I began a pointless conversion¹ of a Bishop Self-propelled Gun. Why? Because I need one for my ALAMEIN Orbat, for 121st Regiment, Royal Artillery, and because I have a surfeit of Valentine Hulls. The first stage was to build the base and top of the gun casemate. Next, the sides were added on. The front and gun were the last to be built, with filing to finish off before the details such as hatches , were added. I went with sand shields, as first issued, rather than the later stripped sides for Sicily and Italy, and didn’t worry too much about roof vents and the like.
Of course, being out of practice with this sort of thing, I made the turret too wide (another pointless fat head) and had to cut a fillet out to bring it down to size. I had no excuse this time, having resized a web plan to 1:100; cheating, I know!
Bishops were the first British attempt to make a self-propelled artillery piece, if you discount the Birch Gun. They were soon superceded by the M7 Priest 105mm (90 sent to North Africa), then the Sexton 25pdr (of which 2,062 were built), but they soldiered on through Tunisia, Sicily and Italy, with 130 being built eventually.
- Coined by Phil Steele. It describes converting something that is readily available as a kit, because you happen to have a kit that will provide the base for the conversion, and you don’t need another model of the kit that you have.