whatever you do, I would strongly suggest using Vickers K guns from Gaspatch Models - http://www.gaspatchmodels.com/products/vickersk-1-35.html I model in 1/48 scale and if their quarter scale Vickers Ks are anything to by, their 1/35 versions will be equally gorgeous. Regards, John
  2. The Elbe is in Germany, not Italy. The crossings took place on/after 29th April 1945. Regards, John
  3. Check out the passenger side - the twin vickers are pointing almost skywards, so you are effectively looking along the gunshield from the bottom and it's almost invisible. Regards, John
  4. Hi Ant, Very little equipment came back from North Africa to the UK. Troops going to Sicily/Italy took their equipment with them whilst other equipment got dumped in scrapyards, cannabalised for spares or re-issued to other units to replace losses. The vehicles were generally in a very poor state it wasn't worthwhile shipping them home to the UK (the same is true of trucks, tanks and other armoured vehicles). Only really specialist/secret stuff like CDL tanks were brought back to the UK as a priority. The lack of radiator grille bars isn't unique to desert veterans - it was common on European vehicles too as any weight saved on these air-portable Jeeps was a bonus. Note your first photo shows the very top of the armoured louvre behind the radiator grille (it's showing above the box on the bumper). The Jeep in the lower photo doesn't have it fitted but you can see the void area between the grille and the rad itself where the armoured louvres were located. Note also that these Jeeps have the same modifications as Para Jeeps - cut-down bumper, no external hand-holds and no footplate behind the front fender. Regards, John
  5. The SAS Jeeps used in NW Europe wouild have been new-issue vehicles rather than worn-out desert veterans - very few units of any kind brought their vehicles back unless they were particularly specialised items. The European spec SAS Jeeps were more sophististicated than the original types used in the desert, so it's not just a case of painting a standard desert SAS Jeep in SCC 15. As Andrew points out, they were fitted with armoured shields and windscreens as well as extra fuel tanks and armoured louvres in front of the radiator. As a basic pointer, check out the old Italeri 'Commando Jeep' but be aware that it doesn't include all the upgrades such as the armoured radiator covers (fitted between the grille and the radiator itself). Regards, John
  6. I was seriously unimpressed by the Black Dog M16s - every rifle in the set i received was broken. They are such tiny items and the resin is very brittle. If you don't mind a compromise, there are M4A1 carbines available via the Shapeways 3d printing marketplace that are near enough to the Vietnam-era XM177 'Commando' carbine. I have these and they are pretty good. https://www.shapeways.com/product/7W2KMV6E9/1-48-m4a1-carbines?optionId=62914532 Regards, John
  7. You haven't stated what time period you are looking at (I'm guessing post-D-Day in NW Europe?) The photo you've posted looks much earlier than that and a different camouflage pattern. The kit instructions appear to be a passable stab at a late-war camouflage pattern. The C8 could be in SCC2 or it could be SCC 15 - either would be appropriate for a British vehicle in NW Europe after D-Day. 'B' Vehicles were not always repainted after the orders came out to repaint vehicles in SCC 15 and lingered on in SCC2 even as late as May 1945 (although probably in ever-decreasing numbers). The disruptive colour could be black, but for modelling purposes, I would suggest a Nato Black which isn't a pure black. The disruptive colour was not applied to a specific pattern but was expected to follow basic guidelines and be applied in certain areas of the vehicle, so you have some latitude when applying it. The Jeep was probably left in US Olive Drab, but SCC 15 was a very close match (not identical). Any disruptive painting would have been of similar style to the C8 Vehicles in the same unit could easily have different base colours One last point - it's 11th Armoured Division, not Brigade. A British Armoured Division in 1944/45 had an organic Royal Artillery support 'brigade', consisting of two field artillery regts, an AT Regt and a Light AA Regt - in the case of 11th Armd Div, the AT Regt was 75 AT Regt Royal Artillery and carried a Blue/Red Arm of Service marking of marked with '77' (as per the kit instructions). The Regt would have had two towed Batteries, each with 12 17-Pdr AT guns and two SP Batteries, each with 12 M10s (either unmodified M10s or M10 IIc with the 17 Pdr fitted, dependent on the unit). The Jeep carries the markings of the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) HQ for an armoured division (a red/green diagonally split Arm of Service square, with '80' on it). That means it has no direct relationship to the C8 but could easily have been seen operating in the same vicinity. Regards, John
  8. The BBC4 programme is one I'm well aware of as I facilitated the filming at Scale ModelWorld. My level of involvement in the hobby means I get to talk with manufacturers, distributors and publishers of all shapes and sizes both officially and informally on a semi-regular basis - something I've been doing for the past 20 years. Therefore my views and opinions are influenced by what I've learnt about how the industry operates over those years. Regards, John
  9. Airfix have been reboxing 1/35 scale kits for decades - starting with the Max/Peerless range in the 1970s and more recently some Italeri and Trumpeter kits. Airfix have never wished to invest in their own development of 1/35 scale kits - the development costs are huge and the risks too great for what to them is not a market of primary interest. The casual modeller market buys the greatest quantity of kits and that market is rarely interested in the origins of the plastic in the box. What they want is a kit to build that looks like the picture on the box. They enjoy the project for what it is and accuracy/refinement comes second to that basic enjoyment. Tamiya has been reboxing Italeri kits for the past 50 years - they do it for a very specific and pragamatic reason to cater for their domestic market in Japan (Tamiya sells more stuff in Japan than in the rest of the world combined so it remains their primary market). Until the Internet opened up the visibility of the global model market, most modellers outside Japan did not realise that Tamiya did this. Reboxing is standard industry practice - why should Airfix be criticised for doing what many other major manufacturers are doing? Regards, John
  10. Some comments on the kit versions. What you get is great for a WWII RR Armoured Car in North Africa - but not much else without a lot of work. It's a very late 1930s upgrade with wide pneumatic tyres, different hubs and single wheels on the rear axle. An original 1920 Pattern did have solid (instead of spoked) hubs but think of them as being otherwise the same as the 1914 Pattern wheels - thin profile and with double wheels at the rear. Similarly, the turret is a taller 1920 Pattern design and unsuitable for a 1914 Pattern vehicle. There were apparently a very small number built in 1918 with the deeper turret and there is some suggestion that the initial batch built for the RAF in 1918 had the deeper turret (but this may be referring to the same 1918 batch). A 1914 Pattern RR had different fenders to the 1920 Pattern and the running boards of the 1914 Pattern were removable and doubled as wooden unditching planks - on the 1920 Pattern, the unditching planks were carried underneath a set of 'proper' running boards. Just to confuse the issue, a lot of the 1914 pattern cars that continued in service in the 1920s and 30s had their armoured bodies transferred to newer RR chassis periodically as the originals had worn out. A proportion of the vehicles had their bodies transferred to Fordson truck chassis in the late 1930s, but not all. The RR Tenders in the photos posted on this thread indicate that the armoured cars pictured belong to either No.1 or No. 2 Armoured Car Companies of the Royal Air Force, serving in either Palestine or Iraq. All military security in this part of the world was the responsibility of the RAF so there were no British Army units present (certainly in Iraq) in the 20s and 30s - the only 'infantry' units were locally recruited battalions under RAF control. Regards, John
  11. Nightwish - Live at Wacken Open Air 2013
  12. John Tapsell

    ARES APC

    Actually - the driver's hatch, whilst offering some level of interference, is cleverly orientated in that it 'presents' edge-on to the RWS so it minimises the blindspot. John
  13. I think you misunderstand the reason Tamiya have been reboxing Italeri kits for the last 40-50 years. Once upon a time, in the days before the Internet, the fact that Tamiya was regularly reboxing Italeri kits for the domestic Japanese market was virtually unknown outside Japan. It is difficult for companies to import their products without paying significant import duties. Therefore, it was a way for Italeri (and others) to get their kits onto the Japanese market at a reasonable price. Importing 'components' is a lot cheaper than importing a finished product. Now we have the Internet, it ihas become common knowledge that Tamiya reboxes Italeri kits - the reason they do it hasn't changed but of course they now filter out to the international market much more easily. John
  14. Hi Daniel, It may be worth looking at flights direct to Birmingham Internaional rather than the London airports. It's closer to Telford and if trains are your preferred mode of transport then there is a station at the airport with good links to Telford. It really depends on what the options are from your end (Birmingham has transatlantic routes but not sure which US airports they operate to/from). If you don't mind driving, Telford is pretty easy to get to as it's on the motorway (freeway) network. Two days - and you still won't see it all Accommodation - as others have said,the three hotels adjacent to the exhibition centre are probably booked out already but it might be worth checking them out, The International and Holiday Inn are both effectively on-site whilst the Premier Inn is about 100 yards up the hill from the front front entrance. The are other hotels (large and small) in the Telford area and lots of small guest houses too. Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton are 15-20 minutes drive away (or on the same rail line) and also have a wide selection of accommodation. RAF Museum Cosford is just down the road (10-15 minutes by car) and there is a train station close to the museum too (if you don't mind a 10 minute walk along the perimeter fence). Little tip - if you do want to visit the museum, go on the Monday or Tuesday after the show because that is the only week of the year when the museum opens up its conservation centre (about 0900-1300 each day) There's a small entrance fee to the conservation centre but it's well worth it (the museum itself is free entry but there is a parking fee). Telford itself is a fairly anonymous 'new town' (a planned new development built in the 60s and 70s) with a reasonable shopping centre. The area around the exhibition centre has been redeveloped over the past 3-4 years and there are quite a few restaurants close by. Shrewsbury has lots of history and is probably better for the casual visitor/tourist to spend the day. It's late in the year so several of local industrial heritage sites and museums will be closed. It is known as the cradle of the industrial revolution so there are museums and old sites to visit. If you google 'Ironbridge' or 'Coalbrookdale', it will give you an idea of the history. If you belong to IPMS USA (or any other IPMS group) you will get free entry to the show (no registration fee for the contest either) - IPMS (UK) members don't pay and it is a courtesy we extend to all our overseas IPMS colleagues. Not sure what your experience of US shows is, but British shows have a different emphasis. I know from my own visits to an IPMS USA Convention and the AMPS Convention in the early 2000s that US events are built around the contest. We build our shows around the chapter displays. The contest is important to us but the club displays are what make the show (and the vendors too). We aim to make a friendly, social atmosphere. There is always a dedicated 'overseas' area where all the organised overseas groups hang out and put on small displays (usually about 20-30 different groups from all over Europe and further afield - there's usually an IPMS USA presence there. Hope that helps, Regards, John
  15. John Tapsell

    AVRE Photo

    I had a thought - a random and weird one. Is it some kind of stretcher cart? (although filled with bags and stuff ) Regards, John
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