At the Bovington Tank Museum you can get close up and personal with the first tanks that were built and used in combat, such as the Mark IV Tank.
First World War tanks, namely the British Mark IV, started the practice of carrying fascines on the roof, to be deployed to fill trenches that would otherwise be an obstacle to the tank.
The Mark IV was a British tank of the First World War. Introduced in 1917, it benefited from significant developments of the Mark I tank (the intervening designs being small batches used for training). The main improvements were in armour, the re-siting of the fuel tank and ease of transport. A total of 1,220 Mk IV were built: 420 “Males”, 595 “Females” and 205 Tank Tenders (unarmed vehicles used to carry supplies), which made it the most numerous British tank of the war.
The “Male” tanks were armed with three machine guns and two 6-pdrs. Whilst the “Female” tanks had Five .303 Lewis machine guns.
The Mark IV was first used in mid 1917 at the Battle of Messines Ridge. It remained in British service until the end of the war, and a small number served briefly with other combatants afterwards.
The Infantry Tank Mark II, best known as the Matilda, was a British infantry tank. The design began as the A12 specification in 1936, as a gun-armed counterpart to the first British infantry tank, the machine gun armed, two-man A11 Infantry Tank Mark I. The Mark I was also known as Matilda, and the larger A12 was initially known as the Matilda II, Matilda senior or Waltzing Matilda. The Mark I was abandoned in 1940, and from then on the A12 was almost always known simply as “the Matilda”.
With its heavy armour, the Matilda II was an excellent infantry support tank but with somewhat limited speed and armament. It was the only British tank to serve from the start of the war to its end, although it is particularly associated with the North Africa Campaign. It was replaced in front-line service by the lighter and less costly Infantry Tank Mk III Valentine beginning in late 1941.
This model is an SDD white metal kit that I bought in the 1990s.
Tiger I is the common name of a German heavy tank used in World War II, developed in 1942. The final official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. E, often shortened to Tiger. It was an answer to the unexpectedly formidable Soviet armour encountered in the initial months of Operation Barbarossa, particularly the T-34 and the KV-1. The Tiger I design gave the Wehrmacht its first tank mounting the 88 mm gun, which had previously demonstrated its effectiveness against both air and ground targets. During the course of the war, the Tiger I saw combat on all German battlefronts. It was usually deployed in independent tank battalions, which proved to be quite formidable..
The Bedford OY is an army lorry built by Bedford for the British Armed Forces and introduced in 1939. It was based on Bedford’s O-series commercial vehicles with a modified front end and single rear tyres. The OXD was a general service vehicle, a short-wheelbase version of the OY, designed for a 30 cwt (1.5 ton) payload.
This is a photograph of a Bedford OXD in German army service in Hungary. So I was thinking I could paint it in this style.
This is an SDD model I bought in the 1990s.
It comprises three parts in white metal.
After cleaning the castings the model will be stuck together and undercoated.
The Corner Bakery is a great piece of terrain to enhance your battle board. It comes pre-painted with 4Ground Base paints with high levels of internal detail as well as shop specific signage and acetate shop windows.
Each floor is removable allowing access to each one and the different rooms usable doors. To keep the floors in place there are little locking lugs in each corner. The external walls are rendered with cracked detailing and acetate window.
The model comes as flat pieces of coloured MDF which has been laser cut. Having put most of it together, I went ahead and finished it.
There are lots of details and depth to the models. The instructions are clear and the model is easy to assemble.
The model has separate floors allowing models to be placed inside the building.
As you can see the model’s pre-coloured MDF does make these stand out and quick to put onto the table.
In the end I found the model challenging to keep together as separate floors so I removed the lugs and stuck the whole building together.
I have added glazing to the windows and used the included posters on the wall.
I quite liked how the signage which comes with the model includes English signs, Operational Sealion anyone? Or what about a 1930s VBCW scenario? Though of course the building is quite continental in appearance.
The Daimler Scout Car, known in service as the “Dingo” (after the Australian wild dog), was a British light fast 4WD reconnaissance vehicle also used in the liaison role during the Second World War. In 1938 the British War Office issued a specification for a scouting vehicle. Out of three designs submitted by Alvis, BSA and Morris, the one by BSA was selected. The actual production was passed to Daimler, which was a vehicle manufacturer in the BSA group of companies. The vehicle was officially designated Daimler Scout Car, but became widely known as Dingo, which was the name of the competing Alvis prototype.
I bought some SDD models in the 1990s.
Not sure how I will use these, potentially desert models or as wrecks.
One of the games at the wargames show at Bovington that I did a good look at was this 15mm 1946 game complete with a range of alternate German and Allied tanks that were designed, but either were too late for action, or never got further than the drawing board. I have to admit I never got round to checking what actual models were represented on the table, but there were E-100 and E-50 tanks as well as Panther IIs.
This photograph shows a Sarissa Precision Factory. I really do like this model (and the huge one for 28mm too). Around it are finished and partly finished tanks of a variety of types.
A large tank on a railway wagon. The table also had a lot of HO 1/87th scale buildings that did not seem out of place on the table. There are a range of HO buildings that would be ideal for 15mm games, especially those of the industrial variety.
Here is another Sarissa Precision factory with a couple of JagdTigers outside. As with the other, it looks like the RAF has been busy trying to stem the production of these new German tanks.
Here is a overview of the table. There were TT scale trains, wagons and track (which are just about an appropriate scale for 15mm).
In the box to the side of the tables were 15mm models of the Black Prince, the Tortoise and Centurion Mk1 tanks.
All of these could be found (for real) in the Tank Museum itself.
I think it would be nice to have seen the Kanonenjagdpanzer, but you can’t have everything.
What I hadn’t realised when writing the article that as part of the German releases, Battlefront have released the Jaguar Jagdpanzer Zug.
The Jaguar 1 and Jaguar 2 were German Raketenjagdpanzer (rocket tank-hunter) tank destroyers armed with anti-tank guided missiles.
The Jaguars were converted from Kanonenjagdpanzers, so in theory you could spend some time converting the Jaguars back. One issue would be adding the main gun back, probably more challenging to remove the applique armour.
As this is alternate history, you could argue that the existing Kanonenjagdpanzers were upgraded with applique armour.
Challenge would be more of a tactical issue playing games with these tank destroyers, as the 90mm gun of the Kanonenjagdpanzer was ineffective against contemporary Soviet tanks of that era.
This year we are launching another limited range of Premium Buildings to add some unique centrepieces to your battlefield. Each building is designed to be characterful, yet fit in with the existing Battlefield in a Box range of buildings and houses.
There are six models, a steelworks factory, a set of ruined buildings, a clock tower, a café, an estate house and a damaged eastern church. Out of the six available, my two personal favourites are the manor house and the ruins.
The Ruined Building includes a large two-storey house and two smaller houses, with extensive shelling or bombing damage, perfect for a war torn 15mm urban battle zone.
As for the Estate House, this stately home will work equally well as the centrepiece of country battlefield or as a grand home or municipal building in a town street.
They are also going to re-release the manor house and the farm house and barn from the previous premium subscription deal they had. I always liked the manor house, so if I can get one (from retail).
I also quite like the farmhouse and barn which I had not seen before.
At £35 each they are not that cheap (well not compared to the houses deal I did subscribe to), if you order them all in advance at £175 then you get the damaged eastern church for free.