Easy Options!

Since I’m not painting much at the moment I thought I’d maybe just chuck in a wargames-related post that I’ve been meaning to do for a while.  One of the advantages in wargaming in 20mm/1:72 scale is that there are a reasonable amount of ready-assembled-and-painted plastic/metal models available that can be picked up for decent prices and used to bulk out any prospective armies.  Quality varies from very good indeed, from manufacturers such as Dragon, to the more basic but still quite presentable models that form collections and come with associated magazines (and all of the models here are shown as they came straight out of their packaging).


Above are two 1940 French Char Bs, with a third shown below.


These originally featured here and I bought them because I wanted to be able to have some 1940 tank battles set in France and these models built and painted cost me no more than I could have paid for resin and metal kits.  Since I’d already got scenery for games set in France in 1870, 1914 and 1918, buying some tanks to expand my games out to 1940 did not really take much doing!

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Shown above is a German E-100 superheavy tank, partially-built prototypes of which existed in 1945.  I got this with the idea of incorporating it into alternative WW2 games, although I have still to really get that project launched!  I think this is also a Dragon model and I got it at quite a reduction in price because it lacked its original packaging!

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Above is a Russian T-35 heavy tank from the 1930s, this model from a collectable magazine series I think.  I originally bought it (for just six quid) to maybe use for a steampunk tank but I’m just going to keep it as it is and use it for 1941 Operation Barbarossa games.


Shown above are two Japanese Type 97 Chi-Ha medium tanks in early WW2 colour schemes.  Although I’ve got half a dozen Chi-Ha kits, I didn’t have any in early war schemes, so I got these to go with my other early Japanese armour.


Shown above is what I assume to be a proposed German anti-aircraft vehicle based on the Panther medium tank, another model I got for alternative WW2 because it was both very nice and very decently priced!


Next up are some American LVTs (Landing Vehicle, Tracked) that I just had to have for WW2 Pacific games!


Above is the LVT(A)-4 armed with a 75mm howitzer in an open turret (the basic LVT models were amphibious ship-to-shore cargo and personnel carriers, whereas this version was used to provide fire support in amphibious landings before conventional tanks could be brought ashore).


The other two are LVT(A)-1 versions with enclosed turrets containing 37mm guns.  I have always liked LVT models since building my first Airfix Buffalo model so I just had to get some!


The picture above shows them all coming ashore on my wargames beach mat!


And having bought Char Bs for games set in France in 1940, why not buy some M4 Shermans for games in 1944 France (shown above – I’ve already got German tanks)!  Many of the ready-built models carry markings specific to individual vehicles, but since these Shermans only had allied stars on the hull and turret sides I bought a couple (and another one after them).


Another of the Sherman models depicts Classy Peg (above), an M4A3(W) that served in the Pacific in late 1944.  This is the same basic model as the two M4s shown in the previous picture).


And, finally, a Jagdpanther!  Gotta have one, since to me it is the iconic tank destroyer!  If ever I need a second one, it’s worth knowing I can get one ready built!











  1. Can certainly see the appeal for ready painted and constructed vehicles John, and the wide variety available means you can probably get most of what you want, with only a few that may be harder to source

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  2. This is really interesting, John and I’d have to think this is the primary advantage of doing WW2 gaming. Lots of options! For the models, have you tried giving them a wash or weathering them at all? I would think some a brownish/black wash applied to places like rivets and a little bit of mud added near the tracks or bottom of the tank would add a bit more life to them without taking a lot of time on your part. Not that I or anyone else would blame you if you just wanted to chuck them down on the gaming table and use them as they are 🙂

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    • Thanks Kuribo! 🙂 As a rule, I’ll leave pre-painted models alone. Since I’d generally use an enamel-based brown wash to mucky/shade them, I’ve learnt that some pre-painted models may not react kindly to it, particularly decals and flexible tracks. So I accept the fact that I buy them for what they are and use them as they come – yes, they look different, but I can live with that, but you are right in that a bit of work would no doubt make them look much better! In fact, some of the Dragon models do have subtle shading and highlighting on them, so they’re fine as they are anyway.

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  3. Interesting post John ,one thing that caught my eye was the nice piece of jungle terrain, very nice (envy) but then I read that you had a few Type 97 Chi-Ha tanks and was wondering where you managed to obtain them as I’m looking for a couple and the only ones I can find are bloody expensive and the one I did get for the last WWII dio was so old the decals disintegrated Ha-ha !

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    • Thanks Pat! 🙂 The temple/statuary/building is an aquarium ornament! Not sure on your best route for Type 97 Chi-Ha models – the old Airfix kit is not bad, but the tracks can fall apart a bit too easily, otherwise mine are the old Fujimi World Armor Series models in 1:76th and those are nice models if you can still get them (you can get the standard Type 97 or the Type 97 Kai with the larger turret). Otherwise Milicast do the Type 97 in resin but it’s more expensive. I think the ready-built ones I bought were Dragon, but they weren’t cheap! As far as markings are concerned, a lot of Japanese tanks carried no markings beyond the small star plate on the bow and a rear licence plate.

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  4. They look great, mate. I’ve got a few models from the “Dragon Armor” range I bought years ago. Well, I have NFI where they are right now, but they always appealed and the ability to have a game with them back then or even now would be great – once again, and as so often – the problem is finding (the right) opponents!

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    • Hi MdMrED! I bought some of these from Amazon and the rest on Ebay. The Dragon and Easy Models tanks are a nice quality – other models are available under brands such Altaya, Deagostini, Amercom etc. and I think they were originally sold as models that came with a series of magazines.

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