After hunting around for a plastic model of a British 17 pounder anti tank gun, i soon realised that the choices i had were severely limited. In fact, i could not find one option for a 1/72 scale 17 pdr gun in plastic anywhere. So in my quest i had to turn to metal manufacturers, which was against my self imposed rules, but i had little choice. On reflection i am happy to break my rules on metal for figures, so why not for anything else?
SHQ make a huge range of everything 20mm for World War 2 and i picked up there 17 pdr for eight pounds fifty. I think after Brexit i may be purchasing more stuff from England in the future if the pound keeps depreciating. The gun is nicely detailed, well moulded and easy to put together with a bit of superglue. I think the model came in about ten parts maximum, so it didn’t take long to build. My crew figures are from AB Figures which is no surprise as they are far and away the best figures you can find.
I cut the base and placed the gun and crew on there first to get an idea of positioning. Then used modelling clay to build it up a bit before gluing the crew on, leaving the gun off. I find this makes it easy to paint the base and the crew before gluing the gun onto the base last. The gun was base coated black before a spray with olive drab. You get some ammo boxes and spare shells with the AB crew so i spread them around the base too.
The 17 pdr is an essential addition to my under gunned British company, especially when they come up against the bigger German tanks. Here he is taking up a defensive position in a French village.
I had been scratch building all my own Normandy village constructions, but felt i needed to try out something professionally made to balance things out. Oh and i have also got kind of tired of foam board, balsa and modelling clay. On my internet travels i stumbled across the In The Greenwood Ebay shop and then their own web site at http://www.inthegreenwoodlaser.co.uk
They do a range of laser cut MDF buildings in HO scale which are excellent value compared to other companies i had a look at. At around $20 Australian per house i thought this was a pretty good deal, so i ordered three of them. Although I think they are aimed more at Railway people, and are not actually French but rather Victorian, i reckoned i could make them fit into my Normandy landscape without too much problem!
As with other HO Scale manufacturers i have investigated i was worried these buildings would come in too small compared to my own creations and also my range of 1/72 scale models and figures. What a happy chappy i was when they came in around 120mm tall including my extra MDF base and fit perfectly with everything else i had made. The kit comes Ikea style in a flat pack box, amazingly packed in. So i got to work building my first one which was the Victorian Pub. I decided to make it as a restaurant instead.
All the pieces are very cleanly cut and i only had trouble with the bay windows at the front, as the holes in the bottom section did not match up with the holes in the top, so i had to do some carving to get it all to fit together. The instructions follow a step by step process which are a little hard to follow as there are no diagrams, but as long as you are not Stevie Wonder wearing boxing gloves you should be OK. The whole kit goes together with a bit of PVA glue. I added an MDF base to keep it all together, and to create a garden area at the back. One great thing is that the roof can be left removable which is perfect for all you wargamers! I did add some supports inside the roof to give it some extra strength.
My Brasserie painted up nicely and i added a sign on the front and a Martini ad on the side wall, both ideas i borrowed from other designs i have seen out there on the internet. Overall these are great little kits and fit nicely into my village, i am looking forward to making the other two kits i purchased. Check out my village photos below and you can see the MDF constructions fitting nicely into my assortment of home made houses
The Willys Jeep is an absolute essential to any Allied army group, and let’s face it they are one of the coolest vehicles of World War Two. I just want to keep on buying and building more and more jeeps! You can never have enough jeeps in my opinion, great for loading up mortars, MG Teams and officers who don’t want to get their boots dirty!
The two models i first got my grubby mitts on were from S-Models. Two kits in a box and good value for what you get. You can build your jeeps with a canvas roof or without and a 50 calibre MG instead. The detail is pretty amazing but that does mean the model is quite a fiddly prospect. On both kits i managed to destroy the shovel before even getting it off the sprue. I also managed to snap at least one axle just during removal. The kit also comes with some photo etched parts which get really tiny. It’s worth the effort but you need to bring your tweezers and patience to get it done. The S-Model jeep is excellent and i would highly recommend getting a few. In picture two the S-Model is on the far right.
I also picked up two Willys Jeeps from Airfix and was just as impressed. Less detailed and simpler to put together, compared to the S-Model kits, the end result was just as good. If you prefer an easier kit with less fragile parts then the Airfix kit is for you. The box includes some extras with a pack howitzer and a trailer, which are an added bonus! The Airfix kit comes with a transparent front windscreen and frame, one of which i managed to destroy in an attempt to mask it off while spray painting. I just left it off the completed jeep and i think it just adds to the battle torn look.
A few extras were added to my vehicles including some stowage from various sources like Value Gear and SHQ. I needed some British crew and drivers and as usual AB Figures have the best jeep riders you can get! A great set includes drivers, officers and various poses for passengers.
Photos below, convoy on the move and some parked poses shots!
Time to look at another cracking little kit from Trumpeter, who are fast becoming one of my favourite manufacturers. This time it is their Stug IV. Previously i had made the Dragon Models version of this cool tank and have included some photos of both of them together below as a comparison. Cost wise Trumpeter kits are approximately half the price of Dragon kits, but definitely not half the quality. This Stug IV is no exception.
The simple nature of the tank design, with no turret, means the kit is also quite simple. The most complicated and time consuming part is putting the wheels and running gear together and attaching them to the lower hull. The upper hull and armament are pretty straight forward but still have plenty of detail. The tracks i gave a good stretch before painting them and attaching them after the tank was completed and painted. Everything fitted together very nicely and the kit was smooth and painless to make. Just how i like it. To add some interest i put on a heap of boxes and other kit on the back of the tank. I have seen various photos of Stugs carrying all sorts of stowage, so i used some extras i had from Value Gear. If you haven’t tried out some of their stowage packs i can highly recommend them!
I finished the whole thing off with a dark green camouflage scheme to match my other Stug IV. Pictures follow, some individual shots of the Trumpeter kit and also some with his Dragon counterpart. They make a good team!