My wife has no interest in my wargaming stuff! As long as I leave her enough storage space for her stuff and the dogs’ toys, blankets, beds and food, she just lets me get on with being a geek!
So, I thought I’d test her to see how much she knows and doesn’t let on about! Over the weekend we’ve had some warm weather in the UK, so instead of sitting and watching my paint dry too fast I decided to get some tanks built. I put together four fast-build plastic tanks, put ’em in a row, told my wife they were all near-contemporay types and asked her which she thought was the best historically!
She asked if I really meant “most effective” so I said yes I did! So she then picked out the third tank from the left, a T-34 Model 41. When I asked her why that one, she said because it had the most streamlined shape! And she’s absolutely right, because the T-34’s sloped armour gave it significantly better protection than the other tanks shown here (a British A9 cruiser, a Panzer III G and a Panzer IV D – I deliberately put them in no obvious order). So I think she knows way more about wargaming than she likes people to think! I was impressed!
These are hopefully all models I’ll get round to doing for different bits of WW2. The A9 is a Plastic Soldier Company model and very well done, both in terms of detail and assembly. The Panzer III and IV are Armourfast models for early war German forces. The T-34 is also by Armourfast and I intend to represent a late-war Finnish vehicle, which is why I bought their 1941 variant. Also lurking on the back of the board, but not part of the test, is a Lancer Miniatures T-26 light tank (but with a Frontline Wargames turret), also destined to be a Finnish Army vehicle.
The Armourfast models are not bad for fast-build models, but they’re not without some faults (they’re not alone in this). The turret stowage bin on the Panzer IV seemed quite a poor fit, but since I wasn’t going to use it I wasn’t too worried about that. The Panzer III lacks the hull upper rear armour plate and the roadwheels float in thin air, so I added plasticard strips to remedy these issues (accepting that this is a bit of a simple solution as far as the running gear is concerned)! The T-34’s turret base had the hole for the spindle moulded off-centre, so that had to be enlarged to allow all of the turret parts to fit together correctly. In addition to that, the prominent vision blocks on the turret sides were missing, so I added these from plasticard carved to shape.
Overall, they all looked fine after these little tweaks and I was pleased to get them all put together so quickly. They’re no doubt going to have to wait for a Neglected Model (Tank) Month challenge before they get painted! Unless I can persuade my wife to paint them! I wouldn’t be surprised if she knows all about camouflage schemes and tactical markings for 1944 Finnish armour!