Having covered my recent 1940 Blitzkrieg and 1941 Russian vehicles and guns, some more stuff painted in January and February has finally made it into a post. This time there’s a Far East flavour to things!
First up is a Marmon Herrington CTLS light tank for my Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) forces (the nearest tank in the picture above). This is a Shapeways 1:72 scale model that has been hanging around waiting to be painted for a couple of years! I bought two CTLS tanks and painted one back in November 2018, but issues with tacky paint put me right off painting the second model. I sort of fixed the tacky enamel paint by sealing it with a coat of acrylic matt varnish and that prompted me to prime the second vehicle in acrylic paint (as a rule I have no trouble with either acrylic or enamel paint EXCEPT with Shapeways fine detail plastic material).
Erring on the side of caution, I left the second primed tank in a box with other vehicles to see how it fared. I was quite surprised to see that after some months it appeared sparkly, so I thought something in the printed model was coming to the surface. Frustrated at this, I found that the sparkly bits just brushed off and left an unblemished primer coat! I have a feeling that maybe the model had a slight residual static electrical charge and this attracted some fine dust in the box it was sitting in (I can vaguely remember GCSE physics experiments where you rubbed a plastic block with a cloth and it induced a static charge in the block). Having got it dusted off, I decided I might as well get it painted and I’m really pleased I’ve got two of them now. The CTLS was built in two versions, the CTLS-4TAC and CTLS-4TAY – these differed only in the placement of the driver and turret. You can see in the picture above that the turrets and drivers are on different sides of the vehicles – the KNIL ordered both types with the intention that they’d operate in pairs to cover the blindspots resulting from the limited turret traverse!
Next up is a British Lanchester heavy armoured car (shown above) used by British forces in Malaya in 1941/2. This is a really nice 3-D print from Butlers Printed Models and I’ve wanted a model of this vehicle for a while. In fact I’d given up on ever getting a model of one a while ago and so I used a Frontline Wargaming Vickers Crossley armoured car to stand in for a Lanchester (both shown in the picture below, the Lanchester in the lead – you can see more on the Crossley here).
The Lanchester is only armed with machine guns but I think it has quite a bit of character in its dark bronze green finish!
Next vehicle to get finished was a Plastic Soldier Company bren gun carrier (shown above). A product of my age and being introduced to Airfix kits at a very young age means I always refer to this vehicle as a bren gun carrier, even though there were different versions with different functions.
I wanted a bit of flexibility with this model, so I put a small block of plastic behind the driver’s bulkhead and drilled through it so that I could change its armament. In British and Commonwealth service, carriers frequently mounted a Boys anti-tank rifle firing through the gunner’s firing port on the left front of the vehicle (not mounted on this model) and had a Bren gun mounted on an anti-aircraft mount over the rear compartment (and that is on the vehicle shown above).
But in late 1941 (I think) a shipment of carriers destined for Hong Kong was diverted to Manila after Hong Kong fell to the Japanese. These carriers were used by the US Provisional Tank Group in the defence of the Philippines and some mounted a water-cooled 30-calibre Browning machine gun in the rear compartment (see picture above). If I switch the weapons over, this carrier can double as a Commonwealth or US-crewed vehicle – since the crew are mostly hidden by the sides of the carrier, and both armies wore khaki drill uniforms with the same style helmet at this stage in the war, I think it all works quite well. The PSC carrier is quite a nice little model!
Last vehicle to feature is an Italian L3/35 tankette (shown above)! I suppose the question is if that’s an Italian tank why’s it surrounded by Chinese troops? Well, the Chinese bought a quantity of L3s from Italy in the 1930s although there appears to be some uncertainty over the exact number of vehicles the Chinese bought! The model is a resin one from Frontline Wargaming and is quite a small vehicle. I had a lot of trouble sorting out the colour scheme for this one, even with having three books with colour plates to refer to! Two of the books showed a red-brown basic colour with green blotches over it and the other described the opposite scheme but then contained text notes that made it all a bit unclear. The two-tone blotchy scheme seems correct for Chinese L3s from photos, but just exactly in what combination of colours remains unclear. I’ve opted for this scheme as being reasonably representative. It’s quite a nice little model in itself, regardless of what colour it’s meant to be!