Best Christmas Present Ever!

Every small 50-year old boy awaits Christmas with eagerness. This year was no disappointment. In amongst the parental socks and bottles of port were these Pound Shop trucks:

tankers 014

Ignore the Hurricane in the background and the Japanese in loincloths waiting for their shorts to set. Concentrate instead on the wheelbase of these beauties. I thought that I would have to chop up two Zvezda Matadors to make one of these Leyland Retriever recovery trucks, but the Pound Shop chassies are close enough:

eyland retriever wrecker

Notice the Matador cab glued onto the truck on the far right; it turns out that it is the same width as the original diecast if you are not too fussy (and I’m not!) So here is my work-in-progress (WIP) shot of a  Not Quite Accurate workshop unit for one of my UK  armoured divisions:


From the picture above, it is clear that the Matador cab and body are not an exact match, but that the Milliput roof, a girder and a camouflage net with a thick coat of paint will go a long way to fixing that. The cost of the project was a  total of  20p for the chassis and £2.99 for the body with perhaps 20p for the bits. At first I assumed that the anti-gas plate in front of the windscreen was on the wrong side of my reference picture, but viewing more shots showed that this was not so. I will have to correct that before my final coat of paint.

leyland retriever 1JPG

Camouflage net secured using Evostick and copper wire.

leyland retriever 2

Undercoat on.



Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, 8th Army - British and Commonwealth, Logistics, Modelling, Trucks, Western Desert, WWII

4 responses to “Best Christmas Present Ever!

  1. This is your 60 year old bigger brother, now pay attention, no, look at me when I’m talking to you..

    Nice try, my boy, but look, kiddo, you see that sort of peak over the windshield? Got it? Right, now that is a characteristic feature and it seems, somehow, it just isn’t the same without it. Know what I mean?

    I would be happy to give you a much higher score if it found it’s way onto your otherwise splendid effort. OK?

    Hit it kid, you can do it.




  2. Heh heh, thought I’d get away with that, but I’ve been called out! 🙂

    As we speak, the Milliput is drying on the canopy extension, and I’ve taken the opportunity to add a bettter profile on the radiator bar.

    A sort of Arthur’s Peake 🙂

    Regards, Chris


  3. Hey Chris,

    Couldn’t resist… 🙂

    But what are brothers for? My dad was an artist (when he wasn’t being an architect and entrepreneur) and always said to look for the features which make a thing a thing, commonly known as the soul, I believe.

    So his kids of course became art critics… oh the horror… such as “but dad, why did you paint Aunt Mabel with such big boobs?” etc.

    And there is no doubt you have the sublime artists touch in war gaming, at least, not that I have seen Aunt Mabel amongst your troops, which is not like her, but then…



  4. Thank you for the kind remarks, Arthur.

    As to Aunt Mabel, she is probably working as a WRVS (Women’s Royal Voluntary Service) driving one of the NAAFI vans. Have to see what I can do!

    Regards, Chris


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