Sunday, March 13, 2011

Unfinished Business: Quad Convoy

Before I even start with this posting, I want to say here and now how much I love Airfix. It all started with me and Airfix in the early seventies and as a life long wargamer I still find them the easiest and most pleasurable models to build. They are about as complex as I want to get and they cover all the basics as far as ranges are concerned. They are also cheap - may the company last forever, no matter who ownes it.

Now ... on to the models. A quick note on the the above image of the gun in action - this has affected my side project but more on that later.


I am building a Jock Column to dominate the western desert no-mans-land and harass the advancing Italians in 1940. Part of that force is a battery of 25 pdr howitzers being an attached troop from the 4th RHA. Naturally, wargaming in 1/72 or 20mm (silence to the scale pedants) I turned to Airfix. The only shortcoming is that I wanted my Quads (or Morris C8) to have a partial canvass hood option instead of the complete hard top which these models come with. Just as well Airfix kits convert so readily.


So, at it with a scalpel I went. Lightly scoring at first, then going deeper with each successive run across the deepening groove, I was sure to turn the roof over to meet the cut half way. It came out cleanly, requiring minimal filing/sanding using an emery board. That was one model which I wanted to show the frame with tarpaulin stowed.
Using Evergreen Scale Models strip styrene (.75mm rod) I easily cut and bent the frame to shape. I had thought of making a wire frame but this was a better solution and so much easier. A tip: ensure you cut or file off the ends of the cross pieces to a point to enable them to 'meet' the join. Then apply Humbrol or your preferred liquid cement. I used a drop to fix the centre cross piece, gripping it with tweezers for 30 seconds to make the bond.


For the other model, I wanted the hood 'up' so cut off the nodes on the existing roof and fashioned a greenstuff lid over the top - easy done. By the way, these shots have been taken using portrait with a macro setting and no flash on a Canon Powershot S70. I'm using this a lot at the moment but it does blow up the view to greater than I can see with my x1 magnifier readers AND magnification lamp! The hood doesn't look so rugged in the flesh to the naked eye - truly.


These days I'm a fuss pot when it comes to depicting my battle groups on the table top. So, it turns out I need another two kits to represent one battery because I want the guns properly displayed when unhitched - with the firing platform (the giant wheel) dropped and the gun wheels on top. The models thus completed show the platform fixed in the travelling position, hoisted under the carriage. Also this model comes with a gun crew including a chap who sits on the gun side saddle which would look great when in action but ridiculous whilst travelling. So, these two models are going to be based in 'tow' as an optional piece, with the quad being removable from a split base for when the battery is in action. I was turning my mind to what I might do with the additional quads and I will definitely be converting them to an observer element - travelling and deployed with aerial and observer ladder - so nothing will be left over or go to waste.

1 comment:

  1. Airfix rules!!!! Well not really but I too have a soft spot for them. Good idea to put the hoods on.
    Cheers
    Paul

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