AEC Matador and 5.5″ Gun

I have written before about the influence of Matchbox and Airfix and the impact it has on the models I buy for gaming.

When I was young, before I started this wargaming lark, I use to make up plastic kits. In the main these were the pocket money kits I could buy from my local model shop and these were manufactured by Airfix and Matchbox. I recall preferring the Matchbox kits as they came with a piece of scenery.

…I have started to realise how much my knowledge of World War Two vehicles and armour has been skewed by making those plastic kits all those years ago. They have also influenced what models I am buying and which ones I like.

A similar thing can be said when it comes to looking around Museums and seeing vehicles and aircraft. So it’s no surprise when I saw the AEC Matador and 5.5″ Howtizer at the Land Warfare Exhibit at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, the first thing that came to mind, was the classic Airfix kit.

Airfix AEC Matador and 5.5"Howitzer

The Airfix model scene is from Europe, however the actual truck on display at Duxford is painted in desert colours.

The AEC Matador was a heavy 4×4 truck and medium artillery tractor built by the Associated Equipment Company for British and Commonwealth forces during the Second World War.

AEC Matador

This truck served on Malta with the Royal Malta Artillery during World War Two.

The BL 5.5 inch Gun was a British artillery gun introduced during the middle of the Second World War to equip medium batteries.


This example, a Mark III, served with 25 Field Artillery Battery, RA (V), Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Yeomanry, being withdrawn in 1977 after the barrel had fired over 1500 rounds.