A good deal of my research consists of trawling the net for photographic evidence. I am always suspicious of photographs of restored vehicles; as the restorers can, and often do, paint the vehicle in a scheme that takes their fancy. In the absence of anything else though, it is a start.*
Two such photographs are of a Bedford QLB decked out in desert colours for 51st Highland division, and a QLR signals van for 7th Armoured Division.
As ever, I would be grateful if anyone has more information or supporting evidence.
*No prizes though, for pointing out that the 40mm Bofors in the top picture is an American-crewed stand-in
The anti-aircraft assets deployed at El ALAMEIN by 8th Army, above divisional level troops, are summarised below:
12th Anti-Aircraft Brigade
14th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
16th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
- Morris Limber (s3), 40mm Bofors AA (s3) (or portee)
27th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
- Morris Limber (s3), 40mm Bofors AA (s3) (or portee)
88th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
94th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
- Matador Limber (s3), 3.7″ AA (s3)
57 HAA was despatched in October, presumably arriving after the Battle of El ALAMEIN
QF 3inch 20cwt AA Gun
“In October 1942, 57 (Wessex) HAA Regt with 213, 214 and 215 Batteries was sent to North Africa to join 12 AA Bde in Eighth Army. Two of the batteries were equipped with the older 3-inch 20 cwt gun on a modernised trailer, rather than the newer 3.7-inch. This was because the lighter 3-inch was easier and quicker to deploy in the rough country anticipated for this campaign. The regiment remained with 12 AA Bde to the end of the campaign in May 1943“
(Routledge, p. 179; Table XXIV, p. 162; Table XXV, p. 164.) in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Wessex_Artillery#cite_note-RA-35 accessed 19/9/2016
Hands up if you are a WW2 wargamer, who has not, at some time, painted something from 7th Armoured Division, (The Desert Rats).* Here is the NQM version. It comprises an eclectic mix of Command Decision, Flames of War, the defunct MM Models, Plastic Soldier Company, Peter Pig, QRF, Roco and the odd scratchbuild.
The full orbat can be seen on the 8th Army page.
1st Household Cavalry Regiment
2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry
44th Reconnaissance Regiment
3rd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery
4th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
97th (Kent Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
65th (Suffolk & Norfolk Yeomanry) Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery
15th (Isle of Man) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
4th, 21st, Field Squadron, Royal Engineers
143rd Field Park Squadron, Royal Engineers
7th Armoured Division Signals
Royal Scots Greys, 4th/8th Hussars, 1st Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps (Truck Mounted Motor Battalion)
1st Royal Tank Regiment, 5th Royal Tank Regiment, 4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters), 1st Battalion, Rifle Brigade (Motor Battalion)
Not shown is the under command:
*If you did put your hand up, take it down again if you have painted an Airfix Tiger Tank in desert camouflage 🙂
I am basking in domestic bliss this afternoon. This morning the curtain chap came to work his magic; The curtains fit, and the colours are perfect*
Now I can get on with painting some trucks.
*They are three closely matching shades of desert oatmeal – how hard can it be?
A visit to Snowshill Manor over a Bank Holiday weekend caused me to reflect on the particular madness that collecting evidences. Charles Paget Wade (CPW) – one of many mad Sappers and eccentric Englishmen who have graced the world – reputedly left behind the largest private collection of Samauri armour outside Japan, and therefore qualifies as a world-class loon. The whole manor is stuffed with things he liked, so he lived in the stables (below)!
The following collections are not ranked in any way at all, they are just ones that I happen to know of and have enjoyed:
Like CPW, YesthatPhil’s collection fills the ground floor and cellar of his house.
Peter Shulman, of Peter’s War is in a class of his own.
Don Maddox owns more T-35s to NQM scale than were ever built (somehow, I doubt if his is the largest collection around):
Tim Gow probably gives Don and Peter a run for their money.
I suspect Chris Ager and Graham Hockley, but just don’t have the photographic evidence.
Napoleonic and Lace War gamers are mad by definition and so don’t really count (all those buttons and facing colours … shudder). Neither do massive public displays of train sets or boats, splendid though they are. Jim Strong and other indiviuals ought to qualify, but there are just so many of them that it is really mainstream behaviour nowadays.
Finally, the chap who assembled the Dutch National Sick Bag Collection is merely odder than most.
Camouflage nets come to the rescue on my Raupenschlepper bodges. Even though the Germans don’t need them for a (game) year or so, I dressed them and put the crews in place, because they were fun to do.
One more ‘Schlepper was eked out of an einheits cab, tilt and side panels, with the track coming from a 1/200th approximately set of Panther tracks. These came from some models that (I think) Bob Cordery gave me some years ago. Another was built with a scratchbuilt set of tracks.
This brings the theoretical number of models that can be made from the PSC box to twelve; not bad at all! This assumes that you are prepared to fill in the gaps with a lot of card and paper.
As the Maultiers came rolling out of the box, it was clear that eight chassis could be assembled from all the extra options in the box. All that was absent were four sets of tracks. An hour with some Evostick resolved that, and the production line continued to roll in an ersatz German WW2 sort of way: Close enough for wargaming work!
The work of dressing the bare chassis has begun with cam nets and crew. PSC provide plenty of figures and happily, most of these are closer to 15mm than 20mm.
It is possible to score the sides of the late war anti tank mount, fold them up and make extra cargo bodies using the late war cab, if you do not want self-propelled guns.
This car comes from their postwar range. I was unable to find any online pictures of it so cannot comment on scale, other than to say that it looks a bit thin, It is a single piece casting, which saves a good deal of faff assembling wheels, but gives a fair amount of work to clean up the casting.
Although this model is in the postwar section, I shall use it in the Western Desert until somone produces a Fiat 500 Topolino or the French licence-built equivalent, the Simca 5.
The new Plastic Soldier Company German Medium Trucks box is an excellent offering – Five easy to build trucks straight out of the box, with options for an Opel Blitz, Mercedes L3000, or Maultier version of either. Five trucks for £17 pounds or so, roughly £3.40 a truck.
Why do I like plastic kits better than resin or metal? They build up into square models, and they are easy to convert. So looking at the sprues more carefully, there are not five trucks in the box, but ten! All that is absent, are five cab backs that cannot easily be seen, five sets of front wheels and five chasses. Any self-respecting bodger will have spare wheels in the spares box. The card from the box itself, with judicious use of cork or plasticard will do the rest. Call it £1.70 per truck – excellent!
Even after giving a sprue away, I rapidly assembled four Blitzes and four L3000s, making half of them into Maultiers. I was looking for photographic evidence of Maultiers in North Africa, but could only find them in Italy. Each sprue comes with a spare tyre, so these were made up into two sets of wheels for two of the trucks. En masse, any slight inaccuracies in the wheels should disappear.
In case anyone is wondering, The four trucks furthest away are complete kit builds and the Maultiers closest to the camera are the bodges. Soaring off into speculation, I think that PSC missed a trick by not offering the Chevrolet cab and the office body on the box art; after all, everyone does a model of a Blitz.
I would have preferred the office body, rather than another cargo body version, but I suspect most wargamers don’t want as many logistic or HQ vehicles as me. Either way, the box is excellent value and is recommended.
L 4500R Maultier, courtesy of YesthatPhil
GSV13 Mercedes Benz L4500R Maultier
This is one of the better models that arrived in my sale order. It is an impressive chunk of metal for £4.50 and all the castings are clean, relatively square and free of miscasts. The late war Einheitsfahrerhaus version is modelled. Some 1,500 of these were built, in response to delays in the Schwere Wermachts Schlepper programme; most were used as artillery tractors or platforms for Flak. As is usual with QRF; the track casting is double sided with no lugs to give a positive fit to the vehicle.
The front wheel axle is a vague approximation of the real thing – I had a look at a few online images of L4500R chasses and still was not entirely sure which way the casting should be stuck on. I’m not complaining as you can hardly see it on the finished article. All in all, a nice wargames model that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere.