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le wombat agile

Vickers Mk. VI B tanks in desert front

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For many years I have been dreaming that someone decided to produce a kit of this "ancient"style light tank that can be considered the true joining link between the horse mount and the steel mount for the hussars regiments. I think only of the pictures depicting it running in the desert plains of Africa.

So, I've already bought two boxes of the Vulcan models first issue, the kit no. 56008, with the purpose of assembling them in different versions. The first one of course in France and the second one in North Africa. To do this I got the Echelon first decal sheets no.1 and 2.

Now I've seen that the Vulcan gentlemen issued a third box, always for the Mk, Vi B but specific for the desert front. My question is which are the differences between the boxes? It's only a matter of decals and some water/fuel additional tanks or there are true differences? I'd like to avoid an unuseful purchase ....

Many thanks to all!

Ezio

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I'm actually in the middle of building the third release of this light tank from Vulcan. I don't have the earlier VIB to compare, but looking at online build ups, the Africa version has additional sprues for the following:

-large searchlight beside the commander's copula
- shelving (including boxes), and large tool bin located on the left rear fender
- a rear rack including three fuel tins

* note, except for the searchlight, these new details are also provided in the form as an additional PE fret.

- almost forget, there are also sand shields for the fenders

Here's a good review of the Africa boxing if you want to further compare:

http://www.modelersalliance.com/reviews-and-news/890-vulcan-models-mark-vib-north-africa

---------------------------------

Some very detailed walk arounds:

VIA

http://www.ammssydney.com/light-tank-mark-via/nggallery/page/1

VIB

http://www.ammssydney.com/light-tank-mark-vib-part-2/#more-325

regards,

Jack

Edited by JackG

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Thank you Jack, your answer is very clear and I think I'll purchase also this one. Very interesting also for the walk around pictures. I saw the museum of Saumur many years ago on the road to the Normandy beaches. Unfortunately I've lost the pictures ....

If my English is not so coverd by rust in the new box there are the suspension springs in plastic. This is a great news because it was a torture assemble the metal rods and spring. For the second European front kit I got the Sovereign resin detail set "S2KA017 - Vickers Light tank suspension set".

All the best

Ezio

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Ezio, you are welcome.

If my English is not so coverd by rust in the new box there are the suspension springs in plastic. This is a great news because it was a torture assemble the metal rods and spring. For the second European front kit I got the Sovereign resin detail set "S2KA017 - Vickers Light tank suspension set".

All the best

Ezio

You know, I never noticed till you mentioned it now because the instructions are so busy with tiny parts, but there is included just the plastic rods for the suspension as seen as no. 6 and 7 in this sprue photo below:

VM56011SprueAFfront.JPG

The metal springs still have to be used, and, what I found the most difficult, attaching the final nut on each rod to complete the assembly - there is just absolutely no room for my fingertips to get that piece into position.

My solution was to build on a longer rod, and once the last nut was glued in place, then I would trim the rod to the correct length.

15394995080_bc8e58da1c_b.jpg

regards,

Jack

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Good advice and good trick Jack, I'll use on the second box I have. My problem is that I am a passionate lover of this little tank so I've already bought several boxes of the Sovereign detail set and Yesterday I fell into temptation and bought the Desert Front Box.......

If you like this tank Echelon Fine Details prints 3 decal sheets nos. D356126/7/8 and the third one, the only I have not, is the proper one for the version you are building. However with the decal sheet of the box that I have seen in the review link you sent me and a "good hand" is no impossible to get different evrsions also without the Echelon sheet.

Thank you again and all the best

Ezio

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Again, no problem Ezio, and thanks for pointing out those decals.

Does Echelon match one of their profiles with this captured tank in the desert?

13676276963_3db8b6bf09_o.jpg

13676237375_d2768e2735_o.jpg

This is the vehicle I'm in the middle of building, but have to back date it to the mark VIA. I've found an Australian company that makes a small resin set for this,

http://www.mheaust.com.au/MHE/Resin/MA/MA150.jpg

I'm also using Eduard's detail set, and scratch building some interior along with that.

There is a resin interior for both hull and turret, but I did not opt for that. Brief review and link found here:

http://www.perthmilitarymodelling.com/newkitnews/ima.html

regards,

Jack

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No Jack, the Echelon sheets cover these units:

no. D356126: 2nd Royal Tank Regiment; 3rd Royal Tank Regiment; 1st Lothians & Border Yeomanry; and 4/7 Royal Dragoon Guards.

no. D356127: 1st Fife & Forfar Yeomanry; 13/18 Hussars; 4th Royal Tank Regiment; and 7th Royal Tank Regiment.

no. D356128: 1st Royal Tank Regiment; 6th Royal Tank Regiment; 7th Hussars; 9th Australian Divisional Cavalry; and 8th Hussars.

The first two ones are referred to units that fought in the French Campaign.

However I did a little search using the words "vickers catturati deserto" as a key and I found this article in a weel known Italian modellers forum. The topic is Vickers Mark Vi B Regio Esercito and Vickers Mk. Vi B catturato. Now I read both and then I'll post a resume of the main things that could be useful to you.

From a quick reading I understood that the picture is referred to the Australian production version of the tank and for this reason we have the different turret hatch.

There are at least two tanks that were captured. One in North Africa and one in east Africa.

However in the topics is mentioned an article of an Italian magazine "Storia Militare" that I have at home and can check and scan by Sunday. I cannot do now because I work distant from home.

All the best

Ezio

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Wow!

I'm glad I introduced my project here, as any additional info will be really appreciated.

I've checked out the links you have provided, and that colour profile is interesting (I've never seen it before!). I thought it was just a white stripe around the turret, but the interpretation of all three Italian flag colours being present is quite intriguing.

t65oyc.jpg

I'm not exactly sure the mark either, but I assumed it was the VIA due to the two louvers located on the transmission cover. The commander's copula is the real question. Most photos has the hatches open facing the front and rear of the tank, but in the photo I posted earlier, they face to the sides of the turret. Maybe the copula could be rotated?

Another example of what I mean:

07291.jpg

regards,

Jack

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Dear Jack, surely the profile could be interesting and attractive. I've made another little search and I found these intersting pictures I've put in a pdf file. They come from the official Italian Photo archive Istituto Luce. It's another tank, a cruiser one but if you look the turret coloured stripes you can see that they are of 3 colours and not only red and white as used in some period on British tanks. So if you compare these picture with the Vickers one I think that there is the same difference in the colours so the profile could be correct and I think that also in the lower front plate there are the same 3 colours.

Most important in the archive there are the dates so we can achieve informations on the versions. We are at the beginning of the war so it's possible that are still in use the interwar colours schemes as used on this Autoblindo Lancia of the WWI and interwar era.

THe other identifition markings usaed by Italian on captured tanks are usually the white crosses of the monarchy as in this image

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Indeed, I am convinced there is three colours on both the turret and and the front hull plate.

But what is happening on the front face of the fenders, same thing? It is odd that they are placed diagonal, which is characteristic of the caunter scheme - though the colours are almost laid parallel to one another, which is not in keeping with that scheme.

regards,

Jack

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Very interesting, I'll be watching this with a keen eye as I have 3 Vulcan MkVI's to do. :popcorn: Now with that Ausie back-conversion, I'll need to purchase another. :goodjob:

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Trying to understand how to upload the pictures I attach this one withe the Sovereign upgrade set used ops, I'have to reduce the size for the next one.....

DSCN3430.jpg

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Couple more links (actually just one, the second is for photos being referred to in the build review):

http://www.track-link.com/reviews/3090

http://www.track-link.com/articles/1232

------------------------------------------

... and here's a shot of my completed construction phase:

15297936194_c93842c88c_b.jpg

regards,

Jack

Now that looks the biz. Do you have a WIP for this build? :goodjob:

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After some digging around, found a direct link to the IMA webstore.

http://www.imaco.com.hk/kits/

I've ordered a couple sets of their replacement resin tracks (which also includes spring and sprocket) for the VI light tank. No photos of the product, so I'll post a pic here once it arrives.

My Vulcan kit tracks are already assembled, but apparently a review says the instructions have you install them backwards (at least when compared to period photos). I also found there are not enough links if you want to add some sag to their appearance. This really isn't that much a problem with the desert version since the missing track links can be hidden by the sand shields. I've a VIC in the stash as well, so that is why a second set was ordered.

regards,

Jack

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JackG, some good stuff on your flickr. :goodjob: Nice to know about the lack of links to produce the track sag. When I get round to building my VI's, I'll do the desert variant first so I have extra links for the other 2. ;)

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Oh Jack, what episodes of the Story I've lost during my absence from this post. Very nice job. You've caught completely the appeal of this old little tank. I looked also at the flickr page and it's very interesting.

I'm not yet begun to assemble my kit because I was waiting for the Osprey book you signalled me and because I had on the workbench a couple of Swordfish. I mounted only the wheels to give you an idea of the Sovereign upgrade kit.

I've also bought the DOA colours for European scheme and for the Caunter one

Any way I have two boxes on the stash and I'll begin with the European version. My final target will be thiis one. 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary’s Own).

Ezio

LightTankMkVIof1318thRoyalHussars1stInfa

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Hi Ezio,

Thanks for the comments.

Yes, I've received Osprey's publication on light tanks about ten days ago - electronic version. Unfortunately, no mention of captured tanks in the desert. As for the earliest version of the VI that I believe my build subject represents, there is mention that several were sent for trials to the western desert. One also included sand shields.

regards,

Jack

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Please don't copy the artwork colours for the Vickers. Light blue is not the colour to use, that artwork is years old. The tront trackguards are painted in the Italian colours, just slanted outwards. There is a 1940 specific pattern for light tanks. I can provide a copy if you contact me.

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Thank you Mike for your clarification. Fortunately we are following your book "Caunter scheme" I bought several years ago and using DOA colours based on the chips of the volume. You clarified us the front view colours. Indeed neither Mike nor me found an acceptable front view of yhe captured tank.

Ezio

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The resin replacement tracks from IMA have arrived:

16047003687_7b524036f7_b.jpg

The track detail is not as thin as those provided from Vulcan, but this actually makes them seem more accurate? The Vulcan ones appear to be too pointy on the sides when compared to close ups of museum photos. This set also provides a pair of drive sprockets, and they too are more meatier with detail, and the central hub looks more accurate in size. The back sides (not pictured) are also great as they provided a lot more surface when it comes to to glue them on.

Another neat addition is two acrylic templates to assemble the tracks on. One is normal, while the other gives the option to create much more sag.

All in all, an very excellent update.

regards,

Jack

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Very interesting Jack. I visited also the IMA website. It took a long time for the delivery?

Ezio

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I ordered the set on Dec. 18th and was shipped the following day. So almost three weeks, but there were two holidays in that time. I find it's normal 2-3 weeks when ordering from Asia (I reside in Canada).

regards,

Jack

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