Taking Stock!

Although I’m getting stuff painted (honest), it’s been put in a queue waiting for a calm, bright, dry day to get varnished and photographed. So in the meantime I’ve been sorting out storage boxes and shuffling bits around to see how much space I’ve got. While doing this, I thought I’d tally up how many 20mm/1:72 scale vehicles I’ve got and how they’ve been made (e.g. plastic kit etc.).

Over the years I’ve built loads of models for wargames, but a lot got passed on for one reason or another. As examples, I used to have a complete 1944 German panzer division built on the basis of 1 model = 20 real vehicles which, for the combat elements, meant I had about 64 vehicles and guns, and my Russian tank corps had about 45 vehicles and guns. When I got married (31 years ago!) I scaled back again, keeping enough for smaller games based around small battle groups but with enough extra models for a bit of variation (so for my Germans I kept both a Panzer IV and a Panther battalion, but in practice would only use one or the other). I don’t have any regrets about this at all and since I’ve been married I’ve slowly but steadily built up the number of models again, but mostly spread over different conflicts.

So, here’s what I found as far as vehicles and guns are concerned:

Plastic kits – 88 vehicles + 14 guns

Resin models – 66 vehicles + 1 gun

Metal models/kits – 20 vehicles + 29 guns

Die-cast or ready built/painted – 20 vehicles, no guns

3-D prints – 19 vehicles, no guns

Scratchbuilt (from card or plasticard) – 34 vehicles + 10 guns

This totals 247 vehicles and 54 guns, which is quite a bit more than I was expecting (there are maybe a small number on top of this stashed in the loft, but not many). Most of the scratchbuilt vehicles are pretty old, as are the plastic kits, whereas 3-D prints and die-casts are much more recent. To go with the stats above, I thought I’d feature one vehicle from each category that is unlikely to get a mention on this blog otherwise.

The picture above shows a German Bergpanther, the armoured recovery vehicle version of the Panther tank. It’s converted from the old Matchbox Panther plastic kit (and I have four of them built as standard gun tanks) and I probably made it sometime around 1985. The skirts, stores, recovery spade and winch superstructure were all made from plasticard. If I painted it now I’d add shading and highlights, but it remains one of my favourite models despite its age.

As an example of a resin vehicle, the picture above shows a Russian Putilov-Garford heavy armoured car, which served during WW1 and the Russian Civil War. This is a Cromwell Models vehicle with quite a bit of character and I think I built it sometime around 1994 (when I could still manage to paint lettering freehand).

For metal models, I’ve chosen the three SU-57 tank destroyers shown above. These are Skytrex models, complete with crew and I reckon they date from around 1995 (basically dry-brushed overall but, once again, with freehand painted tactical numbers and markings).

I’ve only really bought die-cast or ready-made/painted models in the last few years, basically to fill out some gaps in my forces or because they were actually the easiest way to get certain models. I did a round up of these a while back, but completely forgot to include the Russian KV-2 heavy tank shown above. The green’s a bit bright but I bought this model because it shows the early version of the tank with multi-faced turret, which I think has more character than the later version. I think at some point it’ll get a repaint.

As far as 3-D printed models go, I think I’ve included all of them at some point on this blog, but I’ve chosen the Japanese Kurogane field car from Shapeways (shown above) because it’s one of my favourites.

As far as scratchbuilt models are concerned, most of these are pretty old and, whereas the models aren’t that bad (if I say so myself) the paint jobs are a bit basic. I’ve elected to go for two of the oldest models I’ve got, two Hungarian Toldi light tanks (shown above) as I have a bit of a soft spot for the Hungarian stuff I scratchbuilt between 1977 and 1983 (and I think these Toldis date from about the latter). Without the internet, I had to make drawings of tanks from a few photographs and overall dimensions in books and build them from card and paper (the latter for the wheels, tracks and turret sides). Although these lack the angled hull plates and correct form of the turret bustle, they still look reasonably representative of the Toldi from even a short distance away (well, I think they do, but I’m overdue a visit to the opticians)!

Having had this sort out I’ve found that I still have room for some more vehicles in my storage boxes, but I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing!

50 comments

  1. Sometimes taking stock can reveal some forgotten gems, particularly like the scratch built models you did John, and interesting to see how your painting style has changed over the years

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Those are some good looking tanks! But I just have to chuckles that your blog is “Just Needs Varnish!” and that is indeed what you are waiting on!
    On cold, rainy or cold and rainy days, I’m glad that I have an airbrush and acrylic-base varnish to get those coats on the models!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks Mark! πŸ™‚ And I now realise I’ve been wrong all these years calling it a Bergpanther! Way back, when we used to play weekend long games on dyed sheets laid down on the floor and my hair wasn’t grey, there used to be time to recover and repair a few tanks, so everyone had recovery assets of some sort. However, since I now play smaller games, the ARVs rarely come out, but I have actually played a game with the Bergepanther that was set up around it being sent to recover a damaged Panther and I seem to remember that being quite a good game!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Some lovely vehicles John I must say. Love the Russian armoured car but in truth they are all excellent regardless of age. Cant help but feel you should consider posting the others unless of course you’ve told the wife this is the limit of your collection! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 3 people

    • Well, it’s sort of grouped in themed boxes, like WW1 Allied or WW2 Early Pacific etc. but nothing more than that. πŸ™‚ WW2 Russians are a bit haphazard at the moment, since they don’t get out much and I need to sort out their transport (some of which needs a bit of TLC as well I think).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nearly 250 vehicles! That is amazing and I agree with the others, don’t let your wife see that collection in all of its majesty or she’ll may ask you to downsize πŸ™‚ For my money, that Russian armored car is the coolest thing you showed off (among quite a few cool vehicles). I love the WWI tanks and vehicles and they were so “blocky” and formidable looking πŸ™‚ I hope you’re able to get some nice varnishing weather in the near future as well πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

      • Well, if you’ve been married for 31 years and got all these models, what’s it going to hurt to get a few more and fill up those empty storage boxes, haha?!

        My first question was going to be β€œwhat’s a recovery vehicle?”, but it sounds like it was used to pick up/fix tanks.

        Great seeing all these different vehicles and so nicely done. I’m amazed at that freehand and the scratch built minis. I’d have thought those were pre-made! Hope you show off some more!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Haha, thanks Faust! πŸ™‚ What’s the point of having a storage box if it’s empty! You’re right about recovery vehicles, although the Bergepanther is an early example of an ARV (armoured recovery vehicle) and designed to recover tanks of its own size while providing some degree of armour protection for the crew. It had a winch in the central compartment and the big spade on the back could be dug into the ground to provide stability while it used it’s winch to recover tanks that had got bogged down. Given the Panther’s reliability issues with its engine and transmission, I’d be surprised if the Bergepanther didn’t suffer more than its own fair share of breakdowns due to towing recovered tanks.
          And maybe I need to have a Scratchbuilt Sunday post!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Man, that sucks. β€œSend out the Bergepanther to rescue the Bergepanther, so it can rescue the tank!!”. Kinda comical, but in a war situation, holy carp!

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Cracking collection there πŸ™‚ I think many of us, myself very much included, are guilty of focusing on all the things that we’ve bought and not painted yet, the so-called pile of shame, and not giving ourselves enough credit for all the things we’ve completed. Think you’ve inspired me to do an inventory of my own!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Wudugast! πŸ™‚ I think you’re absolutely right – my older stuff may not be up to scratch these days, but I still like having it and at least (at the moment) I have more finished vehicles than unfinished ones! I’m pretty sure an inventory of your stuff would be pretty impressive!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Lord Commander! πŸ™‚ I’ve maybe added extra bracing on things like axles and that to make sure they tend to last. But a lot of really old stuff used to get recycled as well and I dread to think how many Airfix Chi-Ha tanks I’ve owned in my lifetime (I love Japanese tanks)!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. That’s a great collection you’ve put together there, John.
    Those Russian vehicles look superb, especially the Putilov-Garford heavy armoured car, as many have already mentioned.
    Got to make the most of those days when you can lay down the varnish – I’m fortunate enough to have an indoor space and use an airbrush, so far haven’t had any issues 🀞

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Justin! πŸ™‚ Am having a bit of a blitz on Russian vehicles at the minute, with a few tanks in the pipeline (80th anniversary of Operation Barbarossa this year, so only right)! I’ve sort of caught up with varnishing now, just need to write some more posts!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. A most entertaining post, John, and not one I can easily replicate given the size of my stash of unbuilt kits. What I find most surprising is the high number of plastics given that the majority are probably proper kits and not the ‘quick builds’ that have only just come to the fore this past decade?

    The handpainted insignia is to be marvelled! As are the Toldis, I might add.

    I had no idea Cromwell did WWI, so thanks for the revelation. Now then, let’s see the rest which you’ve omitted!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Veroo! πŸ™‚ I really like the selection of vehicles you’ve got mind you! I think the bulk of the plastic kits were made in the 80s, so you’re right in that they’re “proper” kits”. I suppose it came down to time – I had way more time then, so if I could scratchbuild a Toldi then a plastic kit was never going to be a problem (glad you like the Toldis by the way – I might just add some early war insignia on them and use them as they are).

      Cromwell Models sort of disappeared and I don’t know their current status. I’ve also got a Vickers Mk II Medium by them, and some very nice Turans to paint at some point in the future. And maybe I need to do something like Flashback Fridays where I dig out some old models and use them as examples of how not to paint stuff! Have just finished some early WW2 Pacific vehicles and will hopefully get a post done on them soon-ish!

      Like

  8. Some very nice models there John. If I were to pick a favourite it would have to be the Russian armoured car, not sure why, I think it is because it looks funky. I really don’t like the KV, only because I was playing War Thunder and one of those buggers tried to spawn camp, it really didn’t help that I was in a panzer 35T. It didn’t go well. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

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