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!