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Found 12 results

  1. Italy, May 1944. The Gustav Line is finally broken at Cassino. During the pursuit of retreating German forces a Humber armoured car crew from 46th Reconnaissance Regiment find the road blocked once again. The officer dismounts to check his map for an alternative route. His wireless operator looks down nervously, worried about mines and snipers... This is of course Matchbox's venerable Humber Mk II, now available from Revell. A big problem with the kit in its current form are the decals. These give you a vehicle from 4th Recce Regt captured by the Germans (which should actually be a Mk IV) and one from an 'unknown' armoured car regiment in 'Lybia', which seems to have been based on a photo of a UK vehicle, possibly from the Royal Canadian Dragoons! It would have been nice to have had some accurate North African markings, as in the original kit. In their absence, and because the base doesn't look that desert-like to me, I opted for an Italian scene and painted it Light Mud with blue-black disruptive camo. I didn't have any suitable decals so the story will have to be that this is a newish or repainted vehicle and they didn't have time to add them. 🙂 Lastly, I've always felt that the figure supplied by Matchbox was rather over-scale, so I added a couple of Milicast resin figures which I think better convey the size of the vehicle. All in all, a fun build as ever and one which only took about a week to do. Best wishes, Ian
  2. Hey all, This is my first venture into the "vehicles" department of Britmodeller, but I'll give it a go. @LaurieS built a layout depicting Jersey Airport at a particular time and included this image that inspired me: The Viscount is itself a beauty to behold, but the fuel truck and its trailer really caught my eye. I figured that with some modification, I could turn the JB Models Bedford Tactical Refueler into a civil airport vehicle. After all, airliners need to be refueled, too! I'm no export on Bedfords, but from the looks of it, the civil Bedford is a 4x2, rather than a 4x4 vehicle, with only the rear wheels driven by the powertrain, so no transfer case. As there is no requirement for off-roading, the truck also has narrow diameter tires, with double bogies in back. Fortunately, I have a set of ROCO wheels and tires, designed for large rigs with double bogies, that are about 3mm narrower in diameter than the kit's giant wheels, and which I think will do just fine. Here are some of the components I've modified so far. As you can see above, the civil Bedford has a much taller tank and pump housing than the military version, so I went to work with styrene on both components. I also put a housing around the top of the Bedford's bowser. I am using the cut-down chassis of Airfix's AEC Matedor and fuel tank as the basis for the trailer.
  3. 40 years ago I built an OO gauge model railway layout which I had great fun with until pressure of a growing family meant I had to pack eveything up and put it in storage where it remains to this day. Originally it was "set" in the area around my birthplace of Bradford in West Yorkshire with LMS and LNER steam locos, but expanded over the years to include BR steam and diesel locos and a few "foreigners" from the GWR and Southern Railways. One of the things I wanted for the "scenery" was a Bradford bus so my wife bought me this! As you can see it cost her £5.25, but I gather Tower have stopped making bus kits and they are now going for £25 plus on e-Bay! In reality the buses of my youth were mostly AEC Regents but Bradford did buy a batch of second hand London Transport Routemasters in the late 1950's and I rode on them quite regularly. The design dates back to 1947 I believe but from the late 1950's onwards they began to be replaced and a lot were sold off. My school was a bit odd in that we "worked" on Saturday mornings but to compensate had an afternoon off during the week and many is the time I boarded one of these for the run up the hill from the town centre to my home 4 miles away at around 1.00 pm. At that time they were usually running virtually empty and made few stops and most of the drivers wanted to have a break at the terminus just down the road from my house so the went as fast as they could. During the journey they climbed 600ft, mostly during the last couple of miles, and the RT's were definitely faster that the Regents - they had a fairly hard suspension and it was almost like a fun-fair ride at times on the front seat upstairs whilst going down the stairs to get off was sometimes like a zero-G ride. One slight problem is the colour scheme - back then Tower said white and blue - they suggested Precision LNER Engineer's stock blue which is no longer available, and it is true that Bradford did originally use off white and dark blue as they repainted some of their fleet in that on an anniversary, but when I was riding them they were cream and a lighter blue so I may end up mixing my own. They seem to have based their version on this which may be preserved. This kit has been sitting around in my stash for 30 years and as it qualifies as unarmed I though I might have a shot at it. Cheers Pete
  4. I would like to say that my interest in tanks came from my late father and in a way it did as I knew he had something to do with them during WWII, but like many ex-servicemen he did not talk about it except to comment that he had “serviced them” when I showed him my Airfix Lee/Grant kit, and I did know he passed his driving test in India whilst driving either a Loyd or Universal carrier used as a battery charger for the tanks he worked on. In fact it was not until after he died that we managed to get hold of his service record and incidentally the 3 campaign medals he had not bothered to claim. It turned out he joined the mechanised 7th battalion of KOYLI and was shipped out to India in late 1941 in the same convoy that HMS Repulse escorted on her way to Singapore to meet her fate when Japan launched their attack. On arrival his unit became 149 Regiment RAC and I subsequently accessed their records from the Tank Museum. It seems they spent a couple of years in India where he managed to contract Malaria and ended up in the big hospital at Deolali which was immortalised in British Indian Army slang by the term “Doolally Tap” meaning mad as it used to house soldiers with mental problems! Then the Japanese attacked from Burma resulting in the horrific fighting at Imphal and Kohima – it seems his lot were amongst the relief forces who cleared the Japanese out and chased them back to Rangoon so I can quite see why he did not want to talk about it. Anyway, as I mentioned elsewhere I started building AFV's etc when Airfix issued their Sherman tank back in the early 1960's I think, and although I did build a few 1/35th scale ones I have concentrated on 1/76 with the odd 1/72 thrown in when nothing else was available – usually for post war tanks such as the Russian T-62 and T-54. Between Airfix, Fujimi, Hasgawa, Esci and Revell I have built up quite a collection but there were a few irritating gaps, such as the early British Cruisers for example. However about 10 years ago I belatedly came across the Milicast range of Resin 1/76 models which includes just about everything I ever wanted. I will start with the early Cruisers, and having built a batch in the colours and markings of the BEF, I will now start this GB with a repeat batch as in the Western Desert early in the war, which should be fun as I intend to use the complicated Caunter camo scheme, of which more later. These are the 3 tanks in question. This is the A9 Crusier Mk I This the A10 Cruiser MkII - I believe this is the Close Support version on the left, with an A12 Infantry Tank Mk II aka Matilda II on the right. And this is the A13 which was initially the Cruiser Mk III but this is a later version of which more anon. These pics were taken I think back in around 1987 at the RAC Tank Museum, That was when most of the exhibits were literally crammed into the old building making it difficult to take pics - since then they were able to expand the site with the help of sponsorship from British Steel, Tamiya, and the National Lottery. Last time I visited they had brought in a lot of their collection which had been in storage, and of course they has aquired quite a few other exhibts, so parts of the Museum are still tightly packed and hard to photograph. In the early days their colour schemes were a bit suspect in some cases and as the then Curator told me they used the nearest paint that came to hand - often Deep Bronze Green that was perhaps only correct between the wars - they have repainted many of them at least once since. In this GB I hope to build perhaps 12 tanks/tank destroyers and as mentioned in the chat previously the building should not take long, though the painting etc is another matter. I thought it would be a good idea to build them in groups of three simultaneously, accompanied by a bit of background on them, However, the GB on this section of BM tend to be mostly planes with the odd vehicle and ship thrown in, I suspect some of my potential "viewers" may have only limited knowledge of tanks and might find a bit of general development history interesting - if it becomes boring please tell me. These are short run mouldings and have some quite incredible detail such as masses of large rivets on the A9 - Milicast say 1200 but I am not going to count them – there are certainly an awful lot, so whoever made the master for them must have had almost infinite patience. They have two different ranges, the more detailed and expensive “Premier Series” which come with lots of often small and fragile parts to add yourself, and the more basic and cheaper “Battlefield Series” which have most of the parts already moulded on, probably making them a bit less accurate but a heck of a lot easier to build. Most of the ones I will hopefully build in this GB will be from the latter series, but there are one or two from the Premier Series as well. They are all resin, but I will be adding in most cases brass or Aluminium AM gun barrels, piano wire aerials, and in some cases injected plastic tubing to make smoke mortars and bits of spue for headlights and searchlights as above - I trust that is within the rules? For the record it is highly unlikely that Dad ever had to work on any of these 3 tanks in India but may well have come across then during his training with REME as a tank fitter.whilst still home based. Cheers Pete
  5. Hi everyone. I've been on a bit of a modelling nostalgia trip recently, and wanted to have a go at a kit which was one of my favourites in my distant youth, the much maligned Airfix Sd.Kfz 234/4 armoured car. As most people will know, Airfix messed it up with totally inaccurate mudguards, but I decided to ignore this, build it out of the box and just see how it would look with a bit of up-to-date painting and weathering. The only slight modification was to drill out the muzzle brake. Not many of these vehicles were built, only seeing service in the last months of the war. They appear to have had a three-colour factory painted camo scheme, which I tried to recreate using Tamiya's new Dark Yellow (XF-88), with Red Brown (XF-64) and NATO Green (XF-67). Afterwards I gave it a pin wash, although there isn't much detail to highlight, followed by some dry pigments. I painted up the crew too, even though they're dressed somewhat inappropriately in early war uniforms. Not that we can blame Airfix, as in those days German troops portrayed in war films and comics always looked like that! The commander was always portrayed like this in the Airfix catalogue: Any model looks better on a wooden plinth! Thanks for looking and all the best, Ian.
  6. Bundeswehr Käfer (Beetle) Years ago I picked up Cromwell’s diminutive 1/76 scale Wehrmacht VW staff car at a swap meet. The old resin casting was missing its wheels, and the bumper and left running board were damaged... but the unmistakable Beetle shape was there! The kit depicts a KdF Type 60 Volkswagen from 1943, but I plan to build it up as a later Bundeswehr vehicle of the 1960s. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ “Assembly” of this kit was straightforward; the first step was to remove the casting block at the bottom of the vehicle. The missing wheels were replaced with parts taken from a Hasegawa 1/72 VW Schwimmwagen. Although correct for a 1943 vehicle, the wheel design had changed a bit by the 1960s... but I’ll deal with that later! _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Simple repairs to the damaged bumper and running board complete the assembly. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A coat of slightly lightened Tamiya acrylic Khaki Drab (XF-51) gives the little Käfer a more military look. I haven’t yet applied any kind of groundwork, so for now the bug sits on a sheet of .060 inch plastic. The wood is a bit of scrap with a neutral varnish. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ The tires and windows are now painted, appropriately, Tamiya NATO Black (XF-69). The bug didn’t come with any markings, but these decals from an old ESCI M113 will serve. In addition to the medical insignia, the Bundeswehr M113 license plates should look good on the Käfer. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I thought it would be fun to show the bug in a winter environment. After gluing the completed car to the plastic base, I began applying a slurry of baking soda with lots of water and a little PVA (white glue). Besides looking good, the “snow” offered the opportunity to obscure some of the features that would reveal that this Bundeswehr vehicle from the 1960s is actually a 1943 Käfer! The most obvious giveaways are the small split rear windows and very small rear signal mounts on the fenders, both of which had been redesigned on VWs by the mid-1960s. Under a heavy coat of snow, these problems just disappear! _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ And the cold little Cold Warrior is done!
  7. This Airfix model turned out better than I thought. Though it was tiny and will probably end up the smallest physically in my collection it was quite nice to do albeit in some areas the instructions were little bit vague.
  8. The late Mick Bell produced over 400 high quality drawings and plans of military vehicles, mostly trucks but also including some tanks, military buses, aircraft recovery equipment, tank transporters, in 1/76 scale for use by modellers and vehicle enthusiasts. Since his death in 2007 these have not been readily available. His son has now made these drawings available again as high-resolution digital copies which are free to download. Website URL - http://mickbellplans.com Each drawing has its own page, showing a low-resolution preview of the drawing, with a link to the full-size high-res image. The pages are categorised by country, and are also tagged with vehicle manufacturers and types. An index of the plans available can be found on this page http://mickbellplans.com/2019/06/15/index-of-all-drawings/ P
  9. AIRFIX 1/76 Pontoon Bridge The third and final element of my whimsical canal diorama was actually the first thing that came to the bench – but it was also the last to get finished in the classic Airfix GB. Like many of us I received the original pontoon assault set as a Christmas present in the very early seventies. I had hours of fun ‘playing war’ and when I got into this modelling lark the other year I thought – ‘wouldn’t it be great to actually build the old pontoon again and try to do it some justice’. The build itself was easy enough – but I nearly came a cropper whilst trying to create the canal. Here are some shots – along with a cast of thousands… If you want to check out all the fun & games you can find the build thread here… Thanks for looking and I hope it brings back some fond memories of childhood - Steve
  10. I started this one a while ago, and its become my 'go to' model if I'm between projects for some reason, Its going to be a Machinery workshop truck, with scratch built folding sides and Milicast machines, tools & bench The Pic of it so far.... Short attention span, slow progress, and lots to do make for a not very speedy build.... I really should make more effort on his one really... ATB Sean
  11. Here I present my rendition of a Bedford QLC Cockatrice, Built from left over Airfix QL parts and scratch building.... ATB Sean
  12. I decided to have go at doing one of these using some spare bits I have now accumulated from my other QLs Its will be a Bedford QLC 'Cockatrice' Flame Thrower truck, This is being built on a left over chassis from an old Airfix Tanker, spare wheels. litteraly, from my other QLs and all the body work will have to be scratch built.... Already done is adapting the the wheels to fit the old kit axles, including brake drums, also I made the axle dampers as these will be totally visable on at least 3 of the wheels.... To the pics of it so far..... ATB Sean
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